Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (293)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and join in with the sharing of projects, ideas, tips and information by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community πŸ™‚

Whew! I’ve had quite a week preparing for the I-Spy Quilt Workshop. I received helpful and positive feedback from all four participants and we all enjoyed each other’s company as we created the blocks for our I-Spy quilts. I completed half of my quilt before the workshop to make sure I could demonstrate the whole process to the group. This morning I added the border strips so the top is complete.

Tomorrow I will take advantage of being at Purple Stitches for the day and purchase some backing and binding fabrics.

Today, between walking to Church and back in the morning, doing a spot of housework and watering the allotment I managed to piece a back for the Bargello quilt and cobble together some pieces of wadding. I feel really up beat about this project, it’s so satisfying to keep it moving towards a finish πŸ™‚

And finishing projects is my main sewing goal for August. Knowing me I will start something new 😏 but my main focus is to shift several of my ready-to-quilt and partially-quilted projects to a finish. Watch this space… In the meantime…

… Here’s a bumper crop of links into the inspirational world of patchwork quilting:

UFOs! A subject I and many other patchwork quilters return to often! Jayne has started a series all about UFO’s, kicking off with an applique project dating back to 1990!

Damjana at Apple Green Cottage has posted a selection of twenty free tote bag patterns. She’s provided a brief description, photo and link to each pattern.

Have you been inspired to hand stitch by all the photos of Kawandi projects being shared around the internet? Here is Patsy’s Kawandi featuring Alison Glass fabrics.

Kristy Lea of has just received all the bolts of her latest fabric range called ‘Imagine’. A host of saturated rainbow rainbow colours with complimentary neutrals. Take a look at her instagram post to see Imagine.

Rachel has finished her scrappy Log Cabin quilt. It looks great and the scrappy border is really inspired. And she’s going to use the pattern to host a QAL in January! Can’t wait πŸ™‚

I’ve been inspired by Linda of Flourishing Palms to join in the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along. It’s not too late to join in with this QAL that runs through August with weekly email prompts and info.

The main techniques I taught during my I-Spy Workshop today were strip piecing and chain piecing. Topically Amy Smart recently shared a link to her comprehensive tutorial, ‘Strip Piecing Quilts 101‘.

The #summerscrapelimination challenge organised by Swan Amity is in full flow. I’m very taken with Sue Griffiths’ use of fabric scraps to create a leafy table runner.

Happy Stitching!



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (292)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share πŸ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and enjoying delving into the projects, ideas, tips and tutorials being shared by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Click on the links below to go visit quilty bloggers, be kind, leave encouraging comments to help build up our community πŸ™‚

I’ve been tidying up my room following the Bargello workshop and preparing for the I-Spy Quilt workshop next Saturday, 30th July. I did manage to get a quick ‘squirrel’ project started and finished in less than a day.

This little fabric basket is a gift for a friend who is very fond of the nature based artwork of Hannah Dale that is featured on the the fabric. I bought a long quarter of the Bramble Patch fabric with my friend in mind. I was going to make a little wall hanging but funnily enough, in a very recent conversation, my friend shared her plans to make some wall hangings for her loft-space craft room – maybe incorporating some of my novelty fabric scraps, if I didn’t mind? Well! Of course I don’t mind sharing my scraps! But the conversation did lead me to change my plan from making a wall hanging to making a Bits & Bobs basket for her craft table instead.

I made the basket by adapting the pattern shared in a post last year my tutorial. I made it smaller, starting with fabric pieces 9Β½” x 7″ which made a finished basket pretty much 4Β½” tall, wide, and deep. I’ve tied the remainder of the Hannah Dale fabric with a pretty ribbon and popped it in the basket, all ready to gift.

Whilst pottering in the sewing room I suddenly remembered the Rainbow Scrap Challenge! Oops! The colour for July is purple. I quickly sorted through my scrap bin and pressed some fabrics ready to cut. I hope I’ll be able to get to the monthly Scout Hut Sewing Day which happens to be this coming Thursday. The little Bullseye Courthouse Step blocks are an ideal project for a sewing day. I’ve made at least eight blocks in each of monthly RSC colours. Here’s a couple of each with my pull of purple fabrics.

Here are some links into the Worldwide Quilting Community. Enjoy!:

Cynthia shares how she’s used sashing to stretch her patriotic CIL blocks to make an extra quilt. Her colour choices work really well to make the most of the blocks.

In this video tutorial Carolina Moore shares three ways to square up blocks and two ways to fix blocks that come up too small. Very handy!

If you are in the mood to gawp at stunning quilts then look no further than Carole’s post all about her visit to the Annual Quilt and Wall Hanging Exhibition held in the very grand surroundings of the Great Hall of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol complex, Charleston, West Virginia. Just WOW!

Rachel explains how she’s using her scraps to make Log Cabin blocks. I like that she’s willing to make test blocks and learn lessons from what works and what doesn’t. See how her project blocks are progressing here.

Katie got up one morning to witness sunrise over the Arizona desert. She was well rewarded with stunning skies and cacti illuminated by the golden light of early morning. I wonder if all those colour and shape combinations will inspire a patchwork project?

It’s fascinating and humbling to follow the progress Gretchen is making as she hand quilts a whole cloth, Welsh Beauty, design. In this post she takes time away from the quilting frame to photograph some of the floral delights of the ‘Quilt Gardens, Along the Heritage Trail’. This trail was begun in 2008 as a way to attract visitors to an area hard hit by the industrial downturn.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia is sharing a quilt made of blue plaid fabrics. It’s a lovely finish. And she wants to know our favourite way to eat Zuchinni (here in the UK we go all French and call them ‘courgettes’)… The courgette plants we’ve been nurturing at our allotment are producing lots of fruits (are they fruit or veg?). I like to pick them when they are fairly small, 6″-8″ long, slice them and boil them for 3-4 minutes. I did make a courgette cake once – it was a disaster!

Linking with Michelle at Bolt to Beauty – I think my little basket counts as a ‘finish’ πŸ™‚ Michelle has used ombre strips to create a simple, stunning quilt.

Happy Stitching!



Workshops and a bit of trumpet blowing

I’m just getting back to running in-person patchwork workshops.

Most recently I taught a class of four the process of patchwork Bargello. I won’t lie, driving to the the workshop with a car load of equipment and samples, my stomach butterflies were all aflutter! Once I’d caught the enthusiastic vibes from the class participants I was able to settle and think beyond my flutterers. I mean, what’s not to enjoy about a day spent learning/teaching and sewing in like-minded company? πŸ™‚Β  I find so much satisfaction seeing individuals gaining confidence and skills through the day and knowing they’ll be able to carry those forward into future patchwork-quilting projects. And if I don’t know the answers to all the questions then participants are happy to share their knowledge and experience to help each other along!

I asked for feedback (I want to improve!) and here’s what I received in answer to questions about the content of my workshop:

Achieved my quilt front, and I’m very happy with how it looks. Instructions easy to understand. Presentation excellent. Good pace. Shattered and happy!

Very good instructions and printed pattern. The right amount of work for the 6 hour session.

Enjoyed it all. Excellent. All expectations and more achieved.


I’m so encouraged!

Now on to the next challenge. I’ll be teaching in the same venue on Saturday 30th July. This time I’m using my I-Spy Shadow Quilt pattern to teach quick piecing techniques. The aim is to complete the quilt top in a day. The class fee includes a pack of 42 novelty fabrics and a copy of the pattern with bonus instructions for making a smaller quilt. Contact me at for details and booking information.

Incidentally the novelty fabric packs are available to UK customers via my Etsy and Folksy shops and the I-Spy Shadow Quilt is available to purchase and download worldwide from πŸ™‚

Feedback left by purchasers of my patterns and fabric packs:

Great selection of different fun prints! Using for an I-Spy quilt and there’ll be plenty to spot πŸ™‚

This was my first EVER quilt, and I understood everything clearly. I don’t even know how to read a patter and just sew β€œcreatively.” I did learn that I need to be more careful when cutting my fabric because being off 1/8” can go wrong! Thanks for this wonderful pattern!

Great! Just what I wanted. Lots of different prints. Will definitely use again. Packaged well.

In the Autumn I’m returning to Purple Stitches to teach the Patchwork Beginners Course. Over three Saturday mornings (1st, 15th & 29th October) I’ll teach rotary cutting, patchwork piecing and quilting techniques to complete a lap size quilt. To find out more about the Course and to book go to

Feedback given by participants of the Patchwork Beginners Course:

The guides to cutting fabric, sewing accurately were brill.

Good demonstrations and plenty of time to practise…

I am impressed to have made a quilt in the time. Excellent instructions and presentation.

I really appreciated all the calm encouragement and quiet correction!

I’m also mulling over requests for skill-building workshops – 60ΒΊ triangles, foundation paper piecing, curved piecing…. Watch this space!

Well! That was all a bit awkward for an introvert like me BUT I really do enjoy teaching patchwork so I have to put myself ‘out there’ don’t I? Hope to meet you in-person some day soon πŸ™‚



Bargello in the heat!

I’m British so I’ll start with the weather! Today is officially the hottest day ever in the UK πŸ₯΅ We have spent 48hours sharing in the extreme heat enveloping much of mainland Europe. Not being used to extremes of weather you can bet this is a major talking point here! The BBC website is keeping us up to date with all the numbers.

So! Whew! DH and I made a pre-breakfast visit to the allotment this morning – watered most everything, harvested a few beans, courgettes and raspberries before returning home. Since then we’ve shut ourselves indoors, with windows, doors and curtains all firmly closed. Now, at 4pm the thermometer indoors is registering 29ΒΊC, guessing outside must be 10ΒΊC hotter as Heathrow (40 miles away) recorded 40.2ΒΊC at lunchtime. Thankfully we are assured our prevailing Atlantic airflow comes into play overnight bringing much cooler air and maybe even some rain (yes! please!).

It was certainly warm last Saturday but not too hot for my Bargello Workshop. The class went well. By the end of the day the four friendly, enthusiastic participants produced Bargello blocks which looked just great:

I suggested the block could be used to make a table runner. Before the Workshop I created a table runner using one of my sample blocks:

I used the no-binding, ‘bagging’ method to attach the top, backing (unbleached calico) and wadding together. I free motion stitched an open meander across the runner to hold everything together.

For demonstrations of the Bargello patchwork process in the Workshop I used strips of fabric from a roll of Artisan Batiks by Robert Kaufman. I chose the roll because it has duplicate fabrics – I was hoping for seven of the fabrics to be repeated at least three times so I could make three strip sets. The first strip set produced this Bargello block:

Three blocks make a quilt measuring 31″ x 43″ which looks great (in my humble opinion) but isn’t a particularly practical size (and I’m all about the practical!).

I searched online for images of Bargello quilts with borders, turns out there aren’t many, but what I did see convinced me to be brave in my fabric colour and print choice. Working at Purple Stitches yesterday was handy! I narrowed my border fabric choice down to three before seeking Eve’s (shop manager with an expert eye for colour) advice – always a good move when teaming up fabrics πŸ˜‰ I came home with 1.5m of ‘100 years Conservatory 9993′ by Patty Sloniger for Andover fabrics. I’m so pleased with how this print fits with the Bargello – to my eye the border adds to the centre rather than taking anything away for it – wonderful!

The completed quilt top now measures 40″ x 51″ which is a reasonable lap quilt size and – quite by chance – the perfect size for the hanging space in our hallway πŸ™‚

As a post script, working with Batik fabrics is not something I do often/ever. The crisp feel of the fabric doesn’t appeal to me but it’s been good to get over that and try working with them on one project at least. The saturated colours are definitely to my taste. I searched the internet for tips of using Batiks and found the following blog posts useful, both in learning more about the fabrics and in sewing with them.

Information about sewing with Batiks:

For a quick overview try this page on the Fabrics Galore website.

Claudia shares ‘10 Tips for Sewing with Batik Fabrics‘.

And on the allpeoplequilt website there’s another useful summary of how to handle Batik fabrics.

I took on board some of the advice including using a 70/10 needle and found piecing the Batiks was straightforward as the close weave of the fabric prevents it stretching or fraying.