Sunday, 28 July 2013

LPs to Pixels!

Anyone remember LPs and Singles?

If you do, I'm sure you don't remember them looking like this:

Manipulating old records

This is what my daughter does in her spare time!!

I'm steadily ploughing through my stack of basted quilts all needing quilted. 

Today, I'm showing you Pixelated Heart:

Pixelated Heart Quilt 002
Approx. 68" x 68"
I will be teaching this quilt pattern in September.  It is satisfyingly easy, and you can have great fun experimenting with the values of the background and heart sections, as well as how to quilt it.

Pixelated Heart Quilt 006

I went for condensed wavy lines.  I really like the finished look of this quilting, but be warned - you need to have your quilt really well basted & flat (otherwise you will get fabric drag) and you need to have lots of patience and muscle (quilting in 20+ degree heat not recommended)!  Ask me how I know these things!!!

Pixelated Heart Quilt 005

I backed the quilt using another vintage sheet, leftovers from the same one I used to upcycle the drawers in my sewing room.

Pixelated Heart Quilt 003

So that's another tick off my list!

Now which one shall I do next?

Pixelated Heart Quilt Class (6 weeks): Starting Thursday 5th September

Friday, 26 July 2013

Giant Irish Linen Star!

Back in February I asked my Brit Bee mates to help me make a wallhanging for above my bed. 

I sent them out scrappy hsts and I teamed the finished blocks with some Irish linen offcuts I'd bought (natural and mocha) .

Last week, in 25 degree heat, I took the head-staggers and decided to quilt the beastie!

And here it is!

Brit bee '13 Irish Linen Giant star
Approx. 70" x 70"
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how this has turned out!

Brit bee '13 Irish Linen Giant star
I decided to quilt the 4 diagonal quadrants to mirror the star points, using a neutral coloured thread.

Brit bee '13 Irish Linen Giant star - back

The back is a vintage sheet from this lovely lady, which has the same duck egg blues in it as the front - perfect!

I have also sewn a hanging sleeve onto it, but just need to source a weighted rod for the bottom of the quilt and then it is going up on my wall (when I work out how to use a drill!!).

A big thank you to all my talented Brit Bee buddies for contributing to this really special quilt which I will soon get to look at every day!


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lady in Red!

My run on secret sewing finished a while ago!  And I can now reveal to you project no. 4 (only 1 more to go!).

My lovely Brit bee buddy, Susan, had a big significant birthday in July - you know the ones with a 0 on the end!!!

Well we in the Brit bee love nothing more than to hatch a secret sewing plan behind the back of an unsuspecting fellow member!

We decided to make Susie a wallhanging for her new sewing space, miniature blocks on a low volume background.

Susan's 50th Wallhanging from Brit Bee

Here she is receiving the finished mini quilt at retreat on Friday!

Susan's 50th Wallhanging from Brit Bee July13

As always, Susan's reactions never fail to disappoint!!

The blocks I contributed were Special Blessings and a Shamrock!

Mini Blocks for Susan's 50th Wallhanging

I pieced the quilt together and Trudi quilted and bound it!  Isn't it fab!  I'm sorry I didn't take time to take more close up pics of it!  I was so caught up in watching Susie's surprise!

And if you want to read more about what this wee quilt means to Susan (warning - tissues needed!) then hop on over to Susan's blog.

It was a delight and a privilege for me to be involved in the making of this special mini quilt for a special friend. 

And more exciting news!

My daughter has re-opened her Etsy shop and is now stocking lots more of these cute quilting row markers!

Quilt Row Markers for sale

There are sets of 6 & 12 available, as well as gorgeous fimo glazed jewellery!  Go check it out, and tell your friends!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Back to Porridge!

Actually my porridge this morning with fresh raspberries and blueberries was delicious!  In fact, do you want to see the first wee harvest from my garden?

First harvest '13

Well my weekend away at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London was brill!

It's very hard to cover a whole weekend of activity and inspiration in one or two posts, but I'll try and give you the highlights!

FQR13 051

Retreat is a packed weekend of chatting, workshops, shopping, chatting, eating and more chatting!!  (This year there was also a lot of sweating - eughhh!)

When you arrive at the Baden Powel Conference Centre you get a gorgeous goody bag filled with fabrics, threads and lots of other useful stuff.  Here is a pic of the fabrics that were in my bag.

FQR13 Goodies

I was straight into my first workshop - PJ pants with Kerry.  Alas I got side-tracked chatting with a friend and didn't get my pjs finished, but I will post you a pic when I do. 

Friday evening on the terrace was 'Show and Tell' and also the Siblings Together quilts were handed over en masse! Here is just a few I managed to photograph.

FQR13 Show & Tell & Siblings Together quilts

Here is Sarah handing over the Bee Blessed donated quilts to Delma from Siblings Together.


On Friday night we enjoyed a meal out with lots of bloggy friends, but it was sooooooo hot and sticky.  We all flaked out back at our hotel room afterwards!

FQR13 049
Sarah and Rachel drooling browsing!
On Saturday I got the chance to visit a shop that sells Liberty fabrics and offcuts! What a feast for the eyes!  I bought some smaller pieces and also a metre of Liberty needle-cord to transform into a winter skirt (one day!).

FQR13 Purchases

And then on the Saturday evening, there was Quilt Market - where traders and quilters got the opportunity to set up their stall and sell their wares!  I bought some fqs (see above right).

Sunday I was meant to be making a flex frame pouch, but not enough sewing machines meant I got to drink coffee and chat some more with mates and catch up amidst all the flurry of creative activity!

I even got time to nip across the road to the V&A Museum shop!  Wow!  This was a first for me and having a day to go around the museum proper is definitely on my bucket list!

V&A Museum '13
Glass sculpture at the V&A shop!
As always the main highlight for me was meeting up with friends, old and new, who I have had the privilege of getting to know via this amazing online quilting community.


I think that's enough photos to keep you going! But if you want to see more, go to my flickr page here.

Thank you to everyone who spoiled me rotten over the weekend, and made it a really special time for me. And thank you Fat Quarterly Team for another brilliant retreat!

I've still to show you my secret sewing project no.4 which was handed over at the weekend!  But I'll leave that for another day!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

I'm Off!

...... to London!

If I don't see you in person over the weekend, then I'll be back in touch here on Monday!


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Seeing Stars!

Sewing stars has to be one of the most satisfying things to make!

There are a wide range of star styles available, from quick and easy, to the more technical paper pieced ones.

A particular favourite star of mine is the wonky star!

Bee Blessed Wonky Star Quilts
Bee Blessed Wonky Star Quilts
What I love about this star is that every one you make is unique, because of the organic/imprecise way that the star is put together.

With this is mind, it is a great project to teach folks who haven't attempted stars before, and want a gentle introduction to sewing triangles and working with bias edges.

The project I'll be teaching in August is a Wonky Star cushion (18"), combining the wonky star block into a cushion.

Wonky Star Cushion Class samples

The cushion has a discreetly hidden zipper (another great wee technique to learn) and I've designed the cushion so that you get a positive/negative effect from your 2 chosen fabrics.

Wonky Star Cushion Class Sample

Smaller projects like cushions are also a great way to try out different quilting techniques!  You can even quilt the front and back differently, getting 2 cushions in one!

Wonky Star Cushion Class Sample

There are still a few places available on the Wonky Star cushion class.  If you fancy having a go at this really fun project, drop me an email to

Alternatively, you can buy the pattern here and have a go yourself!

Wonky Star Cushion Class (4 weeks): Monday evenings starting 5th August.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Disappearing Quillow!

First up, I'm delighted to finally announce my Autumn programme of In Stitches classes!  It's a varied programme this term - hopefully something for everyone!

You can check out all the details here, and email me if you'd like to sign up for any of them. But be quick!  Places are limited!

One of the projects I'll be teaching is my Disappearing 9 Patch Quillow.  A quillow is a quilt with a hidden pocket in the back, which you can fold the quilt up into to make a pillow!  Clever eh?!

I've taught this sashed version before, a couple of years ago:

D9P Quillow

 Now that I'm introducing it to a new class I thought I'd offer a non-sashed version:

D9P quillow

I love how different the design becomes when you take away the sashing and allow 4 of the D9P squares become the 'background'.

Learning how to sash a quilt is a great skill to learn, however if you feel it is a step too far, you can stick with the simpler, non-sashed version!

Quillows provide a practical and fun way to make your quilt transportable and extra snuggly! They are great for kids and big kids adults alike!

The 2 versions of this quillow will soon be available in the one pattern in my Etsy shop.

Quillow Class: (8 weeks) Monday evenings, starting 2nd September.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Circle of Friends!

Secret sewing project number 3 was for a special couple who needed some comfort and hope during a tough time.

A group of us got together to make blocks, which the generous and talented Susie then pieced, quilted, embroidered and bound, to produce this beautiful quilt called 'Circle of Friends':

Circle of Friends Quilt for Cindy & Brian June13

Susan embroidered the names of all the contributors onto the back:

Circle of Friends quilt for Cindy & Brian June13

How cool is that!!!

The block we all made was this one:

Circle of Friends block

We actually made a couple of blocks each, but for the life of me I can't find the photo of the other one I made!!

And there were enough blocks leftover for a matching cushion:

Circle of Friends cushion for Cindy & Brian June13

Cindy and Brian have now received their snugglies, and are delighted with them. 

I just want to say a huge thank you to Susie for the hours & talent spent pulling this wonderful project together. You can read more about this project here on Susan's blog, with more wonderful pictures to view!

Isn't this quilting community just the best!


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Wasps 1: Jude 1

Well at 5am this morning I was up doing battle with the wasps!

I managed to get the powder in and then stood back and satisfyingly watched them go nuts!

I was so absorbed in my smugness I didn't notice a stealth bomber sneak round the back of me and sting me - IN THE BUM!!!!

Of all places!  Right through my pjs!

As I dabbed on the vinegar, all I could think of was Forrest Gump when he said he'd been 'shot in the buttocks!'

Thankfully I'm not allergic, and my mission seams to have been a success!  Phew! 

Dead wasps nest!

In other news, I'm finally able to show you the FQR name tag I made for Jennie, one of my Brit Bee buddies.

FQR13 Name tag for Jennie/Little Stitch

Jennie is an architect and the city skyline design is based on Jennie's own doodle for Ceri's month in Brit Bee, which you can see in the middle of her block here.

I was getting worried that it had got lost in the post, as I hadn't heard anything for ages. But Jennie was on holiday and I'm pleased to say she loves it (well she designed it after all!).

I have now revealed 2 out of 5 of the secret sewing projects I've been involved with.  More to be revealed very soon!


Monday, 8 July 2013

Don't Panic Mr Mannering!

I have this piece of nasty to deal with when the sun goes down today:

Wasps nest

And a poorly girl at home with Shingles!

But what is really getting me in a tiz today (despite the heat!) is the fact that I've lost some design notes and templates I've drafted for a cushions class next term!!

Aaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh!                   WHERE ARE THEY?

I'm already behind getting my new Autumn programme of classes published, and I wanted to whiz through these cushions today & get them photographed for the programme.  Soooooo frustrating!  I've looked up, down and everywhere in between!  I just hope I didn't accidently chuck 'em after a recent tidy up!

No doubt they will turn up long after I have rewritten the notes and redrafted all the templates etc.!

Anyway, I also want to apologise to folks if I'm not leaving comments as often as I usually do.  A huge change in my personal circumstances means my time is more limited, though I am trying to keep reading blogs and staying in touch where I can. I'm ok, and am blessed with the best & most caring friends and family a girl could have.

Hope you are all staying safe in the heatwave!


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Cute as a Button!

Today was my Scented Houses Workshop!

Scented House Workshop July13

How cute are these!

Scented Houses workshop 003

You'll have to take my word for it that the room smelt divine by the end of the day!

Well done grown ups and kids on a really fun day!  Enjoy your cutesy houses!


Friday, 5 July 2013

Ferry Floor Finishes!

I promised to show you the amazing finishes from my classes last week. 

First up - Ferry Floor Quilt:

Ferry Floor Class June13

Ferry Floor Class June13

Aren't they stunning! Well done everyone on your beautiful quilts.

And then there was Baby and Mama Bear Paw Quilt:

Baby & Mama Bear Paw Quilt class June13

Not quite finished, but well on their way to being Baby and Mama beauties!

Thank you everyone for being a joy and an inspiration to teach.

Patterns for both of these quilts are now available in my Etsy shop, together with this pattern on making a made to measure sewing machine cover:

PicMonkey Collage


Siblings Together Collaboration!

Siblings Together Quilt 001

This cute quilt was pieced together by a lovely lady in Morocco, quilted by a super talented lady from America, and finished and bound by a wonderful lady from Northern Ireland!

Bee Blessed were delighted to be able to donate the Funky Wrench quilt to Siblings Together, a charity that helps children who are separated by the care system. And when Annabella asked for someone to help her quilt the beautiful top she had pieced, we offered our services!

Siblings Together Quilt 002

So in Bee Blessed we set to getting the collaborative ST quilt finished in time for Fat Quarterly retreat in July.

Siblings Together Quilt 003

I love it when quilters from all over the world get to be united in friendship & great causes!

So we will send these 2 quilts off with all our blessings and comfort for the recipients who get to snuggle under them & remember good times with their family.


Monday, 1 July 2013

A Wonky Summer!

This month in Bee Blessed (actually, for the next 2 months) we would like to make blocks for a man quilt and thought this would make the perfect inspiration:


Isn't all that wonkiness just the business!

Sarah has written a fantastic tutorial here for these 10.5" blocks, along with guidelines on the colour scheme etc.

We would love it if you could contribute a block or two, and you get 2 months to make them!!

Thanking you in advance of your wonderful support!


What a June!

June is one of my favourite months of the year!  My daughter and I have celebrated our birthdays, and earlier in the month we even got some proper warm, summery weather (for a few days anyway!).

It wasn't a bad monthly creatively speaking either!

June'13 Roundup

June13 Bee blocks
June Bee Blocks
Let's hope July will be just as sunny and creative!

Linking up with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day!