Tag Archives: quilting


The kindness of fellow needlewomen never ceases to amaze me.

Martha from Q is for Quilter, whose Kitty quilt I’m reproducing, sent me an email yesterday with more images that I hadn’t found which she thought I’d find useful. I do…and I’m thrilled.

Such kindness is makes me grateful to be part of this wonderful community… thank you Martha.


Retro Kitty and Brit Boy

I mentioned in January that I want to return our home from its current shabby state back to a cosy, hopefully stylish, family home. This means new windows, some plastering, new flooring throughout and lots of decorating. All of which is quite an expense…and therefore is going to take some time! 😉

This is a good thing. It works nicely with my new ethos of slow, but also allows me to really ponder the style choices I’m going to make in each room. Work has already commenced with two ceilings being plastered last week. Some essential bathroom repairs are coming soon, and a new bathroom floor.

So far, so dreary!  Basic stuff…not remotely exciting.

But! Once the bathroom is done, the next room on the list is The Boy’s, and then Button’s.  And whilst we are gathering the resources to buy all the materials and furnishings we need, it seems sensible to make a start on the quilts.

This is much more fun.

First up…The Boy!  He’s Union Flag mad!  Every time we see one in a shop he dashes straight to it!  So, the Union Flag is to be the leitmotif for his new Brit Boy room.  And what better quilt to make for him than Busy Bee Quilt Design’s ‘Victory Garden’.

victory-gardenObviously the colourway shown on the original isn’t going to work for my little chap,  he’s camp, but not girly.  However, Makower’s ‘London’ is just the ticket.

LondonThis is a project that Ma is going to make.  I’m not that fond of machine piecing and quilting, but she loves it.  Who am I to spoil her fun? 😉

For Button, who is a huge Hello Kitty fan (I haven’t met a 5-year-old girl who isn’t), we are taking our inspiration from this spectacular quilt I spied on Pinterest.

Kitty quilt

image from http://qisforquilter.com/2009/02/hello-kitty-redwork-quilt-top/

Isn’t this just so stunning??????  It’s an original design by Q is for Quilter and I just couldn’t resist it.  Button has to have this quilt.

There is no pattern, so I’m shamelessly plagiarizing reverse engineering and putting my own spin on it.  To start, I’ve sourced a pile of Hello Kitty images from Google and printed them out.  There are tons of them out there…just Google “Hello Kitty Colouring Pages”. I’ve then reduced them by 50% to get them to a good size to make a quilt block.  Each block will be 6″ square when completed.


These are then going to be traced onto fabric and embroidered. The images have been delivered to Ma this morning…she’s been champing at the bit to start the tracing. I’ll be doing the embroidery.  This is going to be a wonderful joint project with Ma, she’ll be doing the pieced squares, which are going to be cream/pink/duck-egg blue…which is pretty much the colour scheme for the room.

These quilts are going to be the centrepieces of some pretty cute new bedrooms for the kids.  When I’ve told them about what we’ve got in store for them, there has been a huge amount of excitement, which makes these projects even more enjoyable for me (if that’s possible!).  And at the end of it, they’ll have rooms that reflect their individual personalities and are a joy for them to spend time in.

Whether they’ll keep them tidy is another matter! 😉

Pincushion – FO 15/2012

A few hexies that didn’t make it to the quilt pile.

An evening’s sewing and a little stuffing.

A perfect pincushion.


Over the past year Ma and I have become quilters.  And, as with all new skills, as you progress you learn new things.

What I’ve learned is that if I’m at my sewing machine I want to be making clothes.  Not quilts. However, I’ve also learned that I love hand sewing quilts. Phew.  Quilts are too lovely to abandon completely.

So, much as I’d like to crack on with another North Country quilt, I have another project that’s been waiting for my attention:

Aren’t they just adorable?

Nearly a thousand beautiful little hexies waiting to be sewn.

I have to add at this point that I didn’t cut these out.  Ma did.  Isn’t she amazing?  Thanks Ma!

I made a start last night.

This is definitely a slow project.  Perfect for evenings curled up by the fire with The Husband and a movie.

But I know I’m going to enjoy every single stitch.


The Husband was most cross that I was starting another quilt.

Until I put his mind at rest that this one is destined to be a sofa quilt.

The Wedding Quilt is staying firmly on our bed.

He’s happy now!



The Wedding Quilt…Made by Ma!

When we were planning our wedding Ma and I had several conversations about what she could give us as a wedding present.  As she only has her State Pension, The Husband and I were reluctant  for her to spend anything other than a token amount of money on us.

Ma, on the other hand, was adamant.  She was getting us something significant and special and hang the cost!

We hit a compromise.

Why don’t you make us a quilt?

Apart from the fact that you don’t have to shell out for it all in one go…it hits the mark in so very many ways.

:: It’s an original piece of art and I LOVE that.

:: Every stitch was Made by Ma with love.  A tremendous gift of love, time and effort.

:: It will become a family heirloom that can pass down through the generations.  A legacy of Ma’s incredible talent for our children and all the children to come.

:: It will keep us all warm!  A necessity when you live in the north of England! (Although, to be fair, I think this one would warm us through a Canadian winter!  It’s amazingly warm.)

And so, last night, after 14 months of incredible work by Ma, and on a suitably frosty night, The Husband and I snuggled down under this beauty for a cosy nights sleep.

The backing is the same silk as the curtains and the lampshades

This is a truly spectactular quilt and we are thrilled and grateful that Ma took all that time to make it for us.

Thanks Ma…we will treasure this more than you could ever imagine.

We love you.


PS.  She thinks it’s not that well made.  I’m thinking she’s crazy!

PPS.  It was still a significant amount of money! And a significant amount of work.   I tried!

PPPS. This was the mystery quilt project I’ve been working on.  Ma was losing the will so I offered to do the hand-stitching on the binding.  I love hand-stitching.  I’m odd like that.

The château quilt – FO 1/2012

And what a way to start the year.  I’m really setting the bar high for myself!

You may remember that for my birthday last year Ma treated me to a Northern Quilting workshop at The Patchwork Chicks in Barrowford.

I’ve finally finished the quilt.  I call it the château quilt because it reminds me of the carved stonework in the châteaux of the Loire valley.

I know that pride is a particularly unattractive trait…but I’m awfully proud of this quilt.  The design is entirely mine utilising traditional quilting patterns.

Every stitch is made by hand.

Even the edges are turned and hand finished rather than a machine sewn binding.

I love this quilt and I’ve enjoyed every single stitch.  I love the feeling of continuity with women across centuries who have stitched quilts in exactly the same way as I stitched this one.

I really want to make another one…this time double or king sized.  But I’m working with Ma on another quilting project at the moment, I have the Gardener’s Journal to finish, and I have another secret quilt project to follow those.  So I’m not adding another quilt project to the list for this year.

But… never say never!

A small quilt for a small boy – Made by Ma!

New Year’s Eve was Ma’s birthday and as is the norm we all gathered to wish her well and deliver her hugs and gifts.

I think she missed the point because she turned up with a gift for The Boy!

It’s too adorable.  We got the fabric from Festival of Quilts last year.  Each of the squares came ready cut so it was quite simple to construct (compared to the king sized double wedding ring she’s working on!).

The backing fabric co-ordinates with the face squares.

I wish I could tell you the name of the company I got this fabric from.  They were a French family…Maman designs the fabric, Papa prints it and La Fille runs the business side of it. They were absolutely darling and very charming when I butchered the French language whilst purchasing these fabrics.

If you know who I mean, please let me know.  I’d love to share a link with you. They do just the most adorable fabrics for children.

Edited:  I got a chance to nip to the loft and rummage whilst The Husband bathed the bairns and the company is Il était une fois….  I’m not being held responsible for any shopping you might do whilst on their site! 😉

And Ma makes the most adorable quilts.

The urge to make

This morning the sun was shining and I felt like playing hooky from my chores. The Husband was working at home all day and he took the munchkins to nursery.  So I pootled round loading the dishwasher and the washing machine, did the bare minimum of housework and ate a leisurely, and luxuriously quiet, breakfast, just me and the magazine from the Sunday paper (thanks Liz!).

Whilst I have some studies to do to finish this weeks unit, a quick diary shuffle took care of them and left me a morning free to do as I pleased.

Such a treat.

I felt the need for a quick win.  Something concrete to show for the free morning.  Something not too mentally taxing. So………….

I finished all the blocks!

That’s it now until I can get the fabric for the borders and the backing, which will just have to wait until after Christmas.

But for now it’s pinned to the wall at the top of the stairs to the sewing loft so that whenever I go in I can admire my first attempt at patchwork and decide where its new home will be when its finished.

PS. I know the photo is a bit weird but it’s taken at night as I  balanced precariously halfway down the loft stairs.

 I simply couldn’t wait until daylight to share it with you.  

Squint and you’ll miss the wonky bits!


A Gardener’s Journal – yet another block done

Only two blocks left to sew!!!!!


I’m determined to have them done by year end.


Gardener’s Journal – another one bites the dust!

It’s supremely wonky.

Wonky doesn’t bother me.

I only have three blocks left to make, so I’m hoping to have the quilt top finished before the end of the year.

It’s just about doable.

I think.  🙂