Utility Quilting Tour Draw!

Thanks so much for all of the great comments.

I hope you all had fun seeing the other blogs and seeing what the book had inspired!

So without further ado, I shall reveal that the draw winner was comment no. 252

This was Gill, who wrote 

Congratulations on your book! I'm looking forward to seeing snippets from it on the tour!

Just to say I added the comments from the second post on to the original, as there had been a glich. So everyone who commented got a chance!

And in keeping with the Utility tour, I was in one of my most favourite places yesterday teaching a Utility Quilting class.

I was in Lewes at Patchwork Dog and Basket. They have a great new space for classes, roomy and light.

As ever, some students I had met before, one of whom was Walter.

He was good enough to let me see the finished quilt from a class he did with me a while back. This is his Hidden Stars Quilt.

Doesn't it look great!

And here are a few shots of the day:

Have a quilty weekend!

Useful Utility Quilting

While I sit and wait for the sleet to stop before I walk Bosco, I thought I would share with you some quilts Jill had on show last year at 'The Patchwork Dog and Basket.

I love this grid quilting over the tiny baskets:


Grid quilting again, all over a quilt from the same era:


Diagonal lines cover this striking quilt:


The boldness of this is great:

Look at the way the fabric for the baskets has perished. I wonder what colour it really was? Something strong to not be lost against those flowers and stems. And interesting quilting with those double lines in the background:

Check out their website for an exciting new range of workshops too. They have a new space, upstairs opposite the shop and full of space and light! It was a great venue for the quilt show they had last year, and will make a lovely studio for classes!

On March 1st I am doing a class there, so if you want to come and have a go and find out how useful Utility Quilting can be for you, give them a ring and get booked on!

If you want to hear me talking about  utility quilting and the book this week, then tune in to Mark Lipinski's Creative Mojo on Wednesday at 3pm (US EST) or over here it will be 8pm UK time.

Fabric Splurge!

Had busy few days at the Ardingly Quilt show! So many people to see and chat with whilst I sat in my little booth. Thanks for coming by everyone.

And thanks for all of the wonderful comments about the new book. It will be available from The Quilt Room, Dorking and Kaleidoscope, Glasgow. Both do a brilliant mail order service, so it is easy to get your own copy of Utility Quilting!

I also met some lovely ladies who I had bumped into in Houston last autumn. This time they (Jane, Linda and Emma), were running their lovely fabric stall at the show, and I was thrilled to see they had fabrics by Mary Fisher and Marcia Derse.

I love those two designers, but no one that I knew of (until now) had the fabrics for sale in the UK. So if you want to splash out on this great fabric (like I did!!), pop over to www.finstallfabrics.com.

I choose these Mary Fisher Fabrics:

And these Marcia Derse:

And from an old favourite, Fabrics Galore, I had these:

So probably I should get down to some sewing now don't you think!

Have a productive sewing week!

Start with Stars

Teaching for 2012 kicked off with a great start this last weekend with ladies at Three Bridges, Crawley stitching 'Japanese Bag of Squares'. A busy day, with most ladies stitching all four bags – Well done!

This Wednesday 'Start with Stars' begins at The Quilt Room Dorking. And to get you in the mood for that, this is what the ladies from the course at the end of 2011 made:

Well done Ladies!

And on Friday, the Spring Quilt Show is at Ardingly. So come and say 'Hi!'

What a great quilting start to 2012!

Antique Quilt Display

Jill at 'The Patchwork Dog and Basket' in Lewes generously shared  her collection of antique quilts in a lovely display in the vaults of the Needlemakers where her great shop is. This display was part of the arts festival held around Lewes.

Here is a taste of what we saw.

1930's stars:


1930' Periwinkle:


Hexgons' from the late 1800's:


Hexagons from the early 1800's!


A view of the room:

I'll show more another time! Thanks Jill!

Give Away Winners and Circle Game Blocks!

Well, now I am back from Vancouver and Whistler, and nearly all sorted out, I can reveal the two winners of the Give Away are:

2. Tracey Dawkins


5. Paulette Doyle

Send me an email with your addresses and I will get the fabric right out to you!

Whilst away I did some stitching, (managed a 5min pop into Spool of Thread in Vancouver!) and completed some more of my Amite Circle Game blocks:

I now have my templates made and am ready for my next few blocks.

I the meantime I was having a blog browse and came across some lovely things here.


Take a good look at the Camelot Quilt. It is just great, and I couldn't believe my luck to see that there is a pattern available too! I can see an order coming on!

Whilst it was snowing!

Sorry to those of you who I missed when we cancelled the workshop last Wednesday because of the snow.

I am trying to get the pictures off the camera, but the technology is not happening at the moment, so my pictures of snow and antique blocks that I got in the US will have to wait a day or two.

In the meantime my friend Jennifer sent me some pictures from the Take and Teach that I did at the Quilt Market in Houston.

In full flow!

The funniest thing was that these two ladies at the front were from Holland! I had read about one, Isabeau in Quiltmania, and the other had a blog that I look at! It was so great to meet them!

Go and see what Meester has to say about the show! It was also funny as Jennifer who was helping me has connections to Holland and had been over there in the Summer. What a small world!

For a good account of what shop owners get up to, read what Anna has to say over at The Eternalmakers blog!

Having seen the pictures on Meesters blog about the book signing of the 'A History of Dutch Quilts' at Festval I finally ordered my own copy. It is just lovely, so inspiring! The quilts and the fabrics are great, simlpe shapes and beautiful fabrics. If you need to add something to your Chrismas list, I suggest that this is it! I got mine here.

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

Spring Greens

We moved the clocks forward yesterday, so for a brief moment we have lost and hour! Just think what I could have done in that hour! I will have to save that activity and do it in the hour when we move the clocks back again in the Autumn. So now it is Summer Time and Spring is here. There is a lot of greenery fighting through in the garden, including this Thyme plant. Getting bushier by the day!


That yellowy green has been a favourite for many years, and over those years I have collected some great fabrics in those colours.


phpGXQr7AAMspring greens

And yesterday seemed the perfect time to use them in a fresh quilt for the Spring!

phpgXiO2cAM spring stars

This will be a great quilt to finish off with some Tying and Big Stitch quilting. If you’ve not yet tried this then look out for a class, and find out how quick you can quilt your quilts. There is a new one day class at The Wandering Line in Purley, Surrey  on Tuesday 13th May. So if you are in the area, book the date and come along!