Cutting your lino to size

For whatever reason, sometimes we do need to cut our lino down. Whether it's into a smaller size or a required shape, the best way to do this is from the back!     It's much easier to cut the hessian backing than to carve through the lino and then through the hessian from the top - save your energy for carving your design instead! If cutting into smaller sizes, a ruler can take out the guesswork if uniform or regular pieces are required. If a special shape is needed ... Continue Reading

Self-binding your quilt

Another way to finish your quilt is to self-bind it. Also known as fold-over binding because it's made from the excess backing fabric and it's literally folded over to the front side of the quilt!   Once the quilting has been done, normally all three layers of the quilt will be trimmed so that all edges are the same. Then binding is usually added to enclose all the raw edges. When self-binding, and provided there is enough excess of the backing fabric, then the wadding only ... Continue Reading

Sewing in small batches

When sewing up a lot of patchwork blocks, my best piece of advice is to sew in small batches! This does a couple of things. The first being, it is much easier to control! It can be quite difficult to manage your pile of pieces if you can't see what's going on. Piles or batches of ten work for me! Secondly, it streamlines your work flow making your little production line much more efficient! Whether you have marked sewing lines or are piecing directional patches, keeping them in ... Continue Reading

More Complex Nesting Seams

More blocks in a quilt mean a lot more seams too! So, to avoid unseemly bulk which can cause 'speed humps' and crooked sewing, nesting seams when you have many, can make life much less stressful! These tips are mainly for machine sewing as seams can be more easily manipulated when hand stitching, although nesting seams is just as relevant for both. Piecing points in triangles or lots of small blocks together can be a nightmare without a bit of planning. Pressing seams in opposing directions ... Continue Reading

Basic Nesting Seams

One way to reduce bulk when joining blocks together is to 'nest your seams'. The more blocks, the more seams which can also mean more bulk. Bulk can sometimes result in 'speed humps' instead of straight lines! A handy way to keep the back of your quilt blocks neat and less bulky is to make sure your seams are facing in opposite directions at each intersection. Pressing your seams helps them to nest easier. Line up the 'sew line' on both blocks with right sides together. Generally, you can ... Continue Reading

Quilt Marking Pen or Tape?

Some people spend a lot of time on every aspect of their quilt - from choosing the design , to fabric choices and of course how to quilt it. A lot of time and effort goes into even the smallest creation so it's no wonder many find it difficult to finish their masterpiece. I tend to be less fussy, mainly because the quilt often directs ME in how it wants to be finished - whether it's the style of quilt or just the amount of time I have in order to complete it. Many different reasons will ... Continue Reading

Burying thread tails in quilts

Burying threads in quilts is a nice and neat way to finish your top (and all that hard work) and get rid of any 'loose ends' (pardon the pun)! Until recently, I never realized I buried my threads in my quilts differently when I hand-quilted to when I machine-quilted! Crazy I know! On a machine, I used to reinforce my stitches at the beginning and at the end by stitching forwards and backwards, then forwards again. This was to secure the ends so the stitches wouldn't unravel - ever! Then ... Continue Reading

Personalised Gifts!

When I was child in school, Mother's Day was an occasion when we were all allowed to let loose in the art room to create something special for our mums! As I grew much older, I realised my own children also had this same licence! I have to say there have been some years which were either a 'hit or miss' but overall I did appreciate the efforts made! To this day, I still cherish the handmade items made with much love! And that's what it's all about! That special something that may have been ... Continue Reading

Blind Letterpress Print

One of the joys of printing is the final reveal when separating the lino from what you've printed on. Whilst I love the immediacy and spontaneity of relief printing with my lino block on fabric, I do also enjoy the more technical and deliberate planning required in printmaking on paper. Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing using a printing press, so when I use a press, it's vital to make sure the pressure of the roller is even and so I'll usually do a test or proof ... Continue Reading

Binding a quilt

This is when you can see the 'Light at the end of the tunnel'! The quilt is done and I'm now on the home stretch! It's time to bind that baby! There are many ways to complete your quilt - my preferred method is to machine the binding on and then turn it over and hand stitch to finish. Depending on the quilt, depends whether I hand stitch on the front or on the back - it's a personal preference sometimes dictated by the quilt top. Whether using binding you prepared earlier or a bought one ... Continue Reading