Category Archives: quilting

Free form, free motion patchwork trial

I’ve wanted to try and make a small quilt like this one for a long time.

The quilt is 13 ¼ x 12 ¼.

The quilt was made like a log cabin block.

I cut the strips of fabric with a pair of scissors. I didn’t measure anything, I just kept adding pieces of fabric until the strip was long enough to cover one whole side.

As the quilt grew, the sides started to get wavy.

To straighten a wavy strip, you need to place the side of the quilt on top of the new strip of fabric, pin it, and cut around the edge of the quilt on the fabric below (see picture).

You will end up with a wavy strip of fabric as per picture below.

To add the wavy strip to the side of the quilt, pin it in place matching the inside and outside waves really well. It can be tricky to start.

When you’re done with the quilt, square it.

To make the quilt top quite flat, I put some iron on interfacing. The interfacing removed some of the puckering (the puckering could have been avoided if I had used the wavy method described above more often than I did).

Quilt as you like. I dared to use something other than stipple quilting for this trial.

Close up.

Add some binding et voilà!

Farmer’s wife quilt sampler II

I have so far completed 23 blocks of the Farmer’s wife quilt sampler.

More information about how I am making this quilt and the first lot of blocks.

Buzzard’s Roost

Calico Puzzle

Cats & Mice

Century of Progress


Churn Dash

Contrary Life

Corn & Beans

Country Farm

Country Path

Quilted water bottle cozy

2015-11-29 07.33.38


  • 2 coordinated fabrics, or three if making the frill in a different fabric

The cozy is made out of 3 pieces. One for the front and 2 for the back. The front piece is made out of two fabrics sewn together with a frill in the middle.

I am using a standard Australian water bottle: 14 in x 8 in but the instructions will suit any size of hot water bottle.

Cutting the pieces

  • 2 equal bottom pieces (front and back)
  • 2 shorter top pieces (different front and back)
Place both coordinating fabrics with a 2 inch overlap, wrong side up (see picture), place the bottle on top and draw around leaving 1 inch all around it.

Cut the bottom piece and fold it in half to make sure both sides are symmetrical. Trim any excess.

Use this piece to cut the second piece.

Top pieces

Cut around the first half of the top piece (see picture) and then fold in half so that the piece is symmetrical.

Use this piece to cut an identical second piece.

You will now have two identical top pieces. One of them is longer than necessary by 2 inches so you need to cut the 2 inches off.

Back top piece

This piece will be left open an will have a frill attached.

Fold the piece in half and draw a curve on the piece as per picture an cut along the line.

Making the frills

Cut 2 22 in x 2 ¼ strips. Fold in half and iron.

Using a basting stitch, stitch all around the top of the folded strip.

Pull from one side of the thread and distribute the frill evenly and make sure it spreads the width of the bottom back piece.

This needs to be done for each frill.

Sewing the front piece

We will sew the top, frill and bottom front piece together.

Pin the frill to the bottom piece (see picture below).

Place the top piece over the frill and bottom piece (see picture).

Sew three pieces together leaving a ¼ seam allowance.

You should now have 3 pieces and be ready to quilt them. We will add the frill to the back piece after it is quilted.

Quilting the pieces

Prepare the sandwich using the facing fabric, batting in the middle and some plain cotton as back fabric.

Once quilted, trim excess batting and lining fabric.

For this project I tried doing circles for the first time instead of stippling.

The detail can be better appreciated on the lining.

Once you finish quilting, you will have the three pieces like in the picture.

Now we will attach the frill to the wavy top part of the back piece. Pin all around and stitch.

Turn around and top stitch.

Top stitch as well the front piece so that the frill sits flatter.

Cut a 9 ½ x 1 ¼ strip, fold and iron and per picture.

Pin to the bottom back side as per picture and topstich.

The piece is now ready.

Assembling the cozy

Place the three pieces right sides together and pin.

Have a look at the picture below for placement of the pieces.

Make sure the frill is not stitched on.

Stitch all around. Turn inside out.

Your hot water bottle is finished.

See my other hot water bottle cozy tutorials

Patchwork hot water bottle cozy tutorial

Hot water bottle cozy tutorial

Embroidered hot water bottle cover

Farmer’s wife quilt sampler

My plan: making a Queen size quilt using the Farmer’s wife quilt sampler book. I’ve never made a quilt that large or with so many complicated blocks with small pieces. The thought of quilting it at the end is pretty daunting. I’ll be looking at quilt as you go type of methods. If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to share it.

If you run into problems or would like to share your ideas, progress, and the like, there is a Yahoo group on the Farmer’s wife quilt sampler and a Facebook page called Let’s make a Farmer’s wife quilt you can join.

There is also a Flickr group with lots of pictures.

The project can be done totally out of scraps. The blocks are 6 in x 6 in.

I’m piecing by machine and cutting with a rotary cutter using templates printed on paper only when absolutely necessary. I am using a template chart (pdf) I downloaded from the Yahoo group. The file lists all templates and the rotary cutter substitution. I also use an Australian quilting ruler called Westalee which helps cutting more accurately.

Attic Windows

Autumn Tints


Basket Wave

Big Dipper

Birds in the Air




Broken Dishes

Broken Sugar Bowl


Butterfly at the Crossroads

Quilted pillowcase with charm squares

Patchwork pillowcase tutorial - charm square sewing - easy project

This pillowcase has two sides to it.

Side 1

  • 12 charm squares (5 x5 inches) – pattern / colour
  • 12 rectangles  7  x 2 ½ inches in white
  • 12 rectangles 5  x 2 ½ inches in white
  • 2 strips 19 ⅞ x 1 ⅞ inches in white (border)
  • 2 strips 29 x 1 inches in white (border)

Side 2

  • 18 squares 2 ½ x 2 ½ (make 4 by cutting a charm square in fours)
  • 15 squares 2 ½ x 2 ½ inches in white
  • 2 strips 4 ½ x 22 ½ inches in white
  • 2 strips 3 ¾ x 14 ½ inches in white (border)
  • 2 strips 3 ⅞ x 29 inches in white (border)

Assembly of side 1

Place charm square as per photo and sew short rectangle first.

Then sew long rectangle as per photo.

After sewing 12 charm squares assemble as per photo below and sew leaving a ¼ seam allowance.

Finish by sewing a border with the white strips left.

Assembly of side 2

Sew alternating patterned and white squares as per photo below.

Then sew two strips between the checks strips.

Finish the side by adding a border with the other white strips left.

Now make a quilt sandwich with each side using calico as your lining fabric.

Quilt both sides together and when finished trim the piece.


The pillow has a border on each side in two different prints.

For each side border, cut 2 rectangles measuring 10 x 4 ¾ and one 1 ½ x 4 ¾ inches.

Sew the rectangles together as per the picture below. Fold in half and press.

Attach to one side of the quilted sandwich.

Do this for each side.


Sew both quilted pieces together wrong sides facing. The border on each side should be sewn folded in half.

Make a long strip using 5 widths of fabric and fold it in half an iron it. The width of the strip is 2 ¼ inches.

Sew the binding along 3 sides of the pillow.

Then stitch the other side of the binding as you would do with quilt binding.

Make two small tubes (8 x 2 ¼) and pin to the middle of the border. I used contrasting fabrics from the border.

Sew tubes in place and inside of border.

Tie both sides.