Friday, 26 November 2010


What a lovely surprise I had on Wednesday. After an unusually long and often frustrating journey my new book ‘Dual Image Appliqué’ has been delivered. These first, hot off the press, copies have all been posted or delivered to the contributors, with grateful thanks for their help and their patience. AQS have done a lovely job! The front cover is eye catching, the layout is clear and colourful and the over-all appearance of the book is glossy and bright. I am delighted!
The book is available now from AQS or from me at It will be generally available in books shops soon.

Method in a nutshell using my simple terminology of frame, fillers and foundations.

All you need is 1 light square for frames and fillers and 2 foundation squares

Trace the pattern onto a fusible web and cut it out

Iron the pattern centrally on the WS of the fabric

Cut out the shape or filler to leave an in tact frame

Place the frame, with its paper still on, onto a foundation square. Take the paper off the filler and put it back in place. Use the tip of the iron to stick it down.

Remove the frame and iron the filler thoroughly.

Take the paper off the frame and iron it onto another foundation square.

That’s all there is to the basic method but just look at the exciting ways I have developed it in the book. There are 10 projects to inspire you.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Designing is the hardest part of quilt making. I have always strived to be different and innovative in my work and so each of my quilts has to be designed and needs to start with a full size pattern. This is what takes the time and the patience. I dream up some ‘what if’ ideas, do trial samples to test the method, search for resource material, and then draft a pattern. That’s the hardest part behind me but, somehow, the thought of embarking on a complex pattern, such as seen on my latest quilt, is quite overwhelming.

Part of pattern

This is when I adopt the Chocolate Elephant approach to my work!

If someone put a huge chocolate elephant in front of me, much as I would like to eat it, it would completely outface me. However, if that same chocolate elephant were smashed into hundreds of small pieces, I would willingly make a start, as each piece would be a manageable size to eat. In the same way, I reduce my quilt design into smaller manageable sections.

As seen below, I have made a start on one of the smaller sections using the cut-out shapes.

Jacobean 2-4-1 method

Now I need to make a decision on the fabric to go behind the in tact frame. It is at this stage that I start to audition fabrics and this is the beauty of the 2-4-1 method.

Auditioning fabric 1

Auditioning fabric 2

Fabric 1 is a possibility, but I have a limited amount of it. I prefer to have in stock much more than I am ever likely to use, just in case problems arise.

Fabric 2 is too stark and lacks any warmth.

I particularly like Fabric 3 and need to go to the shop to see if there is more available. Any excuse to get amongst those bolts of fabric eh!

Auditioning fabric 3

Another project that needs to be done is a baby quilt for my great niece. I have made one for each of my great nephews and nieces and Sophia, at 2 months old, is the latest. I have used a pre-printed alphabet for speed and this is how it looks after a few hours work on the sewing machine. It’s quick, its bright and colourful and it needs quilting now, that’s what takes the time!.

Sophia’s quilt

Sophia’s quilt detail

Friday, 12 November 2010


Since settling back in at home after Malvern, I have started a wall hanging for competition next year. It is an idea I have had in my mind for a long time and indeed, the pattern has been drawn for months. All I needed was the time.

And, somehow, my attitude towards time changes when the clocks go back in October. The wood-burning stove is lit early afternoon, the curtains are drawn to shut out the dark and the lounge is warm and cosy. To me, this is an invitation to sit down a bit earlier without feeling guilty! And if I am sitting down, I need a project on my lap. (I don’t have my husband’s gift of sleeping; any time, any place, anywhere, at the drop of a hat!)

The wall hangings below are influenced by Jacobean or Crewelwork embroidery. It is a style I love and which I have worked on many times. I keep going back to my vast file on the subject and developing ideas.

Jacobean Fantasy

These wall hangings were made many years ago and are executed in positive and negative appliqué or Dual Image Appliqué, the subject of my next book. They were a trial run for the quilt I am working on now, to see whether the 2-4-1 method would work. I think it does, very dramatically, so I am committed now to seeing the quilt through.

Jacobean 2-4-1 method

This is the first panel. Hopefully you can see the how I have used the cutout or negative shapes to create the panel on the left. I have yet to find the right fabric to put behind the in-tact frame on the right.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


Another manic Monday! I checked my emails this morning only to see that my manuscript had been sent last Thursday for me to do the final design check over the WE. I had been away so I had to knuckled down to it straight away and get my comments back within a couple of hours. Fortunately there wasn’t too much to do and it all went very smoothly. Now there is a huge sense of relief that it is all over for my part as an author and the publishers will send it off to the printers today.

The book is being published by AQS in the USA. Things haven’t run smoothly and we are probably going to be 3 months behind schedule by the time it's on the market. For those who are awaiting its arrival, please be patient a bit longer. It will really be worth having when the time comes: concise step-by-step instructions, lots of illustrations and lovely projects.

This past weekend, I attended the Autumn Quilt Fair at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. I had assumed that the book would be ready for signing and selling but alas, through no fault on my part, it wasn’t ready. I was able to demonstrate the 2-4-1 method that I use to produce Dual Image Appliqué and I also sold some Christmas patterns that are available on my website if you are interested.

Christmas Patterns at Malvern

There was another reason for being at the quilt show; I had a collection of quilts on show under the title ‘I feel a quilt coming on’. I selected mainly gate and window quilts to go on display and was thrilled to see my quilts en masse, well displayed by the organisers. Here are some of my quilts, not easy to photograph because they were at an angle.

Tiffany in the Attic, Positive and Negative Swallows

Tell Mother I’m ok, Still Life on the Tiles

Spring Gate, Summer Gate

Autumn Gate, Hydrangea Fence

Winter Gate, Hoffman Gate