Hexagon Squirrel Quilt Project

This must be the longest gap between posts that has ever happened here on New Every Morning Patchwork Quilting 😳 A full month between posts! As we all know a lot can happen in a month… I won’t burden you with a month’s worth of patchwork goings-on in one post (‘phew’ I hear you say!) instead I’ll share a finish.

Contemplating layout changes on my design wall. The green fabric is from my stash and not the fabric I actually used for the borders.

Way back on 28th May I posted a photo of a partially pieced quilt top. I’d just decided to alter the design slightly from the Hexagon Hip-Hop pattern in the Lintott’s book, ‘Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts’. My version has complete hexagons extending into a wide border. The border fabric is a ditsy floral on a green background from the Amelia range by Makower. I’m really happy with how this matches-up with 1930s style prints of the layer cake hexagons.

I used a darker floral print from the Amelia range to make the binding. For the backing I opted for a text print (this and the Amelia prints were purchased from Purple Stitches, Basingstoke).

The quilt measures 65″ long by 60″ wide. I used a walking foot to echo quilt a wavy line design with a 2″ gap between the stitching lines.

I finished this project in a burst of uncharacteristic speed in order for it to take pride of place in my display at the Whitchurch Craft and Art Fair on 4th June. The venue was lovely, right next to the clear, fast flowing waters of the River Test and the historic Whitchurch Silk Mill.

Sad to say footfall was low and I didn’t sell any of my products to visitors but fellow stall holders kindly bought some things and signed up for my patchwork workshops πŸ™‚

There are places available at each of the workshops I’m running in July. There’s the introduction to patchwork Bargello on 16th July and a fun piecing day on 30th July when I’ll be teaching techniques to piece an I-Spy quilt. Click the Workshops tab at the top of this page to find out more.

If you can’t make it to a workshop but would like to be part of a learning community then you are very welcome to join my Facebook group, Patchwork Beginners’ Learning Hub. Please answer the membership questions so I can welcome you into the Group πŸ™‚


Three Bargello Table Runners and a Squirrel Project

Time has been whizzing by! I’ve been carried along on waves of inspiration which has been rather lovely after a long period of just ‘doing’ patchwork without feeling creative.

My sewing room after a flurry of creativity!

Following the craft fair with no sales I decided to think through what it is I enjoy about patchwork quilting and in what direction I should be heading. Sharing knowledge and skills came out as the way to go. This fits with my 2022 word of the year NURTURE and with previous words of the year LEARN, COMMUNITY, SHARE and GROW. With this fresh clarity, I pressed past procrastination and a bit of a crisis of confidence to book a local community hall for two Saturdays in July… Time to plan a couple of workshops….

Workshop No.1 – Bargello Table Runner has been inspired by the popularity of a couple of blog tutorials I posted back in June 2020. Seems people would like a straightforward introduction to the rather daunting patchwork version of the classic Bargello design. So I’ve fiddled about with pencil, paper (eraser) and fabric to come up with two designs, one symmetrical, the other asymmetrical, which provide an opportunity to practice the process of patchwork Bargello without a massive commitment of time or fabric. In fact all that’s required are seven WOF strips (left over jelly roll strips would be ideal) to make a Bargello table runner.

Top left: symmetrical Bargello; Top Right: asymmetrical Bargello; Bottom Middle: first attempt at asymmetrical Bargello (not too sure about the rainbow of colours?)

Workshop No.2 – I’m leaning towards teaching quick strip piecing using my I-Spy Shadow pattern. I haven’t quite made up my mind, so, for the time being I’ll put a ‘to be confirmed’ message next to this workshop!

And then there’s the squirrel project that just leapt out of an old book and onto my design wall! Ahem! There may have been an excursion to Amazon Prime to purchase a Layer Cake along the way 😏 The design is called ‘Hexagon Hip Hop’ and can be found in the original ‘Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts’ book by Pam & Nicky Lintott. Looking along my shelf of books about patchwork I have a feeling this may have been the first one I purchased. It was published in 2009. I’ve thumbed through the book so many times but never made any of the designs! Maybe the (brief) thought of de-cluttering my patchwork supplies spurred me into making a quilt using a pattern from the book? I’m not sure but there it is on the design wall!

At some wakeful point during the night I was thinking about the patches on the design wall, wondering about changing up the border from the design in the book, when I came up with the idea to use whole hexagons rather than have partial hexagons around the edges. So first thing this morning I was busy making a few changes to the arrangement on the design wall.

I like the the look of the complete hexagons nudging into the borders. It will mean a bit more cutting to make border fabric half hexagons and a bit of fiddling to make border fabric pieces to fill-in the ‘v’ shapes along the top and bottom rows of the hexagons but I think it will be worth the trouble πŸ™‚

Oh! I nearly forgot to mention another sewing project that got some attention this week! On Thursday I went to the monthly sewing day held at a local Scout Hut and made the May blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. For the first time in months I am up-to-date with the RSC πŸŽ‰

Finally, I did manage to post a short video tutorial in my Facebook group, Patchwork Beginners’ Learning Hub.Β I demonstrated how to use a regular rectangular ruler (I like those rolling ‘r’s!) to cut the 60ΒΊ slices to form the edges of the half hexagon patches.

All the sewing activity was made possible by the silver-lined cloud of a very sore back caused by an excess of digging and weeding at the allotment last weekend. We’d actually had some rain and rushed to get some beds dug over before the ground re-set to it’s usual concrete state. Boy! Did I know about it on Monday morning? Usually I find walking and moving about is the best relief for my back pain. Not this time, walking was really uncomfortable, bending and lifting were very painful, sitting and sewing were just fine πŸ™‚

Thankfully, my back is feeling a lot better now. We had a gentle walk to the newsagents this morning with no ill-effects. There will be far less time for sewing in the coming week. I’m working two full days in Purple Stitches; the 2nd-5th June is a special holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee so there are lots of activities around that; and I’m preparing to run a craft stall at an Art Fair on Saturday!

I hope you are finding inspiration and the time to sew. It is good for the soul!



Meet the Patchwork Juggler!

‘Patchwork Juggler’! Ha! Ha! That’s what I feel like at the moment! Throwing patchwork projects in the air and catching about two out of five as gravity does it’s thing. (For ‘gravity’ read ‘time’ and ‘inclination’!)

Let’s start with the projects I have managed to keep juggling rather than the one’s I’ve dropped…

Plaid-ish was completed in time to be gifted πŸŽ‰

On social media I’ve seen many quilts made to this pattern by Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting. A current Plaid-ish QAL hosted by @jessicaquilter over on Instagram finally shifted my thinking from ‘one day I’ll make a Plaid-ish quilt…’ to ‘I’m going to make a Plaid-ish quilt NOW!’

Most of the fabrics are from my stash. I did have to purchase some fabrics for the dark blocks and, to fit in with the limited time available,Β  I chose to buy an extra wide backing rather than piece a backing. I made all the Blocks required by the pattern but decided not to use the bottom two rows as I was worried the 64″ x 82″ quilt would be difficult/impossible to squish into a standard front-loading washing machine. I’m hoping this quilt will be used a lot and therefore require regular washing πŸ™‚ So this Plaid-ish quilt measures 64″ square and does fit into a standard washing machine.

I used Bosal 80/20 wadding and 50wt Aurifil 5005 turquoise blue thread for the quilting.

The corner label was stitched into the binding.

The binding fabric, from my stash, proved to be a great colour match for the patchwork of fabrics on the front and the muted backing fabric.

The Plaid-ish quilt definitely counts as a squirrel project – it certainly wasn’t in my plans for the first quarter of 2022 – and deciding to gift it was the best incentive to keep it moving forwards, not stopping until it was well and truly finished πŸ™‚

Other projects that have been thrown in the air and continue to be juggled are the baby quilt design that I’m going to be using as the pattern for the up-coming Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. It’s all been a bit of a rush but I’m discovering that sometimes deadlines can be my friend rather than the source of my project downfall. I finished the shop sample of the quilt last week and I’ve been pounding my laptop keyboard, writing and revising the class tutorial version of the pattern.

I’m also writing the ‘Trip Around the Stars’ pattern for ‘general release’ – the design is slightly larger than the class quilt and includes instructions for strip piecing Four Patch Blocks as well as the Snowball, Star Point Blocks.

Of course revising the design and writing two patterns means I need to make another sample quilt! I must confess to having got into a bit of a muddle at this point… Thinking it would be OK for me to get ahead of myself by cutting out the fabrics for the planned ‘general release’ pattern whilst continuing to write and revise the Beginners version of the pattern. Hmm! I should know the limits of my brain power by now! 🀯 Let’s just say I will be shopping for some extra yardage…. 😏

Somehow in the background I’ve managed to sort and cut fabrics for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Bullseye Courthouse Steps blocks. Here are the completed January blocks. The February RSC colour is aqua/teal.

So that’s the projects that have been/are being successfully juggled.

The projects that have been dropped include the original Trip Around the Stars quilt and the Modern Fans quilt, both of which are partially quilted. I did manage to publish the first in my mini-series about accurate piecing but have yet to complete the second blog post. Regular readers will know the weekly Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts have been dropped too *sigh* and there’s not been many other social media updates either. Once I have the Beginners Class pattern finalised and the larger Trip Around the Stars pattern ready to be tech-edited I will be scurrying around picking up the dropped projects, ready to share and nurture (my word for 2022) once more.

Linking this post to Wendy’s Quilts & More for the Peacock Party, Alycia Quilts Finished or Not Friday and Michelle’s From Bolt to Beauty Beauties Pageant.

Happy Stitching!



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (281)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects and take part in the sharing of inspiration, news and views with our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links to visit blog posts. To be part of the sharing don’t forget to leave an encouraging message in the comments boxes πŸ™‚

In my last post I shared some details of a baby quilt I’m making. It’s a new design with beginner quilters in mind. I concentrated hard on making the skill set and layout accessible to newbie patchwork quilters. In doing that I kinda lost sight of the overall size of the quilt. Once I’d added the borders the top measured 43″ x 52″ – not a great match for a standard baby quilt which should measure 36″ by 54″.

Hmmm! What to do? Of course I stalled, indecision reigned. After a couple of days I thought I could:

  • 1. Remove the outer border from the sides, making the quilt measure 34.5″ x 52″ – still not perfect and it might look a bit odd?;
  • 2. Make the quilt anyway – after all I had already cut out the backing fabric and the wadding;
  • 3. Count this as a test run and redraft the pattern to more closely fit the standard size of a baby quilt πŸ€”

I’ve gone for the second AND third options. I pin basted the quilt yesterday – borders and all – and began free motion quilting a broad meander with whimsical stars.

As for the revised design, I have drafted a pattern using slightly smaller blocks in a 7 by 11 layout rather than the original 7 by 9 layout. The finished quilt would measure 38″ x 54″ so not too far off the standard baby quilt size.

A 7 x 11 layout does make for quite a lot of cutting and piecing… Do you think this would be too much for a beginner to deal with? I’d value your opinion on this, thank you!

I’d like to finish quilting the odd sized baby quilt this weekend. I have some fabrics left over from making the quilt top, I haven’t yet determined if there’s enough of any one of them to make the binding. If not, I think a scrappy binding will be acceptable.

Here are a few links to help you find your way into the goodness being shared by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community:

Patty’s Temperature Quilt for 2021 is stunning and provides an interesting comparison with the temperature highs and lows of 2020 recorded using the same colours in her previous quilt. Patty has also posted a quick tutorial to get you started making a Buffalo Plaid Quilt which really does look very effective.

Jayne’s working hard to reduce her stash and has been researching quilt designs derived from a basic nine patch block. Her gallery of examples is well worth a look.

Thanks to Sarah Goer for providing the link in her newsletter to this quick guide to the language of colour. I know I need to be reminded of the difference in meanings between a ‘shade’, a ‘tint’, and a ‘tone’ when discussing colours!

Using an app to try out different colourways on a digital image of a quilt sounds great but a bit complicated for a tech-challenged quilter like me. Yvonne Fuchs to the rescue! Check out her tutorial for the ‘Recolor App’ to find out if this could become an option in the sometimes tricky process of choosing a colour scheme for a quilt.

If you have a collection of large(ish) scraps (think FQs or Fat Eighths that have just had a strip of two cut out) and like modern quilt designs then you might well find Karin’s Zephyr QAL is just the project to get those scraps out of storage and pieced into a quilt. Find the exact fabric requirements and QAL schedule here πŸ™‚

Another fascinating instalment of her ‘Expat Chronicles’ can be found over on Rachel’s blog page. Settling a family into another country and learning a new language is quite a task! In this edition of the chronicles Rachel focus’ on building friendships in a new land. Much of what she shares is great advice on being intentional in our friendship building whether we have recently moved or not.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia is delighting in a finished quilt – great use of large scale prints and large triangles πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching!Β  Ooo! Please do leave your thoughts on my baby quilt design, is it too much piecing for beginner patchwork quilters?