No-waste flying geese

An easy way to sew a flying geese block is this no-waste method. Four same size blocks are made each time so if you have a lot of them to do, this way also reduces the time required considerably too! As the finished block is a rectangle (normally twice the length of the height, such as 2" x 4") there's a handy calculation you need so any size blocks can be made. Two different fabrics will be required. Looking at my finished blocks above, my 'sky' is the white self-spot fabric and my 'geese' ... Continue Reading

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!

...And so another year is about to end and we are about to welcome in a new decade! Festive baking has been done; special occasion tea towels printed and used and finally the glazed ham has been thoroughly enjoyed. However you celebrate the holidays, time spent with loved ones and reflecting on all we have to be grateful for is really the most important thing for me and mine and we appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to do so. We will be raising our glasses, remembering ... Continue Reading

Simple Stencils

When it's time for an event or special occasion, and I need to make a quick print, then a simple stencil is very quick indeed! It often happens that I have lots of ideas (thankfully I do record a lot of these in a workbook when inspiration strikes!) but not enough hours in the day to complete. So, as a consequence I'll use a stencil! It's also a good way to 'test' an idea and have something physical to check the balance; proportion; adjust or even see whether a particular colour works! A ... Continue Reading

Joining binding ends on your quilt

Recently I was shown this fail-proof method of joining my binding ends. So, when you are ready to bind your quilt, firstly ensure you have enough binding to completely go around plus at least an extra 40cm.  I begin to stitch my binding to the quilt edge as usual (right sides together) starting at least half way down but leaving a tail of around 20cm before the first stitch. This will make your binding joins at the end much easier to manoeuvre and sew. Keep stitching all the way around ... Continue Reading

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