I’m still alive

I’m here! We’re all emigrated and stuff, the house is sold, we have ID and bank accounts and healthcare and a new sewing machine…. No house yet but I am working full time at My Sewing Room in Calgary so I get to be around and be inspired by lovely fabrics every Tuesday to Saturday.

It’s tiring working on your feet all day. I’ve forgotten what it is like, having worked a lazy desk job for the last eight years. I’ve also not got my fabric yet, the boat docked but the stuff is still needing to travel across the country from Montreal. It has made me a bit reluctant to sew or write my long awaited patterns, but I think I’m coming through the other side of that now. Another distraction has been the lovely countryside and western style little towns in the area, and we have been walking around and snowshoeing and stuff, interspersed with naps and watching hockey in the evenings.

So I’m not in the finish along this quarter but I do have some sewing pictures…

Progress on my Hexie medallion thingy, not sewn any since we arrived here on 5th Jnauary but did a fair bit in the Christmas break.

Some stashing has occurred (though I stupidly bought the same black and white Blueberry Park print twice- two FQs :S

Top left is a knit remnant I should be able to squeeze a raglan out of once I have contrast for the sleeves and waistband.

One massive thing I bought is my new sewing machine, which is a Brother Innovis NQ700. I have a workshop on Sunday to get acquainted with it better.

I’ve nearly finished my two Spelling Bee blocks for Elizabeth– they will be the words “loves” and “the”, though I’ve had no cutting mat or ruler, another reason my sewing has been minimal.

I’ve started on the next Quilt Workout, though I will be finishing the Shine Bright pattern as a matter of priority.

I’ve just this evening submitted a book proposal, so I hope to have my sewing juices running again soon. I’m also in a couple more magazines in the UK at the minute but I’ll blog about that when the other one has arrived here…

I’ve not read any blog posts whilst I’ve been here, nor have I responded to older comments. I’ve also been rubbish at promoting and cheerleading for Patterns to Print. I’m going to start afresh as of now, I’m not ignoring you, honest, just not enough hours in the day!

A few other loose ends

I’ve shown you my latest quilts, but I’ve got a few extra loose ends to tie up. Firstly my machine is gone now (oh and also my house) so I am onto handsewing for the foreseeable future. I think it might be one of my very first purchases when we land.

I’ve also got some magazine projects around the shops this month.

Firstly, I’ve got a block carrier in Popular Patchwork…

A trivet in Quilt Now…

I also sold the Hank, Frankly quilt the day we were putting our lives into boxes!

Oh and also it was my birthday yesterday! An 0 one….

A gift

Earlier in the week I went to Ange’s house and there was a surprise there!DSCF0462

The members of East Midlands Modern Quilt Group had secretly worked on a quilt for me as a leaving present- and of course it was brown, cheeky gits!

The maple leaf design was just perfect, and the design was put together and quilted by Ange, who had to move the project forward faster as our house sold faster than expected!


I love it, thank you everyone.

Shine Bright – My final finish for 2015, plus Project 48


It’s quilted and bound (and has been for about a week but I haven’t had the opportunity for photos until today)! Here is Shine Bright in all its glory! Now I guess I need to finish the pattern writing and get my first Quilt Workout pattern out there.


While I was taking photos, this guy was directly in front of me thinking he was having his photo taken. Maybe he has his photo taken too often, such a poser.

This quilt was done with a pantograph, started by me but finished by Penny (see this post). I really enjoyed the quilting, possibly more than the piecing part!

That’s a finish along finish!

Size – 60″ x 60″
Number of blocks – 45 of various shapes and sizes.
Time to make – Not sure how long the quilting took after I left it so lets just count the piecing – 18 hours.
Fabric – Best Day Ever FQ bundle by April Rosenthal for Moda, plus Kona Pomegranate.
Backing Fabric – Hummingbirds by Hillberg- £2 a yard in Fabric Guild!
Binding Fabric – Yellow print that I’ve had stashed for a while.
Threads – Coats throughout
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant.
Quilting- Flowery pantograph on Gamill.

Linking up to the FAL Party…

2015 Finish-Along


Crystal from Raspberry Spool (and Sewvivor alumni like myself) and Linden from Vine Lines Quilting have been working hard to create a year-long sew-along sampler quilt with loads of other quilt bloggers – like me!

Project 48 delivers four 9” blocks each month on a different theme – two traditional and two modern style blocks so you can choose to make tradition or modern or a hybrid of both. The series will be offered free of charge in 2016 to all those who sign up.

Each week, subscribers will receive an email with the instructions to the block and information on the guest contributors – I’m doing a traditional appliqué block in September, Jo Avery is doing the modern variation. Linden and Crystal make the other two blocks in a month.

Membership to Project 48 is free! Go here to sign up!


Back tomorrow with a special gift…

Giveaway winner!

The winner for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day/week has been drawn!



Congrats to Shauna!
Hopefully be back soon with a finished quilt- moving out in three days!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It’s Giveaway Day and I nearly completely missed it! I’m behind on my blog reading, that’s my excuse. This week is my last week at work. I’m emigrating to Canada from here in the UK in a few weeks and moving out of my house in less than two. My sewing machine has sold (I think… yep, it’s off eBay already sorry to those who were here yesterday) and I’m going to be getting on people’s nerves for at least a few weeks while I don’t know what to do with myself and don’t have private space any more.


A hugely unimaginative prize up for grabs – a half yard of each of these Cotton + Steel Backgammon prints by Melody Miller (yep I know I was destashing them only in yesterday’s post).
23548820451_40220df5c8_bI’ll also throw in the December issue of Popular Patchwork magazine. It features my Chandelier quilt pattern…

To enter to win, leave me a comment and for extra entries you can follow my blog, follow me on Instagram (@pennydog) or follow Patterns to Print on Facebook (a project I am helping to work on) and if you do any/all of those things, please leave an additional comment for each one to be entered into the draw. Following me on FB doesn’t count, sorry.

Winner will be drawn the morning of Monday 14th December (GMT) to allow all time zones to have finished their Sundays and get their entries in. International entries welcome.

If you don’t know what to say in your comment, maybe tell me one of your quilting goals for next year.

Go back to Sew Mama Sew here!

One last destash

My sewing machine has gone on eBay today so I needed to take a final sweep of my sewing room and decide if I want to sell anything else. You may get some freebie scraps or threads or whatever sewing paraphernalia I have too!

Let me know in a comment if you’re interested in anything here and if you’re interested in a bunch of stuff I’m sure we can come to a deal. If it comes to over £25 and you’re in the UK (or Channel Islands), I’ll do free postage for you too. Prices displayed don’t include postage.


Straight stitch plate for Husqvarna Viking – fits Opal and Sapphire machines. £6. SOLD

DSCF0410I have two yards of each of these Cotton & Steel prints by Sarah Watts. They are £9 per yard, £4.50 per half yard or £2.25 for a fat quarter. RESERVED


DSCF04081 yard of the blue and 1/2 yard of the pink, also Melody Miller. £9 per yard, £4.50 per half yard or £2.25 for a fat quarter.

DSCF0421Vintage Summer roll of 12 fat eighths. I bought this from Lindsey’s destash last week but decided the colours weren’t really me when it arrived! £10. RESERVED

DSCF0424And a bunch of zips! £3.

DSCF0422These FQs are £2 each. RED WITH PINK DOT SOLD

DSCF0423These FQs are also £2 each but the Amy Butler on the left is a couple of inches short so that one is £1.50. FIRST 3 FROM LEFT SOLD

Some of the FQs are actually bigger than FQ and you will get the lot!

And if you want a sewing machine with an extension table…. well it’s on eBay now!

British Patchwork and Quilting

The current issue of British Patchwork and Quilting features my Dahlia Cushion pattern.

22776971133_aed25b837c_zI made it a while ago but it makes sense to show it now. It features a pillowcase style closure with binding and circle applique. And it will double up nicely as a Christmas present too.

Hello Chevron … And A Giveaway Winner

Well it’s quilted, bound and finally photographed. Here is Hello Chevron in completed glory!


Three charm packs and a couple of years later, it’s all made up but I haven’t decided what to do with it yet, whether it will be a gift, if I’ll submit it to a magazine or put the pattern up on here.


It’s quilted all over with a double swirl with a variegated Aurifil which went better than expected. The bobbin kicked off though when I ran out of Cats Moon and used another thread I thought was similar….. rewound with Coats again and it worked fine!

The backing is a bit of an improv job using some fabrics I had large cuts of. The wadding was a bargain because it had holes in it, but not the bit I needed!


I even labelled it!


Size – 63″ x 72″
Number of blocks – 224 HSTs
Time to make – I lost track! I think the quilting took about 3-4 hours.
Fabric – Charm packs of Hello Chevron by BasicGrey. Plus some solids I’ve forgotten- I think they are Klonas from the feel.
Backing Fabric – Three different things that I don’t know- rubbish aren’t I?!
Binding Fabric – A Riley Blake October Afternoon yellow and a pink mini Pearl Bracelets – FQ of each alternated all the way round.
Threads – Quilting thread is a green variegated 40 weight Aurifil.
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant.
Quilting- Double swirls FMQ

Linking up to the FAL Party…

The other thing to announce is the winner of my pattern. Only eight entries (whaaaat?!)- the winner is entry 7- Alex Fox! I’ll be in touch for an address!

Long arming


On Sunday, I travelled across the country to Telford to rent a long arm machine for a few hours at Penny’s house (see Ginger Patch Crafts website). This was my first go on a long arm machine ever and I was surprised at how easy it was. I really loved stitch regulation, that is so so clever. When you move the machine it knows how fast to stitch based on how quickly you are going so if you stop moving, it stops stitching instead of making loads of tiny stitches on top of one another. If you’re considering getting a long arm, don’t bother unless it has a stitch regulator!

I did a bit of FMQ with the front side of the machine on tester muslin, but decided to go round the back and use a pantograph for my actual quilt top.


Loading a quilt is a bit laborious though, all those pins! We must have used about 80 of them, and my quilt is lap size. You pin the backing to the leaders at the top and bottom, and the top along the top edge too, which takes considerable time, especially since it needs rolling on smoothly. There’s no way I’ll be able to figure it out for myself next time, so I will need to be shown how to do it again.

Just as the top photo was taken the machine threw up an alert and then for a couple of hours we tried to get the tension back to how it was, with no luck. I was the first person to use the machine as the Gamill replaced a Husqvarna Mega Quilter set up only days before and my quilt was the first on it so it wasn’t completely unexpected. Sadly I had to leave it behind on the frame for Penny to finish for me once sorted.

I only did a pantograph pass and a half but I really enjoyed it and I think I was quite good at it. I’m looking forward to getting it back, when the machine is behaving itself! I’ve got plans to rent a machine at a shop when we move, but I’ll need to finish some more tops first!