Ombre Improv Curves Mini Quilt

So I’ve shared some of these pictures on social media but decided it deserved it’s own post!

The Crafty Nomad Ombre Improv Curves Mini Quilt

About a month ago I went on the Purple Stitches quilting retreat. I had a great time. Whilst there I took a class with Nick Ball from Quilts from the Attic. I have to say, I totally wasn’t going to do this class initially. It was all about Improv quilting. Those that know me will know that I like things ‘just so’ and until taking the class I had thought ‘Improv’ was synonymous with ‘slap dash’. Not so people, not so! I am so glad I changed my mind and did the class. I LOVED THE CLASS!!

Nick is running the class at Purple Stitches in May this year if you are interested. You can get all the details here.

The class covered a couple of different techniques. The one that I was really interested in was the improv curves. I had bought half a metre of a Timeless Treasure Studio Ombre fabric in Peacock from Lady Sew and Sew and decided to use it to make this little ombre square during the class.

Ombre Improv Curves Block The Crafty Nomad

I bordered it with some white Kona fabric. Then set about thinking how to quilt it. I knew I wanted to quilt wavy lines in in a variety of blue/teals. So i consulted my Sulky Rayon colour card and chose some matching colours. Sulky generously supplied the thread for me to use for this project. I totally love quilting with Sulky Rayon as the thread really catches the light. I also added in some Sulky Cotton 12wt into the mix to add texture.

Sulky Rayon Threads #SewBetterwithSulky

In the end I decided to quilt wavy lines in colours corresponding to the fabric, but extend past the square to make the square sit in a circle shape. Around the outside of the circle I decided to quilt with white and do a variety of free motion motifs. I love practising my free motion. Although I’m looking at the finished thing and although I love it I’m wondering if I should have stuck to straight lines to really keep with the modern aesthetic?? Maybe next time. I am planning on making a bigger version soon with a slight variation.

I decided not to bind it. Instead, I added a facing. First time for me doing that. I followed Jenny Haynes’ (Papper Sax Sten) tutorial. I really quite like the look of it. Was a bit fiddly getting a nice mitred corner though!

The light was a bit weird when I took some of these photos, it looks like it’s glowing!

The Crafty Nomad Ombre Improv Curves Mini Quilt

Here are some close ups of the free motion designs

I wanted to get a shot of the thicker cotton threads next to the thinner rayon ones, but my photography skills are limited! You can just about pick the thicker threads out in the white section below.

The Crafty Nomad Ombre Improv Curves Mini Quilt

What threads do you quilt with? Have you tried Rayon? Do you mix up the weights?

Rainbow Steps Quilt for Make Modern

Issue 27 Flat Lay.jpg

Just thought I’d share one of my recent makes with you. I made this quilt for Issue 27 of Make Modern Magazine.

Make Modern is a digital magazine focusing on modern quilting projects. It’s always jam packed full of colourful quilter’s eye candy, great articles, interviews and of course the hilarious column by Molli Sparkles which is sure to make you smile!

The magazine is issued every other month. It’s really good value, at only AUS$8 per issue (about £4.35) or 12 month subscription (6 issues) AUS$40 (about £22) or a 6 month subscription (6 issues) for AUS$21 (about £11.50)

My quilt is made of neutral solids with pops of rainbow colour in two tones. It’s a really quick make, perfect when you need to make a new baby quilt in a hurry!


If you want to subscribe to this fabulous magazine then click here.

If you just want to buy this single issue to try it out and make my pattern, then click here.

Jo Westfoot Rainbow Steps Close up 4.JPG

This blog post contains affiliate links.  This just means that if you click them and buy the item I receive a tiny bit of commission helping me to continue to run this business and inspire you! You won’t pay any extra for the item. So it’s a win win! :-)

Break out the Bunting Quilt

Thought I’d pop on here and show you my latest quilt (& cushion!).

I’ve called it 'Break out the Bunting', because it was inspired by outdoor garden parties with bunting fluttering in the warm breeze.  It plays with the humble corner block, using two different sizes of corner that cleverly fit together when rotated to create lines of triangles that look like bunting.  

Break out the Bunting Quilt Pattern The Crafty Nomad

It was a great scrap buster, I think I must have used every single bright fabric I have in my stash! I used Kona white for the background on the quilt. I quilted the quilt with an all over free motion meander design.

Break out the bunting quilt pattern The Crafty Nomad

I made a matching cushion too. But for this one I used low volume prints for the background instead of the solid white fabric. And did straight line quilting for a more modern look. Not sure which I prefer! What’s your favourite?

Break out the Bunting Cushion Pattern The Crafty Nomad

I’ve written this up as a pattern which is available to buy here. When I was designing this one I played with lots of different layouts of the blocks, so I included all of those other layout ideas in the pattern too. Two of my lovely pattern testers, Martine and Abigail opted to make up some of the alternative designs.

Martine made this wonderful Ombre version.

Break out the bunting Quilt pattern ombre version by Martine Tanis for The Crafty Nomad

And Abigail made this striking version of the Radiating Squares idea.

Break out the bunting Quilt pattern Radiating Squares version by Abigail for The Crafty Nomad

Have a lovely day!

Fancy a Ho Ho Ho Cushion Sewalong?

This sewalong has finished now. But do check my social media feeds or recent blog posts about other sewalongs I might be hosting!

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.

HoHoHo Cushion Sewalong with The Crafty Nomad

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!

Here are the amazing companies sponsoring the Quiltalong:


The quiltalong starts on the 4th January and will run for 10 weeks.

Schedule Tumbling Spools.png

Week 1 Blog Post can be found HERE.

Week 2 Blog Post can be found HERE.

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.

Rainbow Hoops - Quilt Now

There seems to be a bit of a rainbow theme going on here!!! Here is the latest project I made for Quilt Now Magazine.  These two Hoop Art pieces use the latest Sun Print fabric range from Alison Glass (Sun Prints 2018).

Photo credits to Quilt Now

Photo credits to Quilt Now

The first one features hexies that have been hand sewn together using the English Paper Piecing technique.  I hate hand sewing with a passion but I love how this turned out!!  I have machine sewn Quilters Gonna Quilt on with a walking foot.  I've added some echo quilting around some of the hexies in silver thread.

Rainbow Hoop Art Sewing Room Decor Jo Westfoot

The second one is foundation paper pieced using a simple pattern I designed.  This one says Sewists Gonna Sew.

Rainbow Hoop Art Jo Westfoot Sewist Gonna Sew

The background of both white sections I have just added some loopy free motion quilting.

Rainbow Ribbons Quilt - Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 64

It's always exciting to see my designs in magazines.  And this one was no exception!  My Rainbow Ribbons quilt is in Issue 64 of Love Patchwork & Quilting.

Photo courtesy of Love Patchwork & Quilting

Photo courtesy of Love Patchwork & Quilting

I thought you might want to see some extra pictures of it taken in my back garden!

Rainbow Ribbons Quilt By Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

I just love this range of fabric designed by Shayla Wolf of Sassafras Lane for Windham Fabrics.  The range is called Foundation and there is a perfect rainbow spectrum available.  I used it for my Create Every Day Mini Quilt.

Rainbow Ribbons Quilt By Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

I love how this one makes it look like a cityscape view!

Rainbow Ribbons Quilt By Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

A close up of some of the free motion wavy quilting lines.  I switched colours to match the fabrics.

Rainbow Ribbons Quilt By Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

In the sunlight!

Rainbow Ribbons Quilt By Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad
Rainbow Ribbons Quilt By Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

Breaking Point Quilt - Creativity for Well-being

Today I'm sharing a quilt with you that hopefully made it safely to Festival of Quilts and should be on display there.  I wanted to share with you the story behind the quilt.

The Crafty Nomad - Jo Westfoot - Breaking Point - Let's Talk Quilt

I listen to Podcasts whilst out on my daily run or walk.  Most of them are quilting related.  On a sunny day back in April I happened to be listening to episode 131 of the Crafty Planner Podcast. Sandi was interviewing Kathryn Clark.  I was fascinated by the depth of the subject matters that Kathryn quilted about.  Up until now my quilts have all just been about aesthetic, shapes that I like the look of etc.  But Kathryn was quilting about really meaty political subjects: bank foreclosure; immigration; Russia.  I loved that idea. So it got me thinking.

At the time I'd also been working on material for a talk I now give at Quilt groups all about how creativity, and quilting in particular, helps our mental health and well-being.  So I married the two up and decided to make a quilt on the topic of mental health.  By the time I got home from my run I already had the bare bones of the design in my head! So hurriedly set about drawing it out! 

Creativity for Wellbeing Quilt by Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

The finished quilt is a little different to how I initially had it in my head, it kind of evolved as I made it, but the main blocks were exactly how I had pictured them from the beginning!

I wanted the quilt to depict that moment when you snap, the lead up to it and then the healing process that follows.  So it contains four blocks which each represent one of those stages.  The blocks are foundation paper pieced from a pattern I designed using EQ8.  The quilting symbolises the breaking point, like an explosion.  Along those quilted lines are words that represent the feelings at each stage of the process.  In my initial plans these words were to be stitched onto speech bubbles appliqued onto the quilt.  Because we really need to talk more to help us heal.  But that really didn't suit the style of the quilt in the end.  So instead I stitched the words along the lines.

Breaking POint Let's Talk Quilt by Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

I chose to use Alison Glass Sun Print 18 fabric for the blocks as a) I love it! and b) it had three depths of tone to each colourway.  I had originally planned to use plain white as the background, but changed this to use a low volume text print by Moda.  This was to represent the fact that in the background of life, the regular noise of life carries on as normal whilst you are in the midst of your own personal crisis!

So the first block represents the process of Breaking, when things are starting to get out of your control.  The colours are subdued dark rainbow as your colours are starting to fade.  There are gaps appearing where you are starting to break.  The red sections show pain.

Breaking Point Block Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

The second block represents being Broken, the moment of exploding, when there is only pain and emptiness: you are completely lost and have no control over your life.  Here there is only red fabric and gaps.

Broken Block Breaking Point Quilt Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

The third block represents the Healing process.  Here you can see the rainbow colours are a mix of dark and mid tones showing that you are starting to lighten.  The gaps are now filled with low volume rainbow colours representing the healing process.  There is still plenty of pain though represented by the red fabric.

Healing Block - Breaking Point Quilt - Jo Westfoot The Crafty Nomad

The fourth block represents being Healed.  The colours are lighter and brighter.  There are a small number of red and low volume rainbow areas remaining, showing that the experience becomes part of the new version of ourselves, allowing us to have more empathy in life.  The low volume areas I think really embodies one of the quotes stitched in to the quilt: "The wound is where the light shines through".

Healed Block - Breaking Point Quilt - Jo Westfoot - The Crafty Nomad

I love how this quilt turned out but I already have plans to make an adapted version!  There was a real moment of 'despair' when making this quilt and I'll share about that next week, but it was just so ironic as that word is stitched in. Let's just say it almost didn't get sent to Festival of Quilts!

I would love to know how quilting has helped your mental health and well being, let me know in the comments.