The Great Fire of Exeter


Exeter has been in the news this last week; I couldn’t resist going to see the damage for myself when I was in the city centre this morning.

The remains of the once elegant Royal Clarence Hotel are a sad sight, the clear up is under way but I’m sure it will take years to get the Cathedral Close back to normal.




Starting out in patchworking

Because I’ve been sewing and making things nearly all my life, I can’t always remember learning or being taught how to do these things, These days there is a wealth of knowledge available on the internet, for anyone who wants to learn, or improve their skills (me).

“Selfsewn” doesn’t seem to blog any more but she has a good tutorial on how to do English Paper Piecing here. It was one of her quilts that inspired me to get back into patchwork, and my first, EPP, quilt in 2014 was the result


The quilt top, which I had long-arm quilted.

A very good cutting tutorial, here, explains use of a rotary cutter and mat.

Diary of a quilter has a good series of tutorials,  here , with clear explanations of what to do and why, as well as a useful list of the equipment needed.

Missouri Star Quilt Co has lots of tutorials using precut fabrics to make quilts from simple to very elaborate, though they are more focused on the design than quilt making basics.


It doesn’t always go right first time……. 🙂


Trig Point

davFinished! This is the little quilt I started at patchwork club last week; it came together fairly well. I decided that an all-over stipple pattern was the best way to quilt it, and it went OK. My free motion quilting is slowly getting more reliable and I’m mostly pleased with this one.

I spent a long time mulling-over names for it, until  “Trig Point” sprang to mind; the shape of each block/unit reminds me of the symbol used on the OS maps 🙂





I have also been doing some secret sewing which cannot appear on here yet.

Patchwork Club

work under way

I went to my first patchwork club meeting this week, at the Sewing Machine Centre in Exeter. It was great to see what the other ladies were making, and where they had got their ideas.  Several were making Christmas table runners, all very different, and 2 were just beginning full size quilts, planning how many blocks and how much fabric they would need. I, as usual, was sewing in a more random, lets see how it goes, style;


making these triangular blocks as a direct copy of Crazymom’s recently posted quilt.

not quite as finished as I thought

This was intended to be a shot of the finished top, but I don’t like the proportions and have decided to add another row of blocks. On the hoof “design”. Luckily, as I haven’t used a regular layout, it’s easy to add and make more, without being concerned about having enough fabric; a good tip for patchworkers who dislike planning as much as I do.

Helen, hard at work

Also, my custom made “flowering snowball” templates arrived from Australia. :-), that will be fun to do. Scrappy, obviously.

Big Top

I thought for ages about what I should call my new quilt-top. It’s very, very colourful with lots of bright, jolly colours. Carnival? Something to do with paper windmills? Flags?

And its so big…


Big Top it is.

I’m thinking about making an appointment to use the long-arm quilting machine for this one; which means I am free to get on with some of the other ideas in my queue/mind



Back to patchwork

Well I’ve been busy, sewing blocks for my version of the Epic Quilt made by crazymomquilts.

I started sewing the blocks some time ago, but the project had been on hold with only 30 blocks made; I’m now up to 100! only 10 more to sew, then to do the layout and join them all together ready for quilting. I have a very nice backing fabric bought online from the USA, which I’m considering using…

But meanwhile,

the final 10 blocks
the layout
the first 2 strips
nearly finished!

I had a lovely day working on my Epic Quilt; I hope to finish the top today. I still haven’t thought of a name for it though..  Its important to get on with it, as there’s along queue of projects building up behind it.



The same but different

I am still making zippered pouches, I can’t seem to stop! There’s something so appealing about small projects like this; they use small amounts of materials, and therefore don’t require a shopping trip, the pieces are easily handled, and the finished item is ready after an hour or two. And there’s something extra satisfying about making three dimensional items (to me, at least); plus, they have the illusion, at least, of being useful. How many zip purses can one person use?

With all that in mind, I tried a slightly different approach. I was lucky enough to get hold of some free offcuts of leather from an upholsterer’s shop, and decided to try making my usual pouches with that…


It was quite easy to sew using a special leather needle, and I rather like it.


I think I prefer this one, denim and leather though; more stylish?


All in all, a success. Now I am making blocks for another quilt.