Category Archives: Finished Quilts

I Made A Thing! And Some Moving News

warning: written on this bloody ipad so the links aren’t all HTML. Ugh.

Oh my goodness, you guys have been SO supportive about my battle with depression (see post below)- I was overwhelmed at your kindness! I was afraid when I wrote the post that no one would even read it as I’d been away so long, but I really felt I owed you all an honest apology. Thank you so much!

And I’ve been sewing again! I’m a member of Romsey Quilters ( and it’s their 30th anniversary this year so we’re making mini quilts to celebrate. Here’s mine:

What do you think? I got the tutorial and templates from Lee at Freshly Pieced ( and I’m now hooked on making minis from her templates. Seriously, why didn’t I make minis before? I can nearly get one from start to finish in a single day. Talk about instant gratification!

And we have moving news! Apparently we’re moving Friday the 8th. I’ve paid for the movers, and even paid the extra so they will pack us up. However, there are still things we have to do and pack ourselves. I’m especially protective of my sewing supplies. (Aren’t we all?!)

I promise I’ll post pics of my new house soon! I probably shouldn’t post any now since technically it’s not ours yet and that would probably be a bit creepy…

I’ll be really glad when this moving thing is over. I’m so stressed that I guess I’m clenching my jaw all day long without realising it, so at night I can’t sleep because I’m in agony. Seriously, I didn’t get to sleep till 5:30! I’m so silly.

I hope you are all having marvellous weekends, and if you lived nearby I’d have you over for my housewarming party. If I ever get off my bum and have one. Maybe we could have a sewing day instead…


Posted in Finished Products, Finished Quilts, Random Ramblings | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Olivia: Fabric Shoppe Sponsored Baby Quilt Pattern/Tutorial

A while ago, the ever-so-lovely Jody of Fabric Shoppe sent me this very pretty Tanya Whelan FQ Bundle to have a play with. I decided a baby quilt for my new baby niece Olivia was in order, especially considering her mother’s favourite colour is green.

Finished size: about 40″ x 40″. For this quilt, you’ll need:

  • 4 white floral/print Fat Quarters
  • 3 or 4 feature colour (green in my case) floral/print Fat Quarters (or whatever contrast colour you choose)
  • 1/3 yard or 30 cm of white
  • 1 yard/metre red solid (or whatever solid you choose)
  • 4 binding strips (for 2.75″ wide binding, that’s 11″ or 30cm)
  • 43″ x 43″ batting
  • 43″ x 43″ backing (1 metre + a 6″ strip)

The centre block measures 18″ x 18″ square finished and the smaller blocks measure 9″ x 9″ finished.

For the 9″ blocks, cut:

  • {24x} 4″ x 4″ feature colour print
  • {24x} 4″ x 4″ white print
  • {24x} 4″ x 4″ red solid
  • {12} 3.5″ x 3.5″ for block centres (I used feature colour/green print in the small blocks)
  • {24x} 4″ x 4″ white solid

For each block, you’ll need to make a total of 8 HST units. Here are the pairings (each pairing yields 2 HSTs):

  • white print and feature colour print: 1 square each
  • red solid and white print: 1 square each
  • white solid and feature colour print: 1 square each
  • red solid and white solid: 1 square each
So to piece the whole quilts’ worth of  HSTs in one go, you’ll need to pair them up in this way:

  • {12x} white print with {12x} feature colour (green) print
  • {12x} red solid with {12x} white solid
  • {12x} white solid with {12x} feature colour (green) print
  • {12x} white print with {12x} red solid
Assembly: For more information on Half Square Triangle construction, see my HST tutorial. Then when you’ve got the HSTs made, you’ll assemble them in rows. Here are the steps:

Lay out the centre square and your freshly made and trimmed HSTs as shown above.

Sew the top, middle and bottom rows together as shown above.

Then sew the rows together, making sure you line up the seams as best as you can. Do this step for each of the 12 blocks.

For the centre block, cut:

  • {2x} 7″ x 7″ red solid
  • {4x} 6.5″ x 6.5″ white print
  • {1x} 6.5″ x 6.5″ green print
  • {2x} 7″ x 7″ white print

Make 4 Half Square Triangle units using the 7″ x 7″ red solid and white print squares, pairing each red solid square with a white print square.

Assemble block by sewing the top 3 squares together, then the middle 3 and the bottom 3. Sew these together, being careful to match seam lines, just as you did the 9″ square blocks above.

Then sew your blocks together in this formation:

For the border: Cut {4x} 2.5″ x WOF strips – 1 for each side. Then sew those three big portions (shown above) together and add your border:

Now baste, quilt and bind! My binding tutorial can be found here.
© Copyright J C Excell, 2012. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. You are even welcome to make a couple to sell, but you are not given permission to use my pictures or my words without giving me credit and linking back to the original. You are NEVER allowed to copy an entire tutorial or post.
Sometimes my pictures have my family in them and they are never intended for public use. Also, I work very hard to provide free tutorials for my lovely readers, and anyone copying or selling my tutorials is guilty of copyright infringement.
This website is protected by Copyscape and is checked regularly, which means I WILL find you.

Posted in Finished Quilts, Quilt Block Tutorials, Quilt Pattern, Tutorial Tuesday, UK craft blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Tutorial Tue: Sweet Baby Dreams Quilt

© Copyright, J C Excell 2011

Welcome to Stashtacular! We’re on a fabric diet, and are gearing up to swap our old fabrics for new!

If you’d like the tutorial for my Sweet Baby Dreams quilt, you can click here to access it.  It’s a super easy quilt to piece, perfect for the beginner, or really quick for the more experienced. The reason I’ve done it as a Google document is so you can print it if you want to.  If you make a quilt top before 5 August, add it to the Flickr group to be entered to win lots of grand prizes.

Please go sign up for this week’s giveaway of a $25 gift certificate for free fabric from 1Choice4Quilting over at Blue Bird Sews who is hosting this week’s Stashtacular celebrations!

And don’t forget, you need to be thinking about whether you’d like to join my new virtual quilting bee, Sew Bee Blissful. It’s ok if you’re a bee beginner; we’ll all be friendly and helpful, even if you’re a bit scared of quilting!

Sew Bee Blissful

© J C Excell, 2011

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Finished Quilts, Giveaways, Quilt Pattern, Tutorial Tuesday, Tutorials, UK craft blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Showing Off This Thursday!

First, I’ve been hoping and hoping that Little Geek’s school would hire me to teach a handbag course, but I hadn’t heard anything since I turned my ‘plan’ in aaaaages ago. But I got an email yesterday to let me know they’re making a Mothers and Daughters course! That means I have a legit job to look forward to! Woohoo! So, if you’re in the Romsey area and want to join us, it’s at Mountbatten School and I don’t have any more deets than that. But I’ll keep you posted!

A while ago I won a giveaway from Annie at The Felt Fairy, and my package came last week:

A sweet little mouse pincushion to keep me company, and inside:

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have received these – they’re my faves for quilting as they are long and hold onto the quilt weight cotton really tight! So thank you so much Annie! You so totally rock!

And I know yesterday I showed a few pics from the Malvern Quilt Show which I attended, but I haven’t shown you my loot yet:

I. spent. a. lot. of. money. OOPS! But I got some super stuff – my micro iron is hilarious to use and it doesn’t heat up the room like my big iron does. Speaking of my sewing room…

It’s sunny and warm enough here in Southampton to necessitate sheets of aluminium foil on the ceiling and windows, so once again the neighbours probably think we’re growing pot. (We’re not.)

And finally, remember how I groaned about a quilt top featuring all prints? Well, I finally quilted it and it’s gone to live with friends as a housewarming gift. I must say, it didn’t turn out too badly:

Here’s a couple of close ups of the quilting:

I did a bit of stitching in the ditch, along with random lines. I really enjoyed doing the random lines, although I got cross with the masking tape and ended up using chalk instead.

Off to go geocaching with a friend!

© J C Excell, 2011

Posted in Finished Quilts, UK craft blog | Tagged | 5 Comments

Blogger’s Quilt Festival

There’s still time for Manic Monday Linky Party! Plus, you can still get in on Mug Rug Swap v.2!

I usually do a tutorial every Tuesday, but it’s going to be a late this week. I need to get Mr. Geek to scan the template in, and the tutorial isn’t actually all the way finished yet! With all the craziness of the changeover from my blogspot blog to the domain that I actually own, I have had NO time to sew. To be honest, it’s been sooo stressful, and I’m still getting the hang of things. But has some big advantages over blogspot. If anyone is thinking of making the change and wants advice, email me: jenna (at)

Amy's Creative Side

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, and the quilt I’m entering! There are lots of beautiful quilts entered already, and loads of fab giveaway prizes too. If you’ve got a quilt and a blog, go enter!

quilt pattern pdf

I know you’ve seen this quilt before, when I announced that the pdf pattern was on sale in my etsy shop, but it’s really one of my favourite quilts ever and is quite special to me.

I made this quilt for my sister Serena. I know I’ve mentioned her before, but in case you missed it, here’s a small intro:

Serena is my youngest sister, and besides Mr. Geek, she’s my best friend. We are 13 years apart, so didn’t really become close until we were older. She is one of my very favourite people in the whole world. I miss her so much, and don’t get to see her often. In fact, I haven’t seen her in over 2 years, although we try to speak on the phone a few times a week.

Recently she and her husband moved to Alaska, and as I am in the UK, I don’t think I’ll be seeing her anytime soon. She’s pregnant with her first child; we just found out it’s a girl and they’ve named her Olivia. I really miss my sister, and it breaks my heart that she’s going through pregnancy and birth and babyhood without anyone from our side of the family around to help. Being a sewist and quilter, (and let’s not forget she lives in Alaska!) I decided a handmade quilt might let her know how much I think of her. To be honest, if I could make a quilt for every time I have a pang in my heart from missing her, she have at least one for every day of the year.

I got the inspiration to make this quilt after seeing some Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry fabrics in some beautiful shades of green.  Green has always been Serena’s favourite colour, and it’s not always easy to find lovely green fabrics. When I spotted some, I just started buying up 20cm and 30cm cuts. When I felt I had enough prints I added a couple of solids, too.

So I already had some fabric before I sat down to draw up the quilt pattern. I don’t really know what inspired me except I wanted to keep it very simple, both for me and anyone who might use the pdf pattern. I’m still kind of a beginner to quilting, so my patterns tend to be really simple.

I really got to grips with free motion quilting with this quilt – I had done it for two prior quilts, but I’m actually really proud of the quilting on this one. I did learn a lot about thread and thread tension, too. For quilting, my Brother needs to be cranked up to 7 or 8! I also learned how to write a quilt pattern for others to use and enjoy. And I also learned that even a lap quilt can be squished into a fairly small box with enough determination.

© J C Excell, 2011

Posted in Finished Quilts, Lines and Meadows pdf Quilt Pattern, Random Ramblings, UK craft blog | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Mother’s Day Quilt and a Bit of Randomness

Wednesday again? Already? It feels like this past week has flown by! If you still haven’t left a link on the Manic Monday Linky Party, you can do so now!
I keep seeing Mother’s Day stuff all over the blogosphere, which always makes me feel guilty.  I live in the UK, and Mothering Sunday is NOT the same date as in the US.  So what I’ve always done is buy and post a card for my mother when they’re available here.  Pathetic, I know.
But this year, I’m hoping to do better! I got her quilt posted out a couple of weeks ago, and although I don’t actually know whether she got it yet, I don’t think she’ll see this post. So I thought I’d share it!
It’s the Snapdragon Quilt from the Two from One Jelly Roll Quilts Book I have.  I used the Martinique line from Moda, and if you’re in the UK and want to make one small jelly roll quilt without buying all 40 strips, I totally recommend Fabrics Plus!

For the backing I just used one kind of floral fabric as the quilt ended up being about 40″ wide, I just had to use one length and no joins! I love small quilts!

And, to keep the generational theme going, I’ve got a cute picture of Savi being totally reckless and fearless:

Yes, that really is my kid perched on the side of the swing as it goes up and down.  Buzz quickly got a picture of it, then we went over to tell her to get the hell off of there!

© J C Excell, 2011

Posted in Finished Quilts, Mother's Day, Random Ramblings | 5 Comments