Tried and Tested: Clippings quilt pattern

I am currently working on this lovely pattern called Clippings which was published in Issue 28 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. The pattern is for a giant block which finishes at 24 inches square. I wanted to turn my block in to a baby blanket so I added a 3 inch border.

Clippings WIP front

I didn’t use any wadding in this blanket and instead chose to back it in a cosy flannel fabric for a bit of extra warmth.

Clippings WIP back

You can see some of the sewing lines. In the centre where I did a bit of hand sewing with embroidery thread, just to anchor the centre piece. For the rest I decided to ‘stitch in the ditch’ using a red thread, around the dark fabric. Stitching in the ditch is usually done with a matching thread that will not show, but I wanted the thread to show, the red gives a subtle outline to the pieced design.  I love how it turned out, but it does require very careful stitching and concentration as any wobbling off will be very visible against the white background.

I just need to decide what I am going to do for the binding.

Fabrics used:
Top: Flappy Owl by Copenhagen Print Factory, Owls by Copenhagen Print Factory, Dot in Dots by Copenhagen Print Factory, White Every Day Organic Solids by Clothworks. Back: Twig Fall Tomato by Birch Fabrics.

Happy sewing,

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

Linking up with Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday and Freemotion By The River and Fabric Tuesday


Around The World Blog Hop

I am so excited to have been asked to take part in the Around The World Blog Hop by Greta Anderson from Material Detachment, hop over and find out more about Greta’s quilting exploits. I have really enjoyed finding out a bit more about some of the bloggers I already follow and have discovered some new blogs as well.

The rules of the Blog Hop are 1) Acknowledge the person who nominated you. Thanks Greta. 2) Answer four questions. 3) Link to one to three bloggers to carry on the Around The World Blog Hop, it’s like passing on the Olympic flame!

Here I go with the questions.

What are you currently working on?

Here’s a little sneak peak.

Escape Fabrics

After writing my tutorial on how to make a personalised Santa sack, I decided that I would write a pattern for a quilt top. I designed the pattern after receiving my lovely fat quarter set of Dashwood Studio fabrics. I love Dashwood Studio, not least because the designers are British (and so am I!) The fabrics are from the Retro Orchard collection by Wendy Kendall, with a bit of Flurry added in. I knew I wanted to showcase the fabrics in the design of the quilt top, so I have kept the pieces large and simple. I am rather excited to start cutting fabric and get this project underway.

How does your work differ from others?

This is always a difficult question, I find the whole notion of being unique rather difficult…anyway, what I can say is that I have never made a quilt from a pattern, from my first quilt I have designed them all myself. This was not intentional, when I started quilting I got a great book from the library that went through the whole process of making a quilt from start to finish. A great way for a beginner to learn all of the basic techniques and all the quilting jargon, I thought. So I had the book, I bought all the sewing supplies and the fabric. I was ready to start, however I found the book really difficult to understand. I have since discovered I find written patterns of any type difficult to follow, I need a real step by step, with photo’s of each step which is just not practical in a published book. I gave up on the book and turned to YouTube. Those badly filmed five minute videos is where I learned to quilt! Actually some of them are very well filmed and some of the quilters are very experienced. I love YouTube, it helped me to see what the book was telling me to do, it took away some of the confusion, I fell in love with quilting and wanted to know more.

My First QuiltThis is the first quilt I made, it’s a cot size quilt.You can’t see on this rather bad photo, but it has hand quilted circles in the blue squares and there is hand quilted along the edges of the red gingham strips.

It was at this point that I decided I couldn’t really be bothered with accurately matching seams and started to find out more about art quilts. I read this great book Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. It’s a book full of different art quilt techniques, including printing photographs on to fabric. At the time I was doing scrapbooking and was working on a photo montage using some scrapbooking techniques. After I read the Art Quilt Workbook, I knew I had to create some sort of photo frame in fabric.  I had no idea what I was doing and just printed my photo’s out in whatever size I thought they looked best, then I had to work out how I was going to get all of these different sized blocks in to a quilt. This is what I cam up with.

Photo Memory QuiltEvery single one of these seams is a set in seam! I literally cut each piece of the background to fit as I stitched the photo’s together. It was not the easiest way to create this look, but I love it. I wanted it to look like the photo’s were ‘floating’ on top of the background fabric. The only other photo quilt I had seen at that time that looked like this, had the photo’s appliqued on to the background. I was determined to piece my quilt. This is the third quilt I ever made, and it is not perfect, it’s a bit wonky, but I adore it. I was asked once if I would remake it, now that I have developed my skill, my answer was and will always be a resounding no!

My work today has grown out of those beginnings, I still don’t follow patterns, (although I do read them, patterns are a great source of inspiration) and I like to create quilts that have a randomness about them, a lack of uniformity.

Why do you write/create what you do?

Why do I make quilts?…Because I can…Because I want to! Before I discovered quilting I had never known what it was to be so passionate about something. I had hobbies I enjoyed, like reading (love fiction) gardening, I had done a bit of sewing, tried my hand a scrapbooking, then I discovered quilting…and the world made sense! Angela Walters has called her blog Quilting Is My Therapy and I can 100% relate to that. I decided to turn my hobby in to a business and opened a shop on Etsy in May of this year.

Why do I write this blog? I realised that I was (and still am to a certain degree) quite bad at documenting the quilts I make. I get in to the ‘zone’ plough through making the quilt, give it to it’s new owner, then realise I have not documented how it was made and in some cases did not even get finished photographs. I started the blog to force myself to take the time to document the quilts I make, I still need to work on documenting the ‘in progress’ bits. Pattern writing is really an extension of documenting how the quilts are made, I have a couple of quilts that I cannot remember how I actually made them!

How does your creative process work?

I usually start with the fabric, I choose what combination of fabrics I want to use as the main focus first, then I design a quilt pattern with the fabric in mind. For example if I have fabric with a large scale print, I will want to show that print in the quilt top, so I will have some larger blocks to accommodate that. When I have designed the quilt top, I then decide if any extra fabrics need to be included then set about cutting, and piecing. Then I baste together my quilt sandwich and at this point I think about how I want to quilt it, although I am working on designing the quilting at the same time as the quilt top as this sometimes has implications for seams.

My process includes a lot of time draping fabric, quilt tops, basted quilts about the place waiting for them to ‘talk to me’.

Passing on the Hop

I thought it would be fun to have some non-quilty links to see where that leads us.

Hop on over to these very fun blogs:


The Hybridians

Karen Walshe Textiles


Lisa at The Quilting Bird

I am linking up with Anything Goes Monday  A Round Tuit  Cleaver Chicks Blog Hop Crazy Mom Quilts






TUTORIAL: Personalised Drawstring Santa Sack or Toy Bag

This week I have been working on writing a tutorial for how to make a santa sack. I have had so many lovely messages about the santa sack I finished last week (view that post here), from people who are new to sewing, I decided to share how I made mine. santa sack tutorialThe santa sack for this tutorial has a simplified version of the patchwork, I did on the other sack. There are no seams to match up, so it is not too scary for anyone new to patchwork. The construction on a drawstring bag is also pretty straightforward for beginner sewers. Of course if you choose different fabrics for this tutorial you can make a large toy bag instead.

drawstring toy bag

This toy bag was made with an old sheet and fabric scraps.

Drawstring Toy Bag

Back of toy bag showing patchwork.

I would really love to see your finished santa sacks, you can email them to me at the address on my about page and I will feature my favourites. If you are a beginner (or like me you find patterns seem to be written in a foreign language) and you get a bit stuck, please drop me a line and I will do my best to help you out. Continue reading

Thank Friday It’s Finished! Lined santa sack

Santa Sack

I showed this as a work in progress in a previous post. It has now had all the markings washed off, stray threads clipped and has been ironed so it is nice and crisp.

The fabrics are some gorgeous fat quarters I picked up from Kaleidoscope quilt shop’s stand at The Festival of Quilts 2014. They currently have the fabrics in stock in their online shop. I have used Christmas Wish by Lizzie Mackay for Dashwood Studio and Winter Wonderland by Moda. From my fabric collection I added in some metallic prints from Makower UK.

Santa Sack

The starry fabric for the back is another metallic print called  The Henley Studio from Makower UK, I purchased this from Hobbycraft. I got my fabric in store and they don’t seem to have it listed online. For the name I used Stained by Sharpie fabric markers, this was the first time I used them and they are really easy to work with on fabric. These fabric markers have a brush tip and can make thin or thick lines depending on the angle of the brush and how much pressure you use.

Santa SackI have lined the Santa sack using a calico (muslin) and stitched a 4 inch strip of the backing fabric to the top, so when the drawstrings are pulled you see the pretty fabric, not the boring calico (muslin). I added a grab handle that can also be used as a hanging strap.

All the fabrics used are quilting cotton. The finished size of the Santa Sack is a very roomy 60 x 65 cm (23.5 x 25.5 inches). I wanted it to be large enough to fit those bulky presents in and thought it would be a useful way organising the under the tree presents. The handle also makes it versatile so it can be hung up instead of a Christmas stocking.

I made this for a friend but loved the way it turned out so I have added it to my Etsy shop.

There are a lot of shop links in this post, I have added these for your information and I am not affiliated to any of the shops mentioned, (apart from my own of course).

Santa SackLisa at The Quilting Bird

I will be linking up with Needle And Thread Thursday, Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, Let’s Bee Social, Show and Tell Tuesday Sew Can She






Sew-vivor 3: The quilted bag challenge results are out

The Sew-vivor 3: Quilters Edition is now half way through with two challenges completed. The results for the quilted bag challenge is out today and I am pleased to say that Jade from Stitch Mischief is still in!

Have a look at my favourite quilted bag entries here.

Here is Jade’s quilted bag entry for you to admire.


Jade was one of my favourite 3 from the top 16 contestants. There are now just 5 contestants left in the competition and two more rounds to go. Next weeks challenge is Hexies, I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Get the full list of who’s in and who’s out over at Rach H’s blog Family Ever After

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

Free Dashwood Studio fabrics

I was able to attend The Festival of Quilts 2014 in Birmingham, which I was very excited about. Unfortunately I do not have any photo’s due to technical difficulties (I forgot my camera…what can I say). Anyway, I arrived home to find this waiting for me.

Dashwood Studio Fabric

This lovely fat quarter bundle is a fabric collection from UK based textile design company Dashwood Studio, click here to read about how much I love them. This particular fat quarter set called Retro Orchard by designer Wendy Kendall.

The fabrics are really fun and lively so I have designed a simple quilt pattern to really show off the fabrics.

But the best thing about getting this fat quarter set, is that it was completely FREE. Yes that’s right, I didn’t have to pay for it. I took out a subscription for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and got this lovely bundle of fabric worth £25 FREE. You can get your free fabric bundle too, the offer is running until the end of October for UK subscribers.

Support British talent.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird




Dashwood studio ‘Enchanted Forest’ fabric collection

Following on from my previous post about UK based textile designer  Dashwood Studio, which you can read here,  I thought it would be nice to have a closer look at one of the very scrumptious fabric collections.

Enchanted Forest Fabric

The ‘Enchanted Forest’ fabric collection has been designed by Phyllida Coroneo.

Phyllida’s colour palettes and bohemian florals are influenced by her love of interiors and fashion styling, photography, culture and the British Landscape. The Enchanted Forest Collection was inspired by childhood memories of the Somerset Countryside and the magical series of ‘The Faraway Tree’ books by Enid Blyton

Want to find out more about British surface designer Phyllida Coroneo? click here

Do have a look at Dashwood Studio and support British talent.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird.