Pressies All Round

I do love it when my daughter goes off travelling because she always find gorgeous fabric for me. She likes to travel light which means there’s usually room in her luggage for lots of treats.

She was in China for the New Year Festival and there were loads fantastic of red decorations everywhere. Red symbolises good luck. How lucky I was to be presented with this New Year’s fabulous fish!


I love the rainbow sequins and all the sparkly bling 🙂 As you can see, it hangs from a very special knot. There’s also a long thick double tassle hanging underneath which isn’t in the photo. It might be a Chinese New Year decoration but it’s going to hang in my dining room all year because it makes me smile.

My daughter knows I love things made from fabric so she also brought me a fabric tray. The sides are pulled together at the corners with a thick cord knot and loop fastening. The machine embroidered outer fabric is very pretty but I’ve realised I can’t see it when the tray is in use so I’m going to turn it inside out and have the bonny side inside. It came with some Chinese chocolate coins. YUM!

The underside.

IMG_20180225_145812865-780x1040Loop and knot corner fastening.

IMG_20180225_145834299-780x1040 (1)



Even though my daughter was travelling around China and stayed in several places, she didn’t come across any shops or markets that sold fabric suitable for patchwork. However, a trip across the water to Taiwan changed all that. Bingo!

Here’s my haul, starting with a couple of purple designs. All the fabrics have a touch of metallic.


Five blues.


Four reds.


It’s all lovely patchwork cotton quality and I’m so pleased with it. I have no idea what to make (apart from a gift, see further down).

My daughter loves green so she treated herself to this embroidered silk fabric with a challenge to me to make something for her. It’s actually a much darker, richer green in real life.


It always takes me a while to decide what to do with new fabric. I’m in no hurry. However, my friend Claire had already said her favourite design was the red one with the bamboo. I’ve just acquired an old Singer Sewing Machine so I decided to give it a proper workout. I made this quilted zipper pouch and sent it off to France with some treats inside 🙂


I like a boxy bottom…


…and covered zip ends.

IMG_20180304_164149261-1040x780The lining is in Christmas Red from Moda Bella Solids.


Here it is posing on my Singer 🙂 There’s also another present in this photo. I’ll tell you all about it later.

IMG_20180304_164043525-1040x780 I included a scrappy bookmark for good measure.


The old machine made light work of the quilting, inserting the zipper and stitching through all the thicknesses including the lining. I had fun putting it through its paces.


Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 23, 24 and 25/121

Plodding along with the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini.

First up, an easy one called Cornerstone. This is the first block on the third row.

C-1 Cornerstone

Next is Cotton Boll (funny name). Another quick one to make. I think it has lots of secondary pattern possibilities for a one block quilt with different colour placements. Must try it some time.

C-2 Cotton Boll

The last one was a bit more tricky but very enjoyable to make. I quite like two colour blacks. This is called Crosses and Losses. Again, loads of pattern possibilities for using lots of these in one quilt.

C-3 Crosses and Losses

Here’s the virtual quilt so far. The other blocks are shown in previous posts.

LUS 25 BlocksWe’re snowed in here. The main road near us is closed to traffic and there are several abandoned cars along the route. British weather, eh? Oh well, I’ll just have to sew 😉

Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 18 and 19/121.

I’ve been away from the land of blogs for quite a while, except for my three weekly posts at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m not going to make any excuses because I don’t have any, other than that my spare time was precious and I chose to craft rather than blog. That doesn’t mean I’ve been a crafting Ninja while I’ve been absent but I have made a few things during the last year which I’ll show you now and again if I don’t decide to disappear back into my crafting cave. Yes, it’s over a year since I posted here. My friend Claire has been going on and on at me encouraging me to write some posts so I promised to dip my toes back in again and see how it goes. Claire has been sending me lists of things I’ve made that I could show and write about here, some of which I’d forgotten and others that I hadn’t even bothered to take photos of before they were gifted. She’s even sent me some photos that I’d originally sent her via email in case I needed to use them here. Where would I be without her?

During the last couple of weeks I’ve put on a bit of a spurt with The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. The last time I worked on these dinky 6 inch blocks was in November 2016 so this project was well overdue some of my attention (notice a theme here?).

Anyway, here’s Christmas Star which has a white background in real life and not pale blue. Electric light does my photography no favours. I gave up counting how many pieces it has. Too many for a tiny block but I enjoyed making it.

B-7 Christmas Star

This is Coffee Mill. I like how it rotates but that isn’t what caused the blurring!

B-8 Coffee Mill I’ve updated the virtual quilt and I’m pretty determined to make some headway on this project now so watch this space. It would be nice to get the second row completed wouldn’t it?

LUS 19 Blocks I hope you’re enjoying a crafting weekend.


Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

Finished 2016

It’s been a busy year for me again and the patchwork has taken a bit of a back seat. I did finish four projects namely the sausage dog, the green stars quilt, the tardis and the F2F quilt. I can’t take credit for all the blocks in the F2F quilt but I did assemble and quilt it myself. I spent lots of time this year making the tiny blocks for the Loyal Union Sampler and also lots of 12 inch blocks for the F2F Block Swap organised by Kate. So, there’s been loads of partial finishes but not many completed projects as far as patchwork goes. You can see lots more pictures of everything by clicking the “Finished 2016” tab at the top of the page. If you click on the photos on that page, you’ll be taken to the relevant posts.

I’ve been more active on cross stitch projects this year. You can see those on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea.

Thank you to everyone who supported my blog last year, whether you’ve been reading anonymously in the background or actively liking, commenting and emailing. It’s nice to have you stop by.


Sausage Dog Fun

Hello everyone,

I can now share something that I made for my daughter for Christmas. She’s been wanting a sausage dog for along the bottom of the door for a while. I came across this pattern and just had to make one.

He’s got lovely ears…


…and a proper stand up tail.


He was very easy to put together. I made my own slight alterations to the pattern instructions regarding the construction methods for the gusset under his chin and attaching the ears. 


You might recognise the shiny fabric. I’ve finally chopped up a sari that my daughter brought for me from India.

IMG_20161216_115921855I think he looks very smart in his shiny coat. He’s stuffed quite firmly in the head and tail. I also bought him a collar with red flashing LEDs but haven’t got a photo of him wearing it. He’s very well behaved and has taken up residence along the back of the sofa. It’s too draughty down by the door 🙂


Loyal Union Sampler Block 17/121

Just one block to show today. This one is called Charlie Stokey’s Star and I really enjoyed making it. Charlie Stokey's StarHere’s what the virtual quilt looks like so far.LUS 17 blocksThe blocks all finish at six inches square and details can be found in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini. I hope you’ve had time to craft today.


Loyal Union Sampler Block 16/121

Good afternoon everyone,

Not a lot of progress to share on the sampler this week. I made the nine square in a square blocks the other day and then just looked at the pieces on my mat and walked away several times. Sometimes I just know it isn’t going to be successful so I go off and do something else. Today, the bits went together like a dream. It was worth waiting until I could give it my best shot.

Anyway, this one is called Chambersburg from the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini. It’s got forty five dinky pieces and finishes at six inches square. I’ll definitely make this block again in a larger format. There’s so much that could be done with colour placement to make secondary patterns.

Chambersburg Here’s where I’m at now.

LUS 16 Blocks

It’s back to Y-seams for the next two blocks. I promise not to whinge!


Loyal Union Sampler Block 15

Well, that was a bit of a marathon. Far too many Y-seams for my liking and they were too small to get under the machine foot so I ended up having to hand stitch them. This one is called Castle Wall and it’s the 15th block in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini.

Castle Wall

The next block looks quite straightforward. Slowly but surely.

LUS 15 Blocks


Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 12, 13 and 14/121

I eventually managed the Y-seams on this block using the sewing machine. The photo was taken in poor light but waiting for the time when there is good daylight again could take months. So here it is. This one is called California. I’m pleased with how it turned out. It’s the first block in the second row of the quilt.


Block 13 is called Camp Curtin. Nice and easy peasy this one :-).

Camp Curtin

Finally, my favourite of the latest blocks, Campfire. I think I’ll make more of these in a larger size for another project.


It’s back to Y-seams for the next block and they definitely won’t go through the machine this time. Believe me, I’ve tried! Oh well, I had to learn how to hand stitch patchwork at some point.

This is what the quilt looks like so far. I can’t promise rapid progress with the next block.

LUS 14 BlocksIf you’d like to make this quilt, you’ll find it in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini.


Happy Unbirthday to Meeeeeee!

Good Evening,

What a lovely surprise dropped through my letterbox today. My good friend Claire has been sending out her unbirthday gifts again and I was one of the lucky recipients. Isn’t it gorgeous?


Claire has been making lots of lovely lavender sachets like this one but mine doesn’t have lavender in it. All perfumes make me sneeze and I have a particular problem with lavender so she made an exception just for me 🙂

Here’s the reverse.


I already have a tiny cross stitched biscornu which Claire made and sent to me a few years ago. It sits on my sewing machine and I use it as a pin cushion every time I sew.

I’m going to use this new happy, bright, cheerful, jazzy number as my cross stitch needle cushion. I can’t stop smiling! Thank you very much Claire 🙂

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