Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Time for an update. I've been having a really good time posting progress pictures on Instagram, but wanted to share what I've been working on in more detail. I have to say Instagram has really spurred me on to share more as-it-happens pictures.  Plus, getting the hearts and comments along the way has kept me motivated. Jan from Be*mused put it perfectly on her blog yesterday that when you blog you almost save up the pictures until you have enough to post, but Instagram seems to be the forum to drop in with little snippets. Not much use if you're not on Instagram… which is why I'm posting a recap of the last week or so.

So on to the pictures...

This week I found my self eagerly waiting for the fabric shop to open so I could buy more red fabric. I’ve recently done a lot of Christmas sewing and I've used most of my bright reds up. So straight off the school run I drove into town, stopped off at Costa and had a coffee while foot-tapping and clock watching until 9am struck. When you need fabric …you need fabric right?!

As for Christmas sewing, I've made another mug rug, same dimensions as last year, but this time I've appliqued a tree in place of the patchwork.

I’ve also been sewing up an advent calendar.  I saw one on Pinterest and worked out how to make my own version.  I changed the wording at the top to be more in keeping with the Brits.  (Happy Christmas rather than Merry Christmas)

I’ve also made another handful of vinyl pouches.  Considering that I made about 15 last year they have all been claimed and put to use.  DD2 has quite a few for school and has used them to hold paintbrushes and pencil crayons.  I decided to get a little playful with the fabric choices and chose some fab Alexander Henry fabric with girls on bikes.  I somehow don’t think DD2 will want that one for school! :o)

After all the Christmas sewing, I took a break to have a go at Lori’s FREE birthday block.  I’ve not had much experience with Lori’s patterns, but after making this cake block I got to thinking what other patterns could I make?!  I can see these being rather addictive and I’m thinking three cake blocks together would make a rather nice birthday table runner…

So what’s next…?  Well half-term is coming up and I have another quilt project in mind to keep me busy.  Spurred on by the fabrics in the cake block I’ve dug out some more florals and pinks.  Watch this space for developments :o)

Until next time...♥

Sunday, October 12, 2014


It's official... I’ve joined the online sensation of Instagram IG name sewcreateit...  I’ve been umming and ahhing about whether to join for some time, but finally this morning I thought it seemed like a good idea.  There have been several times where I wanted to share a quick snap of what I’m working on so hopefully now with Instagram I can do that. 

I’ll still keep blogging too so don’t worry..this won’t become a ghost town :o)

Oh and if you're on Instagram too, let me know where to find you!

Until next time...♥

Monday, October 06, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was asked by Susan from Wazzo! Newsbits to take part in the Around the World Blog Hop. Susan's blog was completely new to me, but after looking through her past posts she won't be a stranger from now on. She's a long-arm quilter that does some really lovely work.  She’s in the midst of moving and I wish her well that it all goes to plan.

Anyway...on to the questions!

1. What am I working on?

Well, what I'm I not working on might be a better question. As you can see from the back of my sofa...lots! As I'm running a class for the ladies at the Guildhouse, much of my time has been spent on samples. We are working on some pieced blocks this term and each week I've been showing them a different method for quilt-as-you-go. The first week we looked at this method on youtube where you bring the backing fabric to the front (see the 4th picture below) and this week it was the divide and conquer method.  I learnt this method from doing the Lynne Edwards sampler, but this video shows it quite well too.  Next week it will be the Sharon Pederson method that uses sashing.  Andrea did a great tutorial a few years back…you can find it here.  I also found a machine version that I tried out. It was good, but she cuts her strips 2" wide and I found that too fat so I tried it with 1 3/4" strips and it worked perfectly. (second picture below) So as you can see there has been a lot of sewing, a lot of quilting and a lot of writing.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Good question, I'm not sure it differs too much, but if I was to pick a theme for my work, it would be frugal, scrappy, but coordinated. I love using many fabrics and often my quilts are a feast of different colours. In the past they could look quite messy, so I'm better now at keeping some control over my scraps. For example, these mini granny squares all have different fabrics, but I've used the same fabric for the outside and it coordinates with the centre. I find that if there isn't a little control over what fabrics are used the eye doesn't have a place to rest and it can look busy.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Sanity! That's the short answer...

The long answer is that it evolved over time. I was always surround by needlework...my mother was always doing needlepoint or knitting and my grandmother sewed EVERYTHING..including some underwear (which I remember didn't have much stretch!) In 1990, my grandmother passed away and she left behind a collection of sewing notions, fabric and of course her Kenmore Sewing Machine. Being the only grandchild living in Canada I inherited the lot. I didn't know what to do with it, but it wasn't long before I bought a pattern and had a go at sewing clothes. I probably wasn't very good at it, but it was how I got started. By 1994 the scraps were starting to pile up and being the frugal gal that I am (with Scottish ancestry) I couldn't bear to part with them. It was around this time that a friend mentioned patchwork. At first I thought "What a stupid idea...why cut it up only to sew it back together again!!?", but then I got to thinking it might be a way to use the scraps. The more I got into patchwork, the less I made clothes and before I knew it I was donating all my non-cotton fabrics and perfecting my 1/4" seam.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

These days it usually starts with Pinterest! In the old days it would be magazines, but it always starts with some form of inspiration usually a technique. I love clever methods! I love anything where you start with a square, chop it, sew it this way and that and tada...gorgeous quilt! If you look at my tutorials you'll find a few clever ideas..Well, I think they're clever :o) From the technique comes the colour…mostly scraps and then I get sewing.  I’m pretty good about starting and finishing without too much of a gap in-between.  I usually wait until a have two or three tops ready for quilting and then will do a batch job of getting them finished.

So that's me in a nutshell. Who's next? Well I was suppose to tag 3 more bloggers, but didn't...so I'll pass it on to YOU! If you fancy playing along, answer the four questions below and let me know that you are joining in!

1. What am I working on?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Until next time...♥

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fancy a Friday Tutorial?

Get out your layer cakes, I've got a great idea for you. I demoed this block two weekends ago at Rochebeire and thought I’d put it up here as it is a great method to make blocks with very little waste.  And let’s face it when we buy a layer cake don’t you just want to use every square inch!
For each 10” square you will yield one block. Blocks finish at 7” (7 1/2” unfinished)
Fabrics are paired and sewn and you will make 2 blocks, one the inverse of the other, at the same time.
Place 2 squares right sides together. Cut the 10” square into quarters.
(four 5” squares of each colour.)

Make four half square triangles using upper two 5” paired squares. You can either cut them in half on the diagonal and sew with a ¼” seam or you can mark the diagonal and sew a ¼” away from the centre line on both sides. Press and trim to 4”. With the bottom 5” squares, cut off a 1” strip from the top and discard. Cut the rectangles in half so you have four 2½” x 4” pieces.

Arrange your half square triangles so they are all facing the same way. Cut each unit in half which will give you two 2” wide segments.

Sew one of the 2½” x 4” rectangle to each 2” segment making 4 of each kind.
Sew the 4 matching units together so they pinwheel.

As easy as that you will have your blocks ready.  I’ve even provided an easy PDF for you to download.  Enjoy!

Until next time...♥