My Patchwork Blog

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August - July 2018

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Thursday 27th February
I have a quilt pattern in this month's British Patchwork and Quilting magazine. The quilt is called Spring Greens and uses a variety of blue/green fabrics from the Makower Spraytime collection. It would work just as well though in a scrappy palette of fabrics so would be a good scrap buster. I am hoping for some spring like weather soon to match the quilt!

Sunday 23rd January
I had a lovely day at Fabric HQ in Stoke Mandeville yesterday teaching my Floating Triangles workshop. This quilt is a pattern from my book Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts. It is a great stash buster and really works well with a variety of colours and some solid background fabric. Here is a little snapshot of some work in progress and you can see the variety of fabrics used:

Wednesday 19th February
I made these two bags for Makower Fabric Company for the Stitches trade show in Birmingham to be displayed on the Makower stand showcasing new fabric lines. The bags have been made in the Scandi range of fabrics which is a Christmas range due out later in the year. The first bag is a shopping tote with detachable zippy pouch while the second is a messenger bag. Both patterns are on the Makower website and are free to download so do take a look.

Sunday 16th February
The Stitch Festival is being held at the Business Design Centre in Islington London from the 27th February to the 1st March. I am teaching a number of workshops there on the Friday and Saturday. On Saturday I am teaching an early bird workshop on Foundation Piecing a Village at 9am. This takes place before the show opens and anyone attending gets a small breakfast and then direct entry into the show when it opens at 10am. If you are interested in this workshop, it can be booked on the Stitch Festival website.

Sunday 16th February
Over the past few days I have been teaching several classes. On Thursday evening I taught an Inchie Mosaic workshop to Ferrers Quilters. These are small textile mosaics using one inch pieces of felt which are then embellished with all sorts of different things. It is such fun finding tiny things to stitch on to the mosaics. Here is some work in progress from the evening:

On Friday I spent the day with Ferrers Quilters teaching my Scrappy Hearts quilt. What an ideal project to work on on Valentines Day. These blocks work with any colour way and it was lovely to see the different ranges of fabrics that the students were working with. Lots of variety. Thank you for your hospitality and all the cake! I hope that you enjoyed your day.

Finally yesterday I was back at Just Between Friends Quilt shop teaching my Walk the Walk workshop on quilting with the walking foot. This workshop is really popular at the moment. Here is a little work in progress:

If you are interested in taking this workshop on quilting with the walking foot I am next teaching it on April 19th at FBL Quilting in Harlow, Essex. Please contact them directly if you are interested. It is a full on, one day course where we work on a number of techniques.

Wednesday 12th February
Here is a lovely finish from Deborah. She came to my Cathedral Window workshop at Tudor Rose Patchwork shop last year. Deborah's cushion has been stitched in a delightful blue colourway where the light windows contrast effectively with the navy background. Well done for getting your cushion finished and sharing it with us. Thank you.

There is a small textile exhibition at The Courtyard Arts Centre in Hertford which runs throughout February. Courtyard Arts is in the middle of Hertford and a short walk from the town centre.

The exhibiton is called Fragments and showcases work from eight textile artists. Each artist has interpreted the theme in a different way.

It is a small exhibition with many varied pieces but it is worth a visit. Here is some info about the eight artists and the theme of the exhibition.

Sunday 9th February
Pat came on the Triple Triangles workshop that I was teaching for Warley Childerdash Quilters early in January. She has gone on to finish her blocks and stitch them together in a quilt top. I think that she must have been sewing non stop since then! I love the way that Pat has arranged her blocks so that the colours flow through the quilt. Thank you so much for sharing your quilt with us.

Wednesday 5th February
In August I will be teaching at Elm Farm Studio in Colchester. Elm Farm is a lovely, bright purpose built studio owned and run by Alex Waylett. There are a huge number of courses run there by both Alex herself and a variety of guest tutors including various textile arts, embroidery, dressmaking, painting, printing and many more.

The studio has wonderful light and great facilities with a lot of inspirationl textile work on the walls. Classes have a maximum number of nine students.

I will be teaching two workshops in August. Each workshop is a day class. The first will be my Walk the Walk workshop which is all about quilting with the walking foot.

The second workshop focuses on the technique of Cathedral Window.

If you are interested in attending a workshop do take a look at Alex's website for further details and dates.

Sunday 2nd February
Can't believe that it is February already. How did that happen? Yesterday I taught a workshop for Dunstable Quilters. The workshop is called Strips that Sizzle. It is a great workshop for using up fabric scraps or fabrics in one colour way. This is my quilt which I made entirely from scraps of red fabrics:

Everyone on the workshop worked with fabrics in a variety of different colourways and it was great to see how the quilts evolved over the day. Here are just a few photos of work in progress:

I am so looking forward to seeing the finished results. Thank you also to Janet who brought back her completed Bucket Bag to show me which she started at workshop with me last year. Love the nautical theme and those handles are wonderful!

Wednesday 29th January
Next month I am teaching a workshop making a scrappy hearts quilt. I made this quilt in 2011, so quite some time ago using lots of checks, plaids and country type prints.

I still love the quilt - it is soft and cosy and I like the pattern however I decided to make a block in a completely different fabric range to see what it looked it. Here it is in Japanese type prints and doesn't it look really different?

I am so looking forward to seeing the fabric choices that the students make on the day and the different effects that this will create.

Sunday 26th January
The Stitch Festival (formerly The Knitting and Stitching Show) is being held at the Design Centre in Islington, London from Thursday February 27th to Sunday 1st March. I have two tickets to give away valid for entry on Thursday, Friday or Sunday. To be entered into the draw to win the tickets visit Janetpatch1 on instagram; like the post and tag a friend. Draw closes on Thursday 30th January at 7pm. Good luck.

Thursday 23rd January
Here is a quilt top finish from Michelle. Michelle came to the Tropical Blooms workshop that I taught for Pier Patchers in Southend in November. She has finished her quilt top and it looks just stunning. I love the beautiful fabrics that she has used which are just perfect for this design. Thank you so much for sharing your quilt with us Michelle.

Monday 20th January
Yesterday I taught a workshop at FBL Quilting in Harlow Essex called Walk the Walk. This workshop explores the use of the walking foot for quilting and during the day we cover lots of techniques that can be used to quilt those quilt tops. The students work to make a set of samples and here is some of their work in progress:

The workshop came about because I love to make quilt tops but always found that I couldn't quilt the tops quick enough by hand and quilting in the ditch really didn't do it for me so now all of my quilts are quilted with the walking foot in a variety of ways. Thank you to everyone who attended, I hope that you enjoyed your day. Here are another couple of photos of work in progress:

Thursday 16th January
I have just finished making this beach bag for Makower Fabric Company. The bag uses their forthcoming Sail Away fabric range which I understand is being shipped to shops shortly. The bag is very roomy, has metal bag feet and a magnetic clasp and lined with Bosal foam to make it sturdy. The bag also has a detachable zippy pouch which is secured to the lining via a strap with a swivel clip. The pattern can be found on the Makower website as a free download. This version has fabric handles but can also be made with rope handles. I so love this beach hut fabric and can see me making one for myself!

Saturday 11th January
Today I have been teaching my Triple Triangles Quilt Workshop at Warley Childerdash Quilters in Essex. The quilt is made up of triangles of varying sizes and each block in the quilt has small, medium and large triangles. It was a very productive day and here are some photos of work in progress:

The blocks can be stitched together in a variety of ways so you can see here some of the settings. Thanks very much for your hospitality and hard work today ladies - I am looking forward to seeing the finished results.

Thursday 9th January
Using all the improv techniques that I have been exploring I have put them together to make a cushion. I have used some lovely green hand printed fabrics from Karen Lewis and combined them with some light and dark grey fabrics. As you can see the cushion has improv squares, triangles, stripes and curves.

I have finished the cushion with some wavy line quilting with the walking foot and a green binding.

I will be teaching these techniques and this cushion project in April at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex. Do contact the shop directly if you would like to come along.

Sunday 5th January
Here is a lovely quilt made by Pippa from one of my patterns. This pattern is called "There Always Has To Be One" and refers to the pink elephnat amongst all the grey ones. The elephants are appliqued to the background fabric and then surrounded by lots of flying geese. Pippa made this for her neice for Christmas. What a beautiful gift - I hope that she loves it!

Thursday 2nd January 2020
Happy New Year everyone. I hope that you are looking forward to the year ahead and have lots of stitchy projects planned or perhaps lots of projects to finish.
I have been working on some improvisational piecing recently and putting together a class where I will teach the various techniques. I have been having fun with triangles

and also with curves:

I think that the curves are my favourite so far. There are so many variations and it is such a freeing technique.

Sunday 29th December
I wanted to share a couple of things with you today. The first is a new book. Modern Quilt Bible has been written by Elizabeth Betts and has just been released. Liz Betts is a hugely talented quilt maker, speaker and technical editor. I am so looking forward to dipping into this book.

The book is divided into 2 halves. The first half focusses on design and ideas for modern quilting with accompanying projects while the second half focuses on technique. The book is beautifully illustrated with so much detail. This was a Christmas present to me from me!

Secondly I wanted to share a finish with you. This is a baby quilt with matching pouch that I made for my nephew and his partner. Now that I have gifted it I can show you.

A really simple design using an elephant print with some plain fabrics. I quilted it on the diagonal and finished it with an inner and outer border. The zippy pouch had just enough room to fill with baby wash, wipes and nappy bags. I hope that it will be well used.

Sunday 22nd December
A bit of a random group of things to share today. The first is an Inchie Mosaic stitched by Bev. Bev took a class with me at The Knitting and Stitching Show and started her mosaic in the workshop. She has gone on to finish it and has sent me a photo. Thanks for sharing this with us Bev and great that you got it finished. Beautiful stitching.

These photos show my effort for the Mead Quilters Xmas challenge. We were each given a small bag of scraps and had to stitch something from the scraps, using all the bits and pieces.

It was a very random bag as you can see with some half square triangles, lace, beads, thin strips and a mixture of fabrics. I turned mine into a fabric storage basket. There were over 30 entries on the night with some very imaginative items being presented.

Thursday 19th December
I have been collecting fabric selvedges for ages and it has been really good to put a dent in the stash by making this Port Hole Bed Topper. The bed topper (or could be used as a table runner) is featured in this month's Quilt Now magazine, Issue 71. I have used a soft grey fabric that has a little sheen to it for the background. The port holes feature the selvedges and I have added some strips of fabric between the port holes for focus. Although it is presented as a topper in the magazine, it could be customised to make cushions, quilts or smaller projects. It was such fun to look back at all the selvedges and try and remember which project I used the fabric in!

Sunday 15th December
Hertford town centre has been yarn bombed once again by The Secret Society of Crafters. Every year they come up with an imaginative way to yarn bomb the town while raising money for charity. This year it is a giant Advent Calendar Tree. Surrounding the tree are lots of knitted buildings. Each building represents a business in the town centre. It is such a great centre piece for the town while raising much needed funds for Herts Young Homeless.

Wednesday 11th December
These photos are from a series of four workshops that I taught in Harlow at FBL Quilting. I called the workshops "Ready Steady Christmas". Over four weeks we stitched fabric storage baskets, a patchwork hot water bottle cover, a stitchery cushion and some felt tree decorations. A great group of very industrious students who completed all their projects, so thank you ladies and well done.

Sunday 8th December
Thought that I would share some work from students in recent workshops. The first photos are from a workshop that I taught for Pier Patches in Southend. We were working on a Tropical Blooms quilt. This quilt features big appliqued flowers surrounded by strip piecing. It is a great project for using large scale fabric prints. Lots of blocks here; some with strips and some without.

The next photos are from a workshop that I taught at the shop Fabric HQ in Aylesbury. In this workshop we were making patchwork teddy bears. Each bear uses a variety of fabric, is stuffed really firmly and finished with cute littles eyes and a nose. Such a range of fabrics were used by the students ranging from soft florals, Christmas prints to babygrows. These bears are almost finished. A couple are missing their eyes but are almost there:

Wednesday 4th December
I recently taught a workshop at Tudor Rose Patchwork in Bedfordshire. We were working on the Cathedral Window technique and making a cushion. I always enjoy seeing the fabric combinations chosen and everyone worked with a different colour selection of fabrics. Here is some work in progress from the students:

I am looking forward to seeing the completeded cushions ladies so do please send a photo when you are finished. Thank you for such an enjoyable day.

Sunday 1st December
Gosh is it December already? Where is the time going? I have now finished teaching all my workshops for the year so will share some of the work from my recent classes over the next week or so. It is time now to work on some magazine commissions and new workshops for next year. First a little fabric purchase:

I bought these from Stitch and Knit, a lovely independent shop in Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire. I have also added a plain white for the background and perhaps now need to collect some green and co-ordinating fabrics? I have a project in mind so hopefully can get started soon.
Here is a photo of some some samples from my workshop on quilting with the walking foot which I recently taught at FBL Quilting in Harlow, Essex. I am back there on January18th to teach the workshop again so if you want to join me please contact FBL Quilting directly.

Have a good week everyone. Don't forget the draw for my latest book on instagram. See the details below.

Thursday 28th November
I have a draw for a giveaway on my instagram account for a copy of my latest book "Weekend Makes Simple Applique".  Visit Janetpatch1 on instagram and follow the instructions to enter. The draw closes at midnight UK time on Tuesday 3rd December. Good luck.

Sunday 24th November
I have a pattern in this month's Patchwork and Quilting magazine. It is for a small Christmas wall hanging featuring three different Christmas trees. The trees are appliqued to the background, finished with some holly leaves and embellished with buttons. A pretty quick make and easily finished in time for Christmas.

Wednesday 20th November
I have been saving my off cuts of fabric selvedges for ages and have a huge bag. I have been waiting for the right project to come along and decided last week that it was time to start using them up.

I added some plain lilac and purple fabric which I have used as a foundation. Here is some work in progress:

It was a trip down memory lane looking at all the strips and remembering which project I used the fabric in. The blocks have all come together to make a cushion.

Sunday 17th November
I have been teaching a Christmas class at FBL Quilting in Harlow, Essex called Ready Steady Christmas. The class takes place over 4 afternoons and in the first session we made fabric storage baskets. These can be used for gifting, storage for cosmetics, stationery, sewing item etc. Here are a selection of completed baskets made by the students:

The good thing about these baskets is that they can be finished very quickly so are ideal for gifts.

Wednesday 13th November
It is always lovely to see projects finished that were started in workshops. Here are two finished projects from Karen. The first is 'Hearts and Stars in the Garden'. This quilt combined applique and piecing and was a lot of work. The little border that has the small flowers was extremely time consuming. Karen's quilt looks fabulous in the red/ green colourway.

Karen's second quilt is a much quicker make called 'Ladders'. This is a quilt made from a jelly roll and some background fabric. Karen has stitched this in Christmas fabrics so she is now ahead of the game and ready for the festive season! Thanks so much for sharing your projects with us Karen - great work.

Sunday 10th November
I have a Christmas project in Quilt Now magazine this month. The magazine contains a variety of projects to stitch for Christmas in addition to a supplement featuring star blocks.

The project that I have designed is for a quilt and also a cushion. They are made in the Festive range of fabrics from Makower which combines red, green and soft grey fabrics. The quilt is a court house step type block sticthed in 2 variations while the cushion is just one block so really an afternoon make.

Thursday 7th November
I have been teaching my Bucket Bag workshop at FBL Quilting. I love seeing the variety of fabrics and colour combinations that students use. These bags are almost finished with most of them just needing their handles attaching. (They are pinned on for the photos!)

Sunday 3rd November
Yesterday I taught a class at Just Between Friends quilt shop. We were working on a Christmas table runner. A bit early for the C word but in order to get it finished in time for the big day we needed to start it now! Here is my runner:

The runner has pieced blocks set on point with some appliqued holly leaves. Lots of little triangles which were tricky to piece accurately but when completed looked great. Here is some work in progress:

Looking forward to seeing them finished. Thank you everyone for working so hard. I hope you enjoyed your day.

Wednesday 30th October
I can finally share a photo of a small quilt that I made for the Quilter's Guild auction sale. The Quilters Guild asked several quilters to make and donate a small quilt. These quilts were for sale at The Knitting and Stitching Show in London and the reamining quilts will be sold at the show in Harrogate. The quilts were on display and the maker of each was not revealed until the quilt was purchased. All quilts were sold for £75 each with the money going to support activities for young quilters. My quilt was sold so I can now share a photo of it with you. I do hope that whoever purchased it enjoys it.

Sunday 27th October
I have a giveaway on my Instagram account. The giveaway is for the fabrics, wadding, hardware and pattern to make this Indigo Tailored Cloth Messenger bag. The kit includes all four fabrics to make the bag kindly supplied by Makower fabrics. Find me on Instagram at janetpatch1 and follow the instructions to enter. Closes on Thursday 31st October at midnight UK time.

My appearance on Sewing Quarter went by so quickly. The presenter John and I spent time talking about the new book and showing some of the projects. I then demonstrated the various techniques for applique and made a quick hot water bottle cover. While there I signed 300 copies of my book so I spent a long time buried behind the book mountatin and definitely needed a big coffee by the time I was finished.

The book is available on line from Sewing Quarter, Amazon and GMC. It will soon be in shops too!

Wednesday 23rd October
My latest book "Weekend Makes - Simple Applique" is launching on Sewing Quarter tomorrow at 10am. Sewing Quarter is on Sky 687 or Freeview 73. I will be sharing some of the projects from the book and demonstrating how to stitch up a quick make. Hope that you can join me.

Sunday 20th October
Yesterday I taught a class at Just Between Friends quilt shop. We were working on curved piecing and the orange peel block. For years I avoided anything with a curved seam but there are some tips and techniques that definitely make this block so much easier and once I had mastered them it was great to be able to pass them on to the students in the class. Here is my quilt:

Here is some work in progress from a very industrious class of students each working with an individual colourway of fabrics. Some students are piecing their blocks together in a traditional way while some are making all the individual units and then will put them together in a more improvisational way. Thank you ladies. I hope that you enjoyed the day.

Wednesday 16th October
In November on Tuesday afternoons I will teaching at FBL Quilting in Harlow Essex. These classes will be all about Christmas. We will be making fabric storage baskets, a festive hot water bottle cover, a cute little reindeer stitchery cushion and some decorations for the tree. There are still some spaces available so if you are interested please contact for further info.

I have been working on a quilt using Makower's Spraytime range of fabrics. I am using the blue and green fabrics with some white background. Lots of work in progress at the moment!

Sunday 13th October
I have spent two days teaching workshops at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in North London. The show was fabulous with lots to see. I always love the beautiful stained glass window in the main hall:

As you enetered the show there was a display of knitted yurts. They were huge and there were several in different colourways. I loved this orange one:

This gallery really caught my eye. It was full of wooly sculptures by Katherine Kaufman; The Woolly Queen.

The Quilters Guild had a mystery exhibition of small quilts. Each quilt was for sale for £75 with funds going to support young quilters and the education programme. The maker of each quilt was not revealed until the quilt was purchased. What a wonderful display and I could see plenty of purchases being made. I may have made a quilt for this and you may be able to see it in this photo!

Finally here is some work in progress in one of my workshops. We were making Inchie Mosaics:

Wednesday 9th October
I have just returned from visiting family in New Zealand so it has been quiet on the blog front for a couple of weeks. I spent time in Napier which is a small city that has many Art Deco influeneces. You can see these influeneces in the architecture, decoration, sculptures and even drain covers. Here are just a couple of photos:

I also spent a few days in Mount Maunganui which has the most beautiful sandy beach that goes for miles. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so good with quite a bit of rain but I did manage an early morning walk around the Mount with its moody view out to sea:

On my last day I found a patchwork shop tucked away off the main road with lots and lots of fabric. I bought these two fabrics which are from a New Zealand company called Nutex. They have quite a retro look about them so I now need to decide what to make with them. I think they need an olive green fabric to lift the grey.

My visit went way to quickly so I am now home and preparing for teaching at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally this weekend.

Tuesday 24th September
This quilt has been made by Pam using one of my patterns. It uses a jelly roll, layer cake and some background fabric. I love the way Pam has used the contrast between the background fabric and the prints. So effective with that organic wavy line quilting. Thanks for sharing your lovely quilt with us Pam.

It will be a little quiet on the blog over the next two weeks as I am visiting family in New Zealand.

Sunday 22nd September
It is always good to push your comfort zones a little and I have been trying a little improv piecing. I started with this selection of fabrics:

I then used the fabrics to make some little squares by cutting the fabrics in varying widths and using them in a log cabin type way. I trimmed all the squares to the same size.

I then added some grey fabrics and stitched the squares into stripes of light and dark grey, varying the position of the squares. I quilted the quilt with some wavy line quilting with the walking foot.

Finished quilt. Just stitching on the binding.

Thursday 19th September
A new patchwork, quilting, knitting and crochet shop has opened in Hertfordshire in Brookmans Park. It is called "Knit and Stitch". The shop is situated with other small independent shops with a cafe next door and parking outside. There is a lovely range of fabrics available with lots of Christmas prints for those who would like to get started on their Christmas projects in addition to bright modern fabric ranges.

There are yarns and wool for knitting and crochet as well as haberdashery items. It is a small shop, however it is packed with lots of supplies with a very friendly and knowledgeable owner. A programme of classes has been planned and on the day that I was there a crochet workshop was about to start. If you are nearby, do take a look and support a new independent business. I came away with some lovely plain grey linen effect fabric (it is on the counter in the photo) and will be back for further supplies.

Sunday 15th September
I have just added some additional workshops to this term. I will be teaching as a guest tutor at FBL Quilting in Harlow, Essex. FBL Quilting is a studio run by Becky Preen. Becky offers a range of classes from regular weekly sessions to one day workshops, teaching patchwork and quilting, dress making and jewellery making. Do check out her website I will be teaching the following classes:
Bucket bag - One day class Sunday 3rd November

Walk the Walk - Machine quilting with the walking foot. One day class Sunday 10th November

Ready Steady Christmas - Tuesday Afternoons 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th November

Sunday 15th September
Yesterday I taught a workshop at Just Between Friends quilt shop making a Ladders quilt.

This was a beginner friendly class where we covered rotary cutting, piecing, pressing and quilt construction. It was great to start students off on their patchwork and quilting journey by working on this project. Here is some of their work in progress:

Wednesday 11th September
Makower fabric company have a new fabric collection that they are launching this month called Indigo and the fabrics are a linen/cotton mix. They feature Japanese type designs in a navy/beige mix. I have made a messenger bag for Makower to show off these new fabrics. Here are the fabrics that I used:

The top fabric is actually a 100 % cotton fabric and I used this for the lining. The linen/cotton mix was ideal for bag making and provided good stability for the bag. Here is the finished bag:

The fabrics are on the Makower website with details of stockists and the pattern will shortly be there too, to download.

Sunday 8th September
While I was at The Festival of Quilts in the summer I bought these three books. I do love a book and have a growing collection. I love to dip in and out of my books.

The first book "Layered and Stitched Pictures" by Katie Essam is all about free machine embroidery and applique. There is a good technique section at the beginning and then each of the projects works through steps using a variety of skills. I have really only dabbled in free machine applique so am looking forward to following through one of the projects. The second book is "Quilt Lovely" by Jen Kingwell. The book contains fifteen projects using piecing and applique. I so love the way Jen uses fabrics and colour in her projects and am loving the way her projects come together. The final book is "Forty" which is an account of the evolution of the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles collection. The book looks at the quilts that were acquired by the Guild in each decade. There is a lot to read in this book so I am looking forward to having a romp through history.

Wednesday 4th September
The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace will soon be upon us.

I have several workshops to teach on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th. On Friday I will be teaching a class on stitching Clematis Flowers by using fabric origami and also a class on Inchie Mosaics. On the Saturday I will be repeating the Inchie Mosaic class in a breakfast session and then later teaching Italian Corded quilting. I understand that the Italian Corded quilting is now fully booked but there are spaces in the other classes so if you are planning a visit do come and say hello and/or perhaps book on one of my workshops.

To get reduced entry on ticket prices you can use the code TUTOR28 when booking for a discount. This makes the tickets £13.50 instead of £16. I will also be having a draw later this week for two free tickets to the show on instagram so if you wish to be in with a chance to win the free tickets do check out janetpatch1.

Sunday 1st September
Happy 1st September everyone. In this month's Quilt Now magazine I have a pattern for a "Falling Leaves Cushion". The magazine comes with a free curved piecing supplement and nifty little ruler which you can use to make the cushion. There are several projects using the ruler - an amazing quilt by Lyn Goldsworthy and a super black and white cushion by Mandy Munroe. The magazine also has an interview with Australian quilter Sarah Fielke whose work I really love so do take a look.

Wednesday 28th August
The month is nearly over so where has it gone? It has been wonderful to have had such great weather in August and to have been able to spend so much time outside.
I have been saving my selvedge scraps from the edges of my fabrics for ages and as the pile is threatening to overtake I decided that it was time to put them to good use. I have been experimenting with a number of designs. It is interesting to see what has been written on the selvedge and what information and graphics have been used. Here is a little peek of some work in progress.

Sunday 25th August
Free Pattern Download. I have designed and written the pattern for this large bag. It suitable for use as a beach bag or large shopper. The bag has been made in the Grove range of fabrics from Makower which really suit the design of this bag. The Grove border print has been used on the outside and it comes with a co-ordinating pouch with a strap fixing it to the lining. The bag is lined with foam stabiliser, has metal bag feet, a clasp fastening and finished with rope handles. The pattern can be downloaded from and stockists of the Grove range of fabrics are listed on the website. I think that I may just be making another one of these for use on my next holiday.

Thursday 22nd August
While at the Festival of Quilts I went on a workshop to learn a little about Sashiko and made this little wrap with a pincushion inside. The class was taught by Hilary Jackson who explained all the techniques really clearly. I so enjoyed making this and although my stitches are not at all even (which they are supposed to be) I have had a really good introduction to the technique.

Sunday 18th August
My quilt Triangle Twist is on the front cover of Patchwork and Quilting magazine this month with the pattern for the project inside. I have made the quilt in just two colours but I think that the pattern would work just as well in scraps or multiple fabrics. The magazine contains some super projects (I love the Quilter's Village quilt) and an interesting account of the Russian Quilt Fest as well as lots of articles and reviews. Do take a look at the magazine.

Wednesday 14th August
Hertford Town Centre has once again been yarn bombed by the Secret Society of Crafters. This time they have decorated the town square with a variety of mythical creatures, flowers, bugs and beasties and enchanted characters.

It really has provided a focal point for children and adults alike to enjoy in the school holidays. The display is supporting the Children's Integrated Play Schemes so any donations made go to this charity.

Sunday 11th August
Pretty quiet here on the sewing front. After the Festival of Quilts it has been time for a bit of relaxation and gardening. I did however finish this quilt at the end of July. I have always avoided curved piecing but decided this year that I had to get over it and have a try. I chose the orange peel block and have used scraps from my stash.

I didn't actually have to buy any fabric for this quilt at all and only had to purchase the wadding so feel a huge sense of satisfaction at making a tiny dent in the stash. I have used low volume whites and greys and as a contrast blue fabrics. Here are the blocks as they have been pieced.:

They weren't actually that difficult to piece and with some careful pinning went together quite well. I added a narrow inner border of mustard fabric and then the blue daisy for the outer border. Didn't quite have enough fabric for the back of the quilt to be able to use just one fabric so added a contasting fabric. To finish I quilted in wavy lines across the quilt and added a navy binding. Pleased with the result and have overcome my fear of curved seams. The photo below shows the scraps that I had left at the end so just made it!!

Monday 5th August
I had such a great time at the Festival of Quilts. It was hard work teaching all those workshops but really enjoyable meeting quilters from all over the world. I also enjoyed meeting and catching up with so many people, spending time looking at all the fabulous quilts and having a little retail therapy. The Quilters Guild is 40 this year so there was a fabulous display of birthday hat blocks:

There were so many quilts to admire and I have just chosen five of my favourites. The first has been made by Alison Stothard and was an entry in the traditional category. What a wonderful use of colour:

This quilt has been made by Bev Mayo and was in the modern category. Such a great use of perspective:

This third quilt was a miniature quilt stitched by Mari Carmen Pujante. I am in total admiration for anyone who stitches such tiny quilts and I just loved the texture in this one:

My fourth favourite was in the modern category and stitched by Helen Butcher. I love the way that Helen has so cleverly used a limited palette of colour with pops of colour:

My final favourite is a pictorial quilt stitched by Pippa Wardman and entered in the Quilters Guild challenge. This quilt won the visitors choice award. Isn't it spectacular?

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will have seen in an earlier post that I designed and made some quilts for Mez Craft in a new fabric collection. This fabric collection is called Nordic Garden Dream and has been designed by two Norweigan designers Arne and Carlos. This is their first fabric collection (they are known for their amazing knitwear designs) and it launched at Festival of Quilts. It was lovely to meet them and hear a little about their design process. The patterns and fabrics for the quilts are available from The Cottonpatch and also Lady Sew and Sew. I hate having my photo taken but made an exception this time!

I was walking past the Patchwork and Quilting magazine stand and spied my quilt on the wall. Such a surprise - I didn't realise that it was going to be there. I have used a fairly traditional block in this pattern which contains loads of triangles and stitched it in pink and grey fabrics. It is on the front cover of the magazine this month so do take a look:

Finally; Ruth came on a class with me at the Festival of Quilts several years ago where we were making a quilt called Leaves in the Cabin. This quilt contained log cabin blocks with maple leaves pieced into them. Ruth finished her quilt and I got to see a photo of it; however she has gone on to adapt the design and change the maple leaf for a tulip. She bought the quilt to show me. Isn't it great?

Thank you so much Ruth. A super quilt.

Wednesday 31st July
Are you going to the Festival of Quilts? If so I hope that I get to meet up with you. If you see me do come and say hello. I have seven workshops to teach over the four days so have been busy with the preparation but we are almost organised.

Wednesday 31st July
I spent a lovely morning at the V&A museum in London at the Mary Quant exhibition. It was so interesting to see the clothing, shoes, makeup and products that she designed in the 1960s and 70s. She really was a pioneer in her time with the way she went about designing and making the garments and then how she set about selling them in the retail market. Her approach was so different to others at that time.

I love the simple clean lines of the garments and the bold colours.

There was a lot of PVC in some of the clothing and also shoes! She also brought about change to hair styles which then resulted in changes to make up.

The exhibition is really worth a visit. For a complete contrast; the Christian Dior exhibition is also on at the V&A at the same time so you could catch both!

Sunday 28th July
I have been busy designing and making two quilts and a shopper's tote for Mez fabric and craft company. They have a new fabric line designed by Arne and Carlos called Nordic Garden Dream which is launching at Festival of Quilts. Arne and Carlos are Norweigan knitwear designers and this is their first fabric collection. It is really lovely - full of flowers and blooms with some geometric prints as well. The first quilt is called Courtyard Garden and has a strong green/pink colourway.

The second quilt is called Nordic Stars and features star blocks in two colourways with a pink/blue colour theme. This quilt is slightly more tricky to make than the first one.

The tote bag is a simple shopper and a quick make and could be made in any of the fabrics from the collection.

The patterns and fabrics will be available at the Festival of Quilts from The Cotton Patch and also Lady Sew and Sew so if you are going to the Festival do stop by and take a look. Arne and Carlos will also be there on both stands at various times so would love to chat to you about their fabrics.

Wednesday 24th July
I have been participating in a sew along through instagram to make a needlebook. The sew along is hosted by Kim Kruzich who posts as retro_mama. She has written a great pattern with lots of variations and handy tips for the needle book. These can be made in two sizes, with or without slip pockets and/or zip pockets. I have had such fun making my needle book. I used A Stitch in Time fabric from Makower and Aurifil soft dove grey thread for the quilting.

The outside is pieced and finished with a blue binding. On the inside I put a slip pocket on one side of the case and a zipped pocket on the other side. There are felt inserts for the needles. I so love this retro grey iron fabric and want to use it on other projects.

The needlebook is finished with a ribbon tie and a button. Having never participated in a sew along before it has been fun to do and what has been lovely has been seeing all the variatons that everyone has made. I deliberately chose to participate in making something small as I am always so busy but this was totally manageable. The sew along goes for another week so do take a look.

Sunday 21st July
Yesterday I taught a class making a selection of smaller items from my book Weekend Makes - Patchwork. It was just right for this time of year for some smaller makes as I quite often find that when it is hot you don't want to always make a large quilt. Everyone went home with at least three finished items. The students worked on fabric storage baskets, tidy trays, needlecases, pin cushions and zippy pouches. Here is a selection of finished makes:

Wednesday 17th July
It is such lovely weather here at the moment with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures. Perfect for days out. Why not make my Big Blue Tote? Perfect for carrying all those essentials needed for a day out. It is also a pretty quick make. I have used some Japanese inspired fabrics from Higgs and Higgs.

The pattern for this is in this month's Quilt Now magazine. The magazine comes with a free gift of a bobbin box which is super useful and of course lots of other great quilts and projects to make.

Sunday 14th July
I am having a run of teaching my Summertime Bucket Bag at the moment and yesterday found me at Fabric HQ in Aylesbury teaching this workshop. Fabric HQ is a lovely shop full of lots of fabrics, patterns, threads, haberdashery and so much more. It has two teaching spaces and a varied workshop programme. Here are some photos of finished bags completed by the students:

Aren't they just gorgeous? Well done everyone.

Wednesday 10th July
I teach many classes and it is always really good to see quilts and items that have been started in class and then finished later a home. Today I am sharing three finishes with you from three very talented quilters. The first is from Pippa. This is Pippa's Stars in the Garden quilt top. There is a lot of work in this quilt and it uses machine piecing and applique to construct the blocks. The soft greens and lilacs works so well together. Well done Pippa.

The second finish is from Alison. Alison hasn't been quilting very long and I know that she now has the quilting addiction that we all have! This is a vey tiny Cathedral window sample. Isn't it lovely?

Lastly we have Joy. Joy has two finishes here. The first is her Cathedral Window cushion. I love the use of the teal background fabric which really sets off the other fabrics. Joy's second finish is her Forest Stars quilt. The two star blocks contrast so nicely with each other and the quilt is finished with some walking foot quilting. Thank you so much for sharing these with us Joy. We will miss you as you move away but hope you find a local patchwork shop to keep you going!

Sunday 7th July
What are you doing in December? How about joining me on a trip to Cologne in Germany for a visit to the Christmas markets. This is a tour organised by Arena Travel and part of their Stitchtopia programme. We leave here December 12th, on a flight from Heathrow and spend four nights in Cologne. The package includes four half day Christmas hand sewing workshops with myself, a walking tour of Cologne, a concert at the Cathedral with Aled Jones and plenty of visits to the Christmas markets with time for exploring.

If you would like further information please visit Arena Travel on It is going to be a super trip and it will be so good to be able to experience the festive markets and buy some great Christmas gifts.

Tuesday 2nd July
I have been busy working on a sample of matchstick quilting. This is a small sample approx 20 inches square. I have used a soft grey plain fabric for the top with a border and backing from the Fern Garden collection of fabrics from Makower. The quilting has been completed using a varigated thread. I love the effect that matchstick quilting gives; although I am not sure that I could ever imagine quilting a double bed sized quilt with this technique!

Sunday 30th June
Yesterday I taught a class at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex. We were working on using the walking foot for machine quilting and exploring lots of different techniques. It was super hot and quite a full on class so everyone did really well to survive in the heat and produce a set of samples to take home with them. Here are just a few examples stitched by the students:

Wednesday 26th June
Marsh Quilters; a London based quilt group had an exhibition of their work at the weekend. The exhibition featured a range of work from traditional to modern to contemporary. Alongside this were some specific challenges that members had taken part in. I loved the Bee challenge where members had stitched Bee related items:

The hall was buzzing with many visitors who not only enjoyed the exhibition but also the lovely refreshments and traders selling supplies.

In one corner visitors were invited to make a small quilt as you go block. There was a stunning example of a quilt made using this method with 3 inch blocks which were then stitched together. Isn't it effective and such a portable project:

Well done Marsh Quilters - I know how much effort goes into organising an exhibition. You did a brilliant job!

Saturday 22nd June
Yesterday found me in Luton at Sewing in the Shed patchwork group. Eighteen ladies beavered away all day making my Summertime Bucket Bag. The bag is quite a roomy one with some flying geese on each side, has a lovely bucket shape, is fully lined with a pocket and is softly padded. Quite a lot of steps involved to complete the bag so a pretty full on day. Here are a selection of photos of bags in various stages of completion. (Apologies that I didn't manage to photograph everyone's bag). Some are fully completed, many just need the handles adding while some are almost there. Thank you everyone for working so hard.

Thursday 20th June
It is always lovely to be able to share with you recent finished work from my students. This close up of some quilting is from Maureen who attended my Walk the Walk class where we looked at lots of different ways to quilt with the walking foot. Maureen has used one of the techniques to quilt her quilt. Great job Maureen.

Here is another finish but this time from Maureen D. This is her Forest Stars quilt made in such a vibrant selection of fabrics. The turquoise and orange really make the quilt zing! Thanks for sharing.

Sunday 16th June
It is giveaway time! I have two tickets for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham August 1st to 4th to give away. The Festival of Quilts is always a wonderful show with so many quilts to see, workshops to attend and supplies to buy. I have seven workshops to teach over the four days so it is going to be a busy but fun time for me. The tickets can be used on any one of these days. If you would like to be in with a chance to win this pair of tickets please email your name to by Friday 28th June, 9am and a winner will be chosen at random.

Wednesday 12th June
I have a project in this month's Quilt Now magazine. The magazine comes with a small supplement booklet containing six projects to use up your scraps. Two of the projects feature Elmer the elephant who is thirty this year, the third project is a small cot quilt and the final three projects have been stitched by me featuring a tablet case, laundry bag and makeup pouch. I have made these in a range of fabrics from Art Gallery called Matchmade. I am so in love with these fabrics and am hoarding the left over scraps for another small project. The magazine is packed with projects, interviews and features so do take a look.

Sunday 9th June
Yesterday I taught a patchwork workshop at Liberty's in London. We were working on making a set of four items for the sewing room from my Patchwork Weekend Makes book.

The set consisted of a storage basket, tiny trays, needle case and pin cushion. The students each had a pack of Liberty fabrics to work with which varied slightly. Here are some photos of completed items:

At the end of the day everyone left with four completed items to use when sewing. Thank you to all the lovely students who worked so hard during the day and provided such entertaining company. I hope that you enjoyed your day.

Wednesday 5th June
I went to a brilliant talk by performance textile artist Harriet Riddell. Harriet travels to various places in the world with her sewing machine. She sets it up in the street and stitches in a one line free stitch way with just black thread. She stitches what she sees happening around her - the people, the scenes and the interactions. She has travelled to India several times and even stitched outside the Taj Mahal!

Her work is so inspiring. You can see Harriet's work at or on

Sunday 2nd June
Here are a couple of finishes from students. The first is from Maureen who has completed her Cathedral Window cushion in record time. Maureen has used just two fabrics to great effect to make her stunning cushion.

The second finish is from Brenda who has stitched her Forest Stars quilt in a lovely blue palette of fabrics. Look at those perfect points! Well done to both of you.

Thursday 30th May
One of my patterns is in the April edition of Sew magazine. It is for the weekend bag which is from my book Weekend Makes Patchwork. It is a roomy bag with a zip across the top and handy for carrying any number of things. The great thing about this bag is that it can be folded up when not in use and stored away. If you enjoying sewing clothes there are some great patterns in the magazine for tops, trousers and skirts.

Sunday 26th May
Yesterday I taught a workshop on quilting with the walking foot. During the course of the day we covered lots of different techniques for quilting quilts with the walking foot and the students went home with a set of samples for future reference. It is a very full day and hard work all round. Well done everyone!

Wednesday 22nd May

It is always great to see projects that were started in one of my workshops finished. Here are a couple: This first one has been made by Judy. The top is pieced, with just the quilting to go. This is from a two day workshop called Stars in the Garden and uses machine applique and piecing. There are a variety of different blocks in the quilt and a lot of work. Great use of colour Judy and well done.

The second quilt has been made by Pat in William Morris fabrics. This is from a workshop called Forest Stars. The quilt features two star blocks which are machine pieced and then alternated across the quilt. Pat's choice of fabric is so effective, along with her meticulous piecing and works so well in this quilt.(Unfortunately my photos don't do this quilt justice) Thank you so much for sharing your quilt with us.

Sunday 19th May
My debut on the TV channel Sewing Quarter went so quickly. I had a one hour slot and during the time talked about my latest book "Weekend Makes Patchwork" and demonstrated two of the projects from the book.

The first was the weekend bag. In the book I had made the bag in Japanese inspired fabrics but on Sewing Quarter I used an Aztec fabric which had stripes. I cut the stripes in different directions for the bag panels. You can see the bag here with the mustard coloured handles in the photo. I also quickly demonstrated how to make a fabric book cover and managed to sew over a pin and break the needle!

Vicki the presenter and the Sewing Quarter team were so lovely and made it so easy for me. While I was there I signed so many copies of the book!

Wednesday 14th May
Last night I taught a workshop for Roding Valley Quilters. We had a fun night with much chat and laughter while working on making sock kittys. Lots of stripey socks appeared and lots of mess was made:

But the end of the evening thirty ladies went home with a sock kitty each:

Thank you for a great evening. I hope that you all enjoyed yourselves and the little kittys go to a good home!

Sunday 12th May
Guess where I am going to be tomorrow?

Sewing Quarter will be featuring my book Weekend Makes Patchwork and we will be looking at some of the projects in the book. I hope that you can join us.

Saturday 11th May
I have been teaching a Cathedral Window workshop today. I just love this technique. It does have a few steps but is so simple and really effective.

Thursday 9th May
I have been at Living Crafts at Hatfield House today. Very rainy and muddy outside the marquees but lots of lovely things to see. The quilt group that I belong to has a stand there and is selling raffle tickets for this Japanese inspired quilt in aid of the British Heart Foundation. If you are visiting (hopefully it will stop raining), please say hello to the ladies manning the stand and buy a raffle ticket!

Living Crafts is on until Sunday 12th May.

Tuesday 7th May
On Saturday 11th May I am teaching a Cathedral Window workshop at Just Between Friends quilt shop in Essex. There are a couple of places available so if you would like to join us and learn this technique please contact the shop directly.

Sunday 5th May
Yesterday I taught a new to patchwork class at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex. We were working on this project:

This is a sawtooth star quilt and during the day we covered rotary cutting, machine piecing, pressing, assembling the quilt top, quilting and binding. Here is some work in progress:

Hasn't everyone done very well? I am looking forward to seeing the end results!

Wednesday 1st May
WOW it's May already. Where did the first four months of the year go? I have been busy with making projects and writing patterns for magazines. In Patchwork and Quilting magazine this month I have written a pattern for a traditional quilt. The blocks in the quilt are pieced and consist of rectangles, squares and triangles and the project has been made in fabrics from the "Bed of Roses" fabric line from Makower which is a really pretty floral range of fabrics. The magazine has a number of lovely projects to make along with a selection of interesting articles. Isn't the quilt on the cover a stunner? It has been designed by Naomi Clarke and is English paper pieced.

Sunday 28th April
I have been busy stitching some samples for my forthcoming class at Libertys in London on June 8th. We will be making four small projects from my latest book Weekend Makes Patchwork. The projects include a pin cushion, needlecase, tidy trays and storage basket. I have made up these samples in lovely Liberty fabrics.

I will also be repeating this class on July 20th at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex. I think that the Liberty workshop is fully booked but there may be a space or two at Just Between Friends.

Wednesday 24th April
The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham will soon be upon us. It is a little earlier this year taking place between 1st and the 4th of August. It is a great experience with hundreds of quilts and exhibitions to see and lots of traders. If you are wishing to pre book tickets you can use the code WT44 to get a discount. This makes the adult tickets £14.50 and the concession tickets £14.00. This code can be used when booking on line or by phone.

I am teaching a number of workshops at the Festival including Folded Clematis Flowers, Inchie Mosaics, Tidy Trays, Italian Corded Quilting, 3D Flower Necklaces and Fabric Storage Baskets so if you wish to book any classes head over to the FOQ website.

Sunday 21st April
I have a quick and easy project in this month's "Love Sewing" magazine. The project has instructions to make three small pin cushions from fabric scraps.
The pin cushions are constructed using strip patchwork and are super quick to make. I think they work especially well in fabrics with a small print. I have put a little kitty in the centre of each pin cushion. Great for gifting so take a look:

Wednesday 17th April
I have made these bags in new fabric lines for the Makower Fabric Company. These are bag patterns that I have written for Makower and are available as free downloads from their website. The first is a Messenger bag in a fabric range called "A Walk in the Park". The little dogs are so cute:

The second is a shoppers tote in a fabric range called "A Stitch in Time". The vintage inspired sewing notions would look great in any number of projects:

The third bag is an everyday patchwork bag and is also in the "A Walk in the Park" range of fabrics but uses different fabrics to those used in the messenger bag.

And here are all three ready to be posted off to the trade show in Germany:

Saturday 6th April
Here is another super finish but this time from Jill P. Jill attended workshops with me several years ago and has recently finished her quilt. She has made it larger than the original pattern by adding extra stars and extra appliqued flower pots. This then meant that she had to increase the borders. Such a lot of maths and extra work involved. The quilt is finished with some beautiful quilting and isn't it just stunning? Thank you so much for sharing this with us Jill.

Wednesday 3rd April

I was asked to contribute a stitched fabric postcard to an exhibition in Canada. The theme was "Doorways". For those of you who know me you will know that I don't very often work small so this was a challenge. Can you guess where this doorway is? A few years ago I was invited to afternoon tea with the then Prime Minister David Camron in relation to my job at the time. I now know what is behind the door...

The Quilter's Guild is celebrating its 40th Birthday this year. As part of the celebration they are asking members to download a foundation piecing pattern for a small donation to make a hat block. These blocks will be on display at the Festival of Quilts. Here is my hat block on a grey background (I have a grey thing going on at the moment) with muliple pom poms on top!

Sunday 31st March
My students have been sewing up a storm! We have been working on a Sawtooth Star quilt and have made these blocks. For over half the students in this class this was their first ever attempt at patchwork so during the workshop they have learned to cut with a rotary cutter, stitch an accurate 1/4" seam, piece blocks with perfect points and seams, press and all about the construction of a quilt. Haven't they done well?

Wednesday 27th March
Jill has finished her Positively Pinwheels quilt which she started on a workshop with me last year. The quilt contains positive and a negative pinwheel blocks which are alternated across the quilt. I love Jill's choice of fabrics and her staight line quilting. What a great finish! Thanks for sharing your quilt with us Jill.

Sunday 24th March
Yesterday I taught a workshop at Just Between Friends quilt shop in Essex on machine quilting with the walking foot. We worked through a number of techniques and everyone left with a set of samples which they can use for reference when quilting their quilts. Everyone worked "their socks off" as it was a pretty full on day!

Wednesday 20th March
I have a pattern in this month's Quilt Now magazine. It is a modern take on the traditional block - card trick. The whole quilt is made from scraps of fabric so is a great stash busting project. I think that I used 80 different pieces of scrap fabric with the white background. The magazine is packed full of nice bright projects this month.

Sunday 17th March
Here is Margaret's quilt. She started this with me during a workshop at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex last year. She has used a variety of Kaffe Fassett floral prints with a grey linen effect background fabric. The quilt has been machine pieced and quilted. Isn't it fabulous?

Thanks for sharing this with us Margaret.

Wednesday 13th March
This lovely bundle of fabrics arrived today. They are called Matchmade by Art Gallery Fabrics. They are such a delicious rainbow of colour. I am so looking forward to stitching up a project or two with these.

Sunday 10th March
My latest book launched this week "Weekend Makes - Patchwork". It contains 25 projects including bags, pouches, quilts, tabeware and much more. Each project varies in the time required to make with some projects taking an hour to those that will take half a day or the whole weekend.

Each project comes with step by step photos and has been photographed beautifully by Jesse Wild. Here are a couple of pages for a quick preview:

The book is available to order from Amazon or from GMC Publications.

Wednesday 6th March
Here is a lovely quilt made by Bibi on one of my workshops. The quilt is called Positively Pinwheels and uses positive and negative pinwheel blocks. Bibi has used a gorgeous range of fabrics which work so well together so this quilt is a real beauty.

Sunday 3rd March
The Knitting and Stitching Show was held at Olympia in London this weekend and I taught classes there on Friday and Saturday. Both days were really busy with many visitors, lots to see and a huge number of goods to buy from all sorts of craft sellers. I enjoyed the small Zandra Rhodes exhibition which showcased some of her garments. I especially liked thse two:

My favourite exhibition was from the Year 13 textile students who had to design and make a garment using recycled items. These three were my favourites. Who could have imagined that a map could look this good?

Thursday 28th February
Gosh I can't believe that February has just disappeared and that it is March tomorrow. I have two projects in the magazine "Be Creative with Workbox" this month. The first is a Cathedral Window pin cushion project and the second is a quilt called Squares in the Corner. Both have the patterns for making the projects. The magazine is full of lots of embroidery and stitching related projects and beautifully photographed so do take a look.

Sunday 24th February
I have been lucky enough to go to Quilt Con this year which is an annual juried Quilt Show organised by the US Modern Quilt Guild. The show was held in Nashville and lasted for 4 days. There is the modern quilt competition and display, a curated exhibition, a programme of lectures and workshops and traders selling fabrics and quilt related products.
The display of quilts was amazing with quilts being entered into various categories. I have just chosen some of my favourite quilts to show you. Some won awards while others I simply loved. They really are a feast for the eyes. This quilt is called Big Island Sunset and was made by Sheri Cifaldi Morrill:

This one is called Quarter Step and has been made by Betsy Vinegrad:

This next quilt won second prize in the use of negative space category and has been made by Rebecca Bell:

Sophie Zaugg made this quilt which won second place in the small quilt category:

There is an award each year for the best in show and it was won by Leanne Chahley with this quilt:

I just love this quilt which is called Line after Line and was made by Michelle Settle:

Nashville is a pretty full on place and I had a little bit of time for exploring downtown and also a visit to the Grand Ole Opry for a concert:

Of course I had to do a little quilt related shopping and just had to buy this very posh water bottle with the stitchy words on the side!!!

Saturday 16th February
Back to Just Between Friends quilt shop to teach my Hearts and Stars in the Garden quilt. These photos show the students' work in progress. After these centre panels comes another applique border and then a pieced border. These quilts are looking really good! It was a very very busy day:

Friday 15th February
Thank you to everyone who entered the draw for the tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia. The winner is Heather H. Many congratulations Heather; the tickets are on the way to you. If you are going to the show and haven't purchased a ticket you can use this code SWT23 for a reduction to the entry price from £14 to £12 when booking.

Wednesday 13th February
Don't forget that the draw for the tickets for The Knitting and Stitching show closes Friday at 9am. Please see my earlier post for details.

Sunday 10th February
I spent a very enjoyable day yesterday teaching a workshop to Dunstable Quilters. We were working on my Summertime Bucket Bag. This is a very roomy bag which is great for carrying around a mountain of stuff, has some patchwork flying geese on the front and is finished with leather handles. The pattern is from my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Bags". I have made the bag in several variations. Here are a couple:

Everyone worked with different fabric combinations and worked so hard during the day. Here is a snapshot of some work in progress and also finished bags with and without the handles. I haven't managed to photograph everyones bag so apologies if your work is not featured here. Thank you Dunstable Quilters for a great day.

Thursday 8th February
I have been working on my machine quilting techniques using the walking walk. Most of my quilts these days are quilted using the walking foot and a variation of straight line or wavy quilting. I have been exploring some further options using this technique. Here are the samples so far:

Sunday 3rd February
The Knitting and Stitching Show is coming around quickly and is to held at Olympia Thursday February 28th to Sunday 3rd March. There is always plenty to see and buy at this show and lots of workshops covering a range of stitching, knitting and craft techniques. I will there on Friday and Saturday teaching workshops so please come and say hello or come on a workshop. On Friday I am teaching sewing a Sock Kitty and also Foundation Piecing and on Saturday Inchie Mosaics and Italian Corded Quilting.
I have two tickets to give away to the show. They can be used on Thursday, Friday or Sunday (but not Saturday). If you would like to be in with a chance to win the tickets please email your name to by Friday 15th February 9am and a winner will be chosen at random.

Wednesday 30th January
Gosh isn't it cold? Such a good time of year to be quilting and keeping toasty. I am currently working with these fabrics from Edyta Sitar. They are from a range called Bed of Roses and are a floral collection. Probably a little different to the fabrics that as I usually choose to use as there is a lot of pink but nice for a change. I am piecing the patchwork top. Just love a bit of speedy chain piecing! Now for another cup of tea....

Sunday 27th January
I taught my first patchwork class for the year yesterday and it was good to get started again. We were working on a quilt called "Hearts and Stars in the Garden". This was day one and we were working on some appliqued blocks and also some pieced star blocks. The flowers on these blocks had spiky petals so not the easiest to applique but everyone did really well. There are two of these blocks and then ten little appliqued heart blocks need for the quilt centre. Quite a lot of homework to do....

Wednesday 23rd January
The final bag! This one has been made in a fabric range called Sea Breeze from Makower and this is a tote bag pattern that I have written for them. This would make a great beach or picnic bag for the summer or simply a very useful shopping bag

All three bags are now in the post and off to a trade show. It has been great to make some bags for a change.

I am now off to start making a quilt......

Saturday 19th January
This is the second bag that I have made for the fabric company Makower in the past week. I am really having a bag making frenzy at the moment which is nice for a change. The pattern is one that I have written for them and is called an Everyday Patchwork Bag. The pattern can be downloaded from the Makower website. I have made the bag in fabrics from a range called Monsoon. I so love the teal fabric and have just a few scraps left over from the bag so I will definitely be making something small from the left overs!

Wednesday 16th January
I have a project in this month's "Quilt Now" magazine. (Issue 58) It is for a set of three pouches featuring some heart applique. There is a large pouch plus two smaller pouches. I have used fabrics from Mister Domestic called Loved to Pieces. It really is a lovely range of fabrics and I have used them also in a couple of projects in my next book. I only have tiny scraps left now! There is an article on Matthew Boudreaux (Mister Domestic) in the magazine about his quilt making and fabric designing. Take a look...

Saturday 12th January
Alison bought one of my "Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts" books last year and has made the Floating Triangles quilt from it. She has made the quilt as a memory quilt for her mum. Her dad passed away in 2017 so she has used fabrics from his shirts and PJs for the triangles. She gave the quilt to her mum for Christmas and says that they have both loved talking about memories associated with the fabrics used in the quilt. What a wonderful use of fabrics and how comforting that must be for her mum. Thank you so much Alison for sharing pictures of the quilt with us and also the story. We really appreciate it.

Wednesday 9th January
Happy New Year everyone. I know it's now January 9th and I am a bit late but have had a couple of weeks away from the blog. However, back and ready for lots of stitching and creativity.
I have started the year working on some projects for Makower fabric company. I have written a number of bag patterns for them over the past couple of years and am currently making up some of the bags for them in their new fabric lines. I have started with these fabrics - Fern Garden. A lovely range of Spring and botanical inspired fabrics.

These have been made into a messenger bag. The pattern for the bag is on the Makower website, is a free download and the fabrics wili be out to shops shortly.

Friday 28th December
So lovely to receive my catalogue from the Sawdust Hearts project. This took place throughout 2018 where 1,568 hearts were made to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day while recognising the importance of occupational therapy and raising funds for combat stress. The hearts have been exhibited in Scarborough and documented in a catalogue. Really good to play a small part in the process by making a heart.

Saturday 22nd December

I hope that if you have attended one of my workshops during the year that you have enjoyed learning a new technique, developing a skill and making the project. To those of you who have bought one of my books - thank you. I hope that you have a restful Christmas break, perhaps enjoy some stitching and spending time with family and friends.

Sunday 16th December
Oh my goodness where are the days going? I can't believe that it is the 16th already. I couldn't help but share this with you - the postboxes in the town have all been yarn bombed by the Secret Society of Crafters. They were also responsible for the amazing display of poppies at the castle which I blogged about in November. There are 27 postboxes and all have something knitted on top of them. They really do make people smile and in return they ask for donations to the Isabel Hospice. This is the local hospice who do such great work in Hertfordshire.

Friday 14th December
I am having a bit of a Cathedral Window frenzy at the moment. Not only have I been teaching the technique but I have also had a project featured in Quilt Now magazine. It is in Issue 57 and is a cushion made in fabrics from the Sunprint range by Alison Glass for Makower. I have used a soft grey for the background and also back of the cushion and every window showcases a different fabric. Guaranteed to brighten up a dull day!

Sunday 9th December
Karin attended one of my residential weekends for Anglia Leisure and worked on this quilt over the weekend. She used recycled shirts and has made the quilt for her daughter. I think that it is going to be a Christmas present. Isn't it lovely in the soft colours? Thanks for sending over the photo Karin and well done for finishing.

Wednesday 5th December
Another great finish. This is Maureen's Positive and Negative Pinwheels quilt, started in a class in August. Lots of positive and negative pinwheels stitched in bright jewel colours with a grey contrast. Great quilt Maureen; hope that you enjoy using it!

Sunday 2nd December
Here is Julie's lovely quilt from my Bumpy Circles workshop. Julie has used a Christmassy jelly roll and some very effective big stitch hand quilting with white thread. A great finish just in time for Christmas. Thanks for sharing this with us Julie.

Wednesday 28th November
I have been beavering away at my curved seams. I have always avoided them but decided that I needed to get over this and have a go. I have started with this orange peel block and after a bit of trial and error have slowly got better and managed to make this small quilt. Just quilting a curved pattern on it. Am going to try another design now....

Sunday 25th November
Had a busy day yesterday at Just Between Friends in Essex teaching Cathedral Window. I love this technique as it looks like an intricate puzzle but is actually fairly straight forward to stitch. The technique is completed partly on the machine and then finished by hand. We were working on a cushion. This is my cushion top where I have used a cream/beige background fabric and then fabrics from "Little Sweethearts" by Edyta Sitar for the windows:

The students used a range of fabrics and I am looking forward to seeing the finished cushions. Here is some work in progress:

Wednesday 21st November
Jan started this quilt in one of my workshops in September. It is made using the stitch and flip method of construction. The quilt is soon to go to Australia so it has been lovely to see it before it disappears downunder. I love the use of all the green fabrics and that lime green really makes the quilt pop with colour. Thanks Jan - they are going to love this in Aussie!

Sunday 18th November
Yesterday I taught a workshop for Amwell Quilters. We were working on my Flower Market quilt. This quilt has nine large flowers which are constructed by machine piecing. There is a lot of negative space in the background between the flowers and I have finished my quilt with some straight line quilting. Here is some work in progress - we have our own flower garden:

Friday 16th November
This is such a blast from the past. I was given this Good Housekeeping needlecraft book which was published in 1971.

There is a pattern for a patchwork quilt in the book but what I love is the way that it has been photographed out on a bed in the woods. Can you imagine getting everything out there for a photo shoot? I wonder who fancies a little sleep in the woods?

Look at the patterns and full on colour overload in this with the carpet and the wallpaper:

Tuesday 13th November
My Hugs and Kisses Quilt and pattern is featured in "Be Creative with Workbox" magazine this month. It has made the cover! The magazine contains lots of stitching inspiration, projects and articles.

Thursday 8th November
Alison has sent me a photo of her triangle quilt which she has made from one of the patterns in my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts". I made my original quilt in a yellow/white colour way. Alison has used lots of grey, white and black in her quilt and finished it with hand quilting. Isn't it simply stunning? Many thanks for sharing it with us Alison.

Monday 5th November
Spent the weekend teaching a residential workshop for Anglia Leisure in a hotel in Kent. We started on Friday night and worked through to Sunday afternoon. The students chose to work on either one of these two quilts:

The hotel was lovely with a nice big room to work in, endless cups of tea, coffee and cake and some very nice meals. Here is a selection of work in progress by the students:

Lots of good conversation, sorting out the world's problems accompanied with lots of stitching. Well done ladies - I hope that you get your quilts finished.

Friday 2nd November
Last night I taught a mini workshop for Marsh Quilters in London. As Christmas is approaching we were working on felt and fabric gift bags. These are a quick and easy make but great for personalising a gift. Everyone was very industrious with lots of bags completed by the end of the evening.

Thursday 1st November
Yesterday I went and had a look at the poppy display at Hertford Castle. There is a cascade of knitted poppies from the turret of the castle to the ground. There must be thousands of poppies all knitted by a secret society of crafters. The poppies looked like they were attached to a net which I guess would help to weather proof them. Visually stunning and so thought provoking at this time of remembrance.

Sunday 28th October
I have just come back from a few days in the New Forest. I was lucky enough to visit a really lovely patchwork shop in Lymington called Nicola's Fabrics. The shop has only been in operation for two months and is packed with fabrics, thread, bag making supplies and haberdashery. The range of fabrics is superb and the service excellent. Nicola is super friendly. I managed to come away with some Lewis and Irene fabrics which I am going to use in a scrap quilt, however I could have bought a lot more!

The shop has three rooms and is organised into fabric collections. If you are visiting Lymington it really is worth a visit.

Wednesday 24th October
When I was teaching the workshop last week at Connecting Threads Jo brought along her lovely journal cover to show me. She had made the textured flowers in a workshop that I had taught there some time ago. Jo's journal cover is beautiful with all the additional embellishments and tiny bees. Thanks so much Jo for sharing it with us.

Sunday 21st October
Yesterday I taught a workshop for Connecting Threads quilt group. We were working on Christmas wreaths. These are constructed by stitching lots of little fabric pillows and then stuffing them and attaching them to wire frames. Here are some photos of work in progress with some wreaths almost finished:

Thursday 18th October
Issue 55 of Quilt Now magazine is out today and I have a Christmas project featured in it. The project is a Scandi table runner in red and grey which can be made either as a table runner or a bed topper. The fabrics used are from the Scandi range from Makower. It is one of those projects that wouldn't take too long to make and could be finished well in time for Christmas.

Sunday 14th October
I have just spent the last two days teaching at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London. It was super busy for both days that I was there, but there was so much to see and so many different traders. Alexander Palace is such a spectacular venue. This is a view of the organ from the main hall with the theatre in the fore ground.

One of the exhibitions that I was really moved by was from Jenny Dolan. She had created these pieces to record her mother's life and her demise from dementia. The works had been created with stitch and were absolutely stunning:

The Embroiderer's Guild had created an exhibition of One Hundred Hearts to tell the stories of those who had fought in the First World War:

I taught five classes over the two days and met lots of very inspiring and talented students. The workshop space was in a separate annex and here is my Owl Baby Pin cushion workshop prepped and waiting for the students. It was really good to have the daylight lamps.

We made fabulous fabric brooches in one workshop and here are a couple of finished brooches. Thank you to the lovely lady who agreed to be photographed wearing her brooch. (I am sorry that I forgot to ask your name).

My Inchie Mosaic class had a lot of students in the class who were studying textiles at GCSE level and were so enthusiastic about what they were learning. Here is some work in progress:

I hope that you have enjoyed a little snapshot of the Show. I am off to rest my weary legs!

Wednesday 11th October
Last month I taught a workshop for Amwell Quilters. We were working on Strips that Sizzle which is a great flip and stitch technique. Some of the ladies have finished their quilts already and they are looking really good. We have an Autumn themed quilt, one stitched with a variety of green fabrics and a scrappy quilt. Thank you ladies for sharing these with us.

Saturday 6th October
I have just finished making a cot quilt for a friend who is expecting a baby. The only brief was that it had to have some grey in it. Here is is - I used four fabrics grey, white and two yellow fabrics, lots of half square triangles and finished it with some quilting on the diagonal. I also then made a matching zippy pouch and popped a few baby goodies inside. For once I am ahead of the game!

Friday 5th October
Congratulations to Jill D who was randomly drawn to be the winner of the tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexander Palace. Thank you to everyone who entered the draw. However, if you are purchasing tickets in advance and use this code: tutor26 you will be able to purchase tickets for £13 instead of £15.50.

Wednesday 3rd October
Don't forget to enter the giveaway for tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexander Palace. Here is a little reminder:

I have two entry tickets to give away to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexander Palace in London. The tickets can be used on Thursday 11th October or Friday 12th October or Sunday 14th October and are valued at £15.50 each. If you would like to be in with a chance to win the tickets please email your name to by Friday 5th October 9am and a winner will be chosen at random.

Sunday 30th September
Yesterday I taught a class at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex. We were working on quilts using the snowball block. It is a nice block that is simple to construct; which when put together makes a quilt that grows quickly over the day. Varied fabric choices were made from Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett, batiks, novelty, totally scrappy and lots in between! Here is some work in progress:

We had a very prolific day so I hope that everyone goes on to finish their quilts as they are going to be stunning.

Thursday 27th September
I purchased this book at the Festival of Quilts and have been so busy that I have only now had the time to start dipping into it:

For those of you who know me well I am so not an improvisational quilter. I love a structure and repetition but sometimes you just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and that is what I hope to do with this book. I love the definition that Alexandra Ledgerwood has used in her book; "An imporovised quilt has a pleasing randomness, something unexpected within an overall design." The book is divided into three sections; creating with strips, creating with strata and creating with slice-and-insert. Each section begins with a techniques section and then has patternns for six projects. In total there are patterns for 18 projects. The instructions are written very clearly, there are good drawings to follow and some lovely photography. I am off to start with strips....

Sunday 23rd September
I have two entry tickets to give away to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexander Palace in London. The tickets can be used on Thursday 11th October or Friday 12th October or Sunday 14th October and are valued at £15.50 each. If you would like to be in with a chance to win the tickets please email your name to by Friday 5th October 9am and a winner will be chosen at random.

Judy has sent me a photo of her finished table runner. These are blocks from the class that I taught at Just Between Friends Quilt shop back in June. She has chosen some really pretty pink fabrics and here is the finished quilt. Thanks for sharing your work with us Judy.

Thursday 20th September
The Knitting and Stitching Show is being held at Alexander Palace in London from October 11th to 14th. I am teaching there on the Friday and the Saturday. My Friday classes are sold out but there are still some places left on my Saturday workshops:
The first one is at 9am and is a breakfast workshop which includes coffee and a breakfast muffin - "Fabulous Flower Brooches" where we stitch a 3D flower brooch.

The second class on Saturday is at 10.30am and involves stitching "Owl Baby Pincushions". These are very cute little pincushions which make really lovely gifts.

The last is at 1pm - "Italian Corded Quilting". We put a modern twist on a traditional technique.

All classes are an hour long. If you are purchasing entry tickets in advance and use the code tutor26 the tickets cost £13 (a saving of £2.50).

Thursday 13th September
I have just finished a huge project. I have been working away on another book and the projects all went off for their photoshoot last week and I have delivered the final text so.... a big clean up in the studio and onto something else! I have just cut these for my next project. I love these fabrics and have already used some of them in other projects but here they are cut and ready to go. Sunprints by Alison Glass.

Saturday 8th September
Today I have been teaching a workshop for Amwell Quilters. We have been working on Strips that Sizzle. These blocks use the stitch and flip method of construction and when put together create a secondary star pattern. There have been so many different fabric choices used today and each and everyone looks fabulous. I hope that you have enjoyed your day ladies and go on to finish your quilts.

Thursday 6th September
I have recently purchased some new patchwork and quilting books and thought that over the next couple of weeks that I would do some quick book reviews. This is the first - Scandanavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman.

A really delightful book featuring 21 appliqued projects. The designs work through the seasons and feature whimsical and simplistic projects. The Scandanavian influence shines through in each project and the fabric choices are so lovely. Projects include quilts, cushions, baskets, coasters, pouches, ornaments etc. I am enjoying deliberating what to make first but I think that it is going to be the Christmas angels. I might even get them finished in time for Christmas!

Saturday 1st September
Today I have been to the Fashion and Textile Museum in London to see the Orla Kiely A Life in Pattern Exhibition. The museum is in Bermondsey in London and a short walk from London Bridge station.

The exhibition is on until September 23rd and is a visual feast of pattern. It is not a huge exhibition but I think well worth a visit. It features over 150 patterns and products showcasing her iconic designs.

I just love the repeated nature of her designs and the stylized graphic patterns. One of the exhibition spaces is given over to clothing and the garments have been made up in giant sizes suspended from the ceiling.

There is also a section given over to bags designed through the years. They were amazing and after loads of bag envy I really had to go.

Of course I had to stop at the shop on the way out and purchase a lovely book! If you can get to London it is well worth a visit.



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