Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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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 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.


Patchwork and Quilting Catch Up.

Well here we are just starting the fifth week of 2013.  It feels an awful long time since Christmas, but I am glad the days are growing a little longer day by day, the light levels are increasing making stitching that bit easier and we are seeing the sun, ok I am seeing it today on and off.

040213we dont get snow 3

It’s amazing what a couple of weeks can make.

I have been busy since my last post.  I have designed, made and given away 4 Christmas table runners, a Christmas candle mat, 2 small quilts,

dan Bennett fabric quiltscrap quilt 1

Christmas tree ornaments and pencil cases.  I have made – a larger quilt top for us (yet to be finished!), a tree skirt, a long table runner and a dozen placemats (long since put away, a hundred small stars had to fused in place); a jumper for my little son, designed several quilts yet to be made

and started looking at blocks with a view to redesigning them so they are easier to make (using 1/2 square triangles rather than odd shapes and or ‘Y’ seams) and with a view to using pre cut fabric packs.

This idea came about after I had seen a video tutorial from the Missouri Star quilt company on the internet which produced the star above from 2 10” fabric squares in 3 colours A, B and C.  These squares are laid right sides together as follows A & B, A & C  and B & C, stitch around the edges 1/4” seams, then cut along the diagonals to create 1/2 square triangles; arranged as above. this creates a star 25” square (finished).  I started to think that if a star can be created like this why can’t I add extra lines into blocks (I have so far looked at those above and the carpenters wheel) to create half square triangles to make construction easier and quicker.  Care needs to be taken not to stretch these triangles, as the edges are all on the bias.  The blocks above have been worked by paper piecing first of all so I can be fully aware of the construction and feel of them before rearranging, plus I have some hand dyed fabric left from a couple of Halloween hangings I made last autumn.

The first one above is fairly simple and can be made from half square triangles and squares or completely from 1/2 square triangles as described above, although if made from 10” the finished block method, would measure 25” the same as the star – a very quick quilt.

This week I intend to make a start of a scrap quilt, quilt design 1 (from the album above) finish the block for design wall 3 and work more on the redesigning idea.

Oh just a last thought I have had a mad time working on a possible but very ambitious quilting design – if I can draw it, I must be able to quilt it mustn’t I?

ambitious quilt design 1

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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.