Pillow talk!

Following my post about the chevron pillow/cushion cover, I’ve received emails asking me how I made it. So I thought it would be a good excuse to make more covers and write a tutorial at the same time. My cover is quilted through three layers on the front and is fully lined. The closure is envelope style. I’m sure many of you already make covers in your own way but this is my way. I like it because it doesn’t require buttons or zippers, though you could add them if you wish. Also, there are no fabric scraps left.

Here is my chevron version again, in case you missed it.


And the quilting.



You will need: 19.5 inches (half a metre) off the roll for the outside of the cover and the same size for the lining, assuming that both fabrics are 42 inches wide. Also, a piece of wadding/batting which is about 21 x 21 inches.


1. Cut the selvedge edges off both sides of both pieces of fabric. I chose bright orange with white spots for the outer fabric and white lining.


2.Lay the lining fabric to one side. Cut a square which is 19.5 x 19.5 inches from the outer fabric. Cut the remainder in half to give two rectangles measuring 19.5 x 12 inches approx. If yours is slightly bigger than 12 inches, that’s fine. It will give a larger overlap on the envelope closure.

3. Repeat with the lining fabric to obtain exactly the same sized pieces as you did for the outer fabric.

4. Take one rectangle of each fabric and place them right sides together.


5. Sew a one quarter inch seam along one 19.5 inch side. Repeat with the other two rectangles.


6. Lay these pieces on the pressing board with the outer fabric uppermost and the new seam at the top. Lift the uppermost fabric and press away from you so the seam is pressed towards the outer fabric.


7. Now put the rectangles with wrong sides together and press along the seam so that the outer fabric is just peeping around the edge. Trim the lining in line with the main fabric along the long edge. Repeat with the other rectangles. The back pieces are now finished.  


8. Next, the quilted front of the cover. Lay the wadding/batting flat on the table. Place the wrong side of the lining square on top of the wadding. Make sure it is lying square and smooth it out.


9. There should be a small amount of wadding all around the edge of the lining which you should trim away so they are both the same size.


10. Carefully, turn the double layer square over and place the outer fabric on top. You should now have lining on the bottom, wadding in the middle and the outer fabric on top.


11. Sew along one side through all three layers, close to the edge. This will anchor this side ready for quilting. Place pins at intervals through all layers.


12. Quilt as desired. For this cover, I folded my square in half and sewed a line along the fold from the stitched edge to the opposite side. I then attached my little gadget to the machine so that I could sew lines parallel to the first one at intervals of 1.5 inches.


13. I then folded my square in half diagonally, sewed a line along the fold and repeated the paralell lines process.


14. Now, all we need to do is sew all of the pieces together to make the cover. Lay the quilted square on the table with the right side uppermost. Place one of the rectangles with the lining uppermost at the edge of the square. Pin in position.


15. Now pin the other rectangle to the other side of the square. If you are using fabric that has a pattern with a right way up, now is the time to change positions if you need to. Don’t wait until after it has been sewn together.


16. Sew all the way around the cover through all layers. Take care to stitch slowly over the thicker parts where the fabrics overlap. If you have a serger, this stage will be much faster as you will be able to sew a seam and overlock the edges at the same time.


17. I don’t have a serger so I switched to zig-zag stitch and sewed around the outside edge of the seam. Trim the edge and snip across the corners.


18. Turn the cover to the right way, press the edges and insert a pad. Stand back and admire Smile.

Here is my finished cushion. I hope you like it.


I couldn’t stop!


I quilted this one with another different pattern, keeping it simple.


Here they are all together.


Sunshine versus sewing!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are well Smile.

I woke up to glorious sunshine and birdsong today and thought long and hard about whether I should be spending time in the sewing room. However, my new fabric has now arrived and I couldn’t resist the temptation to play.

Here’s what I made.


The front is quilted in a very plain and simple pattern to complement the chevron fabric design.


The Mean Green Sewing Machine coped easily with the quilt sandwich. In fact I was having such fun quilting, I also went along the other side of the white chevrons.


The back, which is not quilted, has an envelope closure with a good overlap.


I like my cushion covers to have a bit of substance so this one is fully lined.


I can certainly feel a few more new cushions coming on and there might even be a pattern on the horizon Smile.

I hope you have enjoyed the weekend. Maybe you have had sunshine too. I hope so!

Avis x

What do you think?

My daughter is staying with us for a couple of days and we have been playing around with a new header for this blog.

Some of you will recall a previous post about my Mean Green Sewing Machine which I inherited from my late Mother-in-law. You helped me to solve my dilemma as to whether I should rescue it from a state of disrepair.


You can find the post here. I now use this machine for all of my patchwork piecing and it sews beautifully, so I am glad you helped to persuade me to have it fixed.

We decided that the machine deserved to be in the spotlight. What do you think of the header?

Avis x


Irish Chain Quilt

Happy weekend everyone Smile

I’m very happy to present my 19th finished project this year. It’s a Double Irish Chain design (or a Triple Irish Chain if you prefer). I’ve wanted to make this traditional pattern for years and somehow never got around to it. However, I always knew I’d be using my beloved Moda Bella Solids when I did. This one will nicely cover a twin or make a great topper for a double bed at 74 x 54 inches and it will soon be for sale in my shop.


Family and friends have commented that it reminds them of the colours of the sea, so the quilting just had to be in waves. I wanted to ensure the quilting didn’t compete with the strong geometric design and solid colours so I hope I’ve achieved that.


I adore a white binding but on this occasion, after much thought about all three colours, I decided it had to be the darker blue.


Can anyone suggest a name for it?

Well, I now have the whole weekend free to play…..I mean sew Smile I’m off to look in the finished quilt top box to see which one has popped up to the top of the pile. I hope you also get lots of time to craft this weekend.

A-quilting I must go!

Avis x

A bit of a pain!

Happy Friday everyone!

I knew I was taking a bit of a risk, starting to quilt with what seemed to be insufficient thread but where’s the fun if there’s no risk?

So guess what…….

Correct! I ran out of thread 😆

I deliberately chose to use thread that I knew I could get more of quickly if I needed to, so I’m not too disappointed really. It was worth a try.

So here it is, partly quilted and now waiting on the table to start again as soon as the postie calls 🙂


I’ve chosen to keep the quilting simple as I didn’t want to obscure the strong geometric pattern. I’ve broken the tradition of quilting an Irish Chain with straight diagonal lines. I suppose I just like curves really.

I was hoping to get the binding done over the weekend. It’ll just have to wait. Oh what a shame. I might just have to start something else 😉

I hope you all have a fabulous crafty weekend!

Avis x

Playing with my new toy!

Hi everyone 🙂

It has been a while since I’ve been able to do any sewing so I have a little something to share with you all that I’ve kept hidden from view for a few weeks. There’s a time when we are all far too busy to be sewing and blogging so I put this quilt to one side after taking the photos, knowing that there would come a time when my blogging withdrawal symptoms would kick in.

Little did I know that I would be getting a new toy to test when writing this post. You will see that I’ve been playing around with the photo settings, frames and suchlike. You could say I’m a bit new-fangled 🙂

You may remember a few weeks ago that I became addicted to making Trip Around the World Bargello-style quilt tops. If you can’t remember, you can see them here, here, and here.

The blue one is now finished 🙂 I quilted a watery ripple pattern and decided, in the end, to sew on a white binding rather than the blue I’d originally chosen. Here is the finished patchwork top.


Close ups of the quilting pattern.



The best bit…..the binding. You all know I love to hand stitch the binding, really I do!


Here it is draped over the sofa 🙂


I really enjoyed making this one. I hope you like it too.

You may also wish to take a peep in the gallery of all the lovely black work from my Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along. The stitchers in the group have sent photos of their beautiful work for everyone to see. We are currently on stage five of six.

Thank you to everyone who has sent photos for the gallery and for all of the lovely comments and emails. It’s lovely to hear from you 🙂

Now, all I need to do is the categories for this post and I can publish it. I hope all of the links work. If not, I’ll put them right on the laptop.  Wish me luck!

Have a wonderful crafty week 🙂

Avis x

Three for the price of one…..sounds good to me!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Without further ado, I really need to welcome all my new followers this week, many of whom have found my blog via Claire, my wonderful cross-stitch friend in France. I know you are all waiting for the Mystery Stitch Along and I hope you can wait patiently for just a few more days 🙂 I’m very excited about it as I’ve never organised a SAL before and I know there are already several people signed up. Hopefully, Claire will correct me if I make mistakes 🙂

The SAL will be open to everyone, the more the merrier. I would absolutely LOVE IT if some of you could maybe try blackwork for the very first time with us. You have 12 days to sort out a piece of fabric to stitch on. Any cross stitch fabric will be suitable. My preference is for 14 count aida fabric but you can choose. My design is about 60 stitches square so make sure your fabric is big enough. Also, you will need some embroidery floss. Traditionally, blackwork was stitched in black, I bet you hadn’t guessed that already 😉 You can stitch in one colour, or if you prefer, a selection of colours. Some of Claire’s SAL members have used variegated threads and they look lovely too. We will be stitching with only one thread, unlike cross stitch where we would normally use two threads at once. I will provide the chart for my design FREE of charge. So, there is something for nothing! Don’t you just love that idea? I will reveal stages of the chart every Friday and there will be about an hour of stitching per week if you want to keep up 🙂 You can send photos of your work in progress to me (email address at the right of the page) and I’ll open, and regularly update, a stitchers gallery. So, watch this space……only 12 days to go!

A couple of my previous blackwork finishes are here and here so now you know what to expect 🙂

In the meantime, I declare another quilt finished 😀 Yesterday, I decided I would quilt whichever work in progress was at the top of the box of patchwork waiting to be quilted.


I’ve named this one Picnic Pinwheels because the fabrics are the colours of the most beautiful flowers in the garden and the size, at 54″ square, is perfect for a picnic rug. I made the quilt top about a year ago at the same time as I made this one and this one. They are all from the same layer cake by Moda called Santorini. Not one scrap of the layer cake is left. I like to challenge myself to leave no scraps. I love the colours and the bold prints which I cooled down by teaming them with my most adorable Moda Bella solids.


I know I make a lot of pinwheels but look at them. How can I cure this addiction? Do I really want to be cured? Nah! I think my Picnic Pinwheels could be the eye candy in my conservatory for the next few months. I’ll be spending a lot of time here, sewing in the glorious daylight, hopefully hand stitching the binding of many more quilts (still my favourite pastime ever!!).


So, don’t forget to sort out your fabric and embroidery thread. Be there or be square a week come Friday 🙂

Have a wonderful crafty week! I’m linking to the Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. Pop over and take a peek at all the goodies made by other bloggers this month 🙂

Avis x

Something to look forward to…..it’s a mystery!

Happy weekend everyone!

Where did that week go? I hope you are all well and happy and you are getting lots of lovely sunshine as we are, here in the UK.

I have a couple of small finishes to share with you this week. You may remember my Strawberries and Cream post here. I’ve now finished the two table toppers. The larger quilt top will have to wait a little longer 🙂

First up is the scrappy one.

ImageI enjoyed experimenting with the free motion quilting.

ImageHere’s more detail.


I think it might work well with the plain side up for a change. Two for one……bargain 🙂

Next, the hexagonal kaleidoscope strip style one.


I played safe with the quilting here.


Also, binding the unusual shape was a new challenge for me but I found there was very little difference to binding 90 degree angles. You all know how much I love to bind 😀


So, I had fun, fun, fun! I hope you have all had fun this week too 🙂

My Starry, Starry, Night quilt has been entered in this months “Made It” challenge at Woolhogs. You can pop over and vote for your favourite projects, which are not all sewing and quilting, and visit lots of lovely blogs.  The nice thing is that the winner is chosen at random. The voting is just for fun 🙂 So enjoy!!

Some of my regular readers will know that Claire recently introduced me to blackwork embroidery. You can see a couple of my finished pieces here and here. If you visit Claire’s blog you will see lots of progress from all the stitcher’s on the latest “Stitch Along” here. There are still a few stages to go. What a difference a change of colour makes.

Also, today I’m letting you into a little secret 😉

In a few weeks time, when Claire’s SAL is finished, there is going to be a Mystery Blackwork SAL here. It will be a small project, designed by me and it will last for about 6 weeks, with the chart being released in installments. That’s the mystery part! So, you all have plenty of time to sort out some embroidery floss and a small piece of aida fabric. You could also use linen or evenweave or your other favourite cross stitch fabric, though there won’t be any cross stitches. I’ll give more details later but would love to know if you’d like to join in the fun. I expect the stages to take about an hour per week to stitch so everyone will be able to find time to stitch along.

It’s going to be another busy week ahead for me. I hope I manage to get time some time to sew.

Thank you for all your lovely comments and emails. They make me very happy 😀

Happy crafting!

Avis x

Starry, starry, night…..paint your palette blue and purple!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful crafty time. Welcome to my new followers and all the lovely crafting people across the globe 🙂

I have finally plucked up the courage to quilt a large quilt top which has been waiting in my box for almost two years. I think this was the third top I ever pieced. The fabrics screamed at me in the shop. I just had to buy them!


I quilted it with a surfy sea sort of pattern as the colours and prints are very watery.



The back is a gorgeous solid purple which is a perfect match for the purple marble on the front. I like a solid backing as it shows off the quilting….and I get a nice reversible quilt. Two for one…..bargain!

ImageNow you can get an idea of the size. It’s massive!


Now, what’s next? Come on everyone….follow me over to see Claire. Part 3 of the SAL is now  available. I must get stitching!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

I’ve just entered this quilt in a challenge here:


There are some wonderful entries. Don’t forget to pop along and vote for your favourites 😀

Avis x

Next up, the teal version!

Hello to all my lovely fellow bloggers and readers from all around the world. Isn’t the world wide web wonderful for linking us all together?

My pinwheel bug has mutated…..into the Trip Around the World Bargellow-ish bug. It’s quite a serious illness which makes people repeat things.

It’s quite a serious illness which makes people repeat…….. ha-ha only joking 😉

As you’ve already seen two of these here and here, I won’t comment much further. This version is just two of the previous ones side by side. I quite like the effect.

ImageThe colours are white with robins egg, turquoise and teal from light to dark. I couldn’t decide which way around I preferred to look at it so both photos are included. I haven’t made two tops!


Hopefully I will now recover and do something different. I have a SAL to catch up on here. Come and join in the fun 🙂

Happy Thursday,

Avis x

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