She’s A Rainbow

As a quilter it can be wonderful and also wonderfully challenging to have a client who hands you a quilt and says “do whatever”.  I am fortunate to have such a client and this is one of her quilts.

Angie of Gnomeangel made her medallion quilt using bright solids and black and white.  There are a few non solids in there but they are the exception.  I love the contrast this use of fabric created and so I wanted to make the most of this opportunity to show some quilting texture.gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-11

I mulled over this quilt for a long time. I had so many ideas, the problem was narrowing them down.  The theory is to have a few design features and then replicate them and repeat throughout the quilt, changing size and colour perhaps.  This helps to make the quilt more cohesive, especially true for sampler quilts.  As this medallion quilt has numerous borders which are in effect separate patterns I wanted to tie them together with the quilting designs.gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-8I also wanted to create a contrast of quilted and not quilted.  The most obvious way was to quilt the black and white and not quilt the colours.  The coloured pieces are either stitched in the ditch (SID) or minimally outline quilted as in the outer border.  This meant the black and white is pushed back and some texture is created.  The small black and white triangles had close matchstick quilting and SID. Here you can see the white has been done.She's A Rainbow white triangles RSI love that in a couple of borders Angie has deviated from the rest of the blocks by using a different colour or a patterned fabric. You can see this in the small fat cross blocks in the 2nd border in.  These crosses are SID, outlined at 1/4″ in and then filled with pebbles. Most of the crosses are white, except for one.IMG_3859

For a while now I have wanted to add some depth to a quilt using quilting, making it look like the pattern was going under another part of the quilt.  Angie’s quilt allowed me to do this and I am really happy with the result. The centre of the quilt is essentially a 4 patch with the ring of triangles in colours and contrasting black and white.  I wanted a design to carry through the background and push it back but also I wanted the texture there.  This quilt is all about contrasts for me, colours vs. B&W, quilted vs. non quilted, raised vs quilted down. gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-18

I marked the white with a Sewline air eraseable pen and the black minimally with the white ceramic pencil.  I added an extra layer of wadding behind this centre 4 patch to make sure the design showed really well. It feels great.  I love running my fingers over this part.She's A Rainbow centre with marking RS You can see I’ve marked the mitre on the corners so I stayed even.  The purple marks are either allowed to disappear or as I’m usually in a hurry to see what it’s like without the marking I spray with water.She's A Rainbow centre with marking black RSThe black shows a bit greyer here due to the flash.  It is real black.

She's A Rainbow centre detail black marked squares RSHere’s the black area only partially quilted but marked with the squares and the corner mitre.

The centre ring of triangles was next, the black and white triangles are SID, outlined at 1/4″ and then filled with more pebbles.  She's A Rainbow centre triangles white RSShe's A Rainbow centre triangles RSThese then are the quilting designs I used throughout the quilt, matchstick lines (of sorts), pebbles and outline of the shape or area. The quilting designs are not intricate nor contain difficult quilting, it’s there but allows the colours to shine also.

The black triangles in the outer border were quilted simply using the matchstick lines and SID.  As per Angie’s lead I have done one triangle different to the others, it’s not a major feature but it’s there and can be a surprise when found.  The colours were a little too big to leave unquilted entirely so I have used mono-filament thread and a single row of quilting to outline them.IMG_3858

You may be thinking I have jumped all over the place with describing this quilt,  I have left my favourite til last.  This set of borders stumped me quite a bit, I even pulled out my initial design.  Then I hit on the idea of more triangles – more I hear you say, aren’t there enough already.  Triangles in quilting and uneven ones to boot.  Again this design appears to go under the piecing which is what I wanted.  Each triangle is outlined and the outline alternates between 1/4″ and 1/2″ to give a bit more change. Then the triangles are filled with matchstick lines.  She's A Rainbow BWB border triangles 2 RS She's A Rainbow BWB border triangles RSI was so pleased with this border design and the effect it creates.  It’s not as easy to see on the black, but I know it’s there and I love it.IMG_3860

Timing meant I could not get a full picture of the quilt but Angie has allowed me to use her stunning pictures taken on location.  The sunlight adds great lighting and shows the quilt off really well, not sure about the porcelain in the shot though…gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-19

Let me know what you think of ‘She’s A Rainbow’

Gorgeous quilt Angie

Meet A Quilter – Tisha of Quilty Therapy

Some more eye candy today and you get to meet Tisha from Quilty Therapy.

  1. How did you come to be a quilter?
    1. I became a quilter because I hated my first semester of college roommate. I had been sewing for years but wasn’t good. This roommate really annoyed me so I would go out to Jo-Anns to get off campus and away from her. I started some hand piecing that I have still not finished, almost 14 years later. I made my parents my first quilt that year that they still have. It was their Christmas present that I barely finished in time. Actually I finished on 12/26 because I ran out of binding at 3am on Christmas morning. My grandma and her friend helped me get started and I was hooked from there.Capture 1 2. What is it that you love about being a quilter?
    2. I love that I can create something from beautiful fabrics that people enjoy. I can’t draw, paint, or play an instrument as a creative outlet. Give me fabric and an idea is created. I also love that my work has evolved over the years and that I’m not like anyone else.


  1. What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
    1. This is tough because so much has about recently due to my quilting and the products I create. However this moment may have made more nervous than meeting Lotta Jansdotter. I met Mary Fons and filmed a segment with her about my friend’s quilt I made when she had cancer. See below.Capture 2
    2. Never mind that my name and info isn’t correct.


  1. What quilting challenges would you like to conquer in the next 12 months.
    1. I have an irrational fear of sewing with zippers.   Tried to make a wet bag for my son and the zipper is atrocious. I need to sit down and really just give zippers another try, I hear they aren’t terrible.Capture 3


Zippers can be frustrating, I agree.

  1. What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter?
    1. My three favorite quilts have all been from 2013-2014. I think I really hit my stride these last couple of years.
    2. This first gift is about charity and giving. My friend was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the only thing I could think to do was to make a quilt for her. I wanted to support her and be with her every step of the way. At least if I wasn’t there she could wrap herself up and feel me there beside her.Capture 5Rainbow Charms is a quilt I just winged after looking at a stack of rainbow charms. This is will be my first pattern that I hope to get out in 2015. This quilt is a good reflection of how I like to use colors and keep things simple.Capture 6
    3. This quilt is my favorite. Luckily all three of these are nearby and I can see them often. Nomadic triangles just kinda came to be one day after weeks trying to come up with a design for the Indiana State Fair Sewing Challenge. This will be my second pattern in 2015 that I want to put out there. Improv but still modern and simple. This quilt shows me that if I keep looking at something differently, considering new techniques and sometimes throwing everything out the window I will love the end product.Capture 7



  1. What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
    1. Prior to Porter, my son, hubby and I have just a few holiday traditions. On Black Friday we always shop at a few local stores nearby. Chinese food or sushi on Christmas along with watching staple Christmas movies. We usually always watch Christmas Vacation, Elf, and Die Hard. Hey, it’s set during Christmas.
    2. Now we are working to create new traditions as a family. This year we are driving our son around on Sunday night, listening to the all Christmas music channel, and looking at lights. Porter is loving it and it melts my heart to hear him shrieking with excitement.Capture 8 Porter



  1. Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
    1. Are you ready for this? I love 90’s hip hop and rap. Normally on Pandora my Petey Pablo station is blaring. My husband laughs at me for listening to rap music and quilting. When the phone is dead I reach for my laptop and bring up Netflix. I have watched all of Scandal. Do you think Olivia should be with Jake or Fitz?
    2. Now I’m on to Once Upon a Time. I will probably finish that series out by January with the amount of sewing I foresee in my future.



  1. What are your favourite types of blog posts to read?
    1. Reading blogs for me is about learning and getting to know other sewists. I enjoy blog posts where the writer explains what went on with the project, shares ups and downs, and let’s their real voice come through. Kind of project, project, personal, then project again. Also let’s me know you’re human and not Wonder Woman over there cranking out projects.


  1. If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
    1. Have you been reading the draft posts for my blog? This is something I have been pondering and wanting to write about. Here’s a snippet of who and why I like them. Lotta Jansdotter! Yes, exclamation point. She creates fabrics that simple, creative, and most of her collections go together. I’ve been to her Brooklyn studio and didn’t want to leave. I got to meet her and forgot to take a picture with her. Taking one of her classes in her studio is on my bucket list.
    2. If you don’t follow her on Instagram, let me encourage you to do so. She loves to play and create. She’s very hands on. For her first fabric line she hand drew all the designs and someone had to put them into a digital format. That really shows in her work because things aren’t perfectly straight for example.
    3. I just want to sit down, have a coffee, and pick her brain.Capture 9 Lotta shop




  1. Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
    1. My biggest quilting goal for 2015 is to learn how to free motion quilt. I know I can do but I really struggle with just sitting down and giving it a try. I’m very attached to straight line quilting, that I’m struggling to break out of it.



  1. Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
    1. I used to prewash when I first started quilting. Now I don’t. With three people in the house there is little time to wash fabrics before I use them. Please I use lots of precuts so that would make washing awkward.



Precuts are great but washing them is not such a good idea, on with the creating I say

  1. What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
    1. This holiday season I just want to enjoy time with my family. My mother in law will be in town for 6 days and is giving us the best gift. A night and morning off. The gift of time with just my husband and I makes me so incredibly happy. We got a hotel room and will enjoy sleeping in without hearing “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAD” from across the hall and fighting for space with the dogs.
    2. Hopefully we can create many new memories leading into 2015.

Sounds like a great chance to have some Mum and Dad time, hope you had a good sleep in.

You can see more of Tisha via the links below.



Instagram: @quiltytherapy



Twitter: @quiltytherapy


White Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Mmm Fudge…!!!  White Chocolate Fudge

Yes it’s yummy and no it’s not good for you.  Yes it’s easy to make and no it won’t last long.  I added a picture to Facebook about some fudge and a number of people asked about the recipe so I am sharing for all to enjoy.

These are the ingredients:

2 cans of condensed milk

2 Cups firmly packed brown sugar

250grams of butter

1/3 Cup liquid glucose (the secret ingredient) apparently this makes for a smoother texture in the finished product.

1/4 Cup golden syrup

400 grams white chocolate broken into pieces

Grease and line a slab tin – 30cm x 25cm x 3cm.

Put all the ingredients except the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.  Cook on Med-High (70%) for 8-10 minutes stirring with a whisk every 2 minutes until boiling.

Cook on Med-High (70%) for 5-6 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon every minutes until thick and golden.  WATCH, do not leave to boil over.

Stand for 2 minutes until the bubbles subside then add the chocolate and mix with the spoon until combined and smooth.

Pour into the slab tin and smooth the top.  Stand at room temperature for 3 hours, then refrigerate overnight.  Cut into squares or fingers as desired.White Choc fudge half size

Now as we were on holidays when I made this I halved the recipe.  I was also using my friends microwave so I guessed the wattage as I couldn’t find it listed on her microwave.  I also slightly rushed and did not allow the bubbles to subside before adding the chocolate.  So I think its safe to say this white chocolate fudge recipe is fairly foolproof and easy to achieve a good result.

I must acknowledge this recipe is not my own and I got it from a friend and I don’t know where she got it from.  I also acknowledge that it tastes great and will be made again very soon and I will need to be strong and leave it for the kids.

Have fun making and enjoying, be strong if you need to. Let me know how your fudge turns out.


Meet A Quilter – Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts

Over the next few weeks I have a few ladies to introduce to you.  I hope you enjoy the opportunity to do a little bit of internet surfing.

Today I’m happy to introduce Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts.  You can read about her and see what Alyce gets up to via the links at the bottom of this post.  Happy reading.

The Questions:

  1. How did you come to be a quilter?
    I had always been vaguely intrigued by quilting, knowing that it existed, but I really realized what it was when a mum in my local mums’ group showed off the quilt she had made with her own mum! It was gorgeous and I decided to make one each for my kids, maybe when they were 5 years old… They were 1 and barely born at the time! I started reading up about it, when one day in Spotlight, my husband told me to just buy a machine already while they were on sale. So I did. And Ellie the Elna 1000 and I have had such adventures since!
  1. What is it that you love about being a quilter?
    The colour play. The choosing of fabrics. The math of making the designs coming together properly. The community.
  1. What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
    On the actual quilt side of quilting experiences, my latest quilt is definitely my proudest achievement. Eternity was not only the biggest quilt I’ve quilted myself, it’s also the most detailed that I’ve done.  In other quilting experiences, I’m definitely proud of the writing opportunities that have come out of blogging – Make Modern ( and Craftsy blog ( Bright-Sky-quilting-detail-550x537
  1. What’s the one piece of advice about quilting that all new quilters should know?
    Experiment and try everything once. That way you’ll be able to find your style much more easily!

Great idea.  The things you’ll learn too…

  1. What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter?
    Well, we’ve already covered Eternity, and I’d be remiss to mention the original Bright Sky quilt. It was such a fun journey to get to the final design, and very precious to me as it was a gift for my best friend. I think I’d have to pick Tea For Two ( as my third one, as it really reflects my love for quilt math and sneaky-cool repetitive patterns  I have sketchbooks full of designs like this, that work on simple blocks repeated to make an effective, complex design. I’m excited that many will finally see the light of day next year!Bright-Sky-Cover Tea for Two
  2. If you weren’t a quilter, what other creative endeavour would you like to master? Well, I dabble in cross-stitch and Project Life scrapbooking, but I don’t know that I’d want to master either of them… I guess potentially scrapbooking? I have always loved beautiful paper and stationery! So really, living in Japan is truly the best place for me with all the fabric and adorable stationery everywhere!
  1. What is your favourite kind of pie?
    Apple or cherry for sure. Or both. Both is good! Chapple pie, anyone?

Yum, yes please

  1. What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
    We are all Christmas, all December. We put up the tree roughly December 1st (or for the past couple of years, the weekend nearest, anyway), we sing carols, we eat fruit cake, and now the kids are at last old enough to fully enjoy the Advent calendar I made a couple of years ago! This year, they will find a piece of the 24-piece Nativity scene puzzle, a Bible verse and an activity to do together. Ornamental-Sew-Seasonal-bundle-400x400 link: )

We do an Advent Calendar as well, I like this version.

  1. Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
    I frequently try to watch videos/TV on the iPad while sewing, but I just get too distracted – I either sew away and suddenly realized I haven’t paid attention for 5 minutes, or I realize I’ve just spent 30 minutes to do a 5-minute task because I was watching the show instead. Ditto for podcasts! So music is definitely my best companion while sewing.
  1. What are your favourite types of blog posts to read?
    I love stories. It’s so easy to see images everywhere else – Instagram, Pinterest, etc – but this is why blogs aren’t really dying. Words. Nowhere else can you find the stories, the tips, the tutorials, the behind-the-scenes information that take us deeper than that snapshot into your sewing room.
  1. If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
    Kate Spain. Anyone who knows me for even a few weeks would know this already! I just love her designs. While some other designers have the most amazing uses of colour in individual prints that might make my heart sing more, it’s her actual patterns that get me and the way her colours work across the whole range. Each line takes me to a different place! Cuzco and Terrain are definitely my favourites, and her Christmas lines are always so fun but also full of good blenders for use any time of the year.
  1. What’s your favourite colour combination to work with and why?
    It changes every few months! 2013 was the year of navy, pink, yellow and teal green. These evolved into a more saturated palette of navy, coral, rich/golden yellow, aqua and/or teal. Currently, I can’t bear to put this autumn-inspired pull away IMG_7347 These aren’t usually my colours – hello, brown?! But it’s gotten under my skin and I know I need to use it somehow.

Mmm, brown is not my go to colour either but there are some gorgeous browns available now.

  1. Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
    I have some big goals I’m already working towards! There will be a year-long quilting series on my blog, and several patterns to go along with it. I also want to make at least 2 full-size original quilts, plus it would be good to chip away at a few UFOs lying around before we move back to Australia in 2016.
  1. Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
    Nope, ain’t nobody got time fo’ that! Especially all the ironing afterwards! I only prewash flannel if I don’t want it to shrink, or fabric for garments.
  1. What’s the best quilting tip you ever got?
    A quarter inch seam really does make the difference. So does pressing seams – my Clover finger presser is my best sewing friend!
  1. Do you have any favourite tools that you love to use?
    Clover finger presser is obviously at the top! I also love my little pink scissors for trimming thread tails, and my red Clover seam unpicker is one of those tools you need but hate but love. Also red and awesome are my Clover Wonder clips. I’ve got 30 of them, and I’d love another 30! They’re awesome – not just for binding or holding bulky layers together, but also long paper piecing seams sewing with clips


  1. What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
    Well, my chances of getting that new Juki sewing machine are about as real as Santa, so I’m quite happily settling for some beautiful family times with our five guests visiting us here in Japan! My cousin/sister-from-another-mother is one of those, and oh boy, I have late night chats and sing-alongs and crazy dancing sessions already lined up!



Sounds like a lot of fun,  I look forward to meeting you when you get back to Australia.  Meanwhile enjoy Tokyo.

You can find Alyce at the links below.






Barbara’s Dilly Bag-A-Long progress

A while ago Angie from Gnomeangel started planning a Dilly Bag-A-Long using the pattern by Judy Newman.  As it features hexagons I mentioned it to my Mum Barbara.

You can read all about where Barbara is up to with her Dilly Bag on the Sunflower Stitcheries blog here.

I think I might be receiving one of these as a pressie when it’s done…

Dilly Bag side Friday is the big reveal.  Despite injury I’m hoping Barbara will be able to finish to show the bag then.

Happy Stitching



A Blog Hop with a Difference

There’s a blog hop happening that is a little different to the ones I’ve seen before.  This one is designed to be ongoing with more bloggers tagged to then share about themselves and their creative processes.

I have been tagged by the wonderful Angie from Gnomeangel to tell a little about my creativity and show some great pictures.     Here goes…


These next few weeks are going to be pretty much full of quilting and then some paperwork (ugh!) to prepare for the biennial Australian Machine Quilting Association Inc. Quilt Show.  This is being held in Adelaide at the Convention Centre alongside the Australian Machine Quilting Festival.

I am also working on some mug rugs for a swap I am involved in.  The quilting has taken over and I am now running behind on these.


As with anything, it really depends on how much you want to do it, or how many things are happening to occupy your time.  I have a great idea for a red and white quilt which I have yet to finish cutting all the pieces out for.  The fabric I was given for a significant ‘0’ birthday almost 3 years ago.  Not so fast on this one.

40th Birthday fabric resizedHowever give me a deadline and I’m a better worker.  I offered to make the Raffle quilt for Canberra Quilters a couple of years ago and needed to get it done and quilted in a short time frame.  It got done!  I did have some help from my wonderful Mum, without whom I would have struggled in the time frame.


As a quilter I am enjoying exploring the world of thread.  When I first started I pretty much stayed with what I started on and felt comfortable using in the machine.  Now that my machine and I are much better acquainted, I am happy to experiment and try the effect of other threads.  The tension dial is there for a reason, and perfect tension is relative to what I am using.

Oakshott sunlight smaller (2)Other than thread I love the ranges of fabric that are coming out and that making a quilt that ‘works’ has become easier thanks to the designers and the fabulous prints that are available.  one thing about quilting is that I see a lot of quilts made by other people and some ‘work’ better than others.  To be honest, these fabric ranges make my work easier too, the quilts don’t need detailed quilting, the fabric is gorgeous on it’s own.


This is a little harder to answer as I don’t know if I have one for my own quilts,  I often follow a pattern with my own tweaks included.  However when it comes to the quilting I can certainly answer.

When a quilt comes to me to be quilted I need to know a few things about it;  who is it for?  male or female?  age of the recipient?  intended purpose?

From this information the client and I come up with some ideas and settle on a quilting design to enhance or be functional on their quilt.  We will probably avoid putting floral designs on a male’s quilt.

Then the decisions are about thread colour, top and bottom, what type of wadding, backing fabric and binding.  Sometimes the client supplies these things, otherwise we order the thread or backing fabric and I have a variety of wadding in the studio available for purchase.

Then I need to get on and quilt the designs we talked about ready for the due date.


Inspiration comes in many forms, a picture of a quilt that I ‘need’ to make, a deadline (can be quite motivating), seeing some great fabric ranges.

With a quilt I may have it out and look at it frequently to wait for an idea to form.  Many quilters will say a quilt will ‘speak’ to them.  Now we are not an odd bunch with a weird 6th sense, but sometimes seeing the quilt will make an idea for quilting designs just pop into our heads and then we can refine them to suit that quilt perfectly.

Part of how I stay inspired is to pretend that each quilt i work on is my own, this is what I often share with my clients, “If it were mine, I’d quilt…..”  This can often help them clarify their thoughts.  Did you know that knowing what you don’t want on your quilt is as important as knowing what you do want?


Are we talking fabric or quilting?  I am a fan or red fabric, not the orangey red, but a deeper cherry red.  I love the classic quilts but am also into a bit of applique and have a number or patterns here that I want to make.  Raw edge applique was a good way to get something done a little faster and I love the quilt I made for my husband.  Blue Gentleman at CQ Ex resized (2)

I have my own style too when it comes to quilting.  Most quilters do.  I have a leaf shape that will come more naturally to me than to another quilter.  They might be really skilled at free form flowers and I may struggle to get one that looks right.  I may choose a particular type of feather because I can do that one really well and it suits my style.

When it comes to quilts, there are no quilt police and if it works for me or you then go for it.  Enjoy what is made and the process of making it.  Have fun, stretch yourself.  Our styles change over time and as we grow, live and love.

Thanks Angie for nominating me, I thought I would find it hard to write about these questions but then I was inspired.

To keep this blog hop with a difference going I want to tag Leanne from Mount Vincent Quilts and Val from Bluegum Quilting Services

Thanks Leanne and Val, I look forward to reading more about you on Monday 14th September.

Happy Quilting

Sea Breeze Mini QAL – Finished

Hooray, I just finished the binding on my Sea Breeze and I even went out of my usual and used a lighter colour for the binding.  I really like it.

finished sea breeze You can see I went with my plan for the quilting.  I like the effect, perhaps next time I would quilt the lines closer.  This week I fitted this in between quilting for the upcoming Canberra Quilters Exhibition.

I decided to try to really fill the binding and so I trimmed the quilt larger than the edge of the quilt sandwich. Just a little bit.

full binding 1

full binding 2The wadding and backing are cut larger than the quilt top.




The corner can be a little bulky so it can be trimmed on a 45′ cut to reduce the bulk. Sorry I haven’t shown that here, just snip off the corner.


Then when the binding is folded over there is some extra padding inside to give the binding some extra fullness.  This is an area that judges will check in a quilt show.  They will feel the binding to see if the quilt goes all the way to the edge.

full binding 3And here is a close up of my mini.  Thanks Angie for organizing this QAL.  I have learned quite a bit and had a lot of fun.

finished sea breeze (2)Have fun with your Sea Breeze.


Sea Breeze Mini Quilt Along

A short while ago Angie from Gnomeangel asked for volunteers for blogging about a quilt a long (QAL) and I thought “Cool, easy project, not too big, would be great to do some sewing for myself…”

And I joined in.

I bought the pattern from Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations, downloaded the pattern and saved it. Always a good idea, do it straight away and save it to your computer. I have a special file for these sorts of projects. Do you have a system for your craft files?

After a brief panic about the dates and then realizing it was in July and not June, all was well and I decided on some fabric. I have recently bought some bolts of fabric and I wanted to use them rather than buying more. I have an idea in my head as to the finished look and I really hope they turn out the same (the quilt in my head and the real thing).

Knowing I would be on holidays before the QAL I thought it would be a great time to make up my quilt. So I gathered all the fabric and cut some strips ready to pack. Then whilst on our family holiday I discovered I had made a very basic mistake.

Always read the pattern fully!!

I merrily cut myself strips from each fabric. I did cut an extra strip of the background but still not enough to cut all the pieces. And now I have extra fabric cut ready for another project.

SB fabric choicesThe rest of the fabric was cut out and ready to sew. The last block would need to wait until I got home. The blocks went together quite fast, helpful in that as a smaller project this is much more achievable. It took me only an evening to piece the HST and then the blocks. Sewing the blocks together was also really quick but I did pay attention to the direction I pressed my seams.

SB HST prep SB HST SB HST chain piecing

On my Sea breeze I pressed my seams to the side. So there are a couple of points where there is a bit of bulk but I have used a higher contrast fabric and I wanted to press to the darker colour.

SB laying out block  SB chain piecing blockSB completed blockSo here is as far as I got on our holiday,

SB block layoutWell I actually got the rows together too, but no pic of that.

Once home I could cut the extra fabric and finish the last block and finish the top.SB quilt topI deliberated a lot in deciding how I wanted to quilt my Sea breeze. I wanted to have the colour deepening across the quilt. I think my colours could have been arranged differently to achieve this and I will try again another time.

To enhance the deepening effect I wanted I have drawn up my quilting idea.  Expanding arcs, a bit like ripples on water.  It will be interesting to see how it finishes up.

SB quilting ideaI am planning to bind this mini in the darkest green I’ve used.  I often use a darker binding but it does really depend on the quilt.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing where I’m up to with my Sea Breeze.  There have been some great versions to see and I look forward to seeing more as they are made.

Thanks Angie for the QAL, it’s been great to sew a project for me.  Thanks Megan for a great pattern.

Have you started your Sea Breeze yet?

Happy Sewing



Very Hungry Caterpillar

Earlier this year I was asked by a friend to quilt her VHC quilt that she had made for her young daughter.  The fabric in the VHC range is bright and cheerful and makes a wonderful I Spy type of quilt.  Where’s the chocolate cake?

I had a search and found the pantograph pattern be Anne Bright called Hungry Hungry.  This pattern has many of the food elements from the story and I was able to enlarge it to be a suitable size for the single bed size quilt that Linden made. You can find the pattern here; Hungry, Hungry b2b

Very Hungry Caterpillar - by Linden

Very Hungry Caterpillar – by Linden

We decided on an apple green coloured thread which shows up lovely on the white background but does not create too much contrast on the coloured areas.

Very Hungry Caterpillar quilting detail leaf - by Linden

Very Hungry Caterpillar quilting detail leaf – by Linden

Very Hungry Caterpillar strawberry with quilting detail, by Linden

Very Hungry Caterpillar strawberry with quilting detail – by Linden


Linden used the dots from the fabric range for the backing, perfect.

Very Hungry Caterpillar butterfly and backing by Linden

Very Hungry Caterpillar butterfly and backing by Linden

Linden’s small girl is now enjoying her quilt.

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Great job Linden.

You can see more of Linden’s quilting adventures at





Oakshott Lipari Fabrics Wallhanging

Pieced and bound By Angie Wilson, quilted by Raylee Bielenberg

A short time ago Angie mentioned to me that she was making a small wall hanging using some fabric from the Oakshott Lipari range. I was really pleased to be asked to be involved and quilt this for Angie and she asked me to make some notes as I went along. What were my design ideas and reasons and the quilting process.

The completed wall hanging. Photo taken in sunshine.

The completed wall hanging. Photo taken in sunshine.

Angie gave me free reign with regard to the quilting design and though that can be a little scary at times I always consider what I would like on the quilt if it were mine. So, I asked Angie for a front on photo of the quilt so I could do some design drawing in paint on my computer. This is so much faster than drawing up the quilt each time I started a new idea. I just saved each file and started again.

Another design drawing.

Another design drawing.

Quilting ideas drawn on top of the quilt photo on the computer.

Quilting ideas drawn on top of the quilt photo on the computer.

The next step was to work out what thread to use. I really wanted to keep the colour only to the fabric and so opted for a thread only slightly darker than the beautiful background fabric Angie used. I did audition a variety of threads and narrowed it quickly to only 2. I used the Wonderfil thread on all the cream background areas and a Rasant thread similar in colour to the Aurifil thread in the picture. The Rasant thread is only in the ditch around the coloured squares.

Almost final thread choices.

Almost final thread choices.

Angie has made her wallhanging using the Oakshott autumn colours and also a linen look background which has a gold thread through it. I wanted to be able to show this a bit more but it’s best seen on a curve. I also wanted to create a good amount of texture with the unquilted squares. To help create texture and the curve I was hoping for, I have used 2 layers of batting. In the quilted areas this is pushed down but the squares end up with a beautiful ‘pillow’ effect.

Two layers of batting used for extra fullness.

Two layers of batting used for extra fullness.

So to be able to quilt in lovely straight lines and have those lines exactly where I wanted them, I used a blue water erase marking pen to mark the design on the cream fabric. It’s a good idea to test these pens on your fabric before marking the whole quilt. Thankfully I have never had a problem removing the marks. I also use a small hand held straight ruler when I am quilting so my lines are quite straight.

One of the smaller squares marked ready to quilt.

One of the smaller squares marked ready to quilt.

Now we are ready to load the quilt and get quilting. My first step is to stabilize the quilt top by basting around the edges as far as I can and then stitch in the ditch around the Oakshott Fabric squares. This way I make sure the quilt stays as square and even as I can, especially as this one has squares on it. Skewed squares – not a good look.

A smaller block quilted.

A smaller block quilted.

Next I changed thread to the Wonderfil thread and started on the smaller background squares. At this stage I had not decided on a quilting design to push down the background around the created squares. I wanted something that would not create too much pattern on its own, no thread build up to make darker areas of quilting. I also wanted a design that would offset the many straight lines that are in this quilt. The answer – Stippling. A great choice for this quilt.

A close up view of the texture.

A close up view of the texture.

Moving outwards on the quilt I worked my way around the inner border, quilting in the squares and then stippling the background. Ideally I try to have as few starts and stops in the quilting as I can manage. When working on a quilt I will often stand at the end of the quilting table to see the texture being created on the quilt top. I have a sliding door at the other end so the lighting is great.

A side on view, shows the texture very well.

A side on view, shows the texture very well.

Once I got into a rhythm the quilting flowed smoothly and I was soon done. My initial photos inside did not do justice to the quilt so I hung it outside the next day in the sunshine. Looks great hey! The binding is completed by Angie.

Completed wall hanging. Centre area, photo taken in sunshine.

Completed wall hanging. Centre area, photo taken in sunshine.

You can see more of this quilt on the blog of Angie Wilson, aka Gnomeangel.