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 Muppin.com’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 – http://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Sandra Johnson – http://www.sandrajohnsondesigns.com
May 1 – Jennifer Schifano Thomas – http://www.Curlicuecreations.com
May 2 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://www.prettypiney.com
May 3 – Sue Griffiths – http://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
May 4 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
May 5 – Jo Westfoot – http://www.thecraftynomad.co.uk/blog
May 6 – Sam Hunter – http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 7 – Simone Fisher – http://simonequilts.com/blogs/news
May 8 – Elisabeth DeMoo- http://www.brownbirddesignsquilts.com
May 9 – Sarah Myers –  http://www.quilted-diary.com/blog
May 10 – Amy Bradley – http://www.purplepineapplestudio.com
May 11 – Kathy Nutley – http://www.QuiltingsByKathy.com
May 12 – Carla Henton – http://createinthesticks.blogspot.com/
May 13 – Sherry Shish – http://www.poweredbyquilting.com
May 14 – Kate Colleran – http://www.seamslikeadream.com/blog
May 15 – Pamela Boatright – https://www.pamelaquilts.com/
May 16 – Cathy McKillip – http://wishuponaquilt.com/blog
May 17 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Happy Sewing (& tidying!)

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

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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.

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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