My Patchwork Blog

Previous blog entries . . .

August - May 2017

April - January 2017

December - September 2016

August - May 2016

April - January 2016

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Thursday 28th June

Thank you to everyone who entered the draw for the tickets to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. I am pleased to announce that the lucky recipient is Sarah H who will be receiving her two tickets shortly.

Wednesday 27th June
I thought that you might like to see Maureen's quilt. She started it in a class with me, probably about fifteeen years ago! It has a 1930's theme to it and is made using machine applique in 1930's reproduction prints. Maureen has recently finished the top and it is now ready to be quilted. It is always good to finish those UFOs even if it does take awhile. Thanks Maureen it is looking good!

Sunday 24th June
Yesterday I taught a class at Just Betweeen Friends quilt shop. We were working on my Floral Splendour quilt. The quilt is constructed with just one block but the blocks are pieced in two different colour ways and alternate with each other. Here is some of the work in progress:

Friday 22nd June
I found this magazine in my local WH Smith. It is not one that I have seen there before although a couple of years ago I did bring one back from the States. There are 13 projects in the mag - all with a modern vibe covering a range of techniques. There is also an article on the judging of Quilt Con and an interview with designer Andrea Tsang Jackson. I always shy away from curved piecing but there is a pattern in there for a quilt with lots of quarter circles so thought that I might just have a go at the technique and see if I can grow to love curved piecing!

Thursday 21st June
Have been working on samples for this workshop for the Festival of Quilts in the summer. These flowers are constructed by stitching and spiralling (not sure that that is a word but it best describes the technique) to make 3D blooms. It is quite a clever technique and I love the 3D effect that it creates. The workshop takes place on Saturday 11th August; is just an hour and we are going to make the little flower in the hoop.

Sunday 17th June
I have a project in this month's Quilt Now magazine. It is a floral inspired quilt and is great for using up the precious bits of fabric in your stash. I have used quite a few Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett fabrics - the bolder more vibrant fabrics and have coupled them with some grey background.There is also a feature on me and my new book!

Friday 15th June
I just love the fabric designs by Alison Glass. Here are some of her fabrics from her Sunprints 2018 collection by Makower UK. The collection moves from aquaramarine to violet to pink, orange, lime and grey. I really like the lime and grey combinations. I can feel a quilt coming on....

Wednesday 13th June - GIVE AWAY
I have two tickets to give away for the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham, 9th - 12th August. The tickets can be used on any one day of your choice. If you would like to be in with a chance to win the tickets, email me at info@patchworkpatterns.co.uk by Wednesday 27th June and I will choose a winner at random. The tickets are worth £16.00 each. Get emailing now!

Saturday 9th June
I have started prep for the Festival of Quilts already! I know super early but I have loads of projects and samples to make, handouts to write and packs to put together. One of the classes that I am teaching on the Husqavana Viking stand is fabric storage baskets. These are small baskets but are great for storing any number of items such as sewing goods, makeup, stationery etc I have just made this one up in this butterfly fabric with contrasting pink base and lining:

I will have some free tickets for the Festival of Quilts up for grabs next week so do keep checking back for further info.

Friday 8th June
A bit of secret sewing going on at the moment using these lovely fabrics - "Indigo and Aster" from Art Gallery fabrics. The colours are so vibrant with a real mix of pattern. I think my favourite fabric is the swirly orange one although the green is a pretty close second!

Wednesday 6th June
I have a quilt pattern in this month's "Simply Sewing" magazine. It is a smallish quilt called Floating Triangles and is pretty quick and easy to make. There are also lots of other lovely projects to make in the magazine from dresses to tops to purses. The magazine has a real summer feel to it.

Sunday 3rd June
Here is Joy's Positively Pinwheels quilt which she made on one of my classes at the end of last year. All finished and quilted. Such bright vibrant colours with the contrast between the positive and negative pinwheels. Thanks for sharing this with us Joy - it really is lovely.

Saturday 2nd June
A few weeks ago I posted a pic of a baby quilt that I had made for a friend. I then went on to make her a zippy pouch as well to go with the quilt for all those baby essentials. I enjoyed making the pouch and it was pretty quick to make:

Tuesday 29th May
If you fancy bagging yourself a bargain, my book has been discounted on Amazon from £9.99 to £7.70. Not sure how long the offer will last for as the discounts tend to come and go every few days but if you are thinking of getting a copy now would be a good time!

Here is a photo of the Starburst quilt from the book. This is one of my favourites as I think the fabric choice has a retro feel about it with a star within a star design.

Sunday 27th May
Roding Quilters have an exhibition this weekend at St Mary's Church, High Rd Chigwell. IG76QQ which is also on tomorrow from 10am until 4pm. The quilts are draped over the pews in the church and there are so many to see. It really is a visual feast. Along with all the lovely quilts to look at there are refreshments, a trader and some items for sale. If you have some free time tomorrow it is well worth a visit. At the front of the church I spied some elephants - these are quilts made from one of my patterns:

Here is a snap shot of some of the quilts on display:

Wednesday 23rd May
Pushpa has been busy finishing her projects. The first is a quilt containing the left over blocks from the Summer Sampler workshop that she did with me last year. Not only did she finish her sampler after the class but has used the left overs to make another quilt. (Not sure how she had so many left overs but I think she swopped around fabrics.) Isn't it lovely with the mix of butterflies, hearts, pinwheels and mini dresden plates?

Pushpa has also made an elephant quilt from one of my patterns which featured in Popular Patchwork magazine. I love the rogue blue elephant amonst the grey ones and also the lovely hand stitching in red thread around the elephants. Thanks for sharing these with us Pushpa.

Sunday 20th May

I spent the day yesterday at Just Between Friends quilt shop in Essex teaching my Forest Stars quilt workshop. The royal wedding was playing on the lap top, fizz was consumed to toast the royal couple, strawberries, meringues and cake was consumed and we did some sewing! We did the tricky blocks before the fizz and the not so tricky ones after...

Friday 18th May
A bit of secret sewing going on at the moment on a Christmas project for a publication. I know, Christmas in May doesn't really seem right but at least it is not really hot! Love the fabrics...

Wednesday 16th May
Here is Teresa's "Bumpy Circles" quilt. She started this in a workshop with me last year and has gone on to finish it. The quilt uses a jelly roll and some background fabric. The shades of blue create a really calming effect and the big stitch quilting in the middle of the octogons looks really effective. Thanks for sharing this with us Teresa.

Sunday 13th May
My book "Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts" is available both from Amazon and Search Press. (They had sold out from Amazon earlier in the week but are now back in stock). If you do buy a copy from Amazon I would be really grateful if you could leave a review. Thanks.

Saturday 12th May
I have been at Just Between Friends in Essex today teaching day three of the "Taste of the Orient" quilt. Today we were working on kimono blocks and fans. Everyone had done their homework and had finished their appliqued blocks so now the quilts just need to be put together. Here is some work in progress:

Thursday 10th May
I don't know whether you are aware of a charity called Siblings Together? The charity work to bring together siblings separated by the care system. Every year they run summer camps where these children can just be together and have fun together as siblings. The Siblings Together Quilt group work really hard to provide each child who attends a camp their very own patchwork quilt to have and then take home with them at the end of the camp. Each year the group needs to donate 100 quilts. If you are interested in finding out a little more about the charity here is the link: http://siblingstogetherquiltgroup.blogspot.co.uk
I have just donated three quilts and these were ones that I had made for book or magazine commissions but I thought that they would be suitable for children. I think that at the last count they had 82 quilts so need a few more to reach that 100 total. If you have a quilt that you are willing to donate the information re sizes etc can be found via the link above.

Saturday 6th May
Yesterday I taught a class at Liberty Department Store in London. We were working on a Floating Triangles Quilt which is a project from my latest book. The fabrics are provided for the students and the staff at Libertys had chosen really lovely fabrics for the students to work with:

The quilts started to grow as the day progressed and here is some work in progress:

The really good thing about this project is it is just one block but rotated in different ways to achieve the floating effect. I did work everyone really hard but by the end of the day everyone had cut out all the pieces for their quilt, made the blocks and had started to sticth them together. Great work everyone!.

Friday 4th May
Thought that you might like to see a little more of the book. My copies arrived in boxes with info printed on the outside. Sadly I was very excited about seeing my name on the outside of a cardboard box!! The projects can be made quickly and are designed to be stitched in a weekend or completed in a couple of weeks. They are designed to be used everyday and to fit into modern homes today. You can see all the quilts here:

Wednesday 2nd May
Finally...... my second book "Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts" has just been released. The book was finished in December and has just come back from the printers. It features ten quilt patterns with a modern edge to them. The fabrics are bright, clean and crisp and the quilts can be made using quick piecing methods. The book is available to purchase from Search Press or Amazon or directly from myself at £9.99. I hope that you like it!

Sunday 29th April
I posted back in March about a workshop that I taught for "Gone to Pieces" quilt group where we made fabric flower brooches and corsages. They have sent me a photo of all their brooches that they displayed at their meeting in April. What a super range of finished flowers. Well done to all of you and thank you for sharing the photo with us.

Saturday 28th April
I have just finished making a baby quilt for a friend who is expecting a little girl. The quilt had to have white and grey fabrics and definitely not much pink! I used fabrics from my stash which weren't baby type fabrics at all and as time was short I used a fairly quick pieceing method to construct the quilt. This method would be really suitable for a jelly roll. I choose four fabrics and cut them into 2 1/2" wide strips and then stitched them together in pairs.


I then recut the stitched strips into 4 1/2" squares and laid them out in a pleasing design and stitched them together.

I added a 3 1/2" wide white border and some straight line quilting horizontally and vertically and the quilt is good to go....

Wednesday 25th April
I thought that you might like to see this lovely quilt. Tansy has made this quilt from a pattern that I wrote for Popular Patchwork magazine. The flying geese are large and are made using a very quick piecing method so that there is no wasteage of fabric and the quilt grows quickly. Tansy has made her quilt in a range of fabrics from her stash including some Liberty prints. Thank you Tansy it is a beautiful quilt.

Sunday 22nd April
Yesterday I spent the day at Just Between Friends in Essex teaching a workshop. We were working on star blocks which combine to make a quilt. There were two variations of blocks. In my quilt I used a patterned fabric for the background and it was really interesting to see the variety of background fabrics being used. It was a really warm day but everyone beavered away and got quite a lot done. I hope that you enjoyed the class and I look forward to seeing the finished quilts. Here are some photos of work in progress:

Friday 20th April
If you are thinking of going to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, 9th - 12th August tickets and workshops are now available for booking. This can be done through the website or by phone. If you are wishing to purchase tickets in advance I have a code which you can use to get a discount on the price. The code is WT40 and when used to purchase tickets gives you a £2.50 reduction on each ticket.


Thursday 19th April

I have a project in Popular Patchwork magazine this month. The quilt is called "Bubbles" and is full of circles of different shapes and sizes. I really enjoy applique and it seems like ages since I last stitched an applique project so I really enjoyed making this quilt. I think that it has been my favourite to date this year!

Sunday 15th April
Margaret has finished her quilt that she started in a class with me last year. The quilt combines log cabin blocks with stars and makes lots of secondary patterns. She made too many blocks so used the remaining ones to make a set a cushions. Don't they look fabulous in the red and green colour way? Thanks Margaret.

Saturday 14th April
It has been very quiet on the blog here for a couple of weeks but I have been in New Zealand visiting the family. They live in Napier in the North Island. There was a huge earthquake in Napier in the early part of the 1900s so when the city was rebuilt a lot of it was built in the art deco style. Many of the buildings have been maintained and preserved in the style today so I thought that you might like to see a few photos, One day I will get around to making an art deco themed quilt.


I spied this wall paper in one building and this wall decoration:


Sunday 25th March
It is always so lovely to see students come back with their projects finished. First up we have Pippa who attended one of my workshops where we were working with lots of little half square triangles. Pippa has finished her project into two cushions. I love her fabric choices and the secondary patterns that the rows create. Thanks for sharing these with us Pippa.

We then have Jill who has finished her Bumpy Circles Quilt. This project uses a jelly roll and some background fabric and creates interconnecting octogons. Jill has used a jelly roll which has a retro look about it and finished the quilt with wavy line quilting. It really is a very effective quilt. Take a look at the back and the backing fabric - isn't this just superb? Jill has used a king sized duvet cover from IKEA, which when you open out and cut, only has one side seam. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing this with us Jill.

Saturday 24th March
Back to "Just Between Friends" in Essex for day two of A Taste of the Orient. We had some centre sections of the quilt that had been finished for homework:

They are all looking really effective and it is lovely to see the quilts progressing. Today we have been working on the various symbols:

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 www.ww1hearts.co.uk

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 announce 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 info@patchworkpatterns.co.uk 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: https://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/

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!

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