Prizes for the Fractured Skull Quilt Sew Along 2021

Fractured Skull Quilt, Sew Along

Well every sew along needs some prizes and with the number of sign ups I have been able to bag some amazing ones!

I am extremely grateful to all of those supplying prize and helping make this sew along to be as amazing as I know it will be. I especially want to thank the small companies/ designers for whom doing this is no small fry. Please do me a favor and go support them with a purchase or follow on social media if you can.

So first up but last to be won will be:

I used all Aurifil Thread to construct and quilt my Fractured Skull Quilt so tag them in some of my posts. Imagine my excitement when they reposted the photo of my quilt on the road bridge to all of their social media. I was super cheeky and asked if they might provide a prize. To my surprise they agreed!! Aurifil will ship direct to 1 lucky winner a choice of 3 of their Color Builder collections. You can pick from both the 2020 and 2021 collections.

The winner of this prize will be selected by me at the end of the final week of the Sew Along and announced on Sunday 31st October.


I have long admired Jenny of PapperSaxSten‘s curvy work and style. While contemplating if I could squeeze in one of her online workshops I thought I would like to share her work with you guys, and reached out to see if she would be interested. In case you don’t know of Jenny’s work please go and check out her courses and patterns. Very kindly Jenny will send one lucky winner her Paper Round Quilt Pattern and a complete 11 piece set of her Drunkard’s Path Templates.

The winner of this prize will also selected by me and announced on Sunday 31st October.


Sew Hot is a UK based company, with a huge range of fabric, notions, haberdashery and bag hardware, I have recently become a brand rep for them and they are incredibly supportive. The winner will receive a Libs Elliott ‘The Watcher’ Panel and a fat 8th bundle of the 12 ‘Phosphor 21’ textured rainbow & 12 watcher skull prints fabrics that all coordinate.

The winner of this prize will be randomly selected and announced on Sunday 24th October. This coincides with the end of my first ‘Rep of the Week’ project at Sew Hot. Hint: I might be making something with some some of this myself for my challenge project.


The very kind Kim, owner of Young is Modern, who is participating in this sew along, is offering a half yard bundle of either Cotton & Steel Lagoon or Macrame collections for 1 lucky winner to choose! If you are based in the US please go check out the lovely stuff she has for offer on her website and give her a follow.

The winner of this prize will also be selected at random and announced on Sunday 24th October.


The lovely ladies at SewTites have agreed to send one extremely lucky winner a pack of Libs Elliott’s Watcher SewTites as soon as they arrive in stock! The winner will be among the first people to get their hands on these super useful and cute notions. Useful for so many different applications including FPP the winner won’t be disappointed even if they don’t like skulls!

The winner of this prize will be selected at random and announced on Sunday 17th October. **** Winner is Katie Yaokum @karmawillow


Patterntrace is another company I work with in partnership with because I love using their foundation paper for my projects. It is semi-transparent, strong enough to deal with unpicking as well as tearing off easily and recyclable. Patterntrace ship internationally and ordering a multi-pack is very efficient. One lucky winner will get a pack of foundation paper 100 A4 sheets and a Makers Workbook for quilting.

The winner of this prize will be selected at random and announced on Sunday 17th October. ***Winner is Judy Broadhurt @hobo_bunny


I insta-met Natalie from Sew Hungry Hippie while helping publicize Liza Flowers Rebel Girl fabric at the beginning of the year. When she got her Candy Crush skull pin badges I suggested a pin swap between ourselves! Well she knew about this sew along and threw in a bundle as a prize! These include her epic Candy Crush 2.0 pattern, Candy crush pin badge, some super soft vinyl and a few other goodies. Natalie is running a sew along at the moment so go check out her feed and try and check out a few bits from her shop – I love the deep space vinyl.

The winner of this prize will be randomly selected and announced on Sunday 10th October. *** Winner is Sharon Copley


Sally from Chasing Tigers is a personal friend who designs lovely quilts, cases and purse patterns. An inspiration for me starting to write patterns. Her new pattern the ‘Coney Island Quilt‘ will be released very soon. One lucky winner will be able to pick their favorite pattern and it will be emailed directly.

The winner of this prize will be selected at random and announced on Friday 8th October. *** Winner is Alix P @hexenweib


Brianna of Sew Cute and Quirky, who designs mainly bag patterns, signed up to the sew along and is offering one lucky winner two pdf patterns. I really love the support designers give each other, please give her feed some love and maybe some fabric or patterns a home. These are my two favorites!

The winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday 7th October. ***Winner is Lindsey McManus


Sarah from Lazy Cozy Quilts , another participant in the sew along, has kindly offered her 2 Patterns; Sonic Bloom (which I have had my eye on for a while) and Mod Cabin as a prize. Please go check out Sarah’s feed and website. For a bit of early fun I thought I would do this prize before the sew along even started.

Our first winner was picked at random and announced on 19th September as Connie Creekmore @dandelionquilts on IG.


The majority of prize winners will be selected at random using a number generator and spreadsheet of participants. The final few prize winners may be selected by myself for effort and or creativity if a quilt blows me away. Last year, I struggled very hard to select a favorite as a winner so I may resort to the number generator if there are a few which stand out.

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Don’t forget everyone participating will receive a FREE pattern (before general release) from me at the end of the sew along! As if I had not taken enough on this month the pattern needs some tweaks, a full work up and the instructions but I know you guys will love it!

Helen xxx

Fractured Skull Quilt Pattern – Common Questions + Answers

Fractured Skull Quilt, Sew Along

Here are a few questions I have either received or expect to get. I will add to this list during the course of the Sew Along. If you have an issue please check here first!


Q. I’ve bought the pattern but am having difficulty downloading it. Help?

A. There is a separate blog post to help you.


Q. Does the pattern have a colouring page?

A. Yes, well it actually has 6. Two for each quilt size, one with the fabrics notes as I have used them and a second blank one so you can design your own colour placement.


Q. Why do I have to print the pattern pieces at a copy shop/prints and not do it at home on my printer?

A. I explain why I decided to only provide a large format file at the beginning of this blog post.


Q. I have not printed large format files. Where can I do this?

A. I appreciate this maybe new for you and have tried to provide infomation to help you where ever in the world you are from mid way through this blog post.


Q. Have I lost one of my sections? I can’t find section I

A. No not lost, section I doesn’t exist in this pattern to avoid confusion with the number 1 used to show the order of areas to sew. Sorry I normally have this in my pattern instructions and must have edited it out!


Q. Do I have to trace the pattern onto specialist foundation paper? How much will I need?

A. No not at all! I certainly didn’t do this. I checked the weight/thickness of the paper I got my pattern printed on and it was 80gsm (lower number for thinner, higher number for thicker) this is the same as standard copy paper. Some people use standard copy paper normally and it perforates well if you have a small stitch length so when it comes to remove the paper it comes out pretty easily. Top tip – pull along the seam and not straight up to avoid breaking thread.


Q. I want to make the background all one colour how much fabric do I need? I’m making the throw size quilt.

A. I have not made one like this so these are my best guesstimate and will also depend on how much fabric you use when you FPP. This assumes you still sew all the seams as if they were different fabric. I actually think this this could look amazing and give a more subtler look to the fracture. It would also look good with a print. If you combine all of the areas within a section into a single piece you would probably need less fabric but you might not be able to be as efficient with the fabric.

  • Throw – 3.5yards (3.2m) Width of Fabric – WOF (assumed 42″)
  • Single Bed – 4.8yards (4.4m) WOF
  • Double Bed – 7.7yards (7m) WOF

These amounts also apply for the totally amount of fabric you will likely need if you are making

For reference you will likely need to total of 2 yards (1.8m) WOF for the skull.

If you do this please let me know how you get on with these amounts so I can note it here for future makers.


Q. I am making the Single Bed Quilt (60″ x 80″). Do I still need to print the pattern the same size?

A. Yes. To try and make the pattern as simple as possible I made it so you print the pattern the same for all 3 sizes. For making either of the two smaller sizes you then don’t use some of the pattern or you trim the blocks down. This is covered in the instructions.

If you are being super clever you can make any of the 3 sizes smaller by printing the pattern pieces on smaller pages. So for example if you print on A1 paper (not A0) the pattern will be 71% smaller (just under 60″ square for the largest size using all the pieces). On A2 paper the pattern will be 50% (40″square for largest). If you do this there are a couple of things you will need to remember:

  • increase the seam allowence when cutting back to quarter inch
  • Fabric guidelines will not reduce the same amount as proportionally the seam allowance will be larger
  • Bulk in the seams will increase and the finish won’t be as good as a result

Q. I have run out of fabric but I bought the amount in the pattern!

A. I’m truly sorry this has happened. I have tried hard to provide the best information possible. In the pattern I have a table called “fabric guideline” and these can only be guidelines as everyone does FPP differently. I know I try my best to be as efficient as possible to make my fabric and money goes further. I have seen others cut large rectangles and trim away lots of fabric. I have not wanted people to be short on fabric or avoid making the quilt as the have been put off by generous amounts specified.

To get the amounts I specified I first tessellated every pattern piece with seam allowance electronically onto a solid fabric. Then I purchased this amount and used only this to sew my sample quilt – I had reasonable amount left of each (except 2 where I had loads left over. My pattern testers used the same amounts and fell short on a couple and again had too much on the 2 colours I did. I made a few adjustments and tried to make it as clear as possible but you may need more fabric depending on your style of FPP or the type of fabric you are using.


Q. How much time will I need for this sew along/ make the quilt top?

A. I tried to keep track when making my version (largest size) and I think it took me about 36 hours.  This sound like a lot but spread over 6 weeks it is not too bad with 6hrs a week.  Some weeks will be more and others less, realistically I imagine spending a couple of evenings and some time each weekend.  I am not the fastest sewer either but equally it could take you longer if you are in experienced.


Q.  I saw I purple/ red and yellow version of the quilt in the listings.  What colours are these?

A. That is Sarah (@Edwardandthewhitebear on Instagram) one of the pattern testers versions.  She used kona solids; Lemon Ice, Citrus, Duckling, Papaya, Orange, Tangerine, Sangria, Berry and Eggplant (lightest to darkest).


Q. Do I need to cut the pattern out exactly on the line?

A. Nope! I don’t initially just cut the sections apart roughly .. then I sew the fabric on and trim on the line once the section is finished. 


Q. Do I work on the skull sections for just one quadrant at a time?

A. I suggest working the skull section for both halves at one time.  If you cut the fabric for the 2 sections the same (but mirror image) you will speed up the process.  Sew ones with #1-#7, then set aside and work through all the colours and then assemble each quadrant. 


Q. I can’t work out a solid colour gradient as I can’t visit a fabric store. Help?

A.  Look at premade bundles by the manufacturers of your favorite solids and look the colours they put together then replicate this. 


Q. If I print the pattern at 50% will I need half the amount of fabric?

A. No you will need more than half , i would allow 3/4 of the fabric. This is because the sections are smaller but so is the seam allowance so you will need to make this 1/4 inch (not 1/8 inch) so will be proportionally more fabric.


Q. On the pattern I want to check I’m reading the labels correctly. The big AX is the section, the big numbers are the order they are sewn, and the # is the color?

A. Correct


Q. On Block A is piece number 7 only added if doing the 60 inch quilt? If I’m making the full version (double) piece 6 (of Block A) would extend all the way out to cover 7. Do I have that correct?

A. Yes correct! Ignore the section 7 if you are making either of the 2 bigger quilts.

Large Format Pattern Files & Printing

Fractured Skull Quilt, Sew Along

Why is this quilt pattern in a large format and I can’t print it at home?

Designing and releasing the Fractured Skull Quilt pattern has been a real dilemma.  I knew I wanted to make my Fractured Skull panel into a pattern for several quilt sizes. The sections as I designed them are much larger than a single sheet of paper you can print on at home.  I didn’t want to compromise my design and aesthetic adapting the pattern to fit single pages or be obvious as pages sewn together.  I investigated printing the sections on to multiple pages, which would mean printing over 120 pages, sorting out how they go and sticking them together.   Generally a huge waste of time, sanity and energy in my opinion. Using multiple pages to make up sections could very easily not match up accurately meaning key points in the quilt will not match.  Though my “fractured” design will hide a multitude of sins, when everything lines up it looks much much better.

I knew I could produce a document which could be printed on a plotter like building drawings (I trained as an architect) or modern dressmaking patterns. This is completely different for some of you but don’t be put off I promise it’s easy once you know how.

This is how my print outs arrived and the size of one of the pages in comparison to me.


Where can I get large format pattern files printed?

UK

USA

  • http://www.pdfplotting.com – US$19.98 (6xA0) total with shipping
  • FedEx/kinkos (in Portland, Oregon) – US$40 (6xA0)
  • If you want to support a small independent sewing business – www.brooklymotifprinting.com – US$17.50 (6xA0) not including shipping or tax but they only do a print/ post run once a week.
  • local print shops seem to be about $30 and have it done in minutes

DON’T USE – UPS Store.  They charged one SAL participant £52 on blueprint paper

Canada

  • Staples CAD$48 on engineering paper and collected
  • “Cindy-rella’s sewing & quilting” in Regina, Saskatchewen $5 a page collected

Australia

Sorry if your country is not listed here.  If you know a place to recommend, please email me on andsewiblog@gmail.com and I will update this list as soon as possible.


How to get the pattern printed online?

All of these online places will be similar.  The amazing Lauren @lovevernhandmade did a little video for using www.pdfpotting.com.  

I also managed to do a video using www.netprinter.co.uk you can see they are very similar processes!

Purchasing an Electronic Pattern and Downloading it

Fractured Skull Quilt, Sew Along

I have shops on both Etsy and Payhip and don’t have paper copies of my patterns for sale (except at Festival of Quilts).

Both of these platforms send you an email (to the address you have entered or is registered with them) with a link for you to click on to download the files. Please check your junk email box and log into your Etsy account and see the address you have registered (it could well be your partner’s email address).

If you have any issues do look at Etsy’s help or Payhip(bottom 3 articles) for assistance. 

On Etsy if you have the app downloaded on you phone you may have issues if when you click the link in your email you select for it to open the link in the etsy app. You should select the option for it to download using a web browser.

If neither of these work do email me on andsewiblog@gmail.com and I will endeavor to assist but I may not be able to respond immediately. As long as I can identify your purchase I will email you direct the file you can’t download and trust copyright laws will be adhered to.

As noted on both of these site I can not issue refunds on electronic files.   

Fractured Skull Quilt Sew Along

Fractured Skull Quilt, Sew Along

To celebrate the release of my new pattern the Fractured Skull Quilt I’m hosting a super friendly, fun, fpp-y and chilled sew along in time for Halloween!  Last year’s Fractured Skull Panel Sew Along was amazing and I made so many new friends through it, and I hope this year will be even better.  With the basic aim of making the top over 6 weeks you will have loads of time to catch-up or speed ahead and finish the quilt.  Scroll down to see the schedule.

A sign-up will be at the top of this page if it is still open. Once you have signed repost this image and let the world and me know you are joining in, and follow #fracturedskullquiltsewalong. Then look out for my emails…

If you sign up you will get:

  • A discount on the quilt pattern
  • A short weekly email/ video outlining the aims, relevant tips or updates
  • A NEW block pattern totally FREE before general release
  • PRIZES – so far from Aurifil, Pappersaxsten, SewHot, PatternTrace – Check out the final list of prizes Here & contact me if you would like to offer anything…
  • Help from me if you need it during the 6 weeks*
  • Access to a Private Facebook group
  • I hope to do some zoom social sewing sessions where we can chat and chill but can’t guarantee I will be able

*Unless you are a confident sewer or have someone to help who can FPP I don’t recommend joining if you are completely new to FPP.  I’m afraid I won’t be teaching the complete FPP technique only troubleshooting any issues you may have. 

Pattern is available from Payhip and Etsy shops.

The quilt, unlike other large scale FPP patterns, can be made in 3 sizes – 80”sq, 60”x 80” or 60”sq

The pattern pieces (like dress making patterns) are on a large-scale paper format so will need to be printed at a copy shop.  Cost and more information about large format patterns can be found in this new blog post.  

I can’t wait to get started and see all your versions!

Helen xxx

“Mountain Tub” Pattern Test for PatternTrace

Partnership, Pattern Test

I was delighted when Fiona from PatternTrace asked if I would test her Mountain Tub Foundation Paper Pieced (FFP) pattern for her and even more so when I saw what she had designed. Immediately it appealed to me with the rainbow/ colourwheel mountains, ombre affect and simple geometric shapes.

My immediate thought was to to make the sun set behind the mountains and with the left overs from my Entropy Quilt being a yellow, orange, red/pink and purple sat on my desk it seemed a no-brainer. I did a quick scribble with my colouring pencils on tracing paper over the construction diagram and that sealed the deal. I was inspired while at festival of quilts by the improv quilts so quickly joined some of the yellow orange scraps to make some panels I could cut the background from.

I used my favorite paper for foundation piecing which happens to come from PatternTrace* too. *Full disclosure – I am working in partnership with PatternTrace but I used their paper before this partnership and this is a genuine recommendation. I should do a proper blog post about why I like this paper, but in summary it’s because:

  • It’s semi-transparent so helps you pattern match or see where the fabric is
  • It’s thin and flexible so easier to work with than normal paper
  • It rips off easily, but not too easily (once sewn sections don’t start to fall off)
  • It’s fully recyclable as it’s 100% paper. I collect all my bits in a tub when removing the paper and throw it straight in the compost and it mixes in with the wet matter easily

For this partnership I help promote their products in exchange for 3 packs of foundation paper and can only assume I was selected because I had been genuinely raving about their foundation paper. This review is a true reflection of my experience of the pattern and not bias.

You can get 10% off your order with PatternTrace for Foundation Paper or any bundle which contains it using my code: “andsewi” & you will automatically get this Mountain Tub pattern added to your order FREE.

I didn’t have a set plan while I was piecing the main panel, I grabbed what I thought and went for it! I must have really enjoyed this part as I took no photos but each section went together quickly with 5/6 seams each, I felt quickly like I was making progress. Again the sections came together quickly and easily and before lunch I had a completed panel. To be honest I think you could use this pattern to make a nice wall hanging. With my ombre setting sun sky I started roughly matching the the yellow and orange shades but it quickly became apparent I didn’t have enough fabric left over to continue.

For quilting the panel I wanted to do it simply and not add to much detail so the FPP could really shine! I have only recently ventured into using heavier weight thread to quilt with and I maybe got a little to excited at the Wonderfil stand at Festival of Quilts. I had bought a glow in the dark 40wt thread (more about this later) in a light lemon colour and why not use it straight away! Hoping to replicate the last rays of sun coming over the mountain I echoed their shape with a simple straight stitch.

Joining the short end of the panel I certainly found Fiona’s tip for holding the seam allowance out the way gave a nice smooth joint and helped the tub keep a consistent shape.

The template for the base was perfectly sized and went on remarkably easily I think, maybe because it’s an oval (fantastic as it’s different to all the other tub patterns) and you have a straighter edge to start and stop on. It was well clipped and pined in place but it was a one hit and no seam ripper was required! Lining went it easy and the whole construction probably only took half an hour maximum. I did decide I had to hand finish the binding so that probably took longer.

I felt it needed a little something else and a fab quilty friend Lauran from @Lovevernhandmade on Instagram suggested some hand stitched stars! I think this cute little detail really makes my tub and I certainly need to be doing more hand sew little details like these!

In summary, this is a fab little pattern for a slightly different tub. A relatively quick make I would say it took me about 4/5 hours but I was not peddle to the metal as it was the summer holidays and I had to stop to Mum occasionally. It’s not overly complicated either in the FPP or tub construction. Hardest part for me was joining the bias finishing, getting the ends to join without excess… but don’t worry the instructions tell you how to join the bias: just run one over the other! That struggle was completely my own making – I should have followed the instruction! Sorry Fiona!

Don’t forget you can get the pattern for FREE if you buy foundation paper or a bundle containing it as well as 10% off using my code: “andsewi”.

Now to the WonderFil Ahrora Thread, that is supposed to glow in the dark. Very disappointingly I couldn’t get it to glow no matter how much I charged it in direct or indirect sunlight for any amount of time.

My intention was to use this as a tub on my bedside table to hide some of the clutter and match my Entropy Quilt which lives on my bed along with the Nomad Cushion I pattern tested – both the work of @squats_and_runningstitches. The mountain outline and hand-quilted stars would offer something to admire during a sleepless night.

After doing some research I discovered they recommend using it in larger areas which to me defeats the point because you could use glow in the dark fabric. The only way I could get the thread to glow was by using a black light torch which I ordered. Once it arrived and I tried it out I realised pure white thread would glow better.

I can however confirm I am very happy with the WonderFil Flash Thread. It very much does flash back when you photograph the quilt. The colour and texture is nice but I have not used it in a project yet. I do have some ideas that I’m very excited to experiment with so if your are interested in this thread keep an eye on my feed.

Helen xxx

…want to channel my inner Frida Kahlo…

Uncategorized

I wrote this 2 years ago and never got round to posting it! Its not finished or edited but i’m going to share it as it is because this is me! I can’t wait to get to some galleries soon.

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Last week baby and me escaped the house with my granny for a trip to the V & A for the Frida Kahlo exhibition – ‘Making Herself Up’.  I know a little about Frida Kahlo and liked the strong colours and self portraits which I wish I could do!  I really enjoyed the exhibition easy to chunks to read and just enough detail.  The items were also well displayed.  I enjoyed rediscovering and finding out more about her difficult life.  I do now wish I had bough the exhibition book.

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I didn’t realize quite how ill she had been all through her short life and how much that had impacted on her art.  I know I should not but I wish I was bed bound to be able to do nothing but my art.  It was the objects they had on display I found most interesting maybe as they are more easily absorbed when holding a wriggly baby or because I am the type of person.

photos of corsets (i now can’t find and this was pre IG account)

The idea that she had the guts to wear clothes that suited her requirements and not what was popular or socially the norm.   Long skirts to hide the effects of polio on her legs and large tops to hide her medical corsets.  Makes me wonder if I should have more confidence to wear what I like and not what is normal on just physically fits.  Obviously I need the time for practice making clothes, adjusting patterns to suit my body shape mainly.  I have been toying with the idea of making a set of long corded stays.  A mixture of  something which would go under a Jane Austin style dress and something made up in my head to smooth my double c-section tummy and nicely shape my huge post baby feeding boobs.   Anyway I’m rambling.  Look at these examples of Frida’s clothes.  ALL THE COLOURS!

I of course I saw a quilt pattern where only other quilters would, this time in the exhibition backdrop.

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It was lovely to get out the local area and wonder round London.  I would have killed (not literally) to be baby free and be able to stop and sketch and do as I wished in my own time.  Baby was fairly good! She drew in the crowds everywhere we stopped and always smiled or cooed appropriately.

After Granny went home me and baby ventured on the underground by ourselves with the big buggy which was not as bad as I feared! We went to meet the hubby at his office.  on the way we walked through the Temple area of London.  Wow… I never knew that such pretty Georgian/ Victorian lanes were just over the river from Waterloo.  I felt like I could just step back in time.  I could imaging my swishing skirts and holding a much better posture in a corset especially having a quick look round the fashion gallery before I left.  In this heat it would have been unbearable.

After some baby appreciation at the office we walked to Covent Garden to go to my favorite restaurant – Flat Iron!!! If you have have not been you are missing out on the most amazing steak and chips.  If we are ever in town its where I always want to go!  Baby was very good until we almost arrived at our station and she woke up and ended up staying awake till 10 but the disruption did seem to help get over the bottle strike she has been on.

Overall a lovely day out combining my interests of art, architecture, costume, history and food! I must do it more often!

THE SATURATION QUILT

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It’s been a long time! Sorry for that – I’ve had 2 lockdowns, more home schooling and life just like the rest of you I’m sure, since the last post.  I have been busy; if you follow me on Instagram you will know and I suck at writing more than a few lines so these longer posts I keep putting off.  I will do some catch up blog posts soon but for now I want to tell you about the Saturation quilt!

The Saturation idea developed way back in September 2020.  I saw some stained glass in my Instagram feed – having done a glass course a few years ago and have a box of bits, it made me want to get them out and play.  Stacking the glass but rotating the layers gave a cool effect and straight away all I could think of was a quilting block in solid fabrics. 

Layers of Glass the initial inspiration for the Saturation blocks

That night I had a block drawn up and a cool blue sea/glass mock-up got me very excited but I needed to be sewing up my fractured skull sample and pattern for Halloween so it was put to the side. 

First mock up on EQ8

Once I was able to return to this embryo of an idea, I’d decided I would test the block trying a freezer paper technique – something I had wanted to try for a while but the pieces in my previous blocks were too small to be accurate.  I made a sample and gifted it to my mum as her birthday present.  I bought 4 FQ’s in a colour gradient I knew Mum would love and one metre of cream background fabric. 

Well, the birthday present turned into a Christmas present and was it was duly gifted.  It looked great and I had really enjoyed experimenting with freezer paper (though the very acute points had been difficult to maintain) and with some different straight-line quilting. 

First Test Quilt made for my Mum in her colours

Quilting lines mirror the block line in the central space

Before New Year I did some proper planning and had scheduled my year with Saturation being my first quilt pattern to be released…  then everything changed again! I had to home school for 3 months and after that I need to recuperate! After re-energising, sewing other people’s designs and projects (posts to follow), I cracked on writing the saturation pattern up, finding some testers and decided to release in mid-July. 

Now with EQ8 software at my fingertips I created mock-up after mock-up and realised how incredibly versatile the pattern would be.  Knowing there are loads of amazing creatives out there I got more and more excited about the pattern’s potential. 

I wanted to support my friend Helen Steele , who screen prints her own fabric, with the launch of her first ever co-ordinated bundle – Lush collection.  I suggested a collaboration and for me to make a saturation quilt in her fabrics which she could take to Festival of Quilts for her first ever stand there. 

Mock-up of 48″ Saturation quilt in Helen Steele’s Summer Lush Bundle colours

After seeing a mock-up of how the quilt could look Helen and myself adjusted the bundle and settled on these beautiful prints. 

I couldn’t wait to start sewing and pre-cut all the sections as soon as I got my hands on the fabric.  While Helen printed some more of the background fabric I used the photo of the double curved block already made to play and generated these layout options which were popular on Instagram. Opinion was split between the 2nd and 4th from the left.

In the pattern I recommend using freezer paper for at least the A sections of each block type to significantly reduce the amount of printing and cutting and sticking you do. All sections can be done in freezer paper but I found reusing the smaller acute angled triangles lost some of the accuracy as they lost their stickiness. Being accurate with this pattern really pays off as the matching points really made the design. Don’t worry about getting the points spot on, it is not difficult and I recommend if not experienced with freezer paper piecing to use standard or specialist foundation paper for all sections other than A. Below is a video where I show you how to use the freezer paper for this pattern.

Here is the finished quilt! I quilted it similarly to the one for my mum but with white thread so it didn’t standout. I bound it using strips cut from the … For the eight single curved blocks, Helen specially printed me pieces slightly larger than her normal panel size and I only needed one panel of each of the other colours.

I’ve been really pleased with the response to Saturation and had some great reviews. Any creative will tell you we are in it for these kind of comments and not the money.  Your makes and words really do mean the world!

Review from @natalies_needles on Etsy

As Natalie mentions, the Saturation pattern has 6 pages of alternative layouts with a basic breakdown of how to make them and fabric requirements to help those less experienced quilters and illustrate the versality of the pattern. 

I’m taking a few paper copies of the pattern to festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC next weekend and will be on stand G56 with Helen Steele for the majority of the show.

I have a bed size version I want to make so I am planning a sew along at some point – maybe starting in November 2021 as the fabric I want to use is not yet out and I might have something I need to work on for Halloween. 

Fractured Skull Sew Along Prizes

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The first prize I’m going to award was not even a prize before today. I felt the creepiest and spookiest (to me) of the skulls needed some recognition. @_mrsfish’s panel not only has all the bones and skull fabric, a beetle in the mouth and blood spattered fabric as the background, but when it was pointed out the skull was on a coffin a shiver when down my spine! So @_mrsfish a skull pin and maybe some other little bits will be flying over to you in Australia as soon as possible.

So now to start with the original prizes – @robotsmumsews unicorn thread gloss is going to go to this beauty!! My biggest daughter loved the ‘fire’ background of @sew.ari.sew ‘s version. I was super impressed with the fussy cut on the forehead, the home ice-dyed fabric which went into it and colour pallet I wouldn’t normally go for. Well done Ari, fantastic effort for someone relatively new to quilting.

Next is the bundle of fabric and scrap pack from @oliveandflohandcraft which goes to Carol @therunninghare as I love the pink and would never have put this soft green with it. Combined with the accurate piecing and fussy cut bugs in the eyes I couldn’t resist.

@therunninghare

The next prize is the Karen Lewis £30 voucher donated by @patiagnesd. This goes to @nathaliedelesse who blew me away with her beautiful scrap colour wheel skull. I’m a massive sucker for a colour wheel/ or gradient and this is just stunning and something I would never have thought of!

@nathaliedelesse

So you know I said I was a massive sucker for a colour wheel or gradient I’m afraid that is why I couldn’t resist @xole’s Giucy G fire skull. The neutral background really let the dominant skull burn into my mind. The gradient really is perfect to me. Xole gets an electrinic copy of her choice of Lou Orth’s quilt patterns which should suit your style down to a T.

Lastly (well almost), is the electronic copy of the Fraktal quilt pattern, Modern Quilt Club’s collaboration with Paula Steel. This goes to @pattiknitsandsews for her perfect skull. This panel is a better version of what I originally envisaged with the skull design. I love the simplicity of the grayscale skull offset with the orange background. Made perfectly halloweenie with the spiders. What nailed it for me was the quilting which looks like the spiders webs over the skull, the straight line quilting which kind of looks random but well thought out and beautifully symmetrical.

Finally, I wanted to do a completely random winner so all those who participated were written on a bit of paper and popped into a Disney frozen bowl and on my Instagram ‘live’ I pulled out @finecityquilting. So you also get a Lou Orth pattern of your choice.

Picking winners was really difficult there are so many skulls which look amazing and others you could see the effort which had gone in. Thank you all so much for participating in my first sew along I hope you have enjoyed it as much as me.

Helen xxx

Fractured Skull Panel SAL Finishers Gallery

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Thank you everyone who took part! First a special shout out to those who took on my bit of fun spooky picture challenge:

@thebeveleh Chris Ostenstad

Patricia Dunham

Now for a gallery the finished skulls. I have tried to get everyone but please message me if your missing. They are in no particular order:

From left to right : @mopheaded1 , @pattiknitsandsews, @maikahaza

From left to right : @nerdynquilty, @ma1anie, Margaret Pannell Vachon

From left to right : @therunninghare, @missmerrycherry, @ringaringarosie

From left to right: @nathaliedelesse, @tish.dunham & @freakymysty

I love the diversity of all of these and have no idea how I could possibly pick just 5 prize winners! Honestly thank you so much all of you for making my first Sew Along ‘sew’ much fun!

Helen xxx