Modern Rainbow Sampler Quilt - For The Quilter's Planner 2020

It has been almost impossible to keep this secret! I am beyond excited to share with you that I have a quilt featured in the 2020 Quilter’s Planner! And it went all the way to Costa Rica for a photo shoot! Wish I could have hand delivered it!! Just look at these amazing pictures Kitty from The Night Quilter, took of it!!

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

My quilt is a modern sampler quilt with lots of negative space. I mixed up the sizes of the blocks as I love the sense of depth you get from doing that.

When it came to colours, obviously it had to be rainbow , I think if you cut me in half you'd find rainbow running through my core lol! I loved working with the Quantum range by Giucy Giuce.

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

Does all that negative space freak you out? Well I also think this pattern would make a fabulous table runner! That’s next on my list!

I decided to quilt the large sections of negative space with straight line quilting. I then echoed the blocks and filled in the gaps with a variety of free motion quilting.

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

Each year Stephanie from The Quilter’s Planner works with a fabric designer to design the look of the planner and to be featured in it. This year that designer is a fellow Brit: Karen Lewis!

Have you had a Quilter’s Planner before? I love mine! With your planner you also get a magazine with all the patterns for the featured quilts, of which there are twelve, plus the Block of the Month project by Karen Lewis.

The Planner is chocked full of useful info as well. I particularly love the page for tracking all my projects! It helps to get them done! But the info pages are great for easy reference.

If you are in the States you can pre-order your planner now and even get to customise it. Options for customisation include: Cover; Sunday or Monday start; and which weekly layout you prefer. I think I’m going for the Teal and for me it has to be the horizontal layout with a Monday start!

And I’m loving these matching accessories too. Particularly love the dry erase lists.

If you aren’t in the States you can do that too, although sometimes the shipping can be off putting. So the good news is that Karen Lewis will be stocking these for anyone based in the UK or Europe. Sadly they won’t be customisable, but I think she might be stocking some of the accessories too.

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

📸 Photo credit to Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter

Tumbling Spools Group Quilt

Earlier this year I had an idea that it would be fun to make a group quilt version of the Tumbling Spools Quilt. The original just has a column of 6 spools and then the words on the right. I contacted all the people who had bought a copy of the pattern and asked them if they would like to contribute to a group quilt to enter into Festival of Quilts.

Tracy (Red Kite & Doe) and I in front of the quilt at Festival of Quilts

Tracy (Red Kite & Doe) and I in front of the quilt at Festival of Quilts

I was blown away at the response. Thirty lovely people wanted to be involved. So I set about designing a layout to incorporate lots of spools.

Tumbling Spools Group Quilt The Crafty Nomad

I gave contributors a block or two to make and gave guidelines on the colours to use. I had a couple for the back so I could put a custom label on it.

Tumbling Spools Group Quilt The Crafty Nomad

Some people chose to add their name, country or Instagram name to their spool.

Two seconds after I took this picture the quilt fell on the ground! (Before the Festival!!!!)

Two seconds after I took this picture the quilt fell on the ground! (Before the Festival!!!!)

Thank you so much to all the contributors to this quilt. I was incredibly happy to see that we got a Highly Commended Badge for our efforts!

Tumbling Spools Group Quilt The Crafty Nomad

Top 10 Tips for visiting a Quilt Show!

Photo from Festival of Quilts 2018

So here in the UK the annual Festival of Quilts event is fast approaching. I know this because I am frantically sewing up two projects that will be on display there (hopefully!). The Festival of Quilts is held every year at the end of July/beginning of August at the NEC in Birmingham. It’s a great central location enabling lots of people to be able to come. In fact attendance numbers are regularly around 25,000 over the four days. This year it’s on between 1-4 August (2019).

I LOVE going to the Festival each year and would encourage you to give it a go. I thought you might be interested in my top tips for a successful trip.

The Crafty Nomad Festival of Quilts Top Ten by Jo Westfoot


First and foremost, you have to see the quilts! Surely that’s the whole reason for going! Last year an astounding 800 people entered quilts into the competition. Have you ever entered a quilt? I wrote a post last year on whether to enter or not, you can read it here. I’ve also recently read one here which is really interesting too. The competition quilts are not juried at this show, which means anyone can enter. I find it refreshing to see a total mix of abilities. It can still be overwhelming at times when you see the absolutely stunning and amazing work on show. But I try not to let that put me off when entering. I just try to remember that we are all on our own quilting journey and we are all at different points along the way. Some are ahead and some are behind but we must continue to walk our own walk. I’m entering three quilts this year: one in the group category; one traditional (I actually think it’s more Modern Traditionalism); and one new piece that I’m not really sure about but hey ho!


Every year there are artists’ galleries. In the gallery you will find a collection of works by one artist. He or she will be on hand to speak to about their work. I encourage you to speak to them, they will surely love the engagement. The galleries often introduce you to new techniques you may not have tried before.


By the same token, there are a myriad of classes, workshops, talks and demonstrations on offer every year, over 400 this year! Take one, learn a new skill or just have a bit of fun. Not sure if there are places left or not but if so you can check them out here. This year I’ve decided to have a go at long arm quilting, so I’m taking a whole afternoon class. Really looking forward to that.


Are you on Instagram or Facebook? I bet you’ve made a tonne of friends online. Festival is the ideal place to meet up in real life. I’m coordinating a group quilt this year and so I’m hoping to meet as many of the contributors as possible. I’m the Chairperson of the Hampshire MQG and I’m hoping to meet up with other MQG members there. Frances (the UK MQG coordinator) will be meeting up with members at the Sewing Quarter cafe between 12 and 1.30pm on Thursday and Friday.


There will be over 350 vendors at the show all hoping you will spend your pennies with them. Having a stand at a show is a major investment for many small shops, prohibitive for some. So please please please support them. Obviously you can’t buy something from 350 shops, although I’m sure some of you might try lol! But maybe take a flyer to return at some point in the future. Like much of retail at the moment, our quilting shops are really feeling the pinch. If we want them to continue we must support them. You can see a full vendor list here.


You will be on your feet and doing lots and lots of steps all day so be sure to wear comfy shoes!!


Make sure to take time to rest those weary aching feet. There are a couple of cafes inside the halls. These do get filled up quickly, but there are also benches just outside the halls and other eating places too.


Bag by The Crafty Nomad

OK so this is an obvious one! When you are doing your bit for the British economy and supporting the vendors you’ll need something to carry your goodies away. Even if you are being careful with your pennies I can guarantee you will buy something! So take a bag or bags!!! I have seen people with little wheeled suitcases and shopping carts. Not sure what the rules are for those, but they do have restrictions for large rucksacks:

Rucksacks larger than 55 x 40 x 20cm will not be permitted into the venue but can be left in the cloakroom. The reason for the ban is to help protect the quilts from damage.


Take time to plan your trip to make the most of your time there. You can read all the information here.


As touched on in point 1, there is much to inspire. It can assault the senses somewhat!! Some people feel discouraged, I kind of get this. When leaving I always feel as though I need to ‘up my game’, or try new things. I think that’s good, I mean, I’m also encouraged that it is possible. Everyone improves the more they do. Last year I came away thinking I needed to improve my quilting, I loved the quilts with ‘graffiti’ quilting on, i.e. different designs all mixed in together. So this year I’ve tried it and I love it. This is the little piece I tried it on.

The Crafty Nomad Ombre Mini

I’m currently working on something that will hopefully make it to festival this year that will have a bit of that on. I know it won’t be as masterful as some of the pieces I saw last year but it is an improvement of what I did last year and that has to be the main point right? To keep improving yourself.

Well I hope that’s been helpful for you. Hope to see some of you there. Tell me in the comments section what else you would add to this list?

Jungle Weave

Earlier in the year I made this little baby quilt for Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine. It’s in the current issue (75). I’ve used fabric from the Monsoon range by Makower which they kindly supplied, paired with white Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman supplied by Anbo Textiles.

Photo Credit: Love Patchwork & Quilting

Photo Credit: Love Patchwork & Quilting

The quilt is strip pieced, so it’s a pretty quick make.

Jungle Weave quilt by Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

The fabric is so bright and fresh. It makes me think of tropical holidays! Think I need a cocktail!

Jungle Weave Quilt by Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

Want to have a go at making one? then you can get a copy of Issue 75 here.

New Baby = New Quilt

Well just recently I welcomed a new nephew into the family. It’s been a while since I got to have some snuggles with a baby!

Anyhow obviously this new baby needed a quilt. I decided to make a slightly different version to the Rainbow Steps quilt I made a while ago for Make Modern.

Baby Quilt The Crafty Nomad

I chose blue, lime and grey Kona. Instead of one diagonal set of steps through the middle I added two more in each corner.

Baby Quilt The Crafty Nomad

After I’d made the quilt top I found out that the theme for the nursery was Under the Sea. I figured the colours worked so thought I’d make the quilting a bit more in line with the theme.

Baby Quilt The Crafty Nomad fish quilting

I added fish swimming up the centre channel. I was kind of thinking of Finding Nemo at this point lol! But then remembered The Rainbow Fish story and as I had rainbow thread, I made one of the fish a rainbow one! I used Sulky Variegated thread in Rayon 40 wt (colour 2132) for the fish. For the rainbow fish I used Sulky Sliver Metallic in a rainbow colourway (colour 8020).

Baby Quilt The Crafty Nomad

Then added some seaweed to the lime triangles.

Baby Quilt The Crafty Nomad

The remainder was straight line echo quilting.

A little Mini Mini for Lynne

So recently I made a little thank you gift for my friend Lynne. She had kindly given me tickets to the Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A that she could no longer go to.

I had an inkling her favourite colour was yellow so decided to make her a mini mini spool quilt.

Mini Mini Spool Sew Quilt The Crafty Nomad

I chose the radiating star block from the Tumbling Spools Sampler Pattern and added the word Sew in free motion quilting. I like to use rayon thread from Sulky so the colour really pops.

Mini Mini Spool Sew Quilt The Crafty Nomad

I used Sun Prints 2019 fabric from Alison Glass.

Mini Mini Spool Sew Quilt The Crafty Nomad

Good Vibes Only Blog Tour

It’s no secret that I love the rainbow spectrum and sew with it pretty much all the time! So when Shayla showed me her latest line of fabric for Windham Fabrics, I absolutely loved it!

When I saw it, a phrase popped into my head: Live Life in Colour. I knew that somehow that phrase would have to be incorporated into the project.

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Focal Point Live Life in Colour Color Good Vibes Only

The fabric line is a mix of bright, fully saturated blends in the rainbow spectrum. With the addition of low volume, dark and texty prints. It’s a super fun range of fabric.

Explore the Collection: the collection | the lookbook | on instagram

Good Vibes Only fabrics  Shayla Wolf Windham Fabrics

I have a bit of a thing for mini quilts and my wall in my craft room is starting to fill up but I couldn’t resist one more! Can you spot it? There is actually two projects using this new line of fabric on that wall!!

The Crafty Nomad Live Life in Colour 9.png

So here it is. My Live Life in Colour Mini Quilt. I picked 20 of the rainbow spectrum fabrics to surround the words. I wanted them to be kind of exploding out from the words in true colour burst style!

I love the little fun touches Shayla has incorporated into the fabrics. I really wanted to try to keep those within this project. So I was happy when I managed to fussy cut ‘Hello’ into the exact place I wanted it!

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Focal Point Live Life in Colour Color Mini Quilt Good Vibes Only

The words have been constructed with strips of fabric and then appliqued onto the dark background. Obviously I’ve gone for the British spelling of the word colour as I’m British! But you guys from across the pond could just omit the ‘U’.

The Crafty Nomad Live Life in Colour 7.png

The borders were added, and Yes, those are Y Seams at the corners. But seriously they shouldn’t be feared!

The Crafty Nomad Live Life in Colour 2.png

Deciding how to quilt a project is always fun. But, I always curse myself at this point for loving the rainbow spectrum as it often means I need to quilt with lots of different colours which means lots of thread changes! But it is so worth it!

Choosing thread, live life in colour

People often ask me what brand of thread I use. Well to be honest I don’t stick to one particular brand, but I do have my favourites and the common theme is that they are all good quality threads. I love using Sulky, Aurifil and Guterman. I use a variety of weights and types: cotton; rayon; metallic and polyester.

I’ve worked like a crazy woman to get this pattern finished, so I’m happy to say if you want to make one of these for yourself, you can!!! Get the pattern HERE.

If you are new here then do stick around and have a browse. Sign up to my newsletter so you don’t miss a thing! On social media? The follow along on Instagram or Facebook.

Oh and I couldn’t resist using Good Vibes Only to make up a micro mini version of my Create Every Day pattern (which coincidentally is what I designed for the blog tour last year for Shayla’s Foundation range of fabric!).

Micro Mini Create Every Day The Crafty Nomad

To see more of the wonderful creations made with the fun Good Vibes Only fabric by others participating in this blog tour then click on the links below. There have already been some amazing projects shared already and more to come! Be sure also to check out the Good Vibes Only lookbook put together by Shayla. You can find out more about Shayla here:


Also for your chance to win some Good Vibes Only fabric for yourself head over to my Instagram page!

If you are based in the UK you can get your Good Vibes Only fabric here at Purple Stitches.

Here is the full Blog Tour lineup for you to check out all the amazing makers and have more chances to win some yummy fabric!

Monday, June 3rd: Shayla Wolf | Sassafras Lane Designs

Tuesday, June 4th: Emily Dennis | Quilty Love

Wednesday, June 5th: Nichole Vogelsinger | Wild Boho

Thursday, June 6th: Irene Sytema | Sugaridoo

Friday, June 7th: Sylvia Schaefer | Flying Parrot Quilts

Saturday, June 8th: Robin Long | Robin Ruth Design

Sunday, June 9th: Jessica VanDenburgh | Sew Many Creations

Monday, June 10th: Nicole Young | Lillyella

Tuesday, June 11th: Sherry Shish Powered by Quilting

Wednesday, June 12th: Tara Curtis | Wefty Needle

Thursday, June 13th: Jo Westfoot | The Crafty Nomad

Friday, June 14th: Janet Nesbitt | One Sister Designs

Saturday, June 15th: Natalie Barnes | Beyond the Reef

Sunday, June 16th: Elisabeth Hardy | Elisabew Quilts

Monday, June 17th: Sarah Sharp | No Hats in the House

Tuesday, June 18th: Joanne Hart Unicorn Harts

Wednesday, June 19th: Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie

Thursday, June 20th: Kaitlyn Howell | Knot and Thread Design

Friday, June 21st: Nicole Daksiewicz | Modern Handcraft

Saturday, June 22nd: Sarah Thomas | Sariditty

Sunday, June 23rd: Shayla Wolf | Recap

Spring Clean your Studio Blog Hop 2019

New Profile Pic Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad.JPG

Hello, my name is Jo and I am a Messy Maker. There, glad I’ve got that out in the open!! When I signed up to Cheryl Sleboda from’s Spring Clean your Studio blog hop I was full of positivity...such a good idea …. I thought. But as time ticked on, and the days went by, and the actual date got closer, I came to the realisation that I really was that bad!! I just NEVER seem to be able to tidy up as I go along. It’s the same in my non crafty areas of life. I build up a massive pile of pots and pans as I cook and deal with them later (or if my husband is home, he deals with them!).

Anyhow, the upshot is that my craft studio (and other areas of the house) just has mounds of discarded fabrics, threads and other notions just lying about, occasionally spilling onto the floor where they are ignored! It’s disgraceful and so embarrassing!

But before I show you the worst parts of me lol, if you’re new here I guess I should have introduced myself properly!! I’m Jo Westfoot from The Crafty Nomad, and as well as being a Messy Maker , I am also a designer of modern quilt and sewing patterns. I live in a quaint little English village in Hampshire, UK with my husband, daughter and cat. I have a love for all things rainbow. I love to sew and quilt, teach sewing and quilting and talk about sewing and quilting!! I’m the Chairperson of the Hampshire MQG. I occasionally design for Quilt Now and Love Patchwork and Quilting magazines.

Here are some of my favourite makes. Be sure to follow along on Instagram if you like what you see!

So I digress, back to the studio makeover.....So to say my studio needed this, really was an understatement. Here are some before photos!! Like I said I’m a ‘dropper’, I just drop it where it was last used!! These pictures are so mortifying! And I’ve actually set it so you can click on them and see them bigger with all their awfulness magnified!! I must be mad!

I decided to deal with the main problem: FABRIC. (Hahahaha, not me of course, I couldn’t possibly be the problem!!)

So first I had a clear out. Took two full boxes to my guild meeting and thankfully came home with a pretty empty boxes! I have since filled two more boxes that will be going back to next month’s guild meeting or to charity. And could definitely do more. But let’s just take this one step at a time. I also managed to fill a huge black refuse sack and had lots of recycling too!

Next I decided a trip to Ikea was in order. I needed something better to hold my scraps. You see, as well as a messy maker I am also a fabric hoarder. I just can’t bear to get rid of small scraps. One day I’ll use them. I promise. Well, maybe.....

Anyhow I found some fabric drawers (Flarra) that would fit in my Kallax unit. The only problem was that they were boring black. So I decided to take 10 hours out of my ‘tidying up time’ to pretty them up!!

I added some pretty fabrics to the front to tell me what colours lay inside. And also added a divider to most of them. Five are for scraps, to be organised by colour. The sixth rainbow one is to be used for bundles and bundle scraps. I like to keep collections together where possible. I’ve written this up as a tutorial. It’s available to all my newsletter subscribers. So if you’re interested then do sign up. You can unsubscribe at any time of course, but if you like it, then you might want to stick around as subscribers are the ones that get all my future free tutorials!

Organise your fabric scrap stash The Crafty Nomad.png

So after I had finished making those (read: procrastinating!) I carried on tidying. And here are some after shots. So this one is taken as you walk through the door. I love that if I leave the door open that I see that wall of colour every time I walk past. Most of the minis are made by me with a couple made by friends.

FB Image The Crafty Nomad Spring Clean

I store my threads on those wall mounted stands. Think I need another one though for all the new blues and greens! I wrote a post about keeping threads tidy, how ironic, you can read that here. The little Kallax is home to things I probably don’t need anymore: little kids craft stuff. (My daughter is 15 now!).

Spring Clean 8  The Crafty Nomad

The view from the window. The bookcase houses my small machines, power cables and irons for sewing classes and workshops.

Spring Clean 5 The Crafty Nomad

It’s also home to pretty things like ribbons and tins. I just put my Ombre Improv Curves mini quilt up above it. Not sure it’s staying there, I think I’d like it in a frame in the kitchen!

Spring Clean 7 The Crafty Nomad

On the left (below) you can see the large Ikea Kallax cube unit. Home to fabrics, books, Big Shot diecutting machine, packaging materials, excess batting etc, and now my fabulous scrap boxes! Bolts are laying down on the top, with my light box.

Spring Clean 2 The Crafty Nomad

To the right, the unit stores all my card making and stamping supplies. Have not made any cards in an age so probably should get rid of that! On top are some baskets with WIPs. And then there is my Create Every Day Mini reminding me to do something creative every day!

Spring Clean 6 The Crafty Nomad

I totally love the view from my sewing machine! I wonder how long I can keep it tidy for!?

Spring Clean 4 The Crafty Nomad

Tidying up this room has inspired me to rethink how I use it, if I need to hang on to some stuff and the layout. I see more changes in the future. But before that I will have to clear up the rest of my craft stuff that wasn’t in this room! I currently also use the family room for cutting and storing stuff that won’t fit in this room. I daren’t post a picture of that!! That is now next on my list.

I’ve been pinning craft room storage idea to my Pinterest pinboards for a number of years now, head over and follow to see if it helps you too. Crafty Spaces and Storage.

Wow if you are still with me then well done! Thanks for stopping by and reading this post. If you’re new here and have liked what you have seen then have a good look around and consider following along on Instagram, Facebook or sign up to receive my newsletter.

If you’ve only just stumbled on to the blog hop then do go back and check out the people that posted before me and carry on following along for those to come. If you are on Instagram then be sure to follow the hashtag #springcleanyourstudio2019 The inspirational Sam Hunter is up next tomorrow so be sure to click on the link to her website and see what her studio looks like. Here is the full list.

April 29 – Linda Bratten –
April 30 – Sandra Johnson –
May 1 – Jennifer Schifano Thomas –
May 2 – Becca Fenstermaker –
May 3 – Sue Griffiths –
May 4 – Kate Starcher –
May 5 – Jo Westfoot –
May 6 – Sam Hunter –
May 7 – Simone Fisher –
May 8 – Elisabeth DeMoo-
May 9 – Sarah Myers –
May 10 – Amy Bradley –
May 11 – Kathy Nutley –
May 12 – Carla Henton –
May 13 – Sherry Shish –
May 14 – Kate Colleran –
May 15 – Pamela Boatright –
May 16 – Cathy McKillip –
May 17 – Cheryl Sleboda –

Happy Sewing (& tidying!)