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 🙂 It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in England, the sun is shining and the mercury is rising. There’s time to enjoy the outdoors and play in the sewing room too: bring along your project(s) and share in the conversations initiated by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Add your thoughts to the conversations by using the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!
I was aiming for a finish this week but it hasn’t quite come about. My main focus has been on the quilting of one of the Square-in-a-Square quilts. Using the walking foot I stitched edge-to-edge wavy lines followed by in-the-ditch stitching around the charm squares at the centre of each block. The quilting shows up best on the back of the quilt:
I liked the squishy look this open quilting design produced – I was reminded of the eiderdowns we had on beds before duvets became the go-to bedding. But on reflection I decided a quilted design within the centre sqares would create interest whilst adding to the stability of the layers. My first choice was to mark and stitch (using a free motion set up) a design into each square using a stencil.
This didn’t work so well…
I could put up with the wobbly stitching lines and the variation in stitch size but when the beginning and end of the continuous line design didn’t meet up… Well! I got the stitch ripper out and had a re-think. I plumped for free motion feather swirls. The results are not particularly even but I am content with the overall result – imperfect feather designs are very forgiving.
I’ve completed three of the feather swirls so my aim is to complete the remaining seventeen before attaching the binding to the quilt.
I will be spending quite a bit of time outdoors too – this weekend feels like a bit of a bonus at the end of the summer season. The tomatoes are finally ripening and I am moving into phase two of the ‘battle of the bird table’ with my adversary: the ever growing population of large, greedy Woodpigeons. I wouldn’t mind them stopping by to feed once in while but these birds peck away in relentless fashion with no thought of sharing the food with smaller birds. I added some plastic mesh to the bird table to prevent them perching and reaching the food but to no avail. Still! I am ready for a fresh battle 😀 I will not be defeated by a Woodpigeon!
And so to just a few of the quilty conversations that have caught my attention this week:
Ever been on a quilt shop hop? Karen over at Tu-Na quilt set off to tour the whole of Michigan in 8 days taking in 59 shops and covering 2815 miles in the process – not to mention a Grandson’s baptism! Click here for the opening installment of her Shop Hop tales!
Yvonne Fuchs has released another of her striking quilt patterns. The solid fabrics she used for the featured ‘Wonder’ baby quilt has helped me decide on the colour scheme for a Snoopy quilt commissioned by a friend.
Cynthia challenged herself to use green fabrics. She has created a stunning improv garden quilt.
Allison’s Diagonal Seam Tape is a brilliant idea – helping accuracy and saving time by doing away with all the diagonal lines that usually have to be drawn for half square triangles or snowball corners. In fact the tape is such a great idea that Allison’s initial supplies sold out super fast!
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the conversations members of the Worldwide Quilting Community are engaging in this week. Join in by leaving your thoughts and inspiration in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Please do click the ‘subscribe’ button too – I promise I won’t be sending a deluge of notifications and messages to your inbox! Thank you!
I’ve had a satisfying week in the sewing room. How about you? I finished, packed and posted the Secret Quilt to it’s destination. Whew! I actually beat a deadline 😀 Then I turned my attention to quilts with self-imposed deadlines attached: All the blocks for the Jelly Roll Waves QAL were up on my design wall so it was a no-brainer to start with stitching them together, completing the quilt top and keeping up with the QAL. You can see other finished Jelly Roll Waves quilt tops by clicking here.
I was on a roll myself 🙂 I decided to make the binding and piece the backing for the quilt. Despite the time it takes me I do enjoy putting together a pieced quilt back.
I included a label as part of the backing too. I used up most of the fabrics that remained from making the quilt top and the leftover extra-wide backing fabric I’d used for the Secret Quilt.
Quite a lot of the furniture in my sewing room can be moved and utilised in different ways which is great as we know making a quilt involves several stages. I have a folding gate leg table, a folding picnic table and the portable Sewezi flat bed machine table. When I’m cutting, piecing or quilting I arrange the tables like this:
When I need to baste a quilt, I collapse the picnic table, move the sewing machine table against the wall and use the enlarged floor space to open out both sides of the gate leg table. This room and the versatile furniture are such a blessing.
I basted the Jelly Roll Waves quilt and thought I might as well get one of the Square-in-a-Square quilts basted too while the room is arranged this way.
Away from the sewing room my crafting extended to a bit of beading. We made these decorative tealight holders at the monthly Craft Group I help run at our Church. Before the meeting I had to dive under a bed to find my box of beads and equipment. You won’t be surprised to learn I found several UFOs in the box! What am I like?
Just a few quilting links to share (I’ve spent more time away from my laptop than usual this week … I’ll get back into routine.. sometime!):
Jayne shares photos of quilts on display at the Circleville Quilt Show. There is lots of inspiration particularly if you are drawn to traditionally pieced quilt designs.
The second part of Christa Watson’s machine quilting tutorial demonstrates how to stitch a wavy line grid across a quilt. It does look effective and has the distinct advantage of being a pattern that can be stitched edge to edge – no thread ends to hide 🙂
Myra is handing on her weekly link up Finished Or Not Friday to Alycia at Alycia Quilts. I’ve found Finished Or Not Friday a really encouraging link up. Always interesting to click over to those who’ve joined in and find out what they are making, maybe find out why it’s not yet finished and celebrate brilliant finishes too. Myra is going to devote more time to her pattern writing – she has a rapidly growing collection of patterns available from her Etsy shop.
Mary has created a beautiful scrap quilt based loosely on the Jen Kingwell ‘Gypsy Wife’ pattern. Mary’s relaxed method of making blocks and collecting strips worked really well.
I tend to shy away from using templates when I’m cutting out fabrics but Wendy is obviously a bit of an expert and shares some useful tips in her post describing the finishing of a complicated looking quilt designed by Anna Maria Horner.
An unseasonal gale blew through our part of the country last Friday and Saturday making outdoor activities a bit hazardous. Calm returned on Sunday, so after Church we whizzed home to make a picnic before driving the twelve or so miles to the little town of Whitchurch, Hampshire. Once there we donned our walking boots and set off on the 5.5 mile Mill Trail.
The trail forms a circular route within the gentle valley of the River Test. The underlying rock in this area is a deep, deep bed of white chalk. Rain water soaks into the chalk which acts as an aquifer (storing and transmitting ground water). Pressure brings the filtered, crystal clear water back to the surface where it flows fast and shallow over flinty gravel. The River Test rises from one of these aquifers just a few miles east of where we began our walk. Following the valley the river provides a natural habitat that is of national and international importance (apparently there are only 200 chalk streams in the world, most are in the UK the rest in France). The upper end of the Test is home to a large population of Trout. They are fascinating to watch, tails swishing as they face upstream seeking to maintain their position in the water.
The Mill Trail gives sight of four mills within 2½ miles of each other. We parked the car at Whitchurch Silk Mill
(noting the coffee shop was open!) and set off through the lower part of the village. Very quickly we were standing on a sheltered bridge listening to the narrowed river rushing through the mill race under Town Mill.
We then walked through fields and up and along the valley to the village of Laverstoke. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the existence of two mills in Laverstoke. The Mill now standing in the village was originally built as a corn mill. In the early 1700’s it was bought by Henry Portal who had it converted to a paper mill. The mill gained the contract to make paper for British bank notes (the modern Portals paper mill in nearby Overton still fulfils this contract). When Portals vacated Laverstoke Mill it was acquired by the Bombay Sapphire Gin Company and is now their distillery. It attracts a lot of visitors keen to be taken on the guided tour and try out the product!
A short distance away is the tiny village/hamlet of Freefolk. We took a slight diversion to visit the Church of St Nicolas.
What a gem! This small – but perfectly formed – place of worship bears the date 1707 over it’s door but much of it’s interior dates earlier than this. There is a faded wall painting and many of the timbers show evidence of coloured paints. Outside, the tidy little yard contains a comfortable wooden bench – an ideal place for a picnic 🙂
Back on the Mill Trail we next stopped to see the river running shallow and wide towards Bere Mill. This Mill was Henry Portals original paper mill, before it reached full capacity prompting his purchase of the Mill at Laverstoke.
From Bere Mill it wasn’t long before the route brought us back past Town Mill to the Silk Mill. Afternoon tea and a slice of cake were definitely in order! Sitting out in the sunshine surrounded by the waters of the River Test was a peaceful way to finish the Mill Trail and rest our feet.
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your projects(s) and share in the inspiring conversations and helpful tips doing the rounds of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do add your thoughts and links using the comments box at the end of this page. Thank you!
Just a note on this ‘Worldwide Quilting Community’ thing: I’ve followed Rachel Hauser’s blog Stitched in Color for several years. She and her young family recently moved from USA to the Netherlands. Rachel is a longarm quilter and to promote her business she took a trip to The Festival of Quilts, Birmingham UK. Her blog post about the Festival features photos of some of the quilts that caught her eye and one of the traders she chatted with. Well! What-do-you-know? That trader just happened to be Viv of Purple Stitches: My local quilt store and the place where I have been teaching for several years 🙂 Just goes to show the virtual and actual Worldwide Quilting Communities are one and the same thing!
I had hoped to baste one of the Square in a Square quilt sandwiches but (as usual) I underestimated just how long it would take me to baste and quilt the secret sewing quilt! Anyway here we are, 5pm on Saturday, the secret sewing quilting is done and the binding is machine stitched to the front of the quilt.
So I’m bringing hand-stitching-the-binding-down to our virtual sewing day. I’m looking forward to a bit of hand stitching but even more I’m looking forward to beating the deadline on this project and moving on! (The extra-wide backing fabric is by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics and is called ‘Friendship’ – purchased from Purple Stitches).
Up on my design wall are all thirty of my Jelly Roll Waves QAL blocks. I will aim to stitch this top together next week as well as getting that Square-in-a-Square quilt top basted. 🙂 Looks like there are quite a lot of seams to match up – a good opportunity to try out using glue rather than pins to achieve accurate alignment?
And so to some of the inspiring conversations and helpful tips being shared by the Worldwide Quilting Community this past week:
Cynthia at ‘Quilting is More Fun than Housework’ has used muted shades of blue-grey to make a scrappy Tumbler quilt. To my eye it is restful and very attractive.
Suzy has recently shared a very comprehensive How to Sew Curves tutorial. I find it’s always handy to have picture heavy tutorials to hand when using an unfamiliar technique. This one is definitely going to find a place on my ‘Curved Piecing Patchwork’ Pinterest board 🙂
Quite a number of patchwork quilters are dipping their toes into the mysterious (to me) art of dressmaking. Irene is obviously well beyond beginner dressmaking in the way she has adapted a pattern while Leanne is gaining confidence by making several versions of each pattern she uses – her latest is a tank dress.
Hmm! Decorative selvages… I’ve never really got the whole using selvages to make patchwork blocks, bags etc. But Amy Friend’s ‘How to Work with Selvages’ video tutorial has changed my thinking! From now on I will be saving selvages…. along with scraps and stripy scraps and goodness knows what else I already squirrel away! 😀