Sunday, 17 April 2016

We have moved

Hello All.
We've moved our blog to Wordpress as it gives the opportunity for a prettier experience (in my opinion). We really hope you'll still visit us over there.
It's still a bit of a work in progress but it should be a lot easier to find all of our free patterns and templates over there. We've moved all of the content from this blog so with time we're hoping it will be somewhere you'll enjoy visiting. Please re-add us to your Bloglovin' and Feedly accounts or consider signing up to receive emails when we post on the new blog. Thank you all for your support here over the years we hope this won't be the end of our little community.
Catch you soon x

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Pain stops play

My stupid back has been giving me hell so there has been much whinging and complaining and very minimal sewing. What little sewing I have been doing is secret and with a deadline fast approaching I'm thankful for diazepam! To alleviate the misery that comes with lack of creativity, I have had fun laying out tiles for our kitchen. Hubby has been very tolerant and agreed to these gorgeous patchwork style tiles. Rather amusingly they are called Batiks...
 I love the effect that they give. I think they're a good mix of traditional and modern style and they represent my patchwork madness that dominates the rest of the house but was a bit lacking in the kitchen until now. The kitchen feels very homely with this little infusion of colour. I'll get a better picture when hubby has finished the grouting...As it just wouldn't be right to finish a blog post without something fabric-y I thought I'd share my progress so far on the Patchwork of the Crosses BOM. Jessie Fincham of Sew and Quilt is running this gorgeous Liberty fabric BOM and while the fabrics and colours are not really me I suspect there is a teenager not too far from here who will love this when it's finished.
I'm running slightly behind as I'm fairly certain month 4 won't be far off but as I'm stitching the blocks together as I make them I'm using that as my excuse. I just know that if I left all the joining to the end of the 12 months BOM the quilt top would never be finished. It's quite nice to just stitch something without having to make any design decisions for a change.
I hope all is good in your corner of the world. Catch you soon x

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Colour Pop

I had happy mail today. My subscription copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 33 arrived and this month there is a little project by yours truly in it.

 I had the great pleasure of working with Lecien's new 1000 colours solids range. The colours are beautifully saturated and really pop against a white background. Here's the professional shot from inside the magazine.

It's a simple tumbling blocks design  but the placement of colours makes it look a bit more complicated.I used a variegated Aurifil thread to straight line quilt a star design over the pieced section of the wall hanging to add a bit of texture. This is what it looks like from the back of the wall hanging.
I do love seeing a project in print :) Catch you soon x

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

We have lift off!

I have been working hard for months behind the scenes preparing for the launch of our new online shop on the Nellie's Niceties website. I'm ridiculously excited to share that I have had seven of the patterns professionally printed in A4 booklet form. I think it's really nice to be able to hold a pattern every once in a while rather than having to scroll through it on a screen.
The following designs are now available:
Kaleidoscopic - full instructions and templates for a foundation pieced quilt, suitable for all abilities.
Granny Crosses - full instructions for strip pieced quilt and cushion, suitable for all abilities.
Shields EPP - full instructions and templates for EPP cushion, suitable for all abilities.
Sneaky Stars - full instructions for lap size and cot size quilts, suitable for all abilities.
Anyone for ice cream - full instructions and templates for lap size quilt, suitable for all abilities.
Candy Twists - full instructions and templates for lap size quilt, suitable for all abilities.
Doris Project bag - full instructions for fully lined drawstring project bag with options for pockets and straps. 
All of the above designs are also available in PDF format from our Payhip store if you prefer an instant download. There are also 2 PDF only template sets which are only available from our Payhip store:
Kaleidoscopic template set - Kaleidoscopic template and colouring sheet with no written instruction, suitable for people with experience of foundation piecing.
Shields EPP template set - Shields EPP template sheet and colouring sheet with no written instruction, suitable for people with experience of EPP.
More information on each of the patterns can be found on the relevant product listing page.
You will also be able to purchase Jess' Rose Blackout range of note cards in our new website store and Jess is hoping to increase her range later in the year. 
To celebrate the launch of our website store we are offering a 20% discount until the end of March. Use code LAUNCH20 in any of our stores for 20% off everything.
We really hope you'll like the look of our new store and we'd love to hear any constructive feedback. Please bear with us if there are any hiccups in the early stages of the launch.
Catch you soon x

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Save the date

Friday 11th - Sunday 13th November 2016. I've lost my final marble and taken a stand for Nellie's Niceties at the West Country Quilt and Textile Show.
I'll give you all the fun details nearer the time but there will be lots of updates along the way as I share the samples I'm making for the stand. I'm off to lie down in a darkened room and question my sanity. Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Patience is a virtue...

.. that I don't possess but thankfully Sarah does. About 6 months ago I held a giveaway over on Instagram and Sarah was the winner. The prize was a custom cushion made by yours truly. Sarah highlighted some of my designs that she liked and then left me to get on with it. Sarah was particularly fond of two of my quilts, Never Forgotten and Kaleidoscopic, so I figured I'd make something that included elements of both of them. What I forgot was that improv is not a speedy process for me, hence this cushion being 6 months in the making.
I started by making a Hexiestars block with fabrics left over from my Kaleidoscopic quilt and built random blocks out from there. I had to walk away from it at my first attempt as I just didn't know how I wanted it to develop. Yesterday I picked it back up after a long absence and once I got into my stride it didn't take long at all to finish it up. I crazy straight line quilted with a variegated green Aurifil thread which melted into the background beautifully.
I love the way it turned out and I'm hoping that once Sarah receives it she will think it was worth the wait. Catch you soon x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Radio silence

Well my plans for regular blogging really haven't gone all that well. I have been busy sewing and sharing progress on Instagram but that hasn't translated into blog posts. To those of you who still frequent these parts I'm sorry that you've been neglected. I will try harder, honestly.
I stepped in as an "Angel" for the Pillow Talk Swap Instagram edition so I've had a few fun days stitching up this cushion. I resized the templates from my Kaleidoscopic quilt to create this 18" square cushion. I used Aurifil to echo quilt in the diamonds for a subtle look, there was already plenty going on with all the different fabrics.
 It was slightly painful sending this one off today, I really hope it will be loved by the recipient. I couldn't resist taking a shot of it with the original Kaleidoscopic quilt.
I will be releasing the pattern for this quilt and a stand alone foundation template version very soon so please do keep an eye out for news shortly if you're interested. Catch you soon x

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Quilt Non 2016 - Mini Trellis block part 2

If you missed my original post earlier today you can find it here. I've stitched up my Mini Trellis block this afternoon over on Instagram but I thought I'd share the process photos here as well in case you wanted to see how the block goes together. I pulled a selection of fabrics from Karen Lewis' Blueberry Park range for Robert Kaufman.
I prepped all the pieces before starting to speed things up.
I marked, cut and pieced each block separately to avoid getting in a muddle...
..stitched using an old needle and shortened the stitch length to 1.3 to aid in removing papers later.
Trimmed a scant 1/4" seam within the block as the pieces are quite small.
 A couple of stitches in the seam allowance on the outer edges of the block help to hold the fabric in place when piecing the elements of the block together later.
I speared the relevant matching points with pins to make sure the alignment was OK before stitching. Before pressing I removed the paper from the seam allowances along the join to help it lay(lie? who knows?) flat.
Repeat with the other half of this section of the block.
Then there was the simple matter of making three more before the light vanished....I didn't succeed. It was dusk by the time I finished so the colours look vastly different but the block is still pretty.
So there you have it. One finished Mini Trellis block. You can find the free pattern download here.
I'd love to see your version so if you use any of the following hashtags I'll be able to find yours on social media #minitrellisblock #nelliesniceties #quiltnon2016
Catch you soon x

Quilt Non 2016 - Mini Trellis block

Julie Dueck of The Intrepid Thread is hosting a free online community event on Instagram for those of us who are not attending the annual Modern Quilt Guild's convention (Quilt Con) in the USA this weekend. There will be tutorials, challenges, games, prizes and shopping discounts from 18th -21st February. You can follow along on social media with the hashtag #quiltnon2016

I'm one of the hostesses and have revised a block from the Nellie's Niceties Mystery BOM to share on Instagram - Mini Trellis.
To make a 6" Mini Trellis block like this you will need:
Four 3" squares palest pink
Four 3" squares baby pink
Six 1 1/2" squares mid pink
Four 2 1/4" x 1" strips baby blue
Four 2 3/4" x 1" strips baby blue
Eight 1" x 3" strips baby blue

You can download the free pattern here.

I'm going to be sewing along on Instagram (reeneatnelliesniceties) if you want to see how the block comes together.
Edited to add: You can see the process pictures here.
Catch you soon x

Friday, 22 January 2016


My pattern testers have worked their magic for me again. Huge thanks to Trash, Sally, Elisa, Ellisa, Darla, Maria and Michelle for producing all of these gorgeous blocks!
I've designed the blocks to be very quick and effective for a single project or used in multiples to create a stunning quilt. There is no foundation piecing and all the blocks are designed to be chain pieced to speed things up when making multiple blocks. As the patterns are in pictorial format there is very little written instruction, as such the patterns are suitable for people with at least a basic knowledge of patchwork techniques.

I'm delighted that the pattern testers all enjoyed the pictorial format of the Easy Peasy Wonderland blocks pattern. Maria and Trash had tested the Easy Peasy Christmas Sampler for me previously so they knew what to expect and weren't disappointed. Phew! It's always a bit  nerve-wracking sending patterns that I've designed out into the wild so I'm always relieved to receive positive feedback.

This time around I have prepared patterns for the individual blocks as well as a combined pattern so that if there is a particular block that takes your fancy you're not committed to having to buy all of the blocks. All of the blocks have a colouring sheet for testing colour placement before cutting into precious fabric!

The Eat Me block pattern contains the block in two sizes 6" and 12".
The Drink Me block pattern also contains the block in two sizes 6" and 12".
The Flamingo block pattern contains the instructions for a 12" block.
The Top Hat block pattern contains the instructions for a 12" block.
The combined pattern has all four of the blocks and the suggested block layout for the quilt top I'm making. It's also available with a saving of £1.50 compared to buying each of the blocks separately. Who doesn't love a bargain?
I'm still plugging away at my Easy Peasy Wonderland Quilt so it'll be a while before I can show you my finished project so here's a little progress shot.
We'd love to see anything you make with these patterns! You can use the hashtags #nelliesniceties and #easypeasywonderland on social media so we can find your pictures.
Catch you soon x

Friday, 8 January 2016

In the works

I've been having fun playing with a new easy-peasy quilt design - The Easy Peasy Wonderland Quilt. This one has been brewing in my head for a year or so and I just hadn't found time to put it into action, so, it was most serendipitous that Katarina Roccella released her Wonderland fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics at the end of last year.
I'm loving how the blocks are looking so far. I've made Drink Me, Eat Me and the Flamingo, next on the list is the Top Hat. Here's a sneak peek at the layout I'm working towards.
The pattern is almost ready for sending out to testers so if you have free time this month and fancy testing for me leave a comment below or email me and I'll contact you when the pattern is ready.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Happy new year

Happy new year folks! I had great intentions of blogging every day this year and it's now the 6th so clearly that's one resolution down the pan already. Thankfully my other resolution was not to make any more resolutions so I'm winning on that front. I hope your year is shaping up to be a good one so far. Catch you soon x