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.

The Crafty Nomad Patterns

It seems I haven't been posting all of the new patterns here to the blog!  So I thought I'd do a quick round up of some of the recent patterns that are now available on the PATTERNS page.

is my latest addition. It features blocks which consist of a traditional block (Dutchman's Puzzle) set into a a large triangle (Flying Geese).  I've called it Puzzled Geese as although the two columns of large geese seem to know where they are going, the little ones inside seem a wee bit puzzled!

There are two size options for this design included in the pattern: Baby - 40 x 46 inches; and Large Throw - 60 x 70 inches.

I've included a Foundation Pattern Piecing option for the centre block and also instructions to piece it traditionally if you prefer that technique.  I've also included a small section on making scrappy binding.

The Trendy Nomad Bag

is the perfect size to fit all your necessities in.  The handle length means it nestles comfortably under your arm.  It features a recessed zip which can be a handy skill to learn.  The pattern gives you the choice of fusible fleece or Bosal form to give the bag structure.  Add the optional patchwork front panel, use one single fabric in the central panel or leave it out altogether and just use one fabric for the outer.  The choice is all yours!

The bag finishes up at about 14½” x 6½” x 3½”.



The London Calling Quilt

a modern quilt pattern with sleek lines got it's name as the inspiration for the design came from the windows of a traditional British public telephone box. I've used fabrics that also reflect that theme, but you certainly don't need to do that.

The pattern includes a variety of sizes: a large 56 x 70 inch quilt; a small 40 x 42 inch quilt; and a cushion cover.

✂️ Great for beginners
✂️ A really quick make
✂️ Perfect for large scale patterned fabric
✂️ Fat quarter friendly! 
✂️ A staple pattern in your collection and one you return to again and again!

Union Jack Table Runner

Inspired by the royal wedding I have designed a fun Union Jack flag table runner, perfect for all those street parties. It’s a mix of traditional piecing, foundation paper piecing and appliqué. So lots of skills to stretch your muscles!   The table runner will finish up at approximately 12 x 43 inches.  Make with the heart, tea cup and crown appliqué images, or without.  Up to you!  As an added bonus there is a place mat pattern included too! 

Rainbow Kite Quilt

This modern patchwork pattern consists of a kite shaped foundation paper piecing pattern. I’ve made it in a rainbow spectrum but you could make it in any colour way.  An ombre spectrum would look fabulous too. This pattern will provide dimensions to make a throw size quilt.

The quilt finishes up at 52 x 58 inches approximately. 

Create Every Day Mini Quilt

Everyone needs to be reminded to make time to be creative, right? It’s so good for our wellbeing to be creative every day. So having this mini quilt on your wall can serve as a daily reminder! This mini quilt consists of a Foundation Paper Pieced Pattern (the spool), regular piecing and raw edge appliqué (the letters). 

The mini quilt finishes up at 22 inches square. There are also measurements for making it 20 inch square, so that you can make it into a cushion instead.

Thread Spool Storage Bin

In this detailed colour pattern The Crafty Nomad will show you how to foundation paper piece this fun thread spool design.  The tutorial will go on to show you how to incorporate these into a useful storage basket.  It's perfect for storing all sorts of goodies in!  The storage bin finishes up at approximately 8 inches square.   You will learn how to work with Bosal In R Form which gives a really sturdy finish to the basket enabling it to hold it's shape and stand up.  Instructions for making it with or without the foundation paper pieced spool. Make it all in one fabric if you prefer.

And below are some of my older designs, click on the picture for more info.

Puzzled Geese Quilt Pattern

My latest pattern release is the Puzzled Geese Quilt Pattern.  I had some fun with the naming of this one!

I was going to call it Confused Geese, that's what I've been referring to it as for the last year, since I'd first sketched it out. But as I was about to send it to the printers I just thought I'd check there wasn't one named that already. Lo and behold there were several! So back to the drawing board. After lots of brainstorming with a friend I realised Puzzled Geese would be perfect due to the central block being a Dutchman's Puzzle! I wanted something along these lines as it seems to me that whilst the large geese seemed to know where they were going, the little geese look like they have no idea lol!

I'e used a vibrant fabric collection called Mixtape by Libs Elliott for Andover Fabrics.  It a really fun and modern, punchy fabric collection.  With a wonderful quality feel.

I opted for straight line quilting which I think works really well.  Especially like the bits where I omitted a line, I think it gives the project more depth.

There are two size options for this design included in the pattern: Baby - 40 x 46 inches; and Large Throw - 60 x 70 inches.

I've included a Foundation Pattern Piecing option for the centre block and also instructions to piece it traditionally if you prefer that technique.  I've also included a small section on making scrappy binding. 

Non directional prints tend to work better with this design.  But if you choose directional prints you just might need to purchase more fabric.

I think this block would also work really well on a bag, or make up a couple of blocks and it's the perfect size for a cushion! Might have to make a cushion now!

The pattern is available as a Printed Booklet (Paper) Pattern which will be delivered to you in one of my fab hot pink polka dot envelopes!

Or as a PDF for immediate download if you don't want to wait for the postie!

To Enter or Not To Enter, that is the question...

What on earth am I talking about?!  Well recently it was the Festival of Quilts in the UK.  I absolutely love going to it every year.  But it can be extremely overwhelming.  This year was no exception, in fact it was even bigger than previous years!  

The main draw for me, has to be the quilts themselves.  I mean it's nice to shop too, but it's the quilts I go to look at!

It's always such an inspiring event.  The quilts are completely AMAZING!  It's a very grounding experience and I ALWAYS leave thinking of how I want to improve my own work and skills.  It inspires you to 'Up your game'!

This year I entered two quilts.  One had been in Quilt Now Magazine last year and the other one was my Breaking Point Quilt.  From previous experience, I knew when entering that there would be many quilts way better than mine but did it put me off from entering? No of course not.  I wasn't entering to win, I was entering to share the quilts.

I spoke to lots of people whilst there and before and after about entering a quilt, and so many people were put off entering as they feared the judges comments or that people would think their quilt not good enough.  I think that is such a shame.  A quote springs to mind:

"Use what talent you possess - the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the birds that sang the best"

We are all at different stages along the journey of learning and improving, does that mean that only the best or most confident can share their work.  Of course not.  So I encourage you to enter your quilts into exhibitions so that people can see your lovely hard work.  I guarantee you you will benefit so much from seeing your quilt hung in an exhibition.  And you'll also get encouragement from people who view the quilts and also from the judges.  Most comments I've had from judges have been very positive. 

I did have a bit of a giggle at the feedback from the judges on my Breaking Point Quilt as it just goes to show how very subjective the judging is as in the category of 'Originality' one judge ticked Excellent, another Good and the other one Satisfactory lol.  So you kind of have to take it all with a pinch of salt.  Given that I drew the star shape from an idea in my head and then drafted foundation paper piecing patterns in EQ8 I'd have to say it really is original lol!  But all of these comments help you improve and 'up your game' for next time.  

So should you enter? Definitely! Will I keep on entering? Yes as long as I have time!!!

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

Quilting Disasters: Have you had one?

I reckon everyone must have had some sort of disaster at some point when making something, right?

Breaking Point Quilt by The Crafty Nomad

So in my last post I mentioned that I'd had a disaster whilst making my Breaking Point quilt.  It was so ironic as one of the words I had sewn into the quilt was 'Despair', and let me tell you I really was despairing!!!  I think I actually had three disasters with this quilt!

So the story goes like this.... I foundation paper pieced each of the blocks, each one must have taken me at least 5 hours! I then pieced the quilt top.  Went to iron out the big bolt crease down the centre.  Sprayed it with water and ironed, took the iron away and was HORRIFIED to see brown marks!!  DISASTER 1! I am ashamed to say that my ironing board was filthy and the dirt had transferred onto the wet parts of the fabric.  I ran to the sink and washed it.  Most of it came out, a little bit remained but I figured as I was planning to applique, I would just make sure the appliques covered the remaining little bits.  I REALLY didn't have time to order more background fabric, I was running WAY too behind schedule to even consider that option!

See the little brown spots?

See the little brown spots?

So I continued on, basting and quilting the lines radiating out from the 'Broken' block.  I then filled in alternating sections with free motion meander.  At this point I decided that appliqued speech bubbles didn't suit the style.  So instead I decided to stitch the words and phrases on with my sewing machine alphabet stitch.  So I programmed the words and phrases into the sewing machine, and started to sew the words.  DISASTER 2! The words would not space properly and were bunching up.  Let me tell you unpicking tiny stitches is really hard! (I'm sure you know that already though, right!?)  Then I realised I had forgotten to stabilise the fabric.  So I decided to use a fab product that SULKY® had sent me: Sticky Fabri-Solvy.  This product was brilliant, I cut strips of it roughly the size of the words and phrased and stuck it to the back of the quilt.  Then sewed the words and phrases on.  No more stitch bunching!

So at this point I was feeling pretty pleased to have averted two disasters.  I went to bed very late, thinking that in the morning I would just rinse the stabiliser away, square up and bind the quilt!

So woke up early and started to rinse the Sticky Fabri-Solvy out.  That came out fine by the way....but as the quilt got wet I was HORRIFIED again to see that the stains were reappearing. right. before. my. eyes! DISASTER 3!  I was in bits! All that work, All those hours!!  I scrubbed at the stains but they just weren't budging!  I sat, and actually cried! And then laughed bitterly at the irony!!!  This quilt seemed to be pushing me to another Breaking Point!

Send Help! More random brown patches!

Send Help! More random brown patches!

I decided I had two options: Withdraw the quilt from the competition; or stick the quilt in the machine with a million stain removers and hope for the best.  I really didn't want to withdraw the quilt.  But I also knew that by washing it, it would totally change the quilt.  The fabric would shrink and crinkle, not the look I was going for for a competition quilt! And I ran the risk of the colour running.  But really what option did I have? So I chucked it in the machine and hoped for the best!

Ugh extreme close up of brown spots!!!

Ugh extreme close up of brown spots!!!

When it came out of the wash, it had indeed shrunk as expected.  The colours had not run but instead you could see that underneath the white fabric at the seams, the coloured fabric had frayed meaning you could now see some of that showing through the white fabric.  This did lessen somewhat when the quilt dried!

Break Point Quilt Disaster The Crafty Nomad

And what of the stain? Well it had lessened, to the point where I wasn't sure if I could see it still or not! So in the end I got a friend around to look!  We decided it was barely noticeable once it had dried, helped by the fact that the background fabric was two tone anyway!

The Crafty Nomad Breaking Point Quilt

Bizarrely another odd mark (Pink) had appeared after washing which I am positive wasn't there beforehand! 

Breaking Point Quilt Stain The Crafty Nomad

So with a lot of trepidation I decided to enter it anyway and pray no-one noticed!!!  I don't think anyone did!!!!

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.