Quilting suitcases

Quilting suitcases

Two South West Modern Quilt Guild workshops came together on this project. I made the suitcase mini last year at a precision piecing workshop with Kerry Green. After spending all that time on the piecing, I was too scared to go ahead with the quilting in case I ‘ruined’ it!

Then last month Sarah Ashford taught us Walking Foot quilting, and that gave me the confidence to take the panel out of the drawer and make something.

I quilted the suitcases in straight and diagonal crosshatch, and the back in a curved crosshatch.

Then I made a padded drawstring bag, which I’m going to use for in my suitcase for all the bits and pieces I take on holiday.

All the fabrics are precious Liberty and vintage Laura Ashley, so I kept with that theme and lined it with a piece of a vintage curtain which I’ve been hoarding.

I’m so happy with the bag, and it’s always good to take something out of a drawer and use it!

You can read more about the workshops on the South West Modern Quilt Guild blog.

Starry night

Starry night

After two years, I’ve finished my Ice Cream Soda quilt! It was a deliberately slow project, and I’ve enjoyed having some portable stitching to take out with me. I just had to pack supplies for a blossom or two in a bag.

The colours were inspired by a Kaffe Fassett fabric – you can see more about the fabric pull here. The background has tiny, uneven dots, which made me think of the night sky.

This is the most quilting I’ve ever done on a quilt, and I’m so pleased with the effect. I stitched through each of the points of the centre stars, in straight lines across the quilt.

The background is an interesting fabric which I bought in a destash and dyed pewter – it was white. It’s cotton with metallic threads running through it, which give a lovely crumpled texture – and a bit of sparkle too.

Butterfly birthday quilt

Butterfly birthday quilt


This is my second quilt from Animal Quilts.  I knew I wanted to make the butterfly as soon as I saw it, and thought my sister would like it for her birthday.  She agreed, and chose the dark purple (Grunge Fig) as the inspiration colour.

I used scraps of Alison Glass, Grunge Spot, Moda Lustre (the cream), and Harvest Moon by Dear Stella for the black (the pattern is tiny hearts).  The background is a map print which my husband found in a remnant bin when he was working away (yes, he is amazing).


Quilting was a challenge.  I was so happy with the piecing and didn’t really want to quilt  it at all.  I stitched in the ditch around the wing patterns, and the flowers, then echo quilted around the butterfly.  I would love to be able to free motion quilt this kind of background but don’t have the skills.  One day!

For the flower border, I used the Flower Power cushion pattern from Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 49.


Juliet’s instructions are brilliant and it went together very well.  There were a lot of pieces though and the downside for me was making one section and knowing I would have to make another the same (mirrored) for the other wing.  I’m delighted with the finished quilt, and my sister loved it, so well worth all the work.

For Hetty fans, I thought you’d like to see what she was up to while I was taking the photos.  Always ready to help!

SWMQG Showcase 2018

SWMQG Showcase 2018

I’m a member of the South West Modern Quilt Guild, and we are holding our first exhibition this month – exciting!  I thought I’d share a few pictures from the hanging day on Monday.

I was very much looking forward to seeing the blocks from our Rainbow Challenge.   This was Charlie’s idea, and we were all thrilled to see her idea of a ‘quilt’ made from the mini quilts come to life.


I spent most of the day climbing up and down ladders – you can see my Sunflower cushion in the centre here –


This is Mary Emmens‘ mini version of her Caernarfon quilt.  It’s paper pieced, so a completely different construction to the full size version which I made at the beginning of the year.

SWMQGshowcase2018-maryemmens (1)

And I had to share this corner.  Kerry’s mini quilts are on the left, my Highland Cow, and Fiona’s Hare.  Sarah’s Trellis Blues quilt is on the right.


So that’s a very personal view of a small part of the exhibition.  Apologies to everyone I haven’t included here – all the quilts are amazing!  The exhibition is taking place at CICCIC in Taunton until 27 October.

Crazy birds beach bag

Crazy birds beach bag


I thought I’d have a little break from blogging back in May – and here we are 4 months later.  Hope you had a good summer!

We’ve had a lovely few months, and have just come back from a couple of gorgeous weeks in Corfu.  As well as beautiful weather and a very relaxing time we…. saw The Durrells being filmed!  Watched the  Philippe Starck designed Sailing Yacht A sail by!  And looked after a bellydancer’s dog for the afternoon!?!  It was memorable, to say the least.

In slightly less exciting news I made a new beach bag for our trip.  I fell in love with the crazy birds from Quilting Row by Row a while ago and added them as a panel onto the Market Bag by Anna Graham.

The birds are made from Moda Confett and Grunge/Grunge spot, with metallic Essex linen as the background.


I made the bag a couple of inches deeper than the pattern, and included pockets for sun cream and sunglasses.  And a zip pocket for the villa key, to keep it safe!  The bag is denim with a quilting cotton lining.


The bag was perfect for our beach trips.  It held everything – to the point where it got a bit heavy so we rolled up our towels and carried them separately.  I think it will get plenty of use when I go to quilt guild meetings too, to carry my show & tell quilts.

Vintage Home BOM – Egg cups & ‘Royal’ mug

Vintage Home BOM – Egg cups & ‘Royal’ mug

This month on the Vintage Home quilt along the blocks are egg cups and a commemorative mug – great timing with a royal wedding next week!


Jo included an embroidery design for the mug which is lovely, but I wanted a cross stitch design to go with the caddy’s I’ve already made.  I found a Queen Bee pattern by The Prairie Schooler, Inc here.


The mug took quite a while, so it was good to contrast that with some quick and easy egg cups.


The bird fabric (far right) is a new one.  I know, I wasn’t supposed to buy any fabric this year, but apparently I have no self control.  None.  Pretty isn’t it?!

Looking forward to next month – I wonder what it will be?!

The Splendid Sampler lap quilt

The Splendid Sampler lap quilt


The idea for this quilt came back in April last year.  I was sorting my fabric stash and realised I had amassed quite a pile of girly pinks and blues, and cute animal prints.  Perfect for small niece!  I’d also been reading about The Splendid Sampler on Very Kerry Berry’s blog and wanted to give it a go.


The patterns are lovely, with very good instructions and a nice mix of styles and skill building.  I made 25 of the 100 blocks, and it did take quite a long time.  I have huge respect for all those quilters who made the whole thing!

I used partial seam sashing to give even more of a scrappy feel.  There is so much detail, it’s a difficult quilt to photograph, but you can see individual blocks on my instagram if you’d like to.


Greta loved her quilt and it went straight to work in her… I think that box is a train.  I used squares of the remaining fabric for the back, and a scrappy binding.  So it was a very good stash busting quilt.


I was done in time for Christmas, and this is the first of my finishes for Q4 Finish-A-Long. (You can see my list here).

Charm About You


2017 100 day project – completed!

2017 100 day project – completed!


I was determined to get to the end of my #100daysofslowstitches project, and here I am.  It wasn’t the project I thought it was going to be, and I was pleased I had made the definition of what I could do broad, so I could change it as I went along.

My two main projects were completing 25 blocks of The Splendid Sampler, for my niece – quilt top above.  And I kept up with the Ice Cream Soda blocks (see the end of this post).

I started with embroidery and English Paper Piecing, and as the days went on I included machine patchwork and applique.  My thinking was, it might be done by machine, but takes ages, so it still qualifies as slow stitching!

The 100 day project I completed a couple of years ago was #100daysofnewrecipies, and that one really affected me.  I saw a huge difference in my cooking ability and confidence by the end.

This time, I think I’ve learned what I do and don’t enjoy stitching.

I wanted to make a sampler of embroidery stitches, but hated counting threads to get straight and even rows of stitching.

I enjoyed making a Sashiko sampler, because the lines were printed on the fabric, and the embroidery transfer from the Aimee Ray book worked well too (see my previous post for more).  I’d like to use more transfer embroidery on garments, as I prefer to make something that can be used, rather than purely decorative.

The project encouraged me to persist with techniques I was finding difficult – like teeny, tiny patchwork pieces – gah!  And push myself to improve my quilting skills (points, people, points).

It might sound obvious, but making the time to do something towards a goal, however small, is a really good habit to get into.  I hope it’s something I will continue.

So, I’m glad I did it, I’m thrilled I completed 100 days – and I will probably join in again next year!



PS I loved this podcast from Elise on Starting The 100 Day Project


Ice Cream Soda BOM – fabric pull

Ice Cream Soda BOM – fabric pull


I love English Paper Piecing, but I’ve only used hexagon templates.  So when I heard about Tales of Cloth’s Ice Cream Soda block of the month club I thought this was a chance to try putting some more shapes together.


Ice Cream Soda photo from talesofcloth.com

Kerry of Very Kerry Berry spoke at the South West Modern Quilt Guild last week about choosing fabrics for a quilt, so I’m using her excellent advice to help with my fabric selection.

I started with my ‘hero’ fabric, which is Kaffe Fasset’s Millefiore in orange (top photo).  It has lots of colours in it which can inspire other fabrics choices.  The next step could be to buy other fabrics in the same collection, but I like my quilts to have a scrappy look.  So I went to my stash of scraps and smaller pieces.


These are the golds and oranges, with some mustards coming in too.


Kerry suggested using some of these added fabrics as inspiration to lead to other colours. The flower print (bottom left) has the gold, but also grey and black, so I added some of those.


Then I put a black and white filter on this photo of my whole selection to check the contrast.

I’d like some more dark fabric.  There is a burgundy in the Kaffe Fasset that I don’t have.    Also some more pale blue and paler neutrals.

One of the things I really like about the Ice Cream Soda quilt is that you can make a few flowers and see how they work together.  I plan to use the fabrics I already have for the first couple of months.  Although I do have a shopping trip planned with my very talented friend Nicola, and it would be rude not to buy any fabric then, wouldn’t it?!

More quilt blocks – and an app recommendation

More quilt blocks – and an app recommendation


After deciding last week to make my sampler quilt bigger, I’ve been searching out some new block designs and making a few.

First is the Polk Block by Carolyn Friedlander (you can find it on CreativeBug).  It took me several hours to make with all those little pieces, but I love the result and I’ve used up some teeny scraps.  Always enjoy being thrifty!

Next I used Red Pepper Quilts tutorial for the Economy Block


A Double Pinwheel


Finally, this stripey one from Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine (issue 42)


And that brings me to the Readly app, which I discovered this week and is my new favourite thing.  The app gives you access to lots of different magazines (back issues too).

I stopped buying magazines a few months ago because I found I only enjoyed one or two articles in an issue.  Then they just sat on the coffee table like a reproach, taking up room.  I have been happily whizzing through these electronic versions, bookmarking knitting patterns, quilting blocks and sewing ideas, and reading the articles that interest me.

You can get a free months subscription by clicking this link.

Thanks for reading – I’m planning some garment sewing for next week.  If you would like to keep in touch, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.