The Guilt of Using Single Use Plastic

Is the message starting to sink in with you too?  I have been looking for ways to cut the use of single use plastic in our home.  One thing that has been bugging me for ages in that I use a Ziploc bag every time I bake a loaf of bread, which is quite frequently as we don't eat regular shop bought bread!  

So I decided to track down some food safe waterproof lining fabric and make a drawstring bag for the purpose instead.  That way I can just chuck it in the wash when needed! Instead of chucking it in the bin and reaching for another bag!

Drawstring Bag Sewing Tutorial The Crafty Nomad.png

I was lucky to find some kitchen themed fabric that matched in with some of my kitchen's colours!  I think it's an old Andover fabric.

I've written this up as a tutorial that I'm sending out as an exclusive gift to all my lovely email subscribers!! So if you want to get your hands on it you can sign up HERE.

Union Jack Table Runner

I'm super excited about my latest project!!! Being British, and I think given that for 10 years I was an expat, I have a bit of a thing for all things British! I even have a Pinterest board for it!  I've made a few British themed things before, a Union Jack cushion for my sister, an appliqued telephone box phone cover, a London Bus bobbin brooch, an applique post box notebook cover, applique Union Jack t-shirt.....etc.

This time I decided to make a table runner.  Featuring foundation paper pieced union jacks, with relevant appliques in the centre.  I was inspired by the upcoming Royal Wedding.  At one point I almost added a US flag too, but then the Union flag won me over, sorry American readers, I know Meghan is American but hey ho!

I've chosen fairly small ditsy prints that are non-directional as these work best.

The pattern will go out to all my VIP Club members early next week and will then be available for purchase on the 10th April 2018.  Plenty of time to get it made up in time for all those street parties and garden parties.  Dress your table in style.  It even comes with the added bonus of instructions to make up matching placemats!

You can buy the pattern HERE.

Simple Tree Free Foundation Paper Piece Pattern & Video Tutorial

I've released a Foundation Paper Pieced pattern recently and have a few more scheduled for release soon.  So given that lots of people are new to this technique I thought it would be fun and useful to release a free pattern with a video tutorial to get you familiar with the process.

Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) is a great patchwork technique that produces accurate piecing for even the smallest pieces.  For FPP you have a template/s that you stitch the fabric onto and then rip out later when fully pieced into a block.  There are various ways of doing FPP and I will be showing you the way I do it.  You’ll need to download and use the supporting sheets and pattern from my PATTERN PAGE in tandem with watching the You Tube video tutorial.  

I would LOVE to see what you make using this fun FREE pattern so if you are on social media be sure to use the hashtag #thecraftynomadsimpletree and please tag me: on IG I’m @thecraftynomadfleet and on Facebook I’m @thecraftynomad.

If you liked this pattern then do check out all my other patterns HERE.  Hope you've learned something new!

In the video I talk about some of the products I use for FPP here are some useful links for you:

Apples and Pears Quilt

It seems I have become a very intermittent blogger!  I've been so busy making, writing patterns and social media that my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.   Sooooo what that means is that we have loads to catch up on!!

Let's start with my Apples and Pears Quilt Pattern.  I wrote this for my November pattern release.  It's got four options, 2 large and 2 small, each with one for beginners and then a more advanced option!

The Crafty Nomad Apples and Pears Quilt Pattern Design - a quilt pattern perfect for beginners and those progressing onto tougher blocks.  It has simple options or a more advanced option with flying geese (pictured)  Be sure to click to find out more  AVAILABLE NOW Lots of other patterns and FREE tutorials!

I made the large advanced version.  The only thing that makes it more advanced than beginners is that it has flying geese in it.

The design is based on a set of stairs.  When I was a little girl, at bed time my mum always used to say ‘up the apples and pears’, which is cockney slang for stairs.  We aren’t even from London, go figure lol!  Anyhow that's how it got it's name.  

The quilt is strip pieced, apart from the geese so it comes together quite quickly.

The Crafty Nomad Apples and Pears Quilt Design - a quilt pattern perfect for beginners and those progressing onto tougher blocks.  It has simple options or a more advanced option with flying geese (pictured) Be sure to click to find out more  AVAILABLE NOW Lots of other patterns and FREE tutorials!

Two more versions below show both smaller options.  The grey and blue one is the simple version with no flying geese, made by Amanda.  And the one on the right is with the flying geese and is made be Martine.

The Crafty Nomad Apples and Pears Quilt Pattern, 4 options from Beginner to more advanced options

Interested in the pattern? You can get it HERE.

Birthday Gifts Galore Table Runner

Remember my Gifts Galore Christmas Table runner? Well I also made one up for birthdays too.  But this one I used the alternative placement so it doesn't matter which side of the table you are sitting at!!

Birthday Gifts Galore Patchwork Quilt Table Runner The Crafty Nomad Be sure to click to find out more  AVAILABLE NOW Lots of other patterns and FREE tutorials!

For this one I used a 'Gift' free motion quilting design.  I've added a video tutorial here if you want to see how I do this design.  Let me know if you have a go!

Interested in the pattern you can get it HERE.

Rainbow Hexies Cushion Re-make!

So back in 2011 I made a Rainbow Cushion.  I was fairly new to my sewing and quilting life back then.  But I loved that cushion!!! Fast forward 6 years and it was starting to look a bit dogeared and tatty so I decided to make another version of it, using all the skills I had learnt over the last 6 years!

 Rainbow Hexi Cushion by Jo Westfoot Photograph courtesy of Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine Issue 55

Rainbow Hexi Cushion by Jo Westfoot Photograph courtesy of Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine Issue 55

So here they are side by side.  I definitely prefer the new one lol.  Have you ever re-made something?  What did you learn about yourself?  

This one has been featured in this month's Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine (Issue 55) and will be demonstrated and sold as a kit on the Sewing Quarter TV Channel on the 6th December.  I was so excited to see it on the cover!!!

LP&Q 55 Rainbow Hexi Cushion 6 Dec 17.jpg

Patchwork Christmas Tree Cushion

Do you remember last month I posted about a free tutorial I had written for The Sewing Directory website? You can find that by clicking here.



Well, I decided to use the same pattern to make a cushion.  I just added extra borders to make it up to 18 inches square.

Patchwork Christmas Tree Cushion The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Holly Quilting

I quilted it with a holly leaf and berry design I made up.  I've added this video tutorial so you can see how I did it!  Let me know if you have a go!

Holly Quilting Design by Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

I chose to add piping to the cushion.  I love a piped edge on cushions it gives them a really professional finish.

Patchwork Piped Christmas Tree Cushion by Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

If you don't know how to do piping and want to give it a go, you might want to check out my Trimmed Cushion Tutorial which shows four different way to trim the edge of cushions: piping; lace; giant ric rac; and bobble or pom pom trim! Lots of tips and tricks to get good results.

Fabulous Gift Ideas for Quilters

It's that time of year again!  If you're reading this post you are either looking for ideas to tell your loved ones to get you! Or you're desperately trying to figure out what to buy for the 'Quilter' in your life!  Here are 10 gift ideas for quilters.  I've also sneaked in five more stocking stuffer ideas too!  So that's really 15 fab ideas for you!

10 Christmas Gifts Ideas for Quilters FB.png

These are all things I either own, or really really want!!!  No one has paid me to tell you about them, I just think they are fab ideas,  Some links are affiliate links though (see note on affiliate links in top right of page) .  Just click the pictures to find the item!  Obviously your local quilt shop may stock these items too so be sure to check those too if you want to support local independents.   I'm pretty sure that Sew Busy in Fleet stocks the rotary cutter, blades, thread cutter necklace and possibly the rotating cutting mat.  Purple Stitches in Basingstoke stocks the seam roller too.

1. Olfa Rotary Cutter - there is no denying that Olfa are one of the best brands around for quilting tools.  I absolutely love my Quick Change Olfa Rotary Cutter.  It's really comfortable to use and has the added safety feature of being able to cover the top part of the blade when being used.


2.  Wonder Clips: Took me ages to buy some of these and I really wished I had done it sooner! First off they are really pretty as they are so colourful! So they look really cheerful! And second they are really easy and quick to use!

Use them instead of pins when binding.  They come in a really cute tin to store them in which is handy.




3.  Obviously I'm biased but I think the perfect present for a quilter would be my Pattern Subscription Service!

Membership to the VIP club means the gift recipient will get that nudge every month to get quilting.  They will receive a new pattern through the mail every month, discount on all other patterns and exclusive membership of a Facebook group for support and extra video tutorials.

For more details about it click here.  

To buy it as a gift for someone click HERE.  Choice of 3,6 or 12 month subscription plans.



4. One of my recent purchases also made it onto the list! 

This really handy Seam Roller is perfect for when you are foundation paper piecing.  It saves hopping out to the iron every five seconds!




Sewing Machine Pincushions by The Crafty Nomad.jpg

5. No self respecting quilter wouldn't have a pin cushion! I make these super handy pin cushions that attach to your sewing machine.  They are for sale at Sew Busy and come in all different fun sewing themed fabrics.  If you can't get to Sew Busy just drop me an email and I can post you one out (UK only due to the filling). I'll be adding more in the next week or two.

Alternatively if you want to make your own, the pattern is available here as a PDF and here as a Paper pattern  If you do make your own and want the crushed walnut shell filling I sell it here.




6. Another tool I absolutely love is my Fiskars Rotating Cutting mat.

This reduces the amount of work considerably when cutting half square triangles, or any small squaring up.




7. I spotted this cutting board recently and it looks brilliant.  Especially for those of you who go to quilt clubs or retreats. 

This mat folds up.  Half of it is a cutting board and the other half is an ironing board!





8. If you are wanting to improve your free motion quilting then this book has got to be on your list! 

Lori Kennedy is an amazing quilter.  Her designs are so creative and she inspires you to have the confidence to have a go.

Her website, The Inbox Jaunt,  is full of great video tutorials as well so be sure to check that out too.



9.  This next one is so on my Christmas Wish List!  The 2018 Quilters Planner! 

I hope my family are reading this ;-) Please someone buy this for me lol!  It's so pretty!  They have used the designs of one of my favourite fabric designers in it!  It looks amazing and so much better than my plain squared notebook!!



10. We all know that quilters LOVE fabric.  They adore it! They swoon over it! They have been known to stroke it!!  But what to buy when the selection is so big and everyone likes different things?  Well the easy thing to do is to get a Gift certificate for your local fabric shop so they can choose their own.  Sew Busy certainly offers gift certificates and I'm sure your local shop will too!

Now for the Stocking Stuffers!

11. Everyone needs a USB stick, and much nicer to have a fun sewing themed one!

12. Thread cutter necklace!  So you can sew wherever you are without scissors.  I believe you can even take these on a plane.  Perfect for hand sewing on the go.




13. And whilst we are on the subject of thread cutters I really LOVE these ones recently released by Quilt Story.  Cute colours and you can stick them anywhere.  





14. New blades for the rotary cutter will always be well received.  I know I certainly go through a lot!





15. And finally, sadly, we quilters need a good seam ripper and why not have a really pretty one!  You can even get them as necklaces so you will never lose it!  [Note to husband: I really love this one!! Hint Hint!]

 Click the picture to find heaps of similar items on Etsy.



Hope this helped with your gift buying for the lovely quilter in your life.

How to use Pre-printed Stocking Advent Panels - Part 2

In the last post I showed you how to make up one of the regular advent panels.  In this one I'll show you a quick way to sew up the cute little advent stocking panels.  

Advent Stockings Panel Tutorial The Crafty Nomad

They do have very brief instructions printed on the edge but if you need more detailed instructions then look no further!

You can find a link below to download my full tutorial for how to make up these sweet little advent stockings.

To download the full tutorial click HERE

Thanks for stopping by!