cot quilt

Woodland Alphabet Quilt wip

by Helen on March 5, 2014

Sometimes it feels so easy ….  I’m sure you know what I mean …. those rare occasions that you have an idea and translating it into fabric and thread just flows, everything happens right the first time.  It’s such a magic, wonderful feeling that for me at least, happens only rarely – usually I can be found muttering, unpicking, tweaking and re-stitching!  But there was no unpicking at all while I was stitching this project – my Woodland Alphabet Quilt …

It’s destined to be a gift for some friends who have been waiting for adoption for some time.  They’ve recently heard that they’ll be bringing home a little boy aged seven months in just a few weeks time.  I do hope they’ll like my gift…

It’s still very much a work in progress, but I finished piecing the top late this afternoon – just some borders around the edges and it’s onto the quilting.  I was inspired by the clean lines and appliqued text of the Baby Life Quilt design by V and Co that I found in the Moda Bakeshop

I love the uncluttered feel of this quilt and wanted to try to give my Woodland Alphabet Quilt the same feeling of simplicity and space – as well as including lots of  forest friends ….


I followed Vanessa Christenson’s tip of zig-zagging around my applique shapes with clear thread.  All my shapes were quite simple so there wasn’t too much huffing and puffing while pivoting around corners.  My favourite block is R for Rabbit (of course!) …. 

Though the hedgehog and mouse are cute too.  I’m considering whether to add a narrow patchwork border around all the squares before the final wider borders – if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions I’d love to hear them.  This project will be included in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew eMagazine and then I’ll be wrapping it up ready to send to my friends in time for their baby boy’s arrival.  



It rained on my party…..

by Helen on July 30, 2013

Yes, it rained on my party!  It was sunny the day before, and (mostly) the day afterwards.  Everyone started arriving at about 4 pm, and by 5 pm we’d all retreated indoors.  But …. despite (or maybe because of) the weather, it was a very good party (even though I say so myself!).  I meant to take lots of photos to show, but completely forgot to do so … all I can share is a picture of the buffet table – and even that is covered up to protect it from floating newfie-hair!  But I’ll show you anyway:

partyweekend 005

 Possibly one of the least exciting pictures I’ve ever shared!  Much nicer is this shot of the beautifully cheery sunflowers Rosie brought for me .. 


 In a vintage enamel jug in the perfect position on the turn of the stairs.  One of my party guests was my friend Carolyn who is expecting a baby daughter in November.  She lives in Dubai, but is back in England for a few weeks, visiting friends and family.  I’ll be going to visit her there towards the end of the year and want to make a quilt for her baby to take with me.  So while she was here, I asked her to select some fabrics from my stash  as I’d like her to have exactly what she wants and also I don’t want to spend a lot of time making something she won’t like.  Here are her choices ….. 

partyweekend 010

 They’re not a selection I would have picked – but they work really well together I think – clearly Carolyn has an eye for colour.  She’d like lots of white too, and a modern pattern with (sob) no embroidered details.  And this is where I need a bit of help please.  I’m not an expert quilter (as you know!) and so I wondered if anyone could suggest a modern cot quilt design that you think would work well with these fabrics?  And that is not too complicated for me to attempt!  Any suggestions would be very gratefully received!  


I’ve finished my Moon Bunny Quilt and managed to take some photos in the garden between the heavy showers we’ve been having here all day.  I also managed to squeeze in Ben’s walk between the showers and thought I’d show you what I have to put up with from that naughty dog.  He is of course a Newfoundland dog which means he adores water – and so he didn’t care one bit that the sky was ominously dark to the west, another torrential downpour was imminent and his mum wanted to get home before the heavens opened and she got soaked! 

Spot the Newfie!

Can you spot him in this photo?  Yes, that is not some strange wild water creature – it is Ben playing hide and seek in the stream …. 

Ben's not coming out!

And I think what he’s saying is, “You want me?  Come and get me!”  See what I have to put up with!  I did eventually manage to persuade him it was time to come out, but only after he’d splashed backwards and forwards for quite a while.  Luckily we just about made it home before it rained! 

Moon Bunny Quilt

And here is the finished Moon Bunny quilt.  (sorry it’s not the best photo but it’s been such a dull, grey, rainy day …).  I followed the suggestion of incorporating stars into the quilting – then did sort of zig-zags and outlined a few blocks.  I was trying to give the impression of one of those astronomer’s charts where the constellations are plotted onto a grid.  I also outlined the applique design and the individual appliqued stars …

Moon Bunny

 I don’t know if you can see very clearly in this picture.  I should have taken some of the reverse, but didn’t and of course it’s dark now so hopeless to try to get a good photo.  Hopefully you can also see that I outlined some of the blocks to try to look like the grid on a star chart.  If you’d like the Moon Bunny Quilt pattern, I’ve uploaded it – just CLICK HERE for the free pdf file. 

Oh .. and if you don’t know the Moon Bunny legend, I blogged about it some time ago and you can CLICK HERE to see my original post if you’d like to read the story.


Moon Bunny Quilt Project

by Helen on June 7, 2012

Now all the Jubilee celebrations are over there’s time to start stitching again.  We had a fantastic village party here on Monday, which was great, because on Tuesday the heavens opened and it hasn’t really stopped raining since – typical English summer weather! 

Rosie isn’t bothered though because she’s off on holiday next week – which is why she’s working so hard on her recipes for her new feature coming in the July issue of the  Bustle & Sew Magazine.  She’s off to Turkey where the sunshine is guaranteed – in fact for me if anything it’s a little too hot at present – the forecast is 36 oC next week! (97 oF).  We spent many happy family holidays in Turkey when she was younger – visiting Kalkan many times .. it’s a beautiful place and everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

Moon over Kalkan

 One of the joys of holidaying there was being able to sit outside at one of the many pavement cafes enjoying a cool drink watching the sunset and moonrise.  This picture  was taken probably about 10 years ago and shows a beautiful full moon over Kalkan Harbour. It gave me the inspiration to re-interpret my Moon Bunny design.  Previously you’ve seen him as an embroidered bunny..

Moon Rabbit (2)

Some time ago I added some beautiful Westfalenstoffe fabric from last year’s Kitzbuhel collection to my stash….

Westfalenhoffe Kitzbuhel

 Beautiful soft blues and yellows – perfect for a cot quilt  featuring my Moon Bunny as an applique block …. 

Moon Bunny Quilt in progress (2)

 In felt so he won’t fray, attached with Bondaweb and machine appliqued with a feather stitch and gold metallic thread (I hate using metallic thread, but sometimes there’s no alternative!).  Look how good I am getting at making my seams line up.  I can only see one wonky one in this photo, which means my accuracy is definitely improving.   Here’s a close-up of the bunny …

Moon Bunny Quilt in progress (1)

I embroidered his features with stranded cotton floss.  The stitching around his star is a little puckered, but I think it will be OK after I’ve washed the quilt as I’m using a cotton batting with 3% shrinkage. 

If you’d like the little bunny pattern then please click here for the line drawing.  If the quilt works out OK, then I’ll upload the full pattern when it’s finished. 

I know that quite a few people who visit my blog are much more expert quilters than I am – and I wondered if anyone had any suggestions for quilting this project.  I’m now a very confident free-motion stippler, and would like to try something new – ideas welcome please!