My Patchwork Blog

Previous blog entries . . .

August - May 2017

April - January 2017

December - September 2016

August - May 2016

April - January 2016

Older blog posts

Wednesday 21st March
I wrote a blog post earlier in the month about the Sawdust Hearts project which aims to highlight the value of occupational therapy in patient recovery with proceeds going to the charity Combatstress. As you can see I have decorated my heart really quite simply and it is ready to be posted off. I have really enjoyed participating in such a worthwhile project and hope that it is successful.

Sunday 18th March
I have just finished making a cot quilt and a teddy for a friend who is expecting a baby. The baby is due soon so for once I am prepared. They are expecting a boy and as the dad is a zoo keeper I have used fabrics with an animal print on them. Here is the teddy:

And here is the teddy and a tiny bit of the quilt:

Wednesday 14th March
I have a project in this month's Popular Patchwork magazine. The quilt has large flying geese moving in all directions over the quilt and uses a really vibrant fabric collection from Art Gallery fabrics called Dreamcatcher. The fabrics have some gold sparkle woven into them and feature horses, dreamcatchers, arrows, stars etc

Saturday 10th March
Yesterday I taught a mini workshop for "Gone to Pieces" Quilt group in Buckinghamshire. We made fabulous flower brooches and used felt, fabric, organza, buttons and beads. Here is just a small selection of the fabulous flowers created and a pic of the lovely Janet who insisted that I photograph her wearing her brooch:

Thursday 8th March
I don't seem to be able to get enough triangles at the moment and every project seems to have them in there somewhere! I am making a cot quilt at the moment for a friend who is expecting a boy so yes we have more triangles....

Saturday 3rd March

Spent yesterday at the Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia. The journey to and from there was pretty horendous with the weather conditions but I made it and managed to get back home just as it had started to snow again! I love seeing a show come to life before it opens to the public with all the stall holders getting ready and the buzz of anticipation. The classrooms were lit with daylight lamps which made a real difference to the students.

I loved this display of garments from a group of A level students from Kings Ely College. Gosh if they are designing these garments at this age what will they be able to go on to do in the future? The knitted tea room was so cute.

The Quilters Guild had a display of quilts commemorating remembrance and although I had seen the quilts before it was good to look again at the superb workmanship. Here are two of my favourires. Apologies for not mentioning the makers. I did write the names down but have mislaid the piece of paper that I wrote it on.

This brings me on to the Sawdust Hearts Project that had a display there. During World War One, thousands of sawdust filled hearts were distributed by the Red Cross to wounded soldiers who decorated the hearts with fabric, beads, sequins and pins as part of their occupational therapy. The soldiers could then send their decorated heart to a loved one. They were thus called Sawdust hearts. The project aims to distribute 1,568 hearts for decoration. This is the number of days that the war lasted. Every heart is numbered and can be decorated as wished, returned for documentation and display. There is a small charge to participate with all proceeds going to the charity Combatstress. I have a heart to decorate and return so am looking forward to getting started and feel that it is such a worthwhile project to participate in. If you would like to participate or would like some further information go to

Thursday 1st March
Today is the first day of Spring and what can I see out of the window? Snow, snow and more snow!

In the studio serious prep is going on getting ready for my classes at the Knitting and Stitching show tomorrow. I am making up packs for the students.

Wednesday 28th February
Over the weekend I taught a residential class for Anglia Leisure at a hotel in Surrey. The accomodation and food were superb and I think that all nine of us willl have come home a few pounds heavier. We were working on my "Taste of the Orient Quilt". This quilt has lots of different blocks and covers techniques such as piecing, applique and foundation piecing. We had a very spacious room to work in:

There were some beautiful fabrics to work with and everyone worked in a different colour way:

At the end of the weekend we laid out all the blocks that were completed and look what we achieved. With a few more additions they are ready to be stitched together into quilts. I hope that you all get your quilts completed and I look forward to seeing the finished results.

Friday 23rd February
If you enjoy making bags and if you need a shopper's tote to add to your collection I have written a pattern for Patchwork and Quilting magazine and it is in this month's edition. The bag is a roomy one and ideal for everyday use so take a look....

Thursday 22nd February
I have just returned from a holiday in Norway. The scenery was so spectacular and we saw the northern lights several times so it was pretty amazing. I always love looking for things on holiday that are a little different and in one of the towns I found these vinyl records displayed on the ceiling in one of the shops. Wouldn't this translate into an effective quilt? I also saw this piece of art work on the side of a building. It was made up from shoes and soles of shoes that had been washed ashore from the sea. I love the recycling concept in both of these.

Monday 19th February
Yesterday I went to visit Stitches in Birmingham which is a trade show for all things sewing, knitting and craft related. It was really interesting to see the new fabric ranges that are about to come out and the new products to be launched on the market. It was a riot of colour.

I had been comissioned to design and make some bags for Makower in some of the new fabric lines and these were on display on the Makower stand. The patterns to make these will soon be on their website. Here are the bags ready to be posted:

This one is a tote bag and is made in the Beachcomber range of fabrics:

This second one is a Messenger bag and is made in fabrics from the Fruity Friends collection:

And finally this is my favourite bag and fabric range. This one is made in fabrics from the Kitty collection. I nearly couldn't part with it:

Saturday 17th February
I think that Judy is working overtime as she has made another quilt. This one is for her nephew and is from a pattern that I wrote for Sewing World magazine. The pattern comes together really quickly. Love the fabrics Judy!

Friday 8th February
Busy working on a magazine commission at the moment. Really good to be working on an appliqued project for a change. Here is just a tiny peek!

Thursday 7th February
Thank you to everyone who entered the draw for the tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia. I am pleased to announced that the lucky recipient is Maria C who will be receiving her two tickets shortly.

Thursday 1st February
Free Tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in March. See my blog posting for Friday 26th January. Email for a chance to win!

Wednesday 31st January
Hasn't it been a long month? All those grey January days. Here is a new fabric collection from Makower to brighten up the day. It is called Katie Jane and is full of floral and ditsy prints in a lovely coral/aqua colour way. If you visit the Makower website there is a free pattern using this fabric range which features Irish chains and Dresden plates. It really is a lovely pattern.

Friday 26th January
Further to the blog post below re The Knitting and Stitch Show at Olympia in March I have 2 tickets to give away. These tickets are for use on either Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd or Sunday 4th March. If you would like to be in with a chance to win the tickets, email me at by Sunday 4th February and I will choose a winner at random. The tickets are worth £13.50 each. Get emaiing now!

Wednesday 24th January
What are you doing in March? The Knitting and Stitching Show is on at Olympia during the weekend of the 1st -4th March. Tickets are on sale and all the workshops are open and available for booking. I am teaching three workshops on Friday 2nd March so if you fancy coming and learning how to make an Inchie Mosaic or a Fabulous Flower Brooch or try some Italian Corded Quilting have a look at the workshops on the Knitting and Stitching website:

Sunday 21st January
Yesterday I taught day one of my Taste of the Orient Quilt class. We started by working on the central panel which is a noshi. (strands of dried seaweed). Everyone has approached their quilt with a different colour way so I am really looking forward to seeing how they alll turn out. Here is some work in progress:

We then went on to foundation piecing the little kimono figures and the students left with a month until the next class and lots of homework!

Judy has also finished her Christmas wall hanging and has really embellished it with lots of buttons and beads. Thanks for sharing it with us Judy - looking good.

Friday 19th January
Here is the first finish of the year from Pipa. Pipa came to a class before Christmas where we were making Christmas wall hangings. She didn't get it finished in time for Christmas 2017 but has it ready for December 2018. Doesn't it look lovely embellished with all the buttons? Thanks for sharing it with us Pipa.

Sunday 14th January
The sorting and tidying in the studio has finished. Yeah! The boxes of fabric now all have little labels on them:

The quilts have been tidied and sorted.

I have some quilts to give away to family and friends and also to charity so that will be the next job. I can now start another project.....

Thursday 11th January
Popular Patchwork magazine arrived yesterday and features one of my quilt patterns. This is for a fan quilt. The fabrics had an antique look to them hence the more traditional pattern. This month's magazine has a winter floral theme which is really lovely for this time of year.

Sunday 7th January 2018
Happy New Year everyone! I know, a bit late but we get there eventually. I think that 2018 should be a year for finishing all of those projects that are tucked away. If you have a project that you started on one of my classes do see if you can get it finished and send me a photo. It would be good to see it completed and for us all to enjoy.
I have started my year by having a huge destash (is that a word?) and sort out in my studio. I have so much stuff that needs sorting and organising. Because I teach so many classes there are piles of samples and projects and quilts.
So..... I started with the fabric. Off to Hobbycraft for some new storage and then a big sort through the fabric. I now have fabric to keep, some to sell and some to give away.

The boxes are all colour coded. (To be fair they were colour sorted before but I had fabric in them that I know that I will never use as it is dated and I just don't like it anymore.) Someone else will be able to enjoy it instead.

The shelves have been tidied and I have been ruthless with the magazines.

Then a sort through of the wadding. Why do we have all those small pieces of wadding left over from quilts? Too precious to discard. I really need to make 500 cushions to use it all up!

Finally a clear up on the cutting table. I know it doesn't look that clear but this is pretty good.

Well I am feeling pretty motivated so far. I just have to sort the filing cabinets, then the quilts and then the piles on the floor!

Saturday 30th December
I have been working away on a project for a magazine with these lovely fabrics from Michael Miller:

There is quite a mix of purples, blues and gold colours. Here is just a tiny sneaky peek of work in progress:

Sunday 24th December

As Christmas Day is nearly upon us I wanted to wish you all a restful Christmas period shared with family and friends. Perhaps you will have a little time for some sewing over the next few days or perhaps you may just want to put the projects away and concentrate on other things? Whatever you decide have a Merry Christmas.

Thursday 21st December
I do get asked quite often when I am teaching the course to make the quilt "A Taste of the Orient"? This quilt contains lots of Japanese type blocks and uses techniques such as piecing, applique and foundation piecing. I am teaching this in February over a residential weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel close to Gatwick Airport. This is for Anglia Leisure Learning. If you would like further details they can be found at Come and join us and enjoy a weekend with like minded people; stitching and being looked after with all your meals, refreshments and accomodation included.

Sunday 17th December
I live not far from Hettford in Hertfordshire and the it has been fun to see that all the post boxes in the town have been yarn bombed. I think that there are 25 post boxes and each has something knitted in a Christmas related theme added to the top of the post box. Here is the post box outside the post office:

This is one I spied on the street:

The one outside the fire station is brilliant with knitted firefighters surrounding a Christmas pudding. The yarn bombing has been done to raise funds for the Isabel Hospice and I think to date £4000 has been raised. Here is the link to the local paper where you can see all the others:

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.


Home page , pattern of the month, free pattern, designer, classes, workshops, copyright