‘Going Together’

One of the biggest concerns that comes across from my students, is ‘Does this Fabric Go Together?’

With all of the great collections of fabric that come out now, it is easy to work with those and get a quilt that ‘goes together’. So I find this is a simple starting point, and then you can add some other fabrics to spice it up and really make it your own. Each student will add something different to the basic mix, and this is what can make quilts exciting, even if the process can be a bit scary!

Help also comes from looking at lots of quilts. The more quilts that you see the more ideas you get. I am mostly drawn to old quilts, as I do believe that there is really nothing new, and whatever bright idea I may have concerning a colour combination, block size or placement,scale of print etc… I will usually find something similar happened 100yrs ago! So really I am stilll catching up!

This quilt by Toshiko Mitsumori of Saitana, Japan that was on show at Houston, is a great example of a quilt that looks great! It was one of my favourites of the contemporary quilts.


But when you look close up there are so many different fabrics ….. yet it all ‘goes together’. United by the pattern, the background and sashing in the neutral fabrics. Food for thought!


 I find lots of things to think about concerning what ‘goes together’ and hence what makes an interesting quilt, on these sites:

Barbara Brackman, Loads of great research into fabrics from old quilts.

Ann Champion, old quilts to get you thinking about the fabrics the maker choose.

Deb Rowden, vintage quilts from thrift shops!

Quilts at Houston

I hope to post some of the quilts that for one reason or another caught my attention at Houston this year.

This one is from collection of Quilts Inc.





I loved the idea of just 4 large blocks! But then I think I’d be finished too if I made four of these!

Old Blocks

Well, Quilt Market and Festival seem to be over in a flash! When I got back, it always takes me a good few days to get sorted. As you will have realised, nearly everyone who was at market seems to Blog about it, so for pictures and thoughts about all the great new fabrics that will be coming our way, just Google ‘Quilt Market’ and hit the Blogs button!

My favourite part of the trip, apart from meeting up with old friends, Jennifer and Mark and new friends, Sam from the US and Tony from AUS, as always was the old quilts. I love buying the fabrics when at Festival, but I find it really inspiring to look at the displays of old quilts and search through the boxes of orphan blocks on the stands! And I have a few new ones to add to my treasure trove.

phpwk1q1lAM old block

I just love the way the fabrics are put together in this (nameless) block.

Today I have been sewing Coasters/Mug Mats ready for School House at The Eternalmaker on Saturday. And I cannot belive that I am excited to see what fabrics they have in…. you’d think I was all fabriced out by now….. But no!! 🙂

Old Quilts and New

This week has been busy, more busy than I had anticipated. I still have a list of stuff to get done, and it looks very similar to when I wrote it last Monday afternoon!

First off, my copy of Sew Hip arrived, and I could see in print lots of things I had worked on during the Summer for them. I was busy!

Then on Friday I was at Creative Quilting in Surrey as a student on a day class with Lilian Hedley.

phpH8P4c7AM Lilian Hedley

I was so excited about this. Lilian is an expert on Durham and North Country Quilting in the UK.


 She had been a pupil of Amy Emms and she had so many interesting stories and information that she had learnt form the women who quilted these quilts. It was fascinating to hear how these patterns on the whole cloth quilts were ‘designed’. We worked on a cushion size sample using templates that Lilian supplied. Time just sped by! So thanks to Issy for organizing the visit (in conjunction with Region 1 of the The Quilters Guild).


And now today I need to get some pictures of the Perkiomen Valley quilts for the information for the class I will teach in France next September. This class is such fun as there are so many different quilts that you can sew just from a basic block, it will be a good job we are there for a week, as on the day class we just scim the surface. We can really get our teeth into our quilts…. so to speak!

And I need to get packed , as I fly out to Houston next week for Quilt Market and then Festival.I thought I had more time, but when I read about Rosalie  referring to the number of sleeps before she flies out… I thought, ‘Wah! Better get started!!!’

I will let you know how much fun it was when I get back!

Quilt Treasures


We went to Lewes today, and sometimes I am lucky enough to find an old Singer sewing machine, which I bring home with me! Today however I found a Singer Sewing Machines in house magazine from 1936, and I also picked up a copy of Selvedge magazine  which I find really inspiring. They are both so cool in very different ways!

The other treasure was the quilt that they are sitting on. It was bundled up with the print side outer most, and I had to ask for it to be untied so that I could see the quilting. It is a 1930’s whole cloth quilted in a medallion style.


This is the edge of the quilt.


And this is the print on the back. I will take more pictures when the light is better, but I can’t get outside at present due to the wind and the rain….. it being a typical July day in England! A good one for staying in and quilting!!

Hour Glass Quilt

I have been brave enough to comment on some great blogs. I know, that sounds ridiculous! But I only wanted to comment if I felt I was actually contibruting to the dialogue, and also sometimes the actual process of the commenting has defeated me, it has taken soooo long, that I wondered if it was worth it! But three blogs seem to have caught  my attention lately, and I have commented, and these lovely ladies even took the time to reply! I was really flattered that they take the time….. so if you have not been there yet, take a peek at the ladies lovely blogs:

Amy, Kathie and Amandajean. Have fun!

Here is another book that I find full of lovely old quilts to inspire me:


And in the book, this quilt caught my attention:


All it actually says about this quilt is : Childs Quilt 1850.

So not a lot about size, so I made up my own! I think that this is another of those blocks that is so very under rated, but makes beautiful quilts and shows off great fabric, just like Amys Economy Blocks. This is the Hourglass block.


And this is the subsequent quilt! Enjoy!


Sage Bud Quilt

Lots of the quilts that I sew find their origins in books of old quilts. So I have a lot of books!

One such book is Plain and Fancy by Anita Schorsch that my friend Jennifer gave me many years ago.


In this book there are some lovely old quilts from the Pennsylvanian Germans, and this one took my fancy:


This quilt is called Nine-patch, which it is I suppose , but the 9-patches are actually Sage Bud blocks sewn from calico and the background of the block is in a print. I really like this reversal of the fabrics, so there is more calico than print in the quilt. A great way to make our favourite fabrics go further!

I have started my version, but I am not in a rush!


Amish 9-Patch


Leading on from my last post, I thought you might like  to see an Amish style quilt that I made. I think it leads on as I thought the wasing line looked a bit Amish!?

Anyway, this is still one of my favorite quilts and I made it about 10years ago.

Have a look here for some more inspiring Amish quilts.

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing!

I am in the midst of machine quilting a lap quilt sewn in 1930’s style fabrics. As a little light relief I have been trawling through Ebay looking at the antique quilts. I like these:

and this:

There is such a great source of inspiration over on that site. I must admit that I have bid on a quilt over there before. It is so hard to resist!

On another note in my quest for  a pattern for the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ block, I have found one on John Flynn’s website, and it should be winging its way to me right now. I am still sewing the block from the Ruby Mckim pattern and will let you know how that turns out!