You are invited to Sheila's Quilt Party. Learn More

Binding 101 - Part Four - Easy mitred join (no rulers!)

Welcome to part four of my Binding 101 tutorial.

Joining the ends of my binding was always a bit of a hit and miss affair. I used to fold one end inside the other and hope for the best. This didn't look good as it produced a lumpy, straight join when all the others were mitred and nice and flat.

I tried using various binding gadgets but could never figure out from one quilt to the next what to do, and got frustrated when I cut too much off, or cut the wrong way round.

Then one day I decided the only thing to do was to try and figure it out for myself, and I eventually came up with this method which for me is more intuitive and I can now actually remember how to do it every time!

Get a beautiful join in your binding

Give it a try next time you join your binding...

Start by leaving yourself PLENTY of room to work with. I start sewing my binding 10-12" from the beginning of the strip, and leave a good 12" gap at the end. The orange pins in this photo show where I started and stopped...

Continue Reading...

Binding 101 - Part Three - Mitred Corners

techniques and tips Sep 18, 2016

Welcome to my binding tutorial. If you haven't done so yet, make sure you read parts one and two before moving on to this step.

Ok, so now we have reached a corner.

Take your quilt over to the ironing board.

Take the binding strip and fold it out to the right, making a 45 degree angle like this and press:


Fold binding to the right


Keeping this fold in, fold over to the left and press.

Fold back over to the left


Continue sewing from the top edge of the quilt.

Start sewing again from the top

Carry on all the way around, repeating this method for each of the corners.

This is what the corners will look like from the front:


Once you reach the final side, stop sewing at least 12" from where you started. Don't cut off any of the binding strip yet, we will use it in the next step when we make the mitred join.

The orange pins show where I started and stopped sewing

Join me next for part four - my mitred join technique.

Continue Reading...

Binding 101 - Part Five - the final step

techniques and tips Sep 18, 2016

Hi and welcome to Binding 101, the final step.

Don't you love it when you get to the end of a project and know that all the hard work you have put in is finally done, and you can move guilt-free onto the next one?

Once I have my binding sewn down by machine I look forward to spending the evening quietly contemplating the enjoyment of the project, and anticipating the next, while sewing down my binding.

Love it or hate it, hand sewing does make for a lovely finish, and hopefully with these tips you will find it enjoyable.

To start off, I press my binding back.

Press the binding back from the face of the quilt

This is what the corners will look like


Fold the binding over to the back of the quilt.

Use a fine needle to sew down your binding, this makes it easier to achieve an invisible stitch.

I use a fine applique needle #12 (Clover or Bohin brands are what I have available). These are easy to thread with the Clover desktop needle threader.


I am using Aurifil #50 cotton in Dove...

Continue Reading...

Binding 101 - Part Two - Attaching the binding to the quilt

techniques and tips Sep 18, 2016

Welcome to part two of my binding tutorial!

We are starting with the trimmed quilt and binding strip that we prepared in part one.

Now we are going to attach the binding to the front of the quilt by machine.

First you need to set up your needle position. I like to sew my binding on with just over 1/4" (about 5/16") allowance.

Use your ruler to work out where your needle needs to be. If you have a machine where you can adjust the needle position, this is easy.

If you can't adjust your needle, work out where you need the edge of the quilt to be as you are sewing. You can mark this with a bit of masking tape.

I use my walking foot when attaching the binding.

Set up your needle position between 1/4" and 3/8"


Now lay the binding on top of the quilt with the raw edges together.

Make sure you leave a really generous allowance of binding free - at least 10" for joining at the end.

Start sewing your binding about halfway down one side of the quilt. Stitch length about 2-2.5mm.


Continue Reading...

Taking my quilts for a walk

It's a beautiful spring day here! As I drove to the foothills of the Tararua ranges this morning, I passed the quintessential New Zealand spring sight, a ewe feeding her twin lambs. What a great day to take my quilt for a walk!



I love my walks in the bush, I usually go alone and I enjoy the peace and solitude. It helps me revive and recharge my batteries before another week in the shop or behind my computer or sewing machine. Over the winter I haven't been getting out, and last week was my first walk for ages. I decided that it would be fun to bring my quilts along. So this week, that's what I did!

As I packed my backpack, I wondered how much the quilt would add to the weight I had to carry. Standing on the scales, I realised that the total of me plus backpack was still 6kg (about 12 pounds) lower than I weighed on my own this time last year, before I started my walking habit! No problem carrying that extra weight then.

This week my companion was Blue China, a quilt I made...

Continue Reading...

Nanny's Singer

reflections Sep 04, 2016

My uncle was a very keen photographer and his son (my cousin Phil) has kept and treasured all his family photos and slides. This week Phil posted this slide from the 1950's on his Facebook page.


As Phil says, the colours are so realistic in these slides that you could almost be in the room with them. I was so absorbed in looking at the images of, from the left, my Great Auntie Nance, Grandad and Nanny that I almost missed seeing the all- important Singer treadle behind Nanny. I expect she used it to make her 'pinny' - the only time I ever remember her without one on was at weddings.

I remember exactly where this photo would have been taken. The house was a tiny two-up two-down in Twickenham, and this was the back room. The door you can see led to the add-on kitchen which always smelled of coal tar soap and where you would find Nanny making yorkshire pudding batter in an enamel dish. Grandad would usually be found out in the garden, which was very long and where he grew his...

Continue Reading...

2016 Puzzle Mystery Clue Eight

mystery quilt Sep 02, 2016

Here we are in September already. My Instagram feed is full of kids going back to school, or spring blossoms, depending on where in the world you live.

September means two more months until the Big Reveal! It is getting real now - one of the sample quilt tops is done and the other just has one more bit to do, then they will go for quilting.

If you are feeling like you are a bit behind, take heart. This month I have gone easy on you and there's not too much to do. So why not have a catch-up session with any of those previous blocks you haven't got round to. Make the most of the days with kids at school , or the lighter evenings, and indulge in a little sewing time....


Here are the steps for clue eight of this year's Mystery. If you are just starting, the clues are available in my Craftsy store. These give you full instructions for picking fabrics, cutting and piecing the sections.


L1 4 7 7

Here is step one

Square of 3 plus 4 6

Step 2


Here is my section L1 all complete.

Now to make the extra parts...

Continue Reading...

Welcome to my new look blog!

Welcome to my new look blog!
Over the past few weeks I have been updating the blog and changing the look. I hope you like it!
Please leave any comments below, and don't forget to sign up to get email notifications when I write a blog post. You can also subscribe to my blog's feed.

Continue Reading...

Computer Day is here again!

Computer Day is here again! On Mondays I try to catch up with my website maintenance, blog, newsletter and pattern writing. Today's job was completing the final assembly instructions for this year's Mystery Quilt. It's a great feeling to have them done and ready for testing. I feel like I am getting better at juggling the diagrams and text!

Continue Reading...

Big Bear Hugs Pattern

kits and pattern Aug 25, 2016

I have just published a new pattern! This one is called Big Bear Hugs, and it is based on my Bears Paw quilt. You can buy this pattern in my Craftsy store or at Quilters' Lane.


IMG_3292   Solid colours no border

Last year I made this Bears Paw quilt as part of the celebrations for the Capital Quilters group that I belong to. The group was marking its 30th anniversary, and members were asked to make a Bears Paw quilt, since the Bears Paw block is their logo. The Bears Paw is also known as the Hand of Friendship, a very fitting block to have for a quilt group!

For my quilt I used Philip Jacob's Japanese Chrysanthemum fabric in green, from the Kaffe Fassett collective.


I drool over Philip's fabrics, and had been wanting to use this one for some time.

The plan for the block colourings emerged as I made the quilt. I used lots of different fabrics in three colour groups - turquoise, green and purple, to reflect the main fabric colours.

Once the blocks were made, I added sashings in a blue Fossil Fern,...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Sign up to my email list

Enter your details here