Thursday 22 August 2013

Patchsmith Christmas Mug Rugs

I have been working hard – designing and making a Christmas collection of ten seasonal patterns.  I say ten but actually, if you mix and match the units there are a lot more than that.  Two of the patterns have been in my Craftsy shop for a while now. 
The Snowman ..... 

and Reindeers ...... 

If you’ve already purchased these two patterns you wont be disappointed with this booklet – there are still eight new designs. 
Like Santa’s Wheel ......

and Three Trees .......

and Robin’s Card (this one includes a handy mock envelope that perfectly holds a gift card) .....

and quite possibly my favourite, Three Kings ......

The PDF Christmas Mug Rugs book is available in my Craftsy shop for immediate download - priced at just $9.99.   You will find other Christmas patterns there also.  You can also purchase this book in paper-back format by clicking on the Amazon banners on either side of this blog page.   
Sew until next time .......

Friday 16 August 2013

Shooting Star Block Party

It is my pleasure to be hosting the Friday Night Block Party this week for Elaine of the Summer Crafter.  This is week three of the block party and Elaine has already reacquainted us with the fabulous nine-patch and the pinwheel. 
Building on from Elaine's pinwheel block party last week, I would like to introduce you to the Shooting Star block with free PDF pattern.   
This block is also known as Clay’s Choice as it was created to reflect Henry Clay’s efforts at pacifying both sides of the union/disunion conflict at the heart of American society in the 1830s.
Courtesy of
When I think of the Shooting Star block I imagine women sat together, stitching their patches discussing (maybe even arguing over) the current issues.  Should California become part of the union?  Should the North be forced to return the fugitive slaves?  Can Clay’s Bill bring about peace and harmony?  This makes me wonder if the Shooting Star was used only by women who agreed with Clay’s Bill or was it regarded as a block that reflected the joining together of differing opinions?  Whatever the answers to these questions, this block reminds me that women have always come together, with needle and thread, to create a life of fabric and friendship.
Red Roosters Free 8" Block
The Shooting Star block is made entirely from half-square triangles and squares making this an easy block to put together.   And depending on your fabric choices the block can look very different.   
Courtesy of Quilting in American
I wanted my block to capture the colours and beauty of summer so I created a cushion using one single 12” block that will brighten my sofa all year round.  
If you would like to make the Shooting Star cushion then print out the free PDFpattern giving you cutting sizes and instructions before hopping over to Amy-Made-That for a very, very, easy zipped cushion back.  
And once you are done pop back to Summer Crafter to link a photo of your completed block to be in with a chance for a prize.

Sew until next time ......
p.s. This block is also known as 'Star of the West' and there is a very good article on the Civil War Quilts website telling you more about women of this era. 

Monday 5 August 2013

Reinventing the Pinwheel

I love it when a plan comes together and that is exactly what has happened this month with the Across the Pond Sew-Along and the Summer Crafter’s Block Party.

Amy has chosen PINWHEELS for the Across the Pond project this month and has shared some excellent pinwheel-makes on her blog - Amy Made That.

As my friends will know, I’m not new to pinwheels – I have used them in my Patchsmith Star Mug Rug pattern ....
Patchsmith Star Mug Rug Pattern

.... and last year in the Zakka Sew Along week 6 project we made itty-bitty magnets ....
The friendship star is my most favourite pinwheel block
So the hardest part of this month’s sew-along is going to be picking which pinwheel to make.  If you can’t make up your mind then here are some wonderful free projects to give you inspiration (just click on the picture to go through to the pattern/tutorial). 
Table topper/mini quilt

Mini pinwheel quilt
Pinwheel cross-stitch (especially for my sister)
But wait! I haven’t told you about the ‘plan’.   Elaine over at Summer Crafter is holding a Friday night block party with a different block being showcased each week.  This week was the turn of the versatile nine-patch which just so happens to be another of the Zakka magnets (quick piece nine-patch tutorial found here).  
Anyway, back to the plan - I am hosting the Summer Crafter’s Block Party on Friday 16 August and I shall be showcasing a pinwheel block – complete with a little bit of history and a PDF instruction sheet for you to print out and use.  Fancy a little glimpse? 
The block is made - I just need to decide whether I make a table topper or a cushion. 
Sew until next time .....