Thursday, 19 March 2015


Time away from my sewing machine has meant more time playing with EPP. Let me introduce you to Nellstar. This eight pointed star is a delight to piece! I started and finished this 7" block using Recollection by Katarina Roccella in just a couple of hours.
I've started my second of four blocks because you know there's a secondary pattern in there, isn't there always?!

I did have to put it to one side yesterday for an urgent itch that needed scratching. A bundle of Elizabeth by Tula Pink arrived yesterday morning and I just couldn't wait to try this block out. I kept the central octagon as a whole for this 12" block, Elizabeth demanded to be the centre of attention.
I'm pretty much in love with both versions of the block. Just in case any of you fancy having a go at your own version of Nellstar I've uploaded a project set to our Payhip store. The set includes an advice sheet, templates for both sizes of the block and a colouring sheet for the bargain price of £2. If you search the hashtag #nellstar on Instagram you'll find lots of progress shots of the making of these blocks. As always I'd love to see your version of this block if you have a go.
Right, I'm off to watch the rest of Scandal. Catch you soon x

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Prairie points

Not much to report from these parts at the moment. Creativity is crawling along thanks to an irritated nerve in my neck that is giving me the equivalent of sciatica in my arm and shoulder which is just peachy when you need to move said arm to use the sewing machine! I've had to do some quick thinking to rejig my plans for the Quilt Now BOM to reduce some of the reliance on the sewing machine for the final few blocks.

As Issue 9 has just hit the shelves of shops in the UK I can show you what we've done so far and I have to admit to being delighted with it.
All of the fabrics are from various collections for Art Gallery Fabrics and they all play beautifully together. If you're on Instagram you can search #quiltnowbom to see pictures of other BOM quilts in progress.
This month's BOM technique is Folded patchwork Prairie Points. A super quick technique that demanded a fun BOM project - a travel memory game. I dug out some of my Laurie Wisbrun and Heather Ross hoard for a bit of fussy cutting fun.
The free pattern will be  is available on the Quilt Now website soon now. I'm off to finish watching the Great British Sewing Bee now. Catch you soon x

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Rolling in clover

A new month starts today so that can mean only one thing, it's new Mystery BOM block time!
We're "Rolling in Clover" this month. This 6" English Paper Pieced design is a little tricky to piece in parts but well worth trying out.

As with most of my designs it tessellates to produce a secondary pattern.
You'll find the information sheet and templates on our website. I'm giving a little bit of guidance this month as it is a little tricky. You'll be printing the block off as whole then cutting your paper pieces from it this month.
As usual I glue basted all of my pieces.
By far the trickiest piece is the green one! For the best results when basting I clipped into the corners leaving only a few threads of fabric to catch when sewing.
When joining the shapes I started with the trickiest piece. (I use Aurifil thread to stitch as I find it doesn't tangle or snap!) I stitched from the tip of the triangle, right sides together with it's corresponding blue shape and continued in the order as shown below. 
I followed the same process to attach another of the green pieces to the opposite side of the blue shape as shown below.
Next step is to sew the second blue piece to the other side of the tricky green piece as shown below. Starting at the base of the blue shapes and working continuously around the green piece in the same manner as before.
Repeat these steps for the bottom half of the block, then join the two halves together. I started stitching from the centre of the block outwards to make sure that my centre points matched. Finally add the orange pieces to the corners of the block. I stitched the long edges together first then worked up both short sides from the base.
Leave the papers in while pressing if you intend to add further blocks, otherwise remove the papers and press well to remove any little lumps from the green bits. This block took me around an hour and half from start to finish in between cooking and watching the rugby.

I was delighted to see two Star Central projects added to our Flickr group for the first month! This first one is by Diane. I love that it's been turned into a project already!
Diane's photo from Flickr.
 The second one is by Wendy. Lots of yummy favourite fabrics in these!
Wendy's photo from Flickr.
If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom. Tell your friends, the more the merrier :) Catch you soon x

Thursday, 26 February 2015


Another week has passed by in a flash and we've celebrated Jess' 18th birthday. It seems like only yesterday that she was a chubby little one, now look at her! A beautiful young woman inside and out.
When we weren't celebrating or recovering from celebrating I took some time out to design yet more blocks on EQ7. Most of them are secret for now but I can show you this one that I designed last night for a block challenge on the Electric Quilt blog. The challenge involves using Fiesta from Michael Miller which has lots of large scale prints that are tricky to use in small scale but that wasn't going to stop me trying. I drafted this block in Patchdraw as I'm partial to paper pieced designs (I'm sure you hadn't noticed that, cough) and I find this the easiest way to use unusual but accurate shapes in EQ7. I'm still learning so I'm sure there is probably a better way of doing it but for now this works for me.  
As per usual I designed this block with secondary shapes in mind, that seems to be my style these days.
I'm not sure how easy it is to see the patterns in this colour way so here's another in solids which is much more defined.

The challenge is open to anybody, even those who scribble on paper ( I still do that too) and there are some great prizes up for grabs courtesy of Michael Miller and The Electric Quilt company. You might want to check it out for yourself. The challenge is open until March 11th. (Note. I'm not being sponsored to promote this I just thought I'd let you all know about the fun.)
Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


It's a big week this week. Our baby turns 18 on Friday! I should be madly planning celebrations but instead I'm trying to ignore the fact that I appear to have developed man-flu. I say trying as it keeps breaking me out in a sweat then plunging me into the chills so it's fairly hard to ignore. I thought I'd get on and sew to take my mind  off it but by the time I climbed the stairs I wanted to curl up in a ball. I will have to satisfy myself (and therefore you too) with a WIP picture instead of a finished article.
I've been working on this EPP for a little while using lots of pretty screen printed fabrics from Karen Lewis textiles. I've used some of the templates from my Shields cushion (available in Quilt Now Issue 8) along with a newly drafted distorted hexagon template to link the elements together in a Shields Remix. All I need to add are the cornerstones then this top is ready for sashing and quilting. Fingers crossed for a finish early next week!
Now I'm off to chill out and will this man-flu to sod off. Catch you soon xx

Sunday, 8 February 2015


Issue 8 of Quilt Now hits the UK shops on Thursday. This month's theme is monochrome and you'll find that there's nothing dull about it! Lynne's Cherie quilt graces the front page and snuggled up next to it is my Shields cushion :)
I spent the Christmas holiday manically sewing EPP to get it ready for the magazine. It's a whopping 28"! I've included lots of step by step instruction in the hopes that confident beginnners will be able to tackle it as well as those more familiar with EPP. I used lots of Art Gallery Fabrics low volume prints and some rather delicious Free Spirit solids. I'm delighted with the end result! I'm sure it would look pretty in colour too :)
This month's block of the month technique is fast-flying geese . I do love a quick block!
The bonus companion project is a cushion this month. I'm sure it will be up  Available now on the Quilt Now website shortly too. I used the flying geese to create a chevron effect. Very quick but effective. The gorgeous prints are from Cleta by AGF in-house studio and Jungle Avenue by Sara Lawson both for Art Gallery Fabrics.
I'll be back later this week. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. Catch you soon x

Monday, 2 February 2015

Mystery BOM

I've been playing with EQ7 again, it's rather addictive! I'm enjoying it so much that I thought it might be fun to offer up a new block each month as a Mystery BOM. I'm expecting that the blocks will all be paper pieced in some way. I hope you'll consider sewing along with me so I'm not Billy-no-mates.

To kick off this time it's a 6" foundation pieced star block - Star Central.
I'll be making a sampler with the blocks that I post each month  but you can of course do what you like with yours.

Each month I'll post the templates, a colouring sheet and info sheet on our website so that they're all in one place. I'll obviously blog it too so you know when the new blocks are released. If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom.
So there you have it, month one up and ready for use now. Tell your friends if you feel so inclined, the more the merrier!
Catch you soon x