• having fun with hexies!

    Monday, 2 June, 2014

     A very enjoyable day was spent at Oh Sew Sweet Shop in Barnsley this past Saturday. I had a class of ladies all learning how to english paper piece, using the Big Shot to cut their papers.

    It's always great to watch them use a Big Shot for the first time, the look of amazement as it magically turns paper or fabric into shapes!

    If you are local to Barnsley in South Yorkshire then why not sign up for Angela's half day class this Thursday. Give the shop a call on 01226 386863

  • back from quilt market!

    Monday, 26 May, 2014


    Last week I was in Pittsburgh at International Quilt Market. For those that don't know, it's a bi-annual industry show for quilting. It's where you see all the new fabrics and gadgets ahead of release.

    So, what kinds of fabrics will you be buying later this year?

    The biggest trend was metallic ink - it was all over the place. So, for those of you that aren't a big fan that might be a disappointment. Personally, I love a bit of sparkle so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on all of these collections as they come out, so keep your eyes open for them!....

    Arizona by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics (should be in shops any day now, and over in the UK in the next month or so)

    Cotton + Steel (a new division of RJR fabrics) (will start arriving to shops in July)

    Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics (will start arriving to shops in July)

    I was hoping to share some progress on the clamshell project, but my sewing machine decided to blow up this weekend. I'm seriously hoping it isn't going to cost me an arm and a leg to get fixed, but I have a horrible feeling that when your sewing machine goes bang and smoke comes out the top of it, it's not a good sign.

  • clam chowder - getting close to the boil

    Monday, 19 May, 2014

    Right now I'm in Pittsburgh for International Quilt market, a trade show for the Quilting Industry. This little project is waiting patiently for my return.

    So, I already mentioned in my first post what was happening with these fabrics and the clamshell die, and now I'm progressing onto the sewing part. usually I'd hand stitch my applique down, but for ease and speed I'm machine stitching. It's not as pretty this way, I'm not as keen on the stitches showing at the edges but it does save an awful lot of time. Another bonus will be that the stitches will be hardier - less likely to break and less likely to need occasional fixing (that's always a good thing in my house).
    The full reveal will be in a week or so as part of the Lotus Pond blog hop. I have to admit, I'm really enjoying these prints, and especially the colours - they're really something special!

    (fabrics are lotus pond by Rae Hoekstra for Cloud 9 fabrics)

  • clam chowder - simmering nicely

    Monday, 12 May, 2014

    Last week I showed you the beginnings to this project, and I'm back with a little update.

    So far I've cut out a pile of clam shapes using the clamshell die, and ironed them onto the reverse of fabric (I am using an iron on, dissolvable stabiliser - head back to last week's post for more details on that)

    I've cut out all my clams about 1/4" bigger than the templates and using a glue stick (just a regular one, not a fabric one) I've stuck the edges down. Now I'm on to the fun part - arranging and sewing!

    I'll be back next week with an update!!!!

    (fabrics used are lotus pond by Rae Hoekstra for cloud 9 fabrics)

  • clam chowder

    Monday, 5 May, 2014


    Don't worry - we haven't branched off into recipes, I couldn't think of a snappy title without thinking about food!

    So, I've had this die sitting around for too long. Every now and then it taunts me, daring me to give it a try. I've come close many times, but then I've popped it back into the box and moved on to something else.

    This weekend I was working on a hundred other things and it suddenly dawned on me - instead of piecing the clamshells (which I've tried before and I didn't get good results) I could applique them, but instead of using mylar to make templates (mylar is a hear resistant template material, like a light plastic but you can iron it, then pop the template out when you're done and reuse it) I could use some floriani stitch n wash fusible stabiliser and use that as templates. I've done it before with english paper piecing and it works brilliantly (you can find out more about it from this link).

    (sorry about the phone pic - for some reason my computer isn't letting me edit on picmonkey)

    I'll keep you posted - fingers crossed it all goes to plan! I'm quite excited about it!

  • Prairie from Dashwood

    Monday, 28 April, 2014

     Have you seen this new line of fabric from Dashwood Studios?

    Prairie is by Rebecca Stoner and it's a gorgeous collection of colours and prints - designed by a British designer for a British company, which is always something to champion, isn't it?

    You can find Prairie at many online retailers, including Fabric HQ

    I think I'm going to make a triangle cushion using this die,I think it'll look fab, don't you?

  • mason jar pincushion

    Monday, 21 April, 2014


    Hi! Happy Easter!I hope you had a lovely relaxing weekend, and the Easter Bunny brought you lots of treats.

    I wanted to show you a nice and quick little hand sewing project that is perfect for using up those tiny tiny scraps of precious fabrics that you can't bear to throw away. If you have a look online (just google mason jar pincushion) you can find loads of different mason jar pincushion tutorials, and this is just the same except I pieced together some hexagons to make the fabric for the pincushion.

    Use the 3/4" hexagon die to cut hexagon papers, and the 1" hexagon die to cut the fabrics (my hexagons are actually 1/2" - I had a little pack of pre-cut papers, so I cut the fabrics with my 3/4" die, but using the slightly bigger papers will just speed things up a bit. I'm sorting through my precious scraps at the minute to make some kits to take to a retreat I'm going to as gifts).

  • hot pots

    Monday, 14 April, 2014

    Today I'm sharing another quilt from Nik at the cotton patch. You can get this as a kit which includes all the fabrics to make the full quilt (except wadding)

    This one is made using the tumbler die, and it's a great departure from the super simple squares, but still being perfectly beginner friendly. I'd love to see this pattern made for a baby or toddler using novelty fabrics - like an I-spy quilt. I can imagine it being a lot of fun spending hours searching for all of the different animals and things. When my son was small he had an I-spy quilt and it was one of our favourite ways to spend quiet time, snuggled on the sofa with me searching for all of the different pictures.

    The cotton patch have also put together a great downloadable guide on using the big shot - you can get your copy by clicking here!

  • half square triangles

    Tuesday, 8 April, 2014


    This weekend I was teaching half square triangles to a lovely group of ladies. One of them was asking about using the Big Shot to cut or to trim half square triangles and I thought it would be a perfect time to remind you all of our HST dies and how to trim using the square dies. I talked about trimming half square triangles previously on this post here so click through and get a little refresher!

    You can find the half square triangles dies (which don't need any trimming - they handily have the little dog ears already cut off) by clicking here!

  • who lives in a house like this?

    Monday, 31 March, 2014


    photo courtesy of the cotton patch

    Look at this fantastic quilt made from Tula Pink fabric. Isn't it great? It was made using Sizzix dies (of course!) by Nik of the cotton patch and they sell a kit so you can make your own. This is a wall hanging (32" square) but I think it'd be a great baby quilt, and these colours are gender neutral so perfect for a boy or a girl.

    There's a fantastic brochure on using the big shot that you can download from the cotton patch store too, which is perfect for anyone just starting out and wanting more information. Plus, the customer service there is unbeatable - if you haven't shopped there before, give them a try!

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