Thursday, 19 December 2013

New shop samples!

The girls are busy making up new samples for the shop and I thought I'd write about this one on the blog quickly! This tote is so simple to make and we've got a free DIY tutorial for it here! The outer, lining and straps fabric all came from the same single 80cm cut of fabric and because the fabric used is so fantastically different across the whole width, it makes the perfect reversible bag! The fabric used is Echino Decoro 2013 Rhythm, which you can find here amongst some other great options!



Friday, 8 November 2013

Little House Playmat Sew Along - Week Five

Welcome to the fifth and final week of our little house playmat sew-along! We hope you've enjoyed the project so far, we certainly have. Firstly I have to apologise for the slight delay in getting this post out - we lost power for a few days which caused a little bit of panic but it's all back now - phew!  This week we will be making the little critters who live in your playmat - not only are these really cute on their own, they would make excellent christmas decorations if you add a little bit of ribbon! - OK, let's begin!

This week you will need: 
First things first, you'll need to print out your three A4 sheets of templates. Each of the links below will open up printable PDF files, when printing make sure you un-tick any box that says 'Shrink to fit', as this will alter the size of the pattern pieces.
 


Cut out your paper templates and pin them to the chosen coloured felts and cut out as directed. We used our lovely woolfelts in a variety of plain and marl colours.
Mark any embroidery you need to do with a disappearing fabric maker – we found a “Sewline Duo Pen and Eraser Pen” was really useful at this stage.

HAND EMBROIDERY
To sew on the creatures eyes – take the white eye circle and place in position – then use running stitches very close to each other in varying sizes to create the pupil – this will also attach the white eye circle.
Using  photo 2 below as a guide, hand embroider the following components and remember if you have cut out two pieces for a creature these both need to be embroidered but in a mirror image to each other.
If you need a helping-hand with your embroidery, I've included a handy simple stitch guide for you here.
Photo 2
The Hedgehog’s Spikes – add some black v-shaped spikes



The Hedgehog's body – add a nose and mouth and an eye – sewing on the white eye circle as described earlier

The Squirrel's body – add running stitch black stripes to the tail, add a black V shape to accentuate the ear. Stitch a mouth and nose, and attach and stitch the eye as you did for the hedgehog.

The Duckling's Body – Attach the eye circle and stitch the pupil as before.

The Bear's snouts – add a nose and mouth

Owl’s Tummy – Stitch on some back V shapes for feathers

Owl’s Eyes – Stitch the black inner eyes onto the white outer eye pieces using the same method as before. 

Wool Label – Stitch the word wool in black across the label

Ball of Wool – Stitch straight lines of running stitch in a complimentary colour to the felt you have chosen to suggest the threads of wool.   

Parcel – use a back stitch to sew what looks like string or ribbon tying up the parcel

Cake Case – use a running stitch to make the creases in the cake case

Cake Icing – sew on the red circle cherries using the same method as when you attach the creatures’ eyes.

MACHINE APPLIQUE
Now you need to appliqué on some components using the sewing machine, and machine sew some components together – remember you can stitch and then trim pieces you are stitching together for extra neatness. Have a look at photo 3 below for guidance. Also, don’t forget if you are working on both sides of a creatures to make the two sides, mirror images of each other.
Photo 3
Hedgehogs Body - Machine sew the hedgehog’s spikes to the hedgehogs body, working down from his forehead, around the ear and down to the foot – repeat for both sides  of hedgehogs body in mirror image.

Duckling – Sew together the two beak pieces. Sew together the two feet pieces and put to one side.

Bear – Sew together the two snout/nose pieces. Appliqué on the bears’ ear pieces – remembering to work in mirror image.

 Owl - Sew together the owl’s two feet pieces. Then machine appliqué - onto one body piece only – the owl’s tummy, beak and eyes.

Ball of wool – machine stitch the wool label across the centre of one of the wool ball pieces.

Cake – machine sew on the icing onto the top of the cake, working only along the wiggly bottom edge of  the icing. Then sew on the cake cases to the bottom of both the cake pieces.

(Note: you don’t have to do any machine stitching for the squirrel or parcel at this stage)
Now begins the sewing together of the creatures – hoorah!

MORE MACHINE STITCHING
For these stages you can also refer to photo 4 below – which shows the finished creatures in all their glory.

Hedgehog – Place your two completed hedgehog body pieces together with the wrong sides facing each other. You may want to pin these together while you are stitching. Machine stitch around the edges, working around 3 to 4mm from the edge at all times, joining the two sides together. Start your stitching at the bottom edge of the hedgehog’s lower foot and stitch up around the body, then follow the edge of each spike and the down until you reach the bottom of his spikes – leave the bottom of the hedgehogs body open and use toy stuffing to stuff through this gap. Use enough to give the hedgehog a little body but not make him too plump (A pencil or chopstick will help you poke stuffing into all his spikes and nose etc.) Once plump enough, sew up the open gap using the machine and tie off, secure  and tidy up any loose threads. As a last finishing touch you can trim any excess felt from the edges of your work – you can go down to about 2mm away from the stitch line (just be careful not to cut through your stitching at any stage).

Squirrel – He’s nice and easy – just place the two body pieces with their wrong sides facing, pin, sew, stuff, trim and finish in exactly the same manner as the hedgehog.

Duckling – Place the two body pieces together with wrong sides facing and slip the beak and feet pieces in between the layers and pin in place. Starting at the duck’s chin, machine stitch along the edge of the duckling head enclosing and secure the beak as you go. Work around the rest of the duckling’s head and wing – sew into the main part of the body following the line of the wing to give shape to the wing. Stop stitching  in the middle on the body – turn and stitch back to the edge of your work following this line of wing stitching, then continue to work around the edge following around the tail and bottom of the duckling – secure the feet with stitching as you did with the beak and then remember to leave a gap for stuffing as before. Trim and finish.

Bear – Firstly place the two bodies pieces wrong sides together and insert the snout in the correct position and pin in place in between the two body layers. The bear is slightly different as some portions of him (his ear, tail and one arm and one leg) are sealed off with stitching and won’t be stuffed.

Start stitching at the base of the chin and firstly enclose and secure the snout, and then begin working your way around the body - refer to diagram 1 for the direction of your stitching.
Diagram 1
Leave a gap between his arm and snout for stuffing. Stuff the bear lightly and you will need to use a pencil or chopstick to poke stuffing into all the parts. Finish in the normal manner.

Owl – Place your two owl body pieces together and insert the foot piece at the base between the layers.  Starting at the base of the owl, machine stitch as normal, enclosing and securing the foot piece as you go. Work all the way around the body, stuffing and finishing in the normal manner.

Ball of Wool – Place your two ball of wool pieces together with wrong sides facing – stitch around the edge, stuff and finish as normal – easy!

Cake – Place your Cake pieces together with wrongs sides facing each other. Starting at the base of the cake, stitch around the edge, stuff and finish again in the same manner.

Parcel – Hey, we’ve saved the easiest to last! With wrong sides together stitch around the parcel shape, stuff and finish as normal!
Photo 4
And that's it, you've completed all your little critters for the house playmat! Don't forget you can easily alter these by sewing in a piece of ribbon to make christmas (or any-time-of-year) Decorations! We hope you've enjoyed our sew-along as much as we have here at The Eternal Maker! If you've completed any part of this project we'd love to see!


Monday, 4 November 2013

For anyone that's been following the little house playmat sew-along; due to a slight technical difficulty we've had in the shop over the past couple of days we're having to push week 5 back to Thursday 7th November instead of today. We're so sorry for any inconvenience caused by this, we'll be sure to announce when the next instalment is available.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Little House Playmat Sew Along - Week Four


wEEK 4 - CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR PLAYMAT

Welcome to week four of our little house playmat sew-along! This week we will be stitching together all the finished components, you’ve been working so hard on, to produce your house playmat.

The construction of the playmat is in itself simple but the need for accuracy is quite important. As is the need for quite a bit of patience – we don’t recommend doing these stages if you are in a rush!  You will be sewing through a lot of elements in one go and fitting a lot of components together at once, so please don’t become disheartened if the dreaded unpicker has to come out – we can assure you that we had to use ours on a couple of occasions! Remember to refer back to week one if you need clarification of the names of the different parts of the playmat.
Having said that, this should be a very satisfying week for you all – your playmat will finally look like a playmat!

So let’s begin.....
Firstly lay your central house panel sized piece of wadding onto your work surface, now lay the house panel, with it’s right side facing up, on top.  Lay the brick fabric back house panel on top of this, with the right sides of the two fabrics facing each other. In between this sandwich of fabric, you will insert your webbing pieces – this creates the hinges on the sides of the playmat. Cut 10 pieces of webbing, each 8cm long. Peel back the back house panel slightly so you can see what you are doing. Measuring down the side of the house and working from the top corner where the roof meets the straight edges, pin your webbing pieces evenly, five on each side. The main part of each of the webbing pieces needs to be laid on the house panel with one end flush to the edge of your house panel. Repeat this on the other side of your house panel. See photo 1 below.
photo 1
Fold the back house panel edges back over to completely enclose the webbing pieces. See Photo 2 below

photo 2
Now pin all the layers together, all the way around. Sew the layers together, working up one side of the house panel, up and down the sides of the roof and down the other side of the house panel – make sure you leave the bottom edge of sandwich open and free from stitching. 
Once stitched around the edges, clip any excess fabric away from the corners of your work being careful not cut through the stitching and then turn the house panel etc right side out as shown in photo 3 below.
All your webbing pieces should be secure – give them a tug to make sure (re-stitch if necessary) see photos 3 and 4 below for reference.
photo 3
photo 4
Now is the time to quilt any parts of the house panel you wish to. We firstly secure the layers together with safety pins (photos 5 and 6 below) – this stops the layers sliding around but you can also achieve this by tacking the layers together. You can use hand stitching or machine stitching and you can quilt as much or as little as you like. In the end we choose machine quilting and we followed the edges of the rooms for our quilt pattern.
photo 5
photo 6
So that’s the main part of your playmat finished for the time being - now you can start constructing your first door panel!

To begin with you are going to need to make some Velcro tabs that hold you playmat closed.
Cut three 10cm x 10cm squares of wadding from your scraps and then cut six square pieces of 10cm x 10cm from the scraps of your brick fabric. Then cut three 6cm lengths of Velcro (you need to use sew on Velcro – stick on will not be strong enough) and separate the hooked sides from the looped sides of the Velcro.
Take one of your fabric squares and sew one of the 6cm strips of the hooked side of the velcro approximately 2cm in from three of the edges. Repeat this three times over as shown on photo 7 below.
photo 7
Now take one of your wadding squares and lay it on your work surface, lay the brick fabric square with the velcro attached, on top of it, right side facing up. Then lay on top of this another brick fabric square, this time one without any Velcro attached, right side facing down, see Photo 8.
photo 8
Sew around three sides of this fabric sandwich, leaving the side furthest away from the Velcro open for turning. Again clip the excess fabric away from the corners and turn your tab right side out. Repeat these steps to make three complete Velcro tabs all with hooked Velcro attached. See photo 9 below - Save the other pieces of Velcro for later.
photo 9
Now take your right hand side outside door panel piece and lay this right side up on your work surface. Working up from the bottom of the longer edge of your front door panel, measure up approximately 10cm and place your first tab here. Space the following two tabs along the same edge with approximately 11-12cm between them each. Lay the tabs on so that half the tab is laying on the panel and half of the tab is over hanging the edge. The velcro end of the tab must be laying on top of the front door panel, see photo 10. 
photo 10
Once the tabs are pinned in place lay one of your inside front door panel pieces on top of the right hand side outside door panel, matching the edges and with right sides facing each other. Then lay a piece of wadding on top, again matching the edges of your panels. See photos 11 and 12 below.
photo 11
photo 12
Sew around the long edge of this fabric sandwich enclosing and securing the Velcro tabs, and then stitch along the roof edge. Leave the short edge and bottom edge of the sandwich unstitched and open. Clip any excess fabric from the corners of your work – minding that you don’t cut through any stitching. Turn the front door panel right side out to check your stitching and that the tabs are secure.  This will now be known as your right hand door panel sandwich.

Now repeat this process of sandwiching up your fabric for the other door panel. Take the left hand side outside door panel and lay it right side up on your work surface. Then lay your left hand side back door panel on top with the right sides facing. Then add another door panel sized piece of wadding on top. (You won’t need to add any tabs this time.)

Again pin and stitch this sandwich together only working along the shorter vertical edge and the roof’s sloping edge. This will now be known as your left hand door panel sandwich. Again clip any excess fabric from the corners of your work. Turn your left hand door sandwich so that it’s right side out – and check your stitching.

While both your door panel sandwiches are turned right sides out this is a good chance to check if your pieces are the correct size and will meet in the middle of your playmat – lay them on top of your prepared central house panel to check the doors butt up neatly against each other in the centre. You can shuffle them in a bit if necessary. See photo 13.
photo 13
Now we're going to attach the door panels to the main central panel, it is easier to do than it is to explain so bear with me and maybe read the instructions a couple of times all the way through before you start. Maybe have a practice of your construction where you just pin your elements together and then turn them right side out to check you are indeed on the right track.

Ok here goes.....
Take your right hand side door panel sandwich and turn it wrong side out again. Separate the layers so that what was the inside door panel  lays flat on the work surface and the outside door panel and wadding are lifted slightly up and away from it making a kind of pocket. See photo 14. Also lay your completed central house panel right side facing up, alongside it so that the two shorter edges match up. Again refer to Photo 14 below.
photo 14
Now comes the slightly tricky part. You are aiming to fit the central house panel inside the door panel sandwich. Firstly temporarily fold down the roof part of the central house panel. Now, importantly, from the right hand side of the door panel start rolling up your central door panel. Roll it like a swiss roll from right to left,  enclosing the folded down roof as you go. Roll it until just the webbing on the left hand side is poking out on an edge of your swiss roll. Now continuing  with the rolling motion -  the central house panel swiss roll, rolls over its webbing edge and into the 'pocket' you made in the last step. 
Your swiss roll has now been flipped over inside the door panel pocket so that the right side of the house panel is essentially facing the right side of the inside door panel.  And the right side of the back brick fabric panel is facing the right side of the front door panel. Have a look at Diagrams 1 to 4 below for guidance.
Please take care distinguishing the turquoise and aqua colours below as they look very similar - to confirm, the higher line in this colour is turquoise, and is the outside door panel, the lower line is aqua, and refers to the inside door panel. If you're confused by this please comment and we will help you decipher!
Diagram 1,2,3,and 4
You should now have something that looks like photo 15
photo 15
Tuck the swiss roll in so it that it’s edge is about 2cm further in than the raw edge of the inside door panel. See photo 16.
photo 16
Pin this in place, and now close the pocket around the swiss roll, matching all the short edges of the sandwich together so they all lay flush.  You will now have completely enclosed the swiss roll and all you will see is a little bit of the webbing ends poking out. See photo 17.
photo 17
You are aiming to make webbing hinges of about 15mm so pin and tack all these layers together and stitch through the sandwich layers only securing the webbing as you go. You do not want to sew through any part of the central house panel. And you do not want to sew along the bottom edge of your door panel pocket either at this stage. See diagram 5 below for a cross section reference of where you should be stitching.
diagram 5
Check you have caught in all the webbing and all your layers with your stitching and turn your work right side out through the hole still left in the bottom of the door panel sandwich pocket. You should now have webbing hinges between the central house panel and the right hand door panel that looks like photo 18 below.
photo 18
If anything has gone wrong at this stage don’t be afraid to get the unpicker out and have another go – or turn your work back inside itself to adjust your stitching. These stages do require a little bit of patience I’m afraid, but preparation of the layers is the key.
To attach the left hand side door panel, work in EXACTLY the same manner as before but work in the mirror image of what you did for the right hand door panel.

Once you've completed this, your house playmat should now be fully functioning – with hinged door panels on either side. These should fold closed to show the outside of the front door panels and open to show the inside of the front door panels and the central house panel.

Phew! All that remains to do now are two simple little jobs......
 Firstly, sew on, by hand, the velcro pieces you saved earlier. Position them on the front of the right hand side front door panel, matching them to the tabs on the left hand door panel, so the Velcro sticks together when the door panels close.

Secondly, stitch up all the bottom edges of your playmat. You can either over stitch with a machine or we found it easier to take our time and hand stitch the layers together with an over stitch or ladder stitch. You will need to do this in separate stages for each panel and enclose the raw edges as you go. I found it easier to fold my raw edges in and iron a crease in them before I started stitching (you may also need to clip away some bulk of the wadding to make this easier).  Once all the bottom edges are closed your house playmat is fully formed and ready for little hands and feet!

I hope you didn't find week 4 too confusing - if you have ANY questions (and I imagine you may have!) please please just ask away in the comments section and I will do my best to answer thoroughly for you! After all that hard work, next week we’ll have fun making the felt creatures to live and play in our house!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Little House Playmat Sew Along - Week Three

WEEK THREE – MORE APPLIQUE!

This week you will be completing more of your appliqué decoration and construction of the appliqué pockets on your playmat. Refer back to week one photos if clarification of playmat parts is needed - remember that your "door panels" (inside and outside) are different components to your "door appliques" (inside and outside).

More Pockets - Boxes in the roof
Before you start thinking about your appliqué pockets, sew on 12mm brown bias binding to create beams in the roof part of the house and roof panel. Sew on the bias binding by stitching approximately 2mm in from each folded edge of the bias. Have a look at Picture One below for positioning  – we made one central upright with two smaller cross beams.
Picture One
Roof box appliqués
Choose from your scraps some fabric for your roof boxes. You need to cut out two box shapes, one is 15cm x 10cm and the other is 9cm x 9cm.
Cut out the same size pieces of iron-on interfacing and iron these onto the reverse.
Now stitch any decoration you fancy onto the box before going any further. A disappearing fabric marker is really useful at this stage to mark your designs before stitching - we used a sewline pen and eraser pen, our favourite fabric marker. We used multiple lines of straight machine stitching to label one box as a tea chest and then some zig-zag machine stitching on the larger box to give the effect of wooden planks. Tie of all your threads and neaten up. See Picture two below for reference
Picture Two
Now bind around the raw edges of your two boxes with 25mm beige bias binding. Fold this over the raw edges as you did with the window appliqués and stitch 2mm from the folded edge of the bias closest to the centre of your fabric piece.  Stop stitching about 1cm before each corner - this will allow you to mitre the bias binding around each corner, pin the folded mitred corner in place and continue stitching on the next side of your fabric piece. (See picture three.) Fold over the raw edge on the cut end of your bias binding and tuck this in before you finish stitching and tie off any loose threads.
Picture Three
Once bound these boxes are ready to appliqué onto the roof space of your house and roof panel. Pin them into position (see picture four) and sew each one on with machine stitching 2mm from the outside edge of your bound boxes – make sure to leave the top edge of the boxes unstitched so that you form a pocket that your animals will be able to hide in later.
Picture Four
Now it's time to begin work on your door appliques!

Outside front door applique

Cut a 23cm x 16cm piece from the fabric chosen for your "outside front door applique".  Mark out door panels with bias binding (we chose light yellow) on the front of your door – ironing on skinny strips of bondaweb to the back of the bias binding makes this much easier to position – try to mitre the corners and tuck in any raw edges for a neat finish.  Iron these on in position and then stitch around working 2mm from each edge of the bias binding to attach it – we used a contrasting thread to create a 3D sketchy affect. 

Cut a tiny circle of fabric with bondweb on the back for a door handle, iron and then stitch this on too. Then tie off any loose threads. (see picture five below for reference) Now cut a 23cm x 16cm piece of bondaweb and iron this onto the back of the front door.
Picture Five

Inside front door applique

Cut a 23cm x 16cm piece from the fabric you have chosen for your inside front door applique. This time we chose a brown fabric with a cross weave print for texture. Iron on some fusible interfacing to the reverse of your door applique - this will make it easier to handle as you are doing the decorative stitching. Now stitch any decoration onto the door you like, again we found a disappearing fabric marker is really useful. This time we stitched with a small zigzag stitch to mimic the panel design on the outside of the front door. Then we added a handle in exactly the same way as before. (Remember, if you're a stickler for detail like me, the door handle needs to be attached on the opposite side of your "inside front door applique" to the "outside front door applique" - Just a thought!) Have look at picture six. 
Picture Six
Once you're happy with your door design, tie of all your threads and neaten up!

Positioning and stitching on door and window appliques on the outside door panels
Take your "outside door panels" (from week one) and lay them out on your work surface - use picture seven below and the details below as a guide for positioning your windows and "front door appliques".
 

Picture Seven
Firstly, concentrate on the right hand "outside door panel". You want to position the "outside front door applique" in the centre of your "outside door panel" about 3cm from it’s bottom edge.
Remove the paper backing from the bondaweb on the "outside front door applique" and iron the door in position. Stitch around all edges of the door using a zig-zag stitch approximately 3mm wide to attach it, working right at the edge of the fabric of the door.

Outside window appliques 
Now take your prepared "outside window appliques" from week two. Cut pieces of bondaweb to the same size as your "outside window appliques" and iron them on the reverse of each window.  Take your right hand side "outside door panel". Position one of your "window appliques" on the "outside door panel" about 9cm above the door in a central position. Once you are happy with the position of your window, peel off the paper backing of the bondaweb and iron in position.

Now take your left hand side "outside door panel" and position your two windows on this side (again use picture seven above as a guide). You will need to make sure they are both in a central position and also to make sure the two, first floor windows, are on the same level on both the left and right hand panels. Again once you are happy with the positioning of all your front windows and front door, peel off the bondaweb's paper backing and iron your windows onto your door panels.

Now the windows are temporarily attached, you are going to use bias binding to fix them in place permanently and to finish creating the window pane effect.

Firstly have a quick measure round your window to work out roughly how much bias you are going to need to go around the two long sides and the top of your window. Cut a length of 12mm white bias binding slightly longer than this measurement and iron a very thin strip of bondaweb on the back, along the full length (as you did on the panelling for the "outside front door applique"). 
Iron the bias binding in place so that it covers all the raw edge of your window applique on the two vertical sides and the top edge - mitre the corners neatly as you did when making the roof boxes. Once this is ironed into position stitch it down to secure it, using a straight stitch about 2mm from, firstly the inside edge, then the outside edge of the bias binding. See picture eight below. Repeat this process for each of the three "outside window appliques".

Picture Eight

Now your are going to create window sills as shown in picture 9 below. To do this cut a strip of 25mm white bias binding long enough to cover the full length of the bottom edge of your window pane, with about 2cm extra on each end to allow you to tuck the raw edges under and to make a slightly extended window sill (Have another look at picture 9 - it's simplier than it sounds!) Iron a thin strip of bondaweb onto the back of the bias binding as before and iron it into position. Again use straight stitching 2mm from the edge and work all the way around the bias binding window sill making sure you tuck those raw edges in as you go.
Again repeat this for all three outside window appliques.

Picture Nine
Going back to your front door applique, in exactly the same way as your window sills, create a door step under your front door using 25mm brown bias binding - use picture 10 as a reference - you will notice we have elongated it on the right hand side because we are going to applique on a pot plant later!
Picture Ten
Positioning and stitching on door and window pockets on the inside door panels

Now is the time to position your "inside window pockets" and "inside front door applique" onto the "inside door panels".

You need to position these in a similar place to where they are positioned on the "outside door panels". To do this we used the "outside door panels" as a guide. Firstly we laid the "inside door panel" that you're about to work on, face down on our work surface then laid the completed "outside door panel" ontop of it, face up. (The wrong sides of the panels will be facing and all the edges of the outside and inside panels match - see diagram 1.)
Use pins to poke straight down through all the layers, at the corners of the window and door appliques . Carefully flip your panels over and where the sharp ends of the pins are poking out on the inside panel, mark with a fabric marker. This will give you your guide as to where to position your window and door pockets on the "inside door panels" (this will also help you make sure that both your "front door appliques" are on the same side panel as you open your playmat!) Anyway, you can put away your pins and "outside door panel" away for now and concentrate on stitching on your pockets.

It's worth noting here that these will be pinned and then sewn on around the edges, rather than "bondawebbed" on as before. This is because you want to make pockets for your creatures to hide in, not bog-standard appliques!

How to construct an inside window pocket 
Take your "inside window pieces" you created in week two. Remember you will have two pieces to each window pocket you are about to make (one" top window pocket piece" and one "bottom window pocket piece" per window - it's all quite logical really!)
Use the marks you just made on your "inside door panel" to position the top corners of your top window pocket piece (double check you have got any birds on your sky fabric up the right way!). Pin this in place and then using a straight stitch 2mm from the outside edge of the bias binding, attach your top window pocket piece by stitching along the vertical sides and the top of the window piece. (See diagram 2 below) Do not stitch across the bottom edge of the top window piece - leave this open.
Now position your "bottom window pocket piece" beneath the "top window pocket piece" matching the bottom two corners of the bottom window pocket piece to the bottom marks you made on your "inside door panel". You need to make sure that the top edge of bias binding on the "bottom window pocket piece" overlaps and covers the bias binding on the bottom edge of the "top window pocket piece" (this sounds more complicated than it is so have a look at diagram 3 and picture 11 if you are unsure - it basically means you only have one width of bias binding on view going horizontally across the inside of your window.) 
Picture Eleven
Again pin this "bottom window pocket piece" in place and then use a straight stitch 2mm from the outside edge of the bias binding to secure it. Attach your "bottom window pocket piece" by stitching along the vertical sides and the bottom of the window piece. (again see diagram 3) Do not stitch across the top edge of the "bottom window piece" - leave this open and you have completed your first window pocket for your creatures to hide in - Well done!

Now repeat this process to create the other two window pockets on the inside panels. 

Making your inside front door pocket.
Take your "inside front door applique" from earlier and bind all four edges with 25mm brown bias binding using the same method of binding as you did for constructing the roof box pockets. Now pin this in place using the marks you made on the "inside door panel" as before. Stitch on the door pocket by working 2mm from the outside edge of the bias binding - only stitch the top and bottom edges and the right hand side edge. Leave the left hand side edge open to allow your creatures to hide behind the door! See picture Twelve and diagram 4 below.
Picture Twelve
Ok, now your inside door panels are complete - big well dones all round!
 
Other ideas for extra appliqué decorations 
Now we wanted to be a bit fancy and do a bit more applique on the "outside door panels" - you can let your imagination run riot here - you can really personalise your house in whichever manner you like - how about making it look like a mini version of your actual house? Or maybe your dream house? As always, it's the little personal details that make projects like this so satisfying.
 We added a roof and some pot plants on our window sills and door step, but you can add as much (or a as little) extra decoration as you like.

An easy method to create the more fiddly additions (such as the pot plants) is to take some bondaweb and trace pictures (from magazines or books or print them from the web) onto the paper backing. Cut this out roughly, then iron the bondweb onto your chosen fabric - leave the bondaweb paper backing attached and then cut out neatly following your drawn lines - then peel away the paper backing - position on your house panel, iron on, and stitch around as before to secure them - it really is that simple. 
 
If you are unsure, have a practice on some scraps first, but think about fabric and thread choices - there is a world of opportunity sitting in your scrap box I'm sure - maybe you have fabric with a great illustration on ready to cut out and applique right onto your fabric? And don't forget to think about your stitching style as well - we used a straight stitch for our tree trunks but a spikey zigzag stitch to attach the pot plants and make them look like cacti.
Adding the roof
Finally we added the roof. To do this we firstly cut 50cm of jumbo ricrac in white and pinned this on about 10cm from the top of your "outside door panel", running parallel to the slope of the roof. (See picture 13) Then cut a piece of red fabric about 50cm x 15cm, lay this ontop of the jumbo ricrac and again following the slope of the roof. One side of the bumps of the ricrac just needs to poke out at this stage (see picture 14). Pin this in place. Stitch through your red fabric, jumbo ricrac and "outside door panel" in a straight line following the centre line of the ricrac - then flip the red fabric over and iron it flat - the other side of the bumps of the ricrac should be secure but poking out from underneath the sewn on red fabric. Once this is ironed flat, we top-stitched along the folded edge of the red fabric (about 2mm from the folded edge) to secure it further and stop it moving around (picture 15). Then we flipped the "outside door panel" over again and cut off any excess red fabric and ricrac following the original edge of the "outside door panel" and returning it to its original shape. (picture 16).
Picture Thirteen
Picture Fourteen
Picture Fifteen
Picture Sixteen

Repeat this process to add the roof to your other "outside door panel".

 
After all that hard work your will now have completed two "outside door panels" (see picture seventeen) two "inside door panels" and one "house panel"!
Picture Seventeen
(ok you caught us! We hadn't attached the roof here yet - but you get the idea!)



Well done again on all your hard work. Next week we will be joining all our pieces, constructing and quilting our playmat.