2022/10/07 - Gail Lawther - Christmas Sampler

Friday 7th October 2022
Tutor Gail Lawther
Duration Day Class - 10am - 4pm

As the days draw in and the weather crisps up, Christmas can’t be far away! Stitched decorations create a lovely seasonal atmosphere, and now you can create your own Christmas ‘sampler’ to celebrate that special time of year. Christmas trees and plum puddings, candy sticks and crackers, hearts and stars, snowmen and garlands – they’re all here, just waiting to create those lovely midwinter memories. Choose your motifs from the templates I’ll provide on the day,  and build up your own sampler in rows using my easy fusing technique. You’ll find it very straightforward even if you’re new to quilting, and during the day we’ll explore lots of extremely simple ways of machine-quilting your designs. 

As well as the things below, you’ll need your usual sewing kit of small and large scissors, pins etc. For the quilting, you will need your sewing machine; if you’re new to your machine, or not quite sure of all the things it can do, bring the manual too. And don’t forget to bring everything that goes with your machine – foot pedal, leads, knee lift if you have one, and all the feet and other bits that go with it – then we can choose the best foot etc to use on the day! Also, if you have your own travel iron and ironing pad you might find it useful to bring it along, but don’t buy one specially.

If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) lots of different fabrics for the motifs, or would like a few supplements, I’ll have with me on the day packs containing selections of different motifs, already bondawebbed and cut out – they cost £2 per bag of medium-sized motifs (eg stars, hearts, holly leaves, candy sticks); and £3 per bag of larger motifs (eg snowmen, Christmas trees, crackers, Christmas puddings). Each bag will give you enough of the relevant motifs for four cracker-widths (see below).

Finished sizes
the width depends on how many repeats of those motifs you want to include in each row, and how wide you want to make the borders:  
• my skinny quilts (that is, one cracker wide, size A) are 12in (30cm) wide

• my medium designs (two crackers wide, size B) are 18in (46cm) wide

• my wider designs (three crackers wide, size C) are 23in (59cm) wide

the length will depend on how many rows of different motifs you want to include on your sampler

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You will need
cotton fabrics as follows:

  • pale colour for the background (cream, white, pale gold or gold print, or very pale blue would all work well):
    - for size A, 8in (20cm) wide
    - for size B, 13in (33cm) wide
    - for size C, 18in (46cm) wide

(as mentioned above, the length you need will depend on how many rows of different motifs you want to include, so bring a really long piece and you can cut it down to fit your final design!)

  • large scraps of cotton fabrics in a mixture of Christmassy colours and prints for the motifs. Bring plenty, so that you’ve got lots of choice.
  • fabric for the border. For size A, I made my borders 2½ wide; for the other sizes I used 3in-wide strips. You’ll probably find it best to cut the borders once you’ve completed the sampler section; then you’ll know exactly how long to cut them – so, again, bring plenty (and remember that if the print on the fabric is directional, you’ll need to allow extra fabric).
  • backing fabric to suit the size of your finished design
  • contrasting binding strip; again, the length and the width will depend on the size of your finished design, and whether you prefer to use a single or double binding (I used single bindings cut 2¼in/6cm wide

    You will also need:
  • Bondaweb or Steam-a-Seam (don’t use Heat ‘n’ Bond or Fuse-a-Web); if you bring 1m of the 18in-wide bondaweb from a roll, you will have plenty for even the largest design
  • flat wadding (any of the flattish ones will do) to fit your finished design
  • sewing threads to match the border and binding, plus your choice of machine-quilting threads
  • pencil (and pencil-sharpener)
  • non-stick ironing sheet or greaseproof paper/baking parchment; use this to protect the iron and ironing board whenever you’re working with the bonding web
  • small, sharp-pointed scissors. These are important; if yours are a bit blunt, now’s the time to invest in some new ones! 
  • rotary cutter, board and quilt rule to cut your border pieces (if you don’t have your own, I’m sure you’ll be able to borrow one on the day)
  • optional: buttons, beads, charms, lace, broderie anglaise, ribbon bows etc to embellish your designs, plus matching threads

For most classes and workshops, you will need to bring your own supplies and equipment; a list of specific requirements can be see above. When materials are included or supplied by the tutor, this will be stated in the class description.

All workshops and classes must be paid for in full. We are sorry, but sometimes we have to cancel a class due to circumstances beyond our control. If this arises we aim to give you 10 days' notice and a full refund. If you need to cancel your class booking, we require a minimum of 10 days' notice in order for you to receive a refund (less £3 administration charge). No refund can be given if less than 10 days' notice is given.