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UKQU Book Club – May 2019

During May we are going to read The Basement Quilt by Ann Hazlewood. In this book, we are getting to know Anne Brown as well as her family and friends. The story evolves around Anne, a charismatic and bubbly florist, whose daily ups and downs will be very familiar to many. Anne decides to learn…

cut&alter :: Modern Quilts – British Quilt and Stitch Village

So today’s blog post is not the one I intended I write!  I had planned to continue my series of posts on modern quilts with an exploration into design aesthetic but I am going to postpone that one. Last weekend saw the 7th Annual British Stitch and Quilt Village running at Uttoxeter racecourse and this…

How to make an American Quilt ……..Show!

Well it’s quilt show and festival time around the world it seems, and here is the USA it’s no different. I work part-time as an educator for one of the largest sewing machine dealerships on the east coast and get to attend a few and help man (or woman) the stand. It is a lot…

Hold all caddy

I have blogged several times listing all my ‘bad buys’ and the fact that I never think through my purchases when I’m at shows etc. Well, here is something that I am really glad that I bought (I actually bought 3!) It is a simple gadget / tool / storage item!?!? Not sure what to…

Starting hand quilting: Part 3: Threads

While it is possible to use all sorts of threads for hand quilting, which is the best, and why? There are two things to consider: What will the finished appearance be like? How easy will the thread be to use? Both of these things are, of course important! Most people start off thinking about the…

Considering Value

For over 13 years I was the owner of a quilt shop near London called Green Mountain Quilts. A lot of my days in the shop were spent helping people to select the fabrics to make their quilts. While looking at the fabric selections I would often urge them to consider the relative values, light…

Carol Munro AKA the Quilting Procrastinator

Hi Everyone, I said I’d be back soon, well that didn’t work out did it. It’s a year since I did my last very emotional post, and I think it was hard to get back blogging after that one. I’m back and hopefully, back to regular blogs. So what to start with? We have just…

MAKOWER SCANDI

Once again I had the privilege of reviewing some Makower fabrics. This is their new Scandi range and it has some very pretty designs in classic red and modern grey. There are also some lovely patterns, cute stockings and advents on the Makower website. I received some 10″ square samples to play with so decided…

Competition – What should the title for our second book be?

With the work on our second book by and about UK Quilters United well underway, it is time to come up with the name for it, and we are looking for your help! The first book Our first book was compiled and edited by Julie Passey in 2015-2016 and it was called “UK Quilters United…

Behind the Scenes at Festival of Quilts

I have been amazingly fortunate to have had the role of Festival of Quilts Officer for the last couple of years. This is a Quilters’ Guild officer role and the job is ….. drum roll please …… to look after Quilters’ Guild people and exhibits at Festival of Quilts. Festival of Quilts is Europe’s leading…

Controversial? Moi? Babies on Quilts. When Quilts become the 4th Emergency Service

We all know that we can’t always put pictures of cats and dogs on, or even near, finished quilts or goodness gracious sleeping on sewing machines, quilt sandwiches, disrupting cut out bits on the floor, because the pictures are frowned on or banned on most of the major worldwide FB quilting groups or online forums.…

cut&alter :: Modern Quilts – Fabric Part II

Last week Modern Quilts – Fabric Part I was published and this week we are continuing the theme of fabric. So far I have talked about solids or fabrics that read as solid but that is not to say that prints cannot be used in modern quilts.  They most certainly can! My On the Plus…

But is it flat? ….. How to block a quilt.

Blocking a quilt is a bit like blocking an embroidery or a jumper. You do it to help the fibres settle into the shape that you want. Quilts are just much bigger and you need to have the space to do it. I always block wallhangings and cot quilts on my design board. If I’m…

Christmas in April Makower Style!

I was lucky enough to be sent the Makower UK Festive Range of fabric squares to review recently, can you imagine, Christmas fabric in April, what fun!!! Makower UK Festive Range The bundle of 14 squares arrived and they were so pretty with shiny gold in the print on some of them and I loved…

Out of My Comfort Zone (Part 1)

Out of My Comfort Zone – Part 1 Last year when I got my new super duper sewing/embroidery/quilting machine (big birthday present and Christmas) I realised that I needed to step out of my comfort zone of tried and tested blocks to learn something new and perhaps push myself a little harder!! I’m absolutely no…

London Town

It’s always lovely to get fabric sent in the post to test and being a London girl, I suppose it was appropriate that the fabric I received were these London Town Fat Quarters from the Craft Cotton Co. These kind of designs aren’t really my cup of tea but, originating from London,  the motifs on…

Making the Pieces Fit – or What To Do With Those Eccentric Odd Blocks

As requested… These were left over from demonstrating Eccentric Log Cabins (not so much a Log Cabin, more a Pile of Sticks, see the image at the top for my Dusk quilt…) at Festival of Quilts in 2017. Oddments like this are inclined to reappear at moments when I really need to tidy up. I…

Chucky Chickie

I was sent some lovely fabric to try by The Craft Cotton Co. It really is a pleasure to work with. Good quality, nice thickness of threads. Very nice to handle. I was sent the Chickie fat quarters. 5 complementary fabrics, A humorous range of quirky chickens in wellies. I love them and they remind…

Rotating cutting mats

As a fairly new quilter I always seem to be drawn to the latest must have gadgets and tools, this can be very costly if you make bad choices! Whilst watching some tutorials I noticed that when trimming blocks that some people used a cutting mat that could be rotated, I thought that this was…

Starting hand quilting: Part 2: Wadding

How do you start hand quilting? This webpage will discuss the types of wadding (batting in the USA) that you will need. The thickness and the density of the wadding makes an enormous difference to the ease of the quilting, and also to the finished appearance. Feathered heart design using high loft wool wadding Feathered…

Big girl pants on for free motion quilting.

It seems to be all or nothing with me! I’m either sewing as often as possible or not at all. I’m still working through the redwork for a twelve days of Christmas quilt, which I’m testing. It’s a free block of the month from  niftyneedles.com  I’m caught up with appliqué at free  fatcats.com bom, just need…

cut&alter :: Modern Quilts – Fabric Part I

Last week I gave you a brief introduction to modern quilts and their history. Over the next few weeks I am going to explore different facets of modern quilts in more depth. But before we start on this I have something to say: there are no hard and fast rules in modern quilting just as…

Drafting, Making and Using Templates

There are many reasons for needing to make templates for cutting shapes. Some shapes simply cannot be easily cut with a rotary cutter and although you can buy acrylic templates for many of these shapes it can get a bit expensive as you need a separate template for each size. Sometimes you may want to…

Quilts 4 Care Leavers – are you a long armer ??

Maggie Lloyd-Jones .. founder of the Q4CL Project has an appeal ..in her own words: I’ve written lots about Quilts For Christmas Dinners – the public face of Quilts for Care Leavers (Q4CL) – and our fantastic company of quilters. We are aiming for 1000 quilts this year, enough for at least 20 Christmas Day…

Eastern Botanical Collection by Sarah Payne for the Craft Cotton Company

I’m very excited at being asked to review the beautiful ‘Eastern Botanicals’ fabric collection, designed by Sarah Payne for the Craft Cotton Company on behalf of UKQU.co.uk. This printed 100% cotton fabric features cranes, bunches of flowers, blossoms, seed heads and flower blenders and was inspired by Sarah Payne’s visit to India & Nepal. Influenced…

cut&alter :: Fabric Review – Rainbow Etchings by Stuart Hillard

I spied the new fabric collection by Stuart Hillard on the Craft Cotton Co stand at CHSI Stitches in February – oh it certainly caught my eye and so when it became available for review my hand shot up! Rainbow Etchings is now available and let me tell you, if you are a rainbow lover,…

Stuart Hillard Rainbow Etchings Review

    Having received 24 jelly roll strips in 8 colours from the Rainbow Etchings collections produced by the Cotton Craft Co and designed by Stuart Hillard, I had to get my thinking cap on to how I would use these. . After the initial oohing and ahhing over the receiving, I settled down to…

Starting hand quilting: Part 1: Fabric

Hand quilting is relaxing to do (once you have got the hang of it!), and gives beautiful results, which are different to those obtained by a sewing machine. Maybe you would like to try it, but are not sure where to start? This is the first in a series of blog posts, in which I…

How do you say no?

How do you say no? This is a question that I have seen many times on various quilting sites. When someone wants you to make a quilt but they want it at a rock bottom price. My situation is a little different, I have some family members who have seen my quilts and they know…

Craft Cotton Co Snazzy Grey fat quarter bundle

Recently I was lucky enough to be selected to review a fat quarter pack from the Craft Cotton Co, the Snazzy Grey range. Snazzy Grey range I always get excited when opening a package and not knowing what is inside, I was very happy when I pulled the fabrics out of the envelope to find…

Here’s Miffy by The Craft Cotton Company

I was lucky to be sent two fat quarter packs by UKQU to review.  So a big thanks to The Craft Cotton Company for supplying UKQU with them. Miffy Bedtime   Miffy Spring   Who doesn’t love Miffy, and how appropriate that they have this fabric coming out just before Easter.  Who doesn’t love a…

April fool day…Just for the craic🤣…

Related posts: My Crazy Quilting Learning Journey Bead Broth – Walking the line! The Australasian Quilt Convention – The best of the best Part III Extremely Useful Newborn Gifts – Part One: Washable Change Mat

Sewing for a Leftie?

Oh wow…as a left hander this made my day…anyone know where I can get one,please? Related posts: This is me: Christine – Quilting at Westdene VIEWS FROM MY SELVEDGE by MARJORIE COOK Success with Stripes – part 1 Bags, Bunnies and Eggs for Easter!   

Gullivers Brexit

Why Gulliver needs a No Deal Brexit. Firstly I’d like to apologise for starting my blog this month with the B word. I know it’s not everyone’s favourite subject and to be honest I’d rather not be discussing it here. However I’ve recently been made aware that possible outcomes relating to Brexit negotiations could have…

A great April ahead of us

All is not what it might seem today!   Check the date before you look any further! Someone commenting on the foolish blogs posted today only might just win a lovely Riley Blake bag.   And no that’s no joke either! Go look around our lovely website, and see what you can see.  In doing so you might…

Love Your Fabric Scraps

I don’t know if it’s the Great British Sewing Bee effect or whether everyone is waking up to the environmental issues with regard to fabric manufacture, but there is a buzz about using scraps.  I’ve always been a fan of scrap quilts, probably because I never really had a great quilting fabric stash.  I always…

cut&alter :: Modern Quilts ….

Modern quilts – whether you love them or hate (or are somewhere in between) it certainly looks like they are here to stay.  Whilst the definition of a modern quilt is often the cause for heated debate, “What exactly is the difference between a contemporary quilt and modern quilt?”, I hope to introduce you to…

Making it work, as usual!

Tim Gunn would love me, I always make it work, even when I’m having a nightmare. Actually I’m happiest trying to find a fix or a shortcut to make life easier/simpler. I decided to make a wall hanging out of this panel for my Mum’s 70th birthday but my quilting skills are not great. So…

Review of Makower UK Pinstripe

I was lucky enough to receive a bundle of Makower stripped fabrics to review, yippee! There were twelve 9.75 – 10 inch squares with a thin stripe design, the colours were vibrant and the fabric soft. The edges were pinked which I am not usually a fan of, as I tend to look as if…

Triangles of Joy

I am in the process of making a baby quilt for a new niece who will be arriving in a couple of months. The fabric has been selected, washed, and pressed, and I designed a block based on the Wedding Ring block .     This is not the same as the later (circa 1920)…

Makower Sea  Breeze 

I have been sent some wonderful Makower Sea Breeze fabric to review. It really is a lovely fabric with which to work. I was sent 14 10inch squares. Before receiving them I had planned to re-cover a deck chair, possibly in stripes of fabric. On receiving them I realised they were Far to interesting and…

Sewing with a vengeance 

I’m really pleased that my sewing mojo has returned! I have not put down bits I have been working on, I’m hand sewing a redwork 12 days of Christmas quilt. This is a free 12 block quilt currently available from  niftyneedles.com    I’ve been working through my ufo list, this project is a kantha stag,…

The Cheap Procrastinator – Mad March Block

March is upon us and the months are flying by, well to me it feels that way. This month’s block is slightly different. As it is reverse appliqué, this entails layers of fabric sewn together and sections cut out from the top layers. I hope you all had chance to purchase and find some good…

My Grace frame is up! 

Isn’t it what every quilter wants, their own longarm and frame? It’s mostly a question of money and space, and I have very little of either but I am a determined little bunny, so here goes… I was lucky enough to get this Grace Next Generation quilting frame at an absolute bargain price on our…

Octagon quilts

The octagon and its tessellating square was a popular design in tiled floors as well as quilts – the kitchen floor in my last (Victorian) house had such a design with terracotta octagons and black squares. In Hannah Hauxwell’s collection of quilts was a red, white and blue one made from large octagons and squares.…

UKQU Book Club – April 2019

For the first month of the re-launched UKQU Book Club, I have selected The Flower Hunter’s Cottage by Dee-ann Black. It is a rather fast read with only 30,000 words and easy language. Notwithstanding this, it’s a book which hooks you in and the characters are sweet and easy to associate with. If you are…

How obsessed with quilting are you?

How can you share your love of quilting with the rest of the world? Well you could get a quilty t-shirt – there are loads and the best way to find one is with a Google as there are so many different places you can get them from. If t-shirts aren’t your style, how about…

Making it work… wonky panel time!

I finally decided what to make my mum for her 70th birthday. I ran out of time to get a big quilt done (and I’m still working on Xander’s from 2 years ago…) but I found this gorgeous Bernatex orchid panel on our Facebook destash page. It’s a bit wonky but that happens sometimes, fabrics…

Mysteries 

I was counting down the days to half term.  For me, that’s a week off work where I can concentrate on being creative.  I had two quilts lined up for finishing as well as a crochet blanket to design and make.  I couldn’t wait. Saturday morning dawned and a friend said that Ancestry.com was having free…

How to draft a block

Where to start?! In my last blog about re-creating a quilt I looked at the stars quilt I had made using lots of left-over bits and explained how you could deconstruct it to work out how it might have been made. I lightly tossed in words like ‘Variable Star’, ‘Sawtooth Star’ and ‘Ohio Star’ and…

Lost your mojo??

What do you do..you’ve lost your mojo and can’t get that feeling back. I’ve been patching for many years and this seems to happen occasionally..so what do you do? You have all the equipment and more than enough fabric and you’re probably feeling a little guilty that you should be getting on with something..but you…

UKQU Book Club – restarting again!

It is almost a year since I kicked off the UKQO Book Club with Tracy Chevalier’s The Runaway and arranged for us to work with British Patchwork and Quilting to announce the books. Arlene was kind enough to execute my late-night mad idea, but recently she’s had to focus on other things. The books selected…

Gullivers adventures. 

Last year as part of a stitching group I belong to, we did a travelling journal. We started with a blank book and put a piece of work into it. Then it got passed along to the next person on the list. This ment each month you gave a little piece of work away, but…

The day the electricity went off 

Otherwise entitled –  another reason for having more than one project on the go, always including at least one handsewing project. Tuesday 26th February – a day I noted on the calendar. I had written it on the calendar back in January, when we had a letter from Western Power Distribution, notifying us that the…

Group Projects and Challenges

A good thing about belonging to a patchwork and quilting group, apart from the social element of spending time with like minded people, is that you end up doing things you wouldn’t otherwise do.  Of course it depends on the group.  I joined the Beartown Patchwork & Quilters group about three years ago and it…

Quilting Group Challenge

My quilting group Stitch & Brue (Brue a play on words as the River Brue runs through and out to sea) are now going into our 8th year. Each Christmas we go out for a meal and all exchange Secret Santa presents with the value of £5+, it’s a bit of a ritual in we…

Duxford Spring 2019

I went to the Duxford show on Friday 8th March 2019 and it did not disappoint, so much to see and BUY with bargains to be had!!! Three Hummingbirds by Monika Wutzl I went early with some friends and we decided to start on the left-hand side of the hall and proceed up and down…

Sewing and Meditation?

This one is a little long, for that I apologise but felt I wanted to share the following. I work two days a week in a very high pressured business, on top of my editor work for British Patchwork and Quilting. They have been trying an idea to see if it helps with managing the…

Drawstring bag

As I have explained previously, my mum taught me how to sew. She also taught me how to cook, and she was usually quite happy to let me loose in the kitchen, without worrying that I would blow myself up or burn the house down. In fact, it could be due to some of her…

The Power of the Press

Well I promise this is not Fake News because it’s absolutely true, pressing is one of the key three skills that we need to perfect when we become quilters. I remember being very blasé about it when I was new and innocent and hadn’t really taken the time to truly understand the skill that it…

Thirteen – A Nother Digression, About Quilting Your Improv Blocks

Now, as I have spent more time quilting, and as I have learned how to do it better, I find I want to make less and less of a statement with it. It’s really important to quilt your quilt, as it’s not complete without this joining-of-layers and adding-of-texture… Many of my recent quilts are simply…

Tea Towel bag

It was on my birthday a couple of years ago that one of my friends had an accident. This was no ordinary accident. She is still (just) in her 40’s, although her big birthday is this month (and she will probably have had it by the time this blog is published), and – I hope…

When Life gets in the way of Passion

Just before Christmas, I started writing this particular blog. This is how it went ….. Having a busy, busy day. I have been working on a bit of a wonky log cabin. It started off as a jelly roll, had some extra fabrics added to it, but then got cut into decidedly off-centre squares with…

The Perfect Height

Do you have a sewing table? Do you have a cutting table? Does it suit you, or do you wish it was different?  Here is my solution. When I moved house I was able to have a sewing room.  I was lucky and got the biggest bedroom for my sewing room.  It has a built…

Have a Go: Strip and Flip Quilt Top 

Sometimes we look at a quilt pattern and wonder if we will ever be ready to try some of the more complex designs. If the answer is yes, then we wonder where to start! In my last product review of the wonderful Woodland Makower UK fabric my blog featured an easy Stack and Slash pattern.…

Part The Dozen, Spiralling Nebulae

Now, I was asked to make a quilt from a pack of Oakshott Fabrics Starshott, which is a slightly odd, subtle coloured selection.. I wanted something simple, and improvised, of course, and trimmable, without doubt.. So, here’s the thing – three pieces 6 by 7 inches, on the mat Right Sides Up, and with two…

HAND QUILTING or MACHINE QUILTING 

HAND QUILTING or MACHINE QUILTING Today I want to talk to you about my thoughts on Hand Quilting and Machine Quilting Let me get one thing straight up front. Personally I Love Hand Quilting And I love Machine Quilting (All kinds) Do you Hand Quilt? Look at those fabulous hand quilted spirals on my Welsh…

Inspiration and where to find it

Making a quilt is not just about cutting up perfectly decent fabric into tiny bits and then sewing it back together again – despite what our other half may think – there is a lot more to it. The first thing we need is either a pattern or an idea. Then we need to find…

The February Sewathon .. a great idea?

Last year, during the Retreat for the Bloggerati [a marvellous event to be repeated this year], a plot was hatched and Quilts for Christmas Careleavers began.  Well, if truth be known it was already happening, but it went from an idea to a group, and shortly will be officially a charity! I was asked by the…

When You Find A Hole In Your Seam

You’ve spent ages piecing your quilt top and the excitement mounts as all your blocks form into rows and then one big quilt top.  You stand back to admire your work and you can’t wait to move onto layering it up ready for quilting.  To get the full effect, you take your completed top to…

Birds,Bees and Butterflies. UKQU Show Galleries 

I am a member of UK Quilters United FB Show Galleries 2019 Facebook Page. The idea is to create work for our FB Group to show in galleries at varying shows. Up till now it’s been postcard size work. It has been decided to make A4 sized pieces. A poll was created to decide on…

Necessity is the mother of all invention

I hadn’t planned on this being the title or subject of my blog for this month (if truth be told, I had planned it for late January or even February – but life got in the way, and I got frustrated with the photos I was adding that were not playing ball); however, as I…

The Cheap Procrastinator – Machine and You!

Once you have appliquéd all pieces, it is time to add the handle, notice that there is no pattern piece for this. Sew using a straight machine stitch over the line –if you draw one in – and go over it four times. It does not matter if they all do not match. Then using…

Part Eleven – Three Is The Magic Number

This block (Three Becomes One) was probably the first truly “Improv” block I taught – and it is still a favourite Sorry for the small images – I had these prepared, they vanished, I swore, these will Just Have To Do… Start with three squares of nice cotton quilting fabrics. You really need some contrast…

Painting fabric with snow

We don’t get it much anymore in the Netherlands, snow. So if we do, all the art quilters go crazy. When the weather people tell us code yellow is coming up because of… OH NO! 5 centimetres of snow, we are already busy gathering soda ash and fabric… Last year I had to much other…

American Slave ‘Code’ Quilts  –  Facts and Fibs

I have been fascinated by the story of the American Underground Railway since reading Colson Whitehead’s book ‘The Underground Railway’, in which he tells of a young slave, Cora, and her treacherous journey North to freedom. Whilst fiction, Whitehead gives us lots of information about the ‘safe’ houses used by the herioine, and the roads…

10 minute make – reusable gift bags

This is a fat quarter friendly way of quickly and easily making reusable gift bags, as an alternative to gift wrapping paper.  I made some of these at Christmas to try them out and have no hesitation in asking for the bag back if the recipient isn’t going to reuse it themselves.  I made three…

Craft4Crafters, Exeter 2019

Once again, this show has not failed to impress me. Now – my mum had a saying: “Better to be born lucky than rich”, and I tend to say that whenever I win something! Once again, I was lucky enough to win tickets for this amazing show, and I have said that I will not…

Drafting Cable Borders

Cables are a popular choice of quilting design for borders and come in various widths and styles. Where would you start to plan a cable border for your latest quilt? Stencils are widely available, but they are often not the correct size for your borders- so unless you were incredibly organised, and designed your quilt…

New Year, New Skills, New Challenges.

So the New Year celebrations are over and we’re all settling back into our ‘regular lives’, it’s at this time of the year that I begin looking around to see what courses are on offer and what new skills I can acquire to enhance my creative practice. I am lucky that I can study once…

“Warts and all…..”

Loving something with its “warts and all” is loving it in spite of any obvious blemishes or scars. Sometimes you make or receive a quilt that isn’t quite perfect, or even a long way off perfect, but it can still be loved, warts and all. I consider myself an average quilter – I can, if…

Frame Quilts

When is a frame quilt not a frame quilt? When it is a medallion quilt. In fairness the terms are interchangeable, although ‘frame’ is often used to describe British quilts made using fabric scraps and left over bits of patchwork stitched around a centre while ‘medallion’ seems to be applied to more ordered quilts with…

A “Quilty Hug” sent on an Aid lorry to Kosovo

One of my most favourite quilts that I have made, because of who received it. A woman I had never met but had heard a lot about. My friend Katie was personally driving a 7.5 Ton lorry with her friend Jill, as part of an Aid Convoy to Kosovo, with a charity called Hope and…

Sew until your hearts content 

Finally finished the fast track course, I’ve had the interview in which a lovely gentleman came and looked at my folder and asked endless questions. It’s such a relief that it’s done, I find out in 6-8 weeks how I got on, I’m keeping fingers crossed.  Since finishing I’ve hunted out my sewing pieces, I…

It’s Olficial! I killed it! 

4 years faithful service. Thankfully not my sewing machine, but a severely scored cutting mat with a vertical great big open hole. RIP my 60 x 45cm (24 x 18″) OLFA green rotary cutting mat. So sorry you cracked under the strain, but I suppose our break up was somewhat inevitable, given our passion for…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers – Part Nine Already! More Stones Floating

The more formal Floating Stones from last time are fun, but my tendencies are towards less precise and more accidental blocks, as you may have noticed So, I had some nice little Japanese charm squares (5-inch squares) and some strips of Oakshott fabrics ruby reds in various widths. I cut the charm squares into 1-1/4…

Mystery Quilt(s), Updates and stuff and NEW stuff!!

Hello Everybody!! Life’s been happening at a rate of knots again, where has January disappeared to??  I’d like to update you all on a few things and introduce my new Mystery Quilt to you……. Abbie Suggests 2019 Challenge is well under way, if you wish to join us please message me for your personal challenge!…

Hannah Hauxwell’s Chain Quilt

One of the quilts in the collection from Hannah Hauxwell’s house was a red and white Chain quilt. It was folded up on top of several other quilts so only a small portion of it was showing, but it looked familiar. When I hunted through my photos of old quilts I discovered that two of…

Heart templates

Hearts are an ever popular motif. It’s easy to cut out a template yourself in a variety of styles that you could use for applique or for quilting designs. Watch this short video, or follow the instructions below: Drawing a regular heart shape Take a piece of paper a little larger than the desired motif,…

Christmas Dinner Quilts for Care Leavers 

You might think it’s too early to be using the word ‘Christmas’ in February but bear with me to the end and ll will be revealed …. It started with the UKQU.co.uk Bloggers Retreat, planned for December 2018, and an early request for blocks and ‘just an hour’ of our time to make up some…

Love hearts…

     I love hearts…do you? A heart to me means ‘love’, that sounds very schmaltzy I know, but without love where would we be? Love can be the happiest and saddest time for some, sadly we all remember who said ‘whatever love is’ when asked if they were in love? With Valentine’s Day fast…

Valentine Stitchery

A quick little make, ideal to take on your travels or to sit and complete in between a bigger project. A few hours and you will have a little stitchery to give to that someone special. Whether you hang it from a hook for all to see of from the wardrobe or bedroom door to…

Call for stories – everyone has a story to tell

On 29 January we celebrated that it was five years since Juliet and I started the UK Quilters United Facebook group. The group has grown to over 15,000 members and we have created sub-groups to cater for different audiences and interests. The main group is still focusing on sharing our love of quilting (all types…

Create a unique Valentine’s Day gift or a treasured Memory Cushion 

Unfortunately, we can’t always be with our loved ones; sometimes because they live too far away, and in other cases because they are no longer with us. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to share this simple make so you can make your own version. The pattern is perfect as a unique…

Valentine Day Panic!

Quick free pattern finds. Who else has got to February and not thought about Valentine’s Day? We’re approaching our 25th wedding anniversary (think it’s next year?!) but we do still try and do something around Valentine’s – even if it is just a takeaway! But have I thought about making anything, been out shopping for…

UK Quilters united by a common thread – the book by and about us!

Did you know that there is a book about UK Quilters United? Yes, it is true. There is a book about us! Three years ago Julie Passey, one of our Facebook members, together with over 100 writers created a book by and about UK Quilters United. A limited print run of only 100 copies were…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers – Part Eight – Stones That Float

For this block I decided to work away from the more usual squares, and there are two variations – either make some of each or choose which you prefer. These make super borders for all sorts of quilts… Cut For each block One piece 6-1/2 by 2 inches in background fabric One 2-inch square in…

Tales from Val’s Blog Cabin – BOM Block 4 Review

Bradford and Watling BOM Port and Starboard Block 4 Although this package arrived in early December, Christmas and New Year delayed my review on this block but I’ve finally been able to complete it. Once again, when I opened the package, the pieces for Block 4 were neatly presented and labelled in packets.  I took…

Hi there and my top tip!

Well hello there and welcome to my first blog post here. I suppose as a first I should get the formal introductions over so ….. I’m Amanda (or Mandy to my friends and family), I’m originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland but live in Williamsburg, Virginia, brought here by my husband (not screaming and kicking I…

Re-creating a quilt

This quilt probably isn’t the easiest to write about as it was made from random scraps and left-over units – one of those designs that ‘just grew’. However, I will attempt to show how, armed with just a picture and no indication of scale, you can deconstruct it and work out how to make one…

Scrap Bag Challenge

If you a Moda Addict, as I am, you may have bought at some point in the past a Moda Scrap Bag. I have bought a few in the past in local quilt shops. The only trouble is you can’t unwrap the roll when purchasing so you are not always sure of the exact patterns,…

Keeping my emotional home alive in my sewing

We all use our background and past experiences to determine what we choose to sew – they are just part of our psyche.  I am an immigrant – came to live in England in 1979 from South Africa and have now lived here longer than I lived in South Africa.  When I am asked do…

Improv For Beginners and Improvers, Part 7: Yet More Celestiality and a Mini Quilt to make

Now, the nice little game of adding eccentric corners to squares can be taken a little further, like so   Cut a rectangle (this is a charm square cut in half, so 2-1/2 by 5 inches, but any size that pleases you will be just fine. ) The mini-quilt used 9 charm squares and about…

Hannah Hauxwell’s Six-Pointed Star quilt

Some of you may remember seeing a link to an auction house in your Facebook UKQU feed recently about the sale of Hannah Hauxwell’s quilts. Someone – I can’t remember who, sorry – said wouldn’t it be great to have the patterns. So . . . I went and looked. As yet the only quilt…

cut&alter :: The Newark Quilt Show 2019 :: A Review

EDITED 22/01/19  This giveaway is now closed.  The winner, selected by random.org, is Mary Carrington This weekend sees the first Quilt Show of the year at Newark Showground.  It is a show run by Grosvenor Shows and this is only its second year.  I didn’t go last year but was very eager to go this year…

Quilting in the Netherlands anno 2019

I heard about cancelled shows and change of direction in the UK. Let’s have a look at the situation in the Netherlands. This week we received the, to me shocking, news the planned yearly General Exhibition of the Dutch Quiltersgilde was cancelled! De Algemene Tentoonstelling 2019 gaat helaas niet door you can use the translate…

How to Deal with UFO’s

Welcome to 2019. I hope you are feeling inspired after your Christmas celebrations and ready to start the new Stitching year. I usually start off the new year by trying to finish one U.F.O. But I’m afraid this year I have so many new projects running through my head that I haven’t even looked to…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers, Part Six, Celestial Happenings

Last time, we did a regular Wonky Star, if that’s not too improbable.. This time I want to show you the more interesting version. Start with a background square – mine is about 10 inches. If you need a particular finished size, add about 2 inches, so, for an 8-inch finished block, use at least…

Decisions, decisions, how I choose which fabric to use…

I don’t know about you but one of the hardest decisions I have to make when starting a new project is which fabric should I use….. Made using a panel and solids I tend to look around at my stash and decide whether I want to work on something easy or something a little more…

Wye Knots Christmas Challenge

The first day back of the New Year at the quilt group I’m a member of is an exciting time! The Christmas Challenge reveal has become a definite date on the calendar. The previous year’s winner sets the challenge which has been in many different formats from a ‘star’ block including a particular fabric, a…

New Year, new sewing adventure!

I have spent the last few months working on a course at work, Finally that it is almost complete, so I have dusted off my sewing machine ready to reignite my passion. I like to write a list to motivate me, so I wrote a list of projects I had started that I need to…

The Cheap Procrastinator – New you and away to sew!

Happy Birthday to the United Kingdom Quilters United website, it has been a whole year since the website became live, with almost 553,000 hits – views for the period January 9th 2018 to January 9th 2019- over the first year, what a success. I have been blogging for them since the start and what a…

VIEWS FROM MY SELVEDGE

Happy New Year to you.  My Christmas decorations are all down and after finishing the end of year paperwork its now time to make plans for 2019. I have quite a few projects that I didn’t get finished before the holidays – at least the Christmas ones will be early for next year! My special…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers Part the Fifth – Now is the Time For Starry Things

Let’s start with the simplest version of my Wonky Stars Cut 9 squares of equal size, in a variety of colours if you wish. I have used Oakshott Fabrics Ruby Reds, plus black and white, here And 3-1/2 inch squares, but that’s up to you, of course. We are going to add starry points to…

Adventures of an Inexperienced Quilter – The Beast and other animals…..

I know that I have mentioned The Beast in my previous blogs, and I promised to explain.  It is the time for explanations. My husband, David, died 6 years ago and in the intervening time, I have also moved house.   This meant that I had no choice – I had to get rid of a…

Using old black and white photo’s

If you are of a certain age you will have some beautiful old photo albums with small black and white photo’s carefully displayed with sticky corners.  Those albums are usually looked at by me during the emotional times of my life – births, deaths and visits from relatives.  Otherwise, they remain carefully stacked in a…

Why won’t it fit……….?  Part 2 Square-in-a-Square.

A common patchwork unit where getting a good line up can be tricky is the “Square-in-a-Square” unit. Four triangles are sewn around a central square. It should finish as shown in the photo above, with enough of the triangle fabric remaining all round to leave a quarter inch seam allowance beyond the points of the…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

    Well, Christmas 2018 is over. It’s a long time coming and then it’s over in a flash, hope it was a good one for you. We’re not into celebrating the new year in, but do like to reflect on the nice things that happened in the year gone by. 2018 saw a few firsts…

STACK & SLASH QUILT TOP – Woodland Fabric by Makower UK

Who doesn’t get excited at receiving some fabric to work with so I’m hugely thankful to UKQU.co.uk for kindly giving me the opportunity to write this product review for the Woodland Fabric pack generously provided by MAKOWER UK. Twenty beautiful designs in this magical WOODLAND themed fabric – all that’s missing is the unicorn! Hedgehogs,…

How to ‘read’ a quilt

We’ve all been there – you see a quilt in a show, on Facebook or Instagram, on the cover of a magazine and think “I’d like to make one like that, but how has it been done?”. At a show, with the quilt in front of you, it can be easier to work out than…

Suggestions and tips for new quilters

I began my quilting journey almost 2 years ago and in hindsight there are several things that I would do differently, and I will list them below and say why, this may help you if you are a new quilter. The first thing that I would do differently is to get feedback from fellow quilters…

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2019. Hope you have all had a wonderful time. I thought I’d have a little review of the last year, rather than making a resolution. I go to a U3A embroidery group, last year we decide to do a travelling journal/book round robin. You start with an empty book and make a bit…

Crossing the Eyes and Dotting for Teas…

So, last time, we made simple crosses, and this time, a few extra ideas… This time, I started with a background square, but I made a strip from three pieces, two white and one red. As before, I cut the square about 1-1/2 inches bigger than the desired final block (so, for a 5-inch finshed…

Craft-Tex Placemats By Bosal

For a few years now, I’ve been running an online craft club which means I’m always on the lookout for suitable projects.  Quilting related projects are always popular and for a long time, I’ve wanted to demonstrate a quilt as you go project.  Shopping in Hobbycraft one day, I came across Craft-Tex Placemats from Bosal. …

The Cheap Procrastinator – Generation to Generation

Sewing through the ages, generations passing the skills to the next. I could go on forever how the society has lost this. Rest assured I would not. I can remember my Nanna making me things, but I cannot remember her sewing. Neither my mother or auntie sewed, the basic skills I learnt at school, back…

New Years Eve Quiz [the answers]

How many questions to Lyn Butler’s New Year’s Eve Quiz did you manage to get through?   If you are still struggling here’s the answers:   THIS FRACTION NEEDS SW                                       FAT QUARTER BIT OF A TRIFLE TURNING     …

The End of Year Quiz

Here’s a Cryptic Quiz from Lyn Butler, someone I am sure you are familiar with and who is one of our most prolific contributers.    If you can’t answer them all don’t worry, we will publish the answers next week! Lyn’s Cryptic Sewing Quiz Don’t worry, we will publish the answers tomorrow but let’s see…

Quilts for Christmas Dinners: was the fourth (chapter) with us ??

If you have been following the Quilts for Christmas Dinners you will maybe already have seen posts from Maggie Lloyd-Jones who started this amazing project.  Sometimes things happen that reach out to us all .. this one certainly did to many of us, and will continue for many years to come.  In Maggie’s own words:…

2018 A Quilters Top Three Projects Review

Here we are again my Quilting Friends at the end of another year. And it’s been a really productive year for me. Not only have I been Blogging here once a month, I have also created my very own Blog Joyofquilting. http://joyofquilting.blog  It’s been the year of the steep learning curve for me. The Quilting bit…

Here comes Santa Claus

Keeping the Santa Secret – Christine Hutchins 40 years ago my mum made Christmas stockings for me and my sister – we both still have them, and I use mine as a template for the stockings I make for others. A very clear memory from a year or two later is of Christmas Eve (although I…

Christmas Quiz 4

Well here is the final quiz for Christmas Day. this is a chance for all the maths brains to show their stuff. If that’s not you, don’t worry, its just a bit of fun. Besides everyone has a calculator on their phone these days. We have a new version of ‘the Twelve Days of Christmas’.…

Machine applique Part 2

Last time we looked at preparing fairly simple shapes, such as circles, leaves, and Scottie dogs, and appliqueing them onto a background. We briefly discussed using fusible web, raw edge applique and how to turn the edges under on these simple shapes so they could be stitched using a decorative stitch or an invisible stitch…

Christmas Quiz Three

Hello again, how are you going with the Capital Carols? Isn’t it annoying when you stare at one, nd then suddenly realise what it is …. The next quiz is a quilty quiz. You need to match the block for the quilt to the person receiving the quilt. Some of them are easy …. some…

Houston Quilt show episode 3

In my last post I told you about Wednesday and Thursday  In the afternoon we had a date at the OURstory exhibit, again for a gallery talk about this exhibit. Unfortunately this was a No Photographs exhibit. The local newspaper did publish an article with a photo though. Because of the article they posted it…

Christmas Quiz Number Two!

Happy christmas! I hope you have got out your favourite tipple and a few mince pies, and you are looking forward to quiz Number two! Quiz Number Two is a bit more challenging, but that’s ok, we’ve got all day. The answers for this one will be at the end of Quiz Four. So you…

Improv Blocks, Part the Third – Crosses of the Modern Persuasion

Now, I fell in love with these slightly wibbly cross blocks, and one thing led merrily to another, and another, and yet more anothers. Thanks to Heather Hasthorpe, who was instrumental in leading me astray Here’s another another Just compulsive…you have been warned Start with a square of fabric – maybe an inch bigger than…

The best gifts of Christmas : Family and Friends

The In-Laws and the 10-course Dinner – Hilda Wessels I was 21, and a newlywed. My in-laws were very high standard people who looked down on me and my parents. So I thought, well, I will show them what a good wife their son got him! For Christmas we invited my parents and his, for a…

Christmas Quiz Number One

Here is a little fun quiz to brighten your day. It’s all multiple choice. All you have to do is select your favourite answer or make a new one up. Each question has the first line of a carol. You need to select what goes next.   Have you found your favourite line? Or made…

Home for Christmas

Christmas with the family – Sue Griffiths Everyone wants to be with family and friends at Christmas. Or at least, as a young adult, you feel moderately obliged to join the family. And that was the situation I was in, my first year of full time work in Wellington, New Zealand. My family lived about…

Christmas dinner disasters

Dad, the gravy boat and Sunbonnet Sue – Christine Franses My parents married a couple of days before Christmas. We decided that for their ruby anniversary we would have a family lunch – the whole family, more than twenty five of us – combined with Christmas celebration. And it was decided that I would host…

Mondegreens to laugh along with 

Mondegreens, or misheard lyrics feature in most people’s playlist!   But what are the actual songs these might relate to!   Just for a bit of fun over the festive period … see how many you can guess, or how many you thought were the actual lyrics 🎤 or share with us your own misheard lyrics. Everyones searching…

Christmas Crisis – a seasonal story

“There.” Linda put down the scissors which she had used to snip the last piece of thread she had used to stitch the edge, and held up the little quilt. It really was the loveliest thing she had ever made. The golden stitches sat sweetly on the creamy surface, outlining the fans, cables and spirals,…

And so this is Christmas ……

Revenge of the tree decorator  – Teresa Barrow Just remembered that I shrink wrapped the fake Christmas tree last year …. genuinely ….. after years of have you done it yet? (equivalent to toddlers in the back seat on a long car journey doing the inevitable “Are we there yet?” ) but far far worse!…

Never a crossword just a Christmas Crossword

Sue Burford has created a clever little crossword to keep you thinking whilst you wrap your presents and sip the gin this lovely Christmas Eve. Download Christmas Crossword Keep an eye out for the answers. ,We are wishing you all from us here at the UKQU Website, the Merriest of Christmas!  xxx   Related posts:…

The Cheap Procrastinator – Chronic Condition Christmas Countdown Conundrum – Spoons

Christmas with any illness is never fun. The tiredness and the fatigue, no time or energy to do the countless tasks we all feel that are required. However, Christmas with a chronic illness or condition is even harder. I am a “Spoonie”. Based on the spoon theory, everyone starts the day with the same amount…

Ellie by Makower – My Fabric Review

I’m always delighted when the Elves at UKQU HQ ask if I wouldn’t mind taking a look at a new fabric range and writing up a little review. And when I received a bundle of 10′ squares from Lynne Goldsworthy’s new range I was thrilled. Available in two colour ways the Ellie range is perfect…

My First Retreat

We, as the so called Blogeratti, decided to hold a retreat…and I wasn’t  too sure about going to start with. As the excitement built between the girls and of course our young man, Jonathan, who put the wheels in motion for the venue, it started to grow on me. When hubby offered to pay, my…

The 2018 Stocking Challenge and a round up from The GT Quilters

This time last year, we had just about finished sorting all the quilts that had been donated for the Grenfell Tower appeal and they were about ready to go out. Many of the people in the Facebook Group asked if the group would remain or expressed sadness that it might come to an end so…

Machine Applique Part 1

Two words that can strike terror into the heart of a dedicated patchworker. The trouble is that it is not just used to make fabric pictures – you have to applique your Dresden Plate or your set of tumbling blocks onto a background for instance, and that lovely Honey Bee block requires you to applique…

The Cheap Procrastinator – Bah Bah Humbug

Hands up, for those that hate Christmas, it is okay to say ME. I do, I hate it with a passion. What do I hate about it? • The sense of profound loneliness despite being in a room full of people • Loneliness • The extreme demand placed upon you by others to be happy…

Merry Christmas

Christmas sewing Got a bit of spare time over Christmas? Need to get away from the turkey and sprouts? A quick little make, or a new technique to try? This year I’ve used my grandsons drawing to create a few small journal quilts. I make these little images as stand alone journal quilts or bigger…

And Sew This Is Christmas…A Year in Review

Each year I review what I have managed to achieve in the past year, and then I make my New Year Resolutions, and also list the things that I would like to achieve in the coming year. It is around the end of the year that I do this, just to give me more time…

Takeaway Treats!

I was one of the lucky Bloggeratti to go in the Quilting Retreat at the beginning of December and it was the best thing since sliced bread! Good company, great space, nice vegan food, good bar and a nice clean bedroom. I have never met any of the other bloggers before and it was so…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers – More Tigers

So, having made your Tigers (see this post for details) you will find that there are various variations.. Start by joining the blocks together with all the stripes going the same way – you will note that your eye does not see a straight line where the blocks meet… You can cut this into narrower…

Snowflakes: Christmas table runner and bunting

After making a few snowflakes for the ‘fire and ice’ quilts, I became fascinated by their potential. They are beautiful, each individual, symmetric but also flawed, each growing differently but under the same constraints. To make the patterns for my snowflakes, I first looked at close-ups of snowflakes and I just love the diversity. I…

Cats and threads and ribbons……. a few words of warning…..

It was raining quite heavily overnight in Cornwall, well to be honest it was chucking it down!  Wind, rain, loads of noise, cold and horrid basically……. I was awake about 4.30, so I truddles off into the front room to do a bit, as you do, gave the cats a few treats on the way…..a…

Springfields Quilt show

Today I had the pleasure of visiting springfields quilt show, this is the first December show that has been put on. There were lots of lovely stalls to look at, beautiful fabrics, amazing patterns, interesting gadgets that you never knew you needed and some amazing machines. This quilts on show were outstanding, the variety of…

Quilts for Christmas Dinners joined the Bloggerati Retreat 

This was my first quilting retreat, held last few days of November and over Sylvia’s birthday. I’m told that the rule is “what happens on retreat stays on retreat”, i.e. no telling tales. Ha ! I’m a rule breaker…… What a surprise: I turned up later than anyone else on late on the Friday, having…

Houston Adventure

My Missouri adventure was over and my Houston adventure was about to begin, ohhh the excitement….. The ‘high’ continued as I flew from Kansas City to Houston via a quick flight change at Dallas. I got a cab to my hotel in downtown Houston, it was only 5 blocks walk from the Convention Centre where…

Notebooks

Sometimes things just WHOOP out of control. I did make them before; my notebooks. I love notebooks: I have a lot, and I use them all the time. These first notebooks I made were made out of one of those projects for-the-road: I took this on trains, plains and automobiles! It was easy patchwork by…

Hunt The Thimble

November’s Charity Work I’m a charity shop-aholic, I’ll admit it to you lot but not to the husband who is always telling me I have a problem! My love of charity shops all started many years ago, having 3 daughters, hefty mortgage and with money very tight and in a day when bargains were easier…

Foot Loose

Who else has problems with their machine foot pedal walking all over the floor? Do you, like me, start with it in a lovely comfortable easy to use position and whether on carpet, tiles or wood floor, by the time you finish your project you realize you are quite the contortionist in reaching the foot…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers: Part the First, and an Introduction

Why Improvise? Well, firstly, why not? It’s much more personal, and the results tend to be as individual as the maker.. And because it’s actually easier than being precise, and the opportunities to fail are much less available… And because, when all is said and done, it’s Much More Fun Up till about 3 years…

cut&alter :: Rudolph Quilt Block Tutorial – FREE DOWNLOAD

I have been somewhat absent over on this website due to a variety of reasons – not least a house move.  In the end it turned out that we had one week from exchange to completion.  That was one week to pack up my longarm studio, which was large and housed a LOT of things,…

Makower Dragonheart

What a beautiful selection of fabrics in this lovely range by Makower UK, Dragonheart. Sure to be a success.   The images on the fabric are so appealing. The quality of the fabric and the vibrancy of the colours have to be seen. I knew as soon as I saw the dragons, little knights and…

Houston Quilt Festival 2018 episode 2

Thursday November 8th was the first day of Houston Quilt Festival. I started out of my hotel early to pick up my official show guide and pin. I saw the large queues outside the Hall entrances and decided to wait a little before trying to enter the show. But again it turned out I could…

The Bloggerati on Retreat

Way way back many centuries ago…okay, many moons ago a suggestion was made: who would be interested in going on a sewing retreat? (Who can name the musical referred to here?!) This seemed like a dream come true – a weekend away, no cooking to be done, sitting sewing to your heart’s content. The deposit…

MAKOWER DRAGONHEART

Mmm..Makower have come up trumps again with this super fun range of fabric called Dragonheart. Makower Dragonheart In 100% cotton the quality is great and is really lovely to work with. This enchanting design with castles and knights in shining armour, yielding swords and shields, it is sure to please both boys and girls with…

The Bloggerati retreat – Spruced Up and Karen Lewis

Almost 30 of the volunteer bloggers for the ukqu.co.uk website came together for the first time in real life at the weekend. Many of us have been blogging and ‘met’ each other online for the last year, but this was the first time most of us met in person. Fabric Club by Karen Lewis Textiles…

Champagne and Caviar — part Two

Kelly Cline, the Kansas based professional longarmer, continues her story about her favourite quilt and how she achieved an amazing finish using a Vintage Tablecloth. If you missed Part one its here .. and Kelly introduces herself to those of you who have not met such an accomplished longarm quilter before if you click into Quilting News…

Diary of a first time blogger—-Judith Clarke

Hello, new blogger alert here. No idea what I’ve got myself into but hope you will enjoy the ride as much as I will. The only plan I have is to try and share my stitching/quilting journey with you all each month. I add the word stitching to quilting as I cannot align myself with…

Bloggerati on Retreat  –  Day two .. the takeover!

Day two dawned early and it was chilly outside, but no one at the Bloggerati Retreat was bothered about the weather.   All the workstations were set up and manned from early doors.     The joy of it all was being able to stumble down to a full english breakfast without a worry of who would be…

Did I Go? Yes, I did!

I can’t thank you enough for your comments and messages following my last blog post.  It struck a chord with some who were feeling the same way.  It made it so much easier to meet them and virtual hugs turned to hugs in person. Arriving early meant I go to an almost empty sewing room…

Friends and Christmas

When my friends asked me two weeks ago if I was making all my Xmas presents I jokingly said : ‘in August I decided to make everyone I love a gift for Xmas but in November I decided I only loved one person’….  It was funny, and it had tickled me when I read the joke…

All coursework with no time to play!

I have been very busy for the past two months on a fast track hlta course (higher level teaching assistant), there’s no time to do anything else. I’ve spent many late nights on a laptop but I think I have finally started to see the light at the end of tunnel. I have fallen behind…

Curved seams – or Drunkard’s Path

Each month we have a Technique of the Month class at The Corner Patch where I teach. My blogs this year have been largely based on these classes. This last month in class we looked at stitching curved seams by making Drunkard’s Path units and blocks. Dressmakers, used to stitching in sleeves or cuffs, usually…

Day one — Bloggerati on Retreat

Friday, 30th November dawned chilly and damp .. but across the UK the Bloggers of UKQU were stuffing their cars with machines and fabric ready for the journey to the FIrst Annual Bloggerati on Retreat.  You could sense the excitement across the virtual waves, and for the first time virtuality was transforming into reality with three…

How quilting blew up my cooker! My EQ8 Journey

How do I explain? Christmas is coming and I have blown up my cooker! All because of my quilting addiction. I’ll start at the beginning. EQ8 released 28/10/17 It was my birthday recently and I’ve been after a quilt design software package for a while. I’d like to use the excuse of working on British…

Houston Quilt Festival 2018 Episode 1

This November I went to the Houston Quilt Festival. This was my first time ever! I had a total of 4 quilts in the show, can you imagine? I arrived on Wednesday late in the afternoon, but decided to go to Preview night right away. As I had a registered show pass I could walk…

It’s in the genes

Otherwise entitled – We all turn into our mothers (and fathers). This is likely to be a bit of a marmite post – it will probably provoke some extreme views. I don’t mean for this post to offend anyone, and I realise that not everyone will have the same experience of this. I also appreciate…

A New Life for a Forgotten Tablecloth [part one]

To those who have not met or heard of Kelly Cline, here’s a link to her biography.    Here Kelly introduces her favourite quilt.   “Champagne and Caviar”, is the title I’ve given to this spectacular quilt! It began as a 100 year old, silk embroidered tablecloth, purchased from an estate sale. Unfortunately, I have…

Christmas Quilts for Careleavers .. part Deux

Maggie is so busy with her project we have posted a little news update.   If you can pledge to help next year with this marvellous charity project then contact her.   Just one quilt could make a great difference to a child leaving care.   For the back ground check the https://ukqu.co.uk/quilty-hug-christmas-appeal/launch post for this project here…

Christmas sewing with children

Long, long ago I was actively involved in the Quilters’ Guild (as it was then) first as a Young Quilters’ Rep for my Region, then as YQ Officer and finally as the YQ magazine editor. At the same time I also ran a little local group of Young Quilters. My Young Quilters all grew up…

Scrap Quilting

Now maybe you have lots of small scraps but have no idea what to do with them, or maybe you’re new to quilting and you bought scraps.  When I first decided I’d like to quilt, I was drawn to Jelly Rolls, it was all those fabrics that ‘go together’.  So here I’m going to tell…

Missouri Road Trip 

Hello everyone, I’m really new to blogging so let me begin by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about how I became a ‘Quilter’. My name is Ami Richards, my age, who cares, and up until January 2017 I had never sewn anything or ever really used a sewing machine apart from a…

Tales from Val’s Blog Cabin – BOM Block 3 Review

Bradford and Watling’s BOM Flock of HSTs Block 3 With lots of recent family commitments, I wasn’t able to get round to making this block until a couple of weeks after I received it but as before, I was eager to complete it to add to the two previous blocks. As with earlier blocks, the…

Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate

Have you ever been to the Knitting and Stitching Show?  If not, you’re missing a treat, and if you get the chance give it a try. The Knitting and Stitching is held every year, and I’ve been going to the Harrogate one for nearly 30 years.  I’m not sure what year it started.  The show…

FMQ – from fear to fun

If you practice enough, there really is a point where FMQ (free motion quilting) suddenly switches from Fear to Fun.   I didn’t really believe it would happen to me, but it has, and the possibilities that open up are quite exciting.  I’d like to share a little bit of my learning journey with you: What…

Playing Away?

Have you been playing away at that sewing week/sewing retreat/workshop? What do you need to take? If you’ve never been to ‘play away’ then hopefully this will help, and even if you have this still might help you. You’ll need plenty of lead in your pencil, or maybe you have a propelling pencil or pen?…

Should I Go, Or Should I Stay

This coming weekend sees the first retreat for those the Bloggerati, the wonderful group that write your blogs, provide you with hints and tips and other goodies on the website. It’s also the first retreat I have ever attended so it should be a time of great excitement.  Behind the scenes, everyone is talking about…

Why You Should Practice Free Motion Quilting Before Every Project

When we are busy making, taking time to practice different techniques can sometimes go to the back of the queue, we are just so intent on getting finished. Recently, I was doing a photo quilt and was so pleased I took the time to do some practice before moving onto the quilting. It saved me…

Xmas Fayres

 I expect quite a few of us sell at Craft Fayres and what better time to do this than at Xmas, when we know everyone will be Xmas shopping.  A few years ago our local museum invited me to sell some of my patchwork products at their annual xmas fayre. I jumped at the chance…

Charity Quilts for Dementia patients 

A Christmas Gift for those in need. This month’s gift is a gift to charity. Or to a friend or loved one. Like most quilt groups ours often get involved in making charity quilts. We have made Quilts for Linus, Latch, Prem babies, Angel Babies, Fish & Chip Babies, Old Age and that’s just off…

Fun with Water Soluble Stabiliser.

Leaf Book Mark Water soluble stabiliser (WSS) reinforces hand and machine embroidery and is a fun material to work with.  Looking for ideas to ‘play’ with this material I came upon a lovely YouTube tutorial by Deborah Wirsu called Textile Leaf Bookmarks. The idea is to collect leaves, draw the outline of one on a…

Welsh Quilts at St Fagans

Wales is one of the Regions of the UK with a particularly strong tradition of patchwork and quilting. As part of the recent British Quilt Study Group seminar, I was able to view some of the wonderful collection of Welsh quilts held at St Fagans near Cardiff. Although we saw some beautiful wholecloth quilts too,…

Weighted Quilts and nekkid mermaids

Weighted blankets were invented by Keith Zivalich of California. According to Forbes “Zivalich came up with the idea 15 years ago when his daughter draped a Beanie Baby over his shoulder while he was driving. “It was a lizard that was long and hugged my shoulder, and felt pretty cool,” he says. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it…

‘Arcadia’ by Philip Jacobs for Snow Leopard Designs

Philip lives and works between residences in London and the beautiful Dorset coast. He finds a lot of his inspiration in the natural world around us. This blog has been written using Philip’s own words ….. ‘Arcadia’ is Philip’s new Autumn 2018 collection by for Snow Leopard Designs by Free Spirit Fabrics “Arcadia” is an…

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: .COM Confusion

We talk often of the fabrics in Aldi .. read here the ‘big box retailer’ inference that Scott Fortunoff refers to when talking of Walmart in the US.   Its a matter of choice whether you buy or not .. but if we don’t support our LQS [local quilt shop] then we may see them going the way…

Love Dinosaurs? You’ll love Makower UK Rex

I’m always excited about receiving fabulous material to work with but was very surprised at my reluctance to actually cut it up into smaller pieces! I used so many avoidance tactics to start using it and began feeling guilty at not writing this product review sooner. It was fast becoming ‘my precious’ and I wanted…

EXPANDABLE SEWING WORKBOX (Etui)- Part 2

PART TWO – ASSEMBLY…..  SEWING CAN BEGIN…. The lid brim is covered on the outside with the 28inch x 2inch strip set aside earlier. Fold in half inch turnings on one long side and press with an iron. Once ironed, stitch the folded side in place along the Hexagon lid, starting with one end overlapping…

EXPANDING SEWING WORKBOX (Etui)Part 1

Expanding Sewing Workbox (Etui) This is the second Workbox I have made and, boy, do I wish I had taken photos and made a record of what did last time! The Workbox will take you several hours to make, cutting out the various components, sticking the bits together and then both hand and machine sewing.…

Do quilt categories matter?

Last month I attended a fabulous talk on the differences between Modern and Contemporary Quilts given by the amazing Linda Seward.  This really struck a chord with me because for some time now I have been offering courses, workshops and talks in this general area, though I focus on an aspect known as Modern Traditionalism…

Quilting on the Go – a cautionary tale

This summer we bought half a static caravan – our daughter and her family own the other half.   Despite comments from friends about which side was ours we have already had some fantastic weekends away both with and without the Grandchildren helping Granma and Grandad enjoy them.  Our little haven of relaxation is set up…

Ancient and Modern

Hello there, I’m Helen Howes, and this is by way of an Introduction and thanks-for-letting-me-play. I’ve been a quilter for over 20 years, but I’ve been sewing for a whole lot longer – I have been a dressmaker, soft-furnisher, kite-maker (one of the best in the world) and maker-of-stuff-to-sell for more than 50 years. I…

Gardens and quilting

An odd combination? Perhaps not – I find when I’m teaching that many of my students are as keen on gardening as they are about quilting. As am I. Our problems arise in the months from about April to October when we are desperate to get out into the garden or greenhouse, but we also…

Baby Starfish Quilt

I’m so excited about my latest pattern. I have designed a row by row quilt for beginners to teach techniques, which is still in progress. But I just thought the starfish are adorable and would make such a cute baby quilt. …And it did. In fact, I’m so not over the starfish, I had to…

A Day Behind the Haberdashery Counter

A busy Saturday and there are a couple of prominent dates looming and this definitely shows in what items are being bought. Not only do I get to serve these crafters I also get to hear all about what they are going to be doing with their purchases and here, following is a snippet of…

To Wash or Not To Wash………….

…………..that is the question. So, you’ve got your fabric and you’re ready to make your quilt. Are you in the ‘wash it first’ camp, or the ‘just get on with it’ camp? I would think of myself as the ‘Just get on with it’ camp. But, maybe not in all circumstances. This is what happened…

Honeycomb Decorations

Late to the party as ever but I thought I would show you how I make these pretty decorations. Requirements list Two fat quarters (you can make two out of this) A three inch cardboard or template plastic circle Beads (optional) Thread to match fabric Seven inches of ribbon Put the fat quarters right sides…

VIEWS FROM MY SELVEDGE

I’m part of a group for Handiquilter owners, called the Longarm Learning Curve and each year we have the opportunity of taking part in the Radiance Challenge.  This isn’t a competition, but the chance to try something out of our comfort zone. This year’s challenge was in two parts – one to use a piece…

cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL :: Week 10 – Block 9

Welcome to Week 10 of the Christmas 18 QAL and here is the final block, Block 9 …. as you may notice this pic shows the block nearly made up – whoops!  Having just gone back into my photos I can’t find a finished block – but you get the idea.  I couldn’t even take…

Freemotion and design classes

In my last blog I discussed learning to use rulers on your machines and designing with them.  The response was fantastic, so much so that I am going to have to look at repeating the class later in the year as this one has sold out. I have also been asked many times to put…

Removing the Centres of Shapes and Letters for Appliqué

In the previous video I shared about appliqué I mentioned that I’d share how to remove the centres from shapes and letter. By leaving the shape whole until after attaching to fabric makes things a lot easier as it is not so fragile. Please bear in mind, there is more than one way to do…

Peaky and Spike

This three-triangle unit was, I think, given its name by Doreen Speckmann because the centre triangle resembles a mountain peak and the two side triangles are the spikes anchoring it to the ground. It is not the easiest of units to cut or piece and the most precise way to get those points really sharp…

Beginners Guide to Quilt Shows

So, you are starting out on your patchwork and quilting journey with a class or two, maybe a good instruction book or even YouTube and have heard about quilt shows but are a little too scared to go? What are they all about and why bother? Well, read on for a little introduction on what…

Scrap Busting #3 – Bee Themed Pocket Postcard

I don’t know about you, but I am completely ‘Easter-ed’ out so I thought I would do something a little bit different for April’s blog/pattern. Our household was very lucky to have received a number of beautiful spring themed Easter cards, which prompted me to think about a fabric postcard. I belong to the UKQU…

cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL :: Week 9 – Block 8

Welcome to Week 9 of the Christmas 18 QAL and here is Block 8 …. Block 8 is another week of Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) to consolidate the skills learnt last week.  This block is again a great introduction to FPP because it is easily constructed, with cutting instructions included, and the 4 FPP blocks…

How about BORO?

When I was about 14 or 15, I embellished clothes. It started with camouflaging little holes, making them into flowers… No idea about Boro, back then… I never really stopped embellishing, but when I started quilting hell broke loose. I went to a class from Marijke van Welzen, and started embellishing for real.. Then came…

Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

Do you want to build a Snowman? Yes, well I recently treated myself to a new Sizzix Die (But don’t panic if you don’t have a Sizzix Die cutter. I have a plan to include you too). So, I have been playing with my new Sizzix Snowman Die. I cut out a few Snowmen and…

Festive Hearts

First of all let me just say these are Festive Hearts – So not just for Christmas but for any celebrations. Machine Stitched Hearts Sometimes a quilter just wants a quick fix. Something to make in an evening, an afternoon, a morning or an hour. My Festive Hearts can give you that fix. They are…

Inspiration for Quilts 1 – Take a Saying

Sunsets have always held my attention. The photo is generally not as good as the way I saw the sunset at the time, but it serves as inspiration for future projects. Where do you find your inspiration for quilts? There are so many places around to find inspiration – magazines, pictures, experiences, nature, feelings, songs,…

Adventures of an Inexperienced Quilter – 2

Concentration….. Now that I have got past my first blog, I should probably explain that the reason that I volunteered to be a blogger for UKQU was for my own benefit! I felt that I was something of a contrast to all the brilliant, experienced quilt bloggers that are on this site by being clear…

Rulers – But not the bossy kind 😉 

It seems that the latest trend in the quilting world is the use of quilting rulers to use both on domestic machines and on longarm machines.  They are being sold in various forms and various shapes and sizes, but once you have bought them, then what? If you are like a lot of people you…

cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL :: Week 8 – Block 7

Welcome to Week 8 of the Christmas 18 QAL and here is Block 7 …. Block 7 sees us learning Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) and this block is a gentle introduction to this technique.  I have also included cutting instructions which means that there is virtually no waste when making this block. My pattern testers…

A Virtual Bee in my Bonnet!

  “Help! My walking foot is dropping little marks on my work” I posted in the UK Quilters United FaceBook group “You probably bought a cheap foot” came the sharp reply from one of our trusted experts. Well! I was well and truly flabbergasted and mightily embarrassed (hangs head in shame). But… she was absolutely…

Appliqué-Take time to stop and think

How many times have you gone to attach your appliqué pieces to find they are the wrong way?  Hopefully, this video will help.     Related posts: Removing the Centres of Shapes and Letters for Appliqué What to do with orphan blocks Why You Should Practice Free Motion Quilting Before Every Project Ring Pincushion 

Ring Pincushion 

Just a quick and easy pattern for you today, brilliant for appliqué and hand sewing. My friend, Veronica, showed me one she had made and said how fantastic it was. It really is, such a simple idea but you’ll find it so useful. Requirements 4″ Square of fabric. If you have smaller hands, then 3½”…

My work with the Kaffe Fassett Collective by Philip Jacobs

People often express a bit of confusion about how we work in the Kaffe Fassett Collective and who designs what? So here is a definitive answer: The way it works in the Collective is that Kaffe, Brandon and myself all do the designs independently, then Kaffe does the colourways which unifies it all as a…

cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL  ::  Week 7 – Block 6

Welcome to Week 7 of the Christmas 18 QAL and here is Block 6 …. This week we are going to make flying geese with the 4 at a time no waste method.  This method really changed how I viewed flying geese and is now my go to method.  This block is available as a…

World Quilts Competition – News Update

Many of you will have seen on my personal page that I recently won Best of World at the World Quilt New England Show in the US with my quilt Silver Linings. Overwhelmed and overjoyed does not go anywhere near to expressing how I felt when I heard the news, and yes, I admit to shedding…

Get out of it!

Get out of the box. Get out of your comfortzone. We hear it all over the place. It is supposed to be good, and healthy, and challenging. But whatever, we do have our favourite colors, our favourite fabrics, designers, right? And we quilt for fun, right? Well, that is right. And I KNOW what I…

Why won’t it Fit….? Part 1 Flying Geese

Once you move on from simple squares to more interesting patchwork designs, you may run into a few problems when stitching smaller units together into a block. For example, have you ever joined a square to a Flying Geese unit, and wondered why the square is sticking out at the bottom…….? It’s tempting at this…

A Memorable Summer

Here we are at the end of a beautiful summer and what a summer it has been. If you’ll allow me a little self indulgence ( I promise a patchwork item at the end), I personally have had a memorable time as we celebrated our Golden wedding anniversary in August, and it was a very…

New Zealand quilt shows

I’ve just had a week of holiday in New Zealand visiting family and enjoying old haunts. I also got lucky enough to go to two quilt shows and a couple of shops. (I mean quilt shops of course, the rest don’t count). Luckily for me Rose City Quilters and Horowhenua Quilters were both having exhibitions.…

The Cheap Procrastinator – No String Bunting, Happy Halloween

Something a little different from me this month, with posts about Christmas makes becoming the norm, I thought it would be nice to show off a Halloween make. I enjoy machine embroidery and I enjoy playing and digitising my own designs as well. I started with a 4 inch square embroidery area machine and soon…

cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL ::  Week 6 – Block 5

Welcome to Week 6 of the Christmas 18 QAL and here is Block 5 …. This week is about half rectangle triangles (HRTs) and is a quick an easy block to make up.  There is still time to take part so if you do want to make the whole quilt and join in the fun…

A Quilty Hug at Christmas .. an appeal

From time to time things pop up in the Quilty Charity World.   Lemn Sissay is a brilliant poet, and Maggie Lloyd Jones is working with him to support the Care Leavers Christmas Dinners he has started a movement about with a donation of as many quilts as possible to wrap the Care Leavers up with…

Square and Triangles unit

This is another very useful unit which crops up in a number of blocks but can make some interesting designs just on its own. It can also be fun to add this unit into traditional blocks – substitute the HST units for this one, or 4-patch units and see what you end up with. There’s…

Holidays, aeroplanes and sewing supplies

Well, firstly, yay for holidays. I’m off to visit family, which is nice, but I need to make sure I’m well prepared for waiting at airports, and have small things to do while relaxing with family. I fly because my family are either overseas or like 17 hours drive away, (that’s the nearest child, the…

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Well, as most of my informative years were in the 80s I couldn’t help but think of this when hearing about the challenge for the Ice Quilt Sew-a-Row, designing a quilt for the UKQU website. You can read the full story of the Ice and Fire quilts in October’s issue of British Patchwork and Quilting…

cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL :: Week 5 – Block 4

Welcome to Week 5 of the Christmas 18 QAL and here is Block 4 …. Block 4 of the cut&alter Christmas 18 QAL is released today and, if you have signed up, will be in your inbox shortly. This week’s block takes the half square triangles (HSTs) we have been perfecting over the first 3…

Promoting your Creative Business

Over the last three weeks Fiona Pullen, well-known author of several books, The Sewing Directory website and an all round nice person, has been explaining how to set up a successful creative business.  In this final blog of this series, she explores what could be the most important aspect of any business .. the marketing.  In…

The Bliss Pillow

OK! So it is a book pillow but with a bit of a slant! What do you get a very dear friend for a special birthday when you know she has everything she needs?  I thought and thought and came up with a plan…. a good book, chocolate and wine makes for a blissful evening…

Work stops sewing play

It is possible my sewing journey could be on hold. I have been given an opportunity to I improve my professional development. It’s an intense three to four month course to become a hlta, a higher level teaching assistant. My friend has manage to arrange a couple of workshops on Saturdays to ensure I get…

Fabric Roadshow

Take One Empty Hall & Fill It With Fabric – Heaven! Every year Puriton Quilters host a Doughty’s Roadshow, how lovely is this for us, coming out into the sleepy sticks of Somerset and taking over the East Huntspill Village Hall for a good few house. Doughty’s are based in Hereford and are in attendance…

The Cheap Procrastinator – I put the “P” in Procrastination.

Hello, I am still around. I have been recovering from an operation and boy! I under estimated the recovery time and the limitations the recovery phase placed upon me. I was not able to lift anything heavier than 1 litre of water for six weeks. Which meant no lifting of my sewing machines – I…

Scandi 2018 Christmas fabrics

Being part of the Bloggerati* I was offered some Scandinavian inspired Christmas fabrics to try out. Below are a few of the designs available in the latest Scandi 2018 range, by Makower. The designs are available in red and grey, and there are also a few solid-ish ‘linen texture’ prints to match. I was sent a…

Christmas gifts for Scandi lovers

If any of your friends has any connections to or love of the Scandinavian countries, you can whip up some quick and easy, but still stunning gifts for them with simple appliqué. Technically, Scandinavia includes Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Add in Iceland and Finland, and you’ll have the Nordic countries. However, there is no need…

Classy Stained Glassy

Stained glass is one of my favourite methods of patchwork. When I first did one many moons ago I used the traditional method of pinning the bias all round before stitching the edges down, I remember how many pin stabs while doing this method. As with everything, improvements to the technique were introduced, and now…

Christmas – the best part is the anticipation

Christmas means so much to so many people. Our childhood memories of the celebrations and the family time are just so special. As a young adult I decided that Christmas was something we create for others, and in doing so, we create it for ourselves. And that is why we have the traditions, the ceremonies,…

Stuck for ideas? a.k.a What’s On Your Christmas List?

Christmas Is Coming – The Geese Are Getting Fat; although before we get there, it is my birthday. It is around this time of year (the start of a new school year, and just before my birthday) that I start to feel a bit maudlin; I’m not sure whether it is the nights drawing in,…

2018 Christmas Stocking Challenge & Free Pattern

One thing that stood out from the Grenfell Towers Quilt appeal was the generosity of the sewing and quilting community. People gave fabric, wadding, blocks, whole quilts and even money to help us achieve our goal of offering a quilt to every family living in the flats on that tragic night in June 2017. Late…

Advent Calendar from a panel

The shops are full of Advent calendar panels these days –  they are easy to make once you know how so here is a couple of pictures and instructions to help you along the way … First, cut out the pockets from the panel – the key is to keep them as a strip to…

Xmas Angel

  Many years ago I was in our local W.I. group, and my job was to organise the speaker’s calender for the following year. This was challenging trying to find speakers to suit us all. When it came to November I volunteered to do the Xmas craft evening, I had no idea what we would do…