My Patchwork Blog

Previous blog entries . . .

April - January 2017

December - September 2016

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 10th December
Snow has finally found its way to the South East. Woke up to some lovely snowy views. This is the view about 300m from the house:

Good time to stay inside and sew I think.

Saturday 9th December
I have a quilt in this month's issue of Popular Patchwork magazine. It is called Clementine and is a smallish pieced quilt. I have used these fabrics twice now - firstly for a duffle type bag in my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Bags" and now in this project. I just love them as they are so bright and citrusy. Sadly there will be no more projects in this fabric range as my stash is exhausted!

Sunday 26th November
It is so cold! I am not a fan of the cold - I much prefer the heat and sunshine but did get warm with some frantic leaf raking and collecting in the garden. Just the right time of the year for stitching. I now don't have any more classes to teach until the new year so can spend some time making. Yeah! Here is a sneaky peek of a project for a magazine:

Saturday 18th November
Guess what I am making? Lots of wedges to make fan blocks. Lovely fabric - Crystal Farm by Edyta Sitar for Laundry Basket Quilts.

Friday 17th November
Christmas is creeping up on us! If you fancy making some quick hand made gifts for Christmas there are 25 patterns in this month's Popular Patchwork magazine which I think is really good value for the price. There are a variety of projects from tree decs to gingerbread garlands to fabric gift wrap etc. I have three patterns featured - some notebook covers, bottle bags and patchwork pouches:

Sunday 12th November
Joy has finished her Scrappy Stars quilt which she has machine pieced. This is Joy's first large quilt made on the machine and totally machine quilted. (She is usually a hand stitcher!) This quilt is going to Australia for her daughter. It was quite tricky to photograph as it was so large but look at the close up of the star with the doggy fabric. Isn't it so cute? Well done Joy - your daughter is very lucky. I can't wait to see what you make next!

Saturday 11th November
Back to Just Between Friends quilt shop to teach another class. This time it was a Christmas class. We were making a little Christmas tree wall hanging featuring nine little appliqued trees which then will be embellished with buttons. Lots of work in progress whic is looking great!

Sunday 5th November
On the last page of every Sewing World magazine they feature a Stitch Story from a designer, teacher or sewer. The story tells that person's sewing journey. Well this month it was my turn! When originally I was asked I thought that I would really struggle but once I got started I couldn't stop! There are some lovely projects in the magazine so take a look.

Saturday 4th November
Caroline's quilt from an earlier course is now finished. I love the contrast in fabrics between the light and dark - it looks so effective. Caroline has put a fleece backing on her quilt so I am sure that it will be very snuggly during those cold winter nights! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Sunday 29th October
I have just seen this morning that my book "Simply Modern Patchwork Bags" has been reduced on Amazon. It usually sells for £9.99 but today is £7.23. Head over there to bag a bargain or purchase an early Christmas present!

Saturday 28th October
I have been at Just Between Friends in Essex today teaching my Bumpy Circles quilt. This design is really interconnecting octogons and is a simple repeating block but looks very effective when stitched together. Everyone worked with a different fabric range and we had fabric in jewel tones, pastels, modern, Tilda blues, bright retro, Christmas and lots inbetween. Here are some photos of work in progress:

Wednesday 25th October
Here is another finished quilt. This was made by Tansy in my Flower Market class at the Festival of Quilts. Tansy has used fabrics from the Alison Glass collection and they have really come together well creating a vibrant quilt. It is a lovely quilt - many thanks for sharing it with us Tansy.

Sunday 22nd October
I have a project in Popular Patchwork magazine this month. It is a Winterberry quilt in delicate shades of wintery green with a touch of pinky/red. It is one of those projects where you stitch lots of strips and then recut to make the blocks. I am looking forward to throwing this quilt over the back of the sofa as the nights draw in and using it to snuggle under on cold nights! Take a look at the magazine - it is in shops now.

Saturday 21st October
Today I have been teaching at Liberty's Department Store in London. I always love going there as there are so many lovely things to look at in the shop. The sewing school is held in the Heritage Suite and on the window sill was a lovely display of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and books:

In one corner of the room was this chair covered in a beautiful grey Liberty print:

We were working on positive and negative pinwheel blocks to make a small quilt. The students were working with Rowan fabrics in a blue/green colourway which were looking really effective. All in all it was a very productive day so I hope that everyone manages to get their project finished. Thank you for all working so hard.

Saturday 14th October
I have a project in Patchwork and Quilting magazine this month and it has made it to the front cover! It is called Floral Splendour and is made in the Botanica range of fabrics from Makower. The quilt is machine pieced and quilted. Check it out!

Friday 13th October
Christine has finished her quilt that she started with me in August. Lovely soft colour choices and beautifully stitched. Thanks Christine for sharing it with us.

Sunday 8th October
I love anything that has a retro look about it from stationery to crockery to furniture. It was great then to see these fabrics from Andover for Makower called Modern Retro. I love the combination of designs and the colour palette. I think my favourite is the leaf design on the lime background. If you go to the Makower website there is a free pattern to download by Lynne Goldsworthy which really showcases the fabrics.

Sunday 1st October
I have been beavering away on a couple of projects for magazines. There is nothing like a deadline to focus your sewing! Here is a little peek at one of the projects:

Sunday 24th September
Where would we be without those blenders? Bought this a couple of weeks ago with no project in mind. Has a linen effect but with a spot. Can't wait to use it.

Friday 22nd September
In this month's Sewing World magazine I have a project featured. It is a set of six patchwork coasters. Each coaster is made from a different patchwork technique from triangles to squares to log cabin etc. They were fun to make and a bit out of my comfort zone as they are so small! They have been photographed beautifully:

Sunday 17th September
I have this lovely bundle of fabrics which have a linen look to them in shades of blue and grey. I bought them at the Festival of Quilts in the summer from Higgs and Higgs. Not quite sure what to make with them yet but perhaps some cushions?

Saturday 16th September
I taught a mini workshop at Fat Quarters Quilt group in Missenden this week and we worked on Italian corded quilting. This style of quilting involves inserting cord or yarn into stitched parallel channels. The result is a lovely raised design. A bit tricky to see the raised bit from the photo!

Here is some of the work in progress from the reverse where the brightly coloured yarn will show through and then another sample from the front:

Wednesday 13th September.
Judy's quilt just keeps growing. Back in June she completed the triangles in the centre in one of my workshops but as she wanted to make the quilt larger she has added some plain borders and some more triangles. I think you secretly love triangles Judy!

Sunday 10th September
I have a project in Popular Patchwork magazine this month. It is a quilt called Forest Stars and features stars with little pinwheels in their centres and stars with a lovely tree fabric in their centres. The quilt made it to the front cover! It is made in Birdsong fabrics from Dashwood and the stars contrast really nicely with the soft grey background.

Saturday 9th September

Today I have been teaching my "Stars in the Cabin" class at Just Between Friends in Buckhurst Hill. This is the project that we were working on:

We started with this:

and ended up with these:

Friday 1st September
Wow another month has gone by already - where is the year going? Here is a photo of a quilt made by Linda. Linda came on my Flower Market quilt class at the Festival of Quilts and went home and finished her quilt! I think that she had it completed in under two weeks so I am not sure that she has slept at all. Linda used fabrics with fruit or vege prints on them which have worked well. Many thanks Linda for sharing it with us - it is really striking.

Tuesday 29th August
Spent the weekend in Ipswich teaching a residential class in a hotel for Anglia Leisure Learning. It was lovely to have all your meals prepared and to be be able to concentrate on sewing all weekend. The students could choose from a selection of three quilts to work on and these were the designs on offer:

We had lots of lovely classroom space to work in:

Some very prolific stitching went on all weekend and here are two lovely quilts from Caroline and Christine well on the way to being finished:

Thank you ladies - they are looking great so I hope that you get them quilted.

Thursday 24th August
I am having a busy week working on another project for a magazine using the beautiful Botanica range of fabric from Makower. I usually don't use a lot of floral fabrics in my quilts but I have so fallen in love with this - it is so vibrant. Here is just a sneaky peek:

This last photo shows the quilt under the machine being quilted. I have been using painters duck tape recently as a marker for quilting my quilts. Love it!

Sunday 20th August
It is all about Christmas at the moment! Can you believe it? I have just finished a project for a magazine with "Little Town" fabric by Amy Sinibaldi, Art Gallery Fabrics. This fabric must have the sweetest selveges ever:

A little peek at the project:

Thursday 17th August
I thought that I would share a few of the quilts and displays that I enjoyed at the Festival of Quilts. This first one was the winner of the miniature section and also the best of show. Made by Philippa Naylor. It was so tiny but exquisite. If only I could work small....

This quilt was part of a display of quilts "From jungle to Sea" by Anne Maundrell featuring the landscape of Borneo. As I had visited Borneo last year I could really appreciate how she had captured the tropical vibrancy:

The Modern Quilt group had a display of their challenge quilts "Juke Box Shuffle". Each quilt depicted a song. It was great to see which song inspired each quilt:

This exhibition featured little portarits which could be completed in any form by their makers (paint, collage, stitch etc). It is called "Through our Hands" and its purpose was to raise funds for Save the Children Fund. Makers around the world took part, each creating their own portarit. After the Festival the portraits are shuffled up and each person who participated receives one of the portraits.

Tuesday 15th August
I think I have recovered now from the Festival of Quilts. It was such fun to catch up with so many of you, teach my classes, look at the quilts and of course shop! One of the really lovely things about teaching is that I get to go into the show before it opens and can have a good look at all the quilts. Look at how quiet it is:

I taught my Inchie Mosaic class twice so here is some work in progress:

I also taught a class making vintage flower pin cushions. Here are two of the finished pin cushions:

I also taught a class on Italian corded quilting with a modern twist but forgot to take a photo! In my last class we spent the time making these flower blocks for a Flower Market quilt. There is such a range of fabrics used here from the pastel to the vibrant. Don't they look lovely?

I have lots more to share but will be back another day.

Tuesday 8th August
Some of the students from previous classes have been very industrious and have been finishing their projects. Thank you ladies - lots of hard work has gone into your projects and they are looking fabulous.

Margaret has finished her Winter Warmer quilt and hot water bottle cover:

Martine has finished her Winter Warmer quilt:

Jackie has finished her hot water bottle cover:

Saturday 5th August
Have been at Just Between Friends quilt shop today teaching a class: making quilts with very small half square triangles. Here is some of the work in progress:

Friday 4th August
More prep for the Festival of Quilts. I have just cut 600 1" squares for packs for my Inchie Mosaic classes. Seemed a good idea at the time to create a mosaic from 1" squares. The gin is on stand by!

Thursday 3rd August
Have had a week away in the sunshine to relax and recharge so am now on full steam ahead for prep for the Festival of Quilts. I have to make a mess before any order occurs! Am in the middle of making up packs for my classes; two down three to go...

Monday 24th July
Are you coming to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August? Have you got your ticket? If not see my post from Friday 21st July to be in with a chance to get a free ticket. I have several workshops to teach, most of which are now sold out but this one still has a few spaces. It is a quick and easy session on Friday 11th August at 3.30pm for an hour making a vintage style Flower Pin Cushion. All materials provided. Check it out!

Sunday 23rd July
Well the courses are coming thick and fast at the moment. I am teaching another residential weekend course in Milton Keynes in September. We will be spending the weekend working on stitching a Japanese quilt. Lots of different techniques will be covered so will be a busy weekend. Further info and details below:

Friday 21st July
The Festival of Quilts is quickly approaching and I have just started doing some of the prep for my classes. I have two complimentary passes for the Festival which can be used on any day. The tickets are valued at £15 each. If you would like to be in for a chance to win the tickets email me at with your name by August 2nd and I will randomly draw a winner.

Sunday 16th July
What are you doing in the summer in late August? If you fancy spending the weekend with like minded stitchers come and join us for a residential weekend making a modern quilt. This is being held in a hotel in Ipswich with accomodation and all meals. Nothing to worry about apart from concentrating on the sewing. We are making modern quilts with three to choose from. Further information can be found on the Anglia leiseure website:

Saturday 15th July
My favourite part of making a quilt is stitching the binding on. As most of my quilt making is done by machine there is something very satisfying about stitching the binding down by hand and finishing the quilt. I love choosing the binding fabric for a quilt. Sometimes I pick out one of the fabrics in the quilt and use that and sometimes I make a scrappy binding. I have just finished this and used one of the lighter fabrics in the quilt for the binding.

Sunday 9th July
These photos have been sent to me from Kathryn. She used part of one of my Japanese patterns to make this wall hanging. She has used the noshi design which represents strands of sea weed tied together to ward off evil spirits. Kathryn has quilted the linen background first and then appliqued on the noshi. It really is stunning Kathryn. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

Saturday 8th July
These fabrics arrived this week. "Imprint" from Art Gallery. I am about to start working on a magazine commission with them. I love all the greys and jade colourways.

Monday 3rd July
Here is Bibi's quilt top now finished from the positive and negative pinwheels class a few weeks ago. Love the fabric choice! Thanks Bibi.

Saturday 1st July
I have been at Just Between Friends Quilt shop today teaching my Winter Warmer quilt with matching hot water bottle cover. Just getting ahead of ourselves in preparation for winter! Some students worked on the quilt while others on the patchwork hot water bottle cover. Once the cutting is finished the blocks are pretty quick to complete. (Martina made nine!) Hope that you all enjoyed your day ladies! Here are some pics of the quilts as work in progress and Judy's hotwater bottle cover finished:

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 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.




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