Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Quercus Quilters Exhibition

It was nice to be able to visit a local quilt group's exhibition last weekend. Quercus Quilters are based in Sevenoaks in Kent and their biennial exhibition was held at Walthamstow Hall School in Sevenoaks on Saturday 26 March.

It was a beautiful spring day and the car park was pretty much full when we arrived mid morning; always a good sign.

There were over seventy quilts on display showcasing a mixture of styles together with some challenge quilts. Five traders were also there with their wares.

Here are a few of my favourites.

My personal favourites and the quilt voted as the Visitors' Choice was this stunning quilt by Helen Horobin. 

Called 'Meeting Point', it was her own simple design using striped fabrics in quarter square triangles. She had quilted the quilt in the ditch before adding decorative stitches from her Bernina along each stripe, with each stripe being individually quilted!

The group's 2019 challenge had been to create a 3D quilted piece and first place in the challenge went to Nicola Adamson with her gloriously textured lion and 'Roar. I loved him!

A few more quilts which caught my eye were 'Sunset' by Janine Pound. This quilt was made following a zoom workshop with Lisa Walton and featured blocks where all the pieces were fused with bondaweb before being freemotion quilted once all the blocks were joined together.

I also liked Barbara Taylor's 'Japanese Bowls' mini quilt, also made as a result of a zoom workshop with Lisa Walton.

'Feathered Stars' by Lyn Howell was a delicate traditional quilt.

And a final favourite was 'Singing the Blues' by Susan Fenn. This lovely quilt was mainly hand appliqued and quilted during lockdown. It featured many of her favourites things such as Willow pattern china and musical symbols of two sentimental songs.


So all in all a lovely visit to a small exhibition. Do visit these smaller group exhibitions as there are always a few gems to discover, and cake. There are always excellent cakes on offer!


Tuesday, 23 November 2021

What's New at TCQ - Wild by Bethan Janine


This cute collection is designed by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. I'd been umming and ahhing about whether to stock the collection, but the large panel print in the collection was too good to say no to. Aren't the animals lovely?

Each square in the panel measures just under 14" square, so the whole panel measures about 44" square.

I thought I'd make a quick quilt to showcase the fabrics. I like making this style of quilt where you can show off a large-scale print, or the panel squares in this case, and use the co-ordinating prints to create an ombre effect.

You can buy the fabrics and panel on the website. Or buy a kit to make The Wild Quilt! 

The Wild Quilt!

Finished size: 52" square


  • 1 Wild panel (WILD1919)
  • Fat quarter Pink Cameos (WILD1921)
  • Fat quarter Owls in Flight (WILD1922)
  • Fat quarter Bear and Fox (WILD1923)
  • Fat quarter Bounding Woodland Creatures (WILD1924)
  • Fat quarter Rustling Hedgehogs (WILD1925)

Step 1: Cut the Wild panel up into its separate squares and using a large ruler, trim each square so it measures 13.5" square.

Step 2: Set aside the Pink Cameos print and cut up the remaining four fat quarters into 3.75" strips as show below.

The fat quarters are cut like this because of the directional nature of the prints

Step 3: Take one of each of the longest print strips and arrange them light to dark. Join the strips together along their length. Press the seams in the same direction towards the darkest print.

Step 4: Cross cut the joined strips into five, 3.75" cross cut slices.

Step 5: Make a second strip set with the second set of longest strips but arrange the strips from dark to light. Cross cut into five cross cut slices as before.

Repeat with remaining sets of strips, arranging half the strips from light to dark and the second half from dark to light. You'll be able to cut 3 cross cut slices from the shorter horizontal strips and just one slice is needed from each of the shortest strips.

Step 6: Cut sixteen, 3.75" squares from the Pink Cameos print.

Step 7: Arrange the panel squares into three rows of three squares and add the sashing strips so that the prints run from light to dark and back again both horizontally and vertically. Add the pink squares between each sashing strip.

Step 8: Join the strips and squares together in rows and then join the rows together to complete the quilt top.

Not sure how I'll quilt my quilt yet. You'll need approx. 60" square wadding and backing (2.75m), and 50cm fabric to bind it.


Thursday, 11 November 2021

Story of a Quilt - The Nebulus Quilt

I fell in love with this quilt as soon as I saw a picture of it. It was designed by an American quilter, Giucy Giuce, to accompany his Inferno fabric collection for Andover Fabrics. As I was stocking the full collection, Makower (the UK distributor of Andover Fabrics) offered the project to me for the magazine (British Patchwork & Quilting) and I jumped at the chance to make it.

And then I realised how big it was!

It's a *BIG* quilt - approx. 110" square - that's big for a king size quilt even; well, by UK sizes but it looked simple enough to make, so I made a start. 

First off, I realised the image and instructions didn't match how the fabric was printed, which actually helped as it made it fat quarter friendly; something that is always easier to kit than cutting long quarters. The instructions also suggested Giucy Giuce's Spectrastic Black fabric be used for the background but seeing as about 7m was needed, I felt this was an expensive option so have used a solid, Kona Black.

There were long seams involved as it's made in vertical strips and it would have been a fairly quick make if I hadn't been distracted with my house move. But it came together nicely working on one strip at a time and I soon had a large quilt top that needed quilting. I would have loved to have hand quilted this quilt but time pressures of needing to put it in the magazine meant that this wasn't going to be possible. Nor was attempting to quilt it on my Janome Atelier, even with its bigger throat space. So I sent it to Trudi Wood and she did a fantastic job quilting for me; exactly how I would have quilted it had I been able. I was so happy with the result.

The quilt backing is made from three different ombre fabrics from the Fresh Hues collection from Robert Kaufman (3m of each!) and Trudi quilted it in assortment of Aurifil threads. The wadding was a Hobbs wool wadding as I wanted this to be a special quilt to go on our new bed. I made a pieced binding by cutting 2.25" strips from the leftover Inferno fabrics and because of the length of the sides, tried machine binding for the first time.

The quilt appeared in the Autumn 2021 issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.


Friday, 1 October 2021

What's New at TCQ - Paradiso

Sometimes you just see a fabric, or a collection of fabrics, and you know you just *need* them!

And this is how it was with Paradiso, a psychedelic collection designed by Sally Kelly for Windham Fabrics. Sally also designs fabrics for Liberty of London and you can see hints of that in the designs in this collection.

I first came across Sally's fabrics with her Solstice collection but by the time I saw the collection online, the time for ordering them had passed. So I was determined not to miss out this time.

It's a small collection of just five prints. The main print, Xanadu has so many little vignettes to tempt you with fussy cutting, or centring in the middle of a block, as does the second main print, Avalon.

These prints are complemented by the Galactic and Flower Bed prints.

As Paradiso is digitally printed, these are available for £18 a metre on the website.



Thursday, 30 September 2021

What's New at TCQ - Starflower Christmas

After a (unintended) break of nearly eighteen months, I think it's more than about time I start blogging again about what's happening at The Crafty Quilter.

A *LOT* has happened since I last wrote a blog post, not least a relocation to Kent to start the next chapter of my life. Quite a few fabric collections have come and gone in that time too but now I'm feeling more settled after my move 'south of the river' and able to get into more of a daily routine!

Part of that routine, is writing in a bit more detail about new fabrics. We all love seeing new fabrics, don't we? The first of the most recent deliveries was this painterly collection designed by Laura Muir of the Create Joy Project for Moda.

Starflower Christmas is a festive collection, without being too festive. The main print, the Starflower is a poinsettia type flower and comes in a white or navy background.

This is accompanied by Merry Berry, again with a white or a navy background (Note the navy print is still to arrive as I write this post) and Winter Pines, delightful fir trees on a white, aqua or navy background.

Laura also has a couple of 'basic' co-ordinating prints available within the collection - Flow and the awesome Northern Lights print.

The collection is available on the website at £15 a metre.



Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Keep Calm Brit Hop

It's Day 12 (I think?) and it would appear to be my turn on the #KeepCalmBritHop organised by Jo Westfoot at The Crafty Nomad. The purpose of this little blog hop is to introduce you to British quilters, designers and shop owners who might, for one reason or another, not be within your radar. Times are hard for small businesses at the moment, but the quilt industry is one of the best at being supportive when the chips are down, so a big thank you to Jo for organising this.

So a little about me if we haven't crossed paths before. My name is Joanna and I've been quilting for over 30 years now. I'm a traditional quilter at heart with a nod to modern quilting. I'm a sucker for an ombre fabric and I think my favourite fabric collection ever is the original Ombres designed by Vanessa Christenson for Moda; they are my go to fabrics when I'm thinking of designing something new.

I've been running my online quilt shop, The Crafty Quilter, for over 20 years selling bright, exciting fabrics from Moda, Robert Kaufman and the like, King Tut and Bottom Line threads from Superior Threads and just recently, the wonderful applique patterns from Pattern Poole in Australia. I also attend various quilt shows around the country including Quilts UK in Malvern and the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingam. My 'day job' for the last 10 years has been Editor at British Patchwork & Quilting magazine, the oldest monthly magazine in the UK 

I also design a lot of patterns myself, although not all of them make it as far as a finished quilt. But that's ok; sometimes a design doesn't quite work out how I planned it or I go off on a complete tangent with it. My designs are definitely ones that evolve as I'm making them!

A couple of my popular ones have been the Ombre Squares quilt which uses my favourite ombres (of course!). You can buy the pattern and the kit here from my website.

The second one is my Strip Race Interrupted Quilt which is strip-roll friendly. It looks great made in batiks, don't you think?

To celebrate being part of this blog hop, I'm making my Strip Race Interrupted pattern free until 10pm on Monday 13 April 2020. To claim your copy of the pattern, email me here. I've also reduced the price of the last few Bali Pops I have in stock if you want to sew along with me while I make a new version of the quilt over the Easter weekend.

Thanks for reading and again to Jo for organising the blog hop. I'd love to have you follow me on Instagram, and who knows, maybe this is just the nudge I need to start blogging again. Stay tuned!

Next up on the blog hop tomorrow is Jo Avery, but below is the schedule and links to everyone in the hop. Do go and visit them all; there are patterns, tips and giveaways aplenty to keep you entertained during these difficult times.

Saturday, 28th March: Jo Westfoot | The Crafty Nomad Sunday, 29th March: Amy Ball | Coffee Rings Studio Monday, 30th March: Jo Hendy | Villavin Crafts Tuesday, 31st March: Nicola DoddCake Stand Quilts Wednesday, 1st April: Rachel Concannon | Rachel's Textiles Studio Thursday, 2nd April: Lou Orth |  Lou Orth Designs Friday, 3rd April: Sonia Spence | Fabric & Flowers Saturday, 4th April: Fi | Pins & Needles Grayshott Sunday, 5th April: Sarah Ashford | Sarah Ashford Studio Monday, 6th April: Abigail | Cut&Alter Tuesday, 7th April: Karen Lewis  | Karen Lewis Textiles Wednesday, 8th April: Joanna KentCrafty Quilter Thursday, 9th April: Jo AveryJo Avery Stitch Friday, 10th April: Round Up Post | The Crafty Nomad

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Dusting Off the Blog...

So, it would appear that I haven’t written a blog post for a few years now. I’m sure I always mean to! In these days of ‘micro-blogging’ where you can reach people instantly on Instagram or Facebook etc, or where you can email your customers direct, finding the time to write a blog is not so easy. But here I am after a gap of almost three years dusting off my blog for a special reason and perhaps it will get me back into blogging regularly?

We are currently living in strange times as the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic threatens to take hold across the whole world. Here in the UK, we are currently on day 6 of a lockdown which means we can only go out for certain limited reasons, although as I work from home anyway, my daily routine isn’t that different just yet.

The quilting community always comes together in times of crisis and this pandemic is no different. Countless quilt designers and shops are running free quiltalongs and the like to inspire everyone while they are stuck at home. My friend Jo at The Crafty Nomad has organised a fun blog hop over the next couple of weeks with various British quilt shops and patterns designers all coming together to bring your stories, tips, tutorials and fun! These are tough times for everyone including small businesses so I hope you’ll enjoy what we all have to say. Watch out for my day on 8 April!