Quilted Bag

Having learned the technique of foundation paper piecing, I’ve had a go at using the same method but instead of paper I used wadding/batting.

Here’s the result:

Quilted bagI used lots of scraps and some pieces from charm packs to create a tote for lugging all my sewing stuff around to the various groups I belong to.

Quilted bag hangingIt holds a massive amount of stuff and is very comfortable to carry. I will make another version soon and remember to take some photographs so I can add instructions next time.


Framed Patchwork Squares

I’ve been totally engrossed in making beautiful patchwork squares. As much as I love hand made patchwork quilts the amount of work involved in making a bed size quilt makes it uneconomical to sell so I’ve come up with a way to share the beauty of patchwork in an affordable way. Here are a few of my favourite squares ready for you to frame or I can supply them in 10″ (25cm) square 25mm flat light oak frames.

The pieces are all unique and one of a kind. I can also make them to your own colour scheme or personalise them with themed fabric. Shop here.

They come framed in a precision bevel cut board mount.  The outer measurement of which is 10″ x 10″ (25cm x 25cm) with an aperture of 6¾” x 6¾” (17cm x 17cm).

For more information click here



The Safe Asset Quilt

I started this quilt back in April 2014 when I attended a Kaffe Fassett workshop at Lady Sew and Sew a fabulous fabric warehouse in Henley on Thames.  It was definitely a slow burner.  I went from loving the fabric to really disliking some of the colours but now it is on the bed, I love it!  The pattern is Nine Patch and is from Kaffe Fassett’s book, ‘Kaffe Quilts Again’.

Safe Asset QuiltThe Design Process:


How The Quilt Got Its Name

The workshop was opened by Kaffe’s studio manager, Brandon Mably, who explained that Kaffe Fassett’s name was often mispronounced and that it should rhyme with safe asset.  Since then, my lovely daughter, Sarah, named this project the Safe Asset Quilt.

Quilt Label

Towards the end of making this quilt, I started to research the history of an antique quilt that was given to me in the 1980s.

I have no idea who made this beautiful quilt or when or where it was made and I’m still none the wiser.

At the same time I’ve also been reading  ‘The Elm Creek Quilters’ series of books by Jennifer Chiaverini.  One of the books in the series follows a woman as she searches the country for her mother’s handmade quilts.

All these things came together and I decided to label my quilts from now on.  This one is labeled the Safe Asset Quilt with my name, place it was made and the date.  Hopefully, it will last long enough for someone to be thankful I’ve labeled it!




Hillarys’ Craft Competition 2015 – 4 Kitchen Accessories from Under 1 Metre


I had an email a couple of weeks ago inviting me to enter the 2015 Hillarys Craft Competition.  You might remember the Cathedral Windows Cushion I made for last year’s competition.

It was very difficult to choose a fabric this year as they were all so beautiful. In the end, I requested a piece of Rayna Apple.

Craft -Comp -4-part -montageMy kitchen is decorated in these colours so I thought I would make something with a culinary theme. The obvious choice for me was to make an apron as mine has seen better days. However, an apron would have taken up nearly all of the fabric and I wanted to use it to better effect. So, I’ve been very thrifty with it and used it to make 4 kitchen accessories and still have a little left over.

Oven Mitts, Apron,TowelI bought a plain black cotton twill apron from eBay for under £2 and have jazzed it up with the Rayna Apple fabric. This is very quick and easy, just follow the steps below:

Hillary's fabricTo add a band of fabric across the top:

Adding piece to topCut out a strip of fabric, 12cm by 27cm.  Turn the raw edges under.  How much will depend on the size of your apron. When you are happy with the size, press well. Pin the piece of fabric to the top of the apron being careful to line it up with the top so it is straight. Then top stitch.   I used black cotton in the bobbin and white for the top.

Top stitchingI also made a pocket on top of the original apron pocket. For this you will need something to mark the fabric with and a piece of plain cotton slightly larger than the original apron pocket. (I made my top pocket slightly shorter in height than the original pocket.)

First, lay the Hillarys’ fabric right side down on top of the original apron pocket and copy the shape of the original pocket with tailors’ chalk or Frixion pen on to the wrong side of the Hillarys fabric.  Repeat this step using the piece of plain cotton.

Cut the fabric pieces out about 1cm bigger than the chalked line all the way around. Place the two pieces of fabric that you have just cut out, right sides together, stitch on the chalked line leaving a gap of about 5cm at the bottom.  Turn the pocket right side out through the gap and press.

User comments

Pocket pinned in placePin the pressed pocket onto the front of the original apron pocket and top stitch around 3 sides leaving the top open.

I still had quite a bit of fabric left so on to the next item – a double oven glove.

I made quite a few of these a few years ago as gifts but didn’t make one for myself.

For the full instructions on how to make the oven glove, please click and download:

Oven Gloves Pattern

Here’s how I put this version together:

There are 4 layers to this oven glove and 2 pattern pieces.

  1. Main fabric
  2. Lining
  3. Wadding/Batting
  4. Insul-bright (Heat proof interfacing)

4 Layers of Fabric

And this is the order to put them in:

Pieces in order

Lining right side down; Wadding; Insulbright; Main fabric right side up

Adding Bias Binding

Adding Bias Binding

Finishing bias binding on reverse side

Finishing bias binding on reverse side

Next step is to quilt these mitt parts:

Machine quilt mitt parts

Machine quilt mitt parts

Then get the larger part of the oven glove ready:

Oven Glove main piece in order

Oven Glove main piece in order

Pin and quilt in the same way you did the smaller pieces.

Then attach the 3 parts:

Add a mitt part to either end of the main piece

Add a mitt part to either end of the main piece

And sew bias binding around the whole thing, remembering to add a loop of binding so you can hang the glove up:

Remember to add a loop for hanging

Remember to add a loop for hanging

OG finished

Finished oven glove

I still had some fabric left!  So I embellished a hand towel:

Cut out a piece of fabric slightly larger than the finished strip

Cut out a piece of fabric slightly larger than the finished strip

Add bias binding to the 4 sides

Add bias binding to the 4 sides

Fold the binding over, press, pin to towel and top stitch in place

Fold the binding over, press and pin to towel

And still there is fabric leftover.  Enough for a kitchen utensil holder:

Kitchen Utensil Holder

Kitchen Utensil Holder

For this make I used a coffee container.  To prepare the tin,  give it at least one coat of Gesso.

Cut a piece of fabric allowing for a 1cm hem at top and bottom and an overlap of 3cm. Press all the hems.

Spray the tin with craft adhesive, then carefully but quickly roll the fabric around the tin.

And I still have some fabric left!

Oven Mitts, Apron,Towel



Patchwork & Quilting – Foundation Paper Piecing

I’ve been trying to puzzle out how quilters make tiny, intricate quilts so precisely since one of my daughters was given a sweatshirt with this heart on it many years ago:

Quilted heart from sweatshirt I loved it so much, I kept it in my sewing box always intending to put it on another sweatshirt for her.  One of these days I’ll get around to it.

Many things came together to bring me to Foundation Paper Piecing.  1) We went to a lecture by Linda Seward at Lady Sew and Sew in Henley where I bought her excellent new book.  Having seen Linda’s quilts, I was inspired to try something new. 2) I had a bag of fabric scraps that were too good to throw away but too small to use for regular patchwork pieces. 3) I found this wonderful video by Karen Johnson of Connecting Threads that explains the whole process of Foundation Paper Piecing and gave me the confidence to give it a go.

There seem to be many different versions of Foundation Piecing some using calico but I followed Karen’s instructions using tracing paper which worked for me.  She also uses an ‘Add-A-Quarter’ ruler that makes the whole process very easy.

Add a quarter rulerAfter gathering all the supplies together, the next step was to find a pattern.  I used one by Carol Doak that looked easy enough for a beginner and chose my fabric.

foundation paper piecingAt this point I started Karen’s youtube video and paused it after every step.

folding paperThe secret to this method of Foundation Paper Piecing is to keep the fabric on the wrong side of the tracing paper and sew with the paper uppermost in the machine. Place the first piece of fabric under the tracing paper so you can see the wrong side through the paper. Then add each subsequent piece of fabric right sides together.

Paper uppermost in machineKaren’s instructions are so easy to follow, I don’t have anything else to add except that I added a backing by putting right sides together and stitching around 3 and a half sides. Turn right way out and press.  The gap left for turning can be used to stuff with lavender and adding a ribbon.

adding backingfoundation pieced lavender bag