Category Archives: sewing

Easter sewing

Free patterns and tutorials:

  1. Funny bunny softie
  2. Easter bunny basket
  3. (and 4.) Spring chicken

Embroidered spare toilet roll holder tutorial


  • 2 fabric rectangles: 4 1/2 x 18 inches each for the roll basket
  • 2 strips of fabric: 8 1/2 x 1 1/4 each to hang the basket
  • Stranded cotton to match fabric colours

Marking the fabric before cutting

Get your outside fabric and draw the rectangle on it with a lead pencil.

Do not cut the fabric yet though you could cut the inside fabric as it won’t be embroidered.

Choose matching colours with high contrast.

Embroider some elements in a symmetrical manner or as you see it fit. Both ways work very well. You can see an example of random embroidery on a fabric print in my eye mask tutorial. This time I chose to embroider around the patterns in a systematic way.

I recommend you choose thread that has enough colour contrast or the embroidery will not show through like in this case. Both photos, above and below have some embroidery in light grey but it is hard to see because the colour is very similar to the fabric’s grey.

Once the embroidery is done, cut the rectangles along the marked lines.

You can cut the strips 2 strips of fabric, 8 1/2 x 1 1/4 each, which will be used to hang the basket. Fold the strips in half and then fold each side to the middle again and iron as per picture below.

Top stitch the strips very close to the edge.

Now pin the strips on the edge of one rectangle as per photo leaving 1/4 inch allowance on each side.

Place both rectangles together with the strips in the middle.

Sew around three sides of the rectangle, including the side where we pinned the strips.

Use the open side to turn piece inside out.

Iron well. Place the end of each strip and pin inside the open side of the rectangle. Fold each side in about 1/4 inch to make an internal seam.

Top stitch all around the rectangle.

Now pin the narrow sides together as per photo.

Sew together.

The sparte toilet roll is finished!

Frontal view.

Detail of holder.

Farmer’s wife quilt sampler – Blocks 42 to 46

I have so far completed about 46 blocks of the Farmer’s wife quilt sampler. Homemaker is on the back burner currently until I can produce a reasonable block.

More information about how I am making this quilt.

View all the blocks I have done so far.

Fruit Basket

Garden Path

Gentleman’s Fancy

Grape Basket

Hill & Valley

Heart pincushion tutorial


  • Scraps of fabric
  • Buttons
  • Any embellishment
  • Polyfill

Note: To make this pin cushion you can either use the heart cutout from the appliqué in my tutorial Love is the answer… hot water bottle cozy or just use Love is the answer whatever the question appliqué (pdf) heart shape and cut out the heart from any quilt block you have left over from another project.

To cut the back of the pincushion, place the heart face down over the right side of the back fabric and pin together.

Cut along the heart line.

Stitch together leaving a couple of inches open to turn heart inside out.  Make some cuts along the curves of the heart as per photo.

Turn inside out.

Insert polyfill.

Close heart opening.

Back of heart.

Place flower and front buttons opposite each other and stitch together pulling strongly in the middle.

The pincushion is done!

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 3 – tutorial

This is the third block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.

See improv / free form quilt block number 1 and improv / free form quilt block number 2.


Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.


Start with two 12 ½ inch squares in contrasting colours.

Using the rotary cutter, cut both triangles in half in a curve like below.

Then cut the white piece into strips again using the rotary cutter or a pair of scissors.

Now start adding strips in other colours in between the white strips. To cut wavy pieces and sew them neatly, place the colour piece underneath the white strip and cut the colour strip along the white strip edge.

Important: Make sure the colour strips you cut are at least one quarter inch longer than the previous white strip.

Sew strips together.

I ended up with a shorter piece so I added an extra green strip at the end.

The width of the bottom piece now matches the top’s. Now we need to trim the curved top edge.

Place the bottom piece just under the top piece like in the picture and cut along the colour edge using a rotary cutter.

Now you are ready to pin both pieces and sew them together.

Pin both pieces.

Stitch along the edge and then make some cuts along the seam like in the picture so that when you iron it flat, seams to one side, the block will lay flat along the seam.

Iron flat and then trim it to 10 ½ inches square.

Here is the trimmed block!