For Amy

It was Amy's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to make her leeetle something to celebrate both that and the fact that she is lovely. I know that she has a bit of a thing for green (understatement of the decade) so I had a rummage around in my much depleted Oakshott colour box and made a teeny version of my Emerald City quilt. An Emerald Village, if you like.It's the pretty much exactly the same as its big brother, including the quilting. Just a lot teenier. I forgot to measure it before I bunged it in the post (of course) but I think it's about 16 inches square.And I only slightly buggered up the printing on the label. Is it just me, or are those rotating stamp things a total [Read more...]

Teacher’s quilt progress, also known as I hate sashing

The other day I finally got hold of the child who was missing from the handprint quilt so I could, at last, get on with the next stage in making the top. The sashing. Ugh. Is it just me, or is sashing the most tedious thing in the quilt-making world?Of course, it was made even more annoying by my moronic decision to use 1 inch finished strips. I cut them a little wider than necessary and trimmed to 1 1/4 inches after sewing the first seam. I find this makes it more accurate, and at least fifty percent more of a hassle. Anyway, it all worked out just fine in the end.The top is all done and I'm going to baste it this weekend ready for hand quilting. I need to get a wriggle on if I'm going [Read more...]

Assorted secret sewing

Daniel's teacher is wonderful. She is fun and enthusiastic, and at the same time has absolute control of the chaos associated with 30 seven-year-old children. Very impressive. So when I heard that she is pregnant and also moving to Australia I thought a quilt was in order.I bought a couple of metres of a really nice check recently, just for the hell of it because it was on ridiculous sale. Then I bought matching Kona solids and cut them into 8-inch squares. Each child in the class made a hand print and signed their name, and that was that. I'm going to sash them with turquoise and then hand quilt around each square. Nice and simple, but a sweet reminder of her last class One child was [Read more...]

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival

Hello, and welcome to those of you visiting from the Bloggers' Quilt Festival! Pull up a chair - I'll cut you a slice of cake and put the kettle on.I've decided to enter my Emerald City quilt into the Two-colour Quilts category. I realise that some of my followers may have seen this before, but I am really proud of it so you will have to suck it up ;-)Emerald City was made for the Pantone Colour of the Year challenge. I had bought a stack of Kona greens a while ago and I loved the way they were organised by value, so wanted to recreate that in a quilt. I cut a whole load of strips without using a ruler and pieced them together in colour groups to make the ombre panel, then surrounded it with [Read more...]

Not-at-all-wordless Wednesday – the one with the new machine

I'm in love. With a machine. And it is so quiet and smooth (totally vibration free, in fact) that my husband can't raise an eyebrow (for once, Kelly, your dirty mind is totally justified). I've been putting up with my old Janome for a while now. It was bought fairly recently but was a poorly considered purchase made before I started quilting in earnest. The tension was a bit crappy, there was no automatic thread cutter, it had a tiny throat space, and it was annoyingly "blessed" with a gazillion unnecessary stitches.Enter the spectacular Juki TL-98P - a straight stitch only semi-professional machine that does not mess about. It has adjustable foot pressure and can sew through massive wodges [Read more...]


Somehow I always manage to get things just a tiny bit wrong. In the Stingy Bee this month, Di asked for four scrappy sprout blocks (like these). Since she wanted a variety of colours, and nobody else seemed to have enough red, I opted to make all four blocks with red as the feature colour. So far, so good.Except that I sewed them together in pairs so she can't scatter them around the quilt top. And put them in the post before I realised I had made a mistake. Sigh.Oh well, it's only two seams that need unpicking, right?

Refraction block tutorial

April is my month in the FQR Kinky Bee, and I've chosen a simple (albeit rather huge block) that is pretty improvisational and hopefully a lot of fun to sew.The block gets its name from the way that the blue lines are shifted out of alignment by the addition of each section, just like the way a pencil looks broken when you put it in a glass of water. I really like that effect, which is convenient because trying to line the buggers up each time you add a new strip is a total pain.For one block (finished size about 22 x 14") you will need:22 x 13" background fabric (I used Kona medium grey)5 strips, each 1.5 x 22" (I used a selection of blues from a Kona FQ bundle)Using a ruler, cut the [Read more...]

Project President

What do you do when your guild president is having her first baby? Make a secret quilt, of course!The lovely ladies of the LMQG contributed blocks using this pattern (once they had forgiven me for choosing curves), I did the quilting, and then Amy finished it off with the perfect scrappy binding. There was a fair amount of paranoia that we had been rumbled, especially since the vast majority of the supplies were bought from Annie herself (including the backing), but luckily the effects of pregnancy brain meant that we got away with it.The quilt was delivered at a mini baby shower last week. There was also a pretty nasty baby food taste test, but that's a whole different story.