Tag Archives | free patterns

Free Rainbow Orbit embroidery pattern from Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris!

We are so excited to have our embroidery teacher Carina Envoldsen-Harris on The Daily Stitch today to share a project from her new book, Mandalas to Embroider!

Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris from Polka and Bloom

In this gorgeous book, Carina has carefully created 24 exquisite, meditative mandalas that will delight and inspire anyone who loves embroidery and making beautiful things. With Carina’s guidance you’ll learn to embroider 12 large and 12 small mandalas, using just 10 stitches, Following the delicate patterns in these stunning motifs will help soothe your mind and treat yourself to some tranquility.

Carina and the lovely people at Search Press have a pattern from the book to share with you: the Rainbow Orbit! In this imaginary Solar System, you can begin with the star in the centre, and then work your way outwards, or start with the circles and then add the other stitches. Maybe savour working one colour at a time before moving on to the next.

Take it away, Carina…

Free rainbow orbit embroidery pattern from Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris


I hope you enjoy this pattern from Mandalas to Embroider. It is actually one of my favourites, but don’t tell the rest of the mandalas that I said that! 🙂 This pattern is fun to stitch using lots of colours, or a few or even in white on a solid background as in this sample cushion from the book.

Click here for the pattern

Click here for the stitch guide

Photo credit: Christine Asbridge @chrissie_crafts

If you are making your cushion cover from scratch, do the embroidery before sewing up your cover. However, if you want to embroider a cushion cover you bought ready made, it can be a bit awkward because you only have one “access point” to the embroidery. When I embellish a shop bought cushion cover, I like to turn the cover inside out and rip one of the side seams and/or the top seam so I have better access to do the embroidery. Once the embroidery is done, I simply sew the seams together again on my sewing machine – or you can do it by hand if you don’t have a machine. Either way, it won’t take long to sew together and the easier access to doing the embroidery will save you a lot of frustration.

The Rainbow Orbit pattern fits in a 6″ embroidery hoop but you can easily add more “orbits” to it if you like. If you have a compass that can make a large enough circle, simply use that to draw a larger circle around the pattern. But if you don’t have a compass, here’s a way to add another orbit circle to the pattern…

Print the pattern in the middle of the page and set aside. On a different sheet of paper, draw a circle using the inside of the inner hoop (6″) as your guide.


Draw two lines in a cross from edge to edge on this circle. In the centre, draw a 1″ diameter circle.


Cut out the small circle and then cut away the paper around the large circle. On the pattern, draw a cross in pencil going through the centre.


Lay your cut out circle over the pattern. Use the small circle to find the centre of the pattern. Line up the two crosses and stick down the circle using a bits of washi/masking tape in the centre.


Draw all the way around the circle and then remove the circle and tape. The circle you just drew will be the baseline for the new “orbit”.

Add stitch symbols to fill in the new orbit. Dots for French knots, Vs for fly stitch etc. The baseline can be stitched with back stitch or running stitch.


Draw your new orbit in pencil at first, so it’s easy to make changes. Once you are happy with your new design, go over everything with a black pen and then rub out any pencil marks that you don’t need.

Stitching suggestions: Work the continuous stitches first: back stitch, chain stitch and running stitch. Then, move onto the rows of individual stitches: French knot, lazy daisy and star

Thank you, Carina!

Find signed copies of Mandalas to Embroider in the shop here! Carina also teaches our Embroidery for beginners classes at our West Hampstead shop.

Comments { 2 }

Free pattern and tutorial: Emmajané’s Arrows Quilt

We’re thrilled to have a new free pattern for you today from Emmajané of Stitch and Pieces. Her lovely new Arrows Quilt is now gracing the new window display at our West Hampstead shop. When we posted a sneak peak on Instagram, you guys went wild for this quilt, so I know you’re going to be exited to get your hands on this pattern! Take it away, Emmajané!


I love half rectangle triangles and I have found a way of creating them without use of fancy rulers. This quilt uses half rectangle triangles and rectangles to create arrows.

Fabric Requirements:

*24 fat quarters (the list of the Kona Cotton Solids I used is given later in the cutting instructions)
*300cm of fabric for the backing and border
*50cm of fabric for the binding
*I used a double size piece of wadding, which is 96” x 93”

Recommended tools:

*Quilter’s ruler
*Fabric pen


Finished quilt size 60” x 82”.

Seam allowance is ¼” throughout.

When making the half rectangle triangles press the lighter fabric seam over the darker fabric seam.

WOF refers to width of fabric.

Cutting and Preparation:

Cut the following fabrics to create 6” x 4” rectangles. The letters in brackets indicate what the fabrics will be referred to afterwards in the cutting instructions and in the pattern. The number at the side tells you how many 6” x 4” rectangles to cut. These will be used to create the half rectangle triangles.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Cut the following fabrics to create 5” x 3” rectangles.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Cut the following fabrics to create 5” x 1¾” rectangles. These will be the small rectangles at the beginning and end of the rectangle rows.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

You need to cut 7 strips 3” x WOF for the border of the quilt. (I used the same as my backing, Plum).

You will also need to cut 7 strips 2½” x WOF for the binding. (I used Shadow).

Making the Half Rectangle Triangles (HRT):

There are two types of half rectangle triangle blocks to make. For ease these are going to be called 1 or 2.

HRT 1 uses Fabrics A and B. This is how the finished block is finished:

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

To make the HRT 1:

Take the two of the 6” x 4” rectangles from the correct colours. These will be called Fabric A and Fabric B. The fabric which will be on the left hand side will be right side up (here this is grey) and the fabric which will be on the right hand side will be wrong side up (here this is pink).

Then using the half inch mark on your quilter’s ruler, with a fabric pen mark a half inch on the grey fabric in the bottom left corner and top right corner. Mark a half inch on the pink fabric in the in the top left corner and bottom right corner. Then still using the fabric marker, join the dots with the quilter’s ruler.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Now place the wrong side fabric on top of the right side fabric, taking care to match the dots and line with one another.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Pin and then sew a ¼” seam either side of the line.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Using your rotary cutter, cut down the line.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Press the two blocks, ready to trim

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

This is where it gets tricky! You are going to trim these blocks to create a 5” x 3” block, but in order to get points that are perfect when you start sewing blocks together you need to cut accurately.

It’s best to trim the shorter sides first. Make sure that there is enough fabric to cut a 5” side, but make sure that ⅛” is in the bottom fabric.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Check that at the other side you have the angle at the correct point so that you get ⅛” of the other fabric there as well.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

When you then trim the longer 5” edge you need to make sure that there is ⅛” of each fabric included in your trimming. It’s a bit fiddly, but you will get the hang of it.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Done correctly your block should look like this:

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

It does look like you’ve gone wrong because there is a blunt point, but you are going to need it like that for later (trust me).

This table shows you the combinations to pair together to make the HRT 1 blocks:

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Once you’ve got the hang of this, making the HRT 2 should be straightforward, but here are some photos and an explanation to help out:

Making HRT 2:

HRT 2 uses Fabrics C and D. This is how the finished block is finished:

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

This time our wrong side facing fabric will have the quarter inch dots at the bottom left and top right. The right side facing fabric will have the quarter inch dots at the top left and bottom right. Like before draw a line using a fabric pen on both fabrics to join the dots.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Match the lines as before and pin. Then sew a ¼” seam either side of the line. Then use the rotary cutter to create the two blocks.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Once again, press the seams and get ready for the tricky business of trimming!

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Use the same technique as before. Make sure you trim with a ⅛” as you did previously.

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt

This table shows you the combinations to pair together to make the HRT 2 blocks:

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

The hard work is now done! It’s time to get piecing this quilt. Starting from top to bottom the pieces need sewing together like this:

Row 1

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 2

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 3

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 4

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 5

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 6

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 7

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 8

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 9

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 10

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 11

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 12

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 13

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 14

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 15

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 16

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt pattern

Row 17

Emmajané's Arrows Quilt tutorial

Once all the pieces have been sewn into rows, sew the rows together as you would with any other quilt. I then sewed my border strips together and sewed these around the arrows section.

It’s now time to press the quilt top really well and remove any loose threads.

Basting and Quilting:

Make the quilt sandwich, using your preferred method. Quilt as desired. I quilted each of the arrows with my walking foot. I quilted the arrows in threads to match the fabric colour.

Trim the quilt in preparation for attaching the binding.


Sew the seven strips together. Fold in half and press. Attach using a ¼” foot and then either hand or machine finish.

Thank you, Emmajane!

Comments { 3 }

Free knitting pattern: Camilla’s mock cable cushion

Our clever knitting teacher, Camilla Miller, designed this beautiful cushion with beginners in mind! The faux cables are really stitching trickery using a combination of basic knitting stitches! Knitted up in The Chunky Wool from local yarn company Stitch & Story, this cosy cushion is a fast and satisfying project with a gorgeous result.

Don’t want to tackle this project alone? Camilla is teaching a class on this cushion. Even if you haven’t ever picked up a pair of knitting needles, or if you haven’t touched them in years, you’ll be knitting confidently by the end of our three hour class and well on your way to having this pretty cushion. Sign up here.


9mm needle
2 skeins of The Chunky Wool by Stitch & Story
12 inch cushion pad
3 buttons
Needle to sew up the pieces

Stitch pattern

The stitch pattern is a 4 row repeat.

Row 1: k1, (p2, k6) x 4, p2, k1

Row 2: knit the row

Row 3: k1, (p2, k6) x 4, p2, k1

Row 4: k1, (RT, K6) x4, RT, k1


K1 = knit 1 stitch

P1 = purl 1 stitch

RT= right twist knit 2 stitches together and without taking the stitches off the needle knit the first stitch again and then slip the stitches off the needle.

Sts = stitches

K2tog = knit 2 stitches together

yo = yarn over, bring your yarn to the front of your work, between the needles, and knit the next stitch, (you will now have made a new stitch)

How to knit the RT stitch (the mock cable)

Knit 2 stitches together


Without slipping the stitches off the needle knit the first stitch again


Slip off all stitches off the needle



Front side

Using 9mm needles cast on 36 sts

Knit in pattern till piece measures 12 inches

Cast off

The back of the cushion is knitted in two pieces

First piece.

Cast on 36 sts
Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) till piece measures 7 inches
Cast off

Second piece

Cast on 36 sts
Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) till piece measures 3.5 inches
Button hole row: (k8, yo, k2tog) x 3, k6
Knit 1 row
Cast off

Sew up the pieces, the back pieces are over lapped to form an envelope.




Comments { 2 }

Free tutorial: Kelly’s Kaleidoscope quilt

Our new window display was designed around the colour scheme of teal, coral and citron. So when it came time to plan the quilt, we basically handed Kelly of Jeli Quilts a stack of our favourite basics in these colours and let her dream up a quilt design that would complement them. We could not be more thrilled with the result: against a (nearly) white background, the bold design and bright colours are electric! Read on for the tutorial and make your own Kaleidoscope Quilt (and don’t forget to share a picture of us on Flickr!) Thanks, Kelly!

• 12 fat quarters (this bundle includes all of the same fabrics)
• 1.75 metres solids fabric for background (Kona Snow)
• 3 metres backing fabric
Lap sized wadding (52” x 64”)
• ½ metre of binding fabric

All seam allowances are ¼” unless stated otherwise

RST = right sides together
WOF = width of fabric
HST = Half square triangles

• Finished quilt size: 48” x 60”
• Finished block size: 6”


Cutting and prep:

1. From background fabric:

a. Cut (8) strips 7.5” x WOF.
b. Sub cut these into (40) 7.5” squares.
c. Cut the (40) 7.5” squares across the diagonal to make 80 HST to be used for section A1.


2. From each of the 12 Fat quarters cut:

a. (7) 10” x 2” strips for A2 sections
b. (7) 6.5” x 2” strips for A3 sections
c. (7) 3.75” x 2.25” strips for A4 sections


3. From the backing fabric:
Cut fabric in half and sew together to make a backing piece approx. 52” x 64”.

4. From binding fabric:
Cut (6) 2.5” x WOF

Printing template:

Print 80 copies of the template, making sure that you select actual size. (Print one and check that it measures 6.5” square). A ¼” seam allowance is included in the template.

Cut out template about 1/8” from the outside line for all 80 blocks.

Click on this image to download the template PDF

Click on this image to download the template PDF

Sort strips:

Lay out all 80 HST and sort the fabric strips, so that each block has a different sized strip from the 3 colour ways. This way you avoid too many repeats and the actual sewing of the blocks is a lot faster.

Sorting 1 (Large)

Foundation piecing the block:

**** Reduce your stitch length to around 1.5-1.8, to make tearing the paper off easier****

1. Flip the template over to the wrong side and place the background HST (section A1) with wrong side facing the paper (Figure a), making sure to cover at least ¼” around all sides of A1. Pin in place.

Figure a

Figure a

2. Take an A2 strip and place RST with the A1 fabric, overlapping the line between A1 and A2 by at least 1/4in. (Figure b)

Figure b

Figure b

3. Flip the template, so that the fabrics are underneath and sew on the line between A1 and A2. Backstitching at the start and end. (Figure c)

Figure c

Figure c

4. Fold the paper back along the line just sewn (figure d) and trim the seam allowance to1/4in. Flip fabric and press (Figure e).

Figure d

Figure d

Figure e

5. Repeat steps 1-4, adding the fabrics in numerical order (figure f).

Figure f

Figure f

6. Once complete, flip template to wrong side and trim on the dotted line to make a 7.5 inch block. (Figures g and h)

figure g (Large)

Figure g

figure h (Large)

Figure h

7. Repeat steps1-6 with the remaining 79 templates.

8. Press the blocks well with lots of starch and then carefully remove the paper by tearing gently along the sewn lines.

Quilt layout:

**** Return your stitch length to normal****

Lay out the blocks referring to the layout picture (Figure i). I laid my blocks out fairly randomly, which gives quite a psychedelic look! The stripes will look more pronounced if you stick to a colour for each row, as the diagram shows.

Figure i (Large)

Figure i

Once you have your layout finalised, stack the blocks into rows and label. You need to be careful to note which way is up, so they are not sewn upside down etc.

1. Sew blocks A-G together into rows, press seams

2. Sew rows 1-10 together, press seams

Give the quilt top a good press.


1. Make a quilt sandwich with your quilt top, wadding and backing using your preferred basting method. (I am a spray baster).

2. Quilt as desired. I quilted chevrons using #Aurifil in cream (number 2026) and my walking foot.


3. Cut off excess wadding and backing and square the quilt up.

4. Join the binding strips together, fold in half and press.

5. Machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt and then sew to the back either by hand or machine.


Voila, you are done!!

Comments { 10 }

Sewing with the ladies of the West Hampstead WI (and a free pattern for you!)

Last Thursday I was invited to be the guest speaker at the meeting of the West Hampstead Women’s Institute! One of the WI’s resolutions for 2014 is to support your local high street, so as part of that effort I joined our local group to talk a bit about my business and then get down to the business of sewing!

I decided to make little felt birds with the ladies and I asked Colette if she’d share a tutorial for the lovely garland she made for Harvey before he was born. We dusted off a photo we took with this garland last year to show off the project:


Colette’s pattern includes instructions for making three birds and a little heart strung together to make a vertical garland. It’s super sweet and Harvey’s has hung over his cot since he was born! For the purposes of the evening, however, we stuck with making just one little bird.

I put together a very springy palette of wool felt and embroidery floss, little fabric scraps and skinny satin ribbons and made little piles on all the tables at Brioche on West End Lane, where the meeting was held.

piles of supplies

Truth be told, between the ladies’ sewing know-how and Colette’s clear instructions, I didn’t have to do all that much teaching once I got the ball rolling! We had about 30 members present and it was a very fun and social evening.

women at work

The result was a beautiful flock of suitably springy little birds (and one rogue heart!) I just love how they look together.

finished birds

Colette has offered to share her pattern here, so if you saw our little birds last Thursday and want to make your own – here you go! Click on the image to download the three page pdf pattern.

Little bird garland pattern

Thank you to the West Hampstead WI and Colette!

Comments { 4 }