Sampling a new design!

Norfolk Bricks

Hello, hello! How are you today? I’m so excited I could burst – we’ve had some some real, proper snow flurries, flakes drifting down thick and cold. All gone in about 30 minutes, though there’s ice overnight. My chickens are staying snuggled up together in their coop, sharing their food with the songbirds. My cats are sleeping in a drawer of jumpers, or on my sewing table, paws dangling over the radiator. At last it feels like winter.  And what do quilters do in the winter?  Snuggle up on the sofa under a quilt! Bliss.

I’ve been working on my new pattern design for a lap quilt this week. I ordered the fabric from The Cotton Patch sale of Free Spirit designs and thought I’d hyperventilate when I opened the package! Oh. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever bought enough fabric for an entire quilt in one go before and seeing all those colours and patterns dancing before my eyes was a moment of wonderful possibilities! It was like looking at a box of luscious pastels and knowing that something good was going to come of it.

Original quilt design © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

New design: Norfolk Bricks

I’ve been writing the pattern for a couple of weeks and I’ve finally got the design looking good (I think!).  I wanted to create something that would be suitable for adventurous beginners and simple square patches in shapes and colours inspired by the cottages I saw in Norfolk seemed to fit the bill.  So, time to cut out the pieces and get stuck in!

Stack of freshly laundered fabric for a lap quilt. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Luscious colours!

Yes. If only it were that easy.  I discovered there were some rather large flaws in my pattern writing caused by my nemesis: numbers.  One day they really will send me over the edge!  I’d written the pattern and fabric cutting layouts based on a fabric width of 118cm.  What? I hear you cry!  Where did you get that from? Well, let’s start by saying that having to buy fabric by the metre then convert the whole lot to inches was never going to be straight forward, for me. Inches are not simple for a start. I mean everything’s divisible by 16. And I don’t know my 16 times table. Sad, but true. And then there are 12 inches to a foot and 3 feet to a yard. I mean with centimetres you just have to remember the number 10. It’s easy people, so easy! So for a 44″ width of fabric we get 111.8cm (rounded up).  Can you see what happened here?  I didn’t, obviously.  I moved the ‘8’. Or rather it moved itself.  Numbers have a habit of doing this to me: they jump around on the page. So utterly frustrating. And confusing. And it happens a lot.  I have to go over things a million times!  And often I still don’t see any issues. Until I try and follow my own cutting layout and realise, when it becomes a visual, kinaesthetic experience, that my numbers don’t add up and it won’t damn well fit! Not to mention that I’d based my layouts on fat quarters and what arrived were quarter widths of fabric. Back to the drawing board. Meh.

Stack of units for 9 patch blocks for a quilt border.  © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

9 patch blocks in progress

But when there’s a quilt to make, a few mismatched numbers aren’t going to stop me: I managed to get the quantity of pieces needed from what I’d ordered, so all’s good! At least it taught me that when I’m designing my next pattern I need to order over and above what I calculate I might need. Just in case. (‘Just in case’?! More like inevitable!) So, moving on!  Here’s a sneak peek of the nine patches in progress for the border.  So far I’m pleased with the way my fabric choices are working out (at least there’s something I’m good at!!!)

9 patch block for a quilt border, © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Starting with the borders

In the nine patch above I’ve used fabrics from Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner, Valori Wells and Dena Fishbein.  I hope to have something more to show you later in the week.  In the mean time can I ask you something? you could really help me out! Do you buy your fabric in fat quarters or width of fabric?  Do you even buy quarters at all, perhaps you prefer to buy longer lengths? Let me know in the comments below – and thank you for your help!

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and Work in Progress Wednesday – looking forward to having a browse around today 🙂

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Hexagon pillow done!

A little finish!

Hello, hello!  I’m so pleased to have finished this little lavender pillow yesterday (Friday), hooray!  Do you get that lovely feeling when you finish a small project that’s been around forever too, or is it just me that turns up the music and does a happy dance?!  This little patchwork pillow is only about 6″ square, but it’s been on the go for almost a year.

Hand pieced and quilted hexagon lavender pillow. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Hexi lavender pillow

I finished the English paper piecing before last Christmas, but was too ill to think straight and finish it off. As I’ve got better it’s been in the back of my mind as one of those projects ‘that won’t take long’ – once I actually pick it up and get going with it! I got it hand quilted and sewn up this week though, and I’m most definitely happy with that.

Hand pieced and quilted hexagon lavender pillow. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Detail of some colourful hand quilting

There was some serendipity leaving it so long – a few months ago I was given this luscious piece of bottle green silk, which turned out to be both the perfect size and colour to finish it off.

Hand pieced and quilted hexagon lavender pillow. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Wonky backstitch and a natural shell button on pure silk

I’m looking forward to giving it to my friend, I’m sure she’ll have forgotten about it by now, so hopefully it’ll be a nice surprise!

New Pattern

In other news I finished writing the pattern for the Little Bird mug rug yesterday too. It’s all ready to put into my Craftsy pattern shop in the near future, so keep an eye open for that – if you subscribe to the newsletter (first one will be in November), you’ll be the first to hear about it; to sign up all you have to do is fill in the details in the column at the top right of the page (your email address won’t be used for any other purposes and you can unsubscribe at any time), which means you won’t have to remember to check back here to find out when the pattern’s available. Easy!

Hand quilted mug rugs. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Little Bird, autumn mug rugs (the colour’s a bit over saturated, sorry!)

Oakshott Blog Hop

So what have you got planned for the weekend?  I got out at another project I should have finished months ago, remember this in the lovely Kaffe Fassett shot cottons?  But I still feel like I need some inspiration – I keep wondering whether to make it bigger so that it can be used, or continue with the idea that it would be a hanging, what do you think?

Looking around for some inspiration this morning I came across this Oakshott Blog Hop on Lily’s Quilts that’s happening soon and looks like it’ll be fun to follow along (click on the image below to see the list of bloggers taking part). Have you seen Oakshott’s website? It’s jammed full of luscious colour – I’ve got my eye on some of these ruby reds! Pity my wallet isn’t jammed full, haha!

The Oakshott Autumn Blog Hop


Have a colourful weekend everyone 🙂

Linking up with Amanda-Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday – don’t forget to hop on over, Amanada-Jean’s sharing a fabulous quilt made from solid scraps that she’s finished up this week, and of course there are lots of other quilty finishes to explore too 🙂

Happy Stitching

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Drum roll please!

And the winners are…

Little Bird giveaway winners. 2014

4 lovely ladies!

The winners of the first ever Dawn Chorus Studio giveaway over on our Facebook page are…

  • Betty Whipple Middleton who wins the set of four Little Bird hand appliqué and quilted mug rugs and a copy of the pdf pattern
  • Christine Prosser
  • Mel Lewis and
  • Sue Pulleyblank who each win a copy of the pdf pattern, so they can have fun making their own!

Thank you to everyone that came over and joined in, I hope you enjoyed it too. What a great way to make more friends! Let’s keep talking and sharing, it’s so much fun 🙂 If you haven’t visited our Facebook page yet pop on over and say hi, we’re getting to know each other and it’s becoming a really friendly, inspiring place to be.


How I ran a giveaway

Running the giveaway was a lot of fun, but I have to say mildly stressful too!  As I’m new to all this I don’t know if I went about it in the most effective way, and trying to keep up the interest and a bit of momentum is harder than you’d think. Here’s a brief run down of the process I went through:

  1. I decided why I wanted to do it. (As a way of saying ‘thank you’ to our burgeoning group of friends on Facebook and hopefully to make some more.)
  2. I decided what the ‘prize’ would be. (A pattern for our quilty friends to make and something that might appeal to our friends who love handmade, but don’t actually quilt anything themselves – yet!)
  3. I decided what the rules would be. Number 1 was that I didn’t want to ‘force’ people to share the giveaway in order to enter it – that doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you ask friends to do!
  4. I decided on 3 blog posts to post over a week that I hoped would raise interest in the event, where I could share some of the techniques I used to make the mug rugs (see the post on my top 10 tips for neat needle turn appliqué) and keep the interest going.
  5. Posted details of the giveaway and blog posts on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.
  6. Posted daily about it on Twitter and regularly on the Facebook page.
  7. Got my son to draw the winners last night – see above!

The next step is to review my goals, which were to say thank you for liking the page and hopefully to raise awareness of it to make more friends. So how did it go?

Well, we had a small number of participants in the giveaway itself (so more chance of you winning!), but a few people also ‘liked’ the post about it without actually entering. It was shared once on Facebook, 10 times on Twitter and a few times on Google+. Over the last week the number of our Facebook friends has grown from 153 to well over 200 (although these definitely aren’t all related to the giveaway), and if some of them join in the conversation or find something to inspire them on the page that will be really great.  But in terms of saying ‘thank you’ to the friends we already had, I’m not sure it was as successful as I’d hoped – not too many of you entered, booo! (Feel free to let me know why in a comment if you’re one of them, it could be really helpful for future giveaways or anyone else thinking about doing the same thing for the first time. And it’s perfectly ok to say it’s because you didn’t like the prize, or you don’t like giveaways! In fact, if you have any previous experience or ideas for future giveaways just share your thoughts below and let’s get talking!)

So would I do it again? Of course! Who wouldn’t want to do something nice for their friends once in a while, when there’s something to celebrate? Maybe we could do something to celebrate the launch of the new Dawn Chorus Studio Newsletter in November?  You can subscribe in the top right hand corner now, which means you won’t have to remember to do it in a couple of weeks’ time and you’ll be the first to hear about new patterns, inspiring, helpful stuff and interesting news from around the web!  More about that in another post though…

Today is all about the first ever Dawn Chorus Studio giveaway and, more importantly, its very special winners Betty, Christine, Mel and Sue! Thank you so much ladies, you really made my day! Happy quilting 🙂

Edited to add that I just came across a really interesting post The Real Truth about Giveaways by Abby Glassenberg over at While She Naps.  Lots of food for thought and some lively discussion in the comments too – people really have strong opinions about giveaways and what they like and dislike about them. I have to say, I find blogs that have sponsored giveaways all the time a real turn off – it makes me wonder who the blog is really by, the blogger or the sponsor, and exactly what their motives are.  What do you think: giveaways, good or bad?

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I tried not to mention the C-word – and failed!

It’s Finish it up Friday and yes I’ve actually finished something, woohoo!  I’m really excited to show you a sneak peek of a patchwork pattern I’ve finished drafting:

Christmas stocking sewing pattern, © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Can you guess what it is?!

Introducing the Starry Patchwork Christmas Stocking, ta da!

If you follow the Dawn Chorus Studio Facebook page you might remember me making the samples and trying out a couple of different versions, well this is the one I settled on after some great feedback from you – thank you!

Patchwork Christmas Stocking with stars. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Feeling festive yet?!

The Starry Christmas Stocking, detail. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Patchwork star

The pattern will be available in the next couple of weeks for download – I’ve drafted the pattern (obviously!), written the instructions and now I just need to take the ‘this is how you do it’ photos and put it all together! I could still do with a bit of your advice though: if you were to buy a pdf pattern like this how do you like to print it off?  Would you prefer to have it print off on one A4 sheet of paper and then take it to be enlarged to the right size on a copier, or do you like to print off actual size  and join the sheets together?  With the latter you can obviously get sewing straight away, but with the first option you don’t have the joins in the paper or need to find your Cellotape!

The stocking features some festive hand sewn stars that are made using the English paper piecing method and the pattern will give detailed instructions on how to do this. There’s also a little bit of hand appliqué and quilting too. If you’ve never tried these sewing techniques this Christmas Stocking will be the perfect introduction, because there’s just enough to show off your lovely work without you feeling like it’s going to take for. e. ver!  In fact you could easily have this made up in a day, even if you’ve never hand sewn before.

It’ll be a great way to use up scraps from your scrap bin too and of course you can personalise it – and I’ll give you ideas on ways to do this in the pattern 🙂  Am I selling it to you yet?!  Would you like to make it?  Would you be interested in being a pattern tester? If you would or you have any questions about it just leave a comment below and I’ll answer asap!

My head’s buzzing with ideas at the moment and I’ve got another little English paper piecing project in mind – a honeycomb and squares cushion; I wonder if any of you would consider making it along with me over a few weeks? A mini quilt-along! We could make it in time for the festive season ready to give as a special gift to someone – or maybe a gift to yourself?!

Would love to hear your thoughts about the stocking or the quilt-along, so don’t forget to leave a comment below!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Have a lovely, stitchy weekend everyone 🙂


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Tutorial – flying geese units

Patchwork: Foundation Piecing

Reindeer pillow / cushion in Scandinavian inspired fabrics. Patchwork and hand quilting. © Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Flying geese units are indispensable for borders and blocks on all kinds of patchwork quilts, like those in the left and bottom borders on the pillow illustrated, and with this paper foundation piecing method you’ll be guaranteed accurate results every. single. time! In this guide I’m even going to show you how to piece them to minimise waste. Exciting eh?! Let’s get to it!

The Dawn Chorus Studio pattern!

Here’s the pattern I created for a block that finishes at 3.5″ / 9cm.  You can download it as a pdf here: 3.5″ flying geese paper pattern. It looks a bit complicated but once you get going you’ll find it works easily – and brilliantly!

Step 1

  1. To begin, cut out enough paper patterns for your project (this tutorial will assume we’re just making four units, so cut 4).

Foundation pattern for Flying Geese patchwork, designed and © by Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Step 2

  1. Cut 4 triangles from a 5 ¼” (13cm) square of of your main fabric (the centre triangles) as shown below.
Making flying geese units for patchwork. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Cut your square into quarters to create 4 triangles (this will be enough for four units)



Step 3

Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation paper method. © Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Getting the main triangle into position.

The paper pattern will be your sewing guide as you stitch the units together. It can be confusing when you assemble the units before sewing, but I find it easy if I remember that if I were stitching a seam without a paper pattern I’d have the right sides of the fabric together and that this remains the rule even when you’re using a paper pattern. Therefore, your paper pattern will always go on top of the wrong side of the fabric, and you want to be able to see the sewing guide so keep that right side up.

So in step 2 we want to get the centre triangle (labelled ‘1’ on the pattern) in place under the pattern. It’s easiest to do this with a light behind it, so if you haven’t got a light box, hold it up to a spot light or a window as shown above:

  1. Have the right side of the triangle facing you in front of a light source
  2. Place the pattern right side up over the fabric and make sure you have fabric covering the areas marked ‘seam allowance’ on the diagonal lines (see photo above)
  3. Pin into place.
  4. Complete all four.
Making flying geese units for patchwork. © Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

This is how the unit now looks from the back – note the wrong side of the pattern and the right side of the fabric.

Step 4

  1. This is where we can save fabric. Cut 3½” (6cm) wide strips of your secondary fabric (the fabric for the outer triangles) and hold it up to a light source, right side towards you (a strip about 17″ (43cm) long will be fine).
  2. Take the first of your paper patterns with the pinned triangle and hold it right side towards you and at an angle so that the edges of the triangle create a right angle with the strip of fabric (see image below).
  3. Ensure the right hand edge of the strip covers your seam allowance.
  4. Pin into place (along the marked centre line is convenient).
  5. Add more patterns to your strip in the same way, leaving a small gap of fabric between them.
Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting with the foundation piecing method. © Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Place your strip of fabric against a light source and pin your fabrics as shown.

Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

You can also pin them in place without using the light source as long as you ensure you have fabric covering the marked seam allowance.

Step 5

  1. Using a fairly small stitch (which will help you when you remove the pattern later on), stitch along the marked dashed lines along the edge of your strip. It’s almost chain piecing so is pretty quick to do!  You can make one or two stitches into the greyed seam allowance area, but don’t stitch into the dotted area marked waste.


Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Don’t stitch too far into the grey seam allowance

Step 6

  1. Cut your units apart along the long edge of the pattern.
Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Cut your units apart

Step 7

  1. With the fabric side towards you set the seam and then flip back the top fabric and press.
  2. Carefully trim the excess fabric to the edge of the paper pattern. This will leave you with roughly ‘triangle’ shaped scraps, which we’ll use in step 8, so don’t discard them!


Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Set the seam and then press.

Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Unit pressed and trimmed.

Step 8

  1. Place a triangle scrap right sides together with the main triangle, matching up the two triangle edges (to ensure the new triangle covers the seam allowance).
Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Placing the final triangle in position

Step 9

  1. Flip the unit over and stitch along the dotted line (3) as before. Do the same with all your units.
  2. Set the seams and press as you did in step 7.
  3. Trim off the dotted areas marked ‘waste’ along the long edges of each unit (leave the short sides as they are).
Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Stitched and trimmed unit

Step 10

Joining units together.

  1. Place the long edge of one unit along the long edge of another, fabric sides together, ensuring that you have one ‘point’ and one ‘base’ together. The arrow heads marked on the pattern will help you position the point and the centre of the base together.
  2. Put a pin through the intersection of the centre line and the dashed sewing line of one unit and ensure it matches the intersection of the centre line and dashed sewing line of the second unit.
  3. Stitch along the dashed line (long edges) into the greyed seam allowance area.


Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Pinning the two units together, ensuring they’re centred.


Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Two units stitched together

Step 11

  1. Press the seams open to reduce bulk.
  2. Continue to join units in this way until you have your required amount.
  3. Once your units are all joined together trim away the dotted waste area along the sides.


Making flying geese units for patchwork and quilting using the foundation piecing method. Free Pattern © Stephanie Boon, www.dawnchorusstudio.com


As the outer triangles have bias edges I prefer to leave the paper patterns in place and stitch through the dashed line when I join the flying geese to the rest of the quilt as it makes it more stable and less stretchy.

When you remove the paper patterns it can be a bit fiddly around the seams – spraying a little water helps it to come away easily and using a pin to help tease it out is useful too.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will give it a go next time you want to ensure you have accurate flying geese!  If you have any comments or suggestions please leave them in the box below – I’m more than happy to help if I can and your suggestions are always welcome 🙂

My other tutorials can be found here. And don’t forget to check out my patterns too!

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Pillow talk!

I started the weekend on a very positive note, with a big smiling face! Good things have been happening to me lately, surprises completely out of the blue. Over a month ago I responded to an online customer survey and as a result won a month’s worth of free coffee at Caffe Nero – I love my local Nero’s so you can imagine my excitement! (I often sit and write blog posts there.) I got even more excited when I discovered that ‘a month’s worth of free coffee’ actually means 30 drinks tokens to be used before the end of December – so in effect free coffee for 6 months, woohooo! But, you don’t even have to spend them on coffee, you can use them on any drink from behind the bar, so that mean’s oodles of hot-chocolate, lovely frappes and iced drinks too. Heavens, lucky me!

Grandma's Hothouse Cushion (pillow). A free patchwork and quilting pattern. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Earlier in the week I’d been out for a short run and stopped not much more than a couple of feet away from a young fox cub (one of my favourite animals) eating a bird, he just kept on looking up at me and watching me – it was one of those moments I won’t forget. I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to a fox before that hasn’t just run off! We must have been watching each other for a minute or more.

But perhaps the biggest surprise this week was online. I was scrolling through my Dawn Chorus Studio home page on Facebook when I saw a big ol’ picture of my Grandma’s Hothouse Pillow. It took a while too sink in that I was seeing it because someone else had posted it; once I realised I was astonished to discover that the free pattern had been featured on Quilting Club’s  page (part of Craftsy). Quilting Club has close to half a million followers! (I know, gasp!)

I was overwhelmed with the amount of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ the pattern had received, but one of the most lovely things was seeing a version of the pillow that a quilter called MaryAnn Mings had made!  She used green and yellow batiks on a black background and had given it as a gift to her sister. It’s such a lovely feeling to inspire someone to make such a pretty gift for someone to enjoy. But the green pillow wasn’t the last, MaryAnn went on to make a fantastic red floral version too! She adapted the pattern to make it larger and had the great idea of making up the hexie flowers and appliqué-ing them onto a plain black background (rather than piecing the hexie flowers into black hexagons) – and I’m really pleased to say that she’s very kindly agreed to let me share her photos here with you!
Versions of Grandma's Hot House Pillow (pattern design by Stephanie Boon of www.dawnchorusstudio.com) made by MaryAnn Mings

Great variations made my MaryAnn Mings

They’re fab aren’t they?! Thank you so much for letting me show them here MaryAnn 🙂 And it’s got me thinking…the pattern has been downloaded from Craftsy 3,700+ times now, so if any of you lovely readers have also had a go at making it (or a variation of course), I’d love to feature it here on the blog, or perhaps I could set up a Pinterest board where we could share them? What do you think, would you pin your version of the pillow if I set it up? Or any of my other patterns for that matter!
In other Facebook news, have you come across the amazing Kaffe Fassett Collective group?  It’s a really active group of quilters and crafters sharing projects they’ve made using Kaffe Fassett, Phillip Jacobs and/or Brandon Mabely fabrics. They’re such a friendly bunch from all over the world – I just love the way people are happy to share tips and help each other as well as share their own quilts. And it goes without saying that one of the best things about this page is that whenever you open it up you get an amazing burst of colour!
How was your weekend?  I wonder what this week will bring – I feel quite excited! Happy stitching.

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Free Pattern – The Orange Peel Mug Rug

Another Great Scrap Project!

Practice your hand sewing without committing to a great big patchwork project, and bust some of your scraps at the same time!

I’m really pleased to have added the last in a set of four mug rug patterns for you to enjoy. They’re really rewarding to make: quick, simple, pretty and practical! You can easily have a set made over a few evenings a week enjoying a bit of peaceful sewing in front of the tv or listening to music. Or why not make one this weekend?! Not too demanding, they’re also a great intro to hand piecing for the beginner. I loved making a couple of sets for myself and have given them as gifts too.  You can make them to suit anyone’s taste just by varying the fabrics, from bright and modern to pretty and pastel – you can’t go wrong!

The orange peel mug rug free sewing pattern © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

 The  Orange Peel Mug Rug

Download the FREE PDF Orange Peel Mug Rug pattern, which includes

  • tips on choosing fabrics
  • how much fabric you’ll need
  • templates
  • hand sewing instructions
  • hand quilting instructions
  • making up

There are 4 designs available as individual pdfs, so you can decide if you want to make a set with the same design or one of each, like I have here. You’ll can download all four pdfs from the Patterns page.

Patchwork and quilted coasters. Handmade using English paper piecing and needleturn applique. © Stephanie Boon, 2013

4 designs based on traditional hand pieced blocks

The orange peel mug rug pattern also refers to one of my online tutorials, but if you need any more advice just  leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help!


Making up a coaster / mug rug - sewing tutorial, © Stephanie Boon, www.DawnChorusStudio, 2013

Enjoy your coffee!

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Make your own Christmas label

Well hello Mr Gingerbread Man!

© Stephanie Boon 2013, www.DawnChorusStudio.com Gingerbread man label design

Want to make your own embroidered label for a quilt or Christmas gift, but need some ideas? Well have this one, for FREE!

© Stephanie Boon 2013, www.DawnChorusStudio.com Gingerbread man label design

Download me for free!

A free pdf pattern Gingerbread man label!

The design’s based on this little embroidery (below) I made last week – he was very rough and ready (can you tell?)! I posted about him here, and because I’ve had such positive comments by everyone I’ve shown him to, I thought you might like him too!

© Stephanie Boon, www.DawnChorusStudio, 2013. Hand embroidered christmas labels for patchwork quilts.

The original wonky doodle version! (approximately 1.5″ tall)

I rather like the wonkiness of the original version, but I’ve been practicing drawing with Inkscape (a vector drawing programme) and I’ve made this free pdf version a little crisper, so I hope you’ll like him just as much. You can always ‘wonkify’ him by tracing him less than accurately if you prefer! (Which is exactly what I did 2nd time around.) The new embroidery design is about 2″ square (ish!).

You will need

  • The pdf: Gingerbread man label (click the link to download)
  • HB pencil
  • A piece of cotton fabric of your choice (large enough to fit into a small embroidery hoop)
  • Small embroidery hoop (I used a 4″ one)
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery scissors/fabric scissors
  • Various colours of stranded cotton embroidery thread. I used some festive reds and greens with a gingery Sienna colour for the gingerbread man himself and an orangey colour for the ‘box’

How to

  • Transfer the design to your fabric in pencil, either with a light box or up at a window (although I managed to do it on the kitchen counter without any light behind it by drawing over the design in a darker pen first), making sure you have enough room around the design to centre it in the embroidery hoop
  • Place in the hoop and follow my suggestions in the pdf for which basic embroidery stitches to use. Instructions for embroidery  aren’t included, but I’m sure you’ll know how to do the basic ones anyway. If you don’t check out Jenny Hart’s Sublime Stitching embroidery tutorials – totally fab!
  • Once you’ve finished your embroidery remove it from the hoop and trim it down with scissors or a rotary cutter and mat, leaving 1/4″ around the design 1/4″ seam allowance (1/2″ total)
  • Pin the label in place on your project and stitch down using the needle-turn applique method.
  • Stand back, admire – and try not to eat the gingerbread man!

It took me about 45 minutes to stitch this little man, which is time well spent for finishing up a hand made project I think. It’s not a major undertaking and no special embroidery skills are required, so why not add a really personal touch to your work too and give it a go? If you do I’d love to hear from you – any feed back, good or bad, is most definitely welcome! Thanks guys 🙂

Happy labelling!

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Free Pattern: The Oak Leaf Mug Rug

Free mug rug pattern number three!

Free oak leaf mug rug pattern, © Stephanie Boon, www.DawnChorusStudio.com, 2013



As promised here’s the third free mug rug pattern in this set of four for hand piecing. This one’s based on the traditional oak leaf and cherries applique patchwork block.

It would look great in seasonal colours and prints: you could make a set of four or make it as one of the four free designs available to download from the Patterns page. It’s a great introduction to needle turn applique for beginners or using up some scraps.

It’s quick to make and you could easily have a set made for your autumn hot drinks, so why not give it a go?!

A free mug rug / coaster patchwork and quilting pattern. © Stephanie Boon, 2013


www.DawnChorusStudio.com 2013

In red with a quarter circle in the corner


Download the FREE  The Oak Leaf and Cherries Mug Rug

which includes

  • tips on choosing fabrics
  • how much fabric you’ll need
  • templates
  • hand sewing instructions
  • hand quilting instructions
  • making up

There will be 4 designs available as individual pdfs, so you can decide if you want to make a set with the same design or one of each, like I did.

Patchwork and quilted coasters. Handmade using English paper piecing and needleturn applique. © Stephanie Boon, 2013

4 new designs based on traditional hand pieced blocks

The star coaster pattern also refers to one of my online tutorials (below), but if you need any more advice just  leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help!

Making up a coaster / mug rug - sewing tutorial, © Stephanie Boon, www.DawnChorusStudio, 2013


Enjoy your brew!

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