Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Mystery BOM Month 6 - Fiesta block

This month's Nellie's Niceties Mystery BOM block is yet another EPP block. Sorry if EPP is not your thing but I'm in a hand piecing groove at the moment :) I've called this one Fiesta. It's a 6" block, slightly tricky but still fun.
As is typical for my designs there's a nice secondary pattern in multiples.
You'll find the free templates, info sheet and colouring sheet on our website. Here's proof that the block actually works in fabric ;) 

If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #fiestablock. Tell your friends, the more the merrier :) 
Catch you soon x 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Fat Quarterly - Cartwheels

What seems like forever ago I made a little hot-pad for Fat Quarterly e-zine using my Cartwheels EPP templates. Due to the whole Vat-Mess nonsense towards the end of last year the e-zine temporarily ceased trading but now, thankfully, it is back up and running on Payhip. You'll find my hot-pad and lots of other gorgeous paper piecing projects in Issue 20.
I used Katy's Priory Square fabric for my version and it now takes pride of place on our new kitchen island :)
Here are a couple of shots of the island while it's still nice and tidy. It's a Stenstorp from Ikea and it is a perfect match for our existing kitchen which did not come from Ikea, bonus!
I intend to put a vase of flowers on there eventually but the worktop is newly waxed so I don't want to spoil it yet.
Catch you soon x

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The star within

Hello. Sorry it's been a while, life is getting in the way a lot! Between hospital appointments, physio, secret sewing and preparing for, then recovering from a rather hectic weekend visiting Download Festival last weekend, there hasn't been a lot of time or energy for blogging. I thought I'd pop by today to share a finished mini quilt top with you. I started this mini, for the Anna Maria Horner mini quilt swap on Instagram, way back in April and the deadline for posting is looming fast so I had to pull my finger out and finish the hand-piecing pronto! I've got a nice hole in my finger for my troubles but thankfully no blood has been shed ;) As usual I've pieced this using Aurifil thread for no irritating tangles.
I've called this EPP block "The Star Within" for what I hope are obvious reasons. Finishing up at 24" square this mini has taken more hours than I care to think about to piece by hand so I really hope that my partner will love it as much as I do. There are fabrics from three or four different collections by Anna Maria Horner in this one and I just love the riot of colour. It's going to be tough to part with this one when it's finished. I just need to decide how to quilt it then get it in the post by the end of the pressure! Hoping all is good in your corner of the world. Catch you soon x

Monday, 1 June 2015

Let's go fly a kite - Mystery BOM month 5

This month's mystery block is a 6" EPP block that I've called Let's go fly a kite.
As you'd expect there's a cute secondary pattern when combined in multiples.
You'll find the info sheet, templates and colouring sheet on our website. The block goes together in a couple of hours and should be suitable for everyone from confident-beginners upwards. I should probably have ironed mine before taking a photo but that was too much like hard work ;)
I thought you might like to see my sampler progress so far, please excuse the masking tape.
If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #letsgoflyakite. Tell your friends, the more the merrier :) 
Catch you soon x

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2015 - Kaleidoscopic quilt

It's that time of year again folks, all the big boys and girls are off to Quilt Market to see all the fun new fabric that we'll all be coveting and the rest of us get to watch jealously from afar. Thank goodness for Amy and her twice yearly Blogger's Quilt  Festival to keep us all happy looking at the fantastic creations of our online community! It's always fun to find new inspiration and new blogs to read.
I usually have a tricky time deciding which quilt to enter but this year I knew straight away which one I wanted to submit. I designed this Kaleidoscopic quilt for Quilt Now magazine last year and was delighted when it made the front cover of Issue 5!
This lap sized quilt was a real labour of love, 64 foundation pieced blocks was no small task. It was totally worth it though, this is one of my all time favourites. I love all the secondary patterns that this block gives and the colours just make me feel happy. There are so many of my beloved/ hoarded fabrics in here, which I'm sure contributes to its favourite status.
After all the machine work of foundation piecing it was a pleasure to take my time over the hand quilting. I'm a huge fan of chunky hand quilting with Perle thread. I don't have the patience for tiny. neat hand stitches but neat chunky stitches are right up my street. The texture that this type of quilting provides is fantastic, really snuggly, which is just what you need for a lap quilt!
I used three neutral shades of Perle thread in the low volume areas of the quilt and a dusky pink Perle thread to echo quilt the pink kites.
I contained the kaleidoscopic blocks with a scrappy low volume border and finished off with a black and white pezzy binding. I can't resist showing you the professional photo on the cover of  the magazine; I will never tire of seeing my creation right there on the cover.
So there you have it, I'm entering this in the Modern Quilts category purely because I designed this quilt on the iPad. You must check out all the other quilts in the category (and the other categories of course) and if you like this quilt or indeed any of the other quilts you can nominate up to 3 quilts for a Viewer's choice award. Nominations are open until the 21st May and voting commences on the 22nd May. I recommend getting yourself a cuppa and a comfy seat to trawl through the fantastic inspiration over there!
Thanks for visiting, I hope you'll come back again sometime. Catch you soon x 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Hexiestar tamed

Before I launch into the latest month of the Nellie's Niceties Mystery BOM  I thought I'd update you on the continuing saga of the trapped nerve. It turns out that I have 4 bulging discs in my neck and degeneration in 5 of the bones in the same area of the neck. Just in case that wasn't enough I've also got 3 partially torn tendons in my shoulder, nerve impingement, tendinitis and bursitis. According to the physio the shoulder injuries were probably caused by sewing related tasks. Who knew that quilting is an extreme sport?! Needless to say I feel justified in the amount of moaning I've been doing about the pain I've been experiencing ;) I'm now awaiting an appointment with the specialist but I have been warned not to expect them to be able to help. To top it all off Jess is having a rough time too and is currently awaiting an MRI. Such fun! If things are quiet around here you'll know why. I'm still very active over on Instagram though as that doesn't involve as much time or planning.
Right, now on with the BOM.
This month I've re-visited an old favourite, the Hexiestar and given it a bit of a face-lift to make a 12" square block.
As usual it produces a secondary pattern when combined in multiples.
You'll find the free PDF templates, info sheet, block layout and colouring sheet on our website. I like to layout my paper pieces in advance so I fiddle around with placement if I'm using prints. 

Thankfully I'm using solids this time. I glue baste all my pieces because I like the speed and precision it gives. One of the most common questions I've been asked about piecing the Hexiestar is how I baste the narrow triangles, so here's a pic to show you. 

I generally start by piecing all of the narrow triangles to the hexagon, then filling in the gaps as I go but in order to get some daylight progress shots I skipped that plan this time. I do recommend referring to the block layout sheet as the pieces are not equal sizes in the Hexiestar Tamed block. 
When filling in the gaps I start at the base of the narrow triangle and work my way out to the  point.
When it comes to capturing the point of the narrow triangle you can start at the point and work your way back down to the base of triangle if you are nervous about it.
I'm usually gung-ho about it though and just catch the two in-fill triangles together when I get to the point.
Continue until the hexiestar is complete, then "tame" it by adding the corner triangles.
Ta-da. One Hexiestar Tamed block.
If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #hexiestartamed. Tell your friends, the more the merrier :) 
Catch you soon x

Monday, 13 April 2015


It's that time of the month again folks! The new issue of Quilt Now magazine is now available in UK stores (actually, it was available last Thursday so I'm a bit late). Issue 10 is packed full of bright and cheerful projects to try out. The gorgeous cover quilt is by the talented chappy, Nicholas Ball.
It's lovely to see projects by lots of friends in this issue! Kerry, Justine, Di, Katy, Lisa, Trudi and Katy C to name a few :)

This month's BOM technique is gathered patchwork hexagons. It was a technique I stumbled upon in my search for 3D hand sewing techniques and I think it was quite fun to do.
The companion project for this month is a mini travel sewing kit. I have visions of this one disappearing to live with Yvonne when I get it back from the publishers...I'll give you the link to the online tutorial when it's live but the tutorial is live on the Quilt Now website now and for anyone who already has the issue the pattern is in there :)
In other news, Leslie has reviewed the Doris Project bag pattern on her blog today. I can't wait to get back to the sewing machine as I have a Pam Kitty Garden Doris bag in progress that I started right before the nerve started playing up, fingers crossed it will be sorted out soon!
Catch you soon x