Hi! I’m Allison. Soon after discovering the craft of patchwork quilting I was fortunate enough to join a local quilt group and took advantage of their beginners course. There was no stopping me after that! Nine years on and I’m still learning new techniques, being inspired by the creativity of patchwork quilters from all around the world and finding great satisfaction in cutting up fabric into little pieces and sewing them all back together to make something new! 😀
Now I not only make but also design quilts, write patterns and pass on the skills I’ve learned by teaching workshops.
This blog is a window into my patchwork quilting and the place where I love to share what I’m learning and what’s been inspiring me week by week. You’ll find links to other quilting blog posts, tutorials and a few other things besides in my blog posts. I do a happy dance every time I see that someone has clicked on a link 🙂 It’s my aim to introduce you to the worldwide quilty community that has given me so much.
So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person so this verse from the Bible resonates with me – ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ (Lamentations 3:23). I can be up, cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix.
Do take a look through some of my blog posts while you are here, you might also like to link up with me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and click the links to enjoy the sharing going on in our Worldwide Quilting Community. Join in the with the Community by leaving your comments in the discussion threads on the blog pages you visit 🙂
Hmm! I’m not at all sure about my choice of colours for the sashing and cornerstones of the Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail quilt 🤨 The colours looked OK on my EQ7 mock up but of course they are approximations… The actual fabrics appear more rusty red and salmon pink than the shades of orange I’d been imagining.
Melva (designer of the QAL) took a look at the photo I posted on Instagram and messaged that with a blue border it should work… I’m hoping the broad, mainly blue outer border will throw attention on the blocks and suppress the sashing. We shall see! The fabrics are cut now so the options are: 1. to carry on or 2. face a trip to that UFO Cupboard of Shame 😱
The Following Day: I’ve moved on to a third (expensive) option 😌 I looked at the design wall this morning and decided the sashing hadn’t grown on me at all, quite the reverse. I experimented with some strips of golden yellow fabrics before trying strips of the cornerstone rusty red fabric. I’m surprised the darker strips seem to be a preferable option although I’m still not convinced… Whatever I decide will now involve buying even more fabric to finish a scrap quilt!
Back to UFOs, well things of outer space anyway. I’m listening to the autobiography of NASA’s Flight Director, Gene Kranz. You may have seen his character depicted in such films as ‘Apollo 13’ or ‘First Man’. Gene Krantz is the chap in Mission Control who dons a white waistcoat at the start of the manned rocket launches. His book, ‘Failure is Not an Option‘, is a fascinating listen. I can’t claim to follow all the technical stuff (although it is written to be accessible) but the background story to getting humans into space is remarkable. I’m in awe of the people who pushed the boundaries of knowledge and the men who basically sat on top of World War 2 German V2 rockets in order to be propelled out of the Earth’s atmosphere. Quite amazing!
Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts may be a bit intermittent over the coming month but I intend to get the schedule back on track in the new year 🙂 Here are a few links to distract you from your Christmas preparations:
Sheila Christensen is launching her online ‘Modern Triangle Sampler’ course. Participants will have access to Sheila’s videos sharing all her expertise in cutting and making triangle blocks without templates or Y-seams. She is offering two options for the course quilt.
Have you made a Plaid-ish quilt? The design crops up fairly often in my Instagram feed and it’s definitely on my list of quilts to make. The Plaid-ish tutorial was first published in 2019 by Erica Jackman of Kitchen Table Quilting. You can download the pattern for free here.
Something else that catches my eye as I do the Instagram scroll are jackets made from quilts. Now, I’m no dress-maker but I am tempted by these especially as I have a large quilt that is not being used. I made it a few years ago as an entry for the Festival of Quilts challenge. It’s too big to work as a throw so I have no qualms about cutting it up. Alison Stothard @hexadoodlequilts shared her first version of the Paola jacket, a free pattern from the Fabric Store. That got me searching ’til I found another jacket pattern, the Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio. I found there is series of tutorials on the Grainline Studio blog page, maybe I could have a go? The website is full of helpful information – a good one to favourite I think 🙂
I had better stop dreaming of future projects, press the ‘publish’ button and acknowledge it is time for a reality check – go clean the bathroom 😛
A sandwich of a blog post – two positives surrounding a rather negative filling!
First positive layer:
Here is the progress I’ve made with a couple of the projects I have on the go:
Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along: I made the twelfth and final block. Came home from Purple Stitches with fabrics for the sashing and cornerstones… I hope the rusty orange will provide enough of contrast without being a distraction from the blue blocks 🤞
English Country Garden cushion covers: Finished! 😁
The negative filling:
I’ve been getting a little stressed by deadlines lately. Not quite sure why, but I’m the run-up to Christmas (complete with it’s own set of requirements combining deadlines and perfectionism) along with heightened anxiety around Covid infection rates as invitations to social events begin to mount up are two of the causes. In my more rational moments I’ve been able to make sensible decisions about what to do and what to let slip but then (especially when I get tired) I have other times when I get overwhelmed and can think of nothing more appealing than shutting myself in my sewing room and not venturing out again until 25th December (when all the deadlines will have gone away!).
My coping methods at such times are unhealthy and expensive. On Thursday I ate so many biscuits I could hardly face my dinner and last weekend I blew my money on a whim – purchasing a sewing machine 😳 Totally mad! I decided I really needed a small, easily portable machine for sewing days. I chose a Bernette B35 which is a mechanical machine so it’s uncomplicated with no computerized workings to go wrong. When it arrived I felt ashamed of such an indulgence, leaving the box unopened under my sewing table for a couple of days! I have now unboxed the neat little machine, read the instruction leaflet, played around with a few scraps of fabric getting a feel for how it runs. Of course, one purchase leads to another, so I have ordered a quarter inch foot and a walking foot to add to the accessories kit…
Through the past two weeks I have continued to sew, but I have not been reading blog posts. My inbox reached overwhelm, social media was getting me down – so many Black Friday deal messages that any normal, friendly sewing messages were just lost in the deluge. And that left me feeling quite disconnected, lonely in fact. Does that make sense? Perhaps I was experiencing the virtual equivalent of feeling very lost and alone in a large crowd?
Anyhow, on Thursday I reached the bottom of the low, being overtired after a busy start to the week, I hit the biscuits, struggled to share a pot of tea and conversation with my lovely parents, fell asleep with my head on a table, woke up just in time to cook a dinner I didn’t want to eat, went out to a meeting only to find it had been cancelled (I’ve since found the 3 day old cancellation notice on Facebook – Facebook notifications are not a reliable means of communication), came home, escaped into my sewing room (again) before sloping off to bed.
Second positive layer:
Thankfully, a good sleep and a gracious God provided me with a New Morning on Friday. I finished stitching the walking foot quilting designs on the Modern Fans quilt – looking good even if I do say so myself 😉
– then pottered around doing a few chores before donning my weatherproofs and setting out to hand-deliver a card to a friend. Despite being elbow deep in pumpkin flesh she kindly welcomed me in for a cup of coffee and we had a good chat as we watched the birds flitting around her garden.
Strava tells me my walk was a 5.6 mile round trip, surely long enough to get a good dose of positive-vibe endorphins circulating through my system?
Have you been experiencing emotional ups and downs? Has patchwork quilting or another creative activity helped you to steady your thoughts, regain perspective or give you respite from a difficult situation?
Excuse me, I have been in an odd mood lately. Musing on all sorts whilst continuing to sew.
I wonder if I’m boring you? My blog posts seem to have evolved into a catalogue of ‘what I’ve done’ with little or no creative inspiration. Am I being too hard on myself? I don’t know! My sewing time has certainly been spent getting projects done rather than being creative. No new designs, no squirrel projects (the drop everything to do something new type), no playing around on EQ7 or with pencils and graph paper.
Happily I haven’t lost my sew-jo, I’m still enjoying time spent hand stitching binding, machine stitching blocks AND I’m in the mood to begin experimenting with FMQ after a long break. Perhaps that will be my way back to creativity?
So at the risk of making you yawn, and sending myself to sleep, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
Finally finished, a scaled down UFO from maybe a decade ago 🙂 This little quilt (46″ square) is about one quarter of the original design (from a magazine). I decided to add the EPP flowers in the spaces created by the Double Irish Chain blocks as I was too scared to attempt ‘fancy quilting’ in the spaces and ‘spoil’ it! I found the backing and binding fabrics in my stash.
Inside the quilt there’s a double layer of Warm & White wadding. I doubled it up because it was very thin in places (maybe the end of a roll or a production glitch?).
I finished the second of the four English Country Garden QAL cushions.
The last two just need the binding hand stitched – I will take those as my project for a day out sewing tomorrow. We now meet in a hall within a half hour walking distance of my home, which is handy as I don’t drive, so hand stitched projects are a more practical transport option than machine sewn projects.
Talking of walking… The sun made a welcome appearance yesterday afternoon, so rather than write this blog post I took myself on a local circular walk.
Look how long my shadow was at 2pm! The sun is so low in the sky this time of year – I was dazzled on the way back even though I had remembered to wear my sunglasses.
No need of sunglasses today 🙁 A very grey, gloomy view from my window. No matter, I will wrap up warm and do a bit of gardening this afternoon. Our little back garden received a long awaited makeover last week – it’s all one level now with new paving, a low wall, new fencing and fresh turf.
Unfortunately all that work created quite a bit of mess and necessitated having a heavy skip plonked on our front garden, so now the front is in desperate need of some TLC. I guess the squished, dust covered plants have a chance of recovery after a Winter’s rest? I do hope so.
Back to the sewing room…. I’m working on the Modern Fans quilt by SuzyQuilts. I’ve not much experience using templates and made a rookie mistake. I drew the shapes on the back of the fabric so these 18 blocks are the mirror image of Suzy’s design!
The rest of the blocks are non-directional so they are OK! I had a little brain wave in the night (not sleeping so good at the moment – more thinking time!) and reckon if I take a photo of the quilt design on my phone and then edit it to produce a mirror image I should be able to arrange the blocks correctly, all be it they’ll be flipped by 180º …
Now I’m off to the local pharmacy to have a flu jab…. Very thankful that we have the opportunity to have these vaccinations 🙂
Linking with Susan, who is busy with Thanksgiving preparations, for Midweek Makers.
If you’ve made it this far without dozing-off you may like to see a few more photos from my walk in the Autumn sunshine 🌞