Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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Creative Week 21

Lovely Sunday morning spent with my husband watching our little son playing cricket, at Rectory Park, Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands.

Sunday morning cricket 30th June 2013


Here he is just about to start

Little son just about to start playing his cricket match


The rest of this past week has been spent on trying out different/new ways (to me) of doing old things.  For example, tube piecing to make diagonal striped squares.

tube piecing 1



I also made a couple of pineapple blocks I always thought these were to much like hard work to construct, what with all those angles to be cut, how wrong I was, this technique is so easy and quick to do, all using 21/2″ strips.

pineapple 1



pineapple 2

I’ll be turning these to into cushion covers but now I realise how easy this is construction is I may make a whole quilt this way.

I have cut the fabric for the next project, it is sitting waiting on my table, but as the vacuum cleaner has decided to breakdown this could be stitched a lot soon than I expected – Hurray!

the next project cut

This weeks quilt idea I have called Peaches

peaches quilt

This quilt measures 52″ by 52″ but could easily be adapted for different sizes.

peaches block 1


peaches block 2

The blocks are 10″ square (finished) The quilt has two borders- the inner border measuring 2″ wide (finished) and the second 4″ (finished)

Follow these links for the fabric requirements – peaches fabric requirements For the rotary cutting instructions – peaches block 1 rotary cutting info  peaches block 2 rotary cutting info For the templates peaches templates

Before I go here is the cricket tea I produced on Saturday for the Olton and West Warwickshire Cricket Club 3rd Eleven and their Opposition, there wasn’t much left – the scones and cakes (all home made) always go down well.

cricket tea 29th June 2013

The cakes this week were – vanilla with chocolate butter cream, sticky ginger cake, my special lemon drizzle and apple with a hint of cinnamon and of course scones with either raspberry or strawberry jam.

until next week. Thanks for dropping by. x


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Creative Week 19

This week I thought I’d show a page of my book, showing the design of a new quilt top.

sketchbook page 1

I have some large prints in the Ticklish Collection from Moda,

diagram 1

which I wanted to try to keep as whole as I could without going down the route of just framing them with other fabrics a la the Kaffe Fassett workshop quilt I made last year.  I have this print in four colourways, this will yield me eight blocks – 4 positive and 4 negative.  I have applied fuseable web to the backs of all 4 fabrics, cut 9 10″ blocks from a tone on tone black print (my little son bought for me at Christmas).  The 8 print blocks will be applied to the black fabric squares, blanket stitch will be done around each print before adding sashing, from the black fabric and corner stones, from a colour or colours from the prints;  then laid out in a 3 by 3 block arrangement with a blank black square in the middle to make up the quilt top.  The quilting on the centre block will be done with a varigated thread in a pattern to mimic the cut prints, with straight lines stitched through each block, along the diagonals, top to bottom and left to right, I will also stitch in the ditch along all the seams.

Here’s how I made the blocks-:

Applied fuseable web

Applied fuseable web

Adding guide lines for drawing shapes

Adding guide lines for drawing shapes

drawn shapes ready for cutting

drawn shapes ready for cutting


block 1

block 1 neg


block 2 pos and neg


This, as I am sure you have guessed, is still a work in progress!

Quilt Show reminder

21st – 23rd

National Quilt Championships

Sandown, Esher

Thank you fro dropping by, until next week. x

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Creative Week 18

What a week! Our beautiful darling daughter had the private view of her university exhibition, so we had a lovely trip to Cambridge.  It was great to see her work along side her fellow students, we also got to see the work of the other departments too, some very interesting ideas were on show.


My Beautiful Girl at her exhibition.



My youngest son had his internal school exams all week, followed by a trip to Edgbaston, with his dad and big brother, to watch the first match of the ICC Champions Trophy which involved England beating Australia.  then up early to play in another cricket match in Coventry.  He has now gone off with school for a week to Wales under the guise of a geography field trip but really I think they are all just going to have fun.

With everybody being out of the house all of Saturday I managed to make a quilt and the backing before they all came in for something to eat.

Quick quilt a


Quick quilt backing b


I have written the pattern which can be found here:- Quick Off Set Block Quilt (and backing) I made this quilt primarily to practice my quilting and as per usual I have not yet layered it up ( a job for very early next week).

Last week I also made the Rail Fence Trio quilt from last week blog post.  As can be seen I made it larger as I had extra fabric and yes I have made (sort of) a cushion to go with it – neither are finished (yet).

Rail Fence Trio quilt


So what’s on the agenda for the coming week?  I intend to design a quilt using a layer cake I have called Ticklish from Me & My Sister Designs for Moda, I also want to make a blouse that has been sitting waiting for a while and I suppose I had better take advantage of the fact that little son isn’t here to do some cleaning (what!!!!) before making cakes for the cricket teas on Saturday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Until next week. x




Creative Week 13

zig zag quilt top

I have actually done some sewing this week – I bought a kit whilst in the States last year for this quilt top but decided I didn’t want to make the size suggested so in stead of the 81/2″ by 41/2″ rectangles I used 21/2″ by 41/2″, but made the quilt up in the same manner ( removed some of the smaller triangles replacing them with a larger one where necessary).  This small version measures 28″ by 31″, I will be adding borders.  This all means I have lots of these fabrics left to play with.






Next up for these fabrics is a nine patch quilt.

This weeks quilt idea:- Woven Windows

This quilt measures 491/2″ square

woven windows

Each block is 6″ square.  I love the way the blue seems to add a third dimension to this quilt idea.

woven windows block

Each block is the same but on a different orientation this link will take you to the quilt layout. woven windows layout

The following is the fabric requirements in yards – woven windows fabric. The rotary cutting info – woven windows rotary cutting and the templates for hand stitch this block – woven windows templates

I have included another version of the same quilt, just by rearranging the colours and adding white has given this a completely different look which I have called Woven Stars.

woven stars

The layout, the block, the rotary cutting info and the templates are just the same as before so follow those links above but here is the fabric requirements (in yards) for this version – woven stars fabric

Now the garden calls – it is a public holiday here and for once the weather is set to be good – perhaps this is our one and only day of summer this year best make the most of it!  Thanks for dropping by. x

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Creative Week 8 (another exciting post title)

I managed to finish the Easter table runner and place mats with a few hours to spare, but I forgot to flip the cutting of the second rabbit on the runner (what an idiot).

easter runner and mats

easter mat 1 easter mat 2

easter mat 3 I have also worked on my scrap quilt a little more, having cut the batting away from 4 of the blocks and joined these together.

Lay out block ready for cutting

peel back the backing before cutting the battingblack with all excess batting cut away

how the edges will be folded in once all stitching completed 1how the edges will be folded in once all stitching completed 2

Now this is turning into a really long post I think I’ll do another one with this weeks quilt idea, so hold tight I’ll be right back.

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Creative Week 7

I really need to think of a new title for these posts but the current one sums up, or not, what I have been up to in the last week.

Remember my idea of a chicken runner for Easter, well that has been kicked into touch as I have decided to go with an egg, bunny, flower design, straight from EQ7 as time is running out.

Straight from EQ7

Straight from EQ7

As it is I have only made the centre block.

Centre block

Centre block

All with fused appliqué.  I will also be making place-mats to go with the runner, so I have made three of these blocks.

There are no exhibitions to be reminded about this week. So Happy Easter.

Argyll Cross Quilt. 

Argyll Cross- in these colours it send my eyes funny.

Argyll Cross- in these colours it send my eyes funny.

argyll cross block

argyll cross block

These links are for the fabric requirements argyll cross fabric info, the cutting info block 1 argyll cross block 1 cutting info, block 2 argyll cross block 2 cutting info, edge block 1 argyll cross edge block 1 cutting info, edge block 2 argyll cross edge block 2 cutting info, corner block 1 argyll corner block 1 cutting info and finally corner block 2 argyll corner block 2 cutting info

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Creative Week 5

1st scrap block quilted

The first of the 16 scrap blocks for my scrap quilt, each block is 14.5″ square. I will be using a quilt as you go method, joining the blocks once the quilting is done, each will have a different backing which I intend to use as sashing by bringing the backing to the front, folding it to look like binding and hand stitching in place. I’ll take photos as the process sounds harder than it is. I learnt how to do this when I was at the HMQS in Utah last May.

I have also been working on an easy quilt to share.

Designed in EQ7.

Designed in EQ7.

easy 1 block

Click on the following link for the quilt layout easy 1 layout and this for the first block cutting info easy 1 block 1 rotary cutting info and the second block cutting instructionseasy 1 block 2 rotary cutting info

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Creative Week 4

chicken final trial

Above is the final trial for my chicken/Easter table runner and mats (without its eyes!), this block measures 61/2” by 51/2”.  I have yet to decide whether to set it on point or square on, with or without sashing.

chicken trial 1chicken trial 2

These are my other trails:- the first was discarded because I didn’t want the bars down the sides, although I do like the fabrics, shame I don’t have any left.  The second was the trial for the final choice but made form charm squares, this measures 5” by 5” a bit too small for what I need.

grid quilt top finishedgrid quilt top detail

I also finished the grid quilt top too.  I would re-create this but I would think long and hard about the construction to eliminate any unnecessary seams.  I particularly like the weave effect of the sashing strips.  All that needs to be done is layering it up (a job I hate), quilting, adding a label and binding – a job I love.

Oh just a reminder that this week see the Creative Stitches/HobbyCraft Show in Glasgow from the 7th to 10th March And the Spring Quilt Show at Duxford (8th to 10th)

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Creative Week 3

It was half term for my youngest son last week, so I spent as much time with him as I could – I love having him home, needless to say not much of my creativity was allowed to show, after all homework is rather important.

Although, when he wasn’t doing homework and we weren’t out enjoying ourselves, he spent time on his X-box which is in the same room as my sewing station which meant I could actually be with him and he let me sew.

I am still working on the scrap quilt blocks, and have now decided I need 16 blocks to make a decent sized lap quilt (approximately 60” by 60”), I will make 17, the spare one will be used to trial the quilting out on – I do have enough scraps after all.  When this ‘spare’ one is finished with I will bind it and use it as a pot holder – no waste!

I have others from previous weeks to add to the collection.  All will measure approximately 12” before framing and 151/2”(unfinished) when framed.

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Creative week 2

This past week I have made four scrap quilt blocks but they have yet to be framed and squared up, I have run out of the mauve framing fabric I used on the last two so will have to hunt through the hand dyed drawer for something to go with it all – I may end having to dye some fabric yet but we’ll see.

creative week 2 acreative week 2 bcreative week 2 ccreative week 2 d

I have also worked on the grid quilt constructing three of the eight rows, working from the bottom up (no reason, it just happened that way!)  The photo is sideways as my design wall (still isn’t finished – I have lots of works in progress) is currently only 2 foot wide.

creative week 2 grid quilt