Gina Barrett is on Create & Craft TV with new Flower Combs

Gina is bringing brand new flower making combs to Create & Craft TV Monday 5pm (Freeview Channel 23 – or watch online from their website). Here is a peek of what I have been making with mine x.

AW Flower Bag 4

AW Flower Bangle 2

AW Wedding Pillow 13

Creating flowers from ribbons or fabric strips is really easy using the new combs – I will blog more details of my samples soon.


Sneak peek of a quilt in progress

I am working on a quilt at the moment. Done the patchwork and applique plus quilting – binding to do. Next I am adding 3D fabric flowers. It’s going to take me a while but I’ll share when it’s finished.

AW Quilt progress 3

I have used recycled cotton sheets for the patchwork. I added a new fat quarter for cutting the applique. I have had my first play with my Accuquilt cutter and dies. I used 4.5 inch squares, 2.5 and 1.5 inch strip dies for the border. The applique was cut using the Heather Feather dies. So much quicker to cut than with scissors – had the applique all cut in minutes. The lettering was cut on my Brother ScanNCut (built in font) electronic cutting machine.

I quilted using free machining. Some of it freeform and some using quilting rulers (from Alys Stitchy Fingers). It’s my first play with the rulers and they are fab for more controlled/accurate patterns. I also added some decorative machine stitching too.

I used another recycled polycotton sheet for the backing and will be making the flowers from recycled sheets and pillow cases too. Even the wadding is recycled from curtain interlining (I prewashed it to check suitability – some interlinings are too ‘fibrous’ and would shrink unpredictably plus shed fibres etc.).

I love to create something new from recycled stash.

Kanzashi Flower Pincushion

Good afternoon. I entered this pincushion with Kanzashi flower top (tools and instructions from Gina B Silkworks) into the Create and Craft Gallery and to my delight I won Crafter of the Month. How wonderful is that. I got a voucher for £20 which didn’t take me long to spend. I bought some yummy Tilda fabric that I had been eyeing up for a while.

AW Kanzashi Pincushion 2

AW Kanzashi Pincushion


  • 100% cotton fabrics (mixed red and white – was from Create & Craft but now out of stock)
  • Recycled old button, tapestry wool and metallic thread (to make wrapped button)
  • Small plain button (for the base)
  • Narrow ribbon (gold satin) and faux gem (gold)
  • Toy stuffing
  • Bradawl (sharp ‘pointy tool’) and tapestry needle (to attach button)
  • Kanzashi Project Card Pack
  • Kanzashi Hanabira Ruler , Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat (optional for cutting small fabric strips and squares)
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Tool Kit (optional: Gluing Table, Glue Spreader, Turntable and Drying Station)
  • Kanzashi Petal Holders (optional: includes Petal Holder and Medium Drying Table)
  • Kanzashi Starch Adhesive
  • PVA glue (clear drying) and GemTac glue (for gluing gems to fabric)
  • Tweezers (for holding and manipulating petals)
  • Needle and thread plus sewing machine (optional – could stitch by hand)

How it was made:

  1. Four 3 ½ inch squares were cut from the cotton. Two pieces were sewn right sides together to make each cushion pad using a ¼ inch seam, leaving a small gap for turning. The cushions were turned out through the gap, stuffed and the gap hand stitched to finish.
  2. The wrapped button was created by wrapping an old plastic button with wool and then weaving with metallic thread. I made this one a while ago using instructions from Gina’s Button Making Workshop Manual. A brilliant book covering thread wrapped buttons, ring buttons, knot buttons and embroidered buttons. Narrow ribbon was thread through and tied to the back of the button. A bradawl was used to push a hole through the pincushion stack and the ribbon passed through with a tapestry needle. A small plain button was used on the base and the ribbon passed through the holes and tied tightly to indent the cushion shape.
  3. I used the instructions from Gina’s pattern card pack to make the Kanzashi Flower. I adapted the Maple Leaf Pattern and made 8 sets of petals using the pointed petal folding method. I used 30mm fabric squares for the outer patterned petals and 25mm squares for the inner plain red petals. I used the Hanabira ruler, rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat to cut the squares. These are not essential (you could use scissors) but if you like this craft these are definitely worth getting as they make cutting out the tiny squares so much easier and quicker. Tweezers really helped with the folding and manipulating. Kanzashi Starch is an essential to hold everything in place while constructing these.
  4. Although not essential, I found the Gluing Table, Petal Holder, Turntable and Drying Table really helpful too. You sit the petals in a layer of Kanzashi Glue while building more (stops them pinging back open). Petals are then glued in place with PVA onto a scrap of cotton on the Turntable. The built flower is then placed on the drying table.
  5. After drying the base cotton scrap was snipped close to the petals. Ribbon and the finished flower were glued to the button and a gem glued to the centre.

Art on the Common Exhibition in Harpenden

I will be taking part in 2 Art Exhibitions on the weekend of 10 and 11th June 2017.


I have entered several Artwork pieces into the Ayot St. Lawrence Art Exhibition in the Palladium Church – 10, 11 and 12th June 2017. This coincides with the Garden Festival where they open up the gardens of several cottages and The Old Rectory. Well worth a day out in this beautiful historic village.


I will also be having my own stall at Art on the Common in Harpenden – 10 and 11th June – where over 40 artists will be exhibiting. The Saturday coincides with the Harpenden Carnival where there will be loads to do and see during the day (lots for the kids too).

AOTC CR poster 2017 issue 2

I am working like crazy to finish enough to fill my stall! I will be bringing some smaller mixed media artworks, hand painted silks and bags, and beaded jewellery. There are never enough hours in the day!

Monochrome Patchwork Picnic or Table Mat Created with Tattered Lace Deep Dish Dies

This makes an ideal small picnic mat or table topper (finished size 18.5 inches). It would also make a lovely front to a tote bag or cushion cover. Alternatively you could fold 3 corners into the centre and seam the edges together to make a lovely envelope style bag.

I was instructed to make a sample using Tattered Lace dies in a monochrome colourway. I was really pleased with the results using this mix of dark indigo prints (from the Craft Cotton Company). A little splash of colour would also look lovely. Red thread for quilting, or red embroidery or applique would give it a classy looking lift. It would look completely different if made up in coloured prints – think that I will try that.

The deep dish dies make cutting out the shapes a dream and you can cut up to 6 layers of quilting cotton in one go – so quick and easy.

AW quilt draped

AW Step 9 - Quilt top finished

What You’ll Need

· 1 100% cotton fat quarter in white or white-on-white print (approx. 18 X 20 inches)

· Set of 5 monochrome print 100% cotton fat quarters (1 in lighter colourway for inner border)

· Approx. 20 inches square fabric for backing (can be less expensive Polycotton)

· Offcut of thin wadding (approx. 20 inches square)

· 2m of 1.5 inch wide dark fabric for binding (can be straight cut strips – bias not needed)

· White polyester sewing thread

· QF116 Nested Squares – Deep Dish Die no. 4 (2.5 inch square)

· QF113 Nested Half Square Triangles – Deep Dish Die no. 2 (2.5 inch square when joined)

Step 1

AW Step 1 -Fabrics

Collect fabrics together and press. If they have been prewashed, starching will help prevent them from stretching while sewing. Choose a lighter print for the inner border (to make it stand out), and a dark one for the outer border (to frame it). I chose fabrics No. 4 and 5 from my stash.

Step 2

AW Step 2 - fabric cuts labelled

Cut half square triangles: X32 white, X16 each of two printed fabrics (fabric no.2 &3). Cut squares X4 from another fabric (fabric no.1). Cut X4 1.5in wide strips (fabric no.4 – inner border) and trim X2 strips each to 12.5in and 14.5ins. Cut X4 2.5in strips (fabric no.5 – outer border) and trim X2 strips each to 14.5in and 18.5in (note: you will need to cut these from the long edge of the fabric).

Step 3

AW Step 3 - Chain piecing

With right sides together stitch each white quarter square triangle to a patterned triangle using a quarter inch seam allowance. For speed stitch them continuously to make a long chain (chain piecing). Use the cut off triangle corners as a guide and a quarter inch seam foot if you have one.

Step 4

AW Step 4 - squares stitched

Snip the thread between the triangles to separate them and press open and flat with the seams towards the darker fabric. Take care not to stretch the seams.

Step 5

AW Step 5a - Block 1

Layout 2 sets of 3X3 squares to make a nine patch (block 1). Stitch the squares together, first in rows of X3 (top, middle and bottom) then join the rows. Again use a quarter inch seam and try to match seams as you stitch.

AW Step 5b - Block 1 stitched

You should now have 2 blocks like this measuring 6.5 inches square (Block 1). Press seams open and flat.

Step 6

AW Step 6a - Block 2

Next layout 2 sets of 3X3 squares to make block 2 and stitch together as before.

AW Step 6b - Block 2 stitched

You should now have 2 blocks like this measuring 6.5 inches square (Block 2). Press seams open and flat.

Step 7

AW Step 7 - Panel stitched

Now join the 4 nine patch blocks to create the centre panel. Join blocks 1 and 2 to create the top row, then 2 and 1 for the bottom row, then join the rows. Press seams open and flat. Your square should measure 12.5 inches.

Step 8

AW Step 8a-Centre panel quilt guide

Diagram showing borders and quilting.

Now stitch on the borders. First add the shorter inner border strips to the top and bottom, then add on the sides. Repeat for the outer border. Press seams outwards from the centre (i.e. towards the darker fabric).

Step 9

AW Step 8b -Quilt back

Quilt back showing the quilting pattern.

Cut backing and wadding slightly larger than your quilt front and pin layers together. Quilt as desired or follow the quilting diagram (red lines in step 8 pic). Extend the quilting lines out across the borders at the seam junctions (as above).

Trim off excess wadding and backing to make square (should be 18.5 inches).

Finally attach binding, lining up raw edges on the front and stitching with a quarter inch seam allowance. Fold binding over the edges and to the back and hand stitch in place. You will have approx. ¼ in binding showing on the front and ¾ in to the back.

I am planning a new Patchwork Quilt

‘Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy’!

It has taken nearly a year but finally collected all my templates and fabrics for my new quilt. Gorgeous Gelli Rolls all the way from the USA free of postage (thanks to special Create & Craft promo), fat quarters from Elliquilt (UK). Yay! It’s going to have elephants and mandalas – with a multitude of blocks and colours. A little ambitious as I haven’t made a full quilt since 1976! But hey – got to make up for lost time so throwing everything at it.

Quilt Fabrics

This will take some time to design and create but I will keep you updated.

Anne x.

Patchwork Bag Created from Vintage Fabric Lyon Silk Samples

I made this bag a little while ago but thought that I would share. A friend gave me a lovely fabric pattern book of samples containing beautiful embroidered vintage silks from Lyon (c 1960’s ?).

Stunning fabric samples but how was I going to use lots of smaller offcuts? I decided to create a patchwork bag. I hope that you like it.

vintage bag Finished

Firstly I cut out 22 X 4.5 inch squares using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter. Every square was a different combination of background and embroidery colour, many with a cream background and others with a variety of pastel colours. The embroidery also varied from pastel shades through to intense browns, greys and purples. I laid them all out to decide how best to combine them together. I also decided to alternate the embroidered flower orientation – just thought it looked better.

Vintage bag layout

Next I joined rows of the squares stitching with a quarter inch seam allowance, creating 4 inch finished patchworked square blocks. I stitched them on my overlocker to ensure that the seams were well finished and edges enclosed. Silk can fray easily and I needed it to be hard wearing for a bag. Many domestic sewing machines will also have a version of an overlock stitch for finishing the seams.

Looking at the picture I joined the top left squares to create a row of 2 blocks. Working down from the top left I then stitched a row of 4 squares, then 2 rows of 5 squares, another row of 4, and finally a row of 2 squares from the bottom right. Next I joined the rows lining up the seams to ensure neat aligned junctions where the points of the squares join.

Vintage bag quilting in progress

To make the patchwork fabric more robust and stable to function as a bag I then pinned it to some cotton curtain interlining (think it is called cotton bump) and added quilting. I used a variegated embroidery rayon and quilted swirling contour patterns following the outline shape of the embroidered elements. To achieve this I dropped the feed dogs on my machine and used free machine embroidery/quilting with a fine polyester thread in my bobbin.

Vintage bag quilting in progress 1

On the upper left of the pic is a sneak peak of some other embroidered fabric samples in my stash – I really must make something with them soon.

Quilting around the embroidered elements made them puff up slightly. This then gave me the idea to accentuate this. I made small snips in the backing fabric and stuffed the back of the embroidered flowers with a little polyester stuffing. I then hand stitched the holes with herringbone stitch to hold in the stuffing. Finally I trimmed away the excess cotton bump from the edges.

Vintage bag quilted close up

Vintage bag quilted texture

I made a quilted lining in cream fabric to match the shape of the front fabric. I added some pockets for the inside.

I sewed small leftover blocks of fabric together to create the handles, 2 inches wide by approx. 20 inches long. Again I quilted these using cotton bump as a backing. I cut strips of lining to match and stitched them together with right sides facing, and turned them through (finished size 1.5 inch X approx. 20 inch).

Vintage bag construction process

The construction of the bag is not what you might expect. I got the idea from a lovely book by Sue Hawkins (Heavenly Handmade Bags 2006). Looking at the picture: First join edges A together, again with a quarter inch seam, repeating for each bag side. This forms the base of the bag. Then join D to D leaving block edge E free. Finally join B to B, and C to C – stitch across as one seam. Repeat on each side. You now have the bag shape.

I constructed my lining shape in a similar way but left one of the A to A sections unstitched. With right sides together and handles in position at the points on the bag top I then stitched the bag and lining together and turned through the gap left in the lining. The gap was then hand sewn using a ladder stitch (so not visible).

I was delighted with my bag and being able to show off those lovely vintage fabrics.