Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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Since finishing my City & Guilds in Patchwork and Quilting I have………..

Since sending off all the images, evaluation and cost details for the City & Guilds Patchwork and Quilting qualification to my tutor, Edwina Mackinnon, for signing off I have made a quilted cushion cover from one of my experiments with the 10 minute block, quilted some backgrounds ready for making into bags and made some more backgrounds ready for the quilting process.  Along with stitching 12 more 10 minute blocks to make into a quilt using 2 Kaffe Fasset fabric packs from the Cotton Patch, pictures of these are to follow, but here are the first few of the things I have been up to since last Friday.


City & Guilds Patchwork And Quilting Final Assessment–It’s Finished!

At long last my final assessment piece is finished and the images sent for marking.  The piece is installed in its final position for all to see, well those who venture up the first flight of stairs and look up the second in our house, as it is situated at the top of the second set of stairs.

I can’t believe I started this course three years ago on Saturday.  During that time many things have happened, some good, some sad, some bad, some happy, all of them had an impact on the course and my feelings about my work – overall I learnt much but didn’t use it to the best of my ability.  I should have used my time in a better, more organised way, instead of procrastinating it would have been sensible to have selected my inspirational sources with a different eye and spent time working on the theme rather than just picking something I could work with that was easy.

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Cotton Patch Studio Day

I had an enjoyable morning yesterday at The Cotton Patch Studio in Hall Green Birmingham.  On show were the various quilting frames and sewing machines plus the associated paraphernalia they offer.

To see more visit their website at  The shop is only down the road from home so I enjoyed the walk in the sunshine, this also means the I visit often, spending far too much money each time.

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Experiments with 10 minute block

The fabric may be a bit ‘off’ but to experiment with they are ideal – left overs from other projects.  I have taken to basic principle of the 10 minute quilt and played with size.  I have found that the centre on-point block can be nearly as big as the finished 4 patch square.  It needs to be at least 1/2” smaller otherwise the points of the centre on-point square will be caught in the seams when the 4 patch is joined to another 4 patch.  The edges of the on-point square can be rolled to make faux cathedral windows with or without a further addition to the centre or just left as an on-point square.  The rolling of the edges also creates an illusion of curved seams without the stitching of curves.  The only proviso I would make at this point is not to go too small with the centre on-point square as this would make the manipulation that is required to make the block ‘work’ very difficult, but there is still plenty of room in this technique for more experimentation.  What if…………….. the square became a rectangle, a circle – I will have to have another ‘play’.

Feel free to let me know what you think.  You can either leave a comment here or email me at

‘Til next time.

sample 1sample 2

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With nothing to do but……..

I might not have a working sewing machine at the moment but I still have plenty to do – designing another quilt, a table runner and place mats, embroideries, as well as considering things for Christmas, yes that’s right Christmas.  Needless to say I got side tracked by the internet, as per usual, and came across this site. There is a link to a YouTube channel showing a multitude of tutorials which maybe of interest.

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Sick Sewing Machine Again!

My poor old sewing machine has become unwell again nearly 12 months since it last fell ill.  This time I think it is the swing arm that has a problem, the noise is dreadful therefore I have had to book it in with the sewing machine doctor.  I am in the middle of stitching my last City & Guilds assessment piece which has to be completely finished and images sent for assessment by 25th June.  I really hope I can get it fixed in time to finish the piece.

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Fabric for the next project

My daughter has had a quilt I made for her from fairy fabric for years and as she will be twenty at the end of July perhaps it is time for something a little more grown up.  She loves her fairy quilt, it has gone with her to college in Kent and has been for the last year with her at university in Cambridge, even she has agreed it is time for a new one, although there is nothing wrong with the original other than she has grown out of the subject matter.  So I purchased these fabrics to make her a new one, I have yet to decide on a design and size.


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My 10 minute block

My trial of the 10 minute block.  I used a fabric I had printed myself from one of my digital art pieces along with some left over fabric from another project, all were 8″ squares.  I chose not to roll the edges, this time, as per video but left it as it was once the piece was opened out.  I can see the possibilities for this with other combinations like reducing the size of the surrounding squares using triangles, so just a starting point for me – give me time and we’ll see what else I can come up with from the basic idea.

To make life easier please make sure everything is pressed thoroughly at each stage and I would also suggest that the fabric used for the centre is pressed in half both ways before starting, this makes the last seam easier to achieve.