Scrap Bag Sampler – Week 6 Improv Heart

Improv Heart Block

Wow week 6 already and it’s a good one! The lovely block below is from Pippa.

It’s my turn to post a block in our super scrappy scrap bag sampler. I’ve chosen an improvised/crazy heart. It is Valentine’s day after all, what else could it have been.


I’m not an improv quilter and I really like following a pattern but when my scraps build up I make scrappy improv shapes and I’ve been known to make them into Valentine’s cards or quilt blocks. Stars/Trees/Easter Egg’s the principle would be exactly the same.



Gather scraps together and cut the background square.I like to cut my block down at the end so for the 6” block cut a 7” background.

Put two fabrics right sides together, you can make them wonky or straight depending on  your mood. Sew a 1/4” seam allowance ideally in matching thread.Trim any extra fabric in line with the seam, open then press. 


Choose another piece of scrap to add. Here I’ve cut  the main piece at a slant so that the third fabric will be at an angle.  Once again put the scrap your adding right side together and sew 1/4” seam.

Unfold and press.

For some added fun, you can join small scraps together in the same manner and join it to the main fabric.

Continue in this way until you have a fabric piece the size of the heart you want.  For the 6” block I think a 5” heart works well.


I like to use fusible webbing/interfacing for my applique. You can either freehand draw a heart or use a template, if you have a sizzix or a die cutter they make great templates just cut them in cardstock.Draw the shape onto the non shiny side (the non glue side) of the interfacing.


Use a light box or hold the heart up to a light source, lamp or window and just check that the scrappy fabric has a 1/4” allowance around the drawn heart.



Sew directly on the drawn line, I use a 2mm stitch and I start on a straighter side and always backstitch at the beginning and the end. Cut around the heart leaving a 1/4” seam allowance, clip into the corners and the V do not cut through the stitching. Carefully lift up the interfacing and slit a cut into it so that you can turn the heart right side out. Turn and carefully push corners and curves out. DO NOT IRON


Grab your background square, fold it in half and align your heart on the right side of the fabric. I also like to be a bit wonky when I’m doing these and the quilt police won’t get us if they aren’t straight.  

Now is the time to get busy with the iron, gently press and the fusible interfacing will stick the heart to the background.


To finish the block you could leave it as it is, especially if the item isn’t going to be washed much, you could blanket stitch it by hand, try some hand embroidery which is what is generally done here in France, lots of elaborate stitches in multiple colours, perhaps use some ribbons or lace or just get busy with those fancy stitches on your machine. Then trim block to desired size, in my case 6 1/2″

On the little block I used some 12wt Aurifil and stitched a rough 1/8” topstitch inside the heart. This one is a longer “country style” heart and was freehand drawn. The large heart I used a blanket stitch and then lots of different embroidery stitches on my machine using Aurifil 50wt.



As you can see this method is really versatile and great for using up your scraps of any colour and any size.  There’s no limit to the number of colours on each block, the number of scraps, threads or stitches.

Visit our designers on Instagram to see their versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare



Scrap Bag Sampler Week 5 – Four in a row

This week is all about fussy cutting and with this hexagon block designed by @cotefleurie

Now who doesn’t love a hexie?


  • 7 x 3 inch background fabric
  • Assorted scraps for hexagons
  • Template plastic
  • Water based glue stick

Make a plastic template of the ¾ inch hexagon shape. Note that the template does not include seam allowances. Free hexagon templates are available to download from

Choose your fabric for the hexagons. If you wish to fussy cut your fabric, choose the motif or pattern you wish to highlight and place the template accordingly on the WS of the fabric. Draw round the template and then cut out the hexagon, being careful to add ¼ inch seam allowance all the way around.


Cut out 4 paper templates using the plastic hexagon template. No seam allowance needs to be added to these paper templates.

Glue baste the hexagons. Place the paper templates on the WS of the fabric hexagons making sure they are centred. Put a thin line of glue on one outside edge of the paper hexagon and fold the fabric seam over to glue in place. Continue around the hexagon shape until all the edges of the hexagon have been folded over and glued. Leave to dry. If preferred the hexagons can be thread basted.

Decide on the layout of your hexagons and join them into a row of four. This can either be via whipstitch or a flat back stitch as shown by Karen at

Try not to sew through the papers as this will make it more difficult to remove them.

Press the row of hexagons. Using tweezers, gently pull back the glued seam allowances and remove the papers. Fold the seam allowances back in place and press again on the back and the front, checking that the hexagons have not been distorted.

Centre the row of hexagons on your background fabric and pin in place. Using thread to match the hexagons, hand appliqué in place using fell stitch/appliqué stitch: bring your needle up through the hexagon fabric very close to the folded edge, then back down into the background fabric right next to the folded edge, making a tiny stitch. Bring the needle up again through the hexagon fabric approx. ⅛ inch further along. Repeat until the hexagons are stitched in place, making sure that the points of the hexagons are secured and that any excess fabric from the seam allowances is tucked under before stitching in place.

If preferred the hexagons can be appliquéd in place by machine. Press the finished block and trim to 6½ x 2½ inches.

Visit our designers on Instagram to see their versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare



Scrap Bag Sampler Week 4 – HSTS

Half Square Triangles @Metroquilter

Now who does not love a good half square triangle (HST). The very first quilt I did was full of these and is still in used being loved by the not so little girl today.

Amanda has a lovely tutorial below for those who are dipping their toe in!

Those who follow @metroquilter on Instagram knows she loves half square triangles. Some comments on the various methods

I’ve tried lots of methods over the years but the method I prefer is to chain piece my triangles and then trim to size. Other methods include a) foundation paper pieced -which I find accurate but fiddly b) piecing to size without trimming – never worked for me! c) 4 in 1 – lots of bias edges and still have to trim.

Today we are going to make four 2.5inch half square triangles, with the final piece being 4.5inch square.


4 x 3″ squares from your scraps



Step one: 

Place two squares right sides together. You will have two sets of two                                                              

Step two:

Cut once from corner to corner on the diagonal. This will give you four sets of triangles (you may want to mix the triangles up to ensure all four of the finished HST are different. Just remember that the triangles need to be right sides together).


Step three: Chain piecejj

Chain piece the triangles, using a quarter inch seam allowance. Snip the threads between them


Step four: 

Press each of the seams to the dark side. You will now have four half square triangles ready for trimming.         


Step 5: 

With your ruler align the 45 degree line with the diagonal of the block. Ensure that a 2.5 inch square can be made and trim the first two sides of the block.


Step 6: Turn the block 180 degrees and again with

Turn the block 180 degrees and again with your ruler align the 45 degree line with the diagonal of the block. Keep the ruler square with the two sides you have already trimmed, and trim the remaining two sides to make a 2.5 inch square.    


Step 7: 

Arrange your four trimmed blocks as desired into a square arrangement.                     

Step 8: 

Sew the top two blocks together and the bottom two blocks together using a quarter inch seam. Press the top and bottom set in the opposite directions. Place the two sets of two blocks right side together, nesting the seam. Sew together using a quarter inch seam.    


Step 9: 

Press the seams and you’re finished. Thefinished block will be 4.5 inch square.          



Visit our designers on Instagram to see our versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare



Scrap Bag Sampler Week 3 – Two Tone Wonky Star


Two Tone Wonky Star Tutorial – 6 “ finished

Today you are in for a treat as it is my  turn on the schedule! We are going to make a variant of the wonky star. Do you have lots of little pieces of offcuts hiding in your stash bucket? These will be perfect for the star points.

If you don’t fancy doing a little star or two tone- see here for variants on the pattern including upsizing to 12” finished, using one fabric or even offsetting your stars! (These will be released over the weekend)




  • 1 x 2.5” square (centre)
  • 8 x 2.5” square (background and star points)
  • 16 x 1” x 3” scraps for the star points

Tip: Due to the smaller pieces involved throughout the stages when pressing between each step I would recommend finger pressing or using a seam roller to avoid distortion of the seams/fabrics. Once the block is assembled press using an iron to set the seams and ensure a smoother look.

Tip: Some of you may prefer longer or fatter stars in which case adjust the size of your strips by ¼” to ½” either in length or width.


1 – Take a background 2.5” square and the rectangle piece to be the outer point of the star. Lay it right side down on top of the square on the top right side. Changing the angle of the way it is laid down will affect the wonk of the star point. As a guide I normally start it about half way across the square when you stitch. Ensure both ends of the strip extend pass the square.

Trim down to a ¼” seam then press the strip away from the background.

2 – Lay the second strip on top of the first, ensuring both ends of the strip are extending pass the square and sew along it. Press open away from the background.


3 – You are now ready to work on the second side. Take the outer point strip and like the first point lay it at an angle across the top left side of the square.  The strips can overlap with the right pair at the bottom or there could be a gap- each variation affects the wonky point, just ensure the strip extends pass the square at both sides.

Sew the strip, then trim the excess fabric down to a ¼” seam. Press the strip away from the background.

Tip: If you would like your star points to be more pointy (i.e. can’t see the join of both sides, ensure that when you place the second section, the part where they overlap on the sewn line is ¼” or less from the edge of the block.

4 – Take the inner star point strip and lay it across the opened strip, ensuring it extends pass the square. Sew and press the strip away from the background.


5 – You are now ready to square up your star point! Trim the piece down to 2.5” square.

6- Repeat this 3 more times to have 4 star point squares.

7- Lay out your star points, the centre fabric and background corners in your desired layout of 3 x 3.

Sew each row separately and press seams to the side. For the top and bottom row press the seams away from the centre square (star point). Then the middle row press seams towards the centre. This will help the seams sit together (nest) for a flatter block.


Sew the rows together and as the seams on each row have been pressed to alternative sides, it is easier to line the rows up as the seams sit neatly next to each other.

Hopefully you are all still with me! And your block is now done!

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #scrapbagsampler on IG to show us your version or one of the variations.

Scrap Bag Sampler Week 2 – Strippy Curves




Today @getahashtagkim has come up with a fun and different block for you to try out and experiment a little bit out of your comfort zone!

Don’t be alarmed- curves and improv aren’t as tricky as you may think! In the following Kim will take us through gentle improv and a no pin style of sewing. Stay with me…



Cut four 9½ x 2½ inch strips. Lay four 9½ x 2½ inch strips in your chosen order.





Then take two strips and overlap them by about an inch as shown with pin markers.


Using a small rotary cutter, cut through both layers where they overlap, making small curves. Go slowly to avoid shifting the two strips, pin them together at the far end if it helps. Discard the narrow scraps. Admire your hills and valleys.



Cut and sew each pair of strips one at a time to ensure the curves match. Those straight sides in the middle will be cut and sewn later.

Take one pair & sew along the curvy edge RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER using a narrow seam allowance, 1/8th inch is easier than trying for a normal ¼ inch.

You don’t need pins, trust me! Just go slowly, carefully lifting & turning the top layer as you go to align the edge with that of the bottom layer. Don’t pull or you’ll stretch the fabric. You may only manage a couple of stitches at a time before you have to leave the needle down and raise the foot to work around the curves and wriggle the fabrics but it will work.



It may look like a mess right now but go with it, it will press flat, just take it slowly. Lay one strip flat on the ironing board, hold the other one up and gently nudge the tip over the iron along the seam allowance to press it over to one side.


Overlap then cut the remaining straight sides as shown earlier. Sew and press as before. Give the block a final press, then trim to a 4½ x 8½ inch block. Look forward to seeing your curves!



Visit our designers on Instagram to see our versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare


Scrap Bag Sampler – Week 1 Fun with Flying Geese


Foundation Pieced Flying Geese

Dip your toes into foundation paper piecing with this strip of flying geese designed by @justsewsue to start off this sewalong!

The pattern and instructions below belongs to Sue so please stop by her IG account or her blog too!


You will need…

  • 5” to 3” squares of background fabric cut into triangles
  • Assorted scraps for geese measuring at least 2.5” by 4.5” but don’t cut your pieces down to this size as you will trim as you go
  • Foundation paper (or if you prefer regular printer paper). Sue uses Jenny Doak’s foundation paper that you can find on Amazon.


Download the foundation pattern here.

Print onto your desired paper at actual size (if you use greyscale it uses less ink). Measure the test 1″ box to ensure it’s printed correctly and then away you go!

If you are a planner mark on the paper the colour fabric that for each goose. Don’t use a Frixion pen as you will lose the markings when you press your work. Otherwise just go for it and be random!


Then cut apart the paper patterns leaving a good quarter inch around the dark cutting line.


You are ready to start sewing. The first section is potentially the trickiest but after that you just follow the numbers.

Take your first geese fabric and place it on the wrong side of the foundation pattern, face up. Pin on the right side parallel to the stitching line between A1 and A2. Fold back the foundation along the stitching line between A1 and A2. Trim the fabric ¼” away from the line of the paper.

Place a background triangle of fabric face down on your geese fabric, matching the edge

of the background triangle to the geese triangle.  Keeping a firm hold of the fabric, turn over

and pin perpendicular to the line between A1 and A2. 

Turn your stitch length down to 1.6 as the paper will be perforated and much easier to remove. Stitch along the line between A1 and A2. Starting in the seam allowance and continuing into piece A4. Press the fabric away from A1 and double check the darker fabric isn’t showing in the background. If it is, this is the time to grade the seam by trimming the seam allowance of the darker fabric.

Now it’s time to repeat your actions for piece A3. Remember the mantra – trim, stitch, press, repeat.

Fold the paper back on the line between A1 and A3. You may tear some of the paper, but don’t worry that will make the removal of the paper easier. If you rip too hard, use a scrap

of foundation paper and a glue stick to repair the tear, don’t use sticky tape, it won’t end well!! Trim the fabric ¼” away from the line of the paper. Place a background triangle of fabric face down on your geese fabric, matching the edge of the background triangle to the geese triangle.  Keeping a firm hold of the fabric, turn over and pin perpendicular to the line between A1 and A2.

Stitch along the line between A1 and A3. Starting in the seam allowance and continuing into piece A4. Press the fabric away from A1 and double check the darker fabric isn’t showing in the background.

Instead of pressing you can use a wallpaper seam roller but definitely press with an irononce the unit is completed. Repeat the sequence – trim, stitch, press, repeat until you have sewn all twelve sections. This is a good leader and ender project.

Press the finished block and trim to 4½ x 2½ inches. Sometimes the paper shrinks slightly

when pressing, so just make sure you cut to the correct size.Wait to sew sections together until you have a better idea of what size you need, but this block would look great as a rainbow.


Visit our designers on Instagram to see our versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare


Scrap Bag Sampler – Schedule!

Who’s excited about Friday’s kick off on the #scrapbagsampler sewalong ???

Block instructions will be published every Friday on our blogs and we will all be posting our own versions of the block on Instagram too. Keep checking that hashtag !! #scrapbagsampler 

Our first stop is with Sue also known as @justsewsue on IG 
Followed by :-

17 January @getahashtagkim

24 January @quirkyhannah (Me!!)

31 January @metroquilter

7 February @cotefleurie

14 February @pippaspatch who blogs Here
21 February @picosailors who blogs Here

28 February @therunninghare

6 March @Lisasew

13 March @surfseasew

Towards the end of March you’ll have all the blocks and can get on with finishing your project.

You could make the bucket bag which Sue has graciously designed and will share with us on 20th March.

Sue’s design needs a panel 30” by 8” (finished) and she has used :- six 4” squares, three 6” squares, one 2” square, one 2 x 4” strip and two 2” x 6” strips.

Do you already have some small blocks which are unloved? Incorporate them into your design.

You can mix and match, most of our blocks are variable in sizes.

You can customise your favourite bag pattern, tote bag, project bag, how about a cute zipped pouch, a mini quilt, you could even make more blocks for a baby quilt or super size them up for a lap quilt. Use those scraps, they will just keep multiplying otherwise.

The end of the sewalong will be 9pm GMT Easter Monday April 13th and please share your finished projects using the #scrapbagsampler hashtag. Myself and all the designers can’t wait to see what you make and share our own finishes with you.

Roll on Friday !!!

New Year Furtle

Hellooo 2020 and goodbye 2019 which was a bit of a weird year. Not too great but looking forward to having a real plan for 2020!

Archie The Wonder Dog


Now… December I actually made stuff yes really! Albeit it was pretty much up to the wire for Christmas gifts but here goes……

Pride and Prejudice Cross Stitch Sampler Cushion

I started this back in September as part of a SAL from Stitching Book Club that was released in 3 parts. Balancing this with work and study I thought it would be a breeze… phff not. Cue the stitching finished on 23rd December, turned into a cushion and gifted early on the 24th to the Mother in law.

Sophia the Unicorn

My 5yo niece is obsessed with unicorns and by that I mean it’s her favourite animal and she sees them everywhere! I had meant to dig out a pixel unicorn quilt top to finish, make the Hartman Lisa pattern as a cushion but didn’t quite get there. After months of begging for a giant stuffed toy I saw this and couldn’t resist getting it to make up for her.  It’s part of a pattern set released by the Knitty Critters and uses chunkey squishy blanket yarn which is a dream to crochet and comes together quickly. That said do you know when this was finished…… the morning of 25th December and gifted that afternoon.

Minecraft Cushion


So the brother of the unicorn obsessed niece is 8 and all he does/talk etc is Minecraft. Thanks to Jane who kindly gave me some of the fabric I was able to whip this up whilst waiting for Christmas lunch to cook and gift later that day! A fail though was the seals quilt he asked- maybe this year eh.

In the works…..


So here Toby was finished in 2019 just about and is destined for another nephew. What he’s currently sat on though is my sister’s Christmas present a quilt.. but it’s me and normally something big and handmade tends to be late.

January Furtles

What’s in store this month? Well sadly I still work full time (or rather more than that!), in the third and last year of my Masters’s degree so now the ante is upped and I start the dreaded dissertation. However I have a small list of goals. You may have already seen that I’m a designed in the upcoming Scrap Bag Sampler SAL (you must join in it will be such fun!). I’m also doing a couple of other cross stitch SALs and plan to do a couple more cushions (been asked for another minecraft one) as well as ticking over some other projects.

Scrap Bag Sampler – Intro Post

This post is a little overdue…. but just in case any of you (who are still around) and not on Instagram I will be one of the designers taking part in the Scrap Bag Sampler sewalong that has been organised by Just Sew Sue.

It’s a fun little sewalong that starts on 10th January with the ethos of not going out and buying new fabric or patterns to join in but rather dig through your scraps (or stash) to make small blocks every week to try get that pile under control!

Over the course of ten weeks a designer will share a project each week of a small block that is perfect to hone your skills or try out new techniques. The blocks are small enough to even been treated as leaders and enders for other projects you are working on.

During the last week a bucket bag pattern that Just Sew Sue has specially designed for this project will be released which you can use your patchwork panel for. This bag will be approx 8″ tall with a diameter of 9.5″ which means your finished panel will be 30″ x 8″.

That said if you have  a favourite bag  pattern please feel free to use that and also if you have random lone blocks lying around incorporate them into the project- anything goes.

So without further ado the designers for this project are (with links to their Instagram page): @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter   @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah @therunninghare

Hope to see you all join in! If you post on Instagram please use the hashtag #scrapbagsampler so we can all find you 🙂

Modern Quilt Club Retreat Makes

Now this showcase is a *little* overdue considering the retreat was early June but hey ho work, studies seems everything gets in the way. I haven’t even shown this properly on Instagram yet either!

For those that don’t know Modern Quilt Club retreat runs twice a year in a lovely hotel near Leeds. Originally started as Simply Solids but when Lisa and Justine decided to close the doors on that, Lisa took it on as part of her Modern Quilt Club umbrella.

It’s an amazing retreat- spa hotel with swimming, all the food you can want and of course 24/7 access to sew! With the occasional workshop thrown in. It runs from Friday lunchtime to mid/late afternoon on the sunday.

Well what did I do? I did prep a lot (for me) of projects before I went but Friday for some weird reason decided to carry on prepping my Double Wedding Ring project (big mistake as I mucked up some cutting placement). However this is what I did do on the weekend…

A sweet sewing machine cover to keep the dust off my machine. All the fabrics apart from the binding are from What Saysie Makes– doesn’t she have the most adorable fabric selection?

A weetravelpal made using some precious Particle Press scraps, glittery vinyl and essex linen. Really love this!

A zippered basket pouch- pattern by Aneela Hoey.

Cushions… cushions… cushions! A reading cushion for a nephew’s birthday (pattern by the Sewing Directory), then one for me and one for Matthew.

I’ll show off the swap makes next time. I’ve already booked onto the October retreat and can’t wait!