Updated: Jul 7
Even in the middle of winter, you can still find little moments of wonder. It might be the bright winter sunshine, shimmering snow, the shy doe in the woods, or perhaps the little snow globe which shimmers when shaken, that comes out this time each year.
I hope your season is full of lovely little wonders that bring joy, and peace,
and contentment x x
Sampler Block Eleven measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks. Includes fusible machine applique, and heirloom stitching make a flurry of snowflakes.
Please read through all the instructions, before starting on your block x
11” square – Off-white or Low volume fabric (e.g. Moda Bella Solids 9900 200)
6” x 6” 15cm x 15cm) plain brown (e.g. Moda Bella Solids Taupe – 9900 310)
Fat Sixteenth Ivory buds (Caroline 18653 11)
Fat Sixteenth Snow flurry – Winterberry No. 13146 12 – Snow flurry (mint)
8” x 12” (20cm x 30cm) Paper backed fusible webbing (Bondaweb or similar)
Optional: 5 inches of 1” wide white glittery voile ribbon. Applique glue. Stabiliser.
Thread: Gutermann Sew-all thread in Dark grey (col. 701) and taupe (col. 854). Mettler Silk Finish cotton Green col. 1147 (for applique). Gutermann Sulky Metallic thread 7021 (Prism white) and Mettler metallic Silver (for the snowflakes)
Equipment: Sewing machine; Iron, ironing board and pressing cloth.
Notions: Clover water erasable pen (or similar), Small sharp scissors, small fine quilting needle, safety pins or basting spray.
If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll need an 11” square of wadding, and depending on which QAYG method you use, an 11” square of backing fabric. (*For more information on the QAYG method, please read through Quilt Construction notes)
So let’s begin:
Print out the Deer in the Snow templates [2 page PDF] or
Shapes have already been reversed, ready for tracing onto fusible webbing.
Optional: If using the Quilt as You Go 2 Layer quilt sandwich method, you may want to layer the wadding at this point, and work the next steps using a 2 layer sandwich of top layer and wadding.
Trace the upper and lower halves of the background, deer and trees, with Bondaweb paper side up.
Cut out, leaving approx. ¼” margin around each of the traced shapes.
Pair up the bondaweb pieces with fabrics, as follows:
1. Upper background on the Snow Flurry fabric
2. Lower background on the Ivory print.
3. Deer on the Taupe Solid.
4. Trees on the green print.
• Place fusible side down on wrong side of fabric (with smooth paper side up). Press for a few seconds, using a medium heat, no steam.
• Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut out upper and lower circle, deer, and trees. Peel away the paper backing by making a fold near one edge, the paper backing should begin to separate.
Once the fusible pieces are cut….
• Place the upper circle first, fusible side down. Then the lower circle so it overlaps slightly. Forming a circle, centred in the middle of the block.
• Press for a few seconds, using a medium heat, no steam.
So let’s stitch….
• For the block shown in the photos, I used a walking foot, though a basic presser foot works equally well. Set stitch length to 2mm.
• Using metallic white thread stitch just inside the circle, then the snowy horizon.
• Sew a few contours on the snowy ground.
• Continue slowly building up the picture, adding the trees. Next place the deer just inside the circle, with back legs just outside (as if they are stepping into the winter scene).
• Once you are happy with the placement of deer and trees. Press for a second, to bond to the background, taking care not to press for too long as metallic polyester thread does melt.
To machine applique the deer
If you prefer you can also use an open toe foot (feed dogs down), or darning foot, to outline the deer or stick with the basic presser foot, whichever you feel most comfortable with.
• To outline the deer, use taupe or dark grey thread. Stitch just inside the edge of the deer shape (approx. 1/8”). Proceed slowly where you need to be precise – for the few stitches around the head I took my foot of the pedal, and used just the hand control.
• To pivot at tight curves, check your needle is in the down position before lifting the foot to pivot.
Machine sew tree trunks, on zig-zag stitch setting (width 3, length 0.2) using taupe thread.
The eye of the deer is hand sewn using satin stitch and black thread.
Your snowy scene is nearly complete! Just one more thing to add…
A flurry of snowflakes….
• Position the hexagon template, on the background, mark a dot at each of the 6 corners.
Using a water erasable pen and ruler, draw a snowflake pattern centered on the hexagon, (3 lines connecting opposite corners of the hexagon) and a “v” on each of the 6 arms.
• Repeat till you have 6 or 7 snowflakes marked, making sure they fit inside the blocks 10” design window.
Optional – To give an iridescent effect to the snowflakes
• Trace 3 or 4 hexagons onto glittery voile ribbon.
• Cut out the voile hexagons, and use a dab of applique glue in the centre and corners to secure the hexie to the block.
Using a water erasable pen and ruler, draw a snowflake pattern centred on the hexagon.
• Machine or hand-sew using metallic thread. Stitching the 3 lines in turn. If you have embroidery stitches on your machine, you may want to try one of the fancier hemstitch or heirloom stitches. Make sure to practice first on a scrap, to find the stitch and settings that works best.
• The stitch used to sew snowflakes on the block pictured is one of a number of hemstitches (also known as heirloom stitch) – I chose no 21 on my Janome machine (please see pic 1 below) set the width to 2.5 and Length 2. (Ethel – my hardworking little Janome machine is over 20 years old. Nowadays many machines have dozens of decorative stitches, so it’s worth trying out the different stitches available).
• Before beginning each new line check the machine needle is in it’s centered neutral position, ready to follow the straight line marked on the fabric. Stitch along the guidelines see pics 2-4. To complete the snowflake hand sew “v” onto each arm (pic 5.)
Preparing to quilt
Remove markings with a little water, and press using a pressing cloth, to avoid melting metallic threads.
If using the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method:
• Layer your block, using an 11” square of cotton wadding, and an 11” square of backing fabric, if following the 3 layer sandwich method. (For more information on QAYG, please see Quilt Construction notes.)
• Secure layers using safety pins, or preferred method of basting.
• If using Quilt As You Go method 2, leave a small margin un-quilted inside the 10” design window, to make it easier to peel back the layers when joining blocks.
Quilt around the deer and beginning from the leg of the deer, quilt all the way round the circle.
Finally in preparation for joining Sampler block to Irish Chain blocks, trim a sliver of each side of the Sampler square, till it measures 10.5” square, to match the other blocks.
Congratulations Block 11 – “Deer in the snow” is now complete !
We’d love to see the Sampler blocks you make, so please do post them on Instagram using the hashtag – # SweetestThingsSampler.
Have a happy and peaceful season, and happy sewing
Dawn x X