One of those days…


I’m having one of those days today when nothing goes quite right.

First,  I was trying to do some quilting, and my wadding was getting caught underneath the presser foot. I tried lowering the pressure, but this made no difference. Then I looked closer – somehow I had managed to get a pin wedged right down in the gap by my feed dogs, so the sharp part was sticking out and snagging on my wadding. Cue much screwdriver action, and quite a bit of bemusement on my part.

Then my thread ran out while halfway through some quilting.

Then I realised I had only bought half the interfacing I needed for my the shirt I am trying to make.

Then a wallet I was trying to make went wrong in about every possible way it could – one part was too big, another part too small, my stripes were wonky and overwhelming. At least I have it for illustrative teaching purposes on how not to make it.


On the plus side, I found an interesting blog about how to design a pattern for an A-line skirt. I now just need paper about 30 inches wide…


La Passacaglia – taking over the floor!

Just a brief post today – my whole passacaglia laid out so far. I had to push chairs and rugs back to make space for it.

Here is is, in all its technicolour glory:


There are some rosettes I’m not sure about – the very dark blue one at the top, for one, which sticks out like a sore thumb – but this is a good idea of what the quilt will look like at the end. I think I do need more dark blue and green in it, especially in the top half.

Will post an updated version when I get there!

Chevron bag finally finished!

I can’t believe how long it has taken me to attach the strap to this bag. About 4 or 5 months…


Sheer laziness. My old bag is thoroughly dead – broken zip, wearing corners, dirty applique – and it is really time for this new one to earn its keep.

I’ve decided to try one long adjustable strap rather than two small handles, as it means I won’t have to hold it all the time, or have one handle constantly falling off my shoulder. Grr.

The colours are also rather spring-like – California Girl from Moda. Orange is not my usual choice, but the blue more than balances it out.

La Passacaglia – Rosette joining

Joining up the rosettes is part of the reason why I left my passacaglia quilt alone for several months. It feels a bit like a combination of a jigsaw and a logic puzzle. I don’t want the same colours next to each other – I want them to contrast.

I’ve only just started – here are my first two joined up:


and the next ones I am going to sew in:


and my plan for the bottom part so far:


This might change, especially as I have some new fabric to turn into rosettes! I was given some lovely Tula Pink chipmunk fabric, and just had to buy some more to go with it:

The greeny-blue is just perfect – I don’t have anything exactly like it in the quilt, and it will fill that gap wonderfully. I might save a fox to use for another project though – maybe on the front of a book cover. They are really rather sweet!

365 Challenge – Small Blocks

I’ve decided to use my 365 blocks in two different quilts – a dark one and a light one.

As my favourite blocks were the mini 3 inch finished ones, I’m starting with these. I’m planning to sash them all together with black batik fabric. I might use small squares of different colours – I have ridiculous numbers of scraps! – as corner stones, but I’m undecided. Do I need the extra colour? Would it look good, or just take away from the blocks?

I had a really good sort through into yes, no and maybe piles. Thankfully, I liked most of the blocks – it makes me feel a bit better about my piecing – and I have laid my favourite 150 out into a 10 by 15 grid.

Here they are:


This is not my final layout, but it gives a good idea of what the quilt will look like.

I’m not sure how I’m going to quilt it, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!

Restarting La Passacaglia

I have decided it is time to get my La Passacaglia mojo back.

It has been a few months since I worked on it – my life got eaten by the 365 Challenge last year – and there was an EPP class at the quilting shop where I work yesterday that inspired me to dig out my templates and get working again.

Here’s the fruit of the last couple of days:


Many small triangles – thank goodness for glue basting!

I’ve made all 4 large rosettes from the pattern and have about 25 or so rosette rings without triangles added:


Now comes the tricky part – working out how to join them together!

The triangles I add on to each ring are going have to contrast with the rosette they are next to, so they don’t blur into one big mess of colour. That will take planning – and trial and error.

At the moment, I am sewing up a rosette that is almost finished. I like to add my pieces using the flat backstitch method, as it makes the stitches almost invisible on the front. It also means I can use the same thread colour all the way through – I usually use Aurifil grey or cream 50 weight as it is nice and fine but strong.

I like to use ordinary folding clips to hold my pieces in position so I can sew them up:


I tried the wonder clips first, but found they didn’t hold the pieces together firmly enough.

I then sew through the seam allowances on the back, so the stitches never go near the front. I use a size 10 sharps needle to sew mine as it is fairly fine, and goes through the fabric smoothly.


A fuller tutorial can be found here:

Dresden Plates – Adapted

I had some of my Dresden Plate fabric left over, and it was just begging to be used.

I liked making the cute little corner fans in one of my cushions – this one:


and they were easier to put together than the whole ring.

I’ve been having a bit of a play with different ways of using this Dresden Fan block. My first idea was this sashed plate, where each fan is made separately, then joined into a plate using sashing:


If I did this again, I would put the fans on to larger squares to give them more room to spread out, and then I could have put a pink border round the whole plate before adding the cream one.

You could also make this so that the circles were in the far corners and the fans pointed in to the middle.

These fans would also look good ‘on point’, then squared up. They would look a bit like these mini New York Beauties I made a little while ago, with each fan pointing up:


Hmm… I still have some fabric left over – maybe I could have a go. Maybe with the pointed ended blades this time.

Watch this space!