Watch out, this is a bit more serious than usual. Sorry about that.While I was at Quiltcon I was overwhelmed by the amazing creativity surrounding me. The quilts, the lectures, the people, the margarita-fuelled discussions. I expected to come home full of ideas about the millions of things I wanted to make, but the strangest thing has happened.I want to make less.I want to sew more meaningful things. Not just to sew for the sake of sewing. To take time, and pay attention, and not be in a hurry to have another thing made and finished and ticked off the list.I've discovered that I have no list.There will always be sewing for babies and weddings and assorted other gift situations. There will [Read more...]

A few more quilts

Here's a small photo dump of some more of the winning quilts. In case you were wondering, the ribbons and labels are not to scale. Just thought I should make that clear in case you thought the quilts were all teeny!First, the unbelievably amazing winner of the Handwork category (Kelly, control yourself). This quilt is huge - I'm guessing about 8' x 6' - and just beautiful. (Click on the photo to enlarge and read the label)Next is the winner of the Use of Negative Space category:And the winner of the Group or Bee Quilts, which is just amazing in real life. Seriously, photos do not do justice to any of these quilts.Finally, this surprisingly tiny and utterly gorgeous mini by Leanne, which came [Read more...]

Follow the yellow brick road

Ok, so there's no yellow and there's no road, but there is a bit of an Emerald City thing going on here. This is my as-yet-unquilted entry to the Pantone Emerald Challenge. I really want to use that fantastic Ikea fabric with writing for the backing, but my local Ikea is in the middle of a giant refit and the textile department is a shadow of its normal self. It's entirely possible that I will enter this as a quilt top rather than compromise and use something I'm not that keen on just to get it finished.I haven't measured it, but it's 40 by 60 inches or thereabouts. The background is pieced from linen, muslin, regular quilting cotton and sheeting – I love the subtly different textures. The [Read more...]


My scrappy-trip-around-the-Denyse-Schmidt-world top is finished, and I am still not convinced about it. I'm reserving judgement for the moment and hoping that quilting will make all the difference. After seeing this gorgeous quilt by Rachel I am tempted to give dogwood quilting a go, although wrestling it through my machine could prove interesting.These blocks really are a lot of fun to make, and they come together so quickly. I may very well end up making another, although next time I would probably limit the palette.Just a heads up – tomorrow is my blogaversary so it may be in your interest to pop back. There could be a bit of a giveaway.

Emerald progress

It seems that there is a lot of disagreement about what Emerald actually is. In my (clearly minority) opinion emerald is a very green kind of green, and Pantone Emerald is actually teal. But then I did once spend an entire day being teased by the other members of the LMQG for saying my cardigan was blue when everyone else thought it was purple (yes Pennie, I am talking about you). Maybe I have something wrong with my colour perception. In any case, the organisers of the Pantone Emerald challenge have decreed that any shade of green will do, which is fab because I bought this stack at Quilt Market. I love it when a non-plan comes together.I really love the colour gradation in these bundles so [Read more...]

I’m kvelling!

*Kvell: to burst with pride of your loved ones (Yiddish)Rachel came home from school one day last term and told me that her year group had been entered into a pre-GCSE course called Project Qualification. The basic premise is that you can pick any topic you like and present work on the subject, like an essay, a piece of research or some artwork. Being the smart kid that she is and knowing that there is no way I would refuse to help her, she chose quilting, with a particular emphasis on the work of Denyse Schmidt. Oh, how my heart overflowed with pride at her choice and her incredible manipulation skills. That's my girl.Anyway, after a fair amount of faffing about she finally sat down over [Read more...]

A (very) long-term WIP

I've had something lurking in my WIP drawer-of-shame for almost two years (actually, I have several things lurking, but we won't go into that). It's an EPP hexagon top made from sort-of-1930's repro fabrics, finishing at about 50 x 60 inches. It's not exactly my current aesthetic, to say the least, so finishing it always got pushed to the bottom of the pile even though I had already bought the backing.Anyhoo, the other day Jess posted an appeal for quilts to send to those who have been affected by the fires in Tasmania, which was exactly the kick up the arse that I needed to get this baby finished.In the end it only took a morning to baste and quilt, with the binding finished by the [Read more...]

Wherein I express disappointment that this is not the 1790s

My mum very sweetly gave me some money for Chanukah this year (as she usually does) and I treated myself to a Kindle. I love reading and as a kid would spend days doing nothing else. The school holidays were filled with alternately going to the library and holing up in my bedroom with the resulting massive stacks of books.Between the kids and the being an editor, reading has taken a back seat in the last few years. I didn't realise how much reading stuff all day for work would make me not feel like reading at night. It's a real shame, but I pretty much stopped entirely. The effort of holding an actual book, of turning pages, of keeping the bedside light on – these are inconsequential things [Read more...]


Diving into the oh-so-tiny Denyse Schmidt hoard. Can you guess what I am up to if I tell you I am cutting 2.5 inch strips of every fabric?And I know this may seem a little unlikely, but I'm not sure I have enough.