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Waddings ~ how to care for your quilts & wash them

Hobbs have been making waddings/battings since1978.  Here’s what they recommend on using their waddings:

How should I wash and dry my quilts?
All quilts, old or new, should be washed with care. It is recommended to wash by hand or in a washer on the gentle cycle using cool water. Be especially cautious with front-loading washers as the intense spin cycle on these machines can be very hard on quilts, and avoid agitating your quilts to keep them in tip-top shape.

Drying should be done on the very lowest heat or air-dry setting. If no shrinkage is desired, laying the quilt out to air dry is recommended. Over-drying is detrimental to the long-term strength and colourfastness of any quilt and should also be avoided. Extreme heat and agitation should be avoided for all quilts, but particularly for quilts with cotton/wool, wool and silk battings (quilts made with these battings should be air-dried).

Vintage quilts require a more delicate process of gently soaking in a bathtub of cool water on top of a large sheet. Fill the tub, soak the quilt and drain the water. Repeat until the water runs clear. Do not lift the quilt during this soaking and rinsing process. Allow the final rinse water to drain away and use the sheet to carry the wet quilt to a flat surface appropriate for air-drying your quilt – the sheet helps to safeguard the quilt during transport, and without it, the weight of the wet quilt can cause thread breakage or tearing of fragile fabrics and batting.

Should I prewash my batting?
The short answer is NO! Hobbs Bonded Fibers does not recommend pre-washing our battings. The battings are designed to be used directly from the package and pre-washing, especially in a washing machine, is
likely to ruin them.

How do I remove creases or wrinkles caused by packaging?
You can lightly spritz your Heirloom® battings with a little bit of water and toss them into a cool, no-heat dryer for a few minutes to release stubborn wrinkles.
The one exception to this is our Heirloom Fusible 80/20. Because this batting has a water-soluble fusing medium sprayed on both sides of the batting, and it won’t fuse if it gets wet, this wrinkle-release trick can’t be used on this batting

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Mary’s Show n Tell

Our Mary is an exceptionally talented needle woman, and has designed so many beautiful patterns which we’ve run as classes, and sold as patterns and kits, & you can see a few of them here.

Mary made this gorgeous quilt using Brenda Riddle fabrics a few years ago that started as a Jelly Roll Race, but ended up as an alternative version of Rail Fence. It has little additions of small embroidered “heart felt sayings” on squares dotted throughout this pretty quilt, that were taken from an old magazine Vingette by Leanne Beasley.

We think it would look beautiful in Brenda’s latest fabrics which are called Grace.

Rail Fence Quilt






One of Mary’s beautifully designed kits is this Care, Share, Dream Rotary Wrap made from Le Beau Papillon French General fabrics, perfect for carrying your rotary cutters, etc., with purpose made pockets inside.

Care Share Dream

There’s nothing more iconic here in Cornwall than a Mining Engine House perched high on the cliffs, & Mary’s foundation pieced pattern Poldark reminds us of this.
Mary’s kit been made by so many of our customers, who have sent them all over the world to friends and family to remind them of home.

Poldark Country Kit & pattern


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Mandy’s Show n Tell

A lovely lady called Pam Woods started the embroidered pictures on this Gardener’s Journal Quilt, which Mandy inherited & has now completed & I think you’ll agree, is absolutely beautiful!

The Gardener’s Journal Quilt has been designed by Anni Down’s of Hatched & Patched & is in her book “A Gardener’s Journal”.

There are many small individual projects in the book, each using one of the adorable stitchery designs, or you can complete them all and make the full quilt.

Here are some close up photos of Mandy’s beautiful quilt.




Mandy has been using Songbook fabrics to make a stunning quilt she saw in the Homespun magazine issue 205.  She’s used a Songbook Layer Cake, or you could cut your own pieces from a fat 1/8th or fat 1/4 bundle too.  It has a background made from one Bella Solid Charm pack for a small quilt, or 1.5m of cream background fabric for a larger quilt.  Love the quilting Mandy!

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Michelle’s Show n Tell

Look at this gorgeous sample using one of the images from the Blume & Grow panel from The Birdhouse. Michelle has used fabrics from the Blume & Grow range and we think it’s a delightful sunny wall hanging that could also be made into a cushion. The back is equally as pretty as it is made up of pieced strips of the fabric. The hanging is displayed on a heart top wire hanger.

Michelle has plans for the remaining images to use in bags and a block keeper. Watch this space for updates.

Life’s a Journey is one of our all time favourite wall hanging patterns, with the words “Life’s a journey, take time to smell the flowers along the way”, which reminds us to stop for a moment and appreciate what’s around us, whilst we rush through our busy lives.

Designed by House on the Hill, their pattern was made in earthy colours, but we also love Michelle’s version done in beautiful Tilda fabrics in blues, pinks and reds!  Michelle & her friend Vicki stitched them “virtually” together, with Michelle here in Cornwall & her friend Vicki who’s overseas, & you can see their beautiful wall hangings below.

You can have fun embellishing the hearts and tabs with some of your favourite buttons from your button tin, or perhaps with a pack of our beautiful hand painted heart buttons?

Life's a Journey








Michelle has been busy designing a new paper pieced cushion using Lynette Anderson’s new fabrics, the Colour of Love fabrics by Lynette Anderson, with the Jewel 1.5″ x 3″ paper pieces to create the heart shapes.  There’s also an acrylic template available to help you cut out your pieces.

The hearts were stitched on a cream background & Michelle used our soft Sligo in Sand colour for the cushion back.

She’s added embroidery using DMC 221 & a lovely selection of wooden & shell heart buttons

You can make the cushion as long as you want, but Michelle’s is approx 40cm high x 1m long & has 1 1/2 pillows inside.  Michelle’s pattern is available to purchase here

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Botanicals Lap Quilt Using Days In Provence Pattern

In the last two years, especially after taking up wild swimming and with the addition of a puppy to our family, I have become more aware of the nature and landscapes around me in the beautiful county of Cornwall where I live.  From walking across fields & seeing wild flowers, to swimming in the sea & watching my friend Fi feed a friendly Robin after our swim, so when I was shown Janet Clare’s stunning Botanicals fabrics I fell in love with it.

I’d been looking for the perfect pattern to show off all the beautiful bird & flower designs featured on the Botanicals fabrics & decided to use the Days in Provence pattern by House on the Hill.

I used a fat 1/8th bundle of Botanicals fabrics, adding an extra 1 1/2″ (finished sized) border of Moda Textile Solid Parchment fabric, before adding the final border, which I chose the soft black Sligo Linen.

On two of the blocks where the lavender was embroidered on the original pattern, I used Janet Clare’s Little Wren embroidery kit instead, to keep with the theme of Botanicals.  I did a running stitch in a charcoal embroidery thread on the parchment border, adding a little snail who has slightly strayed from the line.

On the black Sligo Linen I embroidered the flying owl design found in Janet Clare’s beautiful Field Guide book, using chacopy paper to transfer the design onto the linen.

I put wadding in between, then backed it with a Farmer’s Shirt Flannel and quilted in the ditch, adding a chunky running stitch in embroidery thread on a couple of centre blocks as a feature, along with some black buttons on a couple of the longest thin blocks.

Finally to finish the quilt, I made a scrappy binding from the fabrics left from the fat 1/8th bundle.

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The Mermaid of Zennor

One fine Sunday morning in Zennor church, perched on the cliffs of Penwith, the choir and congregation were ready for service when through the church door came a strange lady of unearthly beauty.  Her green eyes looked back calmly at the villagers, who were staring, for newcomers were rare in that far-flung parish; her tawny-gold hair flowed down over her back, wild and untrained; the long dress she wore swept the ground like a bride’s train, and was made of some material that no one there had ever seen, for it shimmered like the sea on a sunny day.  She sat near the door in a pew on her own, away from other people.

In the choir were some fine singers, but none finer than Mathy Trewhella, a handsome young man who sang a clear high tenor:  his voice could be heard all over Zennor Churchtown when he wished.  As the choristers sang their hymns and psalms Mathy became aware of the stranger staring at him with those emerald-green mysterious eyes; when he looked at her it seemed to him that a queer faint smile hovered on her face.  After the service she was the first to leave the church, and those who went out after her thought it strange how rapidly she had disappeared, as they could not see her anywhere outside.

Five or six times this unknown lady came to Zennor church, always on a fine day, and always she sat far apart from the congregation, watching Mathy and listening to every note he sang.  Her eyes seemed to look right through him, and her gaze somehow reminded him of the dim light in caves under sea.  He determined that somehow he would find out who she was.

The next time she appeared in church he was ready.  Before the end of the service, as the parson gave the benediction, Mathy slipped from the choir stalls and let himself out of the little side door of the church.  And so, as soon as the lady emerged, first as usual from the main door, he was at her side.  She smiled as if she had been expected him, and took his arm; and thus they left the churchyard together.  People coming after them saw them take the winding path that led down the valley towards the sea.

That was the last Zennor saw of Mathy Trewhella.  His old mother was heartbroken for a long time, but at least she had other grown children to comfort her.  The story of how Mathy disappeared with the stranger was a great mystery, often talked about, and unsolved for many years; in fact two generations had been born and grew up in the village, and old Mrs Trehwella was in her grave before news came of him.

A ship bound for Penzance, and captained by a man who knew Zennor well, came by one day and anchored off Pendower Cove; she put out a boat to get some water from the shore.  Soon a woman’s voice was heard calling urgently, “Ship!  Ship ahoy!” and the watch, looking overboard, saw a mermaid with green eyes and tawny-gold hair swimming beside them.  “Tell your captain to haul up your anchor,” she cried.  “For ‘tis lodged against the door of my home on the sea-bed, and I can’t get in to my Mathy and children.”

At this the captain came to the side and questioned her.  “Excuse me, ma’am, but did you say your Mathy?  Mathy who, may I ask?”  Sailors are always very respectful to mermaids, who have powers to cause shipwrecks and disaster, and often use them if they are annoyed.

“Mathy Trewhella, my husband, of course,” she said.  “Now haul away, if you please.”  The captain did not stay to argue, but brought up the anchor immediately.  And with a swish from her long gleaming tail she was gone, diving down to the sea-bed and her family.

So Zennor heard the news, and learned Mathy’s fate.  Neither he nor the mermaid has ever been since, but in Zennor church now is a bench end carved to show what she looked like:  long flowing hair, a sea-siren’s face, and a curved scaly tail.  And for all we know, Mathy is still down there on the ocean floor, singing sweetly to his mermaid wife and their children.
Extract from Cornish Heritage Trust.

We love a Cornish folktale to inspire us & who doesn’t love a tale about mermaids!  Shell We Dance is a gorgeous range of “mermaid” themed fabrics by Lewis & Irene, perfect for a “Mermaid project”

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Snowglobe Decorations- How to make them…

I have used the Snowglobes & a pack of hand painted wooden buttons that we stock to create a beautiful Christmas decoration.

you will need:
Button pack
Micron or Frixon pen or similar
6” square wadding
6” light weight iron on Vilene
6” square of background fabric
3″ x 6″ piece of fabric to represent snow on the ground (if you’re doing the same button pack as I used)
6” square bondaweb (optional)
6” square card (mount board or two pieces of cereal packet card)
lightbox (optional)
Pritt Stick glue or similar
Sewline Fabric Glue Pen
25cm Ribbon (optional)

1. Using a compass, measure 2 1/4” from the compass point to the pencil & draw a circle onto plain paper.  Cut it out then lay it onto your Snowglobe & fold the bottom of the paper up slightly to match the shape on the snowglobe. Cut the folded bit off. You now have a template for your finished stitchery size.

2.  Choose a suitable pack of buttons (I used the Sleigh, Stars & Sign button pack). Open the pack & carefully remove the buttons, taking care not to spoil the button pack background design.  Lay your template over the button pack background design & position until the design fits centrally on your template piece. (You may need a light box or put your papers against a window to see through it. Trace the design in pen.

3. Cut a piece of background fabric 6” square & iron a piece of light weight iron Vilene onto the reverse of the fabric. Now centre your fabric over the design & trace the design onto your fabric using a Micron or Frixon pen.

4.  Stitch the outline of the design you’ve traced to achieve a similar look to the design on your chosen button pack.  Use your imagination & include sparkly threads where appropriate or bondawebbed fabric if required (don’t forget you need to reverse any design you bondaweb).  (The drawn circle was larger than the template so it won’t show on the finished ornament).

5.  When you’ve finished sew your buttons in place.  Cut a piece of wadding & a piece of card the same size & shape as you paper template (two pieces a cereal packet card glued together is strong enough).  Use Pritt Stick to glue the wadding onto the card.  Cut out your finished stitched design 1/2” larger all the way around than your paper template.  Now position your stitchery design over the wadding & card pieces so it’s centred.  Keeping it in place, carefully turn it over and using your Sewline Fabric Glue pen, glue around the outside and stick the fabric to the back of the card so it’s nice and taught.

6.  When this is dry, glue your design to the centre of the snowglobe & I also added a bow to the bottom of the loop of string it hangs by.

Why not make them as gifts for friends and family!

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Janet Clare’s Mizmaze & Dover

‘Mizmaze’ is a wonderful design which through careful placement of colour and block orientation creates a striking nesting diamond and square geometric effect.

Using traditional patchwork piecing, the techniques are simple to learn, making it suitable for all experience levels.

We love this pattern in its striking colours from Janet Clare’s Geometry range. We also thought if you wanted a little more subtlety in your life, using the Dover range would look gorgeous! Here is a little suggestion on the fabric we would use to substitute the darker version:


2m Dark Ocean & 1m Quadrant Euclid – Tonal Dot Grey

1/2m Quadrant Buckminster – Willow Fabric

3/4m Graph Pascal – Damask Mist 

1m Triangle Archimedes – Field floral linen white

1m Grid Archimedes – Dove White

60cm Binding – Willow Ticking Tape

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Sunny Days Bunting Kit with Pre-printed Stitchery Panel & Tilda Fabrics

Put the Sunshine back in your day with this gorgeous Sunny Days Stitchery Bunting Kit. Sunny Days Bunting panels have been designed by Natalie Bird of The Birdhouse & has 7 pre-printed stitchery flags & we’ve added 7 Tilda fat 1/8ths for backing, appliqué & extra flags. You can use what’s left to make scrappy bunting tape. A DMC thread pack is separately & why not embellish with a few buttons?

Click here to find the Sunny Days Bunting Kit