Another carpet bag

I’ve made another Companion Carpet bag! I’m not sure which I am going to keep of my three yet!

This is the big one- 12″ frame.


It’s not lopsided like it looks in this photo :)

Once again, the awesome pattern can be found HERE!

Just YouTube stuff, y’know?

Well this arrived in the post today….

Which meant I might have done a few of these…

Admittedly in the privacy of my office, not in the Eaton Centre…

Normal sewing posts will resume soon. I’ve been working on something I shouldn’t really share yet but hopefully the emergency headlining foam has arrived today to finish off my last carpet bag!

Getting my shop on


BOMcomplete-withtemplates-1I’ve made a bigger effort lately to actually sell some patterns of mine. The English Country Garden BOM is now available as a full set of instructions for the top and all blocks together and the individual blocks are now offline. It’s a whopping 85 pages and at the moment it’s a bargain at $12!

I’ve also got Kaleidostar for sale for $4…


And Wallander too (also $4)…

Plus I have a big list of more patterns to come, including my Quilt Workout range that is hopefully going to make an appearance this year!

You can buy PennyDog Patterns from Etsy, Payhip or Patterns to Print.

If you want to be notified of new additions to the pattern shop and special offers, why not sign up to my mailing list? You’ll automatically receive a 15% voucher off your next pattern purchase from my Etsy or Payhip shop too as a gift from me.

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Oh and a load more of finished items at emigration sale prices have been listed in my other Etsy shop, grab yourself a bargain!

A finish! Chandelier Quilt

It seems I’m in quilting mode! Here is my latest finish: Chandelier.


The back is half of an eBay beige checked Next duvet cover, the quilting glorified straight line quilting because of tension issues yet again, and the design is for Popular Patchwork magazine- soon!

I cannot stress just how useful it is to have Bloc Loc rulers for this amount of trimming. Definite convert. Look at me, happily making HSTs! This was the first time I used a Kwik Klip for basting too. They seem a bit unnecessary and I wasn’t convinced ’til I tried one. They’re a good tool, not sure why they need three ridges where one would do though?

On Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I said to Alex that I didn’t feel like I’d done enough with my day. I hadn’t really sat down for longer than 15 minutes and yet I didn’t feel like I’d achieved enough before work the next day. He said “But you layered your quilt and that takes time.” He’s a keeper.

Size – 58″ x 80″
Number of blocks – Twenty “baubles”
Time to make – Piecing about 10-12 hours, quilting about half that.
Fabric – Chandelier by Studio M for Moda, a metallic range that is lovely. You can get two baubles out of each FQ. Also a biscuit coloured solid.
Backing Fabric – Half of a Next duvet cover
Binding Fabric – Riley Blake Postcards for Santa stripe
Threads – Coats Moon in off-white throughout piecing, Gutermann in shade 139 for the quilting plus a bit of gold metallic thread thrown in too.
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant.
Quilting- Straight lines with a touch of pebbles. I drew the first line where the different directions converge and then used a guide to echo quilt it.

My Companion Carpet Bags

I’ve completed my first two Companion Carpet Bags as part of the sew along. It’s the first time needing a screwdriver when sewing (for undoing the screws on the hinge) and the first time using headlining foam as a stabiliser. I liked both of these things! Here’s the first one which has some Cotton & Steel prints going on…

DSCF9829 DSCF9835

And the second, which doesn’t have the snap tab or flower detail, but does have a tiger lining and Fresh Cut exterior…

DSCF9844 DSCF9845

Both of these are the smaller size on the pattern and for both I used vinyl for piping and for the frame channel. It sewed well and I’ve had it maybe four years lying about not being used so it was all good. The bases are very sturdy with plastic canvas inside to reinforce and also securely hold the feet. I used E6000 glue as well as stitching to hold on the handles, which took longer to sew on than I anticipated. I always have trouble with bags gaping a bit at the very top of the stitching when the handles droop and this helped with that a bit. Does anyone else find this always happens with leather handles?

These bags are a good size for everyday stuff, even in the small size its roomy enough for a small packed lunch as well as a large purse, keys, phone, tissues, hand cream, etc, etc.

There is still time to make and enter the sew along yourself, it’s open til the end of September, more details can be found here. Of course if you just want the pattern, you can get it from Samantha’s shop.

These are now going (reluctantly) into my Etsy shop, bandwidth permitting. Hopefully I will have a larger one completed soon with red leather handles and a snap tab, mine, all mine! Or maybe I’ll end up swapping back and keeping the one with the vintage flowers sewn on the front…

A finish! Left A-Lone Star

I’ve not thought of a new name for this yet, despite intending to! Suggestions are welcomed.

Left A Lone Star by PennyDog

Light was a bit flat today so you can’t see the quilting that great, sadly I have morning gloomy light or nothing and it only gets worse now the days are getting shorter

The piecing was finished 15 months ago. This is a bit of an embarrassment for me as I like to get stuff done quick, but I stalled at how to quilt it, and even when I doodled and got a plan in place, I had lots of other stuff to finish first. Actually looking back to blog posts at that time, my log cabin quilt is about as old. Oops.

I think one of the issues is that it is not my own design. It is from American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine (Feb 14 issue I think)- it is the cover quilt in the same issue as the APQ Tone-it-Down quilt along.

It only took a few weeks to make the appliqué blocks from scraps and only a few months more to do the rest of the piecing and baste it. I even did the boring stitch in the ditch bits about a year ago!

But now it’s finished in a combination of feathers, some orange peel which I always enjoy, and some corset-lacing-esque quilting that was supposed to be like Denyse Schmidt’s figure of eights but nowhere near…DSCF9822


Matchstick quilting for textural contrast between straight line quilting marked on the top (with my enemy the Frixion pen) that would have been so much better had I discovered using rulers on domestic machines before I started (and fixed the problems detailed in my last post, which I am still working on)…


Yes the points are a bit iffy (I have improved over the last year or so) but I’m pretty proud of the quilting, despite it being nowhere near show quality. I still want a long arm though as I think I could get there eventually without the jerkiness of shoving the quilt through the machine! I’m not sure whether I enjoy piecing or quilting more, though I know a lot of people would prefer to just make the tops. I go through phases and I’m definitely in the enjoying quilting stage right now.




I then washed the quilt to get a bit more visible texture, especially after ironing out the Frixion pen marks (yes I know, I used it and I don’t endorse them normally, I don’t know what came over me). I’m thinking in future I may buck the trend and move to a good quality polyester wadding – such as Dream Puff – instead of the cotton blend to get even more texture in a controlled way that isn’t helped along by the first wash.

Honestly I think it looks great, even if it’s not easy to see on these photos.

Size – 62″ square
Number of blocks – Eight diamonds, four appliqué blocks and four setting triangles (not including borders)
Time to make– I think about 6-7 hours for the piecing, and about 12-14 hours for the quilting and everything else.
Fabric – All miscellaneous stash fabrics
Backing Fabric – Miscellaneous stash again!
Binding Fabric – Two prints from stash alternated to give an almost-scrappy effect
Threads – Coats Moon in off-white throughout, except for a couple of central star echoes which were done in a deep pink Mettler. I discovered through quilting this quilt that my machine likes piecing from a cone but not quilting. This discovery has been brilliant!
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant- I think, it was a long time ago.
Quilting- Lots! Details above!

Do I sell it or keep it? I’m undecided. We are being very ruthless with our packing list but the time that went into quilting makes me feel like I need to hang onto it and look at it just a little longer.

Finally, a finish for this quarter from my Finish along list and I’ve made progress on almost all of them this time… onwards to the next one!

Another Husqvarna grumble

I haven’t complained about my machine for at least two months (when it went off to be fixed) and once more the same problems are repeating themselves.

I’ve finished quilting the Left Alone Star and the tension was fab (more on that after I have decent photos). I learned early on not to cone feed for quilting – which is fine for piecing – but that was the only complaint my machine had, except occasionally not cutting the bobbin thread, which I have come to terms with never being 100% right anyway.

This morning I decided to carry on quilting, moving on to my Chandelier quilt and also use my new ruler foot from Westalee. It cost me a small fortune in customs, so I was eager to give it a shot. Following the instructions, I changed the needle, set the height of the foot correctly, lowered my feed dogs, disabled the auto presser foot feature and put it onto floating FMQ mode. I left the thread just how my machine likes it, the brand that it prefers and everything. Not a stitch could be made. I’ve always found this mode to be terrible and so switched over to my reliable hopping FMQ mode.

The tension was awful. The stitches were skipping and it looked like a repeat of the previous tension issue it went into the shop for. I tried rethreading it. Nope. I then made a small quilt sandwich and worked my way up from the 4.6 standard tension all the way to the maximum 9.8. I even tried lowering the foot a little more that the guide recommends.

It looked a lot better but still some stitches were being skipped.

So now I need to unpick this sort of pizza slice I made and go for standard straight line quilting I think. I’ll have to leave the trial and error for another time, maybe for when my machine is fresh out of the shop again, or maybe when I get that new machine once we move. I can tell you though that the motion and control of quilting with rulers is bloody fantastic, I know I will be a fan, even if my machine isn’t!

Quilt top adoption

In my quest to clear out the majority of my life’s collection of “stuff” it’s time to hit the WIP drawer. I have the following quilt tops and blocks which I would love to give away for free to someone who can put them to good use, for charity donations, etc. I’d prefer to post in the UK to keep my costs down so UK residents will be given priority, and I will be posting the slowest, cheapest method I can.

As long as you will love these projects more than I do, or they will be used for a good cause, they’re yours. I’m being ruthless and trying not to be sentimental- quite hard when it comes to bees, gifts and swaps!

To claim any of these, leave me a comment on this post or email me:



Gwen can be included as we’re looking for a home for her too….

First up I have this top made from Popular Patchwork forum row by row swap members. My selected colours were black background and rainbow blocks. It measures 62″ x 64″.


I also have these from the same forum, some 12″ blocks made entirely from solids. I never did receive my 12th one which is why there are only 11. These blocks are 12″. I will also throw in these 10 6″ “hug hearts” which were sent to me for my wedding by the same group of generous ladies!


Next up is this bee top (more pics here). It’s from the UK Borders Agency bee I set up a few years ago and all rounds were made by lovely ladies I am still (mostly) in touch with today. This top has sat untouched for two years. I’m going to give first dibs to my bee mates. It’s huge, it measures 76″ x 66″.

Last is another bee top, this was from Free Two Bee- the Around the Bend and Across the Pond bee from 2013 also. It’s a bit smaller this one (52″ x 43″) and in pastels. I also have a signature block for the back which will be sent with it (if I find it). The diamond blocks in particular are beautiful but I was restrained enough not to rip them out for myself!

I hope something here catches your eye!

Chandelier – A Quilt Top

This weekend has been very productive for sewing, what with all of the rain and Alex being at work for two of the three days. On Saturday I finished day 2 of the Companion Carpet Bag sew along on both bags and on Sunday I finished sewing this quilt top:

Lunch box and dog conveniently cropped out of the image...

Lunch box and dog conveniently cropped out of the image…

The fabrics are Chandelier by Studio M, they have a lovely gold metallic element to each print. I’m not sure how I am going to quilt it yet but I feel a touch of metallic gold thread is on the cards. I’m not a fan of table basting but at the moment I’ve not got a hard floor to baste on so I may dither a bit at this stage.

On Sunday I made decent progress into the quilting of the left A-Lone Star quilt. I want a different name for that when it’s finished. If you’ve seen my progress on Instagram you will know that a big reveal is not far away…

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!