myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Home Wall Hanging

I spent last weekend with my extended family celebrating my niece, Sarah’s, 40th birthday (I was very young when I became an aunt BTW!) at her amazing party.

Of course I left it till the last minute to make her a present. Obviously she has already had a quilt from me (21st birthday) and numerous cushions. So what could I make her (with just a couple of days to spare!)?

I had an idea that she might like a patchwork table runner (well who wouldn’t?!) as she has just had a new kitchen/dining extension. And I had another, slightly crazy, idea that I could make one from my vast stock of orphan blocks and class samples!

With my usual optimism I selected some likely pieces and set to work joining them up. I was having a great time but after a couple of hours I really just had some larger orphan blocks, with nothing ‘hanging together’. I asked my hubby what he thought and he told me honestly that it looked terrible, but…

… he really liked this bit above with the word ‘home’.

So with time now even shorter I decided that what Sarah really wanted was a lovely wall hanging for her new kitchen! But it needed a bit more work to make it special enough. So I added some panels either side and started appliqueing stems and leaves (I am totally addicted to applique at the moment)!

(By the way, I made that word ‘home’ as a sample piece when we did our Stitch Gathering ‘word tickets’ two years ago. But then I lost it somewhere and had to make another one! Of course I found it at the bottom of a bag a few months later (this happens to me all the time and if you saw the state of my sewing room you would understand why!))

I’d just received our shop’s order of Aurifil 80wt (we have 14 colours in the Edinburgh store, and you never know I may get them listed online one day soon!) and I was desperate to try them out. They really are lovely to use for applique and practically make your stitches invisible.

I then had just an hour to get it quilted and bound before I needed to leave for the airport – so it was speed FMQ! 
I think I actually work better under pressure as I really like the way this turned out. I hand sewed the binding at my sister’s house and finished in time – phew!

Anyway Sarah seemed to genuinely love it and the colours where perfect with her new interior scheme – yay!

As I said I am SO into applique right now, which is a good thing as all my current magazine commissions seem to involve it (nothing to do with me constantly suggesting it at all!). Here are some sneak peeks of my ‘secret sewing’.
Yes it’s all about the leaves! I am actually having a wee ‘leaf break’ this week and appliqueing some birds instead! Can’t wait to show you all of these in full in a couple of months time!


  1. what a delight your wall hanging is. Must learn applique I want to do needle turned do not like it when machined and hand stitching is so relazing another thing on my to do list

  2. Of course she would be thrilled with apiece of original art work of her kitchen, handmade gifts are always the best. I really must get some of the 80w Aurifil to try for my EPP. x

  3. I'm sure your niece was thrilled to have a hand-made piece to adorn her new dining area! Who wouldn't?? This was the perfect project to use up a few orphan pieces as it came together beautifully!

  4. I can't believe you quilted all that in an hour….I would take that long doing one side! Of course I am a horrid FMQer!:P

    Can't wait to see your next project….and get a hug in a week and a half!!!!

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