A finished quilt!

I set out my goal for this month to get this quilt top transformed into a finished quilt:


Photo from Jo’s IG

I did it!   It was almost too hot for basting but I managed it and also came to the end of a 15 metre roll of wadding!

Summer has arrived and last Friday after school we headed to the beach for a splash in the sea and a BBQ tea. I took the opportunity while dinner was cooking to sew in threads and while the children moved stones around the beach my superb cameraman took some photo’s:

Wonky Cross quilt 2

I got it into my head when we were sewing blocks together that I wanted the back to be a large Wonky Cross:

Wonky Cross quilt 2 - back

I love the idea of having a super large version of the front block on the back. It’s not always easy to do but worth the effort I think!

Wonky Cross quilt 2

This quilt is a wonderful example of people pulling together for a good cause. Susy put a call out on instagram and in the Siblings Together Flickr group for Wonky Cross blocks.  In total we received 211 wonky cross blocks and used every single one of them.  The request was for blue’s – navy, cobalt, denim, persian, azure, royal married with greys, whites, pale blues.  We received one block that was green and even that was used, I sliced it up and added it in to the binding! 

Wonky Cross Quilt - 2

I quilted in straight lines either side of each block seam using a Gutermann variegated cotton 4056 which complimented the variety of blues in the quilt top.

Wonky Cross quilt 2

I machine bound the quilt for speed and durability and I also couldn’t face the thought of sitting on the sofa with a quilt on my lap in the heat of last week! I did miss that slow and steady end to the quilt process though.

Wonky Cross quilt 2

Thanks to everyone who contributed blocks, I think I’ve remembered everyone, apologies if I have missed anyone, there were a lot of you:

joanne333jonesrosedahliathewoolpalaceCarolmochawildchildinspiredbyfelixbrianisthemessiahheartofcharnwoodSue, metroquilterfabricandflowersuk, helenlay82BossyOzimstudioloupetal68moogiemumquiltificationhannlibbothybirdjorobexetersusydunne

Thanks to Emily for allowing us to use her frame to quilt 2 of the quilts.
Thanks to Emma (Brian is the Messiah) for the donation of the iconic Ikea number prints fabric for backing this quilt.

I’m waiting for labels to arrive, once stitched on this will be mailed off with others to the Siblings Together office ready for the summer camps.  73% of siblings in care are separated from at least one brother or sister.  The camps aim to provide adventure and to create memorable and meaningful experiences which sibling groups can share together and cherish forever.  The quilts are given to children to take home at the end of the camp.  

There is an ongoing need for quilts, so if you missed out on contributing to this quilt there will be other opportunities, join the flickr group and offer to make blocks or a whole quilt if you can.

I have another of these to share but that is saved for another day and Susy has one that she is finishing off too.

Quilt Stats:

Pattern: Wonky Cross 9″ blocks
Fabric: a wide variety from stashes in the UK and Europe!
Binding – Scrappy using Bike Path in blue, black and lime green
Backing – Ikea Britten Nummer and Bike Path by Alison Glass in blue
Wadding – Super-Soft 70/30 Eco-Blend by Sew Simple
Quilting – 1/4 both sides of every block
Size – Approx 63″ x 90″

Linking up with:

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Personalised Paper Pieced Pillow

(How fast can you say that?  Actually it’s a cushion but for the purposes of the title…)

It appears as if it’s birthday party season again, invites keep arriving; mostly for the children!  At the end of last week I decided to make a gift for Bethan to take to a party on Sunday.

Boys are trickier to sew for than girls, disagree if you like but please tell me why I’m wrong!  Anyway I thought this boy might appreciated a personalised cushion, so I printed off the letter ‘A’ from the Just My Type pattern and paper pieced it using one of Bethan’s favourite prints which is from Ellen Luckett Bakers Quilt Blocks line.

Paper Pieced Personalised Pillow

I pulled some prints from Mo Bedells Mechanical Genius line and added borders to the 9″ block to make it 16″.

Paper Pieced Personalised Pillow

I quilted in and around the letter and added some more lines on each border, before piecing a zip in to the back (under the light blue flap in case you were wondering) and stitching it all together.

Paper Pieced Personalised Pillow - back

It wasn’t the quickest make in the world but it was a satisfying project to start and finish in a day.  There are at least 2 more party invitations pinned to the calendar and teacher gifts to think about, they won’t all be getting one of these!

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Sunday Stash #11

Oh happy day, today, thanks to Molli Sparkles I have the great glittery honour of hosting Sunday Stash.

If you’re a regular reader you might be aware that I’m all signed up to Fabriholics Anonymous so maybe you’re wondering why on earth I’m hosting Sunday Stash.  I could have used it as a good excuse to buy fabric just for the purposes of this post but I didn’t. For those of you that know me well you’ll probably know that I’m stubborn and once committed to something that is it.

So instead of new fabric I’ve pulled out some gorgeous ones from my stash that remain unused and in the case of charm packs unopened too:

FQ bundle of Novella

I am still pretty smitten by this fat quarter bundle of Novella by Valori Wells, it’s been in my stash for 18 months and it’s probably time I opened it up and sewed something with it. I want to make another plus quilt and think that this might be just perfect for it, however I’m open to suggestions.


Next up are 2 charm packs of Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille, I really like this line and as all I have of it are charm packs I’m waiting for the right project to use them in, they have however been in my stash for almost 2 years!


I also have 2 charm packs of Wishes by Sweetwater, it’s a really cheery line with some lovely text prints in and guess what? I’m waiting for the perfect project for them!


There has been one sewing related item enter the house this week, not fabric but a book; Little One Yard Wonders sent to me by Storey Publishing for review.  There are a stack of gorgeous projects in there (101 to be precise) I’m pondering which to make first and for who I have already started cutting out a pair of shorts for my middle child! 


I’ve rifled through my stash of fabric, notions and patterns and come up with a bunch of items to give away to one lucky Sunday Stash linkerupper (yes that is now a real word):


There are 2 quarters of some of my favourite Jay McCarroll prints from his Garden Friends line, a fat quarter of Quilt Pirates by Michael Miller, a quarter of Alexander Henry Home Sewing is Easy comic strip print and the spools print.  The winner will also receive 2 yards of tape measure twill ribbon, a new, unused Steam Punk quilt pattern by Jen Kingwell and a packet of fabric grips which are wonderfully useful for sticking on the back of your rulers to stop them slipping around while you’re cutting!  The giveaway is open to anyone linking up below wherever you may be in the world.  I’ll use RNG to select a winner and announce it in a weeks time.

Now, show us your fabrics/notions!

1. Link up a blog post welcoming any new sewing supplies to your stash.

2. If it is fabric from your existing stash that you’ve showcased before, please use new photos with as much natural light as possible, and provide as many manufacturing details about the fabric.

3. Please try to leave a comment on at least two other links. We want this to be a safe space for sewing supply collectors, after all!

4. Grab the button, and proudly proclaim you endorse Sunday Stashing!

Molli Sparkles

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All Shirt Swap

I had a message yesterday to let me know that my shirts had arrived safely with Lee for the All Shirt Swap. I didn’t send all of these, I couldn’t bear to part with them all:


So I’m eagerly waiting to see what gorgeous shirts fly back to me.  I believe that there is going to be a 3rd round so there is still a chance to join in.


Pop back on Sunday when I’m hosting Sunday Stash and will have a little giveaway to celebrate.

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Ta daaaa!

At last I can share with you the finished quilt I made as a gift for my brother and his wife to celebrate their marriage.

I’ve been going on about it since January, it felt all consuming, it really was my main focus for almost 4 months so please excuse my excitement at finally showing you the finished quilt.

There are posts about it here, here, here, here, and here.  Like I said I did go on about it!

Any way the other weekend the newly weds visited so I was able to hand over the quilt, I hadn’t wanted to share photo’s before as Imogen said she wanted to see it for real first.

We had taken it to the beach with us at the beginning of April for a photo shoot:



I quilted approximately 1/4″ either side of each seam line, it’s a big quilt and really quite heavy so there was no way I was going to attempt anything fancy!  You can see the quilting here:


I ordered extra fabric for the binding as I’d decided I didn’t want it scrappy:


It was a big quilt to photograph:


I wanted to make this extra special so decided to paper piece their names and the date of the wedding in to the back.  I used Quiet Play’s Just My Type Uppercase, Lowercase and Numbers and Punctuation patterns (available in her Craftsy store).  Originally I was going to use a mix of fabrics for the text but I’m glad I didn’t, some of the prints have quite a bit of white in them and I think that the text might not have been so clear:

Paper pieced letters and numbers

I ordered 2 metres of the backing fabric which is extra wide at 108″ and had just enough for the paper piecing back ground and the backing. Quilt maths is often tricky but it’s great when you get it right and have little fabric left.


All rolled up and ready to gift:


So did they like it? Oh yes (phew), David even said it was worth getting married for! I’m assuming that it isn’t the only good thing about getting married!

Quilt Stats:

Pattern – adaptation of Gaggle of Geese by Jeni Baker in Issue 3 of Love Patchwork and Quilting
Fabrics – Tule by Leah Duncan (I used some of every print) which I bought specifially for this.  Also a few prints from Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker, Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House and some solids and spots from my stash. Background of geese is Kona Snow
Binding – Windmarks in Mirage from Tule
Backing – Widescreen – Grey by Carolyn Friedlander
Wadding – Super-Soft 70/30 Eco-Blend by Sew Simple
Quilting – 1/4 both sides of every block
Size – Approx 80″ x 90″


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A goal for June – #ALYoF

At the end of April I along with Susy and Jo stitched together a pile of Wonky Cross blocks that had been made by the lovely people of instagram and flickr to make quilts for Siblings Together.  We made 3 quilt tops.

In May Susy and I made a trip to Emily’s and we quilted one of them, I took it home and stitched on the binding, I’ll share photographs of it in another post.

Susy and I both have one top each to baste, quilt and bind.  Mine has been sitting for a few weeks waiting patiently, I’ve cleaned the kitchen floor twice in preparation to baste it and neither time has it been done!

I’m not going to FQR this year but would love to be able to send a box of quilts to be handed over to Delma from Siblings Together so I really need to get this done.

So that is my goal for June, if nothing else happens this needs to be finished ready to be given to a child on the summer camps that Siblings Together run.


Photo from Jo’s IG

Feel free to nag me, follow my progress on Instagram and check back to see if I’ve met my goal at the end of June.

Linking up with:

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A birthday bag

My wonderful husband celebrated a big birthday in May. On his birthday last year he was diagnosed with Coeliacs disease so I wanted to make sure that this year was a lot better!

I love to give handmade gifts if I know they will be appreciated (yes I’m shallow like that, unappreciated gifts I feel are a waste of my time!).  I asked Tobit if there was anything he would like me to sew for him and didn’t get much of a response.

So I decided to make him a Cargo Duffle, the pattern is by Anna of Noodlehead and produced for Robert Kaufman, you can find a copy of the pattern here.  I’ve used a number of Anna’s patterns before and love the bags that I have made with them so felt sure this would be another winner and I could make it masculine.

Architexture Cargo Duffle

The pattern instructions are only 6 pages long and assume an amount of sewing knowledge and experience, e.g. quilt-as-you-go.  However as time was on my side I did some searching to see how others had sewn the same bag and read their experiences.  I ended up creating a Pinterest board with all the useful posts I found on sewing the duffle.  The most useful was a sew along series by Sophie Crespy on her blog.

I already knew what prints I would use:

Architexture FQ bundle

My hoarded, uncut, collection of Architextures which Tobit had admired since the day it arrived.  Without telling him why I asked him to pick out some favourite prints, although I must admit I did direct him slightly to make sure it fitted with my plan!

For the bottom gusset and exterior bottom accent I bought a pair of jeans from the charity shop and cut them up. I didn’t have quite enough denim left for the length of both handles which was really annoying and I was worried that joining 2 pieces together would create too much bulk but after a good pressing it worked fine with the use of a denim needle and walking foot.

The zip gusset and interior is Comma in Swinging Slate by Zen Chic and works well with the Architexture which was a bit of a relief because I didn’t have anything else that was remotely suitable and long enough.

I also had time to order some nice zips and snaps for the pockets.  The zips came from here, (and if you want latex rubber they sell that too!) and the snaps from here.  I will admit to being a little nervous about fixing the snaps on, but I left it until I was home alone and could concentrate on the job in hand and all but one went on perfectly.

Architexture Cargo Duffle - pocket detail

The troublesome one I think just slipped a little and somehow tore the fabric, but I did a little fix with some interfacing and unless it was pointed out I don’t think you would notice as it’s on the pocket rather than the flap so not really seen!

Architexture Cargo Duffle - pocket detail

I added an exterior zip pocket:

Architexture Cargo Duffle - exterior zip pocket detail

Again I had planned to do this so the zip matched the main one, I did have trouble finding 2 zips that matched that were the right length for this!

Architexture Cargo Duffle - exterior zip pocket detail


The pattern doesn’t have a lining but binding on the seams, I used this tutorial to add a lining which meant I could add an interior pocket:

Architexture Cargo Duffle - interior zip pocket detail

I took great pleasure in creating this bag, having time to add touches that would be useful was fun. However, nowhere did I find any mention of anyone having a problem inserting the side panels into the gusset. I had a nightmare with them, I measured and remeasured to make sure I hadn’t gone wrong somewhere, no my measurements were as the pattern but I really struggled to get the sides stitched in neatly once the top and bottom were in. I think I spent a whole day while the children were all at school stitching and unpicking this stage! But it was worth it!

Architexture Cargo Duffle

The children and I had fun filling the duffle with 39 other gifts and I’m pretty sure he had a great birthday!  He’s going away for work this week so I’m expecting to see this used for the first time – no pressure ;-)

Thanks to Anna for a great free pattern and to everyone who has shared their experience of making this bag it really helped.  I’d like to make another one…

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Bee blocks for May and June!

A quick catch up on bee blocks. May was Nicky’s month, she had chosen Mixed Bag for her fabrics and a modified nine patch for her block.  Nicky wanted to be sure of the layout so very kindly had cut all the fabric for us and all we had to do was stitch it together!

May blocks for Siblings Together bee

I’m looking forward to seeing this finished with such great fabrics. Thanks very much to Moda for sponsoring this bee.


So we’ve come to the end of the year of this bee.  We’re carrying on into another year, with some new bee members and working from our stashes.

June is Jo’s month and while yes, it is still May she has been quick off the ball with her blocks so I’ve made mine too:

June bee blocks for #STQB

Jo asked for scrappy with a low volume background, so I had fun pulling from my scraps boxes. I used the Rocky Mountain Puzzle tutorial which was straight forward but I did cut my squares for the HST’s at 3″ and trimmed them down once made.

My month in this bee is September and I’m already making plans!

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ALYoF – May complete

At the beginning of the month I set out a goal to make a vintage sheet quilt top.  At that point I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do but after looking through my stash of vintage sheets it became obvious.  I had a stack of strings:

stack of strings

And a huge bag full of more offcuts:

bag of strings

Oh and there was a whole drawer full too! So I decided that the most efficient and economical thing to do would be to make a string quilt.

So within a week I had blocks that looked like this:

Vintage Sheet string blocks

Another week on and there were more (all blocks are paper pieced):

Vintage Sheet String Blocks (paper pieced)

At which point I had to decide how big to make the top and how many more blocks I needed.  I decided on a layout of 7 x 6 blocks (total 42).

Vintage sheet string quilt top

An attempt to take a photo of the finished top in the garden, it was a bit blustery and there is a large stack of bricks preventing a smooth drop:

Vintage sheet string quilt top

I’m not sure what the pirate was up to, maybe he was in awe of the beauty he saw!  But anyway the top is finished which was my aim so I’m rather delighted.  It was great to sew together, I randomly pulled strips, there was no planning of any of the blocks and minimal planning to the layout.

I’ve put some packs of strips for sale in my etsy shop so you can make your own, the listing suggests a minimum of 21 different prints in each pack but I think there must be 40 in this quilt top (I used approximately 1 1/2 packs to make this top).

Vintage sheet string quilt top

So another goal complete and there appears to be no less fabric in my stack of vintage sheet offcuts!  Now there is the small matter of basting, quilting and binding!

Linking up with:

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A thank you gift

I don’t have many WIP’s (work in progress) but last August I joined in the Star Surround QAL hosted by Melissa.  I loved the pattern and I’ve participated in Melissa’s QAL’s before and they are so well organised that I wanted to join in again.  The only problem was that it was school holidays, our building work had finished but chaos still ensued and I was really not well (not that I realised that quite how bad that last bit was until later and was diagnosed with Coeliacs Disease in October).

So rather than making a whole quilt I made just one block.  I used some Cuzco prints by Kate Spain from a fat quarter bundle I won from Fililis along with Kona Snow (I think).

Anyway it wasn’t a huge piece of work and it has hung on the wall of my sewing room since August!

Star Surround QAL completed top

You may have seen me mention if you follow me on IG the workshops that I’ve been teaching recently, they’ve been organised by my lovely friend Rachel and she has hosted them at her house.  They have been great fun, with a lovely group of ladies of different sewing abilities and experiences.  It has been wonderful for me to teach and inspire them and I wanted to thank Rachel for giving me the opportunity so one day last week I turned this block into a cushion cover:

Star Surround Cushion

I seem to remember Rachel admiring the block when she was commissioning me to make a drumstick case for her daughter, in fact she ended up choosing some Cuzco to use in the case:

Drumstick case

I put an almost invisible zip in the back:

Star Surround Cushion - back

I’m hoping she likes it!

Star Surround Cushion

The workshops have certainly given me the confidence to plan some more teaching and now, unlike last August I have a lot more energy to be able to actually teach rather than just think about it! So if you’re local and looking for sewing workshops please do contact me.

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