Olympic Patchwork Quilt

If you are not typically a fan of televised sporting events then the fact that The Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee has selected a patchwork quilt design to represent them in the upcoming games may persuade you to tune in.


Bosco Sport is the creator of 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics design theme as well as a a sponsor of the Russian Olympic and Paralympic teams; “Every region in the world is proud of its unique origins, and it is no different in Russia. That is why there are so many different local traditions, songs and crafts that highlight the individuality of their creators, each valuable in its own right. Bosco had a wealth of choices to represent Russia’s rich diversity, but in the end we settled on something familiar, warm and welcoming: the patchwork quilt.”

presenting the look

Basically the concept of the design is to represent each of Russia’s 89 regions using famous patterns, motifs and ornaments from various Russian crafts and art forms in the patches.

“The look revolves around “the principle of the ‘patchwork quilt’ — a combination of 16 designs representing the most famous traditional Russian arts and crafts, ranging from Gzhel to Khokhloma.”  ~Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee

For an interesting read and to learn more about the history and details of the individual designs and the artwork of the Olympic patchwork go to the Sochi 2014 Bosco website and click on “Look of the Games”.

banner designs

Yay for us there will be patchwork everywhere!  Along with the official logo, banners and volunteer apparel you’ll expect to see broadcast there will be much more to watch for.  Here is a sampling of some of the things you may not get to see in detail;

Olympic Village

Olympic Village ~ photo via Flickr

Patchwork Airplane

Airplane ~ photo via Flickr

Patchwork Train

Train ~ photo via Flickr

Patchwork Car

Car ~ photo via Flickr

Hockey pucks

Olympic and Paralympic pucks ~ photo via flickr

Gold Medal

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic medal ~ photo via Flickr

Sochi 2014 merchandise

Olympic merchandise ~ http://shop.sochi2014.com/

Let the games begin!

Meet Miss Harriet

Ms. Harriet Close Up

Over the last few months Lynne has been working on creating a new friend.  Not only will she be a household companion but in fact this fabulous fowl will be invited to join and encourage Lynne and her friends on their annual quilt retreats.

When she was near completion Lynne voiced her concern that this feathered lady was still without a name.  We decided to ask for help from our friends on Facebook.  The suggestions came in and Lynne was very appreciative of all who submitted their thoughts.  Oh boy, we had a good time going through the list.  After narrowing it down to a few Lynne decided that “Miss Harriet” best suited her new beloved friend.

Below you can see the details of Miss Harriet.

Ms. Harriets Tickle Trunk

Miss Harriet dipping in to her Tickle Trunk of accessories.

Ms. Harriets Face

Miss Harriet what beautiful eyes you have.

Ms. Harriets Tail Feathers

Lynne and Ms. Harriet

Lynne and Ms. Harriet

Well done Lynne!  I have a feeling you and Miss Harriet will be the best of friends.

Midwinter Reds Table Topper

Heather's Hexy Table Topper

Heather from here at the shop brought in her latest project and we just had to share it with you. Using a Midwinter Reds honeycomb package she stitched together this striking hexagon table topper. She tells us she didn’t use any pattern in particular.  She just randomly laid out her hexagons and then stitched them together with the help of a printable help sheet found on Moda Fabrics website which you can get here.  She then looked to Pinterest for finishing ideas and used bits of fabric to fill in the side gaps.  To finish she used a chunky quilt stitch with 3 strands of DMC floss.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

Honeycomb Collage

Pencil CaseTutorial

Pencil Case Tutorial

Originally this “pencil case” was a back to school project.  Once completed I immediately filled it with sewing tools.  It was in that moment I decided it would probably never make it to school.  Instead it will likely find it’s way into my sewing room for storing marking pens and pencils, a seam gauge, chopstick, That Purple Thang tool etc.  Of course you can make it a carrying case for just about anything simply by changing the size of your rectangles.  Perhaps a cosmetic bag, travel pouch, or anything and everything you can think of.  Let’s get started.


  • two rectangles measuring 5×11 inches for the exterior fabric
  • two rectangles measuring 5×11 inches for the lining fabric
  • two rectangles measuring 4 3/4×10 3/4 inches lightweight fusible interfacing
  • one rectangle measuring 3×5 inches for the end tab
  • one 35cm (14″) zipper or longer
  • coordinating thread

STEP 1:  Select your fabric and cut it to size (tab piece not showing in this picture)

1 cutoutsSTEP 2:  Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining following manufacturer’s instructions.

fusible interfacing

STEP 3:  Lay your lining fabric on the table right side up.  Place your zipper on top of the lining right side up and then the main fabric on top of the zipper right side down.  Line up all the edges and pin.  Let the ends of the zipper extend past the ends of the fabric.  The excess will be cut off later.

DSC_0679 copy

STEP 4:  Make sure you have the zipper foot attached to your machine and stitch the zipper in place.sewing zipper side 1

STEP 5:  Remove from the machine…

ZIPPER 1 side sewn

…and fold both the main and lining fabric back exposing the zipper.  Give it a light press.

zipper 1 sewn and folded into place

STEP 6:  Next you need to layer the fabrics for the other half of the case.  Place the main fabric right side up on the table, place the sewn half of the bag on top ZIPPER FACING DOWN.  Then place the lining right side down on top of the zipper.  Pin, stitch and fold the fabric away from the zipper teeth and press as you did in steps 4 and 5.

zipper side 2 placement azipper side 2 placement b

zipper side 2 sewn in

STEP 7:  Topstitch next to the zipper teeth and give it a test zip to make sure it works smoothly.

zipper topstitched

zipper test

STEP 8:  Pin the two main fabric pieces to each other and the two lining pieces to each other. Stitch the long side of the main fabric and on the long side of the lining leave a 3 inch opening for turning.

stitsh long sides

STEP 9:  Next you will need to cut out a 3 inch x 5 inch rectangle of fabric for the tab.

3 x 5

STEP 10:  Fold in half right sides together and stitch the long side with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

making the tabSTEP 11:  Turn right side out, center the seam and press.

tab turned and pressed

STEP 12:  This next step is tricky to explain so I am depending on the photo to help with this part.   Open your zipper an inch or two.  Position the main fabric so the seam is centered over the top of the zipper teeth and the lining seam is centered over the bottom of the zipper. Pin in place at the closed end of the zipper.

funny fold

STEP 13:  Now fold your tab in half bringing the raw edges together and sandwich it between the main fabric layers at the open end of the  zipper.  Line up all the raw edges keeping the loop inside the bag and centered over the zipper.  **AGAIN MAKE SURE YOUR ZIPPER PULL IS OPEN PART WAY so you don’t sew it outside of the bag.

stitching tab end

STEP 14:  Stitch both ends closed backstitching over the zipper to reinforce it.  Trim off the excess zipper.

stitch ends closed

STEP 15:  Turn the case right side out through the opening you left in the lining and push the corners out with a chopstick or That Purple Thang tool and hand stitch the opening closed.

hand stitch opening closed Or if you prefer go ahead and machine stitch the opening closed like I did in the picture below.
machine stitch opening closed

STEP 16:  Now you need to stitch the corners to give the case it’s box shape.  Take one corner and pinch it into a triangle.  Position the seam so that it is centered straight down from the point of the triangle.

pinch corners

STEP 17:  Pin the corner approximately an inch or so down form the point of the triangle to hold the shape and repeat with the other four corners.

pinned cornerspinch and pin all corners

pin corners

STEP 18:  Lay a ruler on one triangle (remove any pins that are in the way) measuring in 1″ from the point and two inches across and mark with a marking pen or pencil and pin in place.  Repeat with the remaining corners.mark the corners

STEP 19:  Stitch on the line of each of the four corners.

corners stitched

STEP 20:  If you would like you can trim and serge, pink or overlock the raw edges. Turn right side out and you will have completed your very own handmade sewing tool bag…er…uhm….I mean pencil case!




Greendale Country Sampler 2013

.  shop

This past weekend we participated in an annual event called the Greendale Country Sampler.  If you didn’t already know Greendale is a farming community located between Chilliwack and Abbotsford, BC.  Currently in it’s eighth year the Greendale Country Sampler is a self guided tour which has you visit, explore and discover local growers, artists, shops and attractions.  Thirteen businesses participated this year and some of the offerings included pottery, honey, organics, soap, goats and worms…yes worms!

The tour begins at the business of your choice where you pick up a map and passport which you have stamped at each of the businesses.  At the last stop you hand in your passport where it becomes your entry for a grand prize gift basket consisting of contributions from each business.

To add to the fun many of the businesses offered their own samples, draws and demonstrations to enjoy throughout the tour.

For us it was a wonderful opportunity to put on a mini quilt show.  The weather was questionable but the rain held back so up went the quilts.

front door


Pauline even decked out the house.

Whole house

house front close up


The Greendale Country Sampler is a really fun way to get out and shop at some unique local businesses that you may not have known existed or have had the chance to visit.  The staff here had a great time meeting so many new faces and we would be delighted to see many return.

We look forward to doing it all over again next year.

Simply Style Stacked Squares Quilt done Bobbins and Bits Style

Bobbins and Bits by Pat Sloan

When the Bobbins and Bits precuts by Pat Sloan came through the shop doors Hamels staff member Bonnie knew she had to do something with it.  She came upon this “Simply Style Stacked Squares” quilt pattern and she knew this was it.  This particular quilt shown below features the fabric Simply Style by V and Co. but Bonnie knew it was going to look fantastic made up in Bobbins and Bits (yardage available in September).


As an added bonus the pattern found on Moda Bake shop has a step-by-step tutorial by sewer and blogger Erika Jackman which you can find here.

This is what you will need for the project:

Here is Bonnie’s finished quilt top using Bobbins and Bits…it’s such an eye catcher!


Once the quilt top was complete Bonnie told us that she had three distinct groups of leftovers…”Skinny strips and half rectangle pieces”,

skinny strips and half rectangles

“odd length jelly roll strips”,

jelly roll strips

and “left over layer cakes cut into large hexagons”.


She tells us she really can’t stand to waste fabric and has a plan for these leftovers.  Let’s wait and see what she does with these scraps.



Gadget Holder Tutorial

finished front with kobo
This Gadget Holder is a quick and easy sewing project. So quick in fact you’ll be whipping these up in multiples for your home.  You will probably find friends and family taking notice with special interest so if your looking for a clever gift for someone who has everything then you may have found it with this multipurpose holder.

Initially I intended this to be for the sole purpose of holding my e-reader at the dining table. Up until now I awkwardly used a rolled up tea towel to prop the device to a comfortable reading/viewing angle.

Before holder

Upon completion I found it to be exactly what I needed and I became increasingly happy to discover several other handy uses for it.  At first I kept it on my kitchen counter as a home for my mobile phone so I could easily find it when I needed to. From there I found it useful to keep online recipes held on my phone or another device nearby in the kitchen. Keeping it on my desk while working in the office for easy viewing has also proven to be convenient.  And because it doesn’t take up to much space it works equally as well on a nightstand or side table.


You can keep one next to your sewing machine to easily hold your phone or tablet, keeping online sewing patterns and tutorials conveniently at your fingertips.

DSC_1009use copy

It also does double duty as a ruler holder and/or a pincushion.

ruler holder

It doesn’t take much to put one of these together.


    • one fat quarter and matching thread
    • polyfill or another stuffing
    • 4″ square of cardboard (for a base)
    • uncooked rice or something to be used as a weight
    • marking pen or pencil
    • 1/2″ diameter wood dowel (optional).  Approx. 7 1/2″ long

Let’s get started

Cut your fat quarter into a 15″ wide by 13″ long rectangle.  (Ignore the white glare of the sun)

DSC_1012use copy

Fold the fabric in half right sides together, then sew one short edge and the open long edge leaving one short edge open (my rectangle shows longer as I was still tweaking the pattern).

fold over with stitch line

Now fold the fabric as shown keeping the seam centred.  The remainder of the seam (not shown) is on the underside and should be placed down facing the table.

funny fold

Place your ruler so that it lays from the left corner of the square to the opposite right corner.

ruler centred over square

Now fold the top corner down to the ruler (or centre of the square) and finger press.

finger press Mark this folded line with a marking pen or pencil…

Mark and pin fold…and stitch on the line.

Stitch fold lineTurn the fabric right side out.  With the seam facing down on the table you can now slide the cardboard base all the way to the back to rest against the just stitched seam and stuff with fibrefill.

DSC_1018use copy

When it is filled close to the edge of the cardboard base you can add approximately one cup of uncooked rice for weight. You need to manipulate the rice to the top and corners as best as you can to keep it from falling out while stitching it closed.

DSC_1024use copy

Mark a straight stitching line along the edge of the cardboard and pin keeping the rice and stuffing to the inside.

DSC_0005 use copy

Stitch on the line close to the edge of the cardboard.

Stitch closed.

Fold the fabric at the opening to the inside to measure 3″ from the just stitched line and press.

fold-inside3inches copy

Turn the gadget holder over and measure in 2″ from the pressed edge and mark.

DSC_0011use copy

Fold the pressed edge over to meet the marked line and stitch close to the edge creating a tube.

stitch tube

Slide the dowel, chopstick, pencil etc. into the tube and you are done.
*optional – you may fill the tube with fiberfill and handstitch the ends closed.


Here is the finished project front and back.  What I especially love about this holder is that the channel between the angled back and the dowel accommodates my e-reader with the cover on.

front and back 710px copy

This is my first attempt at a tutorial.  It took a lot longer then I expected as I tweaked the pattern and found I needed more photos for those awkward to explain steps and so on.  Hopefully this project will be easy to follow and enjoyable to create.  Please feel free to ask questions if necessary.

Spring Has Sprung in Spring House


Well here in the Fraser Valley we are on the cusp of Spring.  Although today doesn’t feel like it so much as we endure the rainstorm that is currently passing through.  To help break up the storm we’ve got a breath of fresh spring air to inject into this wet and soggy day.

Have you seen Spring House by Stephanie Ryan for Moda?  We’ve recently received the specialty cuts in the shop here at Hamels and it is a refreshing and fun new line with pretty flowers and soothing colours.

Spring House is Stephanie’s debut fabric line and today we are lucky enough to have her for our first fabric designer Q&A.

For an extra treat on this dreary day we’ve included a link for a free downloadable pattern using Spring House at the end of this post.



So to start off we’ve asked Stephanie to tell us a little about herslef and her history.

Some would say that a life’s journey starts at birth, but I would say
that my journey truly started about 13 years ago with a fire. I was working
at the time for Little Souls, a small doll making company, when a terrible
fire destroyed the building and the business.Up until that point, Little Souls had been my home. I started 11 years
earlier as a doll maker and was steadily promoted to designer then buyer
then product manager, learning a lot along the way. After the fire, I found
myself, at 31 years old, faced with no job and an uncertain future. I did
what most people would in that situation. First, I panicked and then I did a
whole lot of soul searching.They say that when the Universe closes one door, another door
miraculously opens. Such was the case for me. I decided to return to school
as an adult student at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. I spent my days immersed in graphic design, illustration, and
textile design.Fueled by a combination of hard work, persistence, luck, and a little bit of
everyday magic, the next few years were filled with amazing opportunities. I
designed everything from dinnerware to wall art to stationery for major
companies such as Lenox, Waterford/Wedgewood, and Homegoods. It was
fulfilling work and I loved designing products that people would use and
treasure.  Of course, you know that my journey didn’t end there. For years I had a
secret wish to design my own products. What started as a little whisper
inside of me grew to a loud, strong voice. Finally after 20 years, I
listened to that voice, faced my fears, and made the decision to step out
from behind the scenes and launch my own brand.Stephanie Ryan, was officially launched in 2011 with the introduction of
Floral Fusion, a tabletop collection for Lenox. In 2012, I partnered with
MHS Licensing to oversee all of my licensing opportunities so that I could
concentrate on what is important to me, creating art and inspiring others.Today I spend my days creating art and designing my own products. Had
someone told me after the fire all those years ago that I’d be here today, I
would have thought that they were crazy. Now, I’m a believer and I hope that
I can inspire others to believe too; that when we listen to our hearts and
have faith in ourselves, anything is possible.
My first fabric collection with Moda is a dream come true for me. I wanted to design my own fabric all of those years ago when I was a doll maker but, had no idea where to start making that dream come true and am so happy that it finally happened!
How long have you been painting/drawing/creating etc?
I have been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember but, feel like I have really embraced it these last couple of years.
What is your preferred medium and why?
Right now, I am loving Watercolors. There is something about painting on lush, beautiful paper that I love and the vibrant quality of the watercolors and the mark that is created by the brush feel so right to me. I like creating in other mediums as well but, watercolors are my favorite.
What inspires you to create?
Oh, gosh…. I can’t explain it. I am not happy unless I am creating something and the inspiration comes from everywhere.
How did you get involved with fabric designing?
When I was working at Little Souls as a doll maker, I was very involved with purchasing the fabrics and working with pattern makers and sewers to make the doll clothes. I LOVED it and when I left the company, there was a huge void in my life. It has been a dream of mine ever since to get involved with fabric again. When I started creating art for products a couple of years ago, my first goal was to find a fabric company to license my work. I was so blessed when Moda said yes to my designs!
I understand this is your first fabric line, how did you find the process and will you do it again?
Yes, this is my first collection and was very happy with the process. Moda has been very supportive and we are currently working on my next collection.
On your website, you showcase some great doll projects that incorporate your fabrics. Are these your designs?
My friend Carol Maguire helped me with the doll project. Carol and I worked together at Little Souls where she was the design director. Carol is a great sewer, where I am more of a perpetual beginner. I love the way the dolls turned out!



Do you plan on adding patterns to your repertoire?
Yes, but I am easing my way into it. Hopefully, I will get involved in that business soon.
What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
It is really hard to pick one piece! This is one of my newer pieces that I am liking these days.
     What are you working on at the moment?
     I have a lot of projects in the works right now but unfortunately, I can’t talk about them! I    
     know, I know, what a tease! I can share some new products that just came out on the market    
     that I  am really excited about!
    These drink blots are with Studio M a division of Magnet Works:
My Studio is featured in the new spring edition of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studios Magazine!
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
I am always working and creating. When I have a spare minute from my business, I like to crochet. It is all arts & crafts related for me.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
My art is primarily flowers and happy and vibrant! I actually don’t like the summer time at all. I am a winter girl at heart and my favorite kind of day is grey and overcast. I love seeing the trees without their leaves and feel so comforted by the cold weather. Yup, crazy, I know.
What’s next?
More products, more fabric, more art!
Where else can we find you? 
Please, come and visit me at my sites!
You can find me on my WebsiteBlog, &  Facebook as well as on Twitter:@smallsweetsteps and on Instagram: StephanieRyanDS

My daily words of encouragement, Small Sweet Steps.
As promised here is the free pattern download of the adorable Spring House quilt shown above and click here and here to find the fabrics you need to make it. If you need the ruler you’ll find that as well right here.
Hamels would like to thank Stepahanie for participating in our Designer Q&A and allowing us to use her beautiful photos throughout this post!

Too much fabric?

Can a person every really have too much fabric?  Probably not.  What a about a quilt shop?…never!

Lucky for us quilter’s Pauline likes to shop because that gives us a diverse selection of options for current or upcoming projects.

The staff here at the shop are always joking about how we need another floor in the building because the shelves are always crammed and overflowing with bolts of fabric.

Well Pauline went shopping again and now the warehouse is brimming with new goods just waiting to be processed.Warehouse

I had to chuckle to myself when I found her outside sorting a new shipment on her front porch because there wasn’t anywhere else in the store with enough space to do it.


Front Porch


Make sure to keep an eye out for new items on the store shelves…if we can find the space that is.  If not, we’ll get up it up on the website as soon as possible.