Foundation Paper Piecing

I decided to have a go at foundation paper piecing today.  It’s been many years since I used this method whilst on a course.  I would like to make a log cabin quilt one day so thought I’d have a go at doing a square using this method.  It’s a simple one to do so it was good for me to practice.  I used a free pattern from the internet.  I really enjoyed this method as it was easy to do.  I shortened the stitch length to enable the paper to be torn off easily and  just used ordinary printer paper and small pieces of scrap fabric.  Some of the fabrics are from old shirts  found in a charity shop.  New fabrics are expensive to buy so I managed to cut down on the cost by recycling some old shirts and used cheap printer paper.  Maybe another time I might do a children’s cushion using this method and put a picture in the centre square.  There are lots of possibilities for this.  IMG_0101




IMG_0093I had the sudden urge to make some bunting.  Maybe it’s because summer is finally with us and the sunshine reminds me of celebrations in summertime.  I was given the fabric and decided to make the bunting.  I’ve only made it once before and it was very thin and flimsy.  This time I decided to make it thicker by having two sides to it.  I was quite pleased with the result but it was only then that I thought where on earth am I going to put this.  It ended up on my stairs.  Maybe I’ll make some more bunting for Christmas.

Anything Goes

This quilt has been slowly evolving.  I decided that there would be no rules to follow.  Mistakes are embraced instead of being anxious about them.  In fact I feel that the mistakes add to the character of the quilt.  This is a very personal project.  I have often made a quilt as a gift but never made a quilt for myself hence I have just put on it what I want to and there are a few words on it which mean something special to me. Some of the fabric is recycled from old shirts.   It is a long way from being finished yet but I wanted to share with you the work so far.  I am stitching straight onto the wadding.  I decided to try this method but it’s heavy to stitch through the machine so it is quite a challenge.  I don’t think I will be tempted to try this again but what is that saying?  ah yes “Never say never”.

The picture of the lady in the quilt is my Grandmother who taught me how to sew.  One of the phrases I have included is “What a wonderful world” from the song Louis Armstrong sang.   My father loved listening to his songs and that was one of his favourites,  you can see I made a mistake whilst printing the words onto the fabric so I adapted it accordingly.  As I said this quilt is still evolving so there will be many more additions to come.  There may be more words, applique, lace, and of course mistakes.  I have many ideas forming in my head so we’ll see how it turns out.IMG_0091

Group Project

I am a member of a local patchwork group.  We have been working on a group project to make throws for children to sit on during story times. This particular project is for a local charity. I enjoy going to this weekly group which only started meeting in March.  I don’t usually work with pastel colours but have enjoyed working on this.  Pastel colours are out of my comfort zone.  I usually use autumnal colours. Hand stitching after a busy day at work is so relaxing. I found the outer blue fabric in a local fabric shops box of scraps as I was struggling to find a matching colour to compliment the other fabrics.2019-07-06 15.01.03-1

Patchwork Owl

A friend of mine who also does patchwork showed me how to make an owl.  It was quick and easy to do fun to make and it’s a great way of using scraps of fabric.  I love playing with fabrics and seeing which colours and patterns blend together.  I have shown people other things I have made which have taken me hours but when I’ve shown the easy to make owls I have had a very positive response.2019-06-11 18.53.54-1

Sketchbook Cover

I decided to make a sketch book cover as a gift for Mothers’ Day.  My mother is an artist.  I used a photograph of my Grandmother who taught me how to sew.  She was always either sewing, knitting or playing the piano.  I am pleased with the way it turned out and my mother was thrilled with it.





My Wife the Textile Artist.

My husband is a photographer. He gives me so much encouragement to continue with my love of textiles. He has recently written about me in his photography blog.

Paul Cullen Photography

My wife Jane is a textile artist and goes by the name of “The Riverside Crafter”, she just loves anything to do with needle craft and especially patchwork, Applique and embroidery. She recently asked me to photograph some of her most recent work which is destined to become cushions – of course, I was more than happy to oblige and had good fun doing it.

I think that her work is rather good and in the spirit of sharing I am going to show you (we have given all of the works names!):-

This is Hector – a dog appliqued onto blue fabric.

This is Rosie.

This is Ermintrude – a cow appliqued onto brown felt and named after the cow from the ‘Magic Roundabout’.

This is an example of English Paper Piece – Jane is particularly proud of this one as she learned this art from her late grand…

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New Machine

I’m so excited.  After years of struggling to do free motion quilting and embroidery with my current machine I have been to my local dealer today and purchased a new machine.  It is a Bernina 770 QE which should arrive on Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to many years of sewing on my new machine with confidence.  If I am struggling I can go to the dealer for advice.  I am fortunate that the dealer is only about one mile away.   There is also a lot a lot of help on YouTube.IMG_20180330_122106


Be Creative

I’ve had a week off work and have been looking at Pinterest and Facebook.  I have just made an Instagram account.  Whilst looking at these sites I have found great inspiration.  I have also recently purchased a book from  Jessie Chorley.  Her work is amazing and has spurred me into action again.  I love the way she recycles fabric.  Patchwork and quilting can be an expensive past time but embroidery is less expensive.  Yesterday I decided to make something out of an old pair of jeans.

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I was also inspired by a quote I saw on Pinterest ” In being creative the only hard thing to do is begin! “