My Patchwork Blog

Previous blog entries . . .

August - May 2016

April - January 2016

December - August 2015

July - April 2015

March - January 2015

December - October 2014

September - July 2014

June - April 2014

March - January 2014

December - October 2013

September - July 2013

June - April 2013

March - January 2013

Sunday 25th June
These fabrics arrived on Friday from Makower. They are so vibrant. They are from a range called Botanica and also have some Linea solids to go with them. I can't wait to design a project to go with these. If you go to the Makower website www.makower.com there is also a free pattern to go with the fabric.

Saturday 24th June
Here is a sneaky peak of a commission that I am working on for a magazine using the lovely Birdsong fabrirc from Dashwood. So many points and triangles! Should have stuck to squares.

Wednesday 14th June
Judy has finished the top of her Triangle quilt which she started in a class with me in March. The triangles are all pretty small and there are lots of them, so not that easy to do. The quilt top looks lovely Judy. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Saturday 10th June
Today I have been teaching a pinwheel quilt class at Just Between Friends quilt shop in Essex. Lots of variations with the design and quits well on the way. The block construction is fairly simple as long as you keep everything in the same position each time. We all decided that we were not going to talk about politics all day so lots of stitching and other chat took place!

Tuesday 6th June
I have a pattern in Popular Patchwork Magazine this month. It is called "Spotty Dotty" and uses a range of fabric from Makower. The quilt has a retro look to it and has been styled in that way also. I love the shade of blue in the main block as it is quite a bright blue. The block design is fairly simple - take a look!

Saturday 27th May
I have to show you this fabric which I ordered and has arrived today - "Birdsong" from Dashwood Studios. I have already designed the project in my head and can't wait to start...

Friday 26th May
This month's "Love Patchwork and Quilting" magazine arrived through my letterbox and has the most stunning quilt on the cover. Made totally from solid colours in citrus and blues with the most lovely quilting. It has been made by a designer from the USA - Joanna Marsh. There is also a free gift with the magazine of some quilting gloves. Check it out!

Saturday 20th May
The Festival of Quilts takes place each year in Birmingham in August and is four days of wonderful quilts, fabric heaven and a range of workshops and lectures. A quilty event not to be missed. There are a huge number of workshops to sign up for from one hour quick and easy classes to whole day workshops. If you are hoping to go and haven't yet purchased a ticket they are usually £15 if purchased in advance or £17 on the day. If you use this code WS36 when booking you can buy a ticket for £12.50.

Sunday 14th May
"Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot" by Jacquie Gering is 160 pages long and full of techniques. It is really a master class in a book. For those of you who know me I quilt most of my quilts these days using my walking foot and straight or diagonal lines with now and then some curved stitching. This book takes all of that one step further with the "how to" to create curves, shattered quilting, diamonds, bomerangs, gentle curves, marked curves and decoartive stitches. I think it is a brilliant book and I am aiming to work my way through each chapter and use some of the techniques in my projects.

Saturday 6th May
A second book review and this time a book about modern quilts - "Madly Modern Quilts" by Carole Lyles Shaw. This book features quilts using improvisational techniques. Traditional blocks are made and then recut and stitched back together so that they are fractured. Sometimes strips of fabric are added to the fractures. I really liked the sections on assembling the quilts and laying the blocks out with the background fabric and the use of negative space. I think that this will be a book that I dip in and out of.

Saturday 29th April
I just love a patchwork book and would buy one every week if I could afford it. I have had a little splurge recently and bought three so thought that over the next few days would review them.
The first is "A Spoonful of Sugar" by Lisa Cox. This book contains twenty projects for the home, bedroom, kitchen, craft room or for kids. Most of the projects could easily be made in either half a day or a whole day. The fabrics used are bright and fresh and the projects would make lovely gifts. The cute little panda snap purse caught my eye along with the patchwork jewellery wrap. A lovely project book with clear instructions.

Sunday 22nd April
Yesterday I taught a Cathedral Window patchwork class at Liberty's Department Store in London. The students worked with a range of lovely Rowan fabric. This technique involves lots of fabric manipulation with some machine and hand sewing. Here is some work in progress:

Friday 21st April
Had a recent visit to the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate. They have an exhibition on at present called "Entangled Threads and Making". The exhibition features the work of 40 international female artists who have expanded the possibilities of knitting, embroidery, weaving, sewing and textiles. There are a wide range of exhibits but these were four of my favourites:

Sunday 16th April
Pat has sent me a photo of her Kisses quilt which she started with me in a workshop and has recently just finished. I just love the blue and cream fabrics that she has used which have given the quilt a lovely classic feel. She has also made two matching cushions with piped edges. Anyone who can do piping is a superstar in my book! Thanks for sharing these with us Pat.

Saturday 15th April
Here is a sneaky peak at a project that I have just finished working on for a magazine commission. Lots of spots!

Monday 10th April
Popular Patchwork magazine has my Summertime Bucket Bag pattern featured in it this month from my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Bags". This is the only bag from the book that I teach as a workshop so I thought that you may like to see the bag made up in some other fabrics. I use these in my workshop to show fabric variations:

I think that this one with the green and orange fabric is my favourite so hopefully I will get to use it this summer!
Thursday 6th April
Today I have been teaching a landscape workshop at Stitchers Quilt group in Kimpton. We have been using a freezer paper method to construct the landscape background, followed by couching threads, yarn and trim and completing with quilting, embroidery and beads. Everyone got up to the couching stage and some to the final embellishment. Thank you for a lovely day - you all worked so hard! Here are some photos of work in progress:

The star of the day has to go to Hannah who is nine years old and came to the workshop with her Grandma and made this landscape above. Well done Hannah - I can't wait to see your finished project.

Tuesday 4th April
Another finish but this time from Judy. A table runner ready to go in a yellow and purple colour way. Looking good!

Friday 31st March
It is always so nice to be able to share with you some finished projects from students from earlier classes. Here is Christine's quilt - full of elephants and flying geese with a really lovely piano key border. All the fabrics are spotty. Isn't it great?

Tuesday 28th March
Lovely to see some finished quilt tops from past classes. Here is Bibi's Scrappy Stars quilt with a lovely selection of bright fabric choices:

and here is Julie's quilt in red white and blue. Some of the fabric has the underground map printed on it:

They are both really stunning. Thank you ladies for sharing these with us.

Saturday 25th March
I have been teaching at Just Between Friends Quilt shop in Essex today. We have been working on a project called Triangles, Triangles and more Triangles. Everyone made about a million half square triangles and then used them to create lots of designs in a small quilt. I am sure that everyone will be seeing triangles in their sleep tonight. Thank you ladies - you all worked so hard. You can start to see some of the linear patterns really coming out in the work in progress:


Wednesday 22nd March
If you fancy a weekend of non stop sewing in a lovely hotel take a look at the info below. I am teaching a residential course in Ipswich in late August which takes place Friday to Sunday. During the weekend students will be able to make a modern quilt from a choice of three designs. Come along and share the weekend with like minded people with no distractions and no cooking and no chores!

Sunday 12th March
I made this Dresden Plate quilt using the Sew Easy Dresden Ruler and some Tula Pink fabrics. The quilt has recently been featured on Create and Craft where Jennie Rayment has demonstrated how to make the quilt using the ruler and the pattern that I had written. The pattern is free to download from the Create and Craft website or from Jennie's own website.

Sunday 5th March
More fabric shopping. It can only be a good thing! Just loved these fabrics on sight. Now I have to work a project around them.


Thursday 2nd March

I had to buy this lovely Makower fabric on Saturday. It has a linen look to it even though it is cotton and the little trees are so cute. I love the random green trees. I thought that it would look good in a bag.


Sunday 26th February
Yesterday the students on my class were telling me that The Great British Sewing Bee had not been recommissioned by the BBC. I must admit that I have always enjoyed the series even though I am not a dressmaker, never make clothes and am totally addicted to patchwork and quilting! It would be sad to see it go, so if you feel the same there is a petition at: https://www.change.org/p/bbc-save-the-great-british-sewing-bee

Saturday 25th February
Today I have been teaching at Just Between Friends patchwork shop. It has been day two of my Scrappy Stars class. We have been making stars, stars and more stars. There are three different types of stars in the quilt so when it goes together the stars look as if they are connecting together. It was a very industrious day and I think by the end of it no one wanted to see another triangle for a little while! Here is some of the work in progress:

Judy decided to make two of her blocks into a table runner which is looking good. Thank you ladies - I hope that you all had a good day and go on to get your projects finished.

Friday 17th February
The snowdrops are appearing in the garden which has been good to see. Maybe Spring is on its way?

If you haven't purchased a copy of my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Bags", the books have just been reduced on Amazon so go and bag yourself a bargain! Amazon seem to reduce the books for a week and then put them back to the original price.

Monday 13th February
So nice to see some sunshine today instead of all that sleet and grey. Have been working on a sunny project (to go with the weather). Here is just a sneaky peak along with a vase of daffodils which are waiting to open.


Friday 10th February
I have a project in Popular Patchwork magazine this month. It is a small wall hanging showcasing some spiralled flowers. The technique is not too difficult and has a lovely 3D effect. It would make a lovely gift.

Sunday 5th February
Here is a little blast from the past! This lovely wall hanging was made by Maureen over 15 years ago on one of my classes. She brought it to show me the other day and says that it hangs on the wall in her house. I love the orange and green combination. Thank you Maureen.

Saturday 4th February
Here is a photo of a cushion that I made using fabrics and a Sew Easy ruler supplied by Groves Haberdashery Company. Jennie Rayment demonstrated how to make the cushion using the pattern that I had written on Create and Craft on Monday. This is the link to the demo and the accompanying free downloadable pattern: http://www.createandcraft.com/gb/shows/sew-easy-with-jennie-rayment-2628612?channel=CC

Sunday 29th January
I have spent the day in Canterbury with Oast Quilters teaching a workshop on "Storm at Sea". Everyone beavered away making these blocks. They aren't the easiest as there are so many points to match and some tricky bits with the diamonds but super effective when you start putting them together. The blocks have straight seams but when they are put together you get a really nice curved effect. I hope that you enjoyed your day ladies and that you carry on and finish your quilts. Here are some of the blocks:

and here is a shot of all the blocks together:

Wednesday 25th January
The quilt group that I belong to had a lovely speaker the other evening. Her name was karen Perry and she works for John James Needles. I learned so much in just a short time about all the different needle types and how they are produced. She gave us all a handy guide which showed actual needle sizes and we were given some complimentary needles. It was so good to go out on a cold, grey evening to such a worthwhile event.


Saturday 21st January
I have been at Just Between Friends today teaching day one of my Scrappy Stars quilt. We were working on these big star blocks. They do involve quite a lot of work but are large so they grow more quickly than some blocks and do look stunning when pieced. Everyone worked so hard today and at times you could almost hear a pin drop, there was no time for talking! (Well just a little) What a lovely selection of fabrics and colours. Here is a block from each student:

Sunday 8th January
Later this month I am teaching my Storm at Sea workshop. I haven't taught it for a while so today I thought that I would revisit the technique and make another sample. It is a very clever block as all the seams and shapes are straight but when it is put together a curved pattern emerges. Here it is in Tula Pink fabric:

Saturday 7th January 2017
Happy New Year Everyone. I hope that you all feel energised and ready for some patchwork projects and sewing. Perhaps you need to finish off some things or perhaps you have a list of things that you would like to make this year. I know that my list is growing at an alarming rate, although I have only got a couple of projects that need finishing. I am teaching my Scrappy Stars class at Just Between Friends in Essex on January 21st so if you have a pile of sraps that you need to use up it is a good project for that. The class can be booked directly with the shop.

Saturday 24th December
I will be taking a break from the blog over the festive season but will be back in the new year. I hope that you all have a relaxing Christmas break and manage to get some time for stitching. If you finish any projects over the break don't forget to send me a photo - I love to see finished work! Thank you to everyone who has been on one of my workshops or bought my book or purchased a magazine with one of my patterns in over the past year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Sunday 18th December

Where are the days going? Popped over to Patchwork Corner in Hemel Hempstead yesterday. They have a sale on at present. Lots of fabric for £4 and £7 per metre and 10% off everything else in the shop. Got some lovely fabric for quilt backing. (Now just need the quilt fronts!) I have a project in Quilt Now magazine this month. It is a pinwheel quilt with positive and negative pinwheels. Unfortunately they have left off my name on the pattern so it is uncredited but it was definitely made by me!

Sunday 11th December
Another finish from Caroline from an earlier class. She has been working really hard to get her projects completed. Here is her Kisses quilt - beautifully quilted. I love the use of the jewel coloured fabrics on the dark grey background. This is so bright and vibrant. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Thursday 8th December
Thought that you might like to see a picture of the quilt pattern that I have in this month's edition of Sewing World magazine. It really is such an easy pattern and a good one if you need to make a quick quilt.

There is also a very good article in the magazine on sewing needles and which ones to use for which project. Something I am never quite sure about.

Sunday 4th December
Thought that I would share with you a sneaky peak of something that I am working on at the moment. Well, sort of working on as I seem to be very distracted by lots of other things around me at the moment and it is not coming on very quickly:

Friday 2nd December
Caroline started this quilt quite some time ago on one of my Dresden plate classes. She has used a really soft range of floral fabrics which have been complimented by some cross hatch quilting. I especially love the border with the row of folded patchwork triangles - a lovely way to finish the quilt. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Saturday 26th November
The December issue of Popular Patchwork magazine features a Christmas Wreath that I have made. It really is like no other wreath! I have used bright modern fabrics - lots of peppermint, pink and red. I really don't have a need for the wreath so I thought that as it is getting close to Christmas I would give it away to someone who reads the blog (UK only). If you would like to be in with a chance for this free giveaway just email info@patchworkpatterns.co.uk and tell me why you would like the wreath. I will choose a recipient on December 5th.

Wednesday 23rd November
Pam has also finished her quilt and has had it long arm quilted by Marion at Dragonfly Quilting. Marion has custom quilted it in a lovely variagated thread. The colours work really well, it is beautifully stitched and the quilting just finishes it nicely. I hope that you enjoy your quilt Pam - Well done!

Sunday 20th November
Here is a photo of Christine's Seasonal Sampler quilt. I hadn't seen it pieced together until last weekend. Christine made a smaller quilt and used a lovely blue background fabric which has really made the red, yellow, orange and lime green fabric stand out. Thank you - it really is stunning.

Saturday 19th November
Monday found me teaching a mini workshop at Bedfordshire Quilters in Luton. We were working on foundation piecing small Japanese Kimono figures. Foundation piecing is a great technique for accuracy when using small pieces of fabric but is not a quick process. This is what we were working on


and here is some work in progress with some lovely fabric:

Wednesday 16th November
It is always lovely when students go home and finish their projects and you get to see the finished results. Pam and Alison finished their bags the next day and have sent these photos:

Can you believe that this was Alison's first patchwork class? well done to both of you.

Saturday 12th November
Today I have been to Gainsborough Quilters in West Ham to teach a bag making class. We have been making the Summer Time Bucket Bag from my my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Bags". Everyone worked so hard all day and most bags were almost completed by the end of the day. Such a lovely range of fabric combinations were being used. Most bags just need their handles to be attached. Thank you ladies. Hope you enjoyed your day:

Thursday 3rd November
The November edition of Sewing World Magazine features one of my patterns. It is a pattern for a festive hotwater bottle cover. The fabric is not the usual Christmas type fabric as you can see and it was fun to make a project that was small and not a quilt for a change.


The Christmas Gnome on the cover is very cute and the pattern for this doesn't look too difficult so if you fancy getting organised for Christmas, the patterns for this and several other gift type projects are in the mag.

Tuesday 1st November
Judy attended one of my classes back in September but instead of making a quilt she decided to make her blocks in Christmas fabric and make a table runner. Here is a photo of her lovely runner and as a bonus she is now all ready for Christmas! Well done Judy.

Sunday 30th October
It has been a bit quiet on here over the last couple of weeks as I have been away and have just returned from five days in New York. My feet are still aching from all of the walking but it really is a great city to walk around and we saw so much! New York is truly a city that never sleeps so here is a shot of the sky line at night:

First stop was the 9/11 memorial and museum. In the museum there is a quilt which was made by four women from Pensylvania to honour all those who lost their lives. The quilt is in six sections and contains most of the names of the victims as well as images of the twin towers. A wonderful quilt that speaks volumes.

A visit to the Museum of Modern Art didn't reveal any textile work but I did love this painting and can imagine it as a squiggle quilt:

I love Barnes and Noble book stores which are throughout the States and a quick visit to the store in Union Square saw me leave with some nice US patchwork and quilting magazines featuring modern projects. I also spied my book on a shelf in the craft section next to Kaffe Fassett's latest book so had to take a book selfie!

Also managed to squeeze in a visit to the shop "City Quilter" which has been in New York for years. Sadly the shop was closing for good the very next day as the owners were retiring and hadn't managed to find a buyer. I came away with some fabric showcasing the New York sky line so will have to incorporate this into a project. Despite closing down they still had lots of fabric:

Sunday 16th October
I have been working small and by hand which is quite an achievemnet for me as I love my machine and big projects. These little squares are 1" each in size. I have used some embroidery stitches, buttons, beads, ribbon, cord, rick rack etc to create my little collage.

Saturday 15th October
Today I have been at Just Between Friends Quilt Shop teaching my Springtime cushion workshop. We have been making 3D flowers from spiralled fabric which will be used to create jugs of blooms. Here are some photos of work in progress:

Tuesday 4th October
There is something very appealing about a maple leaf block. I think that it is to do with its simplicity and solid use of one colour fabric. I have just made a maple leaf block for my quilt group for a group quilt. The blocks should look really good together in Autumn colours.


Sunday 2nd October
Today has been all about pin cushions. I am making some more of these vintage 3D flower type with variations. I have a tiny tiny stash of 1930s reproduction prints - just enough for a pin cushion or two. This is the first....

Sunday 25th September
Here are some of the blocks from the class taught yesterday as work in progress. Every student worked in a different colour way. These blocks are a bit tricky but once you have nailed the first one the others follow pretty quickly. Looking forward to seeing the finished quilts ladies!

Saturday 24th September
I have been teaching at "Just Between Friends" in Essex today. I have been teaching my Kisses quilt class again which was oversubscribed last time. Marion who attended the last class brought back her quilt to show us all. She has used a lovely bright fabric range coupled with a linen type background fabric. Isn't it just lovely? Thanks Marion for sharing it with us.

Sunday 19th September
I do love a patchwork book and have just purchased this one "Scrap Patchwork Traditionally Modern Quilts" by Sandra Clemons. The book contains 13 patterns for scrap quilts where traditional designs are coupled with modern fabrics and layouts. What I really enjoyed about the book was the very comprehensive section on organising scraps and stash fabrics. I really must try harder to organise my fabrics!

Friday 17th September
I have just subscribed to this magazine - "Simply Moderne". It is produced by the same company who produce Quilt Mania magazine. This is the 6th edition. It really is a lovely magazine with beautiful photography on nice quality paper. It has 130 pages, 11 patterns and several really good features. This edition looks at the Sydney quilt show, has interviews with 4 well known quilters and designers and a feature on the Riley Blake fabric company. It is quite pricey at £11.99 and not that easy to buy off the shelf in the shop so we shall see how it goes.

Sunday 11th September
I have a thing about pin cushions at the moment and seem to be making all sorts of different ones. They make such great gifts. I purchased some linen fabric at the Festival of Quilts and combined it with some pink and green fabric scraps to make this one. Here it is and also the instructions if you fancy making one:

You will need 6 (1 3/4") squares of pink and green fabrics, 1 piece of linen (4 1/4" x 5 1/2"), 1 piece of linen (4 1/4" x 8 1/2"), rick rack, stuffing and a button.
Stitch the squares together and then stitch to the smaller piece of linen.
Top stitch the rick rack across the seam line between the squares and the linen.
With right sides together pin this section to the larger piece of linen, stitch around the edge. Leave a 2" opening for turning. Clip the corners.
Turn through. Stuff. Slip stitch closed the opening. Add a button to one corner stitching through all layers and stuffing.

Saturday 10th September
I have been having a look around at some of the on-line fabric shops and there are some offers around which I thought you might like to know about:

Lady Sew and Sew - A big range of blender fabrics in their clearance for £6 - £7 per metre.
Cotton Patch - Sizzix Big Shot reduced and also several patchwork and quilting books.
Simply Solids - A range of clearance fat quarters at £2.11 each.
Laughing Hedgehog - There are a number of sale fabrics at £3.73 per half metre but what really caught my eye was a recently arrived new range of fabrics "Autumn Elegance" which have a metallic look to them. They are gorgeous and in every Autumn shade that you could imagine!

Sunday 4th September
Where is the year going? I can't believe that we are in September already. I had a really nice surprise this week. When I checked on Amazon I found that my book had gone to number 1 on the best seller list in patchwork and quilting books. Had to take a screen shot:

 

 

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