Friday, March 5, 2021


Several people have lately come asking me for the pattern for the Intulawoven quilt.

It's in the book Crazy For Scraps by Sally Schneider, published by That Patchwork Place publishing.


The book version uses 2.5" finished HSTs, while I used 4.5" finished HSTs (from a 5" charm square). It's also more scrappy so it may take the eye a moment to see the pattern of the interweaving ribbons. I did the rainbow colourwash through the quilt deliberately.


Page 60, Interweave

It's possible that Schneider has put out several books on scrappy quilts in the last dozen years, so this one may not be the 'current' one. Which is why I photographed the ISBN details:


apologies for the terrrible light!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

So here's a question for y'all...

Patterns and buying them.

Many's the time when I spotted a pattern that I particularly liked, and then saw that someone had made a pattern and was trying to get people to pay for it. Which, I have no objection to. When effort has gone into the design, then, sure, monetary recompense should be a given.

What I'm thinking of, though, is that often I have sufficient quilting and design skills to work out how to do something without actually requiring a pattern for it. Like, if a quilt design is basically full of HSTs, then I can easily put together a bunch of them in the correct colour groupings, work out the layout, and sew it together. I don't need the pattern for that level.

Some people do, and I'm not saying that's bad. I'm saying that I have the mental energy to try to work out how to do something that I perceive as pretty simple, and if I think it's that simple then I'm not willing to pay money for it.

And then, on the other end of the spectrum is the kind of skill and knowledge and design that one pays for.

I made this quilt a number of years ago, working out the pattern by looking at the design.

Aaand done! The Salt Air Split Square! 😍
It's not difficult - it's in fact very simple. But a lot of people would look at this and think the pattern was complicated.

And then there are some designs that you just pay for, because the effort to work it out? Way more than the time is worth!


That's the Technicolour Galaxy, it was a Block-of-the-Month quilt back in 2014-2015 or around then, and it's a showstopper all the time. I still have a spare pattern for it (there were some pieces that could be only be used once unless you wanted to get complicated about printing on more stabiliser) which I plan to use...someday.

For some intriguing anecdata, I've quilted with women older than me, and I've quilted with women younger than me. By and large (and this is a very broad generalisation) the older women get grumpy about paying money for quilt designs, while younger women tend to emphasis the importance of paying for everything from block designs to quilt patterns. It's worth noting that the older women are accustomed to thinking of their quilting as a 'hobby' and not something that makes money, while the younger women are trying to either make a living off this, or add to their income.

On a semi-related note, I once had a bunch of people chide me in instagram comments for not crediting the pattern-maker for a mini-quilt that I made. Several tagged the pattern-maker, or added the tag of the pattern-maker's name for the design. Not one of them apologised when I noted that it was a design that I saw in the background of the tag on a Marti Mitchell template and worked out how to make using a hexagon cutting template.

Yes, that kind of 'working things out' is how I roll.

Finish along 2019 Q2

No, it wasn't this quilt! I paid for the pattern for this one!

Do I think design and process work should be appreciated and paid for? Yes. But if I don't think the effor that's gone into the design and process work done by the person asking me to pay for it is worth what they're asking, then I'll work out the pattern myself. Exactly how complicated it needs to be before I'll pay for it? Well, some of that is up to the design, some of it depends on my state of mind.

Where's your line drawn between paying someone for their design-and-process work vs. working it out yourself? Do you have such a line?

Monday, January 4, 2021

Finish Along 2021 Q1

Four things for the Finish Along 2021.

Pretty Tote Bag

For mum's birthday, out of Art Theory fabric by Alison Glass

Finish along q1 list

Scrappy Log Cabins

Because I have too many scraps and I need to use some, although I'm preferring other people's ideas for scraps than a log cabin. Oh well, this one will be smallish and simple.

Finish along q1 list

Zippered Box Pouches

For gifts, maybe later this year. I should just make a bunch of these at every quarter and then there'll be gifts aplenty come Christmas!

Finish along q1 list

Sicily Slip Dress

Learning cutting and sewing on the bias. One toile (just the top), one dress - hopefully in time for stepbrother's wedding (in two weeks). That's going to be an interesting job...

Finish along q1 list

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

quilts for Q1 2021

Man, what a year!

WIPS for 2021
1. The Quilt Is Lava
2. Bard of Scrappy
3. Red-purple log cabin
4. Art Theory Shoulderbag for Mum
5. Break Free or Build Upon?

There are almost certainly more of them. Actually doing them, on the other hand? That's difficult.


Intended for the Sydney Quilt Show 2020, but going to be on the menu for 2021. Needs designing cutting, piecing, quilting.

A Plaid-ish quilt
Plaid-ish quilt looks good, hopefully in Cotton+Steel. Have the pieces sitting aside, need to cut and arrange.

A Power of Three quilt.
I was thinking maybe from Heather Ross Mendocino, since I still have a lot of that and want to use up the scraps where possible, and this has the option for squares as small as 1.5"

Another Nameless Tula Neptune quilt
Perhaps? Same style and everything? I still have fabric left over from that.

Any Scrappy
I have so many scraps, just need to use them. (I say this every year.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Missing links and pattern pieces...

One of the most frustrating things about the internet is the issue of missing links. Websites come and websites go, but the links to them remain the same. So a link that worked five years ago doesn't work anymore, because the site is no longer there and neither are the downloads.

I've been looking for New York Beauty blocks, and they're surprisingly hard to find after the original free 10 ones. I was hoping to find more free NYB blocks, but these days the blocks are either sold or missing.

Oh well. It's not like I'm going to make a NYB quilt anytime soon. Way too many other quilts to make...assuming their links still work.

My most recent sewing work has been the making of a boxy pouch for my SIL-to-be for Christmas. But before that there was a Secret Santa swap, and a banner for the US Inauguration next year.

Pretty Tote Bag

The bag is unhelpfully called 'Pretty Tote Bag' and is free, but the site is entirely in Korean, which I don't read. However, the video is perfectly cromulent for instruction and the bag is indeed pretty!

Various Various

Inauguration Banner

I'm mildly displeased with the vertical spacing on this. Not at all even! Ah well. I made it so she can hang it in her window, from one of those horizontal flagpole things that they do outside US houses, or put it on a crosspole in a march, like a standard bearer!


Star curtain

Oh, and this curtain section to hang up in the window for Christmas!


You can't see the 'vanes' of the star from this photograph, but it looks quite spectactular in person.

I keep on dreaming of making a full nativity diorama, with wise men, shepherds, and the holy family... It's a lot of piecing work, so the chances are probably 'never'.

Other than that, I'm trying to sew a dress for a couple of weddings in January. Assuming that we manage to get our current COVID cases (3 new today) under control... I'm not really liking our chances...

Friday, October 2, 2020

quilts to make

Scrappy quilts by the busload:

Hidden Spools (requires a square cutting ruler, I think)

Salt Air Lattice Quilt - great for strong patterns and colours

Libs Elliot: La Fin Du Monde, and The Oncoming Storm.

Pathways (layer cake and jelly roll combo)
PLAN: Tula Pink Neptune of which I have a layer cake and jelly roll

Cosy Posy - triangles! But a little wasteful on the fabrics, so not a precious set

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Penny Patch Rooftop Gardens - FINISHED!

It's been a while, and my attempt at Midweek Modsquad sadly died after a couple of weeks. There's been too much and not enough going on for me.

I have a new job with a client in Canberra. I'm working from home, it's...not too bad right now. But I still haven't really felt the push to do much sewing. Creativity has felt beyond me, what I could manage was mostly tasks.

However, I have finally managed to finish what originally began as the "c4quilts" - that is, a set of four quilts that were going to be for a quartet of cousins. The fabrics would be from the same line, the theme would be different for each, and the result would be something that was individual to each cousin, while still being connected.

#pennypatchontheroof 2020

It didn't work. Or, more correctly, I didn't end up liking it for the cousins in question. But I'd started cutting it all up and...well, I figured I'd just continue on.

#pennypatchontheroof 2020

They're more busy than I like: too much movement in the fabric, too much movement in the blocks.

#pennypatchontheroof 2020

I think this pattern does best when used with very small prints, 'reads as solids', and plain old solids/neutrals. Large, bright patterns don't really work very well. I should have left the bigger prints for the large squares.

#pennypatchontheroof 2020

Well, we live and learn.

#pennypatchontheroof 2020

However, I'm quite happy with the results, even if they're not quite what I envisioned. These will just be quilted with a stipple and...honestly, I'll probably just give them away to any friends who want them.

#pennypatchontheroof 2020

Final note: We've lived at this house for five years and it only just occurred to me to use the long stretch of the driveway fence as a quilt hanger!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Midweek Mod Squad [Restless Hands, Penny Patch]

Another week, another Midweek Sydney Mod Squad update!

Restless Hands Of Sel

Today, with the loosening of restrictions around visitors, I went around to a friend's place - leebee81 on Instagram - and we did some handsewing. I got five blocks sorted, cut, and glue-basted while there. Now they're all ready for stitching together, which I'll do during various meetings over the next couple of weeks...

Sel's Restless Hands quilt
Sel's Restless Hands quilt
Sel's Restless Hands quilt
Sel's Restless Hands quilt
Sel's Restless Hands quilt

And then I laid it out to see how it looked in the overall quilt colouring:
Sel's Restless Hands quilt

Penny Patch On The Roof

This week, I finished off sewing together the last of the Penny Patch On The Roof. They were originally to be for my cousins, but I decided on a different design for them instead. Which I still have to execute, preferably before the end of the year.

Layout in daylight:
Sel's Restless Hands quilt

Finished top by electric light:
Sel's Restless Hands quilt

Still don't have any idea what I'm going to do with these four quilts, but I'm sure I'll work something out...

I could gift them to my bible study group members this year? There are five 'households' who are regulars: J&N, D&D, R&K, A(&S), and L. If I do one more, then maybe I can gift one to each? Hm. I still have the fabric for one more...

Of course, that means I should make some for the group I had a couple of years ago: M, L, J, B, R, Y - most of whom are actually closer friends - but they'd have to be nice, simple ones that I can get done before the end of the year, not too complicated...

(Hm. I could maybe do Plaidish Quilts for them? Mix and mingle my scraps? Oy. Better start cutting!)

Soroptimist's Annual Raffle Quilt

My mother is at me to make the quilt for her group, which needs to be done by September, although she'll need pictures before then. I was thinking a plaidish quilt might work for that, too. Need to work out the palette/fabric collection, though...


If you'd like to check out the tag on instagram, there should be a neat selection of work by the Sydney Mod Squad members!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Midweek Syd Mod Squad

It's a Wednesday which means we're looking at a Midweek Syd ModSquad post! And I actually got things done this time!

Restless Hands of Sel

I had all the stars for Column 2 finished by Saturday night.

Now I just have to sew them into a full column so they don't get lost, and then I can start on picking and cutting out Column 3 fabric.

The actual sewing of the pieces goes together pretty fast, it's the organising and sticking fabric onto the templates that takes time and is tricksy to do. Especially when the pieces are pretty small...

Penny Patch On The Roof

Started on the four-patches for the quilt:

And the 'penny patch' blocks:

18 patch blocks to make, then 12 solid blocks, assemble and ta-da!

The other ladies from the Sydney Mod Squad will also be posting their #midweeksydmodsquad progress:

Monday, June 8, 2020

2020 QAL Q2 Plans and Finishes

So, Q1 didn't exactly go as I planned, and Q2 has kind of been screwed up by a sudden rush of coronavirus sewing.

But making lists helps me parse what's really important in my sewing, mostly because I decide whether or not I really do want to sew that after all when I look at the lists. :)


Of my Q1 finish list I managed four things! FOUR! That rarely happens!

1. I finally made mum's laptop sleeve.

2. I finally sewed up the hem on B2's dress.

4. I completed my Sydney Mod Squad quilt blocks for the 2020 quilt.

5. I decided on a quilt (well, two actually) for the 2020 Sydney Quilt Show: my Break Free Or Build Upon quilt, and a new one that I'm calling Interconnected.

Of course, deciding is not finishing (or, let's be real, even starting).


Planned to finish

1. Penny Patch: On The Roof
I've already done two of these, just got to do the 2nd two. They were originally the quilts for the C4 cousins, but I don't think the patterns really suit them anymore. I don't know what I'm going to do with them, but I might as well finishg the tops.

2. The Quilt Is Lava
This was going to be the raffle quilt for my mother's charity group last year before I changed my mind and made something a little less boldly modern. Again, I don't know what it's going to be used for, but I need to use up scraps and stuff and this is the project I've chosen.

3. Break Free Or Build Upon
Plain Jane Passacaglia

Just needs quilting!

I slso have the 2020 UFO challenge which looks a little nuts:
- mum's laptop case
- c4 quilts 1+2
- c4 quilts 3+4
- penny patch on the roof
- 3:10 to Mendocino
- stars of avo
- the quilt is lava
- dancing starts
- 50 stars of blue (might make it 49 stars, or need to work out what else to do with this)

Planned to start

1. Interconnected
Intended for the Sydney Quilt Show. Will probably have a permaculture theme to it. Needs cutting, piecing, quilting.

I should probably start that ASAP.

2. A Plaid-ish quilt in Cotton+Steel.

3. A Power of Three quilt. I was thinking maybe from Heather Ross Mendocino, since I still have a lot of that and want to use up the scraps where possible, and this has the option for squares as small as 1.5"

4. A shoulderbag for mum. Although I gave her the laptop case, she actually wanted a particular fabric that was very pretty but I couldn't bring myself to make the laptop case from it, because laptops are only a couple of years, right, while a bag can last much longer...

I decided on the Clydebank Tote by Sew Sweetness. Just gotta patch the fabric together because the print she wanted isn't large enough...

Hoo boy. Never let it be said I don't aim high.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Midweek Mod Squad

It's still Wednesday in the Americas and Europe right now, yeah?

Penny Patch On The Roof #3 is done!

May 2020

Penny Patch On The Roof #4 is still in pieces all over the cutting table, and I desperately don't want to do it. *sigh*

Midweek Mod Squad

It's mostly a question of JUST DOING IT. So difficult right now when I'm in the middle of Life, The State of The World, And Everythhing.

But the restless Hands Of Sel blocks are coming along nicely. Apparently if you sew in Zoom meetings, it helps both the meeting and the sewing go pretty fast...


And one of the first 'tricksy' ones: Star 15, which is many small pieces and not quite as dramatic as I wanted it to be. I have to remember to pick distinctive colours for blocks.

I have the binding for the Sydney Mod Squad Group Quilt. Need to contact the woman putting it all together about how wide she wants the binding. (I have her binding maker, too, which is why I got the binding fabric.)

Midweek Mod Squad

And I'd better start on my 2nd quilt for the Sydney Quilt Show. No, I haven't even begun putting it together. I know. Struggling a lot lately.

How's your stuff going?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Midweek Mod Squad [WIP Wednesday]

Let's see how long this goes for! I'm going to try posting a 'state of the WIP' regularly, even if it's just to say 'didn't do a single thing this week'.

My main sewing group is the Sydney Mod Squad, a bunch of women in their 30s and 40s in the northern part of Sydney who've become friends over sewing and quilting. Currently, we're doing zoom sewing meetings because of social distancing, but we're still enjoying ourselves and welcome the chance to talk with each other while working on our projects all at the same time.

I have been rather remiss about posting for a while, and I have many many WIPs over the last few years, but the three relevant to the moment:

Penny Patch On The Roof #3
Half sewn together now, have to sew the other half.
WIP Wednesday 20th May

The Restless Hands Of Sel
Another few for Column #1: blue-purpoe, purple, purple-pink.
WIP Wednesday 20th May

Mum's Alison Glass Bag
Sew Sweetness' Clydebank Tote in Alison Glass.

Possibly with a leather bottom and some leather sides, because the AG isn't sufficient for the bag...
WIP Wednesday 20th May
I'm still thinking this one through. How to connect everything. What colour leather I should use. How to sew the leather without completely wrecking everything else...

I've just done some cleaning of my sewing room, and have realised just how much fabric I have, and how little of it I've used. I have a whole box for Heather Ross, Tula Pink, Kate Spain, and a half-a-box of Cotton+Steel, two boxes of leather, and innumerable fabrics that I bought for clothes, most of which are very impractical right now as the weather cools. Not to mention the many bags of scraps that I have lying around and which need dealing with.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Isolation Finishes and Flimsies by the dozen! [FINISHES]

For the first quarter of the year, I've done almost nothing so far as quilting goes. I tried to make dresses, failed rather significantly, and then went on holiday.

When I came back, my focus was on my garden rather than on sewing things. My sewing group managed one in-person meeting before COVID-19 hit Australia and we went into 'social distancing' mode. But I wasn't doing much; I drew up a plan for the Sydney Quilt Show entry, and then it got delayed because of the coronavirus.

And then I started cleaning up my quilting room and all the bags sitting around full of stuff.

I started with some charm squares that have been sitting around forever. I bought them back in 2009 when I first began quilting and before I learned there were modern colours and styles and patterns.

The original plan was to cut each charm square into hexagons and then sew them together prettily. Let's just say it never happened, and as the years went on, my desire to work with this fabric faded. So when I dug it out, I was quite ready to be done with it. I just picked whatever I had and sewed it into rows. Luckily, I'd sorted more or less by colour, so the shading works okay.
Isolation quilts

Next up were silk squares that I got from a sample book that I found in my grandmother's house, stocked away after my grandfather died. My granmda died in 2011. My grandfather died in 1995. I found the squares and always planned to make something. Exactly what? I didn't know. I still don't. But I sewed them together anyway, so they're a single piece, instead of bits lying around.
Isolation quilts

Actually, I think I'd like to make a dress out of those silk samples. Or a top. It would look weird and patchy, and it would need to be lined, would be kind of interesting, I think!

There's been a lot of 'oh what the heck, let's just do this' in my sewing (in case you hadn't guessed from the previous two). This one was based off a design I saw which just seemed really simple, worked well with directional prints, but could be done 'interesting'. And I had all these colourful charm squares sitting around doing nothing...
Isolation quilts

I signed up for a small craft swap among the Sydney Spoolettes where we exchange a sewn gift - you had your choice of three to make, and they matched requests with makes, so if you wanted to make, say, the potholder, then you could make the potholder for someone who wanted the potholder.

I signed up to make and receive the Apertio pouch and just in case it didn't go right, I did a test run for a friend's 40th Birthday:
Isolation quilts

This is the pouch for sending out. I have to fill it with stuff and then send it. It's not going too far, just outside of the Sydney area.
Isolation quilts

It's a pretty neat and easy pouch to make; although I can't say I'm fond of how they decided to do the sewing the lining and outside together.

Then there were blocks I had leftover from other quilts I'd finished - you know, the ones that are made in excess, or the wrong style or not quite right? And they were just lying around, waiting to be sewn together. I have quite a lot of those.

This one is of leftovers from a quilt I made on commission for a friend to give to her daughter:
Isolation quilts

This one is leftover from the blocks and backings for 'Break Free or Build Upon?'
Isolation quilts

Speaking of which, I dug 'Break Free And Build Upon' and was thinking about cutting it in two, but I've entered it into the Sydney Quilt Show as a full size quilt, and my sister thinks it will go well on the sofa when it's done. So.

And now that I've sorted through a lot of stuff that was just left in bags, I'm having to look at my UFOs. I feel like I should make a list, but I'm scared that if I do, I'll never start becuase it'll just be too daunting. Then again, if I could do one block a day, that would be a good start. Just one block...


It's not strictly the 2020 finish-along because I don't think I signed up for either Q1 or Q2 - too much happening at the time. But I'm getting the tops done. Of course, once I get the tops done, the matter of getting the backings done and the whole thing quilted rears its ugly head...

Ah well. We sew on.