Sonya May hem

A stitch in my side

The Friendship Quilt

So anyway a couple of years ago I bought a charm pack of Michael Miller Happy Tones and “stored” it away carefully for just the right moment to present itself.  Stored as in the sense of hoarded and hoarded in the sense of “it’s too pretty to use on just anything so I have to be really certain before I cut into it because once it’s gone that’s it you can’t get it back and then what would you do and are you sure that’s what you want to have happen and really is it such a big deal I mean it’s only fabric and you can always get some more but you can’t really so be absolutely sure before you do that”.  Or something like that, I can’t remember the exact words…

Well, about this time last year I thought, hey it’s my BFF’s birthday in a couple of months – that gives me time to knock together a lovely little quilt.  I’ll use my Happy Tones!! And so I did…


Friendship Quilt 1

Thanks to Jamie for holding this up for me and complaining after ten seconds that his shoulders were hurting because it was too heavy…


Basic half-square triangles created with the Happy Tones and Prima Homespun White from Spotty.

I kept the design as minimal and easy as possible.  As well we know I’m not one to follow a pattern so this really did just grow from the initial HST design and move outwards.

Friendship Quilt 2

The border around the HST’s is a mini friendship braid for which I used the terrific pattern from here.  It was fiddly but well worth it as it gave extra texture.  I used Sarah Fielke Millefiori to create the braid.

Friendship Quilt 4

The final border was some stashed basic Spots and Stripes from Spotty as well.  A good standby as it just about matches everything colourwise and I love a good spot.  The machine sewn binding was more of the Sarah Fielke. The backing was organic cotton “House and Garden” Cloud 9 Fabric – sweet little pink birds with chartreuse leaves eked out with some Prima Homespun Pale Pink.  Quilting as always, was simply on the diagonal through the HST’s and around each border.

Friendship Quilt 5Friendship Quilt 3

And to finish it all off – a quilt label!!  Yes, I finally remembered to add one.  This I made myself using printable fabric sheets and my home printer.  The quote is a special one for me as my lovely friend (the new owner of this quilt) gave me a beautiful ceramic tag with this quote (by Dorothy Parker) on it for my birthday last year and it has become a bit of a constant reminder to me of how grateful I am to have her in my life.

Friendship Quilt 6

I finally handed it to her last week – a good eight months after her birthday.  Even though the date on the tag says June. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

Until next time,



Little Stabs

Some things are just instinctive – and that is how I have always felt about hand stitching.  It’s a lovely way to spend an hour or two. To me it’s almost evolutionary the way we progress through various stitching forms.  I started with simple needlework kits, progressed to long stitch, cross stitch and embroidery – tried hardanger, beautiful but not for me – and now I add Sashiko to the ever growing list of things I must (want, need, have to) do.

Sashiko [translates to Little Stabs]  is a form of decorative stitching from Japan – most often compared to a basic running stitch.  It’s simple, reasonably quick and not at all tricksy!!  I can’t even remember when I purchased my first pattern – but naturally at a Craft Show – I didn’t attend a class to learn how to do it or think to myself that I needed to do a class… Probably, as is my usual way, I watched a demonstration for 2 minutes, thought that looks like fun and handed over a pile of cash in exchange for a little bag with some patterns and stern instructions from the seller which I would promptly ignore.  Probably well before You Tube as well so no online tutorials either.



I use DMC cotton Perle thread – I love the variegated colours – I usually wind them on to a wooden spool as I’m working to avoid tangles.

I have one in progress (pictured above); one completed…



And three waiting for their turn to be worked on.  You can buy the pre-stencilled panels from lots of online sellers, I bought mine through a local quilt shop and through BeBeBold. I so want the bunnies and the squirrels and the birds, oh I want them all!!  If you are interested in seeing  how it’s done they have a terrific video available here.  Which really makes me want to do a long table runner, it is so beautiful!!

If you want to be totally authentic you can buy Sashiko thread and needles but I just used what I had on hand – mainly the Perle cotton and some Quilt Basting (no.7) needles.

They usually come with printed instructions on the back:


And that’s about it really – the lines wash out, you don’t even have to do all the lines, you can create your own pattern from the lines provided.

I’m hoping at some point to border the panels and make a quilt from them and a pack of Sakizome momen that I have waiting waiting waiting…

Hope you’re all taking time to enjoy the slow craft movement.

♥Sonya May♥



Hex and hugs and sausage rolls (?!?)

A story in three parts…

Part 1 : Hex

So, I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I finished my hexie top.  Ta-dah…



The Full Hexie. All fabric from Spotlight precut fat quarters.

Now, I’m going to admit straight off that the longer I worked on this the less I liked it.  I felt my colour choices were too jarring and it just didn’t seem cohesive.  But, now that I’ve actually looked at it from a distance (and behind a lens) I don’t mind it at all.  For me though, this whole adventure in EPP has really cemented for me how much I enjoyed the process.  I relished the opportunity to do some hand sewing – although my hands haven’t quite forgiven me yet! – and the slowly building up each of first the petals and then the flowers.

I have further plans for other EPP projects in the future – this amazing gigantic hexie is a must as is this beauty. Oh, and maybe this as well

It really is an addictive way to spend a few hours.  I now have to work out how to back and bind it and this method from Badskirt seems the least confusing and workable for me. Another option is this one from My Poppet.  A lengthy period of thinking music required at this point.


Hexie 3

Hexie 3

Hexie 2

Hexie 2

Hexie 1

Hexie 1

Part 2 : Hugs

My niece, Charlotte,  is turning ten in November – I simply don’t know where all those years have gone – and frankly she behaves more like an 18 year old than a ten year old. But anyway, a curious thing as her birthday approaches she becomes much more of a hugs and I love you kind of a gal… I wonder what she’s angling for… hmmmm…. in any case as I have already made her a quilt, this time around I thought I would make a beautiful bed cushion for her using the Warsaw Mermaid paper piecing pattern.

Me: What do you want to be when you finish school and have to work Charlotte…?

Charlotte: A professional mermaid.

There is no convincing her that mermaids aren’t “real”. Gosh, won’t I look stupid as she walks (flipper flops??) across the  stage to collect her Mermaid Diploma from Mermaid Academy.  {lol}

Part 3 : Sausage Rolls

No other reason than I’d really like to eat a sausage roll today.  But I won’t.

♥  Sonya May ♥


Nopes and crosses

You know how sometimes you see the same pattern plastered all over blogs and every second pin(terest) is a great rendition of the pattern and you say to yourself… “I really think I could do that and I don’t think I need a pattern”…

Yes?? Well, this is what happens when I do that, and let this be a cautionary tale for you all!!


You see I had this terrific jelly roll of Summersville by Lucie Summers for Moda and thought I would have a crack at a plus quilt without a pattern.  Oh good grief what a shamozzle – and then to cap it off why don’t I add some really dark grey at the ends for no other reason than, ummm – yuck!  Here are some beautiful plus quilts if you wish to wash your brain of the above images.

So, now what to do.  Can’t continue with ugly sewing so unpick all the seams – it is my punishment for not thinking things through.

And the new result… – well, again no pattern, but a completely different quilt emerges.  I’m kind of thinking along the lines of a log cabin medallion, slowly building up the “rounds” as I progress and I do rather like it.

Log Cabin Medallion 2

I’ve had to be a bit inventive with some of the piecing because I hacked into the jelly roll.  I’ve also alternated with a lovely soft cream with almost a hint of pink through it to break up the density of the Summersville pattern.  I have a few more tricks up my sleeves for it as well because in between unpicking the first mess and starting this bigger piece I also made some smaller log cabins and these will be added in to finish the sides.  As with all my quilting efforts I just lay it on the bed to see how big it is and either stop or keep adding until I like the size.

Probably not the most professional way of building a quilt but so far. at least, this part of my methodology works well.

I have three more jelly rolls waiting for some sort of treatment and I think I may actually investigate that plus quilt pattern properly this time around.  And for goodness sake it’s free!

Sonya May



Ok – so it’s been a while. May in fact, ridiculous, the year is almost done!!

So where have I been… well nowhere really and everywhere. Mainly up and down. My dear father passed away in June after a long illness. While you can prepare for the inevitable you can never prepare for how you will feel as the days progress.

We found this lovely photo of him which none of us had ever seen before until we started looking through his secret stash of boxes and envelopes. It is a whole other lifetime away, well before marriage and children and responsibilities.



As a consequence I hadn’t much felt like sewing, until a couple of weeks ago when the desire to sit with Jacqui the Janome became too overwhelming.  Since then, I have completed some new bags for cousins, my mum and myself, finished hand piecing the top for the hexie quilt, chased up some sashiko and worked towards completing the binding on another quilt for a friend and looked at another old standing project that I had with fresh eyes.

I’ve also slowly been catching up with all my favourite blogs and getting back in touch with what everyone else is up to.  It’s been interesting to see everyone transitioning through the seasons as we head in to warmer days here down under while everyone in the north is grabbing the knitting needles and crochet hooks and looking for toasty projects to work on.

I promise to make more regular contributions to the old blog – I do miss it when I don’t do it.  Unfortunately, my only writing of late has been for job applications!  Certainly not the most creative of outlets although with long term unemployment I have developed a brilliant and quick system for knocking them out.  Anyone looking for a Library Technician of a certain age… call me…

Well, I hope you are all well and I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing and sharing with you all.

Until next time,

Sonya May



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