myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

yo-yo sample pillow

There hasn’t been much time for sewing during what I am calling ‘Mental March’.
I have hardly drawn breath since I came back from QuiltCon, what with 2 ‘Fairs’ on consecutive weekends, lovely Karen Lewis staying with me last weekend, 2 magazine commission deadlines (so I have been sewing but nothing I can show you!), and now I really should be packing as I am off on the train to London tomorrow in time for teaching at The Village Haberdashery on Saturday (sold out!) – phew!
At least I can have a nap on the train!

At the first of the craft fairs, the Sewing, Quilting and Stitching show at Glasgow’s SECC at the start on the month, I gave demos on our stand to make a yo-yo and then applique it to a circle of felt and add a little hand quilting.
At the end of 4 days I had quite a pile of these that I had made along with my attendees.

I had bought a lovely piece of Irish wool Tweed at the show and the little yo-yo discs looked charming against this.
So, during a short ‘rest period’ I enjoyed a little hand sewing whilst blanket-stitching them to the wool.

Earlier today I had just enough time to make them into this cushion. That’s a zip under that neat little flap on the back. I used a method Fiona had shown in a copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting from over a year ago.
I then used left-overs from a recent project to make a scrappy binding.

I am totally in love with the result and even more because it is made out of left-overs!!

The only other non-secret sewing I have done is make 3 (yes 3!) Japanese Origami Bags!
The very talented Tatyana (most exotic member of our Edinburgh Modern Quilt Guild and awesome long-arm quilter) showed us how to make these at our March meeting.

They are now spreading like a terrible virus, inflicting everyone who sees them! They take about half an hour and here is a tutorial.
The one above is the first I made, at the meeting. It was so fun sewing these together in a group! I used some Indelible that I brought back from QuiltCon. I have since given this away, and also the next one that I made.

I have also got a new phone and, through a process way too boring to describe, I’ve lost all my photos (or rather hidden them safely away…), so I can only show you these from our EMQG blog. These are all the bags made at our meeting.

Today I made one more, featuring gorgeous re-printed Anna Maria Horner ‘Folksong’ (I had this year’s ago on voile – so happy to see it again!) and one of the amazing new Denyse Schmidt line ‘Franklin’ peeping through (we have a bundle of this available at our online store).

This one is for my BFF Lisi, who I will be staying with this weekend. 
Lisi and I have been best friends since we were 18 and though we don’t actually talk to each other very often every time we meet it is just like we only stepped out of the room briefly and now we are just taking up that same conversation again. 
On Friday we are having a sewing day at her house and I hope to show her how to make one of these for herself.
I’ve filled the bag with FQs and some haberdashery to help things a long!
Next week things calm down a bit – thank goodness!!


  1. That pillow is brilliant! I would have never thought to add those bright fun yoyos to a piece of tweed!:)

    Gotta go check out that bag tutorial! Have a blast this weekend!

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