Sunday, 23 February 2014

I finished my blocks!

I laid out all of the blocks I have made over the last few weeks on Friday and realised that just 2 more and I would have enough to make a single bed quilt. I was showing my sister and niece what I I had been up to when I made this realisation. Luckily for me, my niece adores the colours so I am going to finish it off and give to her for her birthday. In April. Eek! That doesn't give me that long to get all the sashing done, the quilting and the binding. I'm sure she won't mind if I run a little over time, but I will endeavour to get it finished before her big day.

The last 2 blocks I made were another wonky star and a log cabin (this will be my block as part of the Little Blog Quilt Bee in August so I wanted a practice).

I'm going to use a grey fabric to border each of the blocks, and then I need to choose a backing fabric. I did find one I liked but it worked out to be quite expensive. Crafting isn't cheap, is it? I asked some of my fellow Bee-ers if they had any suggestions as they are all more experienced quilters, and Ikea comes quite well recommended  for fabric. I live reasonably close to one of the London stores so may pay them a visit. It was wonderful browsing through many online fabric stores, there really are some gorgeous fabrics available. The temptation to buy a fat quarter here, a charm pack there, was almost too much for me to bear! I'm really excited about creating this quilt from all of the blocks that I've made, and I hope to have something to show you in a few weeks time.

I'll be linking up with Handmade Monday so join me there if you can.

Love Natalie 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Wonky Star

Despite the school holiday, I managed to squeeze in an hour at my sewing machine yesterday. I decided to have a practice run at the wonky star block that I need to make for my Little Blog Quilt Bee. And here is the result

I've used some of the fabric that I've been making all of my other quilt blocks from so that it will match. There are lots of tutorials for this block, but I used the Missouri Star Quilt Company video - I'm a great fan of those videos! I did take some photos along the way but don't think I could explain it any better than anyone else but shall I give a quick run through?

This block used 8x5" squares of the dark fabric and 5x5" squares of the light.
If you fold one of the dark squares in half and run your finger along the fold, you get a rough placement of the centre of the fabric. To make the wonky legs, you place the light fabric past this centre line and then decide where to finish up on the other side (depending on whether you want short or long point).

Once you have sewn the diagonal line, your fabric will look like this

Turn the fabric over and trim the light fabric away to the size of the original 5" square.

And then trim the dark fabric from behind the "point" as well to reduce bulk.

So now your square looks like this, and you have a triangular shape piece of fabric which you use for the second point. This time, start sewing from beyond the halfway point in the other direction.

Again, after you've sewn the diagonal line, trim the light fabric back to the size of the original 5" square, and trim the excess dark fabric from behind.

And voila! A square with 2 "points" on it. You need to repeat this for 4 squares, then piece them together like a normal 9 patch.

I've seen photos of amazing quilts made up with these blocks. I'm looking forward to making one for March's Queen Bee!

Love Natalie 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

18 out of 20's not bad.......

.....when it comes to quilt blocks that is!

I've been making quilt blocks from a little book that came with Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine a month or so ago. There were 20 blocks to showcase the Amy Butler Hapi fabric range. I wasn't using these fabrics but some others that I'd bought, and consequently 2 of the blocks in the booklet weren't really suitable - 1 was identical to another but with a different colour way and the other used a couple of identical patterns in different colour formats and that didn't work with my fabrics. So I've made 18 of the 20 but that's a good start for a quilt top, don't you think? Here are the last of the blocks, finished this weekend.

I've decided that I will make a couple more blocks using these fabrics as actually turning them into a quilt seems a bit daunting! I mentioned before that I'm taking part in the Little Blog Quilt Bee and so will need to make some blocks that I haven't come across before. I thought I could practice each one using the fabrics I've been using for these blocks. First up is a Wonky Star block so I will hopefully have a go at that during the week. I'm not working this week because of half term so let's see how much sewing I can fit in around the kids....

I'll be linking up with Handmade Monday for my weekly fix of crafty inspiration!

Love Natalie 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Clandestine Cake Club

Last night I attended my first Clandestine Cake Club and it was wonderful - an evening filled with making and eating cakes, what more could you ask for? This is a nationwide organisation so if you've not heard of it before, look at their website  and you will probably find one near you. Essentially, you make a cake after being given a theme (last nights was Valentines) and then you all get together to try each other's cakes.

I only knew about the evening 24 hours beforehand so went with a simple vanilla sponge with a strawberries and cream filling.

My sister-in-law came with me as she loves all things cake and she made a Chocolate Box cake, with a chocolate and coke sponge - delicious!

My favourite cake was a lemon sponge with raspberry frosting. The flavours were lovely but my palate was confused because the sponge was blue (roses are red, violets are blue....) so I couldn't get my head around a lemon "yellow" taste with a blue colour. I hope I'm not the only person who thinks colours may be related to taste!

It's a great chance to try different recipes that you may not have come across before and, although you can take a guest, it's also an opportunity to meet new people. And at the end of the evening, you all get to take slices of the cakes home (it's not possible to eat it all!). A friend was previously the organsiser of these events but I was never able to make it before but I'm so glad I went along yesterday, and I wish Nisha the very best in organising future events. The next one will be at Easter - I think you can guess the theme!

Love Natalie 

Sunday, 9 February 2014


I think the stars must have lined up yesterday because I had an almost perfect sewing day. I got my sewing machine out just after 9am and didn't put it away till nearly 330pm! Not bad considering I had all 3 of my own kids and a couple of hangers on in the house.

What did I sew? More blocks of course!

I'm really pleased with these blocks, not least because I think my improved cutting and measuring shows in the actual construction of the blocks.

I also did a couple of test quilting pieces yesterday which turned out well.

I practiced this swirl because I need to do it on a cushion cover that I'm making (it's nearly finished so I hope to share it soon). I used the edge of the presser foot as a guide and I wonder if the lines are a little close together. But I can work on that as I need to.

This was my first try at free hand quilting and I'm really pleased with the result. In some places it's a bit pointy on the curve but I think that will improve with practice. Both the fabric and the wadding I was using were really thick and I think thinner materials would help. But overall I think as a first attempt I did quite well (even if I say so myself!).

I hope you've all had sewing successes this week. I'll be linking up with Handmade Monday to catch up with everyone there.

Love Natalie x

P.s. Have you all noticed the patchwork designs on the Winter Olympics? It's on all the advertising and the costumes. And there are definitely more crochet hats than you normally see on the slopes!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Little Blog Quilt Bee

I feel like I'm taking a huge leap this week and I've joined a Quilt Bee! It's for people with Little Blogs and has been organised by Lou at I've never done anything like this before and can only keep my fingers crossed that I can sew as well as the other ladies! I've had a look at their blogs and lets just say their work is AMAZING. Where would be if we stayed within our comfort zone though, eh?

So, I'd like to introduce the blogs of my fellow Bee-ers - check out their blogs if you can to see some amazing quilting. And I will keep you posted on my progress as we go along.

Heidee at

Claire at

Rosanne at

Joanna at

Alison at

Gina at

Jenny at

Celine at

Sheila at

Nessa at

Celine at

Wish me luck!

Love Natalie