Hexagons with my Sizzix

As soon as I first had my hands on the Sizzix I knew it was made for EPP (English Paper Piecing).

If you can cut the shapes accurately and quickly, which you do as it is a die cutting machine, then it is an ideal combination. Especially if you order the 2 sizes of dies so one cuts fabric and one cuts the papers!

Here's how I got on with my hexagons:

Now I must admit I cheated a bit, as I use my machine to cut the fabric Hexagons, and then piece them without the papers, just 'American style' by hand. I don't even pin them so these little flowers grow really fast!

I used some off cuts from great new range of fabrics from Makower. It is called Endo, and you should look out for it in the shops now, as it will go fast!!

If you want to win a packet of 10in squares of this range leave a comment on this post over the next week, and I will pick a winner next Sunday. Tell me if you've had a go of EPP.

Today is a sewing day here, as it is raining! Hope you have a good stitching day where you are!

August Sunflowers

I have sewn all the sunflower blocks together, to give myself Sunflowers in the house, if not in the garden!

Some spare blocks were made into mats for the table:

This one was quilted with big stitch quilting:

Don't forget to pop over to 'Justhands-ontv' to hear an interview I did earlier in the year with the lovely Valerie!

Hope the summer is being good to you?

Hexagons, Ready to Go!

Well, I am all organised sewing wise for our break away to Brittany, France. I suppose I should think about the clothes and other necessities now!

Amongst other things I am working on my hexagons.

I first made a hexagon quilt in the 1980s:

Yes, good old Laura Ashely from the pre cut kits you could buy! As you can see pieced, but never quilted.

Then I started sewing some more recently, mostly bigger for a quicker result!

And now having recently been inspired by an antique quilt, and the fact that they have come back into fashion again:

I am working on something new:

Don't forget the Kaleidoscope Hexagon quilt I made too! You can see how Elsbeth has caught the bug here and remember NIcky with hers too!

Hopefully when I get home I will have some Hexagon fun with my Sizzix too! Can't wait!

Happy Summer sewing!

Blocks on a Thursday

Some stitching that has been filling my time!

Sunflower blocks. What could be better for the Summer?

One down, thirty odd to go:

Block pattern from the Amitie Stash club, but which way to do it?

Decision made:

And a block that is going to Amitie for their Charity Quilt:

Who is your stitching going in the heat?

Thursday Thoughts

Due to all of the rain lately, it has been really hard to get photos of quilts hanging flat. I usually do them outside on the washing line, but not lately. This morning however looked good, so we have been in and out with bundles of quilts that need flat(ish)  pictures. It has been very tiring for some:

Although he wasn't actaully carrying or hanging anything, just 'supervising'!

Another bit of sunshine in the day was the arrival of my Stash Club fabrics from Amitie in Australia. Yeah!

I have already cut up some of the fabrics for an on going project, and am now deliberating over using the rest in the block pattern that was enclosed, or choosing my own selection to sew the block in. I think I am erring towards choosing my own. Although why I am even thinking about sewing a new block I do not know, it's not as though I don't have projects coming out of my ears at the moment!!!

The postman also brought my Moo order.

Some of you may know that I have templates for various classes that I teach and some, like the Kaleidoscope Hexagon, have a whole pattern booklet to go with them.

It takes me an age to get the booklet just as I would like, and until then I don't usually sell the templates outside of the classes. But I have now had some cards made that I can put in with the templates, that gives you a nice colour picture of what the template makes and brief description on back of the block size.

So we have the Bows and Arrows quilt (or Snowball, or Marbles, or one of about a dozen names this great pattern goes by!):

And the Rose Star Hexagon One Patch:

Look out for these as I will usually have them with me at shows and in classes. ( Or if you want to stock them in your shop, get in touch! Or you don't think you will see me, just email))

The school holidays are under way over here which means a bit less stitching time. I am preparing my Quilting- on-the-Go to be handy for the odd moments I can find to fit some stitches in. See what Henhouse had to say when she tried it out!

Hope to show you my Sunflower quilt next time!

Low Key Irish Chain

A few photos of a finished quilt from this week!

An Irish Chain quilt I made in the Quilting-on-the-Go method:

And some very organised hexagons I am working on:

Have a good stitching weekend!

Friday Pieces

One of the great things about Quilt Market is meeting up with friends who live far away. Two lovely ladies who I meet are Ruth Chandler and Liz Kettle. They publish with the same house as me, Landauer, and we meet up on the booth when we are demo-ing. I am always fascinated by the beautiful things that they create and how they inspire others to do the same. 

This is Liz busy stitching away on some simply lovely books ready for a magazine article.

Here is a close-up. She was just adding some silk ribbon to tie the book with. They are always so generous with their knowledge and ouze excitement about the process of creativity. Liz was also very generous with chocolate and scissors when we met up this time. Obviously the chocolate thing makes sense, who wouldn't want to be friends with someone who has great chocolate to share (thanks, Liz!), but scissors?

Well, Liz introduced me to Havel's Scissors. And those of you who know that not all pins, needles and thimbles are created equal, know that well made tools really do make a difference to your sewing experience. And my new favourite pair of scissors are these with the curved blade. You can snip threads really close to the fabric without having to worry about nicking the fabric! Other good points include, blade cover, so less chance of me stabbing myself, and pink handles, so less likely to loose them in the fabric heaps! Look for them when you are next sewing shopping, and treat yourself, as they really do make a difference.

And continuing with my hexagon inspiration, this great fabric was spied on the Birch Fabrics booth at market.

Something to look out for when you don't want to stitch your own hexagons! And Moda had hexagon printed cloths on the tables: definitely the summer of hexagons!


In the meantime, stitching wise I am sewing a sultry sawtooth star from a great range of French fabrics. Just back from the quilting, so this Jubilee weekend I will be binding!

And last but not least, thanks for the lovely comments about stitching out doors! The lucky winner is:


I will email you for the address!

Happy Stitching everyone!

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!

A Pot Pourri of a Post!

There's a little bit of everything in this post!

I had a great day last weekend when I taught the Spools workshop at Natterjack Quilters.

One of the questions I was asked in the day was 'How many spools do most people get sewn in the day?'

Well I said then that I had not really ever been counting, but I can tell you now, no group had made a whole quilt top in the day. Until the Natterjacks did!

Here is the top:

And here are the lovely ladies:

They were sewing it from donated fabric and were aiming to complete it and the raise some money for Cancer Research and their local church. I think that is right, such a lovely group and great causes!

Around here the sewing has been a bit on the slow side. However, I am to catch up over the next fews weeks as we are away to France to ski, and I take some stitching to do too!

I will be working on these 'Rose Star One Patch' blocks from The Quilters Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.

This is what I have done so far:

I plan on sewing about nine, but I will see how it goes, as they are very large. I should have put a ruler for scale in the shot!

For more quilty inspiration whilst I am away go take a look at what Jane has sewn this week from the Blue fabrics!

And a quilt I have long admired as Lori has been working on it is this. I just love this, and she has done such great job!

See you all after Easter!