Pain stops play

My stupid back has been giving me hell so there has been much whinging and complaining and very minimal sewing. What little sewing I have been doing is secret and with a deadline fast approaching I’m thankful for diazepam! To alleviate the misery that comes with lack of creativity, I have had fun laying out tiles for our kitchen. Hubby has been very tolerant and agreed to these gorgeous patchwork style tiles. Rather amusingly they are called Batiks…
 I love the effect that they give. I think they’re a good mix of traditional and modern style and they represent my patchwork madness that dominates the rest of the house but was a bit lacking in the kitchen until now. The kitchen feels very homely with this little infusion of colour. I’ll get a better picture when hubby has finished the grouting…As it just wouldn’t be right to finish a blog post without something fabric-y I thought I’d share my progress so far on the Patchwork of the Crosses BOM. Jessie Fincham of Sew and Quilt is running this gorgeous Liberty fabric BOM and while the fabrics and colours are not really me I suspect there is a teenager not too far from here who will love this when it’s finished.

I’m running slightly behind as I’m fairly certain month 4 won’t be far off but as I’m stitching the blocks together as I make them I’m using that as my excuse. I just know that if I left all the joining to the end of the 12 months BOM the quilt top would never be finished. It’s quite nice to just stitch something without having to make any design decisions for a change.
I hope all is good in your corner of the world. Catch you soon x

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

Running late – Month 7 Crossroads

Time has flown past again. It appears I’ve missed our 5th blogiversary! I’ll have to remedy that very soon with a giveaway but for now I’m belatedly sharing this month’s Nellie’s Niceties Mystery BOM block.

Shock, horror, it’s another EPP block. I’ve called this one, Crossroads.  

It’s a 6″ block that produces a pretty secondary pattern as usual when used in mutliples.

The pieces sew together very quickly which makes it a satisfying “sewing for fun” project. Here’s one I pieced last night.

I’m intending to make another 3 so I can make a 12″ block out of them for my sampler. If you fancy having a go yourself you’ll find the templates, info sheet and colouring sheet here.

If you decide to join in I’d love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #crossroadsblock. Tell your friends, the more the merrier 🙂 
Catch you soon x 

Floral Fancies and friends

Here I am to show you my final contributions to Quilt Now Issue 13. First up, Floral Fancies, a really cute EPP design that can then be appliqued to a backing.

 I used Oakshott solids for my flowers …

and vintage sheet scraps for my backing.
I used perle thread to hand quilt the centre of each flower…
and to stitch the self-binding in place.
My final contribution this month is my Diamonds Kites and Stars pattern which was included in the free EPP project booklet.
It’s another EPP and applique combination which makes it a little more time consuming than straight forward EPP but I think it’s worth the extra time. 
In other news, while I’m on the subject of EPP, I’ve added bonus 6″ templates of Hexiestar Tamed to the Mystery BOM section of our website. 
I’ve been having fun playing with the 6″ version and thought you might like to try them out too. Catch you soon x

Mystery BOM Month 6 – Fiesta block

This month’s Nellie’s Niceties Mystery BOM block is yet another EPP block. Sorry if EPP is not your thing but I’m in a hand piecing groove at the moment 🙂 I’ve called this one Fiesta. It’s a 6″ block, slightly tricky but still fun.
As is typical for my designs there’s a nice secondary pattern in multiples.
You’ll find the free templates, info sheet and colouring sheet on our website. Here’s proof that the block actually works in fabric 😉 
If you decide to join in I’d love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #fiestablock. Tell your friends, the more the merrier 🙂 
Catch you soon x 

Fat Quarterly – Cartwheels

What seems like forever ago I made a little hot-pad for Fat Quarterly e-zine using my Cartwheels EPP templates. Due to the whole Vat-Mess nonsense towards the end of last year the e-zine temporarily ceased trading but now, thankfully, it is back up and running on Payhip. You’ll find my hot-pad and lots of other gorgeous paper piecing projects in Issue 20.

I used Katy’s Priory Square fabric for my version and it now takes pride of place on our new kitchen island 🙂

Here are a couple of shots of the island while it’s still nice and tidy. It’s a Stenstorp from Ikea and it is a perfect match for our existing kitchen which did not come from Ikea, bonus!

I intend to put a vase of flowers on there eventually but the worktop is newly waxed so I don’t want to spoil it yet.

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

Let’s go fly a kite – Mystery BOM month 5

This month’s mystery block is a 6″ EPP block that I’ve called Let’s go fly a kite.
As you’d expect there’s a cute secondary pattern when combined in multiples.
You’ll find the info sheet, templates and colouring sheet on our website. The block goes together in a couple of hours and should be suitable for everyone from confident-beginners upwards. I should probably have ironed mine before taking a photo but that was too much like hard work 😉
I thought you might like to see my sampler progress so far, please excuse the masking tape.
If you decide to join in I’d love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #letsgoflyakite. Tell your friends, the more the merrier 🙂 
Catch you soon x

Hexiestar tamed

Before I launch into the latest month of the Nellie’s Niceties Mystery BOM  I thought I’d update you on the continuing saga of the trapped nerve. It turns out that I have 4 bulging discs in my neck and degeneration in 5 of the bones in the same area of the neck. Just in case that wasn’t enough I’ve also got 3 partially torn tendons in my shoulder, nerve impingement, tendinitis and bursitis. According to the physio the shoulder injuries were probably caused by sewing related tasks. Who knew that quilting is an extreme sport?! Needless to say I feel justified in the amount of moaning I’ve been doing about the pain I’ve been experiencing 😉 I’m now awaiting an appointment with the specialist but I have been warned not to expect them to be able to help. To top it all off Jess is having a rough time too and is currently awaiting an MRI. Such fun! If things are quiet around here you’ll know why. I’m still very active over on Instagram though as that doesn’t involve as much time or planning.
Right, now on with the BOM.

This month I’ve re-visited an old favourite, the Hexiestar and given it a bit of a face-lift to make a 12″ square block.
As usual it produces a secondary pattern when combined in multiples.
You’ll find the free PDF templates, info sheet, block layout and colouring sheet on our website. I like to layout my paper pieces in advance so I fiddle around with placement if I’m using prints. 
Thankfully I’m using solids this time. I glue baste all my pieces because I like the speed and precision it gives. One of the most common questions I’ve been asked about piecing the Hexiestar is how I baste the narrow triangles, so here’s a pic to show you. 
I generally start by piecing all of the narrow triangles to the hexagon, then filling in the gaps as I go but in order to get some daylight progress shots I skipped that plan this time. I do recommend referring to the block layout sheet as the pieces are not equal sizes in the Hexiestar Tamed block. 
When filling in the gaps I start at the base of the narrow triangle and work my way out to the  point.
When it comes to capturing the point of the narrow triangle you can start at the point and work your way back down to the base of triangle if you are nervous about it.
I’m usually gung-ho about it though and just catch the two in-fill triangles together when I get to the point.
Continue until the hexiestar is complete, then “tame” it by adding the corner triangles.
Ta-da. One Hexiestar Tamed block.
If you decide to join in I’d love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #hexiestartamed. Tell your friends, the more the merrier 🙂 
Catch you soon x
Edited to add: You can now find bonus 6″ Hexiestar Tamed templates on the Mystery BOM page of our website. You’re welcome, enjoy! x