Thursday, 15 April 2021

Double Disappearing 9-Patch

I wanted to try a mini version of a block to see if I liked it enough to make a whole quilt from it.

I started with a nine patch made from 2" squares.

I sewed them together.

I didn't iron the block, which I might do at this stage another time.

Then I made six cuts.  Two across the centre,  splitting that centre square into four quarters.

Then four cuts, cutting diagonally across each mini square that was made.

Then the parts are rearranged to make two smaller blocks, with two of the centre quarters 'kissing' in the middle.

I do realise that the photos would have been better if the block had been ironed!

Then the two mini blocks were sewn together, and I joined the two together so that I could see the lattice effect.

My nine 2" squares gave me two blocks that are 2 7/8" square.

I'm told that if you start off with nine 5" squares then you get two blocks that are 8 1/2" square, which seems to be a good useful size for making a quilt.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Quilt finish!

A month ago I made a quilt top.  This week I finally completed it as a quilt!

The Starburst pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Company was quick and fun to make.  I made it in just two colours, but it would be easy to make a scrappy version (or a curated version!) too.

Pictures taken in afternoon sunshine, after a day which started with snow flurries.  Difficult to predict what weather you will get in April!

I quilted the interior 36 blocks with a loose meander, and the outer ring of blocks with a simple feather.  It's so long since I'd tried any sort of feather that I thought that I could do with the practice!
Not shown here, but it was a pieced back - just three fabric strips - the one shown here and a polka dot with a similar blue.

Finishing at about 50" square it's a good lap quilt size, and will probably go to Project Linus.

Now to decide on my next project!

Wednesday, 31 March 2021


Remember that polka dot fabric that I used for the garden projects in last week's post?

There is quite a lot left!  But to start me off on how to use it, I've made a small tray mat.

The tray is grey to match the garden furniture - a Poundland bargain!

Hoping to have more time for sewing over the next week or two.....

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Garden Sewing

Fabric isn't just for indoors, is it?  

I'm experimenting with fabric 'jackets' for these less than lovely (but very useful!) black plastic plant pots that home our bamboos.

They give us a lovely pop of colour on the decking!

The are are some members of the family who think that using the left over fabric to make a compost bin cover may be taking things a step too far.... we will make a decision in the next few weeks as to whether it stays or goes!

Loving my cattle trough pond and solar fountain, though!  Lots of fun.

 Despite lots of time spent on the garden, there was still time to bake and enjoy this!

Another adult in the household!  Crikey!

Happy birthday, Georgie!

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Cushion Cover Complete

Limited sewing time this week, but just enough to make this cushion cover using the mini starburst that I showed last week.

A grid to cover it, and freehand feather style quilting in the corners.

 The colours are more accurate in the lower photo.  It's made a lovely spring coloured cushion!

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Mini Starburst

Just time for a mini make!

I enjoyed the starburst quilt from last week, but wondered if I could try some more untrimmed Half Square Triangles in a small size to see how accurate they really were.

This was the resulting mini top  - finishing at just 8" square, rather than the 62" of the original.

I chose my fabric (the pale one is a solid pale green, it didn't photograph well!).  I wanted spring colours (think new growth and crocus flowers) but without heading down the yellow and green route!

Then I cut 16 x 2.5" squares of each fabric, and set to, making it exactly the same way as the larger one.

I have to be honest, I didn't know exactly what size it would come out at.

I think that it might become a panel on a file cover or perhaps part of a bag.  

Fun, but not really a practical size to use, or small enough for an interesting display piece.  Still, it's good to be able to sew simple stuff without necessarily having an end goal, isn't it? 

Wednesday, 3 March 2021


I've had fun making a simple quilt top this week.

To make a two colour quilt top, you could do this too.  

Take16 squares of a print and 16 squares of something contrasting (my squares were 10" square).

Place a pair of contrasting fabrics together and sew around all four edges of the square.  

Cut into four with two diagonal cuts.

Open out to show the 4 half square triangles, press and trim the 'dog ears' off.

Reapeat with all the squares that you have.

Put together 16 HSTs in this pattern - this makes a quarter of the quilt.

Sew them together.

Repeat three more times

Put together all four quarters - make sure that you pay attention to get the 'starburst' pattern.

Sew together and admire your quilt top!

I really like this colour combination, but every time I see it I'm reminded of my granny's 90th birthday, when one of my cousins bought her a t-shirt in these colours.  Funny how colour can bring back memories, just like smell can - that the birthday party was 45 years ago!

You could always make an alternative layout - but I don't think that this is as pleasing.

I haven't got any further than this - helping DH with a garden project has taken over for the moment, - but I really enjoyed this fun and fast quilt top that finishes like this, without borders, at 52" square.  You could easily add a border to bring the size up a little if you wanted to.

If you'd like to see a video of this pattern being made, hop over to Missouri Star Quilting Company to see it here.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

I went small again!

Last weeks 'mini' (20" square) clearly wasn't small enough for me.

This little star is 5" square.  I enjoyed it, but wondered about making something a bit smaller.

So I made this.  It's just 1.75" square.

Of course, both of these are only single blocks, not really and truly full quilts, although they do meet the 'three layers, sewn together' rule.

I was pleased with my accuracy on this one.

I wondered if the tiny New York Beauty would make a good key fob.  My neighbour is wondering about getting a new, grey, front door - so I've made him this just in case he goes for it!

Another fun make, although this one wasn't quite as neatly stitched as the bright version.

I'm planning a 'normal' size quilt for my next make.  These are fun, but not really helping to move me through my fabric stash!

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

A Finish, and The Frosted Thames


I decided to 'stitch in the ditch' for the quilting on this one - I just couldn't come up with anything else easily achievable that I liked the idea of!

It's ready to hang above my ironing board to make me smile every day (no, I don't iron every day, but I share a room with an ironing board!).

It finished at about 21" inches square, and I'm very happy with it and it's cheeful personality.

I saw on Instagram that the Thames had frozen over.  I didn't get there whilst it was at it's most impressive, but even three days after the 'best' photos were taken it was still impressively frozen above Teddington Lock.  This shows the entrance to one chamber.
This shows the entrance to the other - it's still ice to the right of the seagulls, who were owning that icy, if temporary, beach.  

The contrast of the rippled water and the smooth ice was very striking.  Whenever I think of something quilty (and which of us quilters hasn't striven to provide a contrast of textures in a quilt?), it seems that nature has done it first!

This was the sunrise view looking up river from Teddington bridge towards the weir.  Lots of water tumbling down, and a tremendous noise with the power of all that water.

I'm glad that I went, despite the bitterly cold temperatures!  A morning trip to remember.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

I've been wanting to make a quilt of triangles for ages now.

Then 'Grandma's Surprise' kept appearing in my Pintrest suggestions.  It seems to have a couple of other names too, but it is one of the Kaleidoscope quilts that you can make.

So I thought about it, decided that I couldn't do a full sizes quilt (over papers - it just sounded like too much!), decided that I could make a small quilt, and pulled some fabrics.

Then I cut strips and subcut them into triangles, printed some blocks, cut them into the appropriate shapes and stacked them all up.

Then I started sewing, similar blocks got sewn at the same time.
Gradually building up, step by step, half a block by half a block.
Before long I'd reached this stage!  I'm very pleased with it so far!

Next I will sew the blocks together, remove the papers, and decide how to quilt it!

It's going to be about 20" square.

Very cheerful and it is making me smile.

Hope that you have found something fun to work on too!

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

At Last!

A quilty finish!  At last - it seems like a long time since I've completed something!

This is the Layer Cake Crumble Quilt (free pattern from the

I know that I measured it for the binding, but I can't remember exactly what the size of mine was - something like 36" x 42" I think.  Just right for a baby quilt.

I chose a simple pattern for the backing, and the same fabric for the binding.  Then a loose stipple to quilt it.
Bright and cheerful, a fun quilt to make and complete.

 What else have I been making?  More Mrs Claus figures of course!  I think that I might stop now that I've made these.  I'm all out of white wool felt, so it might be time to move on to something else - although as I'm typing this, I'm wondering about a coloured trim instead, of course!  Black could look quite smart, couldn't it?!

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

And now for something completely different!

Sometimes it's fun to go 'off piste' and make a few fun objects.

I spotted this fabric that I thought my great-neice would like, and decided to make a few bits that she could include for home schooling it she wanted to.

I know that she won't really need a shoe bag....

.....and that she'll already own more than one pencil case case......
.....and that she probably doesn't feel the need to carry her own tissues on her daily walk.....

.....but I'm sure that a covered ring binder is just what she needs!

All made for my pleasure, but I'm hoping that they bring her some too!

Back to my other projects now!

Wednesday, 20 January 2021


Clearly making one of these wasn't enough, nor two! I'm just about to decide on my colours for number five, having completed number four last night.

I am enjoying them still!  Of course, the fact that the weather has encouraged me to sit and sew in front of the TV is probably a factor in this too!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Not Entirely Seasonal!

I've been spending my hand stitching time making this cute little Christmas tree decoration!

Having seen one on Instagram, I looked up the pattern (an Etsy download from mmmcrafts that can be found here), ordered some supplies (turns out that I didn't have the right felt, pipe cleaners, beads, stabiliser or sequins - but that I was OK for thread, seed beads, ribbon, stuffing, Sakura pens and Sharpies) and set off on my making journey.

Clear instructions with the pattern were great, and mostly I followed them (!).

 Of course, one isn't going to be enough, so I've started a second one in less traditional colours!  Here is an idea of the number of parts in each figure.

Hope that you have having fun sewing or crafting too!

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Working on a Quilt Top

I was given some fabric packs for my birthday (thank you, Nicky!) and chose this project ages ago, but hadn't got very far with it.

It's a pattern by called Layer Cake Crumble and you can find it here.

You start by pairing fabrics and sewing down the left and right hand sides before cutting them into nine sections.

My squares were 9", so I cut them at 

3.5" + 2" + 3.5" in each direction.

Then you open up the sewn sections, spin the middle side ones around, and sort out the narrow strips too.
When you sew them, you make one extended 15 patch and one narrow 3 patch strip.
I used 30 fabrics to make these 15 blocks and 15 strips.

You then lay them out switching which end the narrow strips are placed so that the larger blocks are off set.

This is as far as I've got - but the layout can't be on the floor for long, as my sewing room is still being a more shared space, with schooling and other things going on in here too!

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Festive Wishes!

 The tree and decorations are up, the presents are (fabric) wrapped, the shopping for the festive feasting has been done...... so even though my heart is heavy, as we won't be spending Christmas with our usual extended family, I'm putting my chin up, setting my shoulders back, and planning to do everything that I can to ensure that my immediate family have the best Christmas that they can in these unusual circumstances.

Festive wishes to you, one and all.  I hope that you are all able to find some holiday happiness to enjoy and that you are able to appreciate even the smallest things that raise a smile for you or someone else.