Happy New Year!

This ‘Buckeye Beauty’ quilt was on show at Hever in September 2008. It is a great scrap quilt.

I made a couple of versions a few years back, one which went to a friend  and I don’t have a picture(pre digital camera), and the other which I gave to  another friend, but  did remember to get a picture:

same block, but set on point!

What I like about these quilts apart from their scrappy quailty, is the quilting. My blue one was long arm quilted for speed, but the other quilt is quilted in clamshells…. a speedy method to quilt it yourself! I really like these ‘utility’ quilting designs. They speed up hand or machine quilting at home as they don’t worry about the patterns the patchwork makes. As usual it is an old idea seen in lots of antique quilts.

Sometimes we learn a lot from looking back.

Information Overload


I taught my last classes of the year this week, so we had a bit of a show, the girls had sewn some great quilts. I am always so excited to see the complete tops!

Schools break up today, so I will have less sewing time until the first week in January 2009! So I have been busy using my last free morning to look at inspirational antique quilts here : and after Kathie over here suggested a source for the Wheel of Fortune pattern (Thankyou!) and Barbara Brackmans prompt, I have finally taken the plunge and purchased the BlockBase programme! Phew! I got it from Lawrence at www.RioDesigns.co.uk. He is sooo helpful and patient especially as I am fairly hopeless with the computer! But I think Blockbase will suit me, and I also treated myself to the Dear Jane programme and the Mariners Compass 1&2. I will have a lot to play with, and not much time to do so!

I also have to order some of the great shot cottons from Oakshott, as they are discontinuing them next year, so after deliberating for ages, I don’t want to miss the boat!

Pre Cut Fabrics


I just love the look of all the pre cut fabric bundles that are so popular in the shops at the moment! It is a step on from buying the co-ordinated fat quaters or eigths. The 10″ squares or ‘Layer Cakes’ are taking my fancy today, but the one I brought I am loathe to cut up incase the quilt idea does not work out as I think. So I am cutting my own 10″ squares to play with, and that is a really good feeling!

I have searched through my pinks and come up with quite a collection. Any scraps have gone in my ‘Strings’ bag, and each fabric had a 2 1/2″ slice taken off too, and that has gone in the ‘2 1/2″ Strip Bag’. So what with the couple of 10″ squares I was cutting too, I now have a bit more room in the pinks tub, and for a brief moment I forget that actually I have just redistributed the fabric into different areas! And not yet moved on to sewiing with it!

But I feel we are moving in the right direction, from stash to pre cuts, and perhaps tomarrow, the quilt!

Have a look here for a few basic pointers as to how these pre cuts will get you stitching quicker!

……..Sorry, the link button is not working, you will have to go to the MODA site yourself  and look under FUN STUFF and then go to TUTORIALS!

Have fun!

Saving Thread

In keeping  with the ‘economic climate’ I offer this tip, incase you weren’t already aware.

If you keep a small piece of fabric  about 2 1/2″  wide by 2 ” long ( I use the left over pieces from when I bind a quilt), fold it in half, so you have about 1 ” width and feed this into your machine beofre you start sewing. Whilst sewing CHAIN PIECE as much as possible, and when you are finished, snip your thread saver from the start of the work, and put it at the end. This way there are no tails of thread going to waste, only about 1″ on your thread saver. Someone worked out that you can save one reel of thread per single quilt top, so that’s more money we can spend on fabric!

I also helped the economy along this weekend when I was teaching at Just Between Friends. They had some lovely DMC linen thread that I want to try out for tying a quilt! Oh! and I got fabrics for borders for a quilt that needs finishing and some lovely Licien linen……! We were sewing Stasbusters quilts there this weekend ( and I forgot to take pictures, sorry) but I did take some when I was there earlier this year. Then we stitched blocks from ‘strings and strips’ aka ‘free fabric’! These were the pieces of fabric you usually discard, so another idea to help us through the econmic down turn!

There are lots more of these ideas in the class, so it was a busy one!