And the Calico Cat

Things are starting with ‘C’ today in this post!

Yetserday I spent the day teaching my ‘Comfortable with Curves’ worshop at The Quilt Room in Dorking. We had fun and were very productive. There was general agreement that these blocks are very addictive and will keep us busy over the summer!

phpzHxOL8AM curves


For those of you who want to have a go there class at Puddleducks in Sevenoaks on Tuesday 17th of May, so come along!

And my other ‘C’ thing is the Calico Cat!


Although we don’t have cats I do like the sewn versions! I have had this little cushion for over 15yrs, sitting in my guest room, and yes, one day I will sew my own version!

Patchwork Dogs

When I first started sewing patchwork there was a shop in London called ‘The Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat’. It was in an area called Chalk Farm and I thought it was the most amazing place. There weren’t a lot of patchwork shops around in the early 1980’s. They had a patchwork dog sewn from squares, and I always thought that I would make one…. and never did.

I now sometimes teach at a more local shop in Lewes called ‘The Patchwork Dog and Basket’, and they too had a dog to sew from squares, small and large! And I still thought I wanted to sew one.

Then  I saw a pattern Denyse Schmidt (love everything that lady does!) had on the Free Spirit site  for a patchwork dog!

So I set to work:


If you play about with the squares you sort of get a different dog, like a different breed! I made some more of this one and have sewn them into a quilt (more on that another time!). To be honest you don’t really need a pattern as you can create your own breed as you go along! But seeing the pattern was a nudge in the right direction for me!

I also made one in more ‘doggy’ colours:


And as if sewing dogs wasn’t enough, our new addition to the Forster household is a real dog:


Welcome to our 13 week old Spanish Water Dog puppy called Bosco!

So we have a lot to occupy us and keep us busy settling him in to his new surroundings!

Stitching is still going on around the chaos, and if you look out for Fabrications latest issue, I have a quilt in there , which is featured on the cover. If you need some flowery inspiration out of the garden this is the quilt for you!

phpat1b41AMruby mackim

Isle of Wight Workshop

A busy week has just gone by in a flash!

I finished off this quilt:

phpjVsTZZAMbows and butterflies

I inserted ric rac into the binding for that lovely wavy look on the edge!

phpxBUyDVAM close up

I now have to think of more ways to use this amazingly huge ric rac now that I know it comes in so many great colours! It’s available from The Eternal Maker, if you can’t find it on line, just give them a call!

And all of this before I went to give a talk and a workshop to Vectis Quilters on the Isle of Wight! Yes, across the water on the ferry:


They are a great bunch of ladies, and it was great to see so much quilting happening on the island. We made Wagga Waggas (Australian bush quilts)  in the workshop which are great fun for a quilt top to finish in a day!


 And who knows, I may think of a use for the ric rac on  one of my next those too!

This Weeks Sewing (for want of a better title!)

There is lots going on here in the sewing room ( well, isn’t there in everyones, I hear you say?) So here is what I have done this week:


The Ninepatch Pinwheels have gone together to give a nice fresh spring like quilt. Although the weather here is set for  a bit more snow I have seen spring like tips of daffodils peeking through the grass.

If you are in need of a bit of quilting inspiration and the company of other quilters coming out of hiberation, then come along to the quilt show a Ardingly  29th to 31st January to see some quilts and shop. Come and Say ‘Hi!’ to me as I will be there too!

Or if you want something to look forward to later in the year I am teaching in France in September. Doesn’t the thought of some warm sun, being catered for all week and some sewing just appeal right now!

I made this little block this week and although I love it, the colours are what I am seeing in the sky right now. It would be nice if the sun came through, just to remind us what it looked like!


If you want to see some colour, go over to Sarah London. I just want to crochet everything I see on her site! Because it’s not like I have anything to sew around here!!

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!

So near and yet so far!

Well, here we are, back from a gloriously sunny Brittany in France. I sat on lots of beaches, and we ate lots of French food, and generally relaxed. So now I am back I am rearing to go, tidy up, sort stuff out and get ready for the schools to go back and for my teaching schedule to begin.

I stitched in France, and brought a few magazines, but where we were was not ‘patchwork central’! I did however see this lovely floor in a restraunt that made me think of patchwork.

phpnQxTfhAM floor France

I was however very close to a great patchwork shop in the UK each time we drove in and out of Portsmouth for the ferry. We drove right by Chichester which is where Eternalmaker has their shop. BUT, they have just moved, and what was good before, is just amazing now:

phpf1WFFhAM Eternalmaker shop

The new address is: 41, Terminus Road, Chichester, PO19 8TX.

Check out the website , but if you can, visit the shop. They do lovely buttons and fabrics, and they have a School House coming up in October, where you can try out lots of different classes over the weekend. It is such fun! But I have not yet set foot in the new shop, due to ferry times, it was closed! (Anna let me use her picture from the blog to show you here.)

And as if to compensate for the lack of patchwork shops on my visits to France this summer, I will be seeing plenty when I go to Houston in October! I am visiting for Market and Festival, so I will definitely have my fill then. Are any of you going?

Wonderful places to sew #1



This is the view from Cormorant Fabrics, Chichester! Who would not want to go for a workshop or browse their fabrics with a view like this! I had a glorious day there the other weekend, lots of stitching of Hidden Stars quilts a with a great bunch of ladies!