Improved 9-patch


I’m off to the post office to mail my quilt up to Kaleidoscope who will be at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this August. So even though I will not be able to make it myself this year my quilt will be able to enjoy it! And I know my quilt will be in good hands, as I’ve known Susan and her Mum for ages from all the shows that they do with their great books and fabrics. When I started out with my first book, they were so supportive, which really meant a lot!

This quilt is the Improved 9-patch block, and is so easy , but so effective as a showcase for scraps!


I hand quilted it in the all over pattern called ‘wine glass’ or ‘tea cup’.

I do love these all over quilting designs, yet not often seen today. It’s a shame as they are so easy and quick to quilt!

Flying X

Today I am going to finish keep sewing(!) my ‘Flying X’ quilt top. It is one I have seen in the book Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them, by Ruth E. Finley (Introduction by Barabara Brackman). It has caught my eye every time I glance through this book, so it was about time that I did something about it!


I used to look through a copy of this book when I was at college as it was in the library and when the new edition came out I was excited to be able to have my own copy. The quilt itself does not have a lot of information about sizes ,or even a color picture, so I have made up the  block size myself based on quater square triangles sewn from 5″ charm squares.



I really like the idea of the 1930’s prints with all the white calico around them!

And don’t forget to look at Tonya’s tutorial for the Baptist fan quilting. Although she does it with thick thread and Big Stitch, the principle is the same for regular fine hand quilting! Give it a try!

Off on a Tangent

I am sure I am like everyone else…. I have deadlines in all directions, and yet I still seem to find the time to start projects and not finish them. I think this is because I get an idea and just need to to see it in fabric! Often after that I feel happier and can go back to what I was supposed to be sewing or writing. And I put the project in my cupboard.


So why with a cupboard like this did I start these:phprlvz0sam-baskets


It seems that everyone is doing them, and I thought I would do a few, after all I don’t have to make them all do I? (Take a look at the beautiful book that the quilt is in: ‘When the Cold Wind Blows’, and you’ll see that you need 291!!!)

Thanks Barb and Alma!

But they do seem rather addictive!

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!


String Quilts


String quilts have long been a favourite of mine, and this one that I have been working on (and is now finished, and destined for pages in a book!) is no exception!

I like the fact that you can think of all the other quilts that were sewn to enable you to get enough strings to sew a quilt from the leftovers. And if you haven’t enough strings, the Moda 1 1/2″ pre cuts are a great way to start, or supplement a few strings.

If you want to learn to stitch a string Spiders web quilt, come to The Eternal maker  Sat 30th May, 2009. Or wait for the book with my quilt in ( and many other lovely quilts by lovely quilters!) coming out in the Autumn!

Pre-cut fabrics, a quick classic Quilt, Part 3

The conclsion is here for the ‘Pre cut fabrics’ post:

 puss in the corner quilt

I used:

 Twenty 10″ squares for the blocks 

To Set the Blocks:

Twelve 9″ squares for the setting blocks

Four 13 3/4″ squares cut into quater-square triangles, you only need 14 for the outside edge

Two 7 1/2″ squares cut into four half-square triangles, for the corners

The quilt is 49″x 61″ .

It will be part of my workshop on Pre-cut fabrics and how to take advantage of them!

Pre-cut fabrics, part 2

Remember the 10″ squares from December 2008? Well now they are a group of blocks, ready to be set in a top!

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 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!


I really want to sew one of these blocks. I have seen the block called some different names, from ‘Wheel of Fortune’ to ‘Rising Sun’, so it comes under many guises. This quilt is from a class by Sue Ross, in Australia at the Material Obsession shop, so I won’t be able to just sign up! I have also seen a version here which is lovely.

It is quite an old fashioned pattern, and intricate, so I have not been able to easily find a pattern, although I see antique quilts in some of the quilt documentation books. I was thinkig about drafting it, and then came across a pattern in one of the first quilt books I ever owned, ‘Ruby McKim, 101 Patchwork Patterns’. From what I recall these patterns were not that accurate! And it was for only a 12″ block! So I have blown it up on the photocopier and am going to give it a go! Now it is about 14″ which seems a bit less fiddly.

This will be my hand sewn block project of the season!

Workshop, Thread Bear

It rained a lot on Saturday too. I say that because it is raining and dark and grey and cold, just like last Saturday.

Last Saturday was put to good use as we had part two of the “Quilting-on-the-Go” workshop at Thread Bear.

The ladies were great, they had done their home work and we stitched all day, with some great quilts emerging from the grey day!