• 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!

  • inspiration is everywhere

    Monday, 24 March, 2014


    Don't you find quilt ideas all over? I'm forever taking quick pictures with my phone of brick walls, or tiled floors and adding them to my list of one day if I ever find the time quilts to make.

    It happened this weekend with this fabric (it's from Michale Miller, paintbox by Cynthia Rowley).....

    which would be an amazing quilt made from the half square triangles dies using this stack of fabrics...
    What about you? Have you seen anything that has inspired you to make a quilt design? What was it? Have you made it or is it still filed in your brain like so many of my inspiration ideas?

  • still at it with those hexies

    Monday, 17 March, 2014


    I've decided to take a sudden sprint and get my hexies sewn together. These poor little blocks have been going on forever and they don't seem to be getting anywhere fast (although, in my defence, it's tricky to sew in the dark in my house on a winter's night). I keep saying I'll invest in a daylight lamp, but still haven't done so and my eyes are not great when there's limited light.

    But, this week I'll be spending quite a lot of time waiting around in the hospital, while my husband has some treatments, so it's a perfect opportunity to get those hexies out, isn't it?

    For a much faster hexagon project, you can download my hexy placemat on the Sizzix website

    Use the hexagon dies to cut your fabrics and your papers - it's a breeze!!!

    Hopefully I'll be able to show you some progress next week - cheer me on, I need a good nudge to get this finished!!!

  • rapture

    Monday, 10 March, 2014

    Hello again and happy monday!

    I've had a busy week, I have a new job so I'm now working away in an office 3 days of the week, and last week I was filming for Quilt Monkey so I didn't get a lot of time for sewing.

    Fortunately I found a couple of hours to finish off a quilt top I'd been working on for a couple of weeks. I used the Big Shot to cut out a gazillion squares for this (I used 3.5" squares) and I had the design mapped out on graph paper - which was a little confusing at times because my colour chart didn't match my fabrics...the seam ripper and me got friendly on a few occasions which is pretty normal for me, I must admit.

    Here's a sneaky peek of my quilt, I can't give too much away as it'll be in a magazine later this summer.

    The fabrics I used are all by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics. I love this line (which is called Rapture), it's so pretty and delicate and subtle, you can check out the look book for the line by clicking here (& you can find UK stockists via Hantex, the UK distributors).

    No I need to piece a backing and prepare the binding and it'll be ready to quilt!
    I hope you have a lovely week with plenty of time to sew!

  • project of the month

    Monday, 3 March, 2014


    Over on the Sizzix website you can download and make this cute and useful round placemat designed by me!

    There are loads of fantastic project ideas for you to try over o the quilting pages, so be sure to check them out!

  • charm pack cherry quilt

    Monday, 24 February, 2014


    Fat Quarter Shop is one of my absolute favourite quilt shops online. I use them a lot and I absolutely love the free quilt patterns they provide for using pre-cuts.

    The latest in the series is the charm pack cherry quilt, which uses 5" squares. You can buy pre-cut charm packs, or make your own using the 5" square die!

    Watch the video tutorial or download the free pattern and get making some quilts!

  • greetings from stitches!

    Monday, 17 February, 2014

    Yesterday I took a flying visit down to the craft hobby and stitches show at the NEC in Birmingham.

     'Stitches' is the largest trade show for the crafts and hobby industry in the UK so it's a great place to see new products and ideas before they hit stores.

    Usually I'm working shows - doing demos for Sizzix, but this time I got to visit and have a good look around. Angela was busy working the Sizzix stand which I have to say was my favourite of all - it was huge and looked absolutely amazing. I'm sure she'll have lots of photos and be able to tell you all about it when she's back.

    I got a sneaky peek of some new applique dies designed by Nel Whatmore. These will be in shops soon (I'll keep you updated!) but for now, here's a little glimpse

    There is so much new and exciting stuff coming from Sizzix and it was absolutely brilliant to see everyone working so hard and doing demos constantly to interested buyers. I overheard some ladies talking about how excited they were about getting new dies in their shop when I was sat having a cup of tea. It made me feel really proud to be a part of the company and how the quilting and applique lines have grown over the past year.

    Stitches is still on today and tomorrow so I'm sure the whole team will be utterly exhausted by the end of it! If you're going be sure to pop by the stand (you can't miss it!) and say hello to everyone.

  • thinking outside the box with half square triangles

    Monday, 10 February, 2014

    Quite some time ago now I cut out a whole heap of triangles that I wanted to piece into some cushions and possibly a small quilt. Those poor triangles have sat on my desk ever since I cut them, and I finally gave in to their cries for attention and started piecing them together.

    Matching up 2 fabrics and making a small pile of half square triangle units.

    The die I'd used to cut my triangles wasn't one that had the little dog ears cut off, so I knew I'd have to trim all of these down which put me off a little bit (I've gotten so lazy since the big shot made cutting a breeze for me!)

    And I got to thinking, how could I play around a little and end up with something that looked completely different?

    I trimmed my half square triangle units with a square die - laying the units on at angles (I cut up to 5 layers at once - you could maybe try at least another layer)

    I really love the effect you get when you start arranging the wonky half square triangles units together. It looks so different to regular half square triangles, doesn't it?

    (excuse the pics, I was too excited to get my camera and used my phone instead!)

    I know you get a bit of waste this way, but I think it'd be a fantastic method for using up scraps. You should give it a try!

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