Pets on Quilts Judging

The judging is open for Pets on Quilts if I can gently nudge you that way? My entries are Hank, Frankly for the animal themed quilt (#2) and Hank himself for the dog on quilt (#44). I have of course voted for other people rather than myself being the sporting person that I am *cough* and would urge you to vote for the ones you like best in all four categories (the others being other pet on quilt and cat on quilt), obviously I will graciously accept any votes you want to give Hank.

He is being a very good boy, yesterday was the first time that he has been left on his own for an entire work day (intentionally- Alex once slept until I got home from work) as our dog walker lady is on holiday. With Alex on 24 hour rotating shifts it doesn’t happen too often that we need her nowadays anyway. Hank is having another go at it today. Those who saw my post on IG earlier in the week will know that Gwen isn’t even here to keep him company at the moment. She’s on a trial run with a family who may adopt her when we move… we get her back tomorrow though!

I wanted to be a journalist

When I was a kid, after I went through the initial nurse phase that all five-year-old girls- even squeamish ones like me- went through and before the “I want to be a lorry driver and work alone away from people” phase, I wanted to be a journalist. I signed up for the Newsround Press Pack (many real journalists started this way, does it still exist?) and promptly wrote absolutely nothing. However, I knew I wanted to write when I grew up, I just didn’t know how to find a story.

I guess I’m sort of almost there now in a very loose sense. On Friday, the latest issue of Popular Patchwork came out, edited by the new and wonderful Liz, and inside is my article on postmodern quilters. I have another article coming up as you may have read this weekend, which will be about quilt trends and in between that is one on Instagram swaps. I’m now wracking my brain for further topics to examine. I am definitely not a quilt historian, though I am going to do a bit more reading and research into it, I’m more into quilting sociology I suppose. I’m interested in why quilters do what they do and reporting the latest news, looking at patterns in behaviour and how we communicate. I guess that’s a kind of journalism. I’ve previously written about the East Midlands Modern Quilt Group too.

If you would like to read my article on postmodern quilts and quilters (which was inspired by #QuiltconReject earlier in the year) then Popular Patchwork is in UK stores now (and digitally available too). I’m a firm believer in readable content in quilting magazines, I can’t sit down with a cup of tea and read a pattern… well I could but it would be dull. Whilst having a flick through just looking at pictures of what I could make is great initially, the features are the most interesting and the most important for me, and I’m hoping there’s an audience that feels the same.

Pets on Quilts 2015

It’s Pets on Quilts time again! I don’t know why I didn’t enter adorable-6-month-old-puppy Hank last year, but I will be entering the Dog on Quilt category with grown-up Hank this year…

The quilt is Left A-Lone Star- soon to have a better name when actually finished. It’s sat unquilted for over a year, maybe even two years which is a long time for a WIP for me. This weekend I started properly quilting it. I just felt like quilting instead of piecing and my tension was behaving itself for a change! I’d like to finish it before this quarter of the finish along so I have something to show!

I’m about a quarter of the way through. Here’s the quilting sans-dog…

Times like this make me really really want a longarm

I’ve probably reached the English Pointer quota by entering Hank, Frankly into the Animal Themed Quilt category too.

Go to the Pets on Quilts linky party here!

Quick shout out for volunteers

I've made several sew together bags, I'm not immune to a craze :)

I’ve made several Sew Together bags, I’m not immune to a craze :)


I’ll keep this short and to the point. I’m looking for a few people to take part in a very short interview for possible inclusion in a future magazine article on the subject of quilt trends that I am writing right now. If you have made or are making one, or preferably more than one of the following quilts/bags and would like to be included in my feature, leave me a comment saying which and I’ll drop you an email very soon! I will have a couple of questions for you and will ask permission to use a photograph in some cases. In return I will make sure you are referenced and will provide you with a press cutting.

  • Dear Jane
  • Farmer’s Wife
  • Economy Blocks
  • Scrap Vomit
  • Tone It Down
  • Hexy MF (or hexies in general)
  • Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses
  • My Small World
  • St Louis 16 Patch
  • Scrappy Trip Around the World
  • Marcelle Medallion
  • Green Tea and Sweet Beans/ Gypsy Wife
  • La Passacaglia
  • Swoon
  • X-Plus
  • Great Granny Squares
  • Single Girl
  • Hazel the Hedgehog
  • Sew Together Bag
  • Triple Zip Pouch
  • Weekender Bag

Thank you for your help!

I’ve also made a Weekender, still going strong!

And a Great Granny quilt too!

Chandelier Progress

Four green blocks done, Two purple blocks done, just teal, white and red, and also black to finish. Seven down, 13 more to go. It’s good job the Great British Bake Off is back for me to watch whilst I trim these blocks! OH is on nights this weekend and sleeping in during the day so I’ll probably get lots more done. I’m not bored of this one- yet.

I’ve got a bag on!

That’s a Leicestershire (or specifically Coalville? Not sure) expression for being grumpy and in a bad mood, however I’m actually not (and the phrase makes me smile anyway!), because I’m joining in with the Companion Bag Sew Along with Happy Okapi! I have had the Mrs H pattern a while and I’ve been pondering it, going as far as buying the frames and handles, then I sort of moved on to other things. Suddenly a sew along started up and so it gave me a kick up the bum to make my bags.

Yep bags– I’m making two of the smaller ones. Here is the pattern, it costs just a fiver (pic links through to the shop to buy it):

Pooch would not go away, this is the only shot I got without him stood on the bag pieces- I think he just poses overtime I get a camera or phone out, he’s such a dork

Bag 2

The first sew along post is here and it started yesterday for the next three weeks – plus another three to finish up – if you fancy joining in too. Samantha’s patterns are always easy to follow- I can vouch for that, and you won’t need the frames until later so you can get started right away.

The frames go inside channels making it look very professional, and they can be purchased from Bobbin Girl or Emmaline Bags or 3DAN Supplies on Etsy. It’s the frame design that made me need to have a go at this.

I’ve also made a little detail from plastic flowers to go on the front of the bag that will use the Melody Miller vintage flower fabric. Actually I made it 10 weeks ago according to Instagram, but I didn’t know what bag I was going to use it on before. The solid red front pocket should make it stand out!

Next job is to cut out a gusset fabric and do the interfacing etc. I also didn’t want to use up valuable outer fabric inside the pocket where it wouldn’t be seen, so I’ve modified my pattern, here’s how if you want to do the same.

I printed the main template twice.

I overlaid the pocket on top of one of the body templates and marked where the pocket met. I then measured 1 1/2″ down from this line and drew across. This line is roughly where the outer fabric stops and the inside pocket fabric will start. Measure 1/4″ below the line. This adds a seam allowance to the top piece.

 Cut along this new line.

To add a seam allowance to the bottom piece, we need to add 1/2″- this makes up for the 1/4″ we just loaned to the top and also a standard 1/4″ seam allowance. Stick a strip of surplus paper to the top of the template, draw the continuation of the side lines and also draw a 1/2″ line from the edge of the original piece. Cut out.

Your required pieces to cut are now different. You only need to cut one outer and one interfacing for the full bag body piece, plus one interfacing and one outer for each of your new two templates. Your pocket remains unchanged. Make sure when you cut out your pattern pieces that the straight edge of the pattern is aligned to a fold on the fabric. Apply your interfacing before you stitch your new top and bottom back together, then apply other stabilisers as normal.

Do let me know if you are following along each week! Full info on the sew along here including how to match up the fabric pattern so it’s seamless between outer and pocket. I opted not to do that on the BasicGrey one because it has a large repeat and I was trying to use as little fabric as possible, but it does look awesome when it’s done. I just ordered another frame and handles because I already want to make a third with the cool Nomad print I brought back from holiday!

More mags

Earlier in the year I made the kaleidocurve cushion, and then I didn’t tell you.

It’s now in British Patchwork and Quilting, out now- my first project for them. There are two more cushions to come.


Also this month (though it’s coming to the end of it’s shelf life to be honest) is my Pascale bag in Popular Patchwork. It uses a charm pack and a glue gun and a small saw to make it- what’s not to like?! It is the patchwork version of a carpet type bag I made for Alex’s aunt Pascale to replace her favourite one which was getting a bit worn. She seemed to like it but I definitely prefer this patchwork one, so when it comes back to me I will see if she wants it first!

Scraptastic Tuesday

It just wouldn’t be another Scraptastic Tuesday without an update on my scrappy log cabin. I now have 25 blocks made! I’ve decided to do these quilt as you go, in four sections to make it easier to quilt. I had hoped to send it off for Longarming (to Trudi) but given the current moving situation, I’ve had to go back to the original DIY plan.

These are my latest blocks.


I’ve also decided to change the design from a chevron/zigzag to a “Barn Raising” layout. As this is symmetrical, I’ve increased the number of blocks I need to 64 so I can make it 8×8 blocks which translates to 96″ square. I was going to make it asymmetrical but I think the OCD will kick in and I won’t like it as much. It’s not like I don’t have enough scraps. Each quadrant will be 16 blocks, so I’ve made a start on the first one. I’m not sure how I am going to quilt it yet, perhaps denser in the white areas for textural contrast.

In other news, I’ve started another new (not scrappy) project. My process is to make the HSTs and flying geese in the evenings and then sit and trim on the sofa, then piece into blocks before work. I can do two a day this way. 17 more to go!

The fabric is Chandelier by Studio M- they’re lovely metallics and so I’m making a Christmas ornament themed quilt with them!

Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday…

Scraptastic Tuesday

Festival of Quilts 2015 – round up


This year, I went to Festival of Quilts for two days with Hannah and went to two one hour sessions, a first for me. It meant I had lots of time to see several things multiple times and so I got to see every quilt on show.

As usual I like to do a bit of a round up of the quilts on display that caught my eye… Get a cup of tea, this may take a while.

First, here’s some of the Quilt Creations (3D) category.
junk-in-the-trunk-dressMe with my Junk in the Trunk Dress. The judges said:

Judge 1 – 10x Good – Creative dress, colours and fabrics work well.
Judge 2 – 5x Excellent, 3x Good, 2x N/A – Clever co-ordination of such a variety of fabrics and the dress is very wearable.
Judge 3 – 3x Good, 5x Satisfactory, 2x N/A – What a fun way to use up one’s ‘junk’ patchwork pieces! Ideal for a 1960s party! A colourful, eye-catching dress.

Happy with that! Isn’t it great how one judge says your quilting is excellent and the other satisfactory? Still, no ‘Needs Attention’ marks so I’m very pleased.

By Ceri Stokoe

By Ceri Stokoe

Above is Ceri’s running dress with cape, made with donated blocks and for her run in memory of Terri from Brit Bee. It was nice to see this in real life and I spotted a couple of my blocks in there that didn’t make it into my own dress.

by Helen Dickson - Highly Commended

by Helen Dickson – Highly Commended

From Golden Textures of Australia…

By Suzanne Gummow

By Suzanne Gummow

By Margaret McDonald

By Margaret McDonald

From Fine Art Masters…

By Susie Koren. This won the biggest prize of the show.

By Susie Koren. This won the biggest prize of the show.

By Sara Impey

By Sara Impey

Art quilts…

By Liz Jones

By Liz Jones

By Isabel Muoz - it's a whole cloth, the design is just in black thread

By Isabel Muoz – it’s a whole cloth, the design is just in black thread

By Cecilia Koppmann

By Cecilia Koppmann

Gillian Travis. 2nd Place.

By Gillian Travis. 2nd Place.

Contemporary quilts…

Another by Cecilia Koppmann!

Another by Cecilia Koppmann!

By Janette Chilver - it's a wholecloth with coloured thread

By Janette Chilver – it’s a wholecloth with coloured thread

Traditional Quilts…

By Jo Avery

By Jo Avery

Another by Liz Jones! Love her. 3rd Place.

Another by Liz Jones! Love her. 3rd Place.

By Lynne Johnson - a reproduction of the Billings Coverlet

By Lynne Johnson – a reproduction of the Billings Coverlet

By Janette Chilver again! This won Best in Show and 1st Place in Traditional Quilts. Amazing Quilting.

By Janette Chilver again! This won Best in Show and 1st Place in Traditional Quilts. Amazing Quilting.

Miniature Quilts…

By Sue Bibby

By Sue Bibby

By Jane Wheeler

By Jane Wheeler

By Kumiko Frydl - 1st Place.

By Kumiko Frydl – 1st Place.

By Rosemary Cousins - Highly Commended

By Rosemary Cousins – Highly Commended

Pictorial Quilts…

Me with Hank, Frankly. The judges said:

Judge 1 – 2x Excellent, 7x Good, 1x N/A – A most appealing portrait and a brave decision to mount it this way.
Judge 2 – 4x Good, 6x Satisfactory – Nice quilt made with love to the dog. Original shapes (edges) of the quilt.
Judge 3 – 2x Excellent, 4x Good, 3x Satisfactory, 1x N/A – What a challenging shape to use as a quilt! Loved the big brown eyes.

By Kate Dowty. Highly Commended and Judge's Choice.

By Kate Dowty. Highly Commended and Judge’s Choice.

By Claudia Pfeil. 1st Place.

By Claudia Pfeil. 1st Place.

Group quilts…

By East Midlands Modern Quilt Group

By East Midlands Modern Quilt Group

I’ve no idea what the judges came back with on this yet, but this was our group’s entry.

By Ex DC Quilters

By Ex DC Quilters

Two person quilts…

By Alison Robins and Krista Withers

By Alison Robins and Krista Withers

Quilter’s Guild Challenge…

By Susan Atkinson

By Susan Atkinson

Joy Salvage. 1st Place.

By Joy Salvage. 1st Place.

I also grabbed another shot of a Gillian Travis quilt- this one was in Quilters In Action. Her work has handprinted fair isle patterns onto of wool appliqué.

I think in particular, this year for me has been about epic appliqué. I really love what Liz Jones has done and the Billings Coverlet too, it inspired me as soon as I got home to design an almost entirely appliqué medallion quilt for entry next year, some by machine and some by hand. Can’t wait.

The PennyDog Summer Collection…

I’ve made my dinosaur blouse!

DSCF9498 DSCF9505 DSCF9514

I had some issues with the directional print- meaning I had to recut a couple of pieces and despite having masses left over, I didn’t have a piece long enough for the front so once more the creative piecing came into play. Clearly its a dinosaur thing!

My first buttonholes

My first buttonholes

Still I’m happy with it, and after cutting out it was a quick make… before alterations. I made it a size 16 according to my measurements which meant I then had to take it in maybe three inches at the waist plus it had magician sleeves that needed another inch taking off and also it’s still a bit more loose fitting than I’d normally choose.

I also made my Dachshund skirt! Which means that dressmaking is off the cards from now on, I think I’m all dressed out. Those cut up mens skirts can lurk a little longer (until I’m slim enough to fit in them, oops).


I used this pattern before and I know it still fits, so once I found the pieces I cut last time, I just lengthened the pieces a touch as I wanted it to fall just below the knee.


It has pockets (no I didn’t pattern match the side seams)!

Both patterns are by Simplicity. If you want to know what numbers, I’ll have to look it up…