Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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


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

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

Reinventing the bird

I have been quickly reinventing the bird, no not really obviously but by moving a few lines, turning other straight lines in to curves I have a new bird design, probably not new as nothing is new these days but this is the product of my thinking and my EQ7 programme with assistance from my mouse. These curves are a little more difficult to stitch but I love a challenge – so watch this space for the bird reproduced in fabric.
birdy curves

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment


I was commissioned by my little son to knit him a hat over this weeks half term holiday.  It’s now Thursday evening and this is how far I have got!


Hat in progress

To be fair, we have been away for two days, I started on Sunday evening and I am a really slow knitter – in my mind it should be finished by now.  The pattern is very easy – cast on an uneven number of stitches in multiples of 4 plus 3.  For example 83. Every row is knit 2, purl 2 to the last 3 stitches knit purl 1.  This should produce a ribbed moss stitch.