Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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Easter is a coming!

I know it’s only February but Easter will be upon us before we know it and this year I intend to have a table full of chickens.  No not literally but as place mats and a table runner so I have been working on birds.

chicken sketch


chicken 1

Chickens for Easter may be the priority although Christmas has only just gone I have looked at cardinals.  Not a native to the UK, I know I like the colour and that little plume on the top of its head, making it an ideal candidate to square up and turn into a patchwork block for next Christmas.


Above is my starting point, and after scouring my patchwork books, below are just two of my sketches and my block without its legs and obviously in the wrong colours – I just wanted to give it a go, find out what I need to work on, apart from the colours!

sketch book


I don’t like the triangles, to me it looks like the poor thing is all crunched up or has a painful back, perhaps I could use applique to make the creature more curvy. This block measures 15” square so could end up in my scrap quilt as I did use up some of my scraps to make him. A work in progress, thank goodness for EQ7, it saves on all the drawing!




bird work in progress 1bird work in progress 2

He looks a little fat or his wing is too small and his head well, a bit of work definitely needs to be carried out.

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How far can a layer cake go?

From just one pile of 40 10” squares of fabric and 1 metre of two coordinating fabrics and 1/4 of basic white, how many items can be made?

I chose to work with Moda’s basic grey/blitzen with the coordinating fabric taken from this range.

Christmas Layer CakeChristmas Yardage 1Christmas Yardage 2


The basic white I had from Doughty’s online – I bought a whole bolt as I can get through white at a rate that can be quite frightening at times as it is so versatile and it is slightly cheaper to buy a bolt.

I did not use the layer cake pieces as 10” squares but chose to cut these into 5” squares.  Which in effect gave me 4 charm packs.

From these charm packs I used 69 squares for the large quilt with a 1/4 metre of white and 1/2 metre of the red yardage.

Large 51x51

This quilt measures 51”x51” and came from an idea I had seen many years ago (sadly I can’t remember where).  Once I had made this quilt top I decided it was far too large for my needs so I got to work again reducing the number of 5” squares for the centre.

Medium 41x41

It has yet to be finished but is a much more the size I require 41″x41″.  All that is left to do is:- layering up, quilting, and finally the binding – this applies today to all the items I have made from this fabric line.

With the left overs I have made 3 smaller table toppers measuring 18” and the backing for one of these toppers, which could be used to make a cushion instead as the piece measures 19” square.

small 1 18x18Small 2 18x18Small 3 18x18

Backing 19inches


At the present time I only have scraps left of the layer cake and about 1/2 metre of the white/red/green yardage. Perhaps I will make a cushion and use the basic white as the backing.

Could I have made much more from just this one layer cake?

Next time I use a layer cake  it will, perhaps, be time to change shape!

The layer cake is (apart from being a calorie loaded type of cake) a selection of approximately 40 x 10” squares of fabric, the selection is usually from the entire fabric designs in one range but can and often does contain duplicates. The name Layer Cake was originally coined by Moda, although there are other selections from other manufacturers.

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Kaffe Fassett Quilt finally completely finished!

Hurray, it has taken me nearly a year to do but it is finally completely finished, although not to the size it was originally designed to be.  I am really pleased that I have made this quilt, it took me out of my comfort zone by forcing me to work with pastel colours and floral fabric both of which are not in my usual range (this choice was my own, I decided to work with these parameters).  I just hope the recipient loves it as much as I do.


Would I follow a pattern from Kaffe Fassett again?  Hmmm……..probably not, but what I would do, would be to read the pattern through thoroughly then work out how I would put it together rather than follow the instructions given.

Will I re-create this quilt in the future? ……….. Maybe because I like the idea of framing a larger scale pattern within the smaller scale print framing fabrics.

Would I use striped fabric again?…… Yes, of course but with thought this time rather than doing as I was told!  I’m not sure I like the higgledy piggledy way the stripes lay within the borders.  I don’t know whether I would piece the borders again either, I think I would applique the on-point squares to the sashing fabrics for speed rather than anything else.

If I’d had more time, this is a present for a really lovely, bubbly person, I would have quilted by hand around the blooms within the frames to give them more definition. 

The back was made from all the little left over bits and the sashing fabric, I did enjoy making the back and although the fabrics are pastel they do have a vibrancy that I hadn’t expected! 

Will I use pastels again?…….. Yes, certainly.

Will I use floral fabrics again?………..Hmmm………Perhaps, but they would have to be really special or different from the normal.  Stylised floral, yes definitely.

I really enjoyed the workshop at the Festival of Quilts last Year, where this quilt was started.  As I probably said at the time, it was amazing to see how many different interpretations of the same pattern came be produced just by using fabrics chosen by personal choice, rather than slavishly following the design.

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Batik Quilt finished and Kaffe Fassett top done

I can’t quite believe how productive I have been since my return from America.  I have started and finished 3 quilts, finished another quilt top that will be layered up early next week and quilted, bound and label attached before the end of next week; I have also knitted two jackets and a scarf, designed, cut out ready to sew at least 12 creature bag tags – only another 18 to go to complete the set.


Kaffe Fasset top 1Kaffe Fasset top close up

The above quilt top has only been on the go for 12 months since last years festival of quilts.

I have had fabric printed ready to make into scarves, that’s another job for next week as this weekend is DD 21st birthday, so party time!  The garden is tidy and cleaned up the lawn needs mowing and the edges clipped but that will get done this evening.  Sunday garden party here we come.  Tomorrow I will be making a tiered death by chocolate cake covered in chocolate fudge sauce, chocolate and then just to add something more sweets – smarties, minstrels, chocolate buttons, jelly beans, marshmallows, glitter anything I can find oh and of course 21 candles!


Aprons and the latest quilt top finished

The 3 aprons I made from fabric bought at Jo-Ann’s are finally finished, I have another one cut out but am waiting to go shopping for some more ric-rac or for the time to make some trim out of the left over fabric from the other aprons.  I don’t know which will come first.

I have also finished another quilt top this week too, just waiting for the border, backing and binding fabric to arrive, this will be completely finished within the next week or two.

The pattern was so easy to do, the fabric was from a jelly roll bought from the bramble patch ( )

batik quilt

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Flying Geese made very easy

I will be giving this technique a try very soon but I will have to reconsider the ergonomics of the work space as the way this person works is dreadful, this technique could be made much more efficient and therefore even less time consuming when the working environment was looked at differently.

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Latest Quilt is finished!

The quilt I made with some of the fabrics I brought back from America is finished.  I used the fabrics pictured in a previous post ( )

I made the simple pattern up as I went along; the quilting is even simpler as I just followed the lines of the piecing.  All that’s left to do is attach the quilt label.

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Applique Cushion Finished

cushion finished 1 002

I know I have said in the past I do not follow patterns well this is an exception – I bought the kit in the Corn Wagon whilst I was staying with my Aunt and Uncle in Utah.  I was like a child in a candy store in this place, everywhere I turned was glorious colour, I can’t wait to go back but I don’t think my husband will be too pleased, it might cost too much money!

Now on to the next project using the fabrics in a previous post…..