Monday, November 30, 2015

Merry Stitchalong - Week 5

Welcome to week 5 of the Tiny Toffee Merry Stitchalong! Today we will be visiting Mr. Miller - stamp collector, designer and owner of the North Pole Post Office!

"Welcome to my little kingdom, everyone! It is very busy in here all year round as we receive Christmas letters and wishlists all year long, not just during Christmas time. The elves you can see over there are writing replies to each and every single letter. Once they are happy with their letters the elves will package them up in an envelope and put a fancy stamp on it. To make sure that children all over the world know right away where their letter comes from I designed this unique Santa´s hat stamp."

Let´s get started to make a stamp ornament...or two..or three... ;)


- template for the Santa´s hat hexie
- fabric scraps
- white felt
- ribbon

1. Piece your hexie. You might want to choose a colorful background as we are already using white felt for the stamp edges! When you are done piecing and joining part A and B of the Santa´s hat do NOT remove the paper.

2. Draw down two vertical lines on the back of your finished pieced hexie, right on the paper (that´s why we wanted to keep it on your hexie). Now cut the excess off so that you will end up with a rectangle as pictured. Now you can remove the paper!

3. Cut two pieces of white felt, measuring 2 1/4" x 3 1/4". Using your zigzag scissors give the two felt pieces a "stamp-ish" look. The next thing we will have to do is cutting a "window" into one of those felt pieces. This window will have to measure 1 1/4" x 2 1/4". 

4. Pin the fabric rectangle onto the full felt piece and stitch as close to the edge of the fabric as possible. This does not have to look super nice as it will be hidden by the felt piece that goes on top, but it will secure the fabric onto the felt back. Also cut a piece of ribbon for the hanger and secure this with a few stitches.

5. Layer the window felt piece on top, making sure to hide all seams and stitch around it, close to the edge. Done!

Some more ideas (and yes I am sad this stitchalong is already over - November flew by so quickly! - so I have to squeeze some more odds and ends in!):

For super simple Christmas tags to fancy up your presents this year make your favorite paper pieced hexie as well as an additional hexie for the background. Sew them together right sides out with a slip stitch and either pop a ribbon inside for a hanger or simply use a safety needle to attach it to your present.

To dress up your hexies in style go crazy with embroidery - like I did on the little Christmas tree. You can make a lot of tree hexies and they still can look all different when you play with fabrics and embroidered details!

Use different fabrics to give those tiny envelopes a unique look!

Put a mini clothespin on your stocking hexie!

Thank you for joining me on my journey to the North Pole!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Merry Stitchalong - Week 4

Hello everyone!

Welcome to week 4 of the Tiny Toffee Merry Stitchalong! Today we will be visiting Miss Martha Jean - owner of the biggest candy store at the North Pole!

"Hello fellow candy lovers! Welcome to the 'Dancing Candy Cane!' In my shop you will find whatever candy you can dream of! My most requested treats are wildberry jam filled gingerbread pops. I will collect the wild berries on my Summer vacations in the woods and turn them into the most delicious jam that will be filled into my gingerbread pops. Mrs.Claus always buys a huge box to give to her husband to store away as a special treat on his long and busy sleigh rides!"

Let´s make our very own gingerbread pops!


- Christmas tree template from the Christmas Delights pattern
- two 1 inch paper hexie shapes
- brown and pink fabric
- a hanger
- some stuffing
- a cake pop stick

1. Prepare your hexies. Make your Christmas tree first. I chose to use pink for the tree + stem and brown for the background to make my hexie look like a "jam-filled" gingerbread. Once you are done with piecing your tree make it into a normal English paper pieced hexie. Make an additional hexie with just brown fabric for the back of the gingerbread pop.

2. Remove your papers from the hexies, iron them and then put them on top of each other, right sides out, wrong sides facing. Start joining them together with a small slip stitch and brown embroidery floss. If your tree hexie is facing you right side up and with the tree pointing in the right direction then I recommend starting to join the front and back at the bottom right hand corner. Go up to the top and slip your hanger in, go on until you reach the bottom left corner. The bottom side of the hexie sandwich should still be open. Now it´s time to stuff your gingerbread pop. Once you are happy with the stuffing go on slip stitching the hexies together on the bottom side. Stop at the middle of the bottom side, pop the stick in and go on until you reach your starting point. Secure your thread with a small knot. 

3. Tie a ribbon around it and you are done!

Next week...

...amongst other things we will be visiting the post office!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Merry Stitchalong - Week 3

Welcome to week 3 of the Tiny Toffee Merry Stitchalong!

Today we will be visiting Mr.Kittle - a very agile old gentleman who stopped counting his birthdays after turning 102 several years ago and who has been the caretaker of the owlery for as long as everyone at the North Pole can remember! 

"Hello folks! Welcome to the owlery! Help yourself to a pair of earmuffs if it is too loud for your delicate hearing! I myself can just turn down my hearing aid whenever my feathered friends get too excited! Post owls have been inhabiting the North Pole ever since I was a little boy and I have always dreamed of taking over the job as owlery caretaker from my father who has taken it from his father and so on. These amazing creatures make sure that wish lists from children all over the world are delivered right to Santa´s front door and they are most reliable when it comes to helping Santa and his elves delivering presents on Christmas!"

Let´s make our own little delivering post owl today, shall we?!


- owl templates can be found right here
- one of the envelope hexie templates from the Christmas delights pattern
- felt for the owl
- a hanger
- candy for filling!

1. Make your envelope using one of the two possible envelope options from the Christmas Delights pattern. You just need to foundation piece it and not turn it into an actual hexie!

2. Cut out the necessary pieces of felt for making the owl. We will need:

- 1 owl body front
- 1 owl body back
- 1 belly
- 1 background eye part
- 2 eyes
- 2 pupils
- 1 beak
- scrap of white felt for the back of the fabric letter

3. Create your fabric letter. Simply pin a piece of white felt to the back of the paper pieced envelope hexie. The scrap must be bigger than the envelope! Now sew around the envelope at least twice, catching the felt on the back. Carefully cut out your envelope and set it aside. 

4. Make the owl. First sew the belly to the owl body front. Stitch on the background eye part, then sew the eyes onto that background you just stitched on. Use a simple "cross-looking" embroidery stitch to attach the pupils.The next step is a little bit tricky, but absolutely doable - promised! We need to slip the fabric envelope under the beak whilst sewing the beak on to make sure it will get caught in this seam. Just go slowly and you will be fine! 

5. Now it´s time to sew the body together- Simply pin the owl body back to the front and sew around the sides and bottom, leaving the top open for filling. Don´t forget to backstitch!
To finish your owl ornament stitch on the hanger to the back side of the owls head, close to the top edge. Fill it up with candy and enjoy!!!

Next week...

...we will be visiting the Candy Store! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Merry Stitchalong - Week 2

Hello and welcome to week two of the Tiny Toffee Merry Stitchalong! I´m so happy to see you!

Please notice - there is a little tutorial on how to get nice matching points on hexies that got several parts further down in this blog post!

As promised, we will go and visit the florist today! Just come ahead, step in and have a look around! Also, please meet Miss Ann - heart and soul of the North Pole Florist!

"Hello everyone! Come on in, no squeezing, there´s space for everyone! I remember a few years back we had to move all elves in here as Mrs. Clause decided it´s about time to give their elfin home a full makeover. Busy little things ...not the Clauses, the elves of course...but speaking of the Clauses, they always are busy making others happy. Mrs. Clause will pop in every now and then with a big plum cake for me, just because. She has been an awesome customer here for years and always makes sure to order a fresh new Christmas wreath for her door on a regular basis. Today I want to show you how to create your own Christmas wreath for your own front door!"

Well, Miss Ann is quite a cheerful little lady, isn´t she? So let´s get started to create Christmas wreaths with her!


- your favorite hexie from the Christmas Delights PDF, pieced and made into a finished hexie
- six more finished 1 inch hexies to go around your pieced hexie 
- a piece of felt for the backing
- ribbon/crochet chains for the hanger 

1. Gather your supplies. We will need seven hexies in total - your favorite paper pieced one as well as six normal ones. We also need a piece of ribbon for the hanger. Optionally you can do what I did and simply chain some stitches to build your hanger.

2. Arrange the normal hexies around the pieced one to get a layout you like. Now sew them together to build the top of the Christmas wreath. 

3. Take a piece of felt that is larger than the hexie wreath. Place wreath on top and secure it with a few pins. Now stitch around the paper pieced hexie in the middle, right in the seam. We do this to secure the fabric to the felt and because it will come out a lot more flat.

4. Slip the hanger between the fabric and felt on top of the wreath, pin. Now sew all around the hexie wreath, catching the hanger in your seam. Almost done!

5. Cut carefully around your hexie wreath and leave about 1/8 inch of felt peeking up from the back. Done!



I did promise to give some advice on how to get nice and neat matching points when you are creating hexies that are not pieced as one hexie but consist of several parts that have to be joined together.  

First I will piece all the required parts, for the Santa´s/elfin hat in the photo this would be part A and part B.

When I´m done with both of them I make sure that I ironed them properly. I will then see where exactly I have to join them together. Once you have found that "joining line" on both parts mark it. You might wonder now why exactly I´m doing this. Paper has the habit to sometimes just move out of the way, which often might not matter super much on bigger scale paper piecing but can make a huge difference when we are piecing in such a small scale. So, to be on the safe side, I will baste those two parts right along the "joining line" and then sew exactly along that basted line. This way it does not matter whether or not the paper is moving because the basting stitches will hold everything in place.

I usually don´t remove my basting stitches once I have sewn over them, but simply trim the seam allowance and then iron my hexie. As you can see - basting those single parts gives you nice matching points. It´s a little extra work that is totally worth it to be done!

Next week...

...we will visit the post owls. You will need felt and you can already prepare one of the letter hexies - if you do that please only do the foundation paper piecing part and don´t turn it into a finished hexie!

I can hardly wait to see you again next Monday!!!