BFG inspired Sophie’s Quilt III

BFG inspired Sophie’s Quilt III

I have now written up a bit more information on the blocks for sophie’s quilt and am happy if anyone wants to download it.  (this is for the 99″ x 99″ quilt… which is big) The other posts on this can be found here BFG Sophie’s quilt and BFG inspired Sophie’s Quilt II. I love that one reader has already made a version and found my workings useful – Susan’s quilt is absolutely beautiful and you can have a look here, fantastic work!



BFG inspired Sophie’s Quilt II


This is my WIP: To make it 99″x 99″ each block is 9″ and the quilt is made up of 10 different blocks

The outside red edge is actually binding, so the outside blocks don’t need that 2nd stripe of red. 

The fabric requirements:

The quilt from the film is scrappier than this I think (although difficult to tell without a photo!). I also think that the outside fabric is much wider. But I’m happy to go with this one as I want one inspired by the movies’ version not a total copy.
Still a work in progress though. Arguably this is far too big, at 99″x 99″. I could shrink all the blocks down to 6″ maybe. (Making it 66″x66″)
Have you seen the film? Did you notice the quilt? Any thoughts / comment welcome!

BFG Sophie’s quilt

BFG Sophie’s quilt

The Steven Spielberg BFG film is a wonderful feast for the eyes, all the family enjoiyed it when we saw it yesterday. Throughout the film Sophie’s quilt features heavily and it’s beautiful! I just couldn’t help admire and wonder if I could emulate it. 

A bit of googling found that the credits note the quilter was a Susan MacKenzie. She seems to be a film costume maker as far as I can gather… But I can’t find out any more!

Unfortunately I can’t find any photographs of the full quilt… And I’m not the only one, but I have been trying to work out this beauty from the very snatched partial snapshots!
This is what I think it may look like… 

It’s a very rough estimation and is inspired by the film’s quilt rather than a copy!
More workings out to come in Part 2!

Antique Welsh Quilts

Antique Welsh Quilts

A few days ago I took a trip to see some old Welsh quilts. They are part of Jen Jones’ vast and amazing collection of antique quilts and were on show in the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter, Wales. 

The ones that took my breath away were the wholecloth quilts. 

Handstitched and beautiful, the one above is from about the 1890s – very similar motifs and designs to a quilt made by Fanny Lewis which is in the Sain Ffagan National History Museum near Cardiff. 

This one above was one of my favourites. You can clearly see how borders were very important in these Welsh quilts, and most traditional designs had some form of medallion in the middle. I love the geometric heart – it looks very modern. It’s possibly 1930s but we don’t know who made it.  


This red wholecloth has the geometric heart in the centre. The circular shapes may well have been done using plates etc. The use of the hearts suggests that it may have been a wedding quilt. 

The names of the women who made these may be lost to history but they continue to inspire. Diolch ferched!

And if you find yourself in that part of the world, make sure you stop at Jen Jones’ cottage. 


It’s full to the brim of vintage and antique quilts and Welsh woolen blankets, four rooms of them for sale. 


It’s an absolute joy to see, thank you for letting me take these photos. Her website is Jen Jones and you’ll find the Welsh Quilt Centre here. 

Sewing shoes? Yes honestly!


I bought a kit (prym, it contained two espadrille soles) from Tikki in Kew recently  and within a few hours of buying them I had finished one shoe in this crazy Wonder Woman fabric!   

I do need to adjust the fit. I didn’t sew the sides tight enough (and I might add some elastic to the back too to make sure they don’t slip).
They’re a surprisingly easy and quick project. The video that The Makery did on Youtube was very useful to watch too. I’d add that you need to be extra careful you sew through all the layers of fabric where they overlap! I missed a bit of the inner fabric on the first shoe I made. 
All you need to be able to do is a bit of blanket stitch!

I love how you hide the knots within the rope structure of the soles.   

Also you will need a lot of pins! 

I love these, so much fun! My daughter, sister in law and niece have already said they want me to make them a pair!

Quilt as You Go

Quilt as You Go

For the Riley Blake Challenge run by the Modern Quilt Guild I decided to try QAYG for the first time. 

 I really loved how relaxing it was as a technique. I’ll definitely give this a go again. Pehaps starting with a smaller center piece. 

After finishing a square panel I turned it into a simple cushion. 


It’s not a combination of colours I’d chose usually – much more muted than my usual choice but I think it’s really calming and attractive. 

Now where to put it?!


Scissors or Shears? What’s the difference?

Scissors or Shears? What’s the difference?

My sewing scissors have disappeared! I’m sure I’ll eventually find them… after they’ve been used on paper or something else that’s sure to ruin them.

So began the journey to find the next pair of (get yer hands off my) SEWING scissors!

I found this pair in John Lewis…


How gorgeous are they? Quite expensive, but I just couldn’t help myself! They were made to celebrate JL’s 150th, and have a traditional print on the handle. I haven’t put them to the test yet.

Of course, for those in the know, these are not scissors, they are shears! Scissors have small holes in the handles for two fingers. Shears, on the other hand, have unequal holes for more than two fingers apparently!

Then OMG! I watched this BBC film and am now coveting a beautiful pair of small scissors from Ernest Wright from Sheffield. Hand made, from one of two traditional UK factories, the quality looks amazing. The price is not cheap, but you’re paying for the craftsmanship and contributing to the survival of a dwindling industry.

(Photo tweeted by Ernest Wright Ltd)

They have had a huge revival in the last year since 2 films were made about the company. Now they have orders from all over the world. It seems that because of this, there’s a bit of a wait for their products. I love that their social media hashtag is #wellworththewait – I have put a small pair on my birthday wishlist (which is ages away… And yes I’m willing to wait for them! )

“Step by step” my first mini quilt

“Step by step” my first mini quilt


This colourful mini quilt top was on my pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) for a very long time.

And now it’s done! I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Add a border? Just square it up and make it into a mini? Use it in a bit of improv slashing? I turned to instagram for help and inspiration, and was encouraged to make it into a mini quilt that will hang above my machine in my sewing corner.

I decided to FMQ swirls, pebbles and a burst of straight lines, and I really like it.

I did a bit of binding whilst the kids had their swimming lesson and also added a hanging sleeve on the back. I used a vintage star fabric from Tula Pink as backing. I love this fabric and saw it first on the back of a display quilt in Libertys of London. The assistant there couldn’t tell me what it was so I made it my mission to find out! Instagram helped, I ordered some online… and when I found that John Lewis were selling this half price I then got some MORE! That’s how much I love it! You can see it in the first montage photo where it shows the sleeve.

These self threading needle are a huge help when you need to bury lots of threads.

It’s now in the wash for some extra crinkle!


And here it is, out of the wash!


Initial cushions

Initial cushions


I recently offered to make personalised cushions in a fundraising promise auction. The winning bidder wanted one with S&D on it for her sons, and I said how about two? One each. She agreed.

When I’ve made name cushions in the past I’ve appliqued the letters on the cushion tops. But with one large letter, especially for young boys, I thought I needed a more robust construction. So one night it came to me, why not use the porthole technique I learned in Lu Summers’ class at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2 years ago?


It worked really nicely, and I love how it’s a little window onto the seascape fabric underneath. I decided to frame the letters with 2.5″ squares.


Onto the quilting. I worried that swirls might be a bit too girly, but actually it was perfect – a hint of sea waves! I’ve been taking some Craftsy FMQ classes (Angela Waters) and I have to say it’s given me a great deal of confidence. That, as well as a face to face lesson by Trudi Wood at last year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat, has fuelled my love of free motion quilting. This is done in Aurifil 50, which is thinner than my usual 40wt, one of Angela Waters’ tips is thinner thread, and thread that blends (hides a multitude of slips!) and I’m a convert!


I love the quilting inside the letter D!


Best of all the boys and their mum love them. One of the boys took his straight to bed with him, and was still cuddling it in the morning!

Comox Trunks Prize Announcement and Parade


WOW! I won the Comox giveaway! So excited! I cam see more underpants in my future (IYKWIM!)

Thread Theory

sew along poster-01 Drumroll please…..

And the winner of our Comox Trunks Sew-Along Contest is: Catrinmanel of I’d Rather Sew! Congratulations!  I’ll be sending her our Comox Trunks prize pack straight away 🙂

I'd rather sew...

Her entry was chosen at random by gathering all entries (both through email and through comments on the sew-along posts), using a random number generator, and then counting down the list of entries.  People who submitted multiple pairs of Comox Trunks were only counted once.  Here’s proof of the randomness in case you need it! :P:

random number

I wish I could have given a prize to everyone as Matt and I were really pleased with how many entries there were and how enthusiastic you all were about the contest!  Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is a parade of the Comox Trunks you submitted!  The numbers correspond to links provided in a list at the bottom:


  1. No More Heroes Anymore
  2. Sakiko…

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Wavy quilted cushion



I’ve had Jenny Pedigo’s Quick Curve Ruler for absolutely ages, but didn’t even take off the plastic backing paper until the weekend. I love her blog, and admire the quilts she makes with this ruler, so it was about time that this baby got an outing.


I kept it simple and decided to make cushion covers (for a creative quilter I had NO home made items in the lounge). I have sewed curves before and I did find it very quick and easy to do these blocks. My mind is racing now with ideas how to make more cushions with this ruler. I am oficially a fan.

Then I decided on straight line quilting because I love the texture it creates.


Then I tried binding by machine to save time…

20140428-125018.jpg mmmm… made a complete mess of it… and decided to unpick and bind by hand instead…

20140428-125147.jpg aaah! That’s better!

Apparently Lily’s Quilts will be posting a tutorial on machine binding on Thursday. I’m hoping it will help with my clearly rubbish technique!

Can’t stop stroking my new cushion now!


Baby quilt

Baby quilt

Remember my son complaining about the quilt I was making for my niece? Well here it is:


It’s finished, washed and has crinkled up just as I like it.


Made with charm squares, quilted in straight lines and FMQ with star, heart, swirls and swirly designs. And here’s her name emboidered on the front:


Quilting and piecing with Aurifil thread, embroidered with Perle cotton. Hope she likes it!

Great sewing project for me and my seven year old

Great sewing project for me and my seven year old


I wanted an easy, quick project that I could do with my seven year old daughter. From the Tikki quilting shop in Kew I bought a ready cut bunting kit. I could have easily made my own, but the kit made everything much easier for us.

My daughter sewed the triangles together, we both turned them inside out (she’s now an expert at using the purple thang to make pointy corners), then I ironed them flat.


She pinned them on the binding in the order she wanted them… And then we both shared the final sewing together. (I think she did a lot more than me at actually).


By the end she was sewing confidently and even removing pins without stopping. I made sure I was using aurifil thread, so that we didn’t have any thread breakages… Just uninterrupted sewing!

She got the feel of what speed was comfortable for her and understood how to correct any mistakes. Although to be honest, the only mistakes she made were when I had left the machine on full speed accidentally!

I love the finished bunting, and we have a few triangles left over to put another short bunting on her pink fireplace.

I think this would be great with some space fabrics for my son too.