Stop me before I use white again

I've finished the four rings of petals for the lovely Bloom quilt, and I am so in love. These were seriously addictive to make, and came together really easily (once I remembered to use my 1/4 inch foot, idiot that I am). I've used a mix of Denyse Schmidt fabrics with Flea Market Fancy, Hope Valley, Sugar Creek, Aunt Edna, Daisy Mae and even some Katie Jump Rope. Did I mention that I love it?it's 40 inches across!Now on to background choices. Because this is for my (king size) bed I am thinking that a sheet is the way to go, rather than breaking the bank with quilting cottons. Maybe in a really pale grey or blue. I'm really going to try to avoid using my usual white. I fancy a [Read more...]

*insert wild cackling here*

Yesterday was the best day out I have had in forever. A few of us from the LMQG went to the beautiful home of the brilliant and hilarious Lucie Summers for a screen printing workshop. Lucie had prepared screens with our designs for a quilt label in advance, so after a cup of tea (in THAT mug) we got right down to business. Thanks to Lucie's expert tuition, there were happy dances going on all over the studio. Michael and SydneyIt's possible that I got a little bit carried away with all the lovely colours available and I now have more quilt labels than I could ever use, I think. Ah well, any excuse to make a million quilts. In all the excitement (and hysterical giggling) I [Read more...]

Blooming marvellous

The lovely Aneela came to the London Modern Quilt Guild meeting this Sunday and brought her Bloom quilt with her. It is even more gorgeous in person than it is on the interwebs, and that is saying something. After I tried to sneak it out of the meeting without her noticing (made very difficult because everyone else had the same idea), she very kindly offered to send me a copy of the pattern so that I could make one of my own. I've been humming and haaaing about a quilt for my bed for ages, and this is perfect. I love the way that you don't lose any of the design in the bits that hang down over the sides. Also, you can make the background as big as you like, which is fantastic.I'm going [Read more...]


I am currently feeling a combination of smugly efficient and rather sleepy, having been up since 7 a.m. and made a birthday cake (for a friend's daughter) and a giant batch of granola by 9.Neither of these things is as time-consuming or complicated as they might sound. This was my third time making the world's easiest and most tween-friendly birthday cake and took about an hour from weighing the ingredients to bunging it in the fridge so I don't accidentally eat it. Underneath it's just a regular two layer sponge with buttercream, but covered in diabetes kit-kats and smarties and strawberry laces on the outside.The ratio of effort to squealy children is very gratifying with this cake. Just [Read more...]

Two birds, one stone

I've been wanting to make a little something extra to send along with the doll quilt for the DS Quilts swap. I also have been sent a book to review for UK Handmade. I thought I should test out at least one of the patterns in the book before I wrote about it, so had a go at making the little sewing pouch. It's a really sweet pattern that can use as many or as few fabrics as you like. I customised my version by including a scrappy patchwork strip on the front, using up all the little tiny crumbs of fabric I had been hoarding saving.I can't give too much away now, but I had fun sewing this up. It's really quick to put together and would make a great little gift, I think.I hope my partner [Read more...]

Licence to spill*

*Ink, obviously.   Lucy, who is 9, came home from school yesterday proudly waving her "Pen Licence". It looks just like a driving licence, with a photo and everything, and means that she is now allowed to use a fountain pen instead of a pencil at school. One (pink) fountain pen duly purchased, all that she needed was a pencil case.  I had seen a lovely boxed pouch over at Mommy's Nap Time, and Emily very kindly shared some tips with me this morning on the best way to go about making one. I still managed to totally stuff up my first attempt, of course. It's not completely useless, but is really wide and shallow and not quite the look I was going for. I'm sure Lucy will find a [Read more...]

I get there eventually

I've been wanting to make a new handbag for myself for, oh, about three years. It's funny, because I usually make decisions really quickly, but for some reason I just couldn't make my mind up. There are too many options. Fabrics. Patterns. Zips (or not). The 241 Tote pattern has been popping up all over blogland for ages, and has been high on my "probably this one" list for just as long. It took this fabulous bag by Kelly to finally push me over the edge. That, and the fact that she told me I wouldn't regret it. Kelly, I took you at your word. Luckily for both of us you were right ;-)It's a fantastic pattern. Really well written and easy to follow. And the bag itself is a lovely size - [Read more...]

I blinked first…

in the game of Chicken that is the secret swap. Having convinced myself that my partner really didn't care for my first offering, I spent the morning making an alternative. It's a teeny version of the magnificent Sparkle Punch Quilt. I would love to make a full sized one of these - the blocks are such fun to make!I haven't sewn the binding down yet. That's why it looks weird.My husband is convinced I am overthinking things. Silly man, I would never do that. I was simply trying to avoid work.

A quilt (top) for mum

My mum asked me a couple of months ago if I would make her a quilt, and it seemed the least I could do, seeing as she gave me life and all. She picked out a Kaffe Fassett pattern (the Welsh Quilt, from V&A Quilts) and we hot footed it off to Liberty on a fabric buying expedition.  Mum had a very specific size in mind (60 inches square, to sit on top of her double bed), so the pattern needed to be altered slightly. I didn't fully appreciate how complicated that would be until I actually sat down to work it out - there are a LOT of triangles in the borders, all of which have to be precisely the right length. Pythagoras was not helping. In the end I used freezer paper to foundation [Read more...]

First of many, I hope

Today Rachel and I spent the day sewing, together. This was her first foray into dressmaking. It is surprisingly difficult to find patterns for kids her age (12 and over). All the lovely modern kids clothes only go up to age 9 or so, and then there is hardly anything available until adult sizes. After a good deal of rummaging around on websites we settled on Simplicity 2689, made up in this gorgeous fabric. And finally, with the two little ones at camp, we had a day to ourselves.It's been a long time since I made clothes (like, oh, about 20 years) and I was a little rusty, to say the least. The instructions really are written in another language and it felt very strange using such an [Read more...]