Saturday, 21 April 2018

Book Club - Sew Deadly (2)

Looking in the Book Club Forum over on many of you seem to have enjoyed The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, our book for April. If you’d like to read more by the same author, she has also written The Girl with the Pearl Ear Ring; although no quilting or sewing connection, this is another great read.

It is a bit early, but some of you have been eager to find out what our next book is.

With the book for May 2018, we are changing genre, but staying in the United States. This time we are moving to the deep south, to a small village called Sweet Briar, located in South Carolina, to follow a sewing circle.

The book we are going to read is called Sew Deadly, and is written by Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

The plot 

Victoria Sinclair, or Tori as she prefers to be known, is seeking to rebuild her life in a new place after previous disappointments. She manages to land herself a job as a librarian in a small town, far away from the bustle of the larger city where she has been working until recently. She has great expectations for her new life and is bubbling with ideas on how to make reading a fun and captivating experience, especially for children. She is very enthusiastic and has a great drive to get things done.

What she didn’t know when accepting the job is that she’s the first new person to move to Sweet Briar in quite a few years and that the former librarian was pushed out, and is still living in the town! Unsurprisingly, Tori is not feeling as welcome as she was hoping. Add to that a very unexpected murder…

This is a murder mystery, with a feel-good factor, all linked together by a sewing circle. 

If you enjoy the book, you may be excited to know that this is the first book in a series of 12 (!) about the same small town sewing circle and the varied lives of its members.

Personally, I am intrigued to read more of the books, even if it’s just to find out how it goes for everyone and what projects they work on next.

Join the discussion 

If you would like to discuss the book, please join the discussion in the comments below or in the Facebook group UKQU Social.

Top tip: Try to finish the book during the earlier part of May, as a new book will be revealed for June towards the middle/end of May.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Book Club - The Last Runaway (1)

Based on the feedback in our Facebook group UK Quilters United and the linked website ( I have found myself running a book club focusing on quilting and sewing related novels. As I am writing this, there are 135 members in the book club!

The first book was revealed at the beginning of April 2018. To start us off, I selected Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway.

The plot
It is in the 1850s, in the midst of the slave trade in the United States. The main character, Honor Bright, has recently arrived from Dorset to Ohio, to keep her sister company. Honor ends up living in a milliner’s shop who’s owner is part of a underground operation helping runaway slaves to reach freedom in Canada.

After this she goes to live with a Quaker family, and she really misses Dorset. Many of you will recognise the descriptions here. This is also where she is exposed to quilting as part of every day life. The descriptions in the book will make you smile and nod in agreement, whereas at other times you may shake your head in disagreement, or wonder why you’ve never done it that way…

Join the discussion
If you would like to take part in the discussions about the book, please head to the UKQU website to join the UKQU Book Club. You need to be logged into the website to be able to join the group. If you can’t see the ‘join’ button, try to log in to the website again and it should work. It's free to join both the website and the Book Club group.

** Adapted from my post on the UKQU website **

Friday, 23 February 2018

Easter egg scramble - FPP pattern

 I really enjoyed creating the pattern for the foundation paper pieced logo for UK Quilters United, so much so that I wanted to create some more FPP patterns. Trying to come up with an idea, which also forced me to have a deadline, I started thinking about the festivities coming up. I realised I was too late to make something for Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day is not really celebrated at my place (although it is at work), so the next holiday that sprung to my mind was Easter.

Thinking about the festivities coming up, I realised I was too late to make something for Valentine's Day. St Patrick's Day is not really celebrated at my place (although it is at work), so the next holiday is Easter. After doing a search on Google and Pinterest, I realised that there were no great patterns available for eggs. There are loads of patterns for chickens and bunnies readily available, but alas no eggs, unless you like to appliqué them.

Bring on the challenge! After a bit of drafting, trial and error style, and testing of the pattern, including trying to make it with fewer pieces to save time, I finally had a pattern which seemed smooth enough to actually look like a proper egg. Below are a few of my makes, many more are on my Instagram.

Bumbleberries by Lewis and Irene, available from Sugar Bowl Crafts, made by Mel (thank you!)

Leaving the Easter theme behind and instead focusing on the shape, and by using just this one basic block, there are lots of possibilities. I really like this, almost autumnal fabric which I had in my stash. If you have time, perhaps create a full quilt? Rotate the blocks, use scrappy background and you can create something completely unique.
As a larger lap quilt, with a bit of random block placement

Discount codes - fabrics and pattern:
Head over to Sugar Bowl Crafts and buy any of the four shades of pastel Bumbleberries featured above (CandyFloss, Light Duck Egg, Mellow Yellow, Lavender) and get 10% off using the code ‘BossyOz10’ at checkout (while stocks last!).

Get your pattern in my UKQU shop:
To get a 20% discount on the pattern, use the code ‘SBC1820’ at checkout.

Both codes mentioned above are valid until the end of March 2018.

Please let me know what you make by tagging with #bossyozpatterns.

The possibilities are endless!

Have fun!

/ Nina x

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The UKQU website is live

At the beginning of January 2018, we launched a website for UK Quilters United. Lots of hard work had been done in the background for a very long time.

One of the rules in all the UKQU Facebook groups, since the start four years ago, has been that we do not allow any self-promotion or advertising, and there is a strict no-selling rule (except one of the groups which allow personal de-stashing of quilting related items). Many of our members are also shop owners and they have been asking us to allow them to sell / advertise. The website is our response to this.

At the moment we have nine main categories, with more to come as we have the chance to develop it.

For most of the sections, the content is provided by volunteers, doing it all for free, or in exchange for some freebie which they product test or write a review about.

As one of the founders of the UK Quilters United Facebook group, I am contributing to the website when I can. So far it has mainly been in the background, or by promoting the website and Facebook groups when I've had a chance.

Recently, I launched an appliqué and a foundation paper piecing pattern for our UKQU logo. You can find these patterns for free in my shop.

For lots of inspiration, hints & tips, competitions, blogs, BOMs, and shops, please head over to UKQU.CO.UK.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Some mini quilts

Hazel the Hedgehog, Sweet Succulents and Cat Vent minis