Wednesday, 29 May 2013


I seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment with tackling unfinished projects.  Perhaps it's because the weather is so awful that staying inside is the more comfortable option.  I made this double star quilt block some time last year and now I have decided to make it into a wall hanging.  There is so much white space in it that I'm really looking forward to the quilting.  It's a 20" square.

Last week I went to the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition in Ironbridge and then I completely forgot to tell you about it.  Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take photos inside, but it was really interesting.  They had made tapestry panels of people and events important to the Quakers through the centuries.  The exhibition is normally based in Kendal but was appearing in Ironbridge for two weeks.  They also offered embroidery and tapestry workshops and kits, which is a great idea.

One more project that I want to finish this week is this charm pack batik lap quilt.  I think that I'm just going to stitch in the ditch because all the fabrics are so busy that I don't think they need much.  It's another small project, so I have high hopes of finishing it later this week.

In my last post I showed you the sailboat quilt blocks that I had made.  I layered and quilted them separately so that they can be used as coasters - probably for a child.  This will definitely be a good one for charity stalls because it was so quick to make.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Thanks for visiting my blog.
Hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


The sailboat quilt block is bright and cheerful and seemed appropriate on this our third consecutive day of sunshine.  If only the sunshine would last!  I've made two of the blocks and now I just have to decide whether to sew them together and call it a mug rug or finish them individually as coasters.

The sails are made from 4.7/8" squares of yellow and white.  I've used two different yellows.  The half square triangles are made two at a time which is why I made two blocks.  The half square triangles for the ends of the boat are made using 2.7/8" squares of brown and white.

All you need now are brown rectangles 2.1/2" by 4.1/2" and blue rectangles 2.1/2" by 8.1/2" to complete the block.  Sew the patchwork pieces together across the rows and then sew the rows together.  Whether I sew the blocks together or finish them individually I think I'll use a red binding to keep the whole thing bright and cheerful.

I don't often buy quilt panels but I couldn't resist this hungry caterpillar panel.  The book was a favourite with my children and I think that I still have a copy of it somewhere.  I can't wait to start putting it together.

Linking up with Marelize as it's Monday.

Stitch by Stitch
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Is it cheating when you choose your smallest quilt top to finish?  Some weeks I get so bogged down in lots of different projects that it feels really good to get something finished - even if it is a small project.  This Jacobs Ladder quilt is small but I like it because it's quite eyecatching and it's a perfect beginner quilting project.

I used some simple quilting designs, but they don't really show up in the photo.  For the pale blue sections I used a general meander quilting while for the black sections I used echo quilting but with a line of stitching running down the middle of each shape so that I could move from one shape to the next along the diagonal lines.  For the border I used circle quilting - partly because I wanted some more practice at it.

I have been asked many times for a tumbling blocks tutorial and I made a start on a design for it yesterday, but there is no way that I will get it finished and written up in time for this week's newsletter.  I've got another idea for this week's quilt and the tumbling blocks will have to wait another week or two - another addition to my unfinished projects pile for now.

I am one of the sponsors of the tapestry exhibition opening at Ironbridge today so I am really looking forward to heading over there this morning to see it.  I'll bring you some photos and details tomorrow.

I'm entering the Jacobs Ladder as a baby quilt with Amy's Creative Side in her amazing Blogger's Quilt Festival:

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Monday, 20 May 2013


There are several different quilt blocks with a fairly similar layout to the Carpenters Wheel quilt block and they make really striking blocks.  They are technically very simple to make, using only squares and half square triangles, but you have to keep your wits about you when you lay the patchwork pieces out in the first place.  It's terribly easy to place one of the half square triangles facing in the wrong direction.

To make it as a 16" quilt block you need four 2.1/2" green squares for the corners.  The twelve 2.1/2" white squares are placed on each side of the corner squares and also in the corners of the central star.  The rest of the block is made using half square triangles:  sixteen pink/green, sixteen green/white and sixteen pink/white.

I've shown the first four rows in the photo above and the lower four rows on the left.  It's a lovely quilt block, isn't it?

I'm thinking of taking a stall at a craft fair later in the summer so I have begun making smaller items so that I'll have a range of items on the stall - things like bags and mug rugs.  I'm also attempting to reduce my unfinished quilts pile, but I don't suppose that I will ever clear that!

As it's Monday, I'm linking up to Stitch by Stitch:

Stitch by Stitch

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Sunday, 19 May 2013


On Wednesday I went to a workshop to try and get to know my overlocker.  Mine came from a supermarket and is about as basic as they come.  Perhaps a false economy.  The other students seemed to be whizzing away on their machines in no time at all, while I was still plodding away trying to figure out how to open up the sections of the machine never mind threading  the four different threads.  I didn't really succeed at any of the different types of overlocking that we were shown to use which was quite depressing.  The instructor,  Lorna Knight, was amazing - so talented.  Anyway, this morning I set up the machine and was so happy when it did everything that I asked of it.  Overlocking an edge is so quick - I have loads of individual quilt blocks from when I write the tutorials and I've decided that if I just back them and overlock the edges they will be great for shelf linings.

Thursday I was out all day again - off down to London for an indulgent day out.  Lunch with two of the children was followed by a trip to Liberty's - one of my favourite shops.  They are having a week celebrating their 138th anniversary and the shop was full of things happening.  The scarf department (always a treat to visit) had these two cars flying above it.  Of course, my main reason for visiting was to see the fabric department, but I didn't actually see any fabrics that I couldn't live without.  That's quite unusual for me!

After that I headed off to the Victorian and Albert Museum.  It's free and has the most astonishing variety of different sections.  Do try and visit it if you are in London.  I was fascinated by the Fashion section.  They had displays covering a huge range of time but I particularly loved this Christian Dior display.  I probably saw a tenth of the sections so will just have to make many more visits to London.

Naturally Friday was spent in a mad rush to get the quilt finished for the newsletter.  I made it only just in time.  This week's pattern was the one that I have shown you in bits over the last week or so.  It's ended up as a bright and cheerful quilt pattern that I'm calling the Square and Star quilt.

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Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Off to a workshop this morning.  I am so glad that I made this cutting mat bag.  It makes it so much more easy to pack everything up.  There always seem to be so many things to remember to take to workshops - and I often end up forgetting something vital like my seam ripper, which obviously should be the first thing I pack!  Today's workshop is on using overlocker machines and I'm really looking forward to some insight on this.  I've never used an overlocker before.

My star border is still a work in progress.  I have begun making the blocks but it is a very slow process.  To think that I could have just settled for a strip of fabric round the edges of the quilt top to frame it.  Now that I have the block itself the next question presents itself - do I just sew the stars side by side all facing the same way or do I rotate them?

Linking up with Freshly Pieced as it's Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Must dash or I'll be late for my workshop.

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Hope to see you again soon.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Don't you just love the name - duck and ducklings quilt block.  Actually it goes under several names - it's also called Aunt Kate's choice with this colouring, and it is very similar to a whole raft of quilt blocks:  monkey wrench, wild goose chase and whirling five patch to name a few.

To make it as a 10" quilt block, you'll need 2.1/2" squares:  nine blue and four white, together with six 2.7/8" squares in both blue and white for the half square triangles.  After you have made the half square triangles, the patches are simply laid out in five rows of five and sewn together across the rows.  It is classified as a five patch, not as common as the four or nine patch blocks.

I have started work early on the quilt for Friday's email because I am heading down to London on Thursday to meet up with my daughter Samantha and to visit the craft exhibition in the Liberty store - probably one of my favourite shops, even if I can't afford to buy anything there!  The quilt is a square and star design, but I created a few hearts when I added the border.  I'd like to say it was planned, but I didn't even notice them at first!

As soon as that is finished I shall return to my star border and try to get that finished this week.  As it's Monday I'm linking up with Marelize over at Stitch by Stitch.

Stitch by Stitch

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Hope to see you again soon.

Saturday, 11 May 2013


Thank you so much to all the wonderful people who commented in order to enter the giveaway.  I don't have a fancy random generator like those that I have seen on some blogs, so I made the draw the old fashioned way - wrote everyone's names down on separate pieces of paper, folded them and put them in a bowl to make the draw.

The name that I drew out is LINDA DOUGLAS.  Congratulations, Linda.  I am now going to nip over to your google plus account to leave a comment giving you the good news.  All I know about Linda is that she lives in the Rocky Mountains.

Thanks for entering.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013


I seem to have so many projects on the go that it's difficult to know what to tell you about, but I think the one that I am most excited about is the star border that I am trying to design.  I wanted something simple but striking and I think that this interwoven star is going to fit the bill.  I haven't got the range of colours right in this one, but I'm definitely going to stick with the design.

For my fabric giveaway I asked for ideas that people would like to see tutorials on and paper piecing was one of the suggestions.  I think that I'll try and come up with a two fabric design as a beginner project before going on to anything more complex.  Don't forget that you've still got a couple of days to comment on the fabric giveaway.

This Friday's project is based on a section of tiled floor that I saw and loved in Hereford Cathedral and these are the fabrics that I'll be using.  As you can see, I haven't got very far with making the quilt yet!

This week I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced again - it's ages since I did that, so do take a look at all of the lovely blogs that link up there on Wednesdays.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for visiting my blog.
Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Fabric Giveaway
This is the first fabric giveaway that I have ever done.  I've never been entirely sure how to organise them, but I am going to tie in with the SewMamaSew Giveaway Day.  Do follow the link at the bottom of the page and head over there - there are mountains and mountains of giveaways there for you to look at.

First let me tell you what I have for one lucky person:

One Freedom Charm Pack - that's thirty two 5" squares of batik fabrics.  There are four each of eight different designs.

One fat quarter pack - that's six fat quarters from the Fabric Freedom Chocolat range.  Six lovely dark chocolatey fabrics.

The chance to try for the giveaway lasts until next Friday,10th May.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog - anything you like, or maybe you might like to comment on any tutorials you would like to see more of on the blog and website.

The winner will be drawn from names in a hat (well, probably a bowl) on Sunday and I will notify the winner.  I am happy to ship anywhere in the world, so it doesn't matter where you live.  Follow this link to see all the other wonderful giveaways you can try for.


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Hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


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I have definitely been taken over by quilting spring fever.  I was trying to organise my fabric stash a bit better and I came across all these quilt blocks.  I have a vague memory of starting a jelly roll quilt design, but I must have been distracted by something mega at the time.  I think it was a couple of years ago.  I've also found some strips that must have been from the same jelly roll so that will help me decide how I am going to put it all together.  I had a quick look for the name of the quilt block but I couldn't find it anywhere terribly obvious so I shall just have to make up my own name for it.

One of the reasons for my spring fever sort out was to try and organise my unfinished quilts.  I have some that really don't need much doing to them, so it makes sense to finish them off first.  This one is an appropriately summery quilt.  I had left the prairie points unsecured because I had a vision of children wanting to play with the triangles sticking out, but now it just looks a mess with the triangles pointing in all different directions.  At least it won't take long just to secure the points of the triangles to tidy the quilt up a bit.

In amongst all of this sorting out I have also begun a quilt which I want to enter in a quilt show later this year.  So far I have only piles of squares and half square triangles to show - very much a work in progress.

I am going to join in the SewMamaSew giveaway this year.  It's a great idea and promises to be great fun for everyone.  I have more or less decided what I will be giving away and I'll be able to tell you all about it tomorrow - how to enter and what the giveaway is.  Watch this space!

I have come to know Marelize Ries at Stitch by Stitch through google plus and I have been meaning to link up with her blog for weeks now.  This is the first time that I have been organised enough to do so.  You'll find lots of other blogs linking up for you to browse through.

Stitch by Stitch

Square In Square Quilt Finished

I had to start by telling you that I have managed to finish a quilt that I started some time ago.  One down and many, many more still to go!  I used meander quilting on the background white fabric and left the coloured boxes unquilted.

I have managed to finish the May block for Aurifil block of the month - a lot more quickly than I managed for the previous months.  The instructions were to use a partial seam but I couldn't see the need for that so I just made it as a straightforward block, sewing the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sewing the rows together.
I made a start on the May Lucky Stars quilt block but I mixed up the fabrics so I'll have to start again on that one!

I have begun to sort out the quilt block pattern section on the website - there were too many patterns on one page so I am trying to sort them into categories to make it more easy to find a particular pattern - well, that's the theory anyway!  So far I have taken out the star quilt blocks and put them on a separate page.  While I was at it I wrote up the pattern for the Dublin Steps quilt block.  Now that's a really pretty quilt block, I think.

Thanks for visiting my blog. 
Hope to see you again soon.