Playing With A Purpose

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play. ” Abraham Maslow


Three Completed Book Covers

A while ago I bought a couple of notebooks and a diary, just £1 each, with an idea that I could cover them and make some cheerful presents.

IMG_7385 - Copy

Detail On The Shabby-Chic Version




Detail On The Diary Cover

Two of the covers are sewing-themed and the other is ‘shabby chic’. The one with button-patterned material has a handy space on the right of the button band to slot in a pen.



I found them quite simple to make and used some fat quarters, iron-on interfacing and lace, buttons and a decorative pin from my stash. The covers are all removable so they can be reused on a similar size book and I’ve attached a matching bookmark inside each one.

I have a recipient in mind for each book and am quite pleased with how they turned out. Playtime is definitely good for the soul.


Trust The Process


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‘Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t Hurry. Trust the process.’

Alexandra Stoddard

I’ve been busy making half-square triangles with the Black Tie Affair strip sets I  wrote about in my previous post. I cut each strip set into 10 inch squares and sewed them to 10 inch white squares, right sides facing. I then made two diagonal cuts across those squares, magically making four half-square triangles each time.

I’m not clever enough to work that out for myself! I don’t have a brain that works in 3D. I admit that I followed Missouri Star Quilt Company’s instructions here:  Cutting Corners Quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company

Half-square triangles can be used in any pattern you choose that makes use of the format and I have chosen to make two quilt tops with these designs….


Starburst Quilt Pattern



The Four Seasons Block Quilt

To take the photos I laid each quilt on the floor and stood on a chair. Being vertically challenged, I couldn’t get the whole of each pattern in the photos, but I hope you can get the general idea.

The rows still need sewing together in the Starburst Pattern. The Four Seasons quilt top is ready to go. But it needs a good ironing looking at that photo!

I need to get them both finished soon as it’s time to begin Christmas projects, time just seems to fly by. Have you already started on yours?





A New Quilt Started And An Old One Changed


Strip sets sewn this afternoon. The start of my new quilt.


They will be ironed and cut into 10 inch squares tomorrow.


My Butterfly Quilt is now a wall-hanging.


And here’s some of the detail.

To be fair, the Butterfly Quilt is nothing like what it was supposed to be. I started it more than two years ago and it was meant to be a double-bed size but I soon discovered, when I was cutting out all the pieces and making the blocks, that applique is never going to be my  most favourite thing!

The pieces were packed away with everything else for our house move and forgotten about. When I unpacked them at our new home, I decided that I would make something out of what I had already made and abandon the pattern I was following. Hence a wall-hanging was created.

There are so many colours in the butterflies and several different background fabrics that I decided to sew a simple outline around each butterfly and leave the quilting at that. I am pleased with how it turned out and I don’t think that anyone will know it has shrunk in size to what it was meant to be.

Absolutely ages ago I saw a photo of a fabric line that was not the usual bright colours that I go for in my quilts. It was called Black Tie Affair by Basic Grey for Moda. It must have sat at the back of mind until last week because, when I found a pattern I liked for my next quilt, Black Tie Affair popped into my head as the ideal fabric to use!

We will see if I made the right choice as the quilt progresses…

Christmas Exploding Block Quilt


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“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali

A quilt made by me is never ever going to achieve perfection: I like to think I am making something unique instead of perfect, but anyway, I’ve been playing with my third Exploding Block Quilt (a Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern). It’s doubled in size so that it is now 8 blocks by 6 with each block being 4.5 inches square. This is the largest quilt I have made and it’s also the first time that I’ve used variegated thread on a quilt. The green, cream and red thread colours blend in with the fabrics well I think, but at the same time, makes the stitches stand out.


As you can see, I still have the border to do. I’m trying to decide whether to use decorative machine stitches or free motion quilting. Either way I will be using the variegated thread. What do you think?


Where I Need To Be



“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.” Douglas Adams.

IMG_7221Sept 2015

Teignmouth Pier, Devon


The past year (2015) was a very busy one. Some highlights were attending hospital for Chemotherapy, selling our house, moving into a rented flat in Devon, finding a bungalow to buy and moving in just before Christmas.


Teignmouth Beach


Everything was packed away for 6 months whilst we lived in the flat and it feels wonderful to be opening boxes and rediscovering all my sewing stuff!

Now I feel that I can get my life back to normal and have just started to quilt again. I plan to double the size of my Exploding Block Quilt, then I’ll post some photos, but it’s good to be back.