Posts Tagged patchwork

Extreme Patchwork

Well, I’ve done quite a lot of patchwork but I’ve never tackled anything like this.

How amazing is this!

……and you can be sure your neighbours won’t have one just the same.  More striking  furniture here.

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Flower Fairy Box

The latest box to be finished in my Patchwork group is Doreen’s which she made in a gorgeous flower fairy fabric for her little girl Enola. 

Actually, Doreen wasn’t there when I showed the others in the group how to make the sewing boxes and she was shown by one of the other women who had learnt from me but I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the box and the lovely Enola.

I love that everybody is so chuffed with their boxes and nearly all of them want to make a second one.

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Learning New Things

When I still lived in the U.K. I belonged to a patchwork group which met every week and a whole lot of chatting and oohing an aahing over fabric went on and, sometimes, we even used to make stuff.  I have missed this camaraderie amongst the fat quarters so I have been meaning, for the past 6 years, to join a similar group here in France.  Ironically, given my frequent tirades against La Poste, it was one of the post office clerks who discovered I was a fan and offered to take me along to a local group.  Most of my quilting, I have to say, is done by machine as I have neither the patience nor the teeny tiny stitches to do it by hand but my main reasons for wanting to belong to a group are the opportunity to improve my ‘chatting’ skills in French and because it’s one of the only places still left to me where I can be one of the youngest there! 

one of the younger group members

The level of skill of some of the women there is frightening.  I am hoping to learn some new crafts.



Hardanger embroidery or ‘ardanger’ as we say in France (!)  is a form of embroidery traditionally worked with white thread on white even-weave cloth, using both counted thread and drawn thread work techniques.  As somebody who almost checks herself into the nearest institution when attempting cross stitch, I’m not sure this is going to be one for me.


What I do fancy, however, although it looks incredibly fiddly and difficult, is boutis.  A  tradition in Southern France, the art of boutis was highly prized in the 17th and 18th centuries. Boutis is embroidery on two sewn cloths, giving printed or plain motifs a raised pattern, and filled inside with a layer of cotton.  Ooer!  Tiny, tiny stitches, fiddly patterns, plain white cloth – bring it on! Well, I’m going to give it a try anyway if only because it is traditional in this area and I feel obliged.  Also, I need something to do ‘à la main’ whilst I am with the group so I might as well give it a go.  It will not be anything as complicated as the above.  Yvette (the head honcho of the group) gave me some patterns to trace.  I did laugh. One of them is a big heart, adorned with flowers and there are two birds in the centre.  As if!  I am going to try a single heart!  I’ll let you know how I get on.

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On a Roll

I don’t know whether you saw my post about planning a quilt for my daughter’s 18th birthday (a whole year away yet but it will go soon enough) here but I have promised myself to do a block a day and, that way, I should have the top pieced in around 3 months.  I have made 9 blocks so far and I need 120. 

A Beginning

Having bought a jelly roll – which is 42 x  2 1/2 inch strips, cut across the width of the fabric – without any clear idea of how I was going to piece the top of the quilt, I then decided to use the coordinating panel on the back, surrounded by one of the fabrics from the range and completely piece the top – thereby making the quilt completely reversible.  I deicided to make blocks with a square of  fabric surrounded by 4 different strips.  So, of course, I needed to buy 2 charm packs and another jelly roll, which wasn’t easy as this range was (I think) last year’s so isn’t  widely available.  I probably won’t need that much but, better to have more than not enough and I can always make other things from any surplus.

I bought a book with quilt patterns using jelly rolls so now I’ve got another two which I may, or may not, start before  I’ve finished Megan’s quilt.    This is the reason my workroom is a bit of a mess .  Too many projects on the go at once.

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Gourmet Patchwork

I’ve been trying to think of the best way to utilise the lovely fabrics that I bought to make my daughter’s quilt and, during my internet meanderings, I have discovered that there is now a  veritable ‘menu’ of pre-cut fabrics to choose from.

I love the names  and the way they are presented.  Moda even has a ‘Candy Bar’ pack which comes wrapped like a bar of chocolate.  Yum!

Clockwise from l to r, Candy Bar, Turnover, Layer Cake, Jelly Roll

Here is a guide for those of you who, like me, haven’t made a quilt since there were only fat quarters and charm packs.

A Layer Cake contains 40 or 42 10″ squares.

A Candy Bar contains four pacs of 40  2 1/2″ x 5″ strips of each fabric included in the fabric lines. 

 A Charm Pack contains at least one 5″ square of each fabric included in that fabric line.

 Turnovers contains 80 triangles (40 squares). Join 2 triangles to make a 5″ half square triangle block.

A Jelly Roll contains 40 strips, 2 1/2″ x width of fabric.

 A Honey Bun contains 40 strips, 1 1/2″ x width of fabric.

A Jelly Cake contains one Layer Cake AND one Jelly Roll!

 A Charming Jelly Cake contains one Layer Cake, one Jelly Roll & one Charm Pack! A Dessert Roll contains 10 precut 5″ x WOF strips

What hope is there now for those of us who already have a fabric addiction?  These people really know how to push our buttons.  Have they no pity?

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Planning an Heirloom

I can’t tell you how much fabric I’ve got stashed away but, strangely enough, when I decided I wanted to get started on making a quilt for my daughter’s 18th (well over a year away but I don’t want to rush it!!), I decided I didn’t have anything quite right.   I want to make something she’ll like now but also in years to come.    She likes the fabrics in this jelly roll and says they will also remind her of me – bless! – so I’m going to use those with this panel from the same fabric range in the centre.  I’ll decide on the backing and quilting pattern later.

Central Panel

Jelly Roll and Others

The three fabrics on the bottom are nothing to do with the quilt but I can’t resist a bit of text so ordered them at the same time!

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Book Cover by roseachocolat

Book Cover by roseachocolat

Who needs to know whether you’re reading the latest bestseller, a classic novel  or your child’s copy of  Harry Potter?

I love Isabel’s gorgeous book covers.  I don’t embroider myself – I’m sure it would push me over the edge(!), a bit like cross stitch – so I admire it in other people’s work.

I couldn’t resist these gorgeous colours and I love the castles and little hearts so I had to buy it.   I might use it on a journal or address book so that it is in constant use – I’ll decide when it arrives.

See some more photos of  Isabel’s work at

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European Quilting Bee

Somebody just asked if I would be interested in joining a virtual quilting bee.  I am intrigued.  I think it works like this.  There are 12  people, say,  and each person is allocated a month where they send fabric to each of the others, with instructions, and a block is made and returned so you end up with 12 blocks.   I think it would be fun but I’m  a  bit apprehensive for a few reasons. 

i) The postage is hideously expensive in France so the month that I am allocated to send out fabric would be scary.

ii) What if I don’t like somebody’s work when it is returned to me?

 and, most importantly! iii)  What if somebody doesn’t like my work?

Has anybody got any experience of these virtual bees?  Are they fun? Is it worth doing?  Please advise!!

My First Quilt

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Birds, Trees and Polka Dots Runner


It is so hot here at the moment – in the mid 30s – I don’t mind so much during the day but I hate it when it’s too hot at night.  I have finally given in, realised that I must live in semi darkness and, like the French, close my shutters against the sunshine.  I must admit, it definitely keeps the house cooler but, in my opinion, it’s a high price to pay.

Anyway, mustn’t complain, I’m off to the U.K. at the weekend for a wedding so that’ll probably cool me down.

Been busy making stuff as usual and I am quite pleased with this table runner.  I knew I wanted to use the birdy fabric with black but wasn’t sure about the side panels so went mad and chose the polka dots.  I think (hope) it works.  The back is a straight run of the bird fabric because it’s so lovely I wanted to use a whole stretch of it and it’s a side for calmer moments.

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A Summery Table



I bought these bright, summery fat quarters from an American website and have been waiting for inspiration.  Anyway, I decided to make this table runner with squares of the fabric and, to tone it down a bit and make it more sophisticated (I hope), used linen for the edges.  Also, instead of a plain linen back, I decided to use the fabric, in smaller pieces, to make a more interesting reverse side and so now it is reversible – da..da..!  I decided against quilting as I don’t think it would suit this piece – it is fresh and natural looking and I felt quilting would complicate it too much.  Not because I’m lazy, honest.

A Summery Table

A Summery Table

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