Tag Archives: quilting

WIP Wednesday- Charm Packs in action

I’ve just remembered that I’ve not shown you one of my WIPs started a little while ago. I started it as a distraction project (and have already named it “Hello Chevron”) and it will use 3 charm packs in it’s construction. I’m not letting myself pick it back up again yet though as I need to get thinking “curtains” and stop procrastinating.

I drew up this plan in EQ7- the pink bits are patterned pieces from the Hello Luscious charm packs, the rest are solids cut from yardage…

As you can see I’ve done the top row already. As my room is a mess because the other side of the garage is being painted and what-not, I could only really trap it in the door to photograph early this morning, but I think you get the idea!

My next project has been puct back over and over again so I am going to allow myself to finish this one before next wednesday with any luck. Also from a charm pack, this time Tend the Earth by Deb Strain. I was originally going to make a kaleidoscope quilt with this charm pack and it didn’t really work out and I ended up with a few wasted charm squares and the whole thing got bundled away for a while. After I found THIS PATTERN in Modern Quilting magazine I knew I had to make it, I bought handles for it ages ago and then last week I discovered my slightly abused charm pack would be perfect for this as it says it needs only 33 charm squares (though I counted and it’s actually 34)!

Sorry for the slightly blurry pic, as I say, it was early! These are my two front panels, I’m just finishing the sides, bottom and flap pieces then I have to do the bit I hate- cut out ALL the interfacing and lining pieces. This is why I don’t normally make bags- too much pattern cutting! Just need to buy some more fusible fleece, mega strong interfacing and a big zip!

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Round the blocks

Have you seen the Can’t Grow a Mo’ Sew a Mo’ block appeal? I won’t go into too much detail but it’s being managed by DJ Cool Bear to make a quilt to be raffled off for Movember and the Mary Potter Hospice raising money for prostate cancer patient care. All you have to do is make a block square or rectangular up to 12.5″ unfinished with an applique moustache (and there are some templates provided on the link if you can’t draw one) and mail it off to be included. I had forgotten my seam allowances when making my block this morning so I am quite glad of this because I expected to have to add another border tonight! Since quilting is all about working together and good causes traditionally, it might be something you want to get involved in. CLICK HERE FOR ALL OF THE INFORMATION.

So here’s my finished block, a dapper Dickensian gent is what I was aiming for…

Also I finished round 1 of the UK Borders Agency bee- I got Hannah’s boat block first so I added lots of solid strips round the outside to create a bit of a gap so the next person can add a load of patterns if they wish without it being too chaotic! I will be passing this on to Gina when I next see her, I have some things for her anyway!

Sadly it’s got a bit of a wonk to it- it doesn’t lay totally flat and I’m a bit worried to be honest. It could be because the block either wasn’t straight when I started adding to it or it could have been something I’ve done when building it. So what I’m thinking is if I put a big white border on it, do you think I’ll be able to square the wonk off? Any tips?!

Lastly, I’m looking for a volunteer to review the book below for me. I think sometimes it’s nice to get a mix of people reviewing things. I would post this out for you to keep and then I would need to know your general likes and dislikes about it, a couple of photos of things in the book you found particularly appealing and then I’ll format it into a guest blog post. I’d prefer UK reviewer at the minute because it will be quicker to get it to you and (marginally) cheaper. Any takers?

Free Motion Quilting – Day 1

So after the mayhem of last week, Sunday allowed me some sewing time for the first time in nearly a fortnight! So the backlog has made me “need” to start two new quilting projects. More on that later in the week. And I haven’t finished patchworking my boring pattern curtains yet!

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I mentioned the free motion quilting group on Facebook started by Julia at Gone to Earth. We’re working through the Angela Walters book. There are only 7 of us but I’m in with some of the popular girls- Kerry from Very Kerry Berry and Ali from Very Berry Handmade and Angela herself may be dropping by to see how we’re getting on!

So swirls were the first in the book, so I had a quick sketch…

And decided to get stuck in straight away with the first little block. I’m going to sew a charm pack together double sided for this project as a quilting sampler. I did have a dodgy piece in my charm pack though- boooo!

One side…

The other…

And then because I’m a risk taker I decided to add it to the mini quilt I’ve nearly finished for Brit Quilt Swap 3!

It’s hard to keep my stitches the same length but it’s not too bad I don’t think. If I was working on a bigger space than just a few inches I think it would be easier, although I don’t fancy heaving a massive quilt through my machine with this design!

Giveaway: Carefree Quilts book by Joy-Lily

Another book sent to me by the publishers- and this one appeals to the lazy and maths-shy side of me! The book is ideal for those of us that like to just get stuck in and make, without having to do a huge amount of prep work or worry about perfect seam allowances.

This book has 13 projects- not just quilts- there’s a tablerunner, tote bag, placemats (above) etc made from flip blocks or stack and slash blocks. If you like wonky quilts and modern patchwork, this could be a nice book for you. Here’s some photos of my favourite pages…

So would you like to win my copy of this book? There’s 3 ways to do this…

1) Leave a comment here, if you want inspiration, visit RUCraft and tell me which craft book there is at the top of your wish list.

2) Like me on Facebook and leave me a comment saying you have done so

3) Tweet this giveaway and the link to this page, you can use this text if you like: “I’ve entered the Carefree Quilts book giveaway on @pennydog’s blog, https://pennydog.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/giveaway-carefree-quilts-by-joy-lily/“. Come back and comment that you’ve done that and leave your Twitter username.

So that’s a total of 3 comments to leave, this giveaway is open internationally until Friday 10th August at 6pm GMT.

Good luck!

Pretty patterns over on Craftsy

I’ve started a small patterns shop on Craftsy (link is now in my top bar of the blog) which I’m going to add my free blocks to too, but I thought it would be worth giving a nod to some other pattern seller on there so you can see what fantastic patchwork patterns are on there, it’s definitely worth a look!

I actually bought this one and it’s what I’m using to make the main feature of my mini quilt for the Brit Swap…

Good Luck Star by Banner Creek Designs – $5

But I have my eye on these too!

Cross Star Paper Pieced Block by Bubblestitch – $2.90

Star and Crescent Quilt Pattern by Shell Bees Treasures – $4

Flowers in Vintage Bottles by Charise Creates – $5

Book Review – Quilter’s Desk Diary 2013

Since the Christmas in July season is upon us, it seemed apt to look at a diary for next year as my next book review. I don’t particularly enjoy talking about the C word until at least October, and even then only in the context of making some homebrew or spreading the cost of presents.

Anyway, here is the cover of the diary…

Quilter’s Desk Diary 2013 really is a desk diary. It’s hardbacked, a bit big for a handbag (a bit bigger than A5) and it doesn’t have all of that personal information and notable dates pages at the start, it leaps straight into 31st December 2012. This doesn’t bother me because I’m going to use it for birthday reminders (because we always forget someone’s birthday), blog post ideas and targets for getting my quilts finished for forthcoming shows and mailing deadlines for online swaps, etc. With a week to a full page there’s certainly enough room to put in those sorts of reminders.

So what makes it a Quilter’s Diary? Well the left hand page of each week’s spread has a lovely quilt photograph with a little bit of text about it. These feature projects you can make from books also published by David & Charles. It has some Pam and Nicky in there which is great, but I’m not so keen on the Japanese style ones but I know some of you will love those. Here’s some more examples of my favourite pages…

And this one is on my birthday week- a really intriguing painted quilt. I may actually check ‘The Painted Quilt’ book out on payday (it’s half price at RUCraft) as I love art quilts.

The details of the books featured are listed at the back. I actually own a lot of these and can thoroughly recommend The Quilter’s Bible, it taught me everything I’ve ever wanted and needed to know about the craft and I still refer to it often.

If I was grading the diary out of 10 I’d probably give it a 6- I’d have scored it more if it felt a bit less like a book advert and if it had a ribbon to mark the page- essential I think since this book is not spiralbound and so therefore doesn’t lay flat. I don’t think I would personally spend £9.99 (RRP) on any diary either, but I’m a cheapskate!

The Quilter’s Diary 2013 is currently available for preorder at RUCraft at £7.49, but it should be available very soon.

Book Review – Jelly Roll Dreams compiled by Pam and Nicky Lintott

I don’t think I’ve said this before, but I love everything that Pam and Nicky Lintott of The Quilt Room do. They are the precut queens and I bow down to them for that as I’m always a bit flummoxed by them without their books to guide me. Quilts I have made from their books so far? The Snapdragon one I’m finishing tonight(!), the Goldfinch quilt (sans applique) and the sample quilt I made for my grandparents last year.

Anyway, this week I was generously given a copy of Jelly Roll Dreams by the publishers to get my teeth into and I was surprised- here was a Pam and Nicky book I didn’t actually own! I was amazed at my laxness as this book came out three months ago! Jelly Roll Dreams offers 12 patterns for beautiful quilts not by the Lintotts, but chosen by them in a Moda sponsored competition they held where patchworkers had to come up with a quilt design that gets the most out of a jelly roll. And these are the top entries, and very worthy they are too. Look at some of these- it is tempting to make any of these right now and stuff the WIPs!

Something for fans of squares and HSTs…

Something for those crazy people that enjoy curved piecing…

And even some foundation piecing…

Each quilt is made from just one jelly roll and can be made with traditional or contemporary fabrics depending on personal preferences and there’s a good mixture of examples of both throughout the book to inspire you. I hate to use this phrase, but there really is something for everyone in this book, unless you hate precuts of course (but honestly, WHO hates precuts?!). The instructions are clear, the photos are just lovely- both of the original entrants quilts and Pam and Nicky’s fabric interpretations. I don’t think I can honestly find a fault with the book- except maybe the title is a little naff and the greedy side of me wants more than 12 patterns! I will definitely be making a quilt or two from this book once an opportunity arises and my WIP list is reduced a little more.

I think I am going to make this one- I have my special triangle ruler (also from the Quilt Room) at the ready!

The book is currently £10.35 at RUCraft along with other great titles. It’s cheaper than Amazon and they take Paypal on the site too.

Do you own this book? I’d love to know what you think of it too!

Honey, I’m home!

I’m back from Northumberland (and a little drive in Scotland) and we were very lucky with the weather… I’m not going to bore you with holiday stuff but here some photos I took, mostly of puffins because I find wildlife more interesting than scenics (or indeed pictures of me)…

I got mildly sunburnt on Inner Farne- yes really!

Here’s one of OH getting mobbed by Arctic Terns…

I also have what is collectively known as a crapload of seaglass from Lindisfarne. We even found an intact medicine bottle, those lovely little rectangular green ones. I’m cleaning some up at the minute as I will be using some to make jewellery myself (eventually) and selling some on Etsy later this week. if you’re in the market for clear, green or brown seaglass, plain or textured or with words on, big or small pieces I pretty much have it all so let me know and I can reserve some for you.

Whilst I have my salesman visor on, you might want to know that my AEG 680 sewing machine is up on eBay for the next few days, ending 13th July. It comes with additional 1/4 inch foot and darning/ free motion foot and loads of bobbins and spare feet extra too.

Reason being is because I now have thiiiissss…

It’s taking a bit of effort to get to grips with the free motion mode as the foot has to be in a weird half-up-half-down position which it moves out of every time I change the bobbin or indeed readjust my work. And then it loops like billy-o on the back and then I get a bit mad with it. But I’m getting there.

Straight stitching is an absolute dream. The needle down function works better than my other machine and the built in walking foot is a new experience that I am liking a lot. Here’s what I did this morning- I have a long way to go and this needs finishing completely this week. Eek!

In other news I received this new bundle of Nel Whatmore fabrics from Free Spirit for the Fat Quarterly challenge which was one of the things that was a secret but I think I can tell you now. This is Katharine’s Wheel and I need to come up with some kind of swirly block- after I finish this and the dog quilt of course!

Aren’t they lovely? I hear they will be available from The Cotton Patch imminently- at the time of writing they had Happy Go Lucky and Sleeping Beauty but not this range yet.


Savvy Star Bee Block Tutorial

So the UK Borders Agency Quilting Bee now has all the members it needs, and now I am working on my centre block. Well, sort of. I haven’t actually sewn it yet but we have a couple of weeks so I’ll probably do it on Sunday after the craft fair.

This is what I am planning on making- I’m not sure of its traditional name- and there’s bound to be one- I’m just calling it the Savvy Star for now. I’m going to go for bold colours but they may not exactly be these shades when I’m done. I’m probably going to use some baby blue Sherbet Pips dogs in the centre.

If you fancy stitching one up at the same time as me, you can find the templates here and here’s the instructions below… You could do it using freezer paper piecing if you prefer.


1) Trace the outer lines of the pattern pieces onto card or template plastic. For a one off block you can probably get away with printing, cutting out the paper pieces and pinning to your fabric and cutting out that way. Or if you’re feeling clever you could transfer the lines straight onto your fabric.

2) Cut out all the pieces from fabric using your templates- you will need 4x A, 4x B, 4x C, 4x D, 1x E, 4x F (or invert your C template and cut four) and 4x G. That’s a total of 25 pieces.

3) Make the centre block first. Align the corner pieces (marked D) and sew into place onto E. Always use a 1/4″ seam allowance otherwise the block won’t work!

4) Next, make up triangle blocks in the same way, making four pieces with B and C sewn together and four of  F and G.

5) Sew the BC and FG blocks together to make four rectangles.

6) Next, arrange in rows, so you will need to make the top row by sewing block A to a BCFG (making sure it’s the right way round- refer to the diagram if you’re not sure) and then to another A.

7) Continue the method with the middle row and then the bottom row, then stitch the rows together to complete.

Other option… You could paper piece this together by hand by making paper templates of the inner shapes and folding and stitching fabric around them before piecing together (here’s my way of doing English Paper Piecing)

EDIT: I have now completed the block!

Swaps and Bees

I still have two spots left on the borders bee! Read this post for more information if you’re looking to join a UK quilting bee. So far our members are me, Gina, Wendy, Marie and Nan.

If a bee is too much commitment, then you might be interested in a swap. The Brit Quilt group has started up again and round 3 is a mini quilt round. If you fancy a secret swap and want to make a 12-24″ square mini quilt, get signed up ASAP. Here’s the link to the group.

And this is my mosaic for my lovely secret swapper to get an idea of what I like!

And of course a blog post wouldn’t be complete without a WIP picture, I am doing another secret swap and if I show too much the person who it is for will know I’m her partner so it’s just a sneak peek of a sketch that is going to be transfered to a useful homeware item 😉