What is a Sew-along? Quilt-along?

Ok so I’ve had the question ‘What is a sewalong?’ and ‘How does it work?’ So i thought I’d pop on here to give a bit more detail about what they are and how my sewalongs or quiltalongs are going to work.

What is a quiltalong.png

So first up they are a fun way to get more people to engage with a sewing pattern. The benefits to the participant are:

  • To get a project finished within a given time frame without it being relegated to the UFO pile (Unfinished Object!).

  • To see lots of other variations of the same pattern to get inspiration from

  • To get encouragement and handy pointers or questions answered from the designer and or other participants

  • To receive lots of nice comments on their efforts

  • Sometimes there are prizes awarded!

The benefits of them to the designer are:

  • To engage with their followers

  • To sell more patterns

  • To reach new people

  • To join forces with other designers or companies working within the industry to provide prizes or help promote the pattern

  • To see lots of different variations of the same pattern

People running the sewalongs, the host, generally decide how they work. Generally participants purchase the pattern, sometimes the pattern might be free. The host will specify a schedule of what steps need to be achieved and by when. For example it could be to make a block every month or every week. The host will specify what platform the sewalong will run on. Instagram lends itself really well to this kind of thing as most people have their profiles set to public so it’s easy to see the photos.

Instagram also works well with hashtags. So a sewalong would normally have a hashtag assigned to it. For example the hashtag for the upcoming Tumbling Spools Quiltalong will be #tumblingspoolsqal. Everyone participating will add that tag when they post a picture of the item to their post. That way other participants can choose to search or follow that hashtag and see all the other photos related to the quiltalong. It’s also an easy way for the host to find all people participating to comment on them and make sure they get entered into any prize draws.

As already mentioned, sometimes there are prizes. So it is common for there to be a prize draw for all people who posted a picture of the finished item. Some sewalongs might have prizes for each step to encourage you to participate at each step. This is a great way for the designer to showcase and help promote other great businesses within the quilting or sewing industry. It helps form great relationships between businesses and introduces participants to companies they may not have heard of yet but are very relevant to their interests.

So in a nutshell:

  • Buy the pattern

  • Make the item

  • Post pictures of it at the steps detailed in the schedule, add the hashtag

  • Look at all the other items on the hashtag

  • Encourage other joining in

  • Maybe win a prize

  • Have a lovely time sewing at home but sewing along with others on the same project online!

Hope that answers your questions. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments.

HoHoHo Sewalong Entries & Winner

So yesterday was the last day of the HoHoHo Sewalong. Thank you so much if you joined in!! It was great fun to see all the different fabrics being used. I’ve added some pictures of some below. As you can see there is a selection of cushions, table runners and centre pieces. Some of these were shared on Facebook and some on Instagram!

Entries hohohosal.png

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for....drum roll please.... the winner of the fat quarter bundle is Pat Matthews.

I hope you had fun if you joined in.. And that you now have a finished or almost finished Christmas make to proudly display this Christmas! Well done all.

If you liked sewing along with the group, then you might like to find out about my next sewalong which is happening in January. Find out about it here. And remember to sign up to the accompanying newsletter to get all the relevant information.

Ho Ho Ho Sewalong Has Started!

So today is day 1 of the #hohohosal. I would love for you to join in with us! Sign up to the HoHoHo sewalong newsletter to get the prompts!

The idea is to make up either a HoHoHo Cushion, or for the more adventurous, a table runner!

It’s a fairly relaxed sewalong running from today, 30th Nov to 10th December. Purposefully over two weekends so hopefully you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get it made. The cushion is actually a pretty quick make!

To join in make sure you’ve got your copy of the PATTERN. Post a picture of your Ho Ho Ho cushion or table runner on your feed. Feel free to post fabric pulls and progress pictures as well the finished item. Make sure you’ve posted a picture of the finished item by 10th December to go into the draw for the Christmas themed prize. Make sure to tag me and use the Hashtag #hohohosal so I can find the post. This is mainly running in Instagram but if you’re not on Instagram you can join in on Facebook. Just make sure your profile is set to public so I can find your post easily.

I have put together a little prize for one lucky poster. Happy to send internationally.

Prize HoHoHo.png

I’ll be posting throughout the time to encourage you along!

If you are joining in please use text like this so everyone else who sees your post can come and find out what it’s all about easily “I’m joining in with the #hohohosal hosted by @thecraftynomadfleet “

🎅🏼 NEED HELP? If you haven’t tried raw edge appliqué before and need extra guidance then have a look at my free tutorial about it.

I can not wait to see lots of Ho Ho Ho items popping up in my feed!!

I’m hoping to make a couple of projects using the pattern. The first up will be using this selection of slightly more traditional fabrics.


Then if I’ve time I’d like to make a little something with this modern alternative Christmas bundle from The Fabric Fox!


Can’t wait to see what fabrics you choose!

Fancy a Ho Ho Ho Cushion Sewalong?

I’ve been mulling over on social media whether to run a fun, short Sewalong for the Ho Ho Ho Cushion to help encourage you all to get it made before the big day! Quite a few were keen so here you go!

We’ll start on Friday 30th November and aim to be finished by the 10th December. That gives you two full weekends. Making this totally achievable! Plus it will be finished in plenty of time to look great with all your other holiday decorations!

Sign up to the Ho Ho Ho Cushion Sewalong email newsletter to get the prompts.

To join in you’ll need to get the Pattern which you can purchase HERE. It’s available as a PDF or as a Paper version.

Post a picture of your finished cushion to Instagram or Facebook before the 10th December 2018, using the hash tag #HoHoHosal, and you’ll go into a draw for a prize! (If you are doing this on Facebook, you will need to set the post to public so that I can see it though! And on Instagram if your profile is set to Private then I won’t be able to see it!)

Come find me on social media: Facebook; & Instagram.

Here are a couple of versions made up by myself and one of my customers.

Really looking forward to seeing your creations!!

Tumbling Spools Sampler Mini Quilt Pattern

A couple of years ago I made my Tumbling Spools quilt for Quilt Now magazine. I knew I wanted to release it as a pattern as there was a lot of interest in it. But I decided I wanted to redesign it before releasing it as a pattern. I wanted it to be smaller so it would be perfect for most people’s craft rooms. I also wanted to make it a bit more interesting!!

So, say hello to the Tumbling Spools Sampler Mini Quilt.

A stack of spools on the left that look like they are about to come tumbling down and some Quilty words on the right.

The quilt finishes up at about 22x32 inches.

I’ve made the centres of the spools into sampler blocks so each one is different. You can choose to make up the six different sampler blocks if you like. But there are also patterns where the centres are plain so you can fussy cut your favourite fabrics instead.

When it comes to the words you also have a couple of options too. Quilt them in place. Or appliqué them! Templates and instructions for both.

The really exciting thing about this quilt for me is that this one is going to be at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival in Houston this week!! So if you are going and want to see it in the flesh then head on over to the Sulky of America booth.

I’ve used Sulky 40wt. Rayon threads as they are perfect for the quilting as they really catch the light and stand out so well. In the UK these are sold under license by Gutermann and also I think directly from Sulky.

The pattern is available as an immediate download PDF on my website. So you can print at home and get started straight away!

You might also be interested to know that I’m hosting a Quiltalong for this mini quilt in January! Plenty of AMAZING prizes from AMAZING sponsors!! And plenty of time to get the pattern and gather your supplies! You can sign up to a Quiltalong Newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

"Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas"

Said in my best Father Christmas voice! This is my latest pattern! November’s release had to be a Christmas design really didn’t it!

HoHoHo Cushion The Crafty Nomad

It’s an applique design with 3D holly leaves to liven things up a bit. Just love the calorie free, guilt free Christmas pudding! Yum!

Here’s a close up!

HoHoHo Cushion The Crafty Nomad

I also made up an alternative version to show how it looks in non modern fabrics. I made this one for my sister as she loves all things vintage. We are the total opposite!

HoHoHo Cushion The Crafty Nomad vintage

Love this version too. I used floral vintage fabrics with a linen background. Little pink buttons for the berries.

The pattern is available now HERE.

And if you need a little nudge to get it made before the big day then I’ll be hosting a Sewalong of this pattern on my Instagram page. Would be lovely if you joined in!

Gingerbread House Quiltalong

I was recently invited to join in with the Gingerbread House Quilt-along hosted by Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine. The pattern is by Gracey Larson of Burlap and Blossom Patterns. I decided to opt to make the Candy Cane block. I sadly didn’t have time to make the whole beautiful quilt so I made a cushion instead, just added some extra borders, a couple of holly leaves and a piped edging.

Candy Cane cushion The Crafty Nomad

Of course the piped edging had to be red and white candy cane stripes!! I do love piped edging don’t you!?

Candy Cane Cushion The Crafty Nomad

Here is a close up of those holly leaves. You’ll be seeing them again soon on my new Christmas pattern.

Candy Cane Cushion The Crafty Nomad

Want to see more of this quilt-along then just pop onto Instagram and search the hashtag #gingerbreadqal

Siblings Together Quilt Group

Do any of you sew for charity? I belong to a sewing bee which makes quilts throughout the year for a fabulous charity called Siblings Together. This year Tricia (Yondergirlie) is doing a quilt block drive. For our Charity sew day at Oxfordshire Modern Quilt Guild we made blocks. We aimed to make enough for one quilt but ended up making enough for three!!

Thought you might like to see them here! This is the quilt top we put together on the day.

Siblings Together Quilt at Oxfordshire MQG

Such a striking design from such simple blocks! Love it! If you want more details on the pattern used or if you would like to contribute in any way then please head on over to the Siblings Together Quilt Groups website.

As for my bee, well I am quilt Mama for one of the months. All the lovely blocks have now come in from the other bees but I still haven’t found time to stitch them all together and make the quilt! I did get around to laying them all out and deciding a layout. The block is a modified version of my One Way or Another block I made for Quilt Now earlier in the year.

Siblings Together one way quilt the crafty nomad

I will have to carve out some time to get this one finished!

Puzzled Geese Quilt - Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is my second entry to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy from Amy’s Creative Side. I call this my Puzzled Geese Quilt. If you want to see my first entry just click here.

If this is your first time here at The Crafty Nomad then Welcome! Please do take a look around. I’m a quilt pattern designer and sewing teacher based in England. My style is modern/contemporary with lots of rainbow brights. I have lots of free tutorials on the blog and lots of patterns too. I run a bi-monthly pattern subscription club (VIP Club). You may have seen some of my work in Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and Quilt Now Magazine. If you like what you see then feel free to sign up to my newsletter (free pattern included with the first one!). I’m active on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to follow along there.

Puzzled Geese Quilt Pattern by The Crafty Nomad

So, as I said, the quilt I’m sharing with you today is my Puzzled Geese quilt. This is my latest pattern release. I made it using the latest fabric range from Libs Elliott, called MIxtape. The fabric line is manufactured by Windham fabrics and is fabulous quality and the colours really pop!

Puzzled Geese Quilt Pattern The Crafty Nomad

There is a funny story behind the naming of this quilt pattern that you can read about here. I actually love the final name, far better suited than the original plan. The traditional centre block inside the large flying geese is called a Dutchman’s Puzzle. I kind of think the large geese look like they know where they are going but the little ones are a tad confused (puzzled if you like) and are flying in every direction! Hence the name: Puzzled Geese.

Puzzled Geese Quilt Pattern The Crafty Nomad

I have stuck with simple straight line quilting on this one and I love the look it gives. Keeps it really modern looking.

The pattern is available as a PAPER version or as a PDF version if you’re interested xx

Thanks for stopping by!

Modern Rainbow Kites Quilt - Blogger's Quilt Festival

So today I’m joining in with Amy over at Amy’s Creative Side in her annual Blogger’s Quilt Festival. It’s a fun way to share your quilts with other bloggers and find other quilters to follow! Oh and there are some great prizes up for grabs too!! I’m going to be putting two quilts in this year.

If this is your first time here at The Crafty Nomad then Welcome! Please do take a look around. I’m a quilt pattern designer and sewing teacher based in England. My style in modern/contemporary with lots of rainbow brights. I have lots of free tutorials on the blog and lots of patterns too. I run a bi-monthly pattern subscription club (VIP Club). You may have seen some of my work in Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and Quilt Now Magazine. If you like what you see then feel free to sign up to my newsletter (free pattern included with the first one!).

So then here is the first of the two quilts I’m putting in this year. This one is my Modern Rainbow Kites Quilt. Another one of my rainbow quilts - it’s just so happy! No surprises then that I love Alison Glass fabrics.

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Rainbow Kite Quilt March VIP Subscription Club

I chose to use fabric from the Diving Board range of fabrics. The quilt is foundation paper pieced.

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Rainbow Kite Quilt March VIP Subscription Club 2.JPG

I echo straight line quilted and added a couple extra columns of ghost quilting too. I had toyed with the idea of free motion quilting inside the kites, but i quite like the way they pop up, although still not totally ruled it out!

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Rainbow Kite Quilt March VIP Subscription Club 4.JPG

The pattern for this quilt is available as a PAPER version and as a PDF version if you are interested.