Colour Pop

I had happy mail today. My subscription copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 33 arrived and this month there is a little project by yours truly in it.

 I had the great pleasure of working with Lecien’s new 1000 colours solids range. The colours are beautifully saturated and really pop against a white background. Here’s the professional shot from inside the magazine.

It’s a simple tumbling blocks design  but the placement of colours makes it look a bit more complicated.I used a variegated Aurifil thread to straight line quilt a star design over the pieced section of the wall hanging to add a bit of texture. This is what it looks like from the back of the wall hanging.

I do love seeing a project in print 🙂 Catch you soon x

Patience is a virtue…

.. that I don’t possess but thankfully Sarah does. About 6 months ago I held a giveaway over on Instagram and Sarah was the winner. The prize was a custom cushion made by yours truly. Sarah highlighted some of my designs that she liked and then left me to get on with it. Sarah was particularly fond of two of my quilts, Never Forgotten and Kaleidoscopic, so I figured I’d make something that included elements of both of them. What I forgot was that improv is not a speedy process for me, hence this cushion being 6 months in the making.

I started by making a Hexiestars block with fabrics left over from my Kaleidoscopic quilt and built random blocks out from there. I had to walk away from it at my first attempt as I just didn’t know how I wanted it to develop. Yesterday I picked it back up after a long absence and once I got into my stride it didn’t take long at all to finish it up. I crazy straight line quilted with a variegated green Aurifil thread which melted into the background beautifully.

I love the way it turned out and I’m hoping that once Sarah receives it she will think it was worth the wait. Catch you soon x

Radio silence

Well my plans for regular blogging really haven’t gone all that well. I have been busy sewing and sharing progress on Instagram but that hasn’t translated into blog posts. To those of you who still frequent these parts I’m sorry that you’ve been neglected. I will try harder, honestly.
I stepped in as an “Angel” for the Pillow Talk Swap Instagram edition so I’ve had a few fun days stitching up this cushion. I resized the templates from my Kaleidoscopic quilt to create this 18″ square cushion. I used Aurifil to echo quilt in the diamonds for a subtle look, there was already plenty going on with all the different fabrics.

 It was slightly painful sending this one off today, I really hope it will be loved by the recipient. I couldn’t resist taking a shot of it with the original Kaleidoscopic quilt.

I will be releasing the pattern for this quilt and a stand alone foundation template version very soon so please do keep an eye out for news shortly if you’re interested. Catch you soon x

Quilt Non 2016 – Mini Trellis block part 2

If you missed my original post earlier today you can find it here. I’ve stitched up my Mini Trellis block this afternoon over on Instagram but I thought I’d share the process photos here as well in case you wanted to see how the block goes together. I pulled a selection of fabrics from Karen Lewis’ Blueberry Park range for Robert Kaufman.

I prepped all the pieces before starting to speed things up.

I marked, cut and pieced each block separately to avoid getting in a muddle…

..stitched using an old needle and shortened the stitch length to 1.3 to aid in removing papers later.

Trimmed a scant 1/4″ seam within the block as the pieces are quite small.

 A couple of stitches in the seam allowance on the outer edges of the block help to hold the fabric in place when piecing the elements of the block together later.

I speared the relevant matching points with pins to make sure the alignment was OK before stitching. Before pressing I removed the paper from the seam allowances along the join to help it lay(lie? who knows?) flat.

Repeat with the other half of this section of the block.

Then there was the simple matter of making three more before the light vanished….I didn’t succeed. It was dusk by the time I finished so the colours look vastly different but the block is still pretty.

So there you have it. One finished Mini Trellis block. You can find the free pattern download here.
I’d love to see your version so if you use any of the following hashtags I’ll be able to find yours on social media #minitrellisblock #nelliesniceties #quiltnon2016
Catch you soon x

Mini octastrings

A while ago I signed up for the Pillow Talk swap on Instagram. I absolutely could not resist it as it was my favourite swap back in the days when Flickr was fun to use. My partner is a fan of scrappy so I decided to resize my Octastring block for an epic mini version.

Each block finishes up around 6″ and as each block is made up of 9 patches they are rather time consuming, well over 20 hours of work to get it to this point, but I think the end result is worth it.

Prepare for photo overload, I wanted to remember what each of the blocks looked like.

I echo quilted each of the blocks with a pink variegated Aurifil thread as I wanted the quilting to be simple and fade into the background as there was already so much going on with the scrappiness.

For the back of the cushion I used one of my favourite prints from Anna Maria Horner with the pink solid for a bit of continuity.

Before sending it on to its new owner I had to get a picture of it with the original Octastring quilt. I will admit this was a really tough one to part with!

I really hope my partner loves it as much as I do! Catch you soon x

The Easy Peasy Mini Tote – Free pattern

When I released the Easy Peasy Christmas Sampler I mentioned that I was going to make a Santa sack from one of the blocks. Well, amazingly, I have actually finished it! It’s approximately 10 1/2″ x 13 1/2″, so a decent size for little gifts and for little ones to fill with their favourite possessions when they want to tote them around. I have visions of dinosaurs and Lego being carried around in this one when Christmas is over.

This fantastic dotty print from Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell was the perfect snowy background for the nutcracker block. I wanted to make sure the bag was going to be up to the task of toting toys for a decent amount of time so lining was essential. I used another print from Gardenvale to pull everything together.

This mini tote took less than an hour to make so it’s a perfect last minute make. As making this made me feel festive I thought it might be fun to share how I made it so you can make your own!
You can download the PDF pattern free here. I’d love to see you version if you make one so please feel free to email a picture to or use the hashtags #easypeasyminitote #nelliesniceties on social media. Catch you soon x

The Easy Peasy Christmas Sampler

Yvonne, Emily, Katie, Trash, Mandy, Tina, Paula, Mary, Sue, Virginia, Rosie and Maria did me proud.

Thanks to my trusty pattern testers I’m releasing the Easy Peasy Christmas Sampler pattern today!

Here’s a badly lit photo of my finished quilt top. I used Kona solids and the stripy prints from Tula Pink’s Elizabeth range for this cheerful kid friendly version.

I’ve designed this quilt to be a very quick project. There is no foundation piecing and all the blocks are designed to be chain pieced to speed things up when making multiple blocks. The Easy Peasy Sampler is made up of multiples of 5 simple blocks: Nutcracker, Candy Cane, Christmas Tree, Star and Stack of Presents. Here are Yvonne’s cute print versions…

…and Trash’s.

The 12 page PDF pattern is in pictorial format so there is very little written instruction, as such it is suitable for people with at least a basic knowledge of patchwork techniques. 

The pattern testers have all enjoyed the pictorial format and have found it very straight-forward to follow, I hope that you will agree. Here’s an example of the page layout.

If you don’t have time for a full quilt you can use any of the individual blocks as the starting point for smaller projects e.g Santa’s sack, cushion cover, table runner. Simply refer to the individual block construction diagrams for cutting instructions and you’re good to go. I’m going to turn this little chap into a Santa sack for Mackinlay.
The blocks are really simple and lend themselves to being blinged up if that is your thing. Yvonne went to town on this little nutcracker block.
To celebrate the release of this pattern we’re offering it for sale at a 50% reduction until the end of November, so grab a bargain now! You can find it in our Etsy and Payhip stores.
We’d love to see any projects you make with the pattern so please do send us a picture or use the hashtag #easypeasychristmassampler on social media.
Catch you soon x

New additions

We’ve had a very special addition to our family! My gorgeous sister-in-law, Jade, gave birth to another handsome little man on Friday. Meet Harrison Joshua, little brother to our gorgeous Mackinlay.

I promised Jade a handmade baby changing bag which seemed only fair when she was creating this handsome little bundle. My energy levels have been extremely low recently so it was a case of doing little bits of construction as and when I felt up to it. I revisited an old favourite pattern for the purpose. The slouchy mama bag is voluminous which is just what you need when you have lots of baby stuff to cart around. I used one layer of interfacing and two layers of batting in the exterior shell and quilted a grid pattern using Aurifil to provide a sturdy exterior in the hope that it will live up to daily use.

I pulled lots of fun prints from Tula Pink, Cotton + Steel, Rhoda Ruth and paired them with this gorgeous deep orange kona solid. I figured the prints were grown up enough to be suitable for mummy and interesting enough to entertain small boys on bus trips.

I used some of this awesome tiger print from Tula Pink’s new Eden range and felt very proud of myself for sharing one of my favourites 😉 It’s not as selfless as I’d have you believe really, as I have yardage of this print for a dress!

I added my first (and probably last) concealed interior pocket so there would be somewhere safe to put keys/purse etc. if Jade wanted to leave here handbag at home. I can’t even tell you the amount of swearing that was involved in putting this pocket in. No idea why it was such hard work as it’s simple enough in theory! As is usual when I make something like this I fell in love with it but I’m sure Jade will love it too and I’ll still get to see it often…

While I’m on the subject of bags, there’s a free pattern designed by me on the Quilt Now blog for this simple patchwork tote bag.

I hope all is good in your corner of the world. Catch you soon x

That’s a wrap!

I have been counting down the days to finally be able to share with you my finished Quilt Now BOM quilt! Today by subscription copy (arrived ahead of it’s Thursday UK release) and I had pretty much ripped the wrapper open before it hit the doormat. Issue 13 is Quilt Now’s first birthday edition and it is crammed full of beauties this month. I’ve got a few projects in this issue so I’ll tell you about those another day and dedicate today to the BOM.  Prepare for photo overload!

It has been a great pleasure to create the first Mystery BOM for Quilt Now magazine and I’m so honoured that Katy trusted me to deliver the goods on this one. Here’s the finished quilt in the magazine. All of the fabrics used in this quilt are from Art Gallery Fabric collections and they play together beautifully.

It is very difficult to capture just how beautiful this quilt is in real life. It was also very difficult to fit the whole thing into the picture.

I sent the finished top away to my amazingly talented friend, Trudi, for quilting as there was no way I could do this one justice even if my shoulder/neck had been up to the challenge. The quilting just sent this quilt into another level of awesome, even if I do say so myself 😉 Trudi custom quilted each block and just, WOWOWOW!

The central medallion
The Dresden Fans and solid border
The vines and flowers
The Bargello technique blocks and solid border
The Trapunto-effect bow
The Fast Flying geese blocks
The crazy patchwork hearts
The Dresden corners
The Prairie Points block
The Suffolk Puffs/Yo-yos

I somehow forgot to take pictures of the Reverse Applique flowers and the Gathered hexagons but they received equally awesome treatment.

The quilt is backed with the Steepening Awakening print from Priory Square by Katy Jones and bound with a multitude of scraps from the prints I’d used in the quilt and was pieced and quilted with Aurifil thread. I’m really looking forward to this one coming home to me but I think it might be a while yet as it might be paying a trip to the Festival of Quilts, so you could have the opportunity to see it in real life if you are in Birmingham in August.

I’m quite sad that this BOM is finished but I’m super excited to have started work on the next one, an all solids quilt…

Our lovely friend, Sarah, sewed along with me this year and has already finished her version of the quilt top. It’s gorgeous so you should really pop over there to take a look!
I’ll be back soon to share my other projects in this issue. Catch you soon x

The star within

Hello. Sorry it’s been a while, life is getting in the way a lot! Between hospital appointments, physio, secret sewing and preparing for, then recovering from a rather hectic weekend visiting Download Festival last weekend, there hasn’t been a lot of time or energy for blogging. I thought I’d pop by today to share a finished mini quilt top with you. I started this mini, for the Anna Maria Horner mini quilt swap on Instagram, way back in April and the deadline for posting is looming fast so I had to pull my finger out and finish the hand-piecing pronto! I’ve got a nice hole in my finger for my troubles but thankfully no blood has been shed 😉 As usual I’ve pieced this using Aurifil thread for no irritating tangles.

I’ve called this EPP block “The Star Within” for what I hope are obvious reasons. Finishing up at 24″ square this mini has taken more hours than I care to think about to piece by hand so I really hope that my partner will love it as much as I do. There are fabrics from three or four different collections by Anna Maria Horner in this one and I just love the riot of colour. It’s going to be tough to part with this one when it’s finished. I just need to decide how to quilt it then get it in the post by the end of the week…no pressure! Hoping all is good in your corner of the world. Catch you soon x