Friday, 20 February 2015

the nightmare of fudge...

Fudge??? Do you ever fudge?   I love to eat it but am not so happy when I have a few blocks that I have to fiddle around with and fudge to get looking right!

In my head I hear the Quilt Police,   "Measure twice, cut once", "tut, tut fudging is bad" and such like.  But sometimes it is all you can do (other than making a brand new block).  Sometimes the fabric has ran out, or you only have that one little piece left and there is no other option but to fudge!

Don't get me wrong, I know the evil of the fudge.  You really don't want to be messing about with every single block in a quilt or it will knock the whole size and arrangement off.  I certainly teach my ladies in my class about how to avoid fudging!  However, sometimes only a fudge will do?

Am I alone?  Do others do this?? Is this just my quilty little secret? I swear it seldom happens, honest! Do you have any other quilty secrets of things the imaginary Quilt Police would "tut tut" loudly at?  Come on it's truth time!  Lets be honest quilters who strive for excellent workmanship but who are not afraid to admit mistakes and weaknesses!  Sometimes the interwebs and magazines can give the impression that everything we make and do is awesome and perfect.  Well it's not and guess what?  Neither should it be because it's handmade!

Please share!  It will make me feel better for any fudging that goes on in future.

Bad Cat!
Collette x

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Oakshott Blog Hop!


 Today I finally get to share with you the quilt I made for Oakshott fabrics on the Oakshott Bloghop!  Lynne from Lily's Quilts sent me this gorgeous pack of 10 inch Colourshott squares and 2 yards of a sumptuous dark grey Oakshott. ( Colourshott COTX29 Charcoal).

When the fabric arrived the colours really gave me the impression of a Moroccan market full of spices and bright colours stacked high.  So I had a rummage on Pinterest and found delightful images of Moroccan and Indian markets full of these pyramid shaped powders and spices.  Hence my "Spicy" quilt!

So would you like to know how to make this scrummy quilt?  Allow me to share how I went about using this beautiful Colourshott stack!
Finished size; 36.5 inches x 55.5inches (a baby quilt)  A quarter inch seam allowance is used throughout this project.

Fabric Requirements;
One Oakshott Colourshott stack
2 Yards grey Oakshott (background fabric)
Quilt batting  (enough to overlap the quilt top by at least 4 inches)
Backing fabric(enough to overlap the quilt top by at least 4 inches)
Binding fabric ( do not cut till finished quilt top and measure perimeter of trimmed and quilted top plus 10 inches extra for required binding).

There are a few ways to cut your 60 degree triangles for this pattern.  I used a template(seam allowance has been added ), which you can download and print here.(please download the template and open with a pdf viewer to print at 100% for the correct scale).    You can also use a 60 degree triangle ruler.  The finished triangle size is 4 inches tall.  The smaller triangles in the bottom row are 3  inches tall finished. (I printed out my template again but removed the large seam allowance to leave me with the required smaller triangle inclusive of seam allowance).
In this tutorial I am assuming you know how to piece 60 degree triangles. If you are not sure then check out the numerous, excellent tutorials on how this is done!

1. Cutting;
a) Using your template or triangle ruler cut the following from the background yardage;
   102 large dark grey triangles
    30 small dark grey triangles

b) From your Colourshott stack ;
    102 assorted coloured triangles ( I got 3 triangles per 10 inch square of fabric)
    11 small coloured triangles

2)  Assembly of first 12 rows;
I joined my large triangles in alternate sets of twos.  Then I joined the pairs into fours until I had a row of 17 triangles.

Do this for each row of large triangles following the layout in the picture below.  I sewed one row at a time to ensure I had the direction of my triangles correct and the alternate rows correct too.
Do this until you have 12 rows of 17 alternate coloured triangles.

3) Assembly of last 2 rows composed of small triangles;
I encourage you to play around with layout here.  This is like the little improv part of this quilt!  I basically cut out 11 smaller triangles using my small template and 30 small grey triangles and sewed two rows together with a random layout.  Don't worry about the little triangles matching up too much with the large triangles here as it is meant to look random and will be quilted over.

4) Join each row to the next and pressing long joining seams open as you go.  Pay close attention to where the points meet.

Then you can baste, quilt and bind as desired!  I chose a dark grey Aurifil 50wt thread to create a grid like pattern on the quilt.  The Oakshott fabrics are so shimmery and colourful so I wanted to show them off !  The fabrics are a dream to work with and very stable and just beautiful to look at. 

Please join the other wonderful ladies (schedule here) who have also created some fantastic tutorials out of The Oakshott colourshott stacks!  I hope you have enjoyed my little tutorial!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Fresh Sewing Day

Hello all!  I am linking up with the lovely Lynne at Lily's Quilts for my first fresh sewing day of 2015.

I have been procrastinating a little since the Christmas and New Year break.  My classes started back when the schools returned.  I have also been working on some commissions which I can't reveal in full just yet, but soon, soon.

Handquilting a commission

Mandy in my class with her finished wall hanging!

Elizabeth working on her Bear's Paw block

Jenny's progress on Bear's Paw

Beautiful Priory Square and Janet Clare fabric for me!

Bargain fabric from The Cotton Patch and of course, essential Aurifil.
Thanks for joining me on Fresh Sewing day!  Till the next one!
Collette x

Friday, 16 January 2015

Fresh and shiny

Sometimes blogging is hard.  It is hard to keep up with all the fantastic writers and creators out there.  Other times it is hard to fit in.  Every now and then, usually after a blogging drought, I reevaluate my reasons for blogging and usually come back to the same answers.

I don't do it for numbers or sponsors (although I would never question those who do - good on them I say).  I just don't have the energy for that.

Blogging is another creative outlet for me.  I need to share my work, warts and all.  I need to share progress,  procrastination,  and in return quilters who blog support each other.

So here I am ready for my blogging journey in 2015.
I started teaching my patchwork classes again a few weeks back.  Mandy walked in with this super duper tray stacker for organising her nine patch blocks.

Isn't it fab?  She got in Spain.
I got some goodies in the Cotton Patch sale.  The purple will be a quilt backing. The others are just because!
I also cleaned and oiled Bernadette too.  
And last but not least, I have been trying my hand at some drop spinning yarn.  It is fun and challenging but so rewarding to see your very own yarn made by yourself!

Next time I hope to share some more of what my lovely students have been learning and some thoughts on my UK Mini swap.
Collette xx

Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Time?  Do you ever feel like shouting "stop the ride, I want to get off?".

Is of the essence...
is running out...
is precious...
never have enough of....
can't be stopped...
goes too fast...
Tonight we enter a new year when the clock strikes 12.  I wish all my lovely blog friends a peaceful time.
Collette xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Still here honest!

Hi all! Sorry I haven't been around much but with all the Christmas activities at school and a day of illness my blogging schedule has lapsed!

I have been cramming a little sewing in here and there though.
Oakshott triangles 

English paper piecing 

Patchwork clock (no sew)

Smartphone pouch
So a little bit of everything. Some exciting bee news to follow in the New Year too!
Collette x

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A finish I can share!!!!

At last I can share my finished Christmas Tree Skirt!  My lovely ladies in my morning class have been busy as bees on their tree skirts ( to be revealed next week hopefully!) and I just had to join in with them.

I bought a gorgeous charm pack of French General Favourites from the fantastic Eclectic Maker.  I made them into half square triangles to show off all the gorgeous fabrics and colours.  I added half a yard of more French General for the borders and a Fat Quarter for the binding.

To construct my borders and achieve the Octagon shape I used this wonderful, quick tutorial by the fun Missouri Quilt Co, ( I love Jenny's Santa hat hehe!).

Me being me, I had to hand quilt this!  I really wanted it to look mega traditional so I added hand quilted grid squares to the half square triangle area and feathers to the border.  In the centre  is a kind of wreath thingy.  I used Aurifil 28wt for hand quilting to achieve that kind of fine, traditional look.  For the feathers I used a loved Aurifil red which helped me achieve the smaller stitches needed to achieve the feathers.

I love it so much and can't wait to get our tree sorted now and get it around the bottom! 

Pictures to follow when it goes up!  (Sunday according to Emma - who is desperate to start decorating it!) .
Collette x