Time for a little octopus…

I’ve only got enough wadding for one quilt at the moment and that will be the pancakes quilt when I baste it on the weekend on the big floor. I’ve therefore put the dress on pause just briefly (while I get over the bit of panic that I am actually making this) before getting some more wadding. I’m thinking I may get something super light, like fusible fleece. Actually yes, does anyone know where I can buy that pretty cheaply by the yard/metre?

 I’ve started another project on my list – the Octo quilt – which as a result meant great fun cutting out 3 1/2″ squares in front of the TV last night, catching up with GB Sewing Bee. These go in the centre of the block and the quilt is going to be for the family in Calgary that we are staying with later in the year. I’ve decided to make a feature out of this fun Cotton+Steel octopus print in a few locations in the quilt, maybe one square per row.

The beginnings of a dress…

Patchwork pieces- blurry pictures- check…

Bodice front

Bodice front

Bodice back pieces

Bodice back pieces

Skirt front

Skirt front

Skirt back pieces

Skirt back pieces

Front pockets

Front pockets

Patch pockets, check…


My dress is (almost) ready for quilting! I’ve got lining fabric coming imminently- it’s fuchsia pink, I thought it might be nice to have something a bit zingy as this dress is hardly going to be shy!

Quilt top finished

The top for Pancakes is all pieced, ready for basting this weekend…


Wait a minute…


My progress for Quilt and Stitch Village is going pretty well, I’ve also got a dress in process too, I’ll show you that tomorrow.


I’ve agreed to go to Hannah’s Room in Coalville this Saturday to talk through some possibilities for teaching there, which is a bit scary. I’ve taught a resin class before and I’ve even done one at a school, but never a sewing class formally.

Picture shamelessly nicked from www.hannahsroom.co.uk

I’m going to take a couple of my applique pictorial quilts and offer to teach that as a technique, but what else do you think I could teach? I’m not great at paper piecing or curves just yet, whilst I can do these things, it’s definitely not my speciality. Is there something obvious I’m missing? How about Patchwork Shortcuts- so how to make four flying geese at once, 4 and 8 HSTs, that kind of thing and then maybe a block or two to make up from the assembled parts? Such as this block from ages ago, but in nicer fabrics?

In personal news the other woman I work with handed her notice in at work yesterday. She’s doing that secret thing that I’m also planning on doing! Yeah I know, that’s MY thing! I was floored- she’s even using the same consultant.  They will have known all along that we work together. What are the chances of the one person I work with in a company of 20 with exactly the same plan? She goes in August, and I’ve revealed my plans to her because I really couldn’t hold it in. My boss took it well that she is going which is a great boost to my confidence but will he take it well a second time?! I have a couple of years yet for him to get over it, I guess.

Pluggy pluggy

I’m not sure if I’ve ever really promoted my own website that much. It is kind of an extension of my blog, but in a portfolio-y way. It looks like this…

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On there I have all the magazines (well, not the jewellery ones from ages ago and the one I used to work on) I’ve had tutorials and articles published in, links to my fabric designs and recently I added a page that shows all my show entries, two more will be appearing on this page over the next month or so!

Go check it out here (www.penny-dog.co.uk)

In other news my instant download pattern shops are nearly fully stocked and will have all my BOM blocks uploaded by the time the weekend is up now I know what I am doing and have a system and such. Sorry it took so long to get to that point.
Patterns to Print!

You know, since I’m blatantly self-promoting and everything,

Already wishing for the weekend (and a Hank update)

Hank turns one on Saturday, he’s now on grown-up food and we’ve released him from his “bedroom” pen and let him have the run of the conservatory. Time will tell if this is a terrible idea or not. The time has definitely flown this past 10 months, looking back at photos he was super tiny cute. I bemoan that I miss my little wiggly puppy that I could scoop under one arm and then I remember the interrupted nights of toilet training and my belief that puppies are made cute for survival reasons as they are so incredibly trying right at the start. Still, Hank decided to jump up onto my shoulder and attack my hands whilst out walking yesterday morning on a busy road because he hates my gloves and got overexcited when we had to run across said road, so he’s still immature and embarrassing, even at 23kg. I really must update “his” blog, it’s been a long time, i.e. 6 months! It’s going to be a long post to catch up.

DSCF8693 This weekend it’s EMMQG weekend again, and I’m going to do a bit of a Q&A session on EQ7. I’m by no means an expert but I’ve been using it a couple of years so I think I’m pretty good on the day-to-day stuff.

However, I did design the World’s most complex quilt on it… (I will sew this when I retire)

But my plan other than sitting with my laptop is to start improv piecing some of the odds and sods in my orphan block drawer together to make the top layer of a pinafore dress I am making for the Quilt and Stitch Village show. I’ve decided to call it the “Junk in the Trunk” dress. Here’s some of the candidates though I also have some bee tops that are tempting, but not all my own work. I may throw some new kaleidoscope blocks and HSTs in there if there’s not enough to go on.


I then plan to roughly cut out what I need for the pattern pieces, layer with wadding and thin muslin and baste the layers together as well as cut out the actual pattern pieces. I need to make a lining as I go too, I’ve never made a lining before. This could be the worst idea I’ve had for a quilt show entry, or my best. I thought I might be in with a shout if I picked the least popular category!

The pattern I’m going to try I figured a denim dress would be a similar thickness to a quilted dress… It’s by Angela Kane (UK designer) on the BurdaStyle website

I also need to write two articles this week and finally empty the email folder full of blog comments that I’ve not replied to, I’ve been awful the past fortnight. I appreciate reading them so you deserve replies!

Hopefully this post isn’t too tenuous to link up with Scraptastic Tuesday- for the blocks of course!

Trying something new

No not another sewing project! I’ve turned my hand to a bit of article writing instead of always making projects for magazines. I have another in the queue and one being written (albeit incredibly slowly), but on Friday my very first one will be out!

DSCF8653 DSCF8655

I’m a subscriber to Popular Patchwork so I get my copies early. I can tell you there is a three page spread about the excellent East Midlands Modern Quilt Group in their March issue. It was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever written. If you’re in the East Midlands area you are welcome to come down for a meeting and see if you want to join, our next date is Valentine’s Day! Drop me a line if you want to know more.

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Oh also, yesterday I got some awesome news- I won first place in the Electric Quilt blog’s latest design competition and I’ve won a FQ bundle, jelly roll and charm pack of Moda’s (and most importantly my favourite design house Basic Grey’s) Fresh Cut range that is out imminently, plus an EQ with Me book and a EQ Stash download. Happy me :) I may even use my bundle to make my block I designed into something for real!

Mysterious close-ups


I’m in danger of not blogging over the next week or so while I finish a last minute project and it would be unsporting of me to reveal it just yet. So here’s some mysterious close ups of the fabrics and shapes in the top I’ve been working on this past week and a bit….



It’s been a healthy one this one as it’s used up some FQs in my stash to make room for some more fabric sat around not yet shelved.


Just got to make 12 more blocks, piece together, possibly piece a back depending on what I have, and baste, quilt and bind it, plus photograph more of the process, make templates and write up the tutorial within 10 days! If I go quiet, that is why.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday…

English Country Garden BOM – Block 11 – Marigold

A few hours late but hopefully you will forgive me? This one has quite a lot of pieces and I was out most of the weekend. ;) This pattern is free to download from Craftsy until the next block is issued on 2nd March. Previous templates are available if you missed out, see the bottom of this post or email me for details.

bom-marigold-cover Click here to download

This pattern includes the same instructions for applique as before, and the same instructions as the Fuchsia block for the background, but with new templates for the marigold. The instructions are: turned edge and raw edge machine applique, piecing the improv 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.

We’re nearly there now, just one more block to go and we move on to assembling the top!

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

Because of the whole VAT thing that’s changed in the EU, I have had to adapt the way the BOM works. I can no longer offer the back patterns at $1.50, they are now $2, I hope that’s OK. There will be a discount on the whole BOM when it’s finished but this is still the most economical way to get a block or two if you missed one. This extra cost covers the extra fees I now have to cover as I now offer these patterns for sale in three locations, some taking as much as a 50% cut.

At the time of writing, I’ve still got blocks 1-5 to be uploaded in various places because I am slow and lazy. I will be changing Etsy back to auto download in the coming weeks as they have changed their policy, which is excellent news. So the two sites to pay attention to for back patterns for now are

and Patterns to Print

The free pattern will continue to be available through Craftsy initially but is removed after the free period is over.

New fabrics available on Spoonflower

This time last year (or maybe longer ago than that) I decided I wanted to design a fabric range and pitch it to some fabric companies. I printed samples on Spoonflower and asked a couple of friends for feedback on samples but the colours weren’t as vibrant as I had hoped and then I just lost interest and didn’t send it on as planned.


It’s daft having these files languishing on my computer doing nothing when I spent so long on them so I have tweaked the colours a bit and added them to my Spoonflower shop. Today I’m introducing Envelop, my first actual collection of fabric. It comes in three colourways with feature prints, tiny repeats and a handdrawn look that comes with all of my previous designs. There are 21 prints available (should have been 22 but I neglected to order the aqua check proof oops) to pick and choose from on the theme of ‘real’ post and inspired by security envelope prints.

DSCF8616Get them here.

Who knows, maybe I’ll make another collection when things get a bit quieter again?