Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Getting Back Into The Swing

All the way back in July I signed up to be apart of the The Easy Swap UK, that Nina over on BossyOz was hosting. The rules were fairly simple make whichever of the following you feel most comfortable with: Mini Quilt - 300 to 500 square inches, any shape
Zippered Pouch - any design but one zip must be at least 12"long or Tote Bag - to fit at least an A4 note book and to have at least one pocket. We had to fill in a questionnaire about colours, fabrics and designs we liked or were inspired by and things we would like avoided and then given a partner to make for.

The details of my partner at this stage I can't reveal because although I have received my wonderful mini quilt, I'm not yet sure my partner has hers. However I can tell you the guidelines I was given to work from: colours aqua, teal, low volume and purple, quilt blocks traditional (in modern fabrics), modern and/or paper pieced (foundation paper), to make them happy, please avoid sludgy colours, browns etc, batiks, civil war repros. Again all things I love and could absolutely pull off, in the form of a mini quilt.

This was my fabric selection for the mini, mostly bold Kono Solids as they best lent themselves to the Don't Call Me Betsy design I had chosen to make and casually threw in some modern funky prints just to mix it up a bit. 
I have to say I didn't get off to a great start with this one, the first part which just so happens to be the middle section had me at a total loss when trying to get the last bit in!! 

I when slightly off track and had to make some small adjustments to the pattern, but when it was all put together thankfully it couldn't be seen and made no difference to the overall design. After that it was plain sailing all the way, I know I am totally biased because paper piecing is just my most favourite thing, but having now tested out several of Elizabeth's patterns I honestly can not recommend them enough. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, overall the designs come together quickly, there is so much scope to experiment with fabrics and the results are breathtaking.

There were a lot of different little sections that needed to come together, so like with many blocks the most time consuming aspect was cutting up all the squares and triangles, thankfully though with paper piecing accuracy of cutting is not essential!! 

Originally the design had an orange and yellow star burst effect exploding from the middle, however as I was not using either of those colours I amended the fabric and colour placement to make it slightly more modern....well in my opinion anyway.

As a large block all the sections came together rather quickly and thankfully near enough all my points and seems matched up beautifully, if you're a regular reader you will know that I often struggle with matching up my points but that steady progress is being made. With the top all complete and measuring 24" squared, all that was left to do was back it, quilt it and bind it.

I absolutely loved making this mini quilt, the block has fast become one of my favourites and I will definitely be making it again, I have become a little bit obsessed (don't roll your eyes) with Medallion Quilts and this block might just become the centre of something I am planning. 
As I said at the start of this post my mini arrived today from the person who was given me and what a fabulous job she did!! My most favourite colours Mint, Coral and Grey in my most favourite designer fabrics Tula Pink. 

If you have been part of a this mini swap or another I would love to hear from you and see what you made and/or received.

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx

P.S In case you were curious everything is going wonderfully with my Special (squeal)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


On A Rainy Wednesday

Firstly I really must apologise for being so quiet lately, I haven't been idol - in fact quite the opposite - however I have had some happy life changes so my attention hasn't totally been focused on quilting!! 

The epic African/Colonial adventure is still on going, getting bigger and bigger and at the moment is looking like this

As previously stated I have been quilting up a storm today - my first day off in ages where I could literally stay in my pjs and sew all day - and what better way to start than with a Blackford Beauty?? Well 4 of them actually, all 16inch squares as well!! I know, I know I said no more squares, but I seem to be plagued by them, they appear in every bloody block I want to use for this quilt. Although thankfully this time the smallest ones were 2 1/2"  
so completely manageable.

For this block a selection of prints and solids works well to highlight the overall design of the inner star and the internal square borders, 5 different colours/ fabrics in total. 56 2 1/2" squares and 8 2 1/2" by 6 1/2" rectangles are needed for each block, I made 4 of them so yes I did in fact cut out another 224 squares......

Most of the squares are stitched together to form a series of nine patches, with the centres being a four patch. I have to admit that it's true what they say, "practise does make perfect", most of my seems and points matched like a dream and as you all know I do struggle with accuracy and being neat!!

The remaining pieces are used to form flying geese style units (grrrrrrr) which are then stitched together to make these arrow head units, I was very impressed with the ease in which they came together - once I had stopped stitching them upside down that is!! It is actually a very simple block to follow, with clear instructions and almost blonde proof diagrams as well.

I had originally intended for the stars to be the lighter colour and the backgrounds darker, but changed my mind last minute mostly due to fabric quantities and the fact that a large portion of the quilt is already in shades of brown, cream and tan. I think the dark red has worked well, it certainly 'pops' more against the lighter background colour's.

The backing fabric is this crazy African print my Mom bought for me when she went on holiday earlier this year, it's really funky up close, lots of patterns in patterns. I went for a very simple quilting approach, stitching around the inner stars and arrow heads as well as a small section of the outer square design. Overall I am really happy with how it has turned out, and will definitely be making some of these blocks again.

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Such A Clever Bunch

Regular readers will know that once a month a group of my gal pals and I meet up in the Surrey Hills for a good old stitch and bitch, this Saturday was the day and where we haven't all been together as a whole for a while, there was a whole lot of bitchin to catch up on.....don't worry there was a lot of stitchin as well.

I don't think I say often enough how inspiring I find these five, amazing ladies I am lucky to call my friends, the things they create and come up with honestly are beautiful. It always amazes me how very different we are, our tastes in fabric and patterns vary quite dramatically at times, yet there are things we are very much united in....a strong dislike for needle turn applique and a great love of cake!

This month once again we were all working on a variety of totally different projects, some of which I have now added to my quilty bucket list and some I will totally pass on but can appreciate the great work that has gone into it. 

First up Val and her Christmas Quilt,

Predominantly Log Cabin based this is a quilt kit Val picked up from Patchwork Cabin in Great Bookham, it was originally put together as a Block of the Month but can now be bought as a pattern or a kit. The pictures don't do it enough justice, it really is something to look at, the corners meet up perfectly and those little houses are just divine!!

Adorned with a variety of seasonal objects such as holly leaves and a giant Christmas trees, applique also forms a big part of this quilt. It looks like a good project if you want to try out a range of new techniques, or perfect them if you already have some experience there.

Next up Caroline and a whole lot of crazy, tiny squares, even tinier than mine so even though I may have rubbed off on her a little bit, she's crazier than me!!

The cause of these tiny squares is a Hoffman Bali Pop and a style of quilting called Bargello, the nature of it being focused on colour placement, very accurate cutting and matching of seams.

Caroline decided this wasn't enough of a challenge, so she is doing it all half size, which means her squares are only 1 inch in size!! I just can not wait to see how this will turn out. 

Kerry Q started out the day making some cushions for her lovely new house, out of this divine Art Gallery fabric we found last year at Festival, a simple quilted square with a concealed zip

And she finished the day on this darling little quilt called Robot Riot which she picked up from Creative Quilting, again last year at Festival if memory serves...

Aren't they so cute?? There are kits available but Kerry has chosen to use up existing fabrics she already has and added in some fat quarters in modern prints/colours to tie it altogether. The quilt itself is very versatile and can be put together in a variety of ways, but fundamentally it is an applique based quilt. 

Carrie was busy working on a quilt for her son, who has now got into Uni and will be going in a few weeks, so now she really has to get a wriggle on!! It is a very simple square design but the modern fabrics and colour way really bring the whole thing to life.

Sue's life has totally been taken over by Foundation Piecing, not that I blame her, it is a totally amazing way to generate beautiful patterns and designs!! This weeks adventures came out of Jen Kingwell's new book Quilt Lovely and is called Wheel of Fortune

Using Road Fifteen by Sweet Water, she's also been making these funky circles, totally can not pick my favourite colour way, I just love them all

I wasn't totally idol either, I cut out all the bits I needed to make a Mariners Compass (maybe my most fav block ever!) and a few border blocks as fillers for the medallion edges to the African quilt, 

Until next time, 
Happy Quilting
Kerry xx