WIP Wednesday: Frankly, Hank Progress

Flying in the face of quilt show norms seems to be very attractive to me…. or maybe it’s because I can play with my best pal, the Sewline Glue Pen, that’s firing me up? Either way, I’m making quick progress on the Frankly, Hank quilt and steaming through glue pen refills. At Festival this year I will be treating myself to some new applique scissors as I think these ones are nearing retirement.

I know I’ve blogged it a few times around these parts, but I wrote about the process for this quilt over on 52 Quilters as my departing post on Sunday which you might want to take a look at.

And this is what it currently looks like as of this morning (dog included for size perspective)! I’m pretty pleased with it so far, especially since I don’t get a very good idea of how my fabric choices are playing together until the freezer paper gets pulled off. Black is quite difficult shade-wise so he’s looking a bit grey to get the shading in, I still think it’s OK though.


I’ll probably post the progress after this evening’s effort on IG later. He may have two eyes by then.
Linking up to WIP Wednesday.


Behold – the Junk in the Trunk dress!

I did it, oh yeah, just in the nick of time!

Here is the Junk in the Trunk dress for the 3D category at the Quilt and Stitch Village show in all it’s crazy glory.

The competition rules dictated that entries must be three layers and it didn’t say that this was with exception to this category, so I made the dress out of orphan blocks, offcuts and scraps pieced together haphazardly and then quilted it random-graffiti style onto very thin bamboo wadding.

The lining is silky smooth synthetic stuff which should qualify as the third layer and means I wasn’t quilting through to the inside. It was the first time I’ve lined a dress so I’m glad I followed this pattern through the video series.

If this dress is ever washed, it will definitely shrink, I’ve not prewashed anything given its very nature was to use up bits already pieced, etc. This means a cool hand wash only and a crossing of fingers or dry-cleaning. Really though, it’s an art piece.

A close-up of my very first invisible zip…

Size – About an 8 to a small 10.
Time to make– about 10 hours including hand finishing the lining.
Pattern – Angela Kane’s Pinafore Dress.
Fabric – Scraps including Bluebird Park, Lush Uptown, Kona solids, Full Moon Lagoon and many more.
Lining Fabric – Pink synthetic lining fabric, very smooth
Threads – Large cone of Cotton/Polyester blend from Boyes throughout
Wadding – Simply Soft Bamboo Blend
Quilting- Random FMQ!

And nicking some pics off Instagram from the EMMQG meeting where I sucked in my gut and held my breath to fit in it for the only time…

from @kettleboiler

From @marygoffin1

So this and my other two Quilt and Stitch Village entries are on their way in the nick of time. That’s two of my five goals for 2015 accomplished!

Also linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday:

Scraptastic Tuesday

Q2 Finish Along Goals

Well I didn’t do that great last quarter – I finished two of four projects and made a ton of new stuff instead. Naturally then, two of these projects roll over into quarter two’s finish along.

Firstly the Hadley doughnuts are as I left them- one partial block. I would like this to be a quilt but temptation to make something smaller is strong…

And so is the Left-A-Lone Star, naturally, given its name. By the way I’m still hating what my pebble quilting looks like so I think that part of the design is going in favour of more radiating curves…
q2 q1

A couple of new additions this time. I decided to enter Festival of Quilts again this year, so naturally I’m making a big Hankface, which I’ve already named “Frankly, Hank.” Just for a laugh, if I can finish this before 1st May I’m going to enter it into the Quilt Masters/ Art Gallery of Awesome thing they started recently. I’ll need to write some kind of pretentious description for it, like what it’s a metaphor for, rather than I just wanted to blow up my gormless pet’s face because it’s funny (if it gets in I will definitely regret not calling it “Haters Gotta Hate”). Chances are though they will pocket the extra entry money and tell me to do one. What am I saying? Chances are it won’t be finished in time and I’ll be entering it into pictorial quilts and saving myself £12. Either way it will be there at the show.

Also, I want to completely finish my English Country Garden BOM quilt. I need to baste and quilt it before someone beats me to it and before I totally forget about the thing!


With finishing my dress for Quilt and Stitch village and class samples to finish making as well as teaching those classes, I daren’t put anything else on the list, this is plenty optimistic anyway!

Linking up…

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

P.s. I blogged on 52 Quilters today too

A finish: Marquise Bedrunner

I thought you wouldn’t mind too much if I was late with the last BOM post ;)

This quilt was shoehorned into my schedule in February (teaser post here) in order to finish it in time for the current issue of Quilt Now. I only got some quick and dirty snaps before it went in the post!


Katy had a gap to fill in the magazine, so I decided to make this from start to finish in exactly two weeks and take up that spot. It started off as a lap quilt but when arranging the blocks, it worked out as a bed runner for a single bed much better due to the rectangular shape. Another 18 blocks (three columns) and it would easily make a double bed runner!


The original plan was to do a truly stack and whack quilt, cutting all the pieces out first and sewing together like a checkerboard. I didn’t think though that actually this would break up the continuation of the curves, so after a bit of thinking and a bit more testing, I decided to piece a bit first, then cut with the quick curve ruler, then piece again and that worked much better.

I have called this quilt Marquise because of the pointy-oval secondary pattern, I think it looks like the shape of a marquise cut gemstone. The shape of this quilt meant that no backing had to be pieced. I also decided to machine on the binding which has definitely been my most successful machine binding so far if still a little baggy. From now on 2″ binding is me, not 2 1/2″. This seemed to sort out my mitring on my Pancakes quilt too.


Size – 39″ wide x 70″ long
Number of blocks – 42
Time to make– about 16 hours
Fabric – Stash fat quarters and Klona white. It felt good to use up some stash I can tell you!
Backing Fabric – Ikea Smaborre cotton – 2 yards
Binding Fabric – Purple and green stripy one I found in Fabric Guild.
Threads – Pieced with Coats Moon, quilted with Moon in the bobbin and a variegated Anchor Rayon in the top. It didn’t like the thread cutter but gives a nice lustre.
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting- Quick walking foot special. Stitch in the Ditch around the blocks with echo quilting along the curves.


In other news I am the guest poster on 52 Quilters this week, check it out on Instagram.

Also I have my Transparency quilt in the current issue of Popular Patchwork.

English Country Garden BOM – Finishing the Quilt Top

By now you have 12 applique blocks, yes?

No? They are all on Etsy, Payhip and Patterns to Print, but if you’re after the whole set to start at the beginning, keep your eyes out as it will be released some time in April in a format much cheaper than getting them individually and eventually the single blocks will disappear.

So, everyone with 12 blocks! All together they look like this:

And today I’m going to talk us through getting them to look like this:


And tomorrow I’ll go through my ideas for quilting it.

The blocks can be arranged in whatever layout you like, but if you want it to look like mine, you will want four rows of three blocks.

You will need 31x 9 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ background matching strips, 62x 2 3/8″ background matching squares and 16x 4 1/4″ squares of contrasting fabric.
Make a total of 31 pieces

Essentially, the sashing is just a strip of black, or other co-ordinating fabric to match your block fabric choices, book-ended by flying geese. I’m making the flying geese the quick way that makes four at a time and will then mix them up.

DSCF8969Take two background squares and put right sides together in opposite corners of the contrasting fabric square. Draw a line across the squares.

DSCF8971Sew 1/4″ seam either side of the line. Cut down the middle.

DSCF8974Press open with the seams to the background colour.

DSCF8975Align another square to the remaining accent colour corner. Draw a line diagonally as shown and sew 1/4″ either side. Repeat for the other piece.

DSCF8978Cut down the line and press open.

DSCF8982Trim to 2″ x 3 1/2″.

DSCF9006Sew a goose to each end of the strip with the points facing in.

You will need 20x 4 1/4″ squares of contrasting fabrics
Make a total of 20 blocks

The corner blocks are quarter square triangles. Here’s the quick and easy way I made mine.

DSCF8988 Take two squares and position them right sides together. Mark across one of the diagonals.

DSCF8990Sew 1/4″ to either side of the line and cut down the middle to create two HST units. Press seams (preferably open). Repeat to make 10 of these with five pairs.

DSCF8995DSCF8997Aligning the diagonal seams, place two HSTs right sides together, making sure that different fabrics are touching each other. Pick these matches at random, or use the same pair rotated for an hourglass look. Mark across the other diagonal.

DSCF9001Sew either side of the line with 1/4″ seam allowance again and cut down the middle. Press to finish off your corner stone blocks!

Sew a sashing strip between each block, so you will have four rows of block, sashing, block, sashing, block. Press seams.

Sew together five rows for between the block rows, plus one for the top and bottom of the quilt. These go in the order of sashing, cornerstone, sashing, cornerstone, sashing. Press seams.

Sew a thin sashing row to a block row, then another sashing row until the top is all one piece. Align the seams and pin if it helps you to do that. Give it a good press and starch it if you like ready for basting and quilting.

You may also want to go about basting your quilt at this stage if you are keen to get quilting. I’m not going to do mine just yet, but I’ll show you a sketch of some ideas for your quilt tomorrow if you want to custom quilt it. Feel free to straight line it or send it off to a longarmer if that’s more your thing!

That’ll do, pig

I have a quicker-than-anticipated finish today!


I need to make some class samples that I hadn’t accounted time for, plus even though I have the Easter weekend coming up in which I plan to sleep, sew and go to a comedy festival (and maybe do a bit of cleaning), I have designated it to finishing off my BOM top and writing up the blog posts for it. If I am lucky I may do my EMMQG hashtag block, and make more progress on my dress but essentially I just plan to finish the BOM top.

Since the shop could do with the samples pretty quickly as the first class is only something like 4-5 weeks away, something had to give and be finished quicker than I had planned in order for the list of stuff to go down. That thing was my UK mini swap mini.

My original design was 64 HSTs with 64 bits of applique. After posting a WIP pic on Instagram and a lot of comments encouraging me to keep the appliqué at a similar level to the photo I went from this design:

 To this WIP:

To the finished one at the top; a more minimal design with only 12 pieces of appliqué.


Hopefully my partner will like it the way it is! One more thing crossed off the list… just need to buy some chocolate to include with it. It is Easter after all.

Size – 24 1/2″ square
Number of blocks – 64 HSTs
Time to make– About 4 hours
Fabric – Rainbow scraps of all sorts! Pearl Bracelets, Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Cuzco…
Backing Fabric – Ikea Nummers
Binding Fabric –Solid Black
Threads – My big cone of Boyes unmarked thread came in handy again
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant offcut
Quilting- Dogwood Flower/ Orange Peel – it’s been a while so I decided to give it a go again!

Charmed Tote

DSCF8955 copy

This bag has been a long time in the making, though I’ve not actually told you anything about it.


It started life as an idea to replicate a bag for OH’s aunt. She had one bought at some World festival or another which had braided leatherish handles and the handles made it wrinkle a bit like a drawstring bag, but have two independent handles. It was made from a tapestry type material with some thick embroidery stitching on it too. It was well loved and she wanted a new one as the handles were unthreading themselves.

After trying a few different things, the handles were the hardest thing to get. I tried looking for thick round cord of all sorts, but generally it was thin stuff for jewellery making and that was it. In my desperation I started to look for rope.

The purchased rope was then held up by APC when they came to deliver it as even though my husband had photo ID, lives at the same address and has the same surname as me, the addressee, the guy on the collection desk wouldn’t release it (on feeling the packet I’m sure he thought we were up to something dodgy). This meant complaining and getting a Saturday delivery the weekend before this one just gone, which lost me a few more days of production time. By this point I hadn’t made up a pattern because I wanted the rope to base it on and all I’d done was source an appropriate remnant from a local fabric outlet and do a spot of embroidery on it.

During the week last week we tried all sorts to get four handles out of the 4m piece I had bought. It was synthetic so OH tried cutting it and melting the ends together, PVC pipe welding solventy stuff and Poly Cement to no avail. I needed a good strong join to make a continuous loop that could support a decent amount of weight. I kept saying that the glue gun was the best bet. In the end OH relented and plan D went into action.


What can I say other than it worked ;) Coupled with a wrap of a fabric scrap the thing was so strong even Hank hanging off it didn’t pull it apart!

After a bit more glue-gunning, daydreaming, measuring, tweaking and such I had myself a pattern! Here is the bag to be gifted…

I added a zipped welt pocket inside and also boxed the corners, plus it has a magnetic clasp fastener, but essentially it’s a tote bag with a channel. It was so quick to make that I just had to make a patchwork one out of my Gardenvale charm pack that Hannah gave me for Christmas. Out of 42 squares, it uses up 40 of them, a perfect project for a single charm pack and its pretty roomy too.

I’m in the process of writing up a pattern, honestly the whole thing including cutting takes literally half an hour to sew up- result!

A finish: Octo Quilt

Churning out the finishes frantically over here- calm on the surface but kicking away frantically below the water like a duck!


This is my Octo quilt and for a simple design it was a bit of a difficult birth. My iron was used away from home and on a makeshift mat which seemed to affect the temperature and resulted in burning a block. In an attempt to fix it I successfully bleached it but subsequently shrank it beyond use. I ended up making 13 24″  blocks in total.

Then my secondary pattern of Octagons didn’t quite work as the triangles in the corners seem to have all been cut at 3″ square instead of 3 1/2″ whilst absentmindedly catching up on the Great British Sewing Bee one afternoon. I unpicked all 48 of the outer ones (leaving the inners, I’m not that crazy) after the blocks were already complete and re-did them. It just niggled me too much. I’ve now made the 3″ triangles part of the written pattern. I don’t think I’m one for wonky, especially if I am gifting it, I don’t want them to think I’m a crap quilter. It’s taken me between two and three weeks to make from start to finish.


Under the Octopus fussy cuts I’ve added another two pieces of wadding as trapunto to make them stand out. I used soluble thread in the bobbin for this for the first time, then cut away the excess close to the line and I think it was successful but maybe better if I had denser quilting, or a third layer! I did this before I sewed the blocks together for ease. I quilted in straight lines vertically, avoiding the octopus blocks every 1/2″ or thereabouts, with 3″ gaps between four patches. There are four Octopuses, one per line.


This quilt is going to Popular Patchwork first (I think), then when it is returned it’s coming with us to Calgary for the Stampede this summer and will be gifted to the ex-pat family that invited us to stay with them in Okotoks. In its place in the suitcase I plan to purchase some more stash filling fabrics whilst out there. I got their name wrong though, so I need to redo the label!


I’m bored to death of white now. Other than my current WIPs, I really don’t foresee another white background quilt any time soon. I’m thinking light grey or cream or an actual colour rather than a shade may be on the cards! Maybe that’s why I love my Pancakes quilt so much? No white!

Now the focus is on making two hanging sleeves for the show, another mini, a cushion, my BOM top and my dress of course! No imminent big projects for a while. Nice.

Size – 72” wide x 96″ tall
Number of blocks – 12
Time to make– about 20 hours
Fabric – A variety from stash oranges and navy! Plain white cotton that matches Klona white. Octopuses are from Tokyo Train Ride for Cotton + Steel.
Backing Fabric – Charity shop duvet cut in half!
Binding Fabric – More white Klona, machine bound.
Threads – Coats Moon as per usual in white.
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting - Straight lines vertically with walking foot, 1/2″ spaced, then 3″ spaced.

Upcoming fabric I’m excited about

There are some amazing lines coming out soon, and it’s not even Quilt Market yet! Here’s some stuff I found for preorder on Etsy that I am excited about…

(BTW all these pictures are pinched from Etsy but if you click the links they go straight to the shops selling these ranges by pre-order).

Natural History by Lizzy House – I hate butterfly prints, but I totally need a dress or top made from that red dinosaur print!

Mini Pearl Bracelets – yes more Lizzy House and I need them all! I have it on good authority that these are about the size of an old 50p coin… cute and highly useable.

Tula Pink’s True Colors – whilst not a huge Tula fan, I am a fan of the different True Colors ranges that come out of Freespirit because I love a blender. The moire effect prints and the waves are the ones for me.

Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell, obviously. Not much to add there because this is a range everyone on Earth is waiting for.

What have I missed off the list?

Some slightly different quilting

I took the big quilt off the machine momentarily- I’ve decided I need to quilt a dress panel a day to stay focused and on target for making my dress by the end of the month so this is what I’ve got so far- the front bodice!

And the back makes it easier to see…

The plan is to spray baste and quilt first just through the two layers in a variety of patterns as the mood takes me, which replicates my approach to the piecing process too. Once quilted, I will then trace the pattern pieces onto freezer paper, iron them on and cut the pieces out ever-so accurately. Hopefully it will sew together nicely without being too bulky in the darts (I’m trying out balanced darts for the first time). I will reuse the pattern pieces for the lining too. The pattern I have is explained through video rather than written instructions. Quirky.

Oh and I’m possibly going to need to buy an invisible zip too, I really should check the length and what the pattern calls for. I’m waiting for a zip foot for my little Brother machine to sew it in with that I ordered a week or so back. *taps fingers*

I’m not really looking forward to the construction stage all that much, especially since I’m effectively making two dresses by making a lining, but for this dress it is essential to keep it three layers as specified in the rules. I’m considering adding some embellishments but I think a dress as wild as this probably won’t need anything extra. I may add a teensy bit of piping to the top of the pockets though.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.