The macaroni effect

I’ve started on the bear quilt and I’m very glad I have…

There’s something very enjoyable about the cut, stick, repeat way these quilts come together. There’s no sewing and I can be more sociable- I can do batches in front of the TV rather than out in my sewing room all night. It’s exactly like being at primary school with poster paints, glitter, pasta and pritt sticks on sugar paper, it feels like ultimate creative freedom of expression, with the fun of making a bit of a mess at the same time.

Also you can use colours and fabrics that you might think are a bit bleugh and by being just the right shade, it transforms into something you actually really like. It’s quite addictive to watch it grow and it makes me want to do nothing else.

I have some donations of dark green coming very soon, I have only the tiniest scraps of those and I need a half yard or so for the tree line. I will have to stop at some point, but for now, this is less than an evening and an hour before work’s progress.

Hot bots

My list of Christmas makes was a cushion for my MIL which I’m not sure I’m actually going to make or not yet, two sew together bags and six hot water bottle covers from this tutorial by Jude. If I can slip a finished bear quilt in this timeframe too that would be excellent.

Well some progress has been made and it’s not even December yet, yeah!

DSCF8421 DSCF8424

Six hot water bottles all done, some pieced, others with decorative stitches. The pieced ones were made with kindly gifted mini charm packs sent to me with my Starbucks Banff mug from the lovely Leanne. She wouldn’t even let me pay for the mug that I’d overlooked- thanks to her I have a full collection for our trip this year.

We’re off again in June, I know there’s a Toronto mug, but does anyone know if there’s an Ottawa one? If so then I’m getting both!

P.S. Bear quilt underway – Hank has possibly eaten my quarter inch foot so progress on anything that requires accurate pieced seams is now postponed until further notice…

Raglan top

Imaginative title, huh?

I’ve finished sewing up a top with Art Gallery Knits – specifically one of the Priory Square ones, and Interlock Solids for the sleeves and trims, both from Village Haberdashery.

The pattern is Hey June’s Lane Raglan, which was very clear and easy to follow. I made this up in a medium for a slouchy fit but it would still be slouchy in a small. This pattern is closer to high street sizing than traditional sewing patterns!

I shortened the sleeves as I ran out of fabric and went for this sort of three-quarters-ish look. I actually found working with knits very easy. I cut out over about 20 minutes on Friday evening and then I stitched it up in about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes on Saturday.

If only nice fabric was less expensive, I’d already be making my second by now!

Best decision


I have a horrible habit of leaving my iron on in the sewing room, and it can be on for a day or two before I realise I’ve unnecessarily inflated our electricity bill and increased our chance of a household fire.

Behold, my newest purchase!


This iron (besides being pretty colours) has an auto switch off after 8 minutes and if you’re as daft as me, you’re potentially going to leave it on the plate side down too long too, so that auto cuts out after 30 seconds. Excellent.

Most people I’ve mentioned wanting one of these to think that 8 minutes is not long enough for chain piecing and the like, but it only takes a few seconds to heat back up.

It glides through the ironing, it feels like it has a matte surface but it works a treat on creases and already I’m noticing the difference.


Last year I went through 3 cheapy irons in 3 months, so now I have learned to go for a slightly better one for longevity. My ex-iron is a Breville and was a bit more than the bog standard ones, but it’s served me well, even if some of the white plastic is a burnt brown. That will be used for household clothes soon as it looks like our standard one has an incontinence problem coming on…

Oh and yes I am getting a new non-burned board cover tonight actually.

BTW for those in the know, my application has been progressed to the next stage, and is now at the high commission. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a secret :P

Look what I got…

Not sure why I’m only blogging on Mondays at the minute, I think it’s because I’ve not been able to show my latest finish, and most of what I’ve done has been boring (no one wants to see a big stack of Insulbright cut into different shapes). Once a week seems about right for what’s going on right now, maybe I’ll increase that as my Christmas sewing gets underway properly (I have one finish but it’s not worth a post) or I need your thoughts on a new quilt- there are several new designs waiting for me to start on EQ7.

So today is like Sunday Stash, but a day late. I was away this weekend so this was waiting for me on Sunday evening, I also have another package at the post office which I think will be my new iron. More on that in a later post.


Firstly, I got this pile from Contemporary Cloth’s closing down sale (and a customs bill which is why it took so long). Blenders, my first bits of Emmy Grace, another Hadley print to add to my pile…


And this is two deliveries- a FQ bundle of Priory Square from Hawthorne Threads plus a piece of knit destined to be a raglan top. The sleeves are going to be in a solid Jersey but that’s not arrived yet. I also have a dress in the pipeline, but more on that later. Seems like actually I will have a lot to talk about after all!

Back on Track

My machine is back! It cost me nothing in the end, with Husqvarna’s kindly paying for my service. I’m not convinced it’s better, the tension still seems a bit off in FMQ mode and the cutter is still hit and miss at times. Still…

It means that I’ve now finished my mini quilt for the swap and have a couple of weeks to tinker with what goodies I may be including :) Partner, expect Schokobons (love those) and I think I’m going to make you a little machine embroidery hoop too, but I can’t reveal that until it’s been received as it will possibly give the game away as to whom it is for!

It’s handpieced (English Paper Piecing)- the block is the Flowering Snowball-  and measures the maximum 24″ square size. I’ve quilted it with an echo of the curves and some matchstick quilting in a grid of five to make it a bit more interesting.

Here’s the back- with the name blanked out.

Linking up to my Q4 finish along list!

Also linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!

English Country Garden BOM – Block 8 – Poppy

Sorry for the delay folks, here’s the brand new Poppy block as promised – eventually. This one is a bit easier than the last couple to give you a litle bit of reprieve and it’s a checkerboard background again. The poppy is pretty apt for November so it seemed right to schedule that in this month. The next one is out on the 1st December so this pattern is free to download until then. Previous templates are $1.50 in my Craftsy shop if you missed out.

BOMpoppycoverClick here to download

This pattern includes the same instructions for applique as before, and the same instructions as the Bluebell block for the background, but with new templates for the poppy. The instructions are: making bias tape stems, turned edge and raw edge machine applique, piecing the checkerboard background, thread choices and the pattern in standard and mirrored formats depending on which type of applique you opt for.

I’m on the end of an e-mail if you get stuck, just leave a comment here or email me.

For previous posts on the BOM, please click the button below. Don’t forget to share your photos in the Flickr group!


Oh and BTW in other news- my sewing machine is being fixed for free- Husqvarna approved the request that they would foot the bill, yeeeeyyyy!

Right I need to sleep now.

Hank’s Halloween calling

If only my puppy came back on the first time of asking, he would be absolutely PERFECT for scaring the neighbourhood trick or treaters a la SPIDER DOG

I love spider dog so much, just saying :)

A little ARGH moment

I just wanted to put this out there somewhere.

My proper sewing machine went into the shop last weekend, the cutter was a bit mediocre so I had a feeling a new blade was needed, however I also wanted them to take a look at the tension problems I was having with FMQ whilst it is still under warranty which I blogged about back in June. It was the floating foot that was cruddy, the spring motion darning foot not so much but I was having intermittent problems with thread breaking and such, and my work was looking a bit naff in the finishing stages as a result.

I got a call today from the shop- Cole’s Sewing Centre in Nottingham, which is the UK Husqvarna distributor and the sole official repair agent. In fact they sent it back to me when it decided to get a bit overheated at the turn of the year. The guy who rang is Mr Cole himself, lovely guy, seems to really know his stuff, but he had some bad-ish news.

Apparently there were some little things to sort (bobbin tension and a new blade unsurprisingly) but also it needed to be restored to factory settings as the hooks and some other tension related gubbins were not right and that’s why my FMQ was bad. It needs a full service despite being only 10 1/2 months old and that was going to be £75.

*sharp intake of breath*

I’m going to do it though, apparently it could have been awful since the day I bought it and so I am really actually looking forward to it working better than I have ever known. Then I won’t feel like I’m making do. It’s actually quite exciting. And of course if I get it to work well Di will be the first to know, her machine is the same model and has never been completely right either!

I’ll let you know the verdict in 9 days time when I will finally be able to collect it…

WIP Wednesday – the handsewing edition

My machine went into the shop for a little fine tuning this weekend, nothing serious, just a couple of niggles I wanted looking at before my warranty is over. I hope to have it back this weekend but I’ve not heard anything yet. Fingers crossed….

Anyway, this has limited what I can work on, and actually this has been a good thing. I’ve done some project writing, but also my Instagram swap hand stitched mini has grown to half finished size now too. It’s also meant I’ve finished season two of The Walking Dead- hurray for sofa time!


And here is my crib sheet for colour placement…


I’ve also worked out my templates for OH’s long-promised bear quilt and they are ready to be printed, stuck together and then traced onto freezer paper. I could actually completely finish the quilt top without my machine as I glue it all down and use the quilting stage to secure the pieces with actual stitching. Without my machine I could also cut out more pieces for the Georgetown quilt too, there’s plenty I can do!

See Reene’s Georgetown on my Mind progress


As usual of late, there is a Hank update. He had a “delicate operation” yesterday… might prevent him from dominating all the girls in the park! Plastic cone is on standby but he seems pretty normal (and just as annoying as always) today….


Linking up!