Tag Archives: English Paper Piecing

A New Machine and Some Quilts

My “new” sewing machine. It’s a Singer 201k and it sews like a dream. It’s incredibly heavy so I’m looking for a table it can sit on permanently.

I’ve bought it a buttonholer and a zigzag attachment. I’ve got to try them out yet. The tote bag I made to try it out had French seams!

So what else has happened?

These quilts I put my quilt group’s exhibition (one unfinished) appeared in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine along with lovelies made by my friends.

I’ve been mending, garden dyeing and refashioning. And I have another project idea afoot.

More to follow.

Thanks to Lynda who suggested I start blogging again. I promise to try.

Norma x



Filed under blogging friends, patchwork, quilts, sewing, Singer sewing machines

Just a little thing


Star Cushion

I made this a while ago now and never blogged it. I used English paper piecing to make the star and then machine appliqued it to the background. The quilting was by machine – just an outline, nothing fancy. Some of these dressmaking fabrics will also be part of my ongoing scrap quilt.

Another stash bust! I’ll get the room sorted in the end.

1930s Dress Progress

After much thought, I am pretty certain that Irish linen will be my fabric. I have just requested a sample in any lavender / purple shade. I don’t want to start my toile until I know what the fabric’s going to be.

I would like to use more local fabrics in my wardrobe – I have been reading about One Year One Outfit here and here – and I am very tempted to sign up. I’ve made a pinstripe skirt from wool fabric woven in Yorkshire and I know there are knitting wools from UK sheep but I think it would be really interesting to find more local fabrics and use them. What about local buttons and threads? It would take a lot of research.

Have you ever thought about dressing more locally?

Solar Dyeing

I took some fabrics out of jars today – results to be posted soon.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x



Filed under 1930s, dresses, dressmaking, patchwork, quilts, sewing, stashbusting, textiles

Weald and Downland Museum Quilts

Frame QuiiltFirst Weald & Downland quiltCrib Quilt

Three of the patchwork bedcovers I’ve been involved in making at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton, West Sussex.

All the fabrics are as close to those used in the late nineteenth century as possible. The hexagon and squares were pieced over papers using English paper piecing as was the middle of the medallion quilt top left.

There are other patchworks and some quilted clothing. I’ll post some more photos over the next few months.

I’m hosting a day’s workshop on 22nd May at the museum and really looking forward to it.

Norma x




Filed under history, patchwork, quilts, sewing, textiles, traditional quilts

Some Quilts in Progress

Detail - Tumbling Blocks

The idea behind this quilt is to use only fabrics and techniques that could have been used in the 1890s. As many of you will know, I have been making it for a very long time. But look! It’s growing!

I haven’t counted how many pieces it will need but I think the finished article will probably have more than 2,000 pieces. I get tired of doing it and put it aside for a while but every so often I get going again.  I’ve used my stash (once extensive and now rapidly declining), bought a bag of fabric in a charity shop, swapped pieces and been given some by generous quilters. One day I’ll be able to show you the finished article.

Landscape quilt

Another English paper pieced quilt

Landscape Quilt Detail

I plan to cut this one into three and make generous sized bags. The fabrics are silk and the handles and trim will be cut from my silk evening skirt – made by me and worn to a New Year’s party a few year’s ago. I used the leftover fabric for the binding.

Whatever possessed me to make something and wear it only once???

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x



Filed under quilts, stashbusting, textiles, traditional quilts

Birthday Quilt Completed


The Welsh Quilt last seen on my sewing table.

In the distant past most Welsh quilts were made of wool fabrics and filled with carded wool. In a land of many sheep that’s what you would expect, but traditional wool was gradually more or less replaced by cotton and for this quilt that’s what I’ve used.

There was once a thriving weaving industry in this area. In nearby Llanidloes there are still weavers houses to be seen, but there has been little work of that kind since the mid-nineteeth century when Yorkshire began to take over.

It is still possible to buy Welsh woollen fabrics and I have a gorgeous piece in my cupboard waiting to be made into a winter skirt, but it’s sadly no longer a major industry.

And back to this quilt…

The really traditional aspect is the frame pattern. It was a really popular pattern in the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. I’ve hand pieced (English paper pieced) the centre from octagons and squares and then framed it with strips of fabric.


I’ve quilted it by hand to continue the traditional theme. It’s been good to get the practice in hand quilting – I noticed the stitches becoming smaller and more even as I worked. Maybe someday it will be something I can be happy with.
It’s an 85th birthday present and I’m hoping that I’ve got the recipient’s taste right.

Solar Dyeing
If you’re waiting for solar dyeing results, I’ve brought the jars inside now winter is coming. I can see the hops are having an effect. Nothing happening in the beech leaf jars yet.
Have a lovely weekend and thanks for dropping by.


Filed under quilts, solar dyeing, textiles, traditional quilts

A New Quilt

Frame Quilt Top

The quilt top is finished!

The quilt is a gift for a special birthday – don’t worry, I’m not giving away any secrets.  I based the design on traditional Welsh Frame quilts. The centrepiece is an octagon and square mosaic made using English paper piecing. The strips were sewn by machine for speed.

Now to stretch the quilt and get quilting!

Welsh frame quilt top


Filed under quilts, traditional quilts