Category Archives: UK Modern Quilt Blog

Manic Monday Linky Party

Hi all! Just a quick note today to let you know I’m off to America tomorrow (so there’s lots of laundry and packing going on!) I’ll be blogging, but probably in a different way and not as often. I’ll probably blog a bit more about personal stuff, but I’ll also be blogging about the Sew Intertwined Quilt Along, as well as publishing the tutorials. So you won’t miss out, I promise!

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



Posted in Linky Party, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 6 Comments

Features & Fabric Deals

Hey, have you heard about the newest Quilt Along, Sew Intertwined? It’s going to be really fun! Check out the QAL here.

Our fabric deals this week are from Intrepid Thread and Skye Reve Fabrics. Have you been wanting to get your hands on a whole bunch of Tula Pink’s hot new line, The Birds and The Bees? Well, I’ve got a listing for you:

Julie at Intrepid Thread has this gorgeous half yard bundle for $126.88! That’s a brilliant deal!

And Natasha at Skye Reve Fabrics has this Amy Butler Cameo FQ Bundle for only $33! So if you want some new Cameo, but not too much, this bundle is perfect for you.

The most popular link this week was from I Quilt For Fun, who got her mojo back by making this sweet quilt top:

I’d say she did a magnificent job! :)

If you’d like to receive my blog feed in your Google Reader (or any other reader) just click on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Feature Friday, Features, Linky Party Results, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 1 Comment

So I Went A Tiny Bit Mad Yesterday…

…but I swear I totally deserve it. Well, maybe not totally, but I kind of deserved it. I’m nearly finished with my secret project for Sewing World Magazine (sneak peek soon!), and yesterday I took a ‘day off’ to go meet up with Fiona of The Sewing Directory.

Poor Fiona didn’t really know what she was getting into, going to Bath Spa with me. She brought me some threads and some dodgy paperbacks from the 70s. (LOL) However, every time I go, I HAVE to pop in and buy stuff at Country Threads (Does anyone know if they’re under new management? There are more coloured (read: non-brown) fabrics and the lady there was very well informed and lovely.) and at Wool, which is conveniently located about 20 steps from the fabric store. I shouldn’t have spent as much as I did, but here’s my haul:

I didn’t buy much fabric, as you can see. But I did buy 5 skeins of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply/sport weight yarn to make Jane Richmond’s simple cardigan. I refuse to publicly state how much it cost me. You’ll have to go look. (But it was a lot.) Wish me luck. It’s A LOT of stockingette stitch…

I’ve been pretty honest about feeling a bit low lately, and it’s typically accompanied by feeling somewhat uninspired occasionally. I’ve been working on some ideas for the blog/website for the autumn, and it was SO nice to talk to Fiona about them. Seriously, that woman is a freakin’ genius. She had some brilliant suggestions about how to both broaden and tighten my focus that just crystallised what I’d been thinking about – I am definitely going to pursue her suggestions and start preparing for a grand re-launch.

And although this didn’t actually come yesterday, I wanted to show you the beautiful fabrics that Hantex, Ltd sent me:

They’re from the Modernology range by Pat Bravo and if you’re in the UK and want to buy some, here’s a list of B&M/online shops that stock Hantex, Ltd products. Seriously, this stuff is GORGEOUS. I’m going to use them to make a small notebook cover, just to make sure I know how to do it. Then I’ll probably use them in a swap I signed up for. So they’ll be going all the way to Texas with me so I can sew them on my mum’s machine!

Gotta go pick up Savi and take her to lunch in Romsey! See you tomorrow! :)

If you’d like to receive my blog feed in your Google Reader (or any other reader) just click on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Random Ramblings, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Manic Monday Linky Party!

Hello! I hope you all had wonderful weekends. Saturday was Savi’s Stagecoach play, and they did a sort of singing, dancing rendition of Young Frankenstein. Hubs took some great pics, and I’m hoping to be able to post some of them this week. Savi and Hubs spent the entire weekend miserable with colds, which I’m really hoping I don’t catch. But I probably will, so I’m trying not to think too much about it. Instead I’m intent on finishing the last book of The Baroque Trilogy (which is awesome!) so that maybe I can think about getting some sewing and knitting accomplished. Wish me luck!

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Linky Party, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 4 Comments

Manic Monday! :)

Hi all. I hope you had a lovely weekend – I hit my messed-up elbow on Saturday night and it STILL freakin’ hurts. I suspect it’ll take a few days for it to heal up properly – I totally whacked it against a fan. And just so you know, big metal floor fans don’t have any give. So don’t go bashing parts of your body into them.

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Linky Party, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 7 Comments

Manic Monday Linky Party!

Ok, for those of you who tried & failed to get into the website in the past few days, because your browser said I was distributing malware, we’ve fixed the problem. That was a long, complicated sentence which reflects the long, complicated process we went through! But I learned a few things along the way, and if you have a blog/website too, here are a few tips:

  1. Backup regularly. Like every week or two weeks. Better safe than sorry.
  2. Get a Webmaster tool going on your blog – it’s free from Google and Google will warn you of dodgy stuff on your site as soon as it sees it.
  3. The problem isn’t going to be obvious & even when you fix it, it takes a few hours to go through the interweb – in this case, my sponsor Simply Solids had been hacked, so one of the jpgs I’d borrowed from her in a post had been hacked to contain virus information. How did we finally discover this? Webmaster tools.

Anyway, it should be all fine now. Chrome is the first browser to identify that my website is clean, so it may still take another day to filter the info out to the other browsers. But PLEASE tell me if you’re having a problem (sewhappygeek (at) gmail.com)

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Linky Party, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 8 Comments

Mini-Tutorial: No Waste Granny Square Quilt Blocks

No one likes waste, especially of fabric. When you’re making Granny Square blocks out of 2.5″ squares, a bit of waste isn’t really that big of a deal. But I bought 2 Summersville charm packs to use for huge Granny Square blocks, and the thought of throwing away all that background fabric waste was enough to persuade me to look for a better way.

In a way, a Granny Square block is a small on point quilt. The finished sizes of the inside ‘blocks’ determine what size triangles you need to make those outside components. Quiltville has an excellent article about the maths of On-Point quilts, which is where I got the information to make this block (& tutorial).

The ‘block’ size in this tutorial is 4.5″ square (finished) – if you are making yours larger or smaller, I recommend printing the Quiltville article. This quick tutorial is for using 5″ charms.

What you’ll need for one block:

  • {13x} 5″ x 5″ charms for the centre
  • {2x} 7 5/8″ x 7 5/8″ background for side triangles (I used black)
  • {2x} 4 1/8″ x 4 1/8″ background for corners

Cut the LARGE squares twice diagonally. Yield = 8 side triangles. Cut the SMALL squares ONCE diagonally each. Yield = 4 corner triangles.

Here’s the layout. Sew the centre squares together into strips, then add the side triangles. The middle (longest) strip will need 2 of the corner triangles, and then you can add the other corner triangles where you need them. The triangles are intentionally sized generously so you can trim to a generous 1/4″ on the sides. I promise you won’t have to trim very much.

Ta-Da! And with the On Point maths already worked out for you, you can adjust this mini tutorial to accommodate any size of square.

© Copyright J C Excell, 2012. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. 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.

P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Quilt Block Tutorials, Tutorials, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Insert *Frustrated* Swear Word Here?

You know that saying, ‘When It Rains It Pours’? (WIRIP) I’m kinda starting to get familiar with it on a bodily level. BTW, this is a long(ish) personal post and I just wanted to warn you that I’m ill, so it may not even make much sense.

My knees are really scooting right along and I can pretty much get up- and down- stairs with impunity, at least in my own house. Plus they’re not very swollen anymore and actually look like knees, instead of alarming balloons in the middle of my legs. Which totally ROCKS and if you have dodgy knees you should totally get them arthroscopied.

However, a few days after I got back from surgery I started sneezing. A LOT. Like those sneezes where it’s actually a cascade of sneezing, each one racking your body twice more than the previous. I’ve NEVER had allergies so of course my first thought was that I was probably suffering from horrible influenza disease caused partially by the fact that I’m a useless housekeeper. But as rough as the sneezing-all-day-long thing made me feel, I didn’t really have any other symptoms. Therefore I thought it was probably someone else’s fault. (I’m still working on that.)

Then Mike suggested (gently, because 3 or 4 days into this I was pretty grouchy) that perhaps I was suffering from seasonal allergies, aka hay fever. I said that made NO sense because he wasn’t suffering, and in all the years I’ve known that man, he’s been sneezing through most of that time. No kidding. He’s allergic to everything. Sometimes I suspect he’s even allergic to me, although I have no idea how that’s even possible. When I recovered a bit and had a few cognitive abilities running, I decided he was probably right, which immediately led to me taking his prescription anti-histamines. (Hey, I’m suffering. Stop judging.)

The drugs kinda work. Kinda. But of course that’s not the end of it. I also seem to have picked up a kidney infection somewhere along the way. (Perhaps the bad housekeeping? Is that possible?) So now I’m spending each day knocked on my back by sneezing and stabbing pain. This doesn’t really produce a mental environment suitable for creative endeavours. So I went to the GP today and told her about all of it, and she said: ‘Rapeseed. That’s what your problem is.’

Now, for those of you reading this (is anyone still reading this?), if you’re living in the UK, you’re nodding your head. Oh. Yes. It’s Rapeseed. Those fields of neon yellow make everyone sneeze. If you’re not from the UK, and especially if you’re American, I bet you’re a tad offended that I’ve just said ‘rape’ in a blog post in a totally nonchalant way, because the first time I asked Mike what those fields were, he actually said, ‘Oh that’s just rape.’ And I was like: ‘WTF is wrong with you – they’re plants not a class B felony?!?’ But I swear it’s legit – here’s the (slightly disputed) Wikipedia article. Note in the Production table that for such a tiny country, the UK is a very large producer of rapeseed oil, which obviously requires field after field of the histamine-bonkers plant.

Photo from Natural Food Finder Website

So anyway, you probably know that GPs and doctors no longer hand out antibiotics like they’re candy anymore – you have to prove you’re infected somehow before they give you drugs. So I went to the GP and she gave me TONS of stuff to combat the sneezing, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sore throat extravaganza that is hay fever. In exchange I left a sample which I expect will show I’m not even human anymore. Rather, I’m turning into ONELONGILLNESS.

So what am I doing with all my time that I should be spending on sewing? I’m reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson for like the fifth time. But I’m coming to the end…and I decided that in order to convalesce with sanity, I MUST MUST MUST read the Baroque Trilogy, which is a kind of prequel trilogy to Cryptonomicon. I can’t even watch telly because I just end up thinking about how much my back hurts when I sneeze. And when I don’t sneeze.

BUT (again in the theme of WIRIP) we packed up a whole storage locker full of books and other misc crap we decided we could live without. The books went in first, so they’re in the back of the unit. I can see the empty bookshelf where The Baroque Trilogy once lived. AND I didn’t label the boxes very well, so it’s not like I can just go look for the one that says ‘Stephenson’ on it. Because I lack foresight. Evidently. But I did leave one shelf of the bookshelf occupied by impressive looking books, the kind of books that say I’M SO SMART to a potential buyer. Here’s the bookshelf:

Look, I know it’s a little rough, but I can straighten it up 5 minutes before the realty people come in. And don’t those thick books look impressive? So I was thinking about dragging Savi to the storage locker to look for at least the first book, Quicksilver. Except I’m exceptionally paranoid after watching too much crime tv and I refuse to go to the storage locker without Mike. Just in case there’s a homicidal maniac on the same floor. BUT WAIT, what’s that there on the left?

RESULT. So I guess this is the time to say that I’ll be quiet for the next day or so, waiting for the doctor to decide I’m ill enough to warrant antibiotics so I can get better and live my life. And in the meantime, I’ll be reading Neal Stephenson and sneezing once or twice every 20 minutes.

I am very sorry for being so crap – my mind is so befuddled that when I opened Photoshop I was surprised to find I’d actually shot an entire no-waste granny square tutorial using Lucie Summers’ lovely new line Summersville. So I guess I’ll be posting that soon, as soon as I can actually think. Here’s a preview:

P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged | 20 Comments

Manic…Tuesday Linky Party (?!)

So, I had yesterday’s post all set up to publish automatically. But it didn’t. First I did the predictable thing and freaked out, thinking I’d set it up incorrectly. But no, apparently other WordPress.org users are having trouble with scheduled postings with the newest edition of WP. Which is fine. Things can usually be fixed fairly easily.

Except not this time. I have a handful of plug-ins that do all kinds of jobs – running interference for spam comments, making sure people don’t break in to the site, pinterest, all kinds of stuff. And (apparently) the only way to fix the bug is to disable ALL the plugins and add them back one at a time, testing with a scheduled post 5 minutes after reintroducing each plugin. And it’s the freakin Jubilee weekend which means Mike is home – so I’ll wrestle with it some other time. I should probably learn php too, while I’m at it. (I’m totally not going to learn everything about php. I have stuff to sew and knit.)

So I am very, very sorry Manic Monday didn’t publish yesterday, and here it is for real this time:

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!

P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012



Posted in craft linky party, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 2 Comments

Feature Friday & Fabric Love

Sorry I missed posting yesterday – I ended up running errands all over, with the predictable result that my knees were then too sore to sit bent at the computer. But they are getting better, really. And the results of the PLAY competition will be posted later today. :)

I’d like to send a bit of fabric love your way – this week I’m into Tula Pink’s Nightshade line – Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics has a bundle of every print (FQs) for only $45!

The most popular links this week were:

Myra from She Taught Me to Love It made this lovely minky-backed quilt for her son – isn’t it fantastic manly?

And Mary from Mary Emmens made Noodlehead’s lovely 241 handbag while taking a break from making quilts. It genuinely makes me want to make one!!

P.S. Because the Google Overlords want to force the entire planet into using their crazy social application, my Google Friend Connect widget has been cancelled. But you can still get me in your Google Reader (or any other reader) by clicking on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Linky Party Results, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , , | 6 Comments