Flower Pots Quilt


A while back, probably a couple of years ago now there was a quilt show at The Needlemakers in Lewes. It was part of the Arts Week in Lewes and the quilts were generously displayed from the collection of Jill Hillage who owns The Patchwork Dog and Basket in Lewes.


She has great taste and a great shop so needless to say I thought the quilts were great too.


A couple of them appealed to me as something I might quite like to stitch, and last summer I asked if I could borrow one or two to make patterns from. Jill very generously lent them to me and the process begun.


Below are some shots of the original quilt. I loved the boldness of the design, but I really liked the fact that some of the fabric had worn away and you could see part of the appliqué from underneath. Also some of the motifs in the border had faded to be almost invisible.


flower pots old1



flower pots old2




This is what I then stitched:


flower pots quilt carolyn forster



I loved the fadedness of those baskets and my palette grew from there:


flower pots2



It is a repeat of one flower pot block, sixteen in total in the quilt:


flower pots3



I just used freezer paper appliqué as my technique and reverse appliqué as in the original quilt for the flower centres:


flower pots4

Hope something inspires you today to stitch something new!

Old Fashioned Inspiration

As much as I love trawling through the internet with all the amazing quilty things to see and inspire us, I really love to look through a book.

I buy a lot of books. I consider it and an investment!

This morning I looked back through some of the books I brought quite a few years ago. It is easy to over look the older books, as everything new seems so exciting. But these goodies did not let me down!


inspiring quilts1modern traditional


inspiring quilts2


inspiring quilts3


inspiring quilts4


inspiring quilts5


inspiring quilts6


And as some of you might have spied there is a new Quilting-on-the-Go book coming soon!

I know loads of you have waited an age for this. I think you will like it!


Pinwheel Star

Stitched this block, a Pinwheel Star:

Pinwheel star


It is from the cover of this book:

Pinwheel star

There are some wonderful quilts in this book, but the one on  the cover has always appealed.

I was really happy with the outcome but don't look too closely at the edges!

Now that is out of my system on to other more pressing issues!

Utility Quilting: Square Amish Waves?

Here are some shots of the quilting that I am trying out on my Bits Quilt.

This is the back of a quilt:

Utility quilting1


It seems to a square version of Amish Waves:

Utility quilting2


Utility quilting3


Any ideas where this quilting came from, or if it has a name? All these examples are from American quilts.

Utility quilting4

Antique Applique


When I teach at Patchwork Dog and Basket in Lewes Jill has often had some of her antique quilts on display. A year or so ago she held a small exhibit of her collection, and one of these quilts really appealed to me. 

I really wanted to make this quilt, so a few months ago Jill kindly lent me the quilt and I traced off the pattern.



As you can see it is flowers in baskets. The basket fabric has nearly disappeared and you can see the stem fabric showing through.

I love this faded worn out quality in the quilt so have chosen to stitch my version in soft faded colours:




I have 16 blocks to sew and they will be on various different backgrounds.

The centre of the flower is reverse appliqué and as yet I have not done this on the blocks, as I can't decide which colour to use. I will wait until I have more blocks stitched.





Abundance of Creativity

A bit of a delay in posting as I have had a busy teaching and talk schedule. And the camera would not upload, but all sorted now!

I had a quick fix of quilting this week by sewing along on Lori's Abundance mini Quilt. I usually sew bigger projects, so it was great to be able to go from soup to nuts in a week!

Before quilting:


After quilting!

And my second finish this week has been the String Snowball Quilt that I showed before Christmas. I am so pleased with this. Chris did a great job with the quilting as usual! Thanks Chris!

As much as I love the over all pattern of this quilt, I really like the way that the randomly chosen fabrics work together:

Things that I would not place together in a normal block, just look such fun in this:



If you want to explore some creativity this weekend why not make a string block or two from your scraps, or sew Lori's Mini Quilt?

I am linking to Lori so you can see all the other Abundance quilts!

15 Minutes of Play

At the top of my pile of books that are inspiring me at the moment is Victoria's 15 Minutes of Play. So many times I don't think I have enough time to actually create, and by reading through her book, you realise that it is all the odd minutes that can add up to something great! I love the way the quilts grow organically, and are not started with the end in sight. Too many times people want to know what it will look like before they even start!

Second in the pile is Quilts by Roderick Kirocofe. If you love the improvisational style of the Gees Bend quilts you will love this. It is a self published book of quilts from his private collection.  You order it and it is printed on demand from this site. It is so worth it! Years back I had his book on the history of quilts that is just jammed full of wonderful old quilts, lots that are not often seen.

The middle two in the pile are ones that I have wondered about getting for a long time, and now wonder what took me so long. So much inspiration and so many little ideas that just go to show that there is nothing new!

Inspiring me also has been the loan of some wonderful quilts from my friend Jill of Patchwork Dog and Basket.

Take a peek at this one:

The blank blocks have wreaths quilted in them, but what I love is the utility type quilting over the applique blocks and border:

And these shells around the edge of the wreaths:

For me to play with at the moment I have the Liberty fabrics from Fabrics Galore with a fabric friend from Eternalmaker:

They are just sitting together for a while to see what transpires!

Wednesday Pieces

Been having a little play with some ideas that have inspired me, so instead of wondering and filing them away I got on and stitched. A bit like Victoria says in her 15minutes play.….. it really does help liberate your creativity!

Congratulations on the new book Victoria, can't wait for it to hit the shops!

I saw this quilt over at  Nifty Quilts , and just had to have ago at the block:

I used a quick method with a Half Square Triangle ruler, and although it means all the bias is on the out side edge of the block, due to the speed of making it I think I could forgive it that!

I made a little bitty bag:

Really cute, not my usual sewing thing, and I made the pattern up as I went!

Then I saw this quilt from 1910 in a Japanese magazine:

I played around, and have now started my own:

Again, not the sort of thing I usually sew as each blocks colour choice links to the next, so there is a bit of planning and some organisation involved. To help with the organising I ironed and cut lots of fabric  so I can just dig in and sew. I think mine will be more scrappy than the original, but I will see what emerges!

To see what others have stitched this weekend, why not go over the the Fat Quaterly Blog where you can see how much everyone enjoyed the Retreat!

A Patch filled Post!

I took the chance over the last few wonderfully sunny days to photograph some projects, as well as do tons of laundry to blow dry on the line!

This a Sawtooth Star quilt:

It is a variation of a quilt I have done for the Jelly Roll book that comes out in the Autumn from Search Press. This one is in solids, something that I don't use very often, but if you go over to see Jane, they have been having a 'Sew Into Solids' event and I think this week is week 10. It is great to see how these fabrics have been used, and might inspire you to think about your solids!

Keep your eyes open on the blog for another of these quilts that I am stitching from a lovely new line of French fabrics that are now available over here from Eternal Maker. I will have something to show by the end of May!

The next quilt is a variation on one called Woven Throw that I am teaching at Eternal Maker at the end of May:

This is a summery version of the quilt made from a range by Basic Grey from Moda. The original quilt is autumnal, so I am really pleased to be able to show a more Spring like version too!

And here are a few shots of the Hexagon quilt I brought last week:

This is the back. It was the first sight I had of the quilt, and even that is stunning!

This is the back of the border of the quilt. The quilt is huge, and these hexagons are about 1/2in on each side. Although you can sew something like this for years from scraps, this quilt is very organised in pattern and layout. All the cream fabric between the patterns is the same, and the fabrics for the blue, yellow and red in the border is all the same.

The front of the quilt, the border edge:

If you look in the bottom right corner of the picture above you can see there is a 1970's fabric. This quilt has been repaired in places as the fragile fabrics have torn. This adds to the charm and the story of this quilt for me. It will be great to try to date more of the original fabrics.

Some of the patches at the edge have paper still in them, but from what I can see it is plain and not written or printed on. I feel quite inspired to continue with more hexagon quilts now, but perhaps just one tiny one as opposed to all of the huge ones I have been stitching! I will look out for some paper pieces when I am at Quilt Market this week!

And in case you thought I had forgotten……. the winner of the Apple Core pieces cut on the Sizzix BIg Shot is…………

Sharon !!!!

I have emailed you for your address! Have fun with those shapes!

I am off to Kansas City this week for the trade show, so look out for posts over the next week from the great quilters who post from the show!

I will let you know how I got on when I get back in a week. But if you are at the show, come by to say 'Hi!' as I am on the Landauer Booth!

Eridge Park Decorative Living Fair

Popped up the road yesterday to visit the Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park, which is between Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough. It's aways nice to see these shows and get inspired.

I was especially keen to go as I saw that Viv of 'Hen's teeth' was going to be there.

Her stand was close to the entrance so I did not have to look very far for her! It was lovely to have chat with her. I have purchased from her Etsy site before, so it was a real treat to be able to see her lovely things in person, and then spend my pennies.

I was glad to have stopped by when I did, as when I passed her on my way out a while later, her stock was very much depleted. Hope it was a good day Viv!

Viv also teaches, it would be great to have her down this way to do some classes don't you think?

Then in another tent was 'Washerwoman'. This was a great surprise as I had not realised this lady would be there. She had a lovely selection of things and I was very taken by some Sanderson fabric. She also had a hexagon quilt that was unfinished and folded so you could only see the back. I asked to see it before I paid for my fabric, and it was love at first sight!!

The hexagons are tiny, about 1/2in from point to point, and the pattern was amazing.

No pictures here just yet, but this is the piece on her stand, that I did not buy:

It was small tray cloth perhaps 12in by 18in (?).

These lozenge hexagons were about 1/2in from top to bottom, and as well as the fussy cutting and design planning, some of them were cut into four pieces:

These were just painstakingly sewn beautiful pieces. Something that is a complete labour of love!

Having read so much about hexagon quilts ever since I started quilting in the early 1980's, and now with their popularity returning and becoming a 'fashionable stitch' again, I have looked for a hexagon quilt that really grabbed me as something special. And I am so pleased to have one! I promise pictures when the weather gets better.

I have also been stitching away, so will try to post about my stitching before I go to Kansas City, MI, USA for the trade fair next week.

In the meantime pop over and see Victoria, for  woman who gets things done!!!

Just love her 'Scrapping it Up' quilt, quilted in my favourite design of Baptist Fan!