Bag Boot Camp!

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Do you want to give your bag making skills a kick up the gusset? Can you get to the south of the Peak District from the 18th to the 22nd March for a lovely countryside retreat away from work, demanding offspring and spouses, housework, the general mundanity of everyday life (day tickets also available)?

Honestly I am gutted I can’t go, I’ll be living the Canadian dream by the time Sew Brit Bag Camp rolls around, and it wouldn’t have been very far for me to travel to either. Bummer. However, I would still like to share this with my readers because it is being hosted by two people I really like – Samantha of Sewing Patterns by Mrs H fame and Katy of The Littlest Thistle, with some teaching help flown in from Germany in the shape of Liz from Moments.

This is an awesome team. Katy of course ran the Finish Along for a year and is something I regularly participate in still. She also has written lots of bag projects for magazines such as Quilt Now and is generally very well known in UK- and further abroad – quilty circles. Samantha and I created a clutch pattern together and is the creator of the Companion Carpet Bag pattern that has been all over my blog lately, plus lots more great patterns. She’s one of the six designers that contribute to the Bag of the Month club and one of the two sisters behind Patterns to Print.

They will be running bag making workshops to cater for crafters/sewers/sewists from absolute beginner to advanced improvers covering hardware installation and construction techniques such as making different types of straps. Everyone will be working on the same exclusive overnight bag pattern (shown at the top of this post) but modified to make it accessible for different skill levels. The retreat also provides meals, lovely cottage accommodation, access to tennis courts, refreshments throughout the day, discounted bag supplies and no retreat would be complete without a goody bag!

Prices start at £175 per person for day passes, with standard residential stays for three nights priced at £295. You can pay in three instalments if that is easier for you, and they will be debited at the same time each month for three months for the balance to be paid in full.

Get your tickets now before they sell out HERE!!!

Full details available HERE

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival – Mini Quilt!

Well what timing it is that the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival is back round again and I just so happen to have finished my Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt. The mini category calls for quilts that are 80″ or less all the way round. This is 20″ square so I just nailed it! To be honest I struggled to get pictures with the mornings being pretty dark now it’s the back end of the year, and Hank interfering didn’t help either!


Each pineapple block took about 40 minutes to piece once I got in the rhythm, but I didn’t fancy making a full 16 so I’ve added in some Zen Chic mini charm squares kindly given to me at the Festival of Quilts earlier in the year on the Moda Bake Shop stand. The pineapple blocks are 5″ square, so those little scraps of colour are very little! As you can see this doesn’t exactly dent the scrap collection…

I’m pleased with how it has turned out, and the arrow like effect where the corners meet, so I decided to make a feature of it with the quilting by following points on the piecing to make arrow shapes. I love quilting minis, they are quick, satisfying and don’t come with upper body pain. For the non-pineapple blocks I traced two opposing arrows from the quilting and centre square onto paper, cut it out and used it as a template to draw marking lines around.


The back is a Bonnie Christine fat quarter I picked up at The Workroom in Toronto when I visited earlier in the year, and as usual, I’ve added hanging tabs in the top corners using some scraps.


Size – 20″ square
Number of blocks – 10 Pineapples and 6 fillers.
Time to make– I think about 6 hours?
Fabric – Scraps, some black and natural Konas of some description.
Backing Fabric – Bonnie Christine – Sweet as Honey – Cherished Deer.
Binding Fabric – Some black and white print I’ve forgotten the name of from my stash.
Threads – Coats Moon in off-white throughout with some added black Aurifil.
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant scrap
Quilting- Arrow motifs plus matchstick fillers on the paler blocks.

Got to find a few goodies and then it is good to go!

Linking up to Amy’s Creative Side!


Still here, still sewing. The last few weeks I’ve been making something for Quilt Now, largely – but not exclusively – by hand…

And also something for Popular Patchwork that has a bit that has something like this going on…

And of course I’ve been working on my Schnitzel and Boo mini, the big reveal of which needs to be soon because I want it to be my entry into the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival.

I can however show you this, which came back from British Patchwork & Quilting last week. It’s the cushion from the September issue. I have two other cushions in issues coming soon. I also have a feature on quilting podcasts that is nearly half written, plus with the oddments I’m doing for Patterns to Print (which I would like to be doing even more of), I am not realising how much time is passing by without blogging! I’ve been updating Instagram quite a bit (1000 followers, yey) but it really is no substitute for blogging all the finer details.


I also received this fun quilt and pouch from Johanna in the Dog Mini Swap. It took it’s sweet time coming over, but I’m happy to say it is here!

I will leave you with a pretty fabric picture. This is the full Rhoda Ruth collection (excluding solids) that I received on Saturday. Pet pet.

I am also blogging HERE, aiming for twice a week. Please give it a little follow if you can. The aim is to show lovely handsewn items, special offers on sewing patterns, new fabric releases, sewing tips and techniques and also there may well be a garment sew along very soon.

My new job

I’m thrilled to be working with Samantha on promoting the Patterns to Print website! For the next few months as I get ready to depart this isle, I’ll be working on social media, blogging, newsletters and public relations, increasing awareness of the site and how great it is….

Patterns to Print is a growing marketplace where you can download patterns for dressmaking, quilting, embroidery and bag making all in one place. Not only does that make it easy to find a pattern as you only need to look on one site, but also you’re supporting a small UK business, and the indie designers themselves.

It’s very early days yet – I’ve yet to set up my email and look around the back office for the site – but I would love it if you would follow on Facebook or Twitter, or simply just take a peek at the variety of PDF patterns available for instant download on the website and let me know what you think. New designers are always welcome too, so drop Samantha an email!

My Patterns to Print shop.

Here are some of my current favourite patterns available there right now:

Cowl Neck Top – I love sewing with knits


The fun shaped Cuttlefish Clutch


The Modern Medallion Quilt by Two Little Aussie Birds

Chipping off the blocks

I’ve made lots more log cabin blocks since I last showed my Scraptastic Tuesday progress (yes OK you may have seen my FAL post and that includes these from a greater distance). All of these in fact…

I can make two in a morning before work on a good day, so that has been helpful.

So I now have two quarters plus some waiting for the next group of 16, whether or not I’ll QAYG these as quarters or long arm the whole top together is yet to be decided.

Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday with Nicky and Leanne…

Scraptastic Tuesday

Sunday Stashing

I’ve been destashing more than I’ve been buying- that’s progress right?

Some recent purchases…

More bears… Top two are from New Forest Fabrics from the Lewis and Irene Big Bear Little Bear collection. the bottom one is from Hello Friend by Abi Hall and was from Simply Solids.

Some more Lewis and Irene from New Forest Fabrics.

Some Lovely Hunt by Lizzy House and sale fabrics also from Simply Solids.

Some FQs from Hannah’s destash. In reality now they’re here I’m not sure about the middle two so I may need to chop them up into something scrappy soon to deal with that problem 😉

Linking up!

Molli Sparkles

Q4- Goals for the last quarter in 2015’s Finish Along

Oh wow it’s the last quarter people!

I only actually finished one thing last quarter (from the list anyway), but the threat of moving to Canada is getting ever closer so I need to make more of an effort because I want to start with a blank slate- and a new machine. Come Q1 of the 2016 FAL I’ll be living in a different country, further from the sea than ever before and the time zone will be seven hours behind!

All but one of my quilt tops have been destashed, but I have made progress on everything that was on my list last quarter, even if I didn’t finish it, so that’s something.

I also need to start and finish my Schnitzel and Boo mini swap. I wasn’t going to join in because of all-the-stuff, but I did and it may have been a stupid decision. I have three weeks, that’s ages to make 16 tiny scrappy pineapple blocks, right?

Log Cabins
This is now over halfway finished in terms of piecing. It depends on what happens but I may be going to a long arm place and renting a machine to finish it, or if that won’t be possible, I’ll be QAYG, so it’s going to stay in quarters until the decision is made. Currently I have a quarter made, plus enough to make another quarter with a few blocks left over. Whilst I’ve run out of white/LV strips, I haven’t dented the colour ones. I don’t have a lot of yellows and oranges though which makes me think I may need to make MORE scraps for better colour balance.

Hello Chevron
I’ve added an extra row- I sometimes take this one to EMMQG to force myself to work on it. It’s a struggle but I only have five more rows of HSTs to go. Not sure why I hate this one so much. This will be a good one to learn longarming on when the top is done. One of these will be longarmed by me!


Shine Bright
I updated this yesterday – one more border to go. I stalled for a while after miscutting, but I’m getting there now.

Baby Jane Quilt
The top is pieced but I think I will be adding some bunny appliqué to at least two corners. I need to make my templates and go from there.

Handpieced Medallion
I started this in June and I don’t think I’ve touched it since then, so it may as well be on the list! I may be without a machine soon anyway so there will be opportunities to finish it up. This is what it currently looks like.

Linking up to the FAL Party…

2015 Finish-Along

Shine Bright: Preview Part V

Remember when I used to post progress on this quilt?! It’s been three months since my last update- oops.

I’m happier with how this is going now, some of the measurements are hard and I actually had to recut a lot of the last round, even though it was dead simple piecing. I think I’m happiest because it’s not a weird shape anymore. Just one more border to go, but it’s quite small pieces so I expect that will take some time.

P.S. Sold our house in 48 hours!! Assuming it all goes smoothly (cash buyer) we should be moving out mid December, going to stay at the in-laws for a few weeks and early January starting our new life…. I can’t hand my two months’  notice in until the proof of funds is done though, which is any day now. It’s been a bit quiet here because I’ve been busy with boring admin stuff and cleaning, but I should hopefully be back to power on through some more WIPs before I sell my sewing machine!

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!