Friday, 4 December 2015

Log Cabin Cutting Mat Bag Video

I am  starting to add the next series of videos
This is the first in the Log Cabin Cutting mat bag series

In this video I show how I make the log cabin blocks using a quilt as you go method

Hope you enjoy it


Sunday, 15 November 2015

Christmas Make

On Friday my friends popped round to the studio for the annual Christmas make.

Using Somerset stars we created lovely hanging decorations

 It made a great display at the end of the evening and I really wanted to keep them all.

I see a lot more folded patchwork in my future


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Star Pattern Table Runner video 4

Although I have had a heavy cold this week it hasn't stopped me finishing the final video in the Star Pattern Table runner series.

Here I explain how I quilt it and add the binding. 

I have really enjoyed putting this series together for you and have many more projects in mind. 

If you don't want to miss any of them please subscribe to my youtube channel.

Now to plan my next project for you


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Star Pattern Table Runner video 3

This is the link for the third in the Star Pattern Table Runner series. Here I show how I add the sashing, borders and prepare it for quilting.

If you don't want to miss any of my future videos you can now subscribe to my YouTube channel. The link is at the beginning of the video. I have lots of  projects in the pipeline for you. 

Happy quilting


Friday, 23 October 2015

Star Pattern Table Runner Video 2

I am continuing the series of videos for the Star Pattern Table runner.

Video 2 concentrates on making the star pattern block using a four patch block method of construction.

I also received a photo from Cherry of her finished Parrot panel. She chose some lovely batik fabrics and they have worked beautifully for this project.

Thank you Cherry for sharing your lovely panel with us


Monday, 19 October 2015

Star Pattern Table Runner

I have been busy in the studio recording a series of videos to help you make this lovely star pattern table runner.

The first video is all about half square triangles and this is a good project if you want to try to perfect them.
It would look lovely in Christmas fabrics too.

This is the link for the video

If you don't want to miss any of the series you could subscribe to my channel


Friday, 16 October 2015

New Machine and a video

I recently received my new sewing machine, a Q'nique 14 " mid arm quilter. This has been very exciting and I have been trying it out and getting used to it every spare moment for the last week.

However today I seem to have spent as much time creating a video of my first attempts at quilting a small childs quilt as I did actually quilting it. If you would like to see my progress I have added the video and link here.

I used a vermicelli stitching pattern in the center of the quilt to check the tension.

And then doodled swirls and leaves around the border.

Hope you enjoy the video


Friday, 2 October 2015

A Last Lesson

It is always a shame when a course comes to an end and yesterday was no exception. I have had a lovely group of students on the Machine Embroidery course and each month I looked forward to seeing what they had done with the starting point ideas and techniques.

They surprised me with this lovely card at the end of the day which Mark had made and they had all signed. It is now in pride of place on my ideas board in my studio.

Although the Level 1 Machine Embroidery has finished for this year, the Patchwork & Quilting will be starting on 20th October. There are still a couple of places on the course, please email me at if you would like details. 

Mark also entered his first quilt into The Festival of Quilts this year.

Called The Festival of the Dead it certainly lives upto its name. 
With lots of wonderful embellishments it reminds me of the Mexican Dia de Muertos  celebrations.  
A great first quilt - congratulations Mark

The quilt room is slowly taking shape.
I have put some quilt tops which are waiting to be finished on the wall behind the quilt table, and will start to fill the shelves with lots of quilting things.

I am eager to get started and hopefully it wont be too long now before everything is up and running.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Parrots and a Surprise

You may remember this photo of a tapestry I saw in the Real Alcazar, Seville earlier this year. It was the inspiration for a stained glass window patchwork panel.

Yesterday I had a lovely day with six ladies at Tudor Rose Patchwork, and these are the results of a very productive day. 

 Cherry used some lovely batiks and great fussy cutting for her parrots

Margaret has used exciting patterned fabrics to great effect

Liz made a pair of bold parrots and started making her own bias binding for the 'leading'

Pat's fun pair of parrots are really taking shape. The colours work beautifully and the black outline highlights and makes them pop!

Anne's parrots are on a darker background which works very well. She has used the patterned fabric beautifully.

And Denise's parrots are a real fun pair which make me smile every time I look at them. The cloud patterned background is a good choice of fabric too.

Altogether they a wonderful fun flock of parrots and it was a pleasure teaching the class.

The surprise of the day was Pats crazy patchwork panel. She came to her first workshop with me last year and admitted that she hasn't stopped going to classes since.

This was a real treat for me to see. When you only get one day with students you are not sure if things will be finished. Pat has made a beautiful jewel of a embroidery and everytime you look at it you see something new.  I am sure you will agree that it is a wonderful piece.


Monday, 7 September 2015

A Celebration and Dog Sitting Part 2

Although this post is called dog sitting part 2 there will be little mention of the lovable Toby from the last post.

We spent a lovely couple of weeks in the Lake District and I am still catching up with things. Funny how a holiday can really throw things. So this is a quick round up of the holiday and then I will get back to all things textile related.

One of the things we did was to visit the new Lakes Distillery. As you can see it has not been open long so it will be a few years for their own whisky to be produced ( for those who like whisky I have to say I am not fond )

However I was taken with the wonderful iron gates and the Victorian model farm buildings. 

They also had llamas but I couldn't see the connection (but they were cute)

 We had wonderful weather and took the opportunity practice with the panoramic setting on the camera. Unfortunately I was wearing my sunglasses and didn't quite match it up. I added in more mountains on most of them.

This is a better photo my husband took from Whinlatter looking down at Bassenthwaite Lake

And of Derwentwater

I also said in the last post that I was expecting a new sewing machine. Unfortunately it has been delayed and is still in America. This is not the totally bad news you might expect, as we fell behind with the new quilting room. We managed to complete the new floor this weekend so the quilt table still needs to be reassembled. Hope fully it won't be too long before everything is done as I am itching to get going.

My new floor

On another happy note, three of my students came to my studio for a coffee and cake celebration. 

Congratulations to them all.

And now with new courses starting this month it is back to work.

Level 1 Patchwork & Quilting will be starting at Tudor Rose Patchwork, Oakley on Tuesday 22nd September.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Festival of Quilts and dog sitting part one

It has been a busy couple of weeks and I am just starting to get myself back into gear. I thought that not having an internet connection would be good for a couple of weeks, but I was starting to get a bit twitchy after a couple of days. Shows how dependent I have become to stay in touch. Anyway more of that later.

We started our dog sitting break with a quick visit to the Festival of Quilts. It was a whistle stop tour and I missed so much. When we left I turned to my husband and said " Well, I was good this time. I have only spent £2.40" He turned and gave me a look I know only too well and replied. "Have you just forgotten the sewing machine you bought in the first half an hour?" Whoops!

Something I didn't miss though was my mothers quilt. Everytime we walked near it I lurked to hear what people were saying and was very pleased with the comments it was getting. Wonderful to be able to report back to her with such kind and supportive words. This is me hogging her limelight, although I think the quilt is outshining me

Back to my new sewing machine. It will be arriving next Friday so Alan has his work cut out to get the room finished. Only a small matter of finishing the attic and putting everything back, redecorating, laying new floor and putting up new blinds. Then he can reassemble the grace quilt frame and we can await the Q'nique Quilting machine. I am so excited and he will be able to have a rest.

Then it was off to the Lake District to dog sit for my sister. 

Meet Toby

He's a real sweety. More of our trip in the next post but now it's back to preparation for the courses starting in September.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Watercolour Quilt

There are so many Patchwork & Quilting techniques that I feel I will need two life times to fully explore them all.

Watercolour quilting is one that I recently came across. And having now heard of it I needed to have a go.

I had some Liberty Cotton Tana Lawn fabric, which is not very good for patchwork as it is so fine. However as this method uses Pellon Quilters Grid to stabilise the fabric, I thought that it would be a good test.

I separated the fabric into light, medium and dark, and then had a play on my design wall.

Having decided on this arrangement I ironed it to the Pellon Quilters Grid to stabilise all the fabrics.
As I was ironing a fusible fabric I used some baking parchment over the top to prevent any of the glue messing up my iron.

Now for the sewing. Firstly I sewed alternate vertical seams all in the same direction ( from the top to the bottom )

I then stitched the rest of the vertical seams in the opposite direction to prevent any distortion 

Before I stitched the horizontal seams I clipped all the joints making sure I cut the stitching too. This allowed me to lock the seams together and get great matching points

Now that I have had a go at this technique I will start to save small squares of fabric (2 1/2" ) and start planning another one. I think I will try to get a better tone difference between the fabrics, but I think for a scrappy quilt it has worked out quite well.


Thursday, 23 July 2015

I know that I should have spent the day at the computer today but I couln't resist some sketchbook work.
Using this picture, which we took on our recent visit to Seville I have taken small fragments and made some quick sketches of them.

I am hoping to get some more time tonight to finish the page. It is nice just to sketch without a finished item in mind and just wander around the page adding snippets that I fancy.

I am also working on a page for pictures of my students work. That should be live soon.
Hope you have a look 


Thursday, 16 July 2015

3D Forms and Somerset Stars

Last month my level 2 students were given a challenge to produce a 3D form using paper or card. This design exercise always produces some surprising results and today they didn't let me down.

Today we were exploring some folded patchwork techniques including Somerset Stars

These are made from folded squares of fabric and are built up in layers to produce star patterns. Great fun and wonderfully tactile.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Over the last couple of weeks I have been experimenting with a product called "shrink". 

I have used solufleece before, where you bond the solufleece to the wrong side of the fabric using bondaweb or heat and bond. It shrinks away from heat in a similar way to tyvek. Make sure you use an iron cloth of baking parchment to prevent any residue being deposited on your iron. Also do not press with the iron, it is the heat not pressure which allows the fibres to shrink. If you press the fabric the fibres have nowhere to go and the result is not satisfactory.

The difference with "shrink" is that it is not bonded to the fabric. 
Stitch it in place and then apply heat from the reverse side as described above. 

All the samples have been stitched using a normal presser foot and with cotton thread. 

All the samples started as 6" squares and finished at 4.5" 

Narrow parallel straight lines

Small grid pattern

Large grid pattern

Parallel lines spaced apart ( sample sewn diagonally )

Parallel lines spaced apart. I love the 'smocked' look of these two samples.

Straight lines stitched in a spiralling design

Hope you like the effect as much as I do