Quilt Lab by Alexandra Winston

quilt lab fromt cover

Quilt Lab is unlike any quilting book I have read. Alexandra Winston has written a brilliant book based on maths and made it fun!  Never has the words Geometry made me turn a pages, because I get quilting Geometry!

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Flying Geese, Court house steps, drunkard’s path and circles all mathematical in their own way but so not scary.  The 12 projects range from a book cover, large cushion to full size quilts, each with full size templates  – so important as the desire to make can come at any time and not just when there is a photocopier in sight.

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Each quilted project has a little written about what inspired Alexandra to make the item and the projects range from straight forward to more tricky – so a great book not just for beginners.

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The circles are made with an interesting method, not quite portholes – brilliantly explained and each step has good photographic reference.

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I really like this book, full of interesting designs and really well explained – a must for this years Christmas list if you can wait that long.  The Molecular would defiantly be my first make, think it’s the hexagons calling!  Below is a you tube flick though of the book.

all images are ©C&T Publishing

lavender stitching

sewing for christmas 2014Busy week at work, but have made a few embroidered lavender bags as well as a new Mortmain dress.  Just the hem to stitch today.  Below is a linen lavender pillow

bee lavender pillowit is a wonderful Urban Threads pattern, the queen bee is so beautiful and the Irish linen is a lovely natural British fabric.  Each pillow has a different colour embroidered bee, black, grey, sepia.queen bee pillowThere are a few piled up and now there is a wonderful wafting scent of peaceful lavender.  I’ve started my PJ’s from Sew Me Something, it was funny while cutting out the pattern at work a lady came in clutching another SMS pattern!  I used Prym plastic tracing sheets to trace off the pattern, its so different than my usual Burda paper.  It was ok once I got used to it, although I would suggest using a sharpie instead of the pen supplied – Pattern weights would also help keep the plastic flat.  Now to get back to my Mortmain hem and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harrold Fry on Radio 4 Extra.

Have a wonderful weekend!

sewing for Christmas 2014

sewing for christmas 2014I’m launching my sewing for Christmas 2014 early this year as I need to pace my self and to avoid a last minute panic and also to keep to my budget.  I have a few little projects tucked away already in a drawer and planning my list of makes.  Thought I’d post some makes | tutorials and also an Etsy treasury to inspire and buying from Etsy also one needs to account for postage times too. My family range from 5 to 75 and some more tricky than others!  Want to know whats on my list of ideas so far?


felt money piggies

embroidered lavender cushion

monogrammed laundry bags made from linen tea towels x 2

padded coat hangers

wash bag

pin cushions galore (poss 1, 2, 3) or jars

Have you started a tentative list to make yet, or too early for you?

hexy fun #littlequiltsswap

IMG_4859I have finished my Mini quilt for #littlequiltsswap, I’m in #hivejules and so pleased with it.  The binding is made from diagonal printed stripe, so when cut on the bias I get straight lines – a huge thank you to Tina at Tikki Patchwork for suggesting it!  All the fabrics I used are from Tikki, I just picked fat quarters I liked and adore the super cute bee fabric.

IMG_4839I used a small off cut of poly batting and found that this at times poked through, anyone else ever had this happen?  Now I’m back into the swing of things after a mad couple of weeks at work, I’m ready to finish

IMG_4549another mini quilt for another #igminiswap swap.  I found the right backing fabric (and the layer cake I used) at The Eternal Maker, a great place to visit

IMG_4797as they have a wonderful selection of fabrics, haberdashery, patterns, notions yarn and a cafe – coffee, cake and fabric what could be more fun?

IMG_4789          IMG_4787          IMG_4793          IMG_4791

So now I must get sewing, have given my self a deadline for posting all my swaps on Friday.

London quilt shops

Earlier this year I wrote a piece for the London Modern Quilt Guild on London quilt & fabric shops and I wanted to add a new shop I found to the list.

IMG_4728Stag & Bow is a haberdashery with a difference, they stock new items but specialise in vintage.  There will soon be lots of vintage fabrics to quilt and sew with

IMG_4729yarn and vintage patterns,


IMG_4734It is a gold mine of products

IMG_4737and as well as selling haberdashery they also have a stitch night and classes.  So if your in London a trip down to Forest Hill makes for an interesting morning!  And a trip into vintage stitching.

Thread | a festival of textiles

IMG_4698Today the monster and I went on a trip down to Farnham Maltings for the Thread Festival, I had been luck enough to win a pair of ticket from Made by Mrs M.  We met lots of fabulously talented people including the lovely girls behind Gather Kits.

IMG_4699Thought the Buchanan would be a brilliant jacket if cut a little shorter as well as great all round dressing gown.

IMG_4703The wonderful Nancy was also there, we last met her earlier this year and so please she was there today.  This kit is destined to be a cushion for a friend.

IMG_4705The fabric is by Made by Mrs M, loved her fabrics, the prints are great and so original – came home with a half yard.  Perfect for a cushion and can you guess what the print is?

IMG_4706The monster bought a key x stitch from What Delilah Did and is now sat stitching away, great to see such enthusiasm!   There were lots of workshops on offer, although we didn’t sign up for any.  A really fun trip out and would definitely recommend it to everyone!

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Little Quilts by Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger

IMG_4631This lovely little book flew through my letter box yesterday, after signing up for a Little Quilt swap over on instergram.  I fell in love with the adorable mini quilts that could grow into much larger designs and being small are achievable!  Seven little quilts have been designed by Sarah, Amy also designed 7 and the final quilt is a collaboration.

IMG_4623The book is packed with 15 projects, some machine pieced, hand stitched English Paper Piecing and embroidered.  grandma's house quiltGrandma’s House

There is lots of information on the piecing process, from foundation piecing,needle turning, english paper piecing, so a great book for someone wanting to explore new techniques and as the quilts are small – the results are so achievable.  All the patterns at the back are full size, so no need to dash out to enlarge templates.

IMG_4632The Cuttings quilt was made by both Sarah & Amy, a fantastic whimsical flower.

IMG_4633Paper Dolls

There are lots of tips and time saving short cuts, some little quilts are 1 block, some are made up of several blocks.  Its a great collaboration between 2 wonderful quilting ladies and they have st up a flickr group and pinterest board for the little quilts.  Now all I have to do is choose which design I am going to make for the swap!

Victory Patterns | Madeleine

IMG_4596The monster loves the Madeleine skirt by Victory Patterns, easy to wear and fabulous to sew.  If you are a beginner its easy and the pockets are so useful with a fab top stitch detail.

IMG_4598It’s the second version I have made, this is in a darker denim from Fabrics Galore, has a great drape.  Pockets are lined with Hemingway fabric left over from my last Mortmain dress, again fabric from Fabrics Galore.

IMG_4601The monster chose this zip last weekend from the Eternal Maker, adds a lovely back detail.

IMG_4597I used shell buttons and stitched them on with my machine.  I spend my working days teaching & advising people about sewing machines and never use half the features on my own!  Its so easy I can only suggest the next time you need to stitch on a button, check all those extra bits that you have tucked away from your sewing machine and if you have a button foot – try.  If anyone would like a tutorial on this do get in touch and I’ll make one simple step by step guide.