Mini for Me

On Friday there was a gentle knock at the door just before 9pm. I generally don’t answer the door after tea time unless I’m expecting someone. We had G&Ts and the game Ticket To Ride all over the floor and guessed it was probably some election canvassing so we didn’t answer (and restrained Hank who was very curious and knocked several playing pieces off the board).

A few seconds later there was a shuffly sound, followed by another, followed by another….

It turns out my UK mini swap mini quilt was being hand delivered by Louise!

I had shut off from Instagram for the evening so I hadn’t seen the build up from our swap mama Nina that someone was going to get a delivery this evening, nor had I seen Louise getting closer and closer…

(pics above nicked from @love_vintage_giraffe)

Don’t worry, she was in the area for other reasons and didn’t travel a third of the way across the UK just to deliver a package to the idiot who didn’t even open the door.

Sadly yes, I do still need to Hankproof the bin by hanging it on the wall

So anyway I got a very lovely mini in jewel-ish colors and my favourite, blenders, which is now hanging on the wall. I had to take pictures down to accommodate it, I’m running out of room so I am now on a second wall of minis. The dogs were happy as there were some treats for them and the Rolos made a nice Sunday night treat. Plus I got Paperchase goodies too which are already being put to use, lucky, lucky me!

Dressmaking plans

I actually really really hate cutting out fabric for dress patterns, big pieces of ungainly cloth, crawling around on the floor adding seam allowances, Remembering to leave notches where the darts stop and tailor tack the points etc, etc. But I do enjoy watching fabric go from 2D to 3D and enjoy even more when something fits (I have a 50% success rate this far so it’s always a gamble). I also get frustrated with the instructions sometimes, I’m no candidate for The Great British Sewing Bee, I’d be launching things out of the warehouse window 😉

It may come as a surprise then that I have lots of dressmaking plans all at once.
I bought this Charley Harper knit a while back to make another Lane Raglan top…

I have a pile of brand new Moda cotton (censored wth bobbly sheet as it’s not even been shown to trade yet!) that I am going to make a Round Trip dress out of…

I have a big piece of Lizzy House dinosaurs to make a blouse, the shorter one on this pattern I think…

And I still have this (also Dinosaur) Lewis and Irene print to make some shorts that I was going to make for last summer.

I also have two men’s Primark shirts from eons ago to alter and make into a womanly body shape.

How many of these will get done this year I wonder?!


Should have put this expenditure aside for spending money for our holiday. But that means I don’t need as much cash as I won’t be buying these in North America now, right? Right?

Look at all the pretty! From the ever speedy Pink Castle Fabrics.

This has to be my last treat now for some time, I’ve received news just today that the secret life project is advancing, so I need to be as frugal as possible in terms of food, general living, holidays etc to make the transition an easier process (what is she on about I wonder…?). For those in the know… we are talking months not years now!

I’m pretty sure I have enough stash to keep me going in the meantime, but how many times do we all say that? In my situation now I need to use it or I’ll lose it- therefore two incentives!

Disclaimer: I’m still probably going to buy something at the show this weekend and I’m probably going to buy fabric in Canada this July too. It would be rude to pass Mad About Patchwork and not call in… SorryI’mNotSorry.

Quilt and Stitch Village show starts friday!

Are you going to the Quilt and Stitch Village Show at Uttoxeter racecourse this weekend?

I’m going on Sunday afternoon wearing my reporter hat (note: metaphorical hat) and I’m going to meet up with a couple of people there. If anyone else is around that day I’d love to meet up :)

If you’re going on a different day please keep your eye out for my three exhibits, I believe they got there safely… There are flaws on all three in some way or other (dog bite, bad seam matching and a bit of exposed wadding in the hem), so not really show quality– I’m not expecting to win anything as a result. I enjoyed making them and sharing them though.

In the wallhangings category

In the modern category

In the 3D creation category

Thanks! :)

Stuff’s still going on

I have completed an article, and one of the two class samples, so I’m still on stuff, even if I’ve been reasonably quiet about it. Also Hank’s big face has been basted and I’m going to start quilting it this week.

The class sample I have finished is for the glue stick applique class on the second Saturday in May- I think that makes it 2 1/2 weeks away. I’ve no idea if anyone has signed up for it yet, but this is what we will be making…

The other sample I’m partially through making is a pixel block, it’s a bit of a tedious one.

I got a card through the door today and I know the contents are very exciting….

WIP Wednesday: Frankly, Hank Progress

Flying in the face of quilt show norms seems to be very attractive to me…. or maybe it’s because I can play with my best pal, the Sewline Glue Pen, that’s firing me up? Either way, I’m making quick progress on the Frankly, Hank quilt and steaming through glue pen refills. At Festival this year I will be treating myself to some new applique scissors as I think these ones are nearing retirement.

I know I’ve blogged it a few times around these parts, but I wrote about the process for this quilt over on 52 Quilters as my departing post on Sunday which you might want to take a look at.

And this is what it currently looks like as of this morning (dog included for size perspective)! I’m pretty pleased with it so far, especially since I don’t get a very good idea of how my fabric choices are playing together until the freezer paper gets pulled off. Black is quite difficult shade-wise so he’s looking a bit grey to get the shading in, I still think it’s OK though.


I’ll probably post the progress after this evening’s effort on IG later. He may have two eyes by then.
Linking up to WIP Wednesday.


Behold – the Junk in the Trunk dress!

I did it, oh yeah, just in the nick of time!

Here is the Junk in the Trunk dress for the 3D category at the Quilt and Stitch Village show in all it’s crazy glory.

The competition rules dictated that entries must be three layers and it didn’t say that this was with exception to this category, so I made the dress out of orphan blocks, offcuts and scraps pieced together haphazardly and then quilted it random-graffiti style onto very thin bamboo wadding.

The lining is silky smooth synthetic stuff which should qualify as the third layer and means I wasn’t quilting through to the inside. It was the first time I’ve lined a dress so I’m glad I followed this pattern through the video series.

If this dress is ever washed, it will definitely shrink, I’ve not prewashed anything given its very nature was to use up bits already pieced, etc. This means a cool hand wash only and a crossing of fingers or dry-cleaning. Really though, it’s an art piece.

A close-up of my very first invisible zip…

Size – About an 8 to a small 10.
Time to make– about 10 hours including hand finishing the lining.
Pattern – Angela Kane’s Pinafore Dress.
Fabric – Scraps including Bluebird Park, Lush Uptown, Kona solids, Full Moon Lagoon and many more.
Lining Fabric – Pink synthetic lining fabric, very smooth
Threads – Large cone of Cotton/Polyester blend from Boyes throughout
Wadding – Simply Soft Bamboo Blend
Quilting- Random FMQ!

And nicking some pics off Instagram from the EMMQG meeting where I sucked in my gut and held my breath to fit in it for the only time…

from @kettleboiler

From @marygoffin1

So this and my other two Quilt and Stitch Village entries are on their way in the nick of time. That’s two of my five goals for 2015 accomplished!

Also linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday:

Scraptastic Tuesday

Q2 Finish Along Goals

Well I didn’t do that great last quarter – I finished two of four projects and made a ton of new stuff instead. Naturally then, two of these projects roll over into quarter two’s finish along.

Firstly the Hadley doughnuts are as I left them- one partial block. I would like this to be a quilt but temptation to make something smaller is strong…

And so is the Left-A-Lone Star, naturally, given its name. By the way I’m still hating what my pebble quilting looks like so I think that part of the design is going in favour of more radiating curves…
q2 q1

A couple of new additions this time. I decided to enter Festival of Quilts again this year, so naturally I’m making a big Hankface, which I’ve already named “Frankly, Hank.” Just for a laugh, if I can finish this before 1st May I’m going to enter it into the Quilt Masters/ Art Gallery of Awesome thing they started recently. I’ll need to write some kind of pretentious description for it, like what it’s a metaphor for, rather than I just wanted to blow up my gormless pet’s face because it’s funny (if it gets in I will definitely regret not calling it “Haters Gotta Hate”). Chances are though they will pocket the extra entry money and tell me to do one. What am I saying? Chances are it won’t be finished in time and I’ll be entering it into pictorial quilts and saving myself £12. Either way it will be there at the show.


Also, I want to completely finish my English Country Garden BOM quilt. I need to baste and quilt it before someone beats me to it and before I totally forget about the thing!


With finishing my dress for Quilt and Stitch village and class samples to finish making as well as teaching those classes, I daren’t put anything else on the list, this is plenty optimistic anyway!

Linking up…

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

P.s. I blogged on 52 Quilters today too

A finish: Marquise Bedrunner

I thought you wouldn’t mind too much if I was late with the last BOM post 😉

This quilt was shoehorned into my schedule in February (teaser post here) in order to finish it in time for the current issue of Quilt Now. I only got some quick and dirty snaps before it went in the post!


Katy had a gap to fill in the magazine, so I decided to make this from start to finish in exactly two weeks and take up that spot. It started off as a lap quilt but when arranging the blocks, it worked out as a bed runner for a single bed much better due to the rectangular shape. Another 18 blocks (three columns) and it would easily make a double bed runner!


The original plan was to do a truly stack and whack quilt, cutting all the pieces out first and sewing together like a checkerboard. I didn’t think though that actually this would break up the continuation of the curves, so after a bit of thinking and a bit more testing, I decided to piece a bit first, then cut with the quick curve ruler, then piece again and that worked much better.

I have called this quilt Marquise because of the pointy-oval secondary pattern, I think it looks like the shape of a marquise cut gemstone. The shape of this quilt meant that no backing had to be pieced. I also decided to machine on the binding which has definitely been my most successful machine binding so far if still a little baggy. From now on 2″ binding is me, not 2 1/2″. This seemed to sort out my mitring on my Pancakes quilt too.


Size – 39″ wide x 70″ long
Number of blocks – 42
Time to make– about 16 hours
Fabric – Stash fat quarters and Klona white. It felt good to use up some stash I can tell you!
Backing Fabric – Ikea Smaborre cotton – 2 yards
Binding Fabric – Purple and green stripy one I found in Fabric Guild.
Threads – Pieced with Coats Moon, quilted with Moon in the bobbin and a variegated Anchor Rayon in the top. It didn’t like the thread cutter but gives a nice lustre.
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting- Quick walking foot special. Stitch in the Ditch around the blocks with echo quilting along the curves.


In other news I am the guest poster on 52 Quilters this week, check it out on Instagram.

Also I have my Transparency quilt in the current issue of Popular Patchwork.

English Country Garden BOM – Finishing the Quilt Top

By now you have 12 applique blocks, yes?

No? They are all on Etsy, Payhip and Patterns to Print, but if you’re after the whole set to start at the beginning, keep your eyes out as it will be released some time in April in a format much cheaper than getting them individually and eventually the single blocks will disappear.

So, everyone with 12 blocks! All together they look like this:

And today I’m going to talk us through getting them to look like this:


And tomorrow I’ll go through my ideas for quilting it.

The blocks can be arranged in whatever layout you like, but if you want it to look like mine, you will want four rows of three blocks.

You will need 31x 9 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ background matching strips, 62x 2 3/8″ background matching squares and 16x 4 1/4″ squares of contrasting fabric.
Make a total of 31 pieces

Essentially, the sashing is just a strip of black, or other co-ordinating fabric to match your block fabric choices, book-ended by flying geese. I’m making the flying geese the quick way that makes four at a time and will then mix them up.

DSCF8969Take two background squares and put right sides together in opposite corners of the contrasting fabric square. Draw a line across the squares.

DSCF8971Sew 1/4″ seam either side of the line. Cut down the middle.

DSCF8974Press open with the seams to the background colour.

DSCF8975Align another square to the remaining accent colour corner. Draw a line diagonally as shown and sew 1/4″ either side. Repeat for the other piece.

DSCF8978Cut down the line and press open.

DSCF8982Trim to 2″ x 3 1/2″.

DSCF9006Sew a goose to each end of the strip with the points facing in.

You will need 20x 4 1/4″ squares of contrasting fabrics
Make a total of 20 blocks

The corner blocks are quarter square triangles. Here’s the quick and easy way I made mine.

DSCF8988 Take two squares and position them right sides together. Mark across one of the diagonals.

DSCF8990Sew 1/4″ to either side of the line and cut down the middle to create two HST units. Press seams (preferably open). Repeat to make 10 of these with five pairs.

DSCF8995DSCF8997Aligning the diagonal seams, place two HSTs right sides together, making sure that different fabrics are touching each other. Pick these matches at random, or use the same pair rotated for an hourglass look. Mark across the other diagonal.

DSCF9001Sew either side of the line with 1/4″ seam allowance again and cut down the middle. Press to finish off your corner stone blocks!

Sew a sashing strip between each block, so you will have four rows of block, sashing, block, sashing, block. Press seams.

Sew together five rows for between the block rows, plus one for the top and bottom of the quilt. These go in the order of sashing, cornerstone, sashing, cornerstone, sashing. Press seams.

Sew a thin sashing row to a block row, then another sashing row until the top is all one piece. Align the seams and pin if it helps you to do that. Give it a good press and starch it if you like ready for basting and quilting.

You may also want to go about basting your quilt at this stage if you are keen to get quilting. I’m not going to do mine just yet, but I’ll show you a sketch of some ideas for your quilt tomorrow if you want to custom quilt it. Feel free to straight line it or send it off to a longarmer if that’s more your thing!