Monday, 19 December 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler - Linoleum

This is, I think, the 64th block I've made for the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. It's called Linoleum:

This was a nice easy one to make. I was able to use my 45/90 degree triangle ruler yet again, and my regular ruler and rotary cutter - no templates necessary. It does save a bit of time.

Have a lovely week,

Hope x

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler - Honeycomb

After a bit of a break I've started back on the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. This is block 49 in the book, Honeycomb. 

I did change the piecing somewhat from the book. The fabric choices make it appear a little different, but I also chose to cut the middle triangles in the rows (or columns, as the block is oriented here) in one piece rather than joining two small triangles. Less seams equals less bulk equals easier piecing and nicer points.

The block is all cut out with printed templates. I folded a little sticky tape back on itself and placed it on the back of the template to stop it slipping, then laid my ruler over the top to cut with my rotary cutter. It works well and helps with accuracy. If you have basting spray, that also works a treat when sprayed on the back of the template.

Bye for now. x

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Printing my PDF Patterns - A Guide

If you've bought one of my patterns, you'll know that they can be fairly long. I illustrate pretty much every step, include tips and notes in the instructions, and often include a mini quilt and/or variations. I will happily use most digital patterns directly from my tablet, but I know that it can be nice to have a paper copy in front of you to make notes on or check things off. I do print all of my own patterns, to make notes when proof-reading, to test that they print well with no glitches, to make sure that the colours contrast in both colour and black and white, and to check that all the instructions, diagrams and labels are large enough to be read.

Printed Patterns

Given that one of the main reasons I only sell PDF patterns at present is to try to save paper (to help the environment), I thought I ought to share with you the way I recommend you print my patterns, and how I design my own patterns to be printed.

First of all, ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. What do I need? 

Always read through the pattern to see which pages you want to have printed, and which you don't think you need. For instance, I am comfortable with binding, basting and quilting without instruction, so I wouldn't print those pages. I might also choose not to print the colouring page, or the back cover. If I'm not interested in making different sizes or variations, I would skip pages about those too.

Make a note of the pages you actually want to print, making sure that if the pattern numbering does not correspond to the PDF page, that you note the PDF page numbers. (In my patterns, the page numbering matches the PDF page numbering. In some patterns though, the pattern numbering starts page 1 with the instructions and doesn't number the cover. So, if the cover is at the beginning of the PDF, the cover will be page 1 of the PDF, and the first page of instructions will be page 2, making the numbering a page off from the pattern.)

PDF vs Pattern Page Numbers

2. Do any pages need to be a special size?

Check to see if any of the pages need to be printed at full size or scaled up or down. For example, if there are applique templates, embroidery outlines or cutting templates, they will specify what scale to print at. Print these pages individually at the scale instructed.


Once the answers to those questions are determined, select 'Print' in your PDF reader (I use Foxit Reader, so that is where I have taken the screenshots from. Adobe Reader will have similar settings). In the dialogue box, type in the pages you want to print and make sure the scaling is set appropriately.

Here I'm printing my Wander Through the Woods pattern. I only want the front cover, materials list, the cutting and piecing instructions, the mini quilt, and the 'How to resize' page. So, I made a note of the page numbers I need and entered them in the Print Range section:

Print Dialogue Box

Print as a booklet

I like to select Booklet format when printing, so that I get a neat little book to flip through and four pages will print on one sheet of paper - two on each side. It does make the writing and illustrations smaller, but I find it large enough for comfortable reading.

I've underlined where to find the booklet option in the image above.

Double check it all looks ok

In my Printer Properties settings, I always choose to show a preview before printing, so I can make sure I've got everything I need:

Printer Properties Dialogue

Here is where I also tell it to print in 'Fast' or Draft quality.

Then, print.

Allow the pages to dry then fold each page up the middle to form your booklet.

About my Pattern Formatting and Design

Font & Illustration Size

I selected the font size in my patterns to be readable when printed in this booklet format. It is a comfortable size for me to read, and also passes the Mum test (my Mum's older eyes can happily read it at that size too!) The illustrations are also designed to be big enough to be readable when printed at this smaller scale.

If you want to print at full size, make sure to select the duplex setting on your printer so that you print on both sides of the paper, saving paper.


In order to save on ink, I have left the pattern pages simple and without adornment. I have also recently changed the font I use in my patterns to a finer one that uses less ink. My illustration colours are pale in order to use less ink too.

If you would like to save further ink, print in draft quality. If you find that something isn't clear enough printed in draft, you can refer to the digital file and make a note on your paper copy. My printer does a rather good draft print, but each printer will differ.

Colour or Black and White

I prefer to print my patterns in colour. I like the way it looks, and I figure that all the inks are there to be used, not just the black.

If you prefer to print in black and white though, you should find that there is sufficient contrast between the pieces in the illustrations to do so. I test this for each pattern, but different printers may handle greys differently, so perhaps check a single page first. Remember though, you can always mark you paper copy with notes or add coloured pencil marks, or refer to the digital pattern if you need to check something.

I hope this has helped you consider how you might save paper and ink when printing patterns. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips of your own.

Bye for now

Hope x

Monday, 21 November 2016

Starshine - A Mini Block

Greetings! No Farmer's Wife Sampler block this week (or last week) - I've been on holiday! A refreshing camping trip away from computers, mobile phone reception, internet... it was lovely and very much needed. Now I just need to get my brain back into work mode, something I'm having trouble with.

Instead of a Farmer's Wife block I'm sharing this little 1.5" block (2" unfinished) I made some time ago. I got the design from Blossom Heart Quilts Modern HST Sampler QAL. This was block 11, called Starshine. I made a mistake with the layout, but I like it.

The Modern HST Sampler is not for mini blocks - quite the opposite! The blocks in the sampler finish at 12", I just chose to make my block much smaller. If you'd like to learn about different ways to construct half-square triangle units, I suggest checking out the quilt along, even if you don't make the blocks.  

This little block is joining the pile of mini blocks I am making as time and inclination allow. One day they will all join together to make a single project, but for now they're a definite work in progress - one I feel in no hurry to complete.

Have a lovely week! Bye for now. 

Hope x 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler - Whirlwind

This week's Farmer's Wife Sampler block is called Whirlwind - a very similar name to last week's block and it happens to come immediately after it in the book.

Though I like this block well enough, if I were to make it again I would probably press some of the seams open to make them appear less obvious. The angle of the light is emphasising the seams somewhat in this photo though.

How do you like to press your seams? Do you think it matters? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now x

Monday, 31 October 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler - Whirlpool

Lots of triangles in this week's block, and if you've been reading my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt posts you'll probably be able to guess how I cut them all out - with my 45/90 degree triangle ruler of course! This HST-filled block is called Whirlpool.

The beauty of using a ruler or template to cut out your triangles is that you don't need to trim your unit to size after you've sewn it together.

I know you can make multiple half-square triangle blocks at once by sewing squares, rather than cutting triangles, and many will argue that it's quicker, but for some reason I find I am more accurate when I cut and sew triangles, and I don't see where the time is saved if I need to trim each and every HST unit, or mark sewing lines.

Even so, I don't stick to just one method for HSTs - whatever works best with the size of fabric I've got - or what I fancy at the time - is what I will do. (Mini blocks are different though - I always make my HSTs bigger than needed and trim to size to ensure accuracy.)

Do you have a preferred method for making half-square triangle blocks? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now x

Monday, 24 October 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler - Prairie Queen

Block 70 in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt is called Prairie Queen. Since I like the combination of fabrics so much, I went for the same ones as last week for this block. I keep wanting to make a whole quilt in these fabrics, but I don't have enough of the aqua. :( Maybe a mini? Anyway, here's the block:

This was another one that went together well, apart from one seam where I sewed the wrong edges together - oops! So easy to do if you're not paying attention. Can you relate?

Hope you have a lovely week,

Bye for now

Hope x

Monday, 17 October 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Gentleman's Fancy

Gentleman's Fancy, block 44 in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. I quite like the name of this block, and it includes two of my favourite fabrics from the Rose Parade collection.

Apart from the centre square, all the pieces were easily measured and cut out with my 45/90 degree ruler and a rotary cutter. I really am getting good use out of the ruler with these blocks. Except for rare occasions, I tend to avoid buying tools that aren't necessary, and though I still don't think it is a necessity, I do think the ruler was well worth the purchase.

I measure my blocks after each sewing step to make sure that everything is working out well. It takes a little extra time, but it's well worth it if the block ends up the right size and no fussing is needed when sewing it into the finished quilt. This block worked well with no unpicking required. If only I could say that about all the blocks!

Hope you have a lovely week,

Bye for now x

Monday, 10 October 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Flower Pot

I'm back again with another Farmer's Wife Sampler block. This spotty block is called Flower Pot. Even with the inset or 'Y' seams, it was a simple and enjoyable block to make and came together quickly. If you're intimidated by inset seams, don't be - they're really not that difficult if you can sew an accurate quarter inch seam and are careful with your sewing.

I used the templates (they come on disk with the book) for the flower pieces and a couple of the triangles, and my 45/90 degree ruler for the rest of the triangles. In 'real life' there is a bit more contrast between the white and yellow, but I've been having trouble getting the yellow to show up properly in photos - or maybe it's just my screen?

Bye for now

Hope x

Monday, 3 October 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Windows

Here is Block 109 in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Windows.

This block was comfort sewing for me. I was in a bit of a listless, slightly sad mood when I set about sewing it. Not sure why, but there it was. So, to distract myself, I chose an easy, quick block and set about sewing it. It helped, somewhat.

I used my trusty 45/90 degree ruler from Creative Grids to cut the middle triangles, and regular ruler for the strips around the outside. I'm happier with these fabric choices than last week's. Lots of good contrast. :)

Bye for now

Hope x

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Quilt Group Mini BOM - Block 6

I'm lagging behind with the Online Quilt Group Mini Block of the Month. I had done blocks 1 to 3 but then I stopped making them. Why? Not sure, but it's time I started again! Just because it tickled my fancy the most at the time, I decided to make block 6.

I love the contrast in this block. I used scraps of Daysail fabric by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics (leftover pieces from this and this project). The blocks finish at 3" (3.5" unfinished) so scraps are ideal. I'm not limiting myself to one fabric range, but I am trying to keep a white/turquoise/blue/navy theme going, with a hint of red here and there.

Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with these blocks and keep up with my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks, as well as work on new patterns. It's fun making more than one thing at once, but I sometimes wonder if it's a good idea. Does it make me more or less productive? Time will tell.

Bye for now

Hope x

Monday, 26 September 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Rosebud

This week's block is number 75 in the book and is called Rosebud. Simply triangles in three sizes, it was quite fun to put together and came together very nicely. I'm not entirely sure I like my fabric choices though.

Those Eiffel Towers are just too distracting. Both the rose print and the Eiffel Tower print are pretty 'busy' and I think the design of the block gets a little lost. I don't know. In some lights it seems just fine, in others... not so much. I'm leaving it as it is though and will decide whether or not to use it when the time comes to put the quilt together.

As I ponder possible setting options for the blocks, I'm realising that I really don't know what colour sashing or background I want to use. I had thought a dark, dark grey would be nice, but now I'm wondering about something different, like green. Isn't it fun, the pondering of fabric selection?

Bye for now

Hope x

Monday, 19 September 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Single Wedding Star

I'm happily keeping up with the one block a week for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, though I cut it fine again and only finished this block on Saturday. It is number 80 - Single Wedding Star.

You'll see I have a rose in the centre again, as I like to do whenever possible. This time though it wasn't planned, I just cut the pieces from my strip and happened to get a rose perfectly positioned for the centre. Had I planned the cutting, I would probably have gone for a more yellow section of the strip for the bottom left diamond, but I do like it as is so I'm not complaining.

I'm going to try for a block with more pieces this week so that I'm not leaving all the most time-consuming ones until the end. So, it may be a fortnight before the next Farmer's Wife post. I'll see how I go.

Bye for now,

Hope x

P.S. You might also know this block as Rolling Stone. It just so happens I've got a free pattern for a very cute, very small, 1.5" version of this block available in my Payhip Pattern Store. A little bit challenging, but if you like to sew small it's a fun challenge. :)

Monday, 12 September 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Practical Orchard

On Thursday last week I realised I hadn't yet started my Farmer's Wife block for the week! As I was in the middle of sewing a new mini quilt I opted for another quick and easy block with few pieces. This is block 69, Practical Orchard.

Simple though this block is, I had a hard time choosing fabrics for it. I spent ages on Thursday considering different options before putting it all away undecided. Friday morning found me much more decisive and I went with the two fabrics at the top of the box. (I've got all the fabrics, templates and blocks to-date in a plastic tub for convenience and tidiness).

Including Practical Orchard, I have now completed 54 blocks. I finally laid them all out earlier in the month to get an idea of where I'm at and what I have left to do. Here they all are (minus today's block), not arranged in any particular order:

As I don't like my lap quilts too big - just big enough to cover my lap, legs and feet - I think I should be right just making the rest of the blocks I like from the book and avoiding those I'm not keen on. I'm still not sure how I will lay them out, but there's plenty of time to decide yet!

Bye for now,

Hope x

Monday, 5 September 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Kitchen Woodbox

I am smitten with this block. It's block 54 in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book, and is called Kitchen Woodbox.  I was able to fussy-cut that beautiful rose and that makes me happy! :)

An easy block to cut without having to use the templates, it came together very quickly and easily. As with the Squash Blossom block, I was able to use my 45 degree triangle ruler for some of the cutting - the triangles and the black & white polka dot pieces. It really is a handy ruler to own.

Bye for now,

Hope x

Monday, 29 August 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Squash Blossom

Block 86 in the Farmer's Wife Sampler is Squash Blossom. I accidentally sewed this up shortly after my last block. The plan was to cut all the pieces ready to go for next time, but I got carried away and sewed them together too. :)

A fairly straight-forward block, this one. I used my 45 degree triangle ruler to cut the pieces which made it nice and easy to cut. It didn't take me long to choose the fabrics for this one. For some reason I knew when I saw it that I wanted to use the same print in two different colours for the main fabics. It's fun to do sometimes, and in this case I really like the way the little spots and flowers are sprinkled over the whole block. Fabric play is so much fun, isn't it? :)

Bye for now,

Hope x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Morning

Another Farmer's Wife Sampler block today. This is number 57 in the book - Morning. I have mixed feelings about this one. I am happy with my choice of fabrics (I love the purple and aqua together!) but the way the block was put together in the book is not the way I would have done it. I did change the piecing somewhat, but if I were to do it again I'd change it even more.

That gorgeous rose fabric is one of my absolute favourites. I'm using a Jelly Roll of Rose Parade by Moda for the quilt, along with some Layer Cake squares from the range (and a few other fabrics). I always feel lucky when an almost-complete rose turns up in the pre-cut strips as it allows me to feature them in some of the blocks. In this case, I sort of wish I had trimmed a little more off the strip to better centre the roses. I don't like to fussy-cut unless the trimmed piece is a useful size though - I have a finite amount of these out-of-print fabrics.

That's three blocks down, and I'm not sure how many to go. Rather than make a queen size quilt, which will only be seen on the bed at certain times of year, I will make two lap quilts. That way, they'll be out pretty much all the time, and Martin and I will coordinate when we wrap up against the cold in the evenings. ;) I will need to sit down and plan them soon, and count up the blocks I've already made, so that I know how many more blocks to sew. I'm certain I don't need to stop making them any time soon though.

Bye for now,

Hope x

Monday, 15 August 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Peaceful Hours

My next block in the Farmer's Wife Sampler is number 65 - Peaceful Hours. I completed this block in about four sittings over several days. I wasn't feeling the best so I did a little here and there when I felt up to the effort. I'm pleased enough with the result, but it wasn't all smooth sailing.

What threw the process was not stopping to think about which way to press the seams before I started. When it came time to sew the middle two units of the top row to each other, I found that the seams would not sit nicely so I went back and re-pressed the seams. This meant a bit of unpicking, but it was completely worth it to get a flatter finish. I ended up pressing the seams so that I could 'spin' them, which worked quite well.

I did have a bit of trouble with the points after the re-press, but I'm thrilled with most of them and happy enough with the rest, so that's ok. I do like to aim for as close to 'perfect' as I can get, but I'm learning to let it go when I can't get as close as I'd like after a couple of tries. As you can see, I pressed some seams to the side and some open, as well as spinning some. Whatever works best to give the right size and a flatter finish is generally what I do.

It has been lovely getting back into this project. The sewing is fun, but I think that I'm most happy about playing with the gorgeous Rose Parade fabrics again. It's still my favourite line of fabric.

Bye for now,

Hope x

Monday, 8 August 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Star of Hope

Back at the beginning of 2012, I started the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. The idea was to do two blocks a week as part of a quilt-along on Flickr. Well, I didn't quite get that far. I think I've made about 40 blocks out of 111. Recently, I decided to start it up again with block 88, called Star of Hope:

I have made this block before, but the fabrics I used don't fit with the other blocks I've made so it needed to be made again. I'm definitely going to use this Frog Prince version somewhere else - I do love that Tula Pink fabric. :)

This is definitely still a long-term project. I'm thinking maybe a block per week? Or maybe one a fortnight if it's a particularly time-consuming block.

Do you have a Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt started? Or completed? If you'd like someone to cheer you on to finish yours, let me know and we can encourage each other.

Bye for now,

Hope x

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Cough Drop - An Online Quilt Group Pattern

July was my month as guest designer for the Online Quilt Group, which is basically a quilt guild you can visit any time from anywhere with internet access, based entirely online. It is run by Becky of Patchwork Posse. I was very excited (and nervous!) to be interviewed by Becky for a podcast series she has created featuring the guest designers of the group. You can listen to my interview here. Let me know what you think. :)

Here is the quilt I designed for the group (held up by my obliging hubby, Martin) called Cough Drop:

The quilt uses a charm pack and some yardage, and is a pretty straight-forward quilt to make. It's a baby or lap size quilt (43" x 44.5"), but also includes instructions on how to re-size the blocks to make a bigger quilt if you so desire. Plus there's a mini, because you know I like to include a mini quilt with my patterns!

Right now, Cough Drop is available exclusively to Quilt Group members along with many, many other patterns from a range of talented designers. Membership of the group gives you access to so many patterns, it's crazy good value. I urge you to check it out.

Bye for now,

Hope x

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Free Mini Block Pattern - Churn Dash

I'm back with another free mini quilt block pattern. This time, it's the Churn Dash. I've also got some mini block sewing tips for you, so be sure to read through.

I made several of these churn dash blocks to try to find the best way to press the seams. A bit time consuming, but I aim in all my patterns - even the free ones - to figure those things out so that you don't have to! So, it's worth the time.

In most mini blocks the seams are bulky no matter which way you press them. You can deal with and reduce the bulk in a few ways:
  • Use thinner fabrics and avoid bulkier ones;
  • Make sure those seams are pressed as flat as you can get them. Finger pressing first can help get the seam 'set' before ironing and will make ironing the little pieces easier. I press with my fingers first, then use my finger nail to get a good crease. 
  • Don't be afraid to press some seams open and some to the side, but make sure your quarter inch seam allowance is adjusted accordingly if necessary. (In my experience, a seam that is pressed open will take up less fabric than one that is pressed to the side, so I sew a slightly narrower seam - a scant quarter inch - when I press to the side than when I press open. Test it out for yourself and see if you find the same thing.)
  • Trim seam allowances down to an eighth of an inch after sewing and pressing.
  • Use spray starch or a starch alternative. You can starch all your fabrics lightly before you begin cutting, then spray again if you need to after sewing the seams. Be sure to press the seams first to get the block or unit as flat as you can, then spray lightly and press them again. 

Here is another mini churn dash with the seams pressed differently to the pink:

You can get the free pattern by clicking the button below, which will open the file for you in another page, ready to download. Or, head to my Craftsy Pattern Store for the free download.
Happy Sewing!

Hope x

Friday, 10 June 2016

Free Mini Block Pattern - Friendship Star

I've got another free mini block pattern for you! This itty-bitty version of the Friendship Star block is quite straight forward to sew - just four half square triangle units and five squares.

You only need the smallest of scraps (the largest pieces needed are just 1.5") so why not give it a go? You can find the pattern at my Payhip Pattern Store.

The block finishes at a very cute 1.5" square (2" unfinished). It's the same size as my other free mini block patterns which means you can easily mix and match to create your own mini sampler. I've got another mini pattern in the works too, just some pressing directions to iron out and it's good to go. Check back soon for more, or sign up for my newsletter to be notified as soon as it's available.

Piecing on such a small scale can be fiddly, but if you take it slow and double check the accuracy of your cutting and seam allowances, it will go together more easily. There's not a lot of room to 'fudge' so accuracy is key to a happy sewing experience. That being said, you need only use scraps so it's worth a try - what have you got to lose?

Now is a great time to give tiny sewing a go. Make Modern magazine are running a Mini Mini Quilt competition. Just make a quilt 6" square or smaller, post it to Instagram with #MMminimini and tag @makemodernmagazine and you'll be in the running to win one of many great prizes including patterns (from myself and other great designers), notions, gift vouchers and even the services of a professional quilter! You can enter as many times as you like up until 20th June. Check out all the details over at the Make Modern website

Happy sewing!

Hope x

Friday, 13 May 2016

Online Quilt Guild

If you've subscribed to my newsletter for a while, you'll have heard about the Online Quilt Guild. I've somehow neglected to mention it properly here though, so now it's time to remedy that. The Online Quilt Guild is the brainchild of Becky Jorgensen of Patchwork Posse. Becky has put so much work into the group, it's truly amazing value and really worth checking out.

quilt guild logo

How it works

The Quilt Group starts the day you join. Everything from 2015 is available once you join, as well as the year to date. During each month there will be a fun sewing project, two block of the months, a doll or plushie pattern, printable, guest designer pattern, with the occasional mystery quilt, sew along, swaps and giveaways. Each Sunday you will get an email from the quilt group about what’s happened during the week- but the group online is always open! You can share any time during the day.

Why should you be part of “the quilt guild”?

The group is online. You will have access to all the patterns, members and show and tell 24/7. No missing out on anything. This is a group that fits your schedule, has members that are passionate about quilting, gets you excited about designers you would normally not have access to.

When you join you will also have full access to 2015 patterns - both in the group and by the guest designers. There are more patterns than you have time! You will be kept sewing all year long.

Besides the private Facebook group where you can upload pictures, ask questions and meet other members, you can also share your work over on Instagram - we’ll be using the hashtag #quiltguild you can follow on Instagram here. There is also a private forum at the website to upload photos and interact with other members.

Becky is the chief designer, providing lots of patterns for a variety of sewing projects. Joining her this year are guest designers: Jacquelynne Steves, Bustle & Sew, Christa Quilts, SewCanShe, GillyMac Designs, Esch House Quilts, Quilty Habit, May Chappell, Cute Quilt Patterns, and New Leaf Stitches, and me! More about the Guest Designers here.

quilt guild guest designer

Quilt Guild Location: sign up for the quilt group here

Finished projects: During 2016 there are 2 Block of the months (one is a mini quilt - see my previous post for a preview), 13 tea towels, doll quilts, plushie patterns, printables, bags, pin cushions, table runners and more! More about the projects here.

Skill level: Beginner – Confident Beginner. Because of the community atmosphere, you are able to get help if you are stuck, ask questions and share a hint.

Technique: Because of the guest designers and variety of patterns you will be exposed to a rounded amount of different styles and techniques, including applique, embroidery, paper piecing, patchwork, hand sewing hexagons etc.

Price: $35 / year (price will be rising) - one year with over 30 patterns PLUS previous year is included!

Pattern Format: PDF files (download and save instantly)

Quilt Group Format: The group has a private Facebook group for members only. There you can share your own projects you are working on or have finished, meet and get to know the members from around the world, download patterns, and participate in the group. Everything is in one spot- simple and easy to use on your computer or on your phone.

See you over there,

Hope x

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Online Quilt Group - Mini Quilt BOM

This year I'm participating in a mini quilt block of the month, one of the many free patterns included with Online Quilt Guild membership. Three blocks are available so far, each one three inches square. This month's block is a log cabin:

I'm using mostly Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. It's all scraps left over from this quilt and the backing of this quilt. I'm adding in other fabrics where I need to, such as for the dark blues in the log cabin block. Here are all my blocks to date:

This is a very manageable BOM. The little blocks don't take long to make and store easily with the scraps I'm using. It's fun! There is another BOM going on at the Online Quilt Guild too, but I think one at a time is enough for me. :)

Have you heard of the Online Quilt Guild? It's like a regular quilt guild, but all online. There's a Facebook Group for chatting and sharing photos, lots of patterns, and a friendly community. 

There are also patterns from a different guest designer each month. This month is Kristin of Cute Quilt Patterns. She makes adorable baby quilts with dimensional elements. I'm the guest designer for July. I really encourage you to check it out.

Tell me, have you participated in a block of the month before? What did you make? I'd love to have a look. :)

Bye for now,

Hope x 

Friday, 8 April 2016

A 'Hearty' PB&J Pillow

In my last post I promised a look at the first version of my Heart Spin Mini Quilt, which I was making into a cushion cover. This version was my test piece, where I made sure the pattern came together well and experimented with seam pressing. Here it is:

The design has quite a different look in these PB&J fabrics by Basic Grey, don't you think? I mean, it's obviously the same pattern, but isn't so... sweet?

I opted for an all-over meander in a variegated thread. I planned from the first to make it a cushion cover and I think an all-over design in a smallish scale is a good way to add a bit of stability to the patchwork, which will get pulled around a bit with use. I added some feature stitching on the hearts and around the edges of the background too.

Though I am very happy with how this cushion cover turned out, I'm not pleased at all with how long it took me. I changed my mind about how I was going to make the cushion cover twice - after I'd already started it! So I unpicked, then sewed, then changed my mind, and unpicked and sewed... and finally ended up going with my initial plan. So silly!

Here is the quilt 'pre-cushion', so you can see it flat:

I think this is my favourite version of the quilt so far. Basic Grey are one of my favourite fabric designers - I just love the slightly worn and comfortable look their fabrics have.

Do you have a favourite fabric designer? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now x

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Heart Spin Mini Quilt - A New Pattern

I have a new pattern available! Meet my Heart Spin Mini Quilt - and prepare for lots of pictures. ;)

Finishing at around 14" square, this little quilt uses 2.5" mini charm squares and just a little yardage. It's quite a quick make. Instructions include pressing directions that allow seams to nest, making it easier to get them lined up. I also made sure to construct it in a way that keeps the sides of the heart smooth, so if seams don't quite match up there shouldn't be any jagged edges to the heart shapes.

For the hearts and border I used Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I didn't have a mini charm pack, so I cut my own 2.5" squares from the ends of a jelly roll - cutting two squares from two of the prints to give me the required 42 squares.

The background is a solid from my local quilt shop, and the binding is from Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell for Moda. It took me a while to choose that binding, but I'm really happy with it. To rest my hands, which get a little sore at times, I chose to bind it all by machine.  

I was in a bit of a sad mood when it came time to quilt this mini, so to cheer myself up I decided to have a bit of fun with free-motion quilting. I find it both relaxing and absorbing, and the concentration required took my mind off my mood and cheered me up immensely. Does quilting have that effect on you too? I didn't plan the quilting out in advance, just went with a few different designs as the mood took me. It's such a fun way to quilt! 

The quilting is done with Aurifil for the most part, but I tried out an organic cotton thread by Sew Easy for the pink stitching around the inside of the border. It is a bit thicker than the Aurifil 50wt, which means that it stands out a little more and is great for feature stitching. It went through the machine beautifully and is nice and smooth. 

Organic is something I am gradually moving towards with both my thread and my fabric purchases... but that's a topic for another post.

So that's it! I hope you love it as much as I do. It is such a fun little quilt, I want to make more. I already have another one waiting to be turned into a cushion cover. It's actually my first version of this quilt, made to trial pressing and construction. I'll show you that next time and you'll see what a difference fabric makes to the feel of this quilt.  

You can purchase the PDF pattern now at Etsy, or through my Pattern Store

Happy sewing!

Hope x 

P.S. Did you know that if you purchase through my Pattern Store you can get a discount on purchases of two or more patterns? Simply enter code MORETOLOVE at checkout. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Heart Spin - A New Pattern Using Charm Squares

I am so excited to introduce to you my newest pattern - Heart Spin. This lovely heart quilt is charm pack friendly. One 42 piece, 5" charm pack will give you all you need for the hearts and border, and you'll need just half a metre (or a very accurate half yard) for the background.

My inspiration for this quilt was the Card Trick block, though the construction is quite different. As many have noticed, the Card Trick block looks a bit like four hearts. I took that a bit further to make the hearts more obvious. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

I've designed this pattern to be beginner friendly, including lots of illustrations and tips as always. The quilt finishes at 35.5" square, and would make a beautiful wall hanging, child play mat or even a table topper.

Go check out the pattern now over at Etsy, or head to my online store where you'll find a special offer when you purchase two or more patterns.

Happy sewing!

Hope x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Queen of Hearts

I'm happy to report that I've completed one of the items from my Q1 Finish-Along list!

A couple of people mentioned that the quilt reminded them of Alice in Wonderland, and since then I haven't been able to not think of that whenever I look at the quilt. So, I've called it "Queen of Hearts".

The backing has something of a romantic feel about it, don't you think? It's a Timeless Treasures print I bought from Hall of Fabrics.  

I was a bit lazy with labeling, choosing to write the name of the quilt on one corner hanging pocket, and my name and date on the other corner. Somewhat lacking in detail perhaps, but it will suffice. 

Looking back at my original post about this quilt, I see that it is over a year old! Unable to decide whether to make it a cushion cover or a wall hanging I let it sit in a cupboard being neither. I am so, so happy to have it finished!

You can see all the Finish-Along participants' finishes here: Quarter 1 Link Up.

Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings

Bye for now x 

Friday, 15 January 2016

2016 Finish-Along - Q1

In keeping with the purging, finishing and tidying urges I wrote about last time, I've decided to participate in the 2016 Finish-Along and get some WIPs completed. There are lots of hosts this year, but I first read about it at Elven Garden Quilts so head on over and have a read if you're not sure what it's about.

My Quarter One goals are as follows:

Etchings 'Spot On' Quilt 

I'm about half done with the quilting. I need to decide on what I'm going to quilt in the borders, sashing and spots. The binding is cut out ready to go. 

ZigZag Love in Black and White

This mini just needs binding. It is actually quilted and trimmed, but it's too dim for photos today.

That's it for the first quarter. I will be working on other things I'm sure, but these are a couple that I have been wanting to get done for ages and need the extra motivation to finish. So, by the time March is over I'll (hopefully) have these two projects finished and in use. Much better than having them sitting in a cupboard!

Wish me luck... ;)

Hope x