myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Using up my class samples again…

I have been very busy with my workshops over the last few months. Most classes involve a degree of class prep plus I quite ofter produce a block during the class. So on Monday I had a great time using up some of my class samples and making them in to useful items.
I have also managed to finish a quilt! But I am saving it for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival which starts a week on Friday, so you will have to wait till then to see it.

But I will tell you now that it is made with lots of polka dots and I used some of my scraps to make this Dresden Plate block, which was the sample for the class I did last Sunday. It just makes it look a bit more interesting having the prongs pieced too.

This piece of Circa fabric seemed perfect for the centre and then I couldn’t help adding some hand quilting in different coloured perle 8’s.

Making this reminded me of a cushion I made about 4 years ago, when this blog was in it’s infancy and no one was reading it! It just goes to show that my love of heavy hand quilting over florals with added buttons has been going on for a really long time!
I didn’t know about perle cotton number 8’s then so I used stranded cotton. And the fabrics were from my long standing Kaffe Fassett collection along with scraps of denim from old jeans.

I loved this cushion so much that I started to make a quilt version. Alas it is still languishing at the bottom of my UFO pile, that level of hand quilting was just too much, even for me!

Over the last 8 weeks I have been teaching an evening class for my
Modern Sampler Quilt. I have been making a block along with the class
each week so that I can make a second version of the quilt (and it can go in the ‘to quilt’ pile along with the first one!).

But for some weeks I needed to make a block before the class as well as during (to make sure my method was going to work!), like this Chunky Crosses block (that’s just what I call it – does anyone have a better name?).
So this has ended up as a cushion which is already for sale in the shop along with the Dresden one at the top (I really do have enough cushions at home!).

Here are the backs. Lovely Essex Yarn Dyed in black for the Dresden and an old piece of Cath Kidston stripe for the other one.

Week 6 of the MSQ evening class is this unusual Dresden Plate, which I think I am going to call Dresden Village (after a suggestion from someone on Instagram). You make this using an Easy Dresden ruler, which means that you end up with smaller wedge shaped scraps left over.

So I sewed these together and got a smaller, pointier version. Which has now turned in to a tote bag!

We’ve just got in some new fabric from UK manufacturer Dashwood Studio, And that tortoise print was absolutely perfect to use with this block.

Here is the back – another new dashwood print.

And of course I had to add some buttons too. The middle one fits so perfectly that it doesn’t even look like a button!
Here is the tortoise fabric in all it’s glory – I just love it!
But this Petite Street Grey Flowers is my favourite. They are very keenly priced at £12 a metre or £2.80 for a FQ of a yard and you can check them all out on our website or in our Edinburgh shop.

Plus we have put together a bundle of 8 fat quarters for only £19.99, including some of ‘Flurry’ a new Dashwood dotty fabric that Lynne has recently used for this stunning quilt, and which costs just £10.80 a metre!

I am taking a short holiday starting on Friday so don’t expect to hear from me again until…



  1. So much lovely work. I have always adored dresdens and really like to see them done in different ways. I must say that I love your original early Kaffe Fassett cushion with the hand quilting, it is so bright and cheerful.

  2. Love your cushions, what a great way to use up class samples – and the tortoise fabric is out of this world I am going to head over to your site later today!! I assume you mail to New Zealand?

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