Category Archives: Quilting

Folded Fabric Christmas Tree

Posted on 29 November, 2015


I visited the Crafts for Christmas event at the SECC, Glasgow in October.  There were a few representatives from the Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI) on one of the stalls and they were demonstrating how to make these little Christmas Trees using triangles of folded fabric.

I was so impressed with the trees that I decided to try making one myself at home.  I have put together a photo tutorial, so that you can make one for your own home.  It makes a beautiful, hanging fabric decoration for the festive season.

You can find my photo tutorial here.  There is also an option to download a pdf version too.

A New Venture for Shuttermonkey Designs

Posted on 11 March, 2015

It has been quite some time since my last blog post (isn’t it always?), but I have a new venture that I would like to share today.

I have launched a new Etsy Shop to sell my handmade textile designs. To start off with, I will be selling handmade baby quilts and handknitted baby hats, and I will be following this up soon with craft bags, stitch markers, baby bunting and more.

To celebrate the launch of my new shop on Etsy, for a limited time I will be offering all my handcrafts at a special ‘introductory price’!

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The baby quilts that I am selling are made entirely with 100% cotton materials and are made up of three layers:

  1. The patchwork top layer, made using cotton designer fabrics.
  2. The wadding in the middle, which is 100% cotton from the Warm & Natural range of quilt wadding.
  3. The backing fabric, which is also 100% cotton.

These quilts are 34.5” long and 26.5” wide and are the perfect size for using in a travel cot, as a playmat or as an ‘on the go’ quilt.  The top layers have been pieced together in a modern, ‘plus themed’ layout.  The fabric that I have used for the pink quilt is from the  Posy range by Aneela Hoey and the blue quilt uses fabrics from the Lily and Will range by Bunny Hill Designs.

I will have more handmade baby quilts in a variety of colours and patterns available soon.

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The handknitted baby hats that I have for sale have been knitted using Sirdar Snuggly Baby DK yarns. Each hat has a side fastening with 2 buttons which makes the size adjustable.  The baby boy hats have a character button sewn onto the brim, while the baby girl hats have a crochet flower stitched onto the right side of them.

These hats are a newborn size and are approx. 30cm in circumference.  I will have more hats in a variety of colours added to my shop very soon.

Both the quilts and the hats can be machine washed on a cool wash cycle, and the quilts can be ironed as required.  All are ready to gift as they have already been washed with non-biological soap powder and rinsed with Fairy fabric softener.

This new venture has been something that I have wanted to try for quite some time and it is on my list of goals for 2015, along with knitting my stash and finishing all my WIPs!  Over the last year I have been focussing a lot of my time on sewing and quilting . . . but there will be some new Shuttermonkey Designs knitting patterns making their debut later this year too! xx



Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Part One

Posted on 15 April, 2014

Over the last 8 weeks I’ve been sewing blocks as part of the Layer Cake Sampler Quilt-Along (QAL) hosted by Amanda of Material Girl Quilts.  This is the first time that I’ve taken part in a QAL and I’m loving this one so far!  Amanda releases the layout for 2 blocks on a Friday.  There will be 20 blocks in this quilt and so far I’ve made 16 of them.

IMG_0265 blogFor this QAL, I’m using a Sweetwater Pure Layer Cake that I’ve had for about 18 months now.  It’s been patiently waiting for the perfect quilting project to come along and this is most definitely it!  I’m also using Moda Bella Solids fabric in the Moda U Brown colour.  This QAL requires 2 layer cakes (one patterned and one self-coloured), but I bought a couple of metres of the Bella Solids fabric and cut it into 10 inch squares myself.

Each block is made using 2 self-coloured and 2 patterned 10 inch squares.  I’ve changed this slightly and have used my patterned, dark brown squares as self-coloured squares as I didn’t want three chocolate coloured squares in a block.  Each block is started off in exactly the same way by making 16 half square triangles (HST).  Amanda has a very good tutorial on how to do this on her blog.  After making your 16 HST, they are arranged and pieced together to make a 16.5 inch block.  How you arrange these HST determines how your final block will look.  Here’s the blocks that I have made so far:

Block 01 Block 02 Block 03 Block 04 Block 05 Block 06 Block 07 Block 08 Block 09 Block 10 Block 11 Block 12 Block 13 Block 14 Block 15 Block 16

It’s amazing just how different all the blocks look.  There are only 4 more blocks to be made and then comes the fun part . . . piecing them all together with sashing, cornerstones and borders to make a quilt top.  I’ve been putting my blocks together week by week using Photoshop so I can see how my quilt top is coming along.  Here is how it looks so far:

QAL04I’m going to be using some of the teal coloured Sweetwater Pure fabric for my cornerstones and binding, but I still haven’t decided what colour to use for my sashing and borders.  I have both cream and brown coloured Sweetwater Pure fabric, but I’m not sure where to use these colours.  This is how the final quilt would look alternating where I use my cream and brown fabrics:

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I think I like the brown sashing best, but I also like the brown border!!  Or – I could make the sashings and borders all the same colour and my final quilt top would look like this:

FinalQAL4I have another couple of weeks to think about it before I have to decide.  What do you think looks best? xx

Hexagon Blankets

Posted on 22 October, 2013

Last week, I finished two hexagon-shaped blankets that I’ve been working on.  I’m delighted with how both of them have turned out.  Hexagons are my favourite shape, which probably is part of the reason why I love these blankets so much.  The first one was my African Flower Blanket.  This is a crochet hexagon pattern which I found on the Heidi Bears Blog.

IMG_9533I started crocheting this blanket in the middle of August after seeing some very pretty crochet squares on Instagram.  Here’s my little bundle of flower hexagons growing:

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This was supposed to be an ongoing project for over winter, but those little hexagons are very addictive and my blanket is finished already!  I used Rowan Handknit Cotton yarn to crochet my hexagons . . . this was mostly leftovers from a Debbie Abraham’s Blanket that I knitted for my son a few years ago.  The Debbie Abraham’s Blanket was called Four Seasons, and after finishing this blanket I had just over 750g of yarn remaining (not counting full balls, just the ones that I had knitted from).  Here’s a wee pic of me with my Four Season’s Blanket and all those Rowan Handknit Cotton leftovers.

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I did have to buy the cream coloured yarn to trim each flower in my hexagon shape, but it was still a great way to use up most of those leftovers.

I had no idea just how big my finished African Flower Blanket would be when I started crocheting.  I had thought that I would end up with a lap blanket or maybe even a small throw for over the back of my couch, but after crocheting 169 flower hexagons, I have a fairly decent sized blanket . . . big enough for two people to snuggle under.  The finished blanket is 63 inches across, and is perfect for throwing over the back of the 2 seater couch in my sitting room.  It really helps to brighten up this room too.

IMG_9511While I was crocheting these hexagons, one of my biggest worries was how to arrange them once they were finished.  Hubby came to my rescue and he wrote me a little computer program to help in arranging all 169 hexagons.  Isn’t he a wee star?!  You can see that program working in this video from my instagram feed.

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The edging for the blanket is a shell edging.  The first edging was a bit bulky and frilled slightly, so I had to rip it out and redo it.  I’m happier with how it looks now.  I left 2 stitches between my shell and my double crochet.  I also worked 6 trebles into each shell (just in case anyone out there is wondering how I did it).

I just love this finished crochet blanket!  I’m still surprised at how big it is and I’m already planning my next crochet blanket using some Sirdar Ella leftovers that I have lying around.

The 2nd photo below is the other hexagon blanket that I finished last week.

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This one is a patchwork and quilted hexagon blanket that I made from a jelly roll.  I made this quilt top in January and it has taken me until now to layer it up and quilt it.

IMG_9435 The pattern is Hexagon Garden from the More Layer Cake, Jelly Rolls & Charm Quilts book by Pam & Nicky Lintott and the fabric is A Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey.

IMG_9452I adore this fabric and this jelly roll was one of the first fabrics that I bought last year when I started learning to sew.  I’ve already made another quilt using this fabric at a quilting class I went to earlier this year run by Sheila, aka Bluepatch Quilter.  You can see the quilt in this photo:

IMG_9475You won’t get cold sitting about my house . . . you have a choice of blankies to snuggle under.

Did you spot my wee Halloween decorations in one of my previous pics?  They’re sitting on top of the fireplace.

IMG_9549IMG_9540These are little amigurumi decorations that I’ve been crocheting, but I’ll tell you more about those in my next post xx