Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Half-Hearted Mini

Made for the Modern Quilt Guild mini swap earlier this year, this little quilt finishes at around 23 x 25 inches.

I downsized the original (free) pattern from around 6 ½ inch height finished to 4 ½. That makes it reduced by 69% on the photocopier. I’m a big fan of foundation paper piecing so I used the paper copies to stitch the blocks up.

This is quilted using a serpentine stitch and the texture is great although it did send the edges wavy.

The original post is here. I guarantee I’ll be making another one of these sometime for myself.

Linking up with Amy from Amy’s Creative Side for Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Facets Plus

This is my favourite and most useful make in the past year. This quilt has been on my bed for the whole of this past winter (just past – I’m in Australia).

It was made last year as part of a quilt-along hosted by Amanda at This Mom Quilts.

The finished size is 70” by 80” and it’s quilted simply with straight lines.

The original post is here for more details and you can find the free pattern here

Linking up with Amy from Amy’s Creative Side for Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

August Block Round-up

August’s queen in Bee Inspired was Anne from Brown Paws Quilting. She asked us to make our choice of one of the blocks from Lorna's Dog Gone Cute pattern (find it here). I chose block 7 because it looked easiest. She also asked for it to be made to represent a dog that has a meaning to us. We made a poodle block a couple of months ago and that was the only dog I’ve ever had as a pet so I decided to call this one a dingo and made him up in gypsy style paisleys so you’d know he was a wild dog who roams free. Well that’s what I told myself when I bought the fabric which I’ve had my eye on for a few visits to the fabric shop. Yay, an excuse!

Last month was my turn to be queen in Stash Bee. I decided to ask for a HST block in two sizes, one with sashing, and I gave everyone a huge array of colours to choose from. These are the blocks I made up for the tutorial (find it here).

Two blocks have arrived so far from Greta, above, (@snippetycamel) and Alicia, below, (@qvilt) – lovely!

I’ve been working on two projects at once this month, which has actually worked out, surprisingly, really well. 

First up I’ve been making these kiss kross quilt blocks. The pattern was in Homespun magazine from the middle of last year and is by Melissa of Ms Midge. You can see her version here. I’m using a lightweight denim for the sashing pieces that I bought from the local fabric store and I’m liking the way it’s coming along.

My other project is a Modern Waves quilt (pattern by Initial K Studio) that I’m making as a Christmas present. I know my own time limitations so it seemed like a good idea to make an early start and knock it off the list so I can go onto other projects without deadlines stress-free. I guess there won’t be much more to show of this till the new year.

And that’s my month. Hope yours was good whatever you were doing.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Somewhat Positive block tutorial

This is the tutorial for this variation on the plus block. I’ve tried it in solids and prints, and now you can apply your own creative talents to it and make it your own.

Okay so I might have been promising to write this up for a year and finally I have overcome all the monsters-in-the-closet kind of fears and done it! To be honest it probably wouldn’t have happened at all except that Jen of Dizzy Quilter said she wanted to make one for her son. I would probably even have toyed with the idea editing the evidence out.

I asked Jen to test this tutorial and she’s done just that, with marvelous results. Visit her blog for a look at what she’s made.

My biggest fear, ‘what if I get it wrong?’ has a simple answer - I’ll fix it. Just let me know as politely as you can.

As a quick stat this block finishes up at 9” square.

I’m going to assume some knowledge of the process of paper foundation piecing. If you want to give it a go and haven’t done it before just google it, there are plenty of tutorials out there.

If I have a tip it’s to mark the seam allowance in for the first section so you can line the pieces up and avoid trimming on the first seam.

The paper piecing template is available here for A4 size and here for US Letter. Print it off with page scaling set at ‘none’.

I have given a template for the simple 3 square section. It is probably overkill and you can piece it normally if you choose, just use 31/2” squares if you choose this option. I’m sure you can work it out how to put that section together for yourself and you don’t need me over-explaining.

This is what you’ll need to cut for one block (Fabric B is the background, fabric F is the focus). I’m generous with my cutting.
·       2- 4” x 4” square fabric B, 1 - 4” x 4” square fabric F (for paper piecing)
·       5 - 4” x 4” square fabric B, 1 - 4” x 7”  fabric F
·       Strips of fabric F around 1 ½” wide – 6 - 4” x 1 ½” strips and 1 - about 2” x 1 ½”

Follow the piece by number instructions on the templates.

This section, though, may have you scratching your head and wondering what’s going on.

It’s for this small scrap of detail I put in here.

To make it add a background square at 5(b) and trim ¼” away from the straight and dashed line. Use the 1 ½” x 2” strip and stitch along the seam line. You don’t need to stitch the full length since you’ll be trimming to ¼” away from the diagonal line at the next step.

Press and then trim ¼” away from diagonal line (I know I’ve just repeated myself but this is just the instruction I wouldn’t be able to find when I look for it halfway through making a block). 

Keep the paper folded while you line up the 4” x 7” focus fabric strip (I originally saw this tip on We All Sew. It changed my life!).

Then stitch it in place. Press it, trim it and we’re done with that section.

Complete the other sections and here’s the placement. As you can see the seams line up between the top section but not the bottom one. Rest assured you haven’t made it wrong, it’s supposed to be like that. There should be about 1/8” difference between the two.

Here’s my remaining tips

·       Leave the paper in until after you’ve sewn your sashing on.
·       When you go to quilt it DO stabilize by outlining the shape first.
·       I used sashing finishing at 1” wide for my grey mini quilt (I thought it was too narrow) and 3” for the quilt top I showed last week.

If you decide to use this tutorial please let me know, I would love to see it. If you’re on Instagram I’m @sevenoaksstreetquilts, and use #somewhatpositivequilt.

Hope you have fun!



PERMISSIONS: You can use the quilts you make from this tutorial for private purposes, including selling them on a small scale (please acknowledge the pattern source). If anyone is thinking about copying this tutorial and adding it to their own blog or other internet site and passing it off as their own work (people do that apparently, not you of course, but others) then don’t!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Somewhat Positive Quilt Top #2

It’s been a year to the day since I posted my Somewhat Positive mini quilt (no really! I checked). That means this larger version has been on my to-do list since then.

This time I’ve widened the sashing and gone for a 3 x 3 block layout ending up with a quilt top that is 48” x 60”.

And while I’ve been making this quilt I’ve refreshed my memory on how it was done and I’ve FINALLY written a tutorial – that’ll be out next Tuesday. Come back then!


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Inside Addition Quilt Top Finished!

Back in February I was queen for the month in the Bee Inspired group. I chose the Inside Addition block that I upsized to 12 ½” (the tutorial is here). 

It was like Christmas once the blocks started rolling in, and coming home and checking the mail box was full of anticipatory excitement. I made some extra blocks and now we have the big reveal – tada!!!!!

The top finishes up at a fairly decent size of 62 ½” by 75”.

Getting the colour shading layout to my satisfaction was a little difficult for me. I haven’t ever attempted this technique before and I struggled to find any sort of starting point. Hindsight and photos are a great thing and I think I can see where I would swap some block placements if I was doing it again. If I have a tip it would be to allow yourself plenty of time to work on the layout (I didn’t so it was a case of frantically trying to get it laid out and watching the clock at the same time).

Thanks so much to all my Bee mates, all of whom are former participants in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers group, for contributing to this project. You all did great work!

Till next time


Linking up to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

July Block Round-up

This month’s queen in Stash Bee Greta (@snippetycamel) asked for a maple leaf block of our choice in green. She suggested a couple of tutorials but not being one to leave well enough alone I thought I’d have a look on Pinterest first… 3 hours later I surfaced with a decision, ending up with a paper pieced block I made up for myself based on this barn quilt. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out and I’m thinking about maybe making more.

For Bee Inspired Queen Jennifer from TheInquiring Quilter designed a block and wrote us a tutorial based on the Irish chain quilt that she’s had in mind for a while. She requested graduating shades of green (the fabric pull was simple this month!) going lighter from the centre out on a white low volume background.

It’s my turn to be Queen in Stash Bee next month and I’m pretty excited! I have picked my block, written the tutorial and it’s scheduled and ready to go for the 1st!

‘til next time



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

June Block Round-up

At last, almost two months after posting these blocks, my crows for Velda at GrannycanQuilt, who was Bee Inspired queen back in April, have arrived! We’ve had our mystery line-up to guess the maker (a lot of fun!) and I can show them to you. Ta-da! Velda gave us a tutorial which she has since had to remove from her blog to keep the peace (long unpleasant story) and requested that part of the crows be either black with white or white with black with the rest of the crow being bright colours on a low volume background.

Staying on the black and white critter theme, June’s Bee Inspired block for Karen at Tu-na Quilts and Eats is a poodle block. This was a nightmare of tutorial errors and a confusing number of pieces. If you feel you want to take this on the tutorial is here. Karen gave us corrections but wasn’t specific as to what pieces they were in the pattern. (The underbelly should have a flip triangle of 2.75” for the hind leg and the ear piece should be cut at 4.25” long). I was overwhelmed by the written instructions and decided to follow the photographic steps instead where the error was different on the ear piece, but instead of being longer as in the written instructions (I’m told) came up too short. I was ready to throw it in the corner and there were some choice words thrown about at this point but I persevered and the block is done! Would I do another one? Not on your life!

EDIT: I am reliably informed that the tutorial has now been corrected. If you want to make one now it should be a lot easier.

The tutorial suggests that we name our poodles and I was going to name him after the poodle we had when we were growing up, Marcel, but Kate has picked that name for hers. I could always call him Marcel2 but I think I’ll go for Ricky Doodle the poodle (anyone seen Ricky Tims’ Grand Finale video? You’ll understand the reference if you have.).

Finally, for Stash Bee Alanna (@the_handmade_tail) chose nice simple flying geese. She’s making a quilt for her best friend’s upcoming wedding and her friend is very much into nature and the environment, with a husband-to-be who’s a scientist with music as a hobby. Colours chosen were green and grey with prints that reflected the couple’s interests. I’ve had the Laurel Burch leaf print for a long time and now seemed like the perfect time to break it out and use it. The greys are new from my local fabric purveyor. They were 50% off and who can resist a bargain!

Till next time au revoir!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Garden Snails Mini Quilts

Remember all the Garden Snail Quilt blocks I was making at the beginning of the year? This is what became of them.

I turned them into mini quilts and then I turned these two into a cover for the fan in my sewing room. It gets very very dusty here in summer and I’m not that keen on cleaning in hot weather so a cover is a necessity. I took the photos before they were sewn together (and so no binding) because I wasn’t sure how the project would turn out. Just as well. It’s functional but not highly photogenic.

The quilting for these was done in a diagonal cross hatch that I really liked.

Along with those I made these two minis for my international Pay it Forward Craft recipients. I quilted these in an experimental random criss cross way that I regretted pretty much immediately. You win some, you lose some *sigh*.

I enjoyed making these blocks… Or wait, did I? I remember complaining about them at the time but I think, looking back, with some other more time consuming blocks under my belt since, that they weren’t too bad. I had a few deadlines at the time and that didn’t help my attitude. I think I would possibly even make them again.

They certainly give great opportunities to pick a favourite fabric or two to showcase and the block pattern has an option to paper piece the shell using different fabrics. Now that sounds like a great scrap buster but could be a tad time consuming for a working girl.

The pattern is by Pen and Paper patterns and is available here.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

May Block Round-up

Last month’s Bee Inspired block was for Irene at Patchwork and Pastry. She asked for a 9 patch in a 9 patch in a 9 patch in soft grey. You can only see two? The smallest one is part of the centre block, second down on the left. The squares for that one finished up at a very small ½” each!

For Stash Bee, May’s queen Julia (@sparkymonster) chose the X and plus block and gave us the option of using purple, orange, hot pink and blue-green on a low volume background. I enjoyed making this block and it has set in concrete my plans to make a whole quilt using it. I have a dedicated Pinterest board to this design already and the variations are endless.

My last Inside Addition block from my Bee Inspired mate Emily at The Darling Dogwood finally arrived after more than 2 months of travelling. I’d given up on it arriving and Emily had plans to start a replacement for me when it arrived. This gives me hope since the crows I made for Velda for April have still not arrived after about 5 weeks.

I’ve been spending the last week or so making another 18 to go along with the ones I received, or so I thought. When I went to lay it out on the weekend I found I was one short *sigh*. There may have been a short outburst of bad language. It should be exciting when the top starts coming together.

Happy sewing and stay safe!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Pantone Quilt Challenge 2017 Finished!

This is my entry into this year’s Pantone Quilt Challenge. Finishing up at 30 ½ inches square, it squeaks into the Quilt category.

The herringbone design has been on my wish list and all over my Pinterest boards for several years and finally I can tick it off as done.

This is made with most of a Kona Woodland charm pack and some yardage of Kona Limelight (I think) and white from my stash.

I was originally thinking of keeping the quilting to a simple outline of the shapes but decided to go denser and I’m glad I did because it gives it great texture.

Monday, 8 May 2017

2017 New Quilt Bloggers – My turn!

Hello and welcome to my stop on the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I’m Sue and I live in Perth, Western Australia. This is my second time for participating in the New Quilt Bloggers Hop. I came back for seconds because I enjoyed it so much last time. This second time around has been much less nerve wracking and anxiety inducing than last time.

I started blogging just over two years ago so I could join in with the on-line quilt community. It all looked like so much fun! My first post was an entry into the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge. Even though the colour of the year really wasn’t my thing, it grew on me and I think this quilt is a keeper! (If you’re interested the 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge is coming up at the end of the month.)

When the call went out at the end of last year to join the Modern Quilt Guild mini swap, I quickly signed up. This was the mini I put together for my swap partner based on Amy Sinibaldi’s Half -hearted pattern (free!).

Last year I received a Pay It Forward Craft gift from Abigail at Cut and Alter and have paid my three items forward. This Rainbow Rose mini was the one I made for a recipient who lives nearby.

Last year I joined in my first ever Quilt-Along with another fellow hop mate Amanda of This Mom Quilts to make her Facets Plus Quilt.

In my hop post last year I asked the question of readers if they had joined any swaps, quilt alongs, bees (have you? Any favourites?) and through that I found Stash Bee which I signed up for this year. I also joined a bee made up of 11 others also in last year’s hop – Bee Inspired. These bees have been a great experience and have been great in feeding a no-brainer blog post once a month J.

The other recent project I’m most proud of is the mini I designed myself. I call it Somewhat Positive.

My QUILTING TIP is to hold your work up to a mirror. If you’re not sure you’re particularly liking a finish or a block, for some reason holding it up to a mirror seems to give you a different perspective of it. I read an interior decorating tip once that suggested that standing in a corner with your back to a room and holding a hand mirror will give you insights into what’s working home dec-wise in the same way, so it’s a genuine thing, really!

My BLOGGING TIP is to use your best photo first so that it shows in a blog reader. Instead of just marking as read and moving on your audience will be lured in to read the post, maybe even click through for a comment. (Also, claim your blog on Bloglovin. You’ll get all your stats that way. They’re very detailed.)

Thanks so much to our hosts and organisers, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Leanne at She Can Quilt, for all their time and effort. Please visit my fellow hoppers from Better Bloggers Hive for today

Sue of Sevenoaks Street Quilts (me)
Jen of Dizzy Quilter
Tara of Quiltersstash
Paige of Quilted Blooms

Y’all come back now!