We’re Free………………….Nearly!

It’s been a while since I have written a blog as I found lock down #3 the hardest of them all now with the restrictions lifted, I am finding it quite strange getting back into normal life again. How about you?  As I sit here in our holiday cottage near Durham at the start of our week visiting family we haven’t seen for over a year or more, I thought I would give an up date on what I have been working on and what is happening at Carry On Quilting now we are able to run classes again.

My Sweden quilt has come along a little since January. It is now waiting for me to do the quilting which I might be dragging my feet on because so far I have only done quilting as you go and stitch in the ditch quilting. Stitch in the ditch is a great technique for quilting if you don’t really want your quilting to show but you need to be very precise!!!!!!   

During lockdown I attended a zoom class for Raw Edge Applique with The Patchwork Robin. I look at free motion quilting in awe as I don’t have the patience to do the practice. Carry on Quilting has just run a 4 week course with Cathy from Patchwork Robin which we really enjoyed and have learnt loads but I have come to the conclusion that Free Motion isn’t for me as I do not do patience. Just ask my husband! 

Before the pandemic we had hoped to run a course of Journal Quilts which is a way of expressing and recording art through quilting, weekly, monthly or just when you want to. I joined a zoom course with Janey from The Tartan Reel who was teaching Diary Quilts. This is a similar concept, you record something each day which is of significance to you or as I did, the highest temperature of that day in my area. Some people recorded if they read a book, went running, did some gardening  and many other things. Each activity or temperature is a different colour so as you carry this project on for the whole year and depending on the pattern you choose, it would give you a great unique pattern with a huge spectrum of colour.

I chose a foundation piece pattern for each day and as you can see the month was pretty consistent in the temperature hence the lack of colour difference until the end of the month when I had to find more colours due to a surge in temperature which was a little unusual for March! A take-away for me on this project was planning in advance. If I had chosen to do this for the year I am sure I would have planned a larger spectrum of colour for the variation in temperature.  The yellow and blue square was a significant date to me. Adding in special features like this makes the quilting really unique to you.

So what’s the news from Carry on Quilting I hear you ask. Due to the ongoing covid situation we have opened up a little, starting with a Beginner Quilt Course. This is currently running with just 3 attendees and they are all showing great promise.  

Storm at Sea Foundation Piecing Rail Fence

We will be talking to the ladies to see what they would like to do next. With activities being released a bit more we are hoping to open up the courses to a few more people, we hope to see you soon. 

So far we are thinking of another quilt as you go with different blocks and borders and maybe a Japanese style quilt with lots of hand sewing.  We are in talks this week with our tutor to discuss new courses.

Sunset Stitchers is up and running every third Tuesday of the month with the ladies bringing along their own projects and so far we have been able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.  

We are hoping to run an Autumn programme with some Christmas projects including place mats and a Christmas Tree Skirt. If there is anything you would like to see in our programme, just get in touch and we will see what we can do. We are always happy to try and run courses which are of interest to you.

Keep staying safe.


What is a Quilt?

 a warm cover for a bed, made of two layers with soft material between them, often held in place and decorated with lines of stitching. 

This is what I found on Google but I know if you talked to quilters today, you would get a very different answer as many quilters prefer to work on smaller pieces like wall hangings and quiltlings. This leads me nicely onto Journal Quilts which I was introduced to last summer.  It is a great way to try out new ideas, materials and techniques. It is also a great excuse to experiment without having to commit to a large project and you can upcycle materials and garments.  It is also an opportunity to create a piece which doesn’t take many months or metres of material so if it doesn’t go quite the way you were thinking, you can start again.

November by Cathy Alsworth, Patchwork Robin

The image above is Cathy’s November Journal Quilt. I love this journal by Cathy who teaches at Carry on Quilting. We will be running classes on Journal Quilting when we are allowed to meet up again so if you are the sort of person who admires from afar the magnificent quilts people produce but feel you couldn’t do that, this is a way to have a go on a smaller scale and have fun with your quilting, experiment with techniques and materials or trial ideas for large-scale ideas. Journal quilts are small, lightweight and just the right size for your lap so can be produced by hand, on a machine or a combination of both.  

Cathy has produced a Journal Quilt every month last

year with many inspired by her allotment and Cathy often dyes her own fabric to obtain the colours she needs using many different techniques. She has carried this on this year and you can see her work on her own facebook page.

This journal Quilt is from natural dyes, indigo, madder, and buddleia. It was block printed using the free motion technique.

Your pieces can have 2 dimensional and 3 dimension effect using different material types and thickness, stitch length and style, applique, embroidery and you can include embellishments like buttons, beads and sequins but you can make dramatic efforts with just your choice of colour, texture and print.  

If you wanted to really get involved with Journal Quilting, The Quilters Guild  ( runs a Journal Quilts Challenge and has been doing so for 13 years where quilters take up the challenge to produce a journal quilt each month. The great thing about journal quilts is there are no rules, you can make them seasonal, record events from each month or have no theme at all, just let your creative juices flow. It is entirely up to you!

If this has sparked your interest in this Journal Quilting, keep a lookout on our website for when our classes start up again after this lockdown.

Stay Safe everyone and keeping our fingers crossed we can meet up soon.

Quilting Journey

Lockdown #3 What we have been up to……

Here we are again! Lockdown #3 

It is scary out there at the moment and here at Carry on Quilting, we took the decision to postpone all our courses until May as we do not want to keep messing you about with keep moving them back and back as it’s so uncertain when this lockdown will come to an end. 

We were really disappointed to have to do this but we are hoping to use the time on our own projects and also plan some great new courses for you for when we can all meet up again.

A couple of bits I have been working on is the skill of Latch Hook which is new to me. I purchased a kit for my 6 year old daughter for Christmas and when we started it, I thought, I like this, might need to have a go myself and here is the result. I can’t say this is normally my kind of thing and it took a while to find an image I liked but I did find it quite addictive once I started.  No idea what I am now going to do with it!!! 

Latch Hook Cat

I also started Postcard from Sweden by Jeli Quilts, which I received as a Christmas gift purchased from The Tartan Reel. It is made up of 36 Kona cotton solid fabrics with names like lipstick, Sprout and Leprechaun and made up of half square triangles (HST) (Colours may vary from pictures below)

Kona Cotton Lipstick
Kona Cotton Sprout
Kona Cotton Leprechaun

Emma and I spent ages cutting out all the colours and labeling them because there is no way in this world I would remember them all! I love the array of colour which is what drew me to the kit in the first place but I can say I’m not keen on the colour peach.

Kona Cotton Peach
HST all cut out and labeled
Two rows ready to be sewn together
Starting to come together

I still have 10 rows to add and it is challenging me I must say as there are a lot of sections to line up!  My unpicker is fast becoming my best friend.


And I just love this picture of the trimmings from this project…

Well, I am sure I will start some more lockdown projects as soon as I finish the Postcard from Sweden quilt and I get time around home schooling. Please do keep in touch, keep safe and hope to see you all soon.



My Favorite Fabric Shops

What makes a good fabric shop? 

It depends on what you are wanting to do and with my interests being quilting and dressmaking I am on the lookout for a variety of shops and on- line stores. 

Local to me, my most favorite shop is Masons in Abingdon, if you can’t find it there, it’s probably not available. You can go in and buy one button at 2p or you can purchase all kinds of fabric in 10cm increments. They have accessories, sewing machines, thread, wadding and much much more.

I am very lucky I have Banbury Sewing Centre, Bicester Fabrics, Bicester Wools, Freelance Fabrics and Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre all relatively close to me. Traveling a little further afield, I love visiting Birmingham Rag Market which normally runs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Tuesday being the best day for fabric. I love browsing all the Indian fabrics which are so decorated in embellishments and always brilliant vibrant colours but if you are looking for a bargain then the  £1 a metre stalls are always worth a look. 

Birmingham Rag Market

If you are visiting the Rag Market, the The Fancy Silk Store is a must as it is right by the market. This store is set over 4 floors and you cannot see the walls for fabrics, every inch of this shop has fabric including bridle, curtain, dress, furnishing, evening and theatre fabric. If this wasn’t enough, Barry’s is another one to visit a short drive away. 

One other store I must mention which Vicky and I came across at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the NEC, Birmingham and visited in Bradford is Bombay Stores, the UK’s largest Asian Department store.

Bombay Stores. Bradford

A little further afield in Florida last year I researched possible fabric stores to visit whilst on holiday. 

was on my list,which is like one of our department stores with a fantastic fabric section. 

is a whole store for arts and crafts, a bit like our Hobby Craft but on an American scale!

I have to admit I also had some fabric posted to our hotel from an online retailer while out there. 

have the best selection of tulle I have ever seen and I was wanting to make a Minnie Mouse dress at the time for my little girl which required soft tulle.

Pom Pom Dress, Tulle, America, Minnie Mouse,
Ponk Ponk Dress

A couple of my favorite on-line stores at the moment are Elephant in My Handbag , Flamingo Fabrics and The Fat Quarter  I use a lot of jersey and french terry and the first two are great for this and The Fat Quarter is brilliant for quilting and patchwork fabrics.

My latest discovery which was right under my nose is The Tartan Reel in Brackley owned by Janey. I went to see Janey a few weeks ago regarding Carry on Quilting and we chatted for ages about fabric. What struck me most about Janey’s shop is her wall of Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton.  Every colour you could ever ask for. Our chat resulted in a part time position working with Janey, what more could I ask for?

Th Tartan Reel, Brackley

Take Care 


Quilting Journey

My Quilting Journey

Upon discovering a workshop, Stephanie and I decided to share it and make it our sewing workshop leading to us being able to spend time together doing a hobby we both love.

Stephanie decided to use the space exclusively for her quilting project as I decided to use it for everything to take the pressure of my very small house.  

Then lockdown hit us and we had to put these plans on hold and it was possible I would be unable to see Stephanie for what could be weeks! This got me thinking “What the heck and I going to do all day long at home for potentially months?”

I dug out all my scraps and remnants and decided to have a go at a simple square patchwork 

quilt. So The Lockdown Quilt project was born. It was the perfect project, made of all the leftovers of projects past, like my wedding dress.  I really enjoyed making the Lockdown Quilt and was a bit disappointed when it was finished.

But my friend Hannah then announced that she was expecting a baby. Wait a moment I thought – I have an idea for a perfect gift….(pictured)

Stephanie and I were having a natter one day at the unit once we were allowed out again and we thought it could be fun to learn more quilting skills and what better way than to run some courses in our space so other people could come along on this journey with us. This is how Carry on Quilting was born.

Now our workshop is up and running, we’re doing all these courses and I’m the first in the queue for them all.  Our new courses will be published soon for next year.

Look out for my second blog to see how I am getting along.

Take care



Lazy Sunday Morning – Part 2

Its Paper Foundation Piecing Technique!

I bought the book…

Kaffe Fassett’s Shots and Stripes Book

All his other books can be seen on his website in this link Kaffe Fassett’s books

Upon reading the story behind the quilt, the words ‘rather tricky’ and  ‘not good for beginner paper piecer’ made me realise it was a more advanced technique,and I was in awe of how it is created.

African Collage designs feature in Kaffee Fasset’s ‘Shots and Stripes’ book which is full of marvelous designs from his shot cotton and striped fabric range. Whilst flicking through the book I was very taken with his Samarkand Table Runner.

Kaffees inspiration for this quilt was the fairground shown in this picture and I just love how he has gone from this picture to the bright, vibrant colours and angles of the table runner. 

This book opened up my world to Kaffee Fassett and his extensive range of quilt designs and many books he has  published. One of those books is called ‘Quilts in the Cotswolds’. I thought this might be good for course ideas for Carry on Quilting.  So this book might have also fallen into my Amazon basket along with a charm pack of his fabric. 

I am looking forward to working with these books and fabric very soon.

Take care 



Lazy Sunday Morning


Whilst laid in bed one Sunday morning looking at my phone like I expect a lot of us do, this quilt on Pinterest caught my eye. I sat staring at it trying to work out how it is sewn together. Is it sewn in rows or sections? Is it foundations piecing? I just couldn’t, and still havent worked it all out! 

So…..this started me looking into it a bit more with the help of Google.

After a little searching I discovered it is a design by Frank Havrah “Kaffe” Fassett, MBE, an American-born artist who is most famous for his colourful designs in the decorative arts.

He is known for many arts but my interest is in his design of fabric. His work with fabric features an urban, contemporary edge with a bold, adventurous sense of colour, perfect for modern quilts.  I love bold bright colours with my favorites being pinks, purples and greens. 

I have discovered this mezemising quilt, designed by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior is called ‘Lucy’ from their book Shots and Stripes which I have on order as I am so intrigued to find out how this fantastic pattern has been created.  Do have a look at his website, I hope you will find it as inspiring and interesting as I have.

I may be a little late to the party but the more I delve into this gentleman’s career spanning over the last 50 years, the more I want to find out about his work.

I haven’t finished my research here as his work really intrigues me and one of his books is titled ‘Quilts in the Cotswold’ which I am very excited about receiving and hopefully we will be inspired to create a course using his fabric here at Carry on Quilting.

Take care until next time.