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

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

Quilt Non 2016 – Mini Trellis block

Julie Dueck of The Intrepid Thread is hosting a free online community event on Instagram for those of us who are not attending the annual Modern Quilt Guild’s convention (Quilt Con) in the USA this weekend. There will be tutorials, challenges, games, prizes and shopping discounts from 18th -21st February. You can follow along on social media with the hashtag #quiltnon2016

I’m one of the hostesses and have revised a block from the Nellie’s Niceties Mystery BOM to share on Instagram – Mini Trellis.

To make a 6″ Mini Trellis block like this you will need:
Four 3″ squares palest pink
Four 3″ squares baby pink
Six 1 1/2″ squares mid pink
Four 2 1/4″ x 1″ strips baby blue
Four 2 3/4″ x 1″ strips baby blue
Eight 1″ x 3″ strips baby blue

You can download the free pattern here.

I’m going to be sewing along on Instagram (reeneatnelliesniceties) if you want to see how the block comes together.
Edited to add: You can see the process pictures here.
Catch you soon x


My pattern testers have worked their magic for me again. Huge thanks to Trash, Sally, Elisa, Ellisa, Darla, Maria and Michelle for producing all of these gorgeous blocks!

I’ve designed the blocks to be very quick and effective for a single project or used in multiples to create a stunning quilt. There is no foundation piecing and all the blocks are designed to be chain pieced to speed things up when making multiple blocks. As the patterns are in pictorial format there is very little written instruction, as such the patterns are suitable for people with at least a basic knowledge of patchwork techniques.

I’m delighted that the pattern testers all enjoyed the pictorial format of the Easy Peasy Wonderland blocks pattern. Maria and Trash had tested the Easy Peasy Christmas Sampler for me previously so they knew what to expect and weren’t disappointed. Phew! It’s always a bit  nerve-wracking sending patterns that I’ve designed out into the wild so I’m always relieved to receive positive feedback.

This time around I have prepared patterns for the individual blocks as well as a combined pattern so that if there is a particular block that takes your fancy you’re not committed to having to buy all of the blocks. All of the blocks have a colouring sheet for testing colour placement before cutting into precious fabric!

The Eat Me block pattern contains the block in two sizes 6″ and 12″.

The Drink Me block pattern also contains the block in two sizes 6″ and 12″.

The Flamingo block pattern contains the instructions for a 12″ block.

The Top Hat block pattern contains the instructions for a 12″ block.

The combined pattern has all four of the blocks and the suggested block layout for the quilt top I’m making. It’s also available with a saving of £1.50 compared to buying each of the blocks separately. Who doesn’t love a bargain?

I’m still plugging away at my Easy Peasy Wonderland Quilt so it’ll be a while before I can show you my finished project so here’s a little progress shot.

We’d love to see anything you make with these patterns! You can use the hashtags #nelliesniceties and #easypeasywonderland on social media so we can find your pictures.
Catch you soon x

In the works

I’ve been having fun playing with a new easy-peasy quilt design – The Easy Peasy Wonderland Quilt. This one has been brewing in my head for a year or so and I just hadn’t found time to put it into action, so, it was most serendipitous that Katarina Roccella released her Wonderland fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics at the end of last year.

I’m loving how the blocks are looking so far. I’ve made Drink Me, Eat Me and the Flamingo, next on the list is the Top Hat. Here’s a sneak peek at the layout I’m working towards.

The pattern is almost ready for sending out to testers so if you have free time this month and fancy testing for me leave a comment below or email me and I’ll contact you when the pattern is ready.

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

Ribbon Dance

Issue 15 of Quilt Now is a couple of weeks old now so I’m belatedly sharing with you here what regular readers of the magazine already know. Month 2 of the Quilt Now BOM is Ribbon Dance – a pretty collection of half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles. Here’s the Kona solid version that is in the magazine.

For this month’s mini-quilt I used some prints from Doe by Carolyn Friedlander and a fleecy backing fabric.

For good measure I also made one up for my print version of the sampler. I used prints from Carolyn Friedlander’s new range, Carkai and a print from The Lovely Hunt by Lizzy House.

I’ve put a few multi-block layouts together in EQ7 to give you some inspiration if you fancied trying out a quilt using this block. This one makes me think of Argyle socks…no idea why, I’m  just putting that thought out there.

This second version uses the block on point.

If you decide to join in I’d love you to use the hashtag #quiltnowbom on Instagram or Twitter so that Quilt Now and I can find your blocks. There are a few blocks on there already which makes me a happy bunny 🙂 
Hoping all is good in your corner of blogland. Catch you soon x