Monday, 16 January 2017


Just popping this image up here so I can link to the mosaic contest that Rachel at Stitched In Color is hosting at the moment (here).

It's very hard for me to resist choosing fabrics, even if I'm only doing so virtually! These ones are from The Loopy Ewe.  Coincidentally, there is a fabric shop near Wellington called the Krazy Cow - the people who named these two shops must have been on the same wavelength!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Block Pattern - Spring Chickens

For the last 18 months or so, I've been designing the block of the month for my local guild, Capital Quilters.  I keep thinking that I really should share the block patterns here, but have never gotten around to it.  To be fair, I haven't gotten around to much blogging at all lately.  Anyway, here we are!  I'm starting off with Spring Chickens, which is the most recent block I designed.  Of course, you can change up the colours to suit yourself, but I have left my original colour instructions for the guild.

Here is the link to download a pdf with the chicken templates.  Please note, when printing, you must use the "Actual Size" or 100% scale setting, NOT the "Fit" setting.

I really love the idea of my own free range flock of chickens, and fresh eggs every day. My current house isn’t really suitable though, so for the meantime, these gals will have to do. The point here is to choose fabrics that in no way resemble the actual colouring of a chicken - a medium to large scale multi coloured print for the body, with more intense brights for the wing and comb and dark for the legs so that they stand out from the background. For the background, choose a blue-grey fabric, something a little on the dull side, and with enough contrast to your chook body that you see the outline clearly.


Fabric and cutting 
For this block, you need:
 - a 9 ½” square of a light or medium fabric that reads blue-grey
 - multicoloured light or bright scrap for chook body
 - small bright scraps for wing and comb - this will be more effective if the fabric reads as a single colour
 - small dark scraps for legs - this will be more effective if the fabric reads as a single colour
 - fusible webbing (steam-a-seam, vliesofix, softfuse, etc)


Trace the chook body, wing, comb and two leg pieces onto the back side of your fusible webbing. Cut out, leaving some extra room around the shapes. Fuse the fusible webbing onto the WRONG SIDE of your chosen fabrics. Carefully cut out the chicken shapes on the line you have traced. 

Cut a 9 ½” square from your blue-grey background fabric. Lay the pieces out on your background square. Make sure there is at least ¾” between the lowest part of the feet and the edge of the background fabric. The chicken body should cover the top of the legs and the bottom edge of the comb, so that you only need to sew around the uncovered edges. Once you are happy with the position of all the shapes, fuse in place.


Using your sewing machine, blanket stitch or zigzag stitch around the chicken shapes to secure them to the background fabric. Use a thread to match your applique shapes (you might have to change colour for the different elements), or an invisible thread.

 The block should finish at 9 ½” square.

If you follow me on instagram (@adrianneonthewindyside), you will see that I have started my own quilt with blocks that are similar to these, but set on point.  So far all my chickens are assembled but yet to be stitched down.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Sew Together Bag (the first)

I am super lucky to already have a Sew Together Bag, made for me by my friend Anne (featuring cats, of course).  Anne has made lots of these bags, and has become sort of a guru.  A couple of weeks ago, I watched her walk another friend, Wendy, through the process for making one, and realised that it didn't seem so hard after all (you can see Wendy's bag here).

sew together bag

I went to Craftsy to buy the pattern, and found that I had already bought it!  So I definitely had to try my hand at making one myself. When I went to buy zips, I found myself immediately drawn to the peach zips, and knew I had to use some of my peachy fabrics in this bag.

sew together bag

The good thing about the Sew Together Bag is that lots have been made already, so you can do a lot of google or instagram stalking to see which ones you like, and the different things that people have done that work for you.

sew together bag

I didn't use the maximum possible number of different fabrics for this bag, because I like the slightly more controlled look that fewer fabrics give. The interior fabrics are a mix of Lizzy House, Carolyn Friedlander, Heather Ross, Umbrella Prints and Sarah Watts prints, and the exterior is Carolyn Friedlander (binding and side panel) and Jay McCarroll (the main fabric).

sew together bag

I worked from both the pattern instructions (which are rather lacking in pictures), and the excellent Quilt Barn sew-along.  My tips for this pattern are to go slow, step by step, be prepared to change your thread colour lots (and have different colours in the top thread and the bobbin as required), and cut a second bag at the same time you cut your first (because it's that addictive).  It's definitely fiddly, but satisfyingly so!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Garden for Birds - Rainbow version

Hello!  After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back!  I'm hoping to start posting with more regularity again, but, we'll see...

Anyway, this quilt has been finished for a while, but I haven't previously found the motivation to post about it.  It's the third quilt I've made from this pattern (my own).  This is the original Garden for Birds Quilt and this is the Garden for Birds Quilt 2.

I made this one over the course of last year as I taught this quilt pattern for the second time.  It was nice to sew along with my students (although all my stitching was done outside class time, of course).

Garden for Birds 3 

This time I went back to something slightly more along the line of my original quilt, with rainbow colours and a low volume background.  A little black sneaked in as well, since I was going high contrast with this quilt.

Simple quilting seemed to be the way to go, so I quilted a large scale meander design over the whole quilt, choosing Aurifil in my favourite colour, 2021.  To make the quilting stand out a little more, I went with a 40 weight thread instead of my usual 50 weight thread - its still subtle but just that bit heavier.

Garden for Birds 3

My stash is pretty out of control, so I have been trying to make quilt backs from fabrics in my stash rather than buying yardage for quilt backs.  Sticking with the rainbow theme, I used a selection of cheerful prints for the back of this quilt, which I rather like.

I'm about to start teaching this class again for the third time.  Every year, my students come up with fabulous and different interpretations of the pattern - I'm excited to see this year's batch of quilts!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Caturday Wisdom #165

Work your angles. Ivy

This angle is as flattering for cats as it is for humans! It's looking like a grey, rainy weekend for us - perfect for napping/sewing, whichever you prefer.