Sonya May hem

A stitch in my side

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


The mother of them all

Well hello!  Another fabulous week to be sewing and creating and especially with it culminating in Mother’s Day it seems appropriate to do some special sewing for someone special.

I already had a store bought gift to give mum but wanted something personal to go with it.  Added to this I really wanted to try some applique and things were starting to become clear. But always a little practice first…

My inspiration came from a fabulous little pin from Flamingo Toes for some gorgeous applique feathers on a tea towel.  I would have done the tea towel but knowing my family it would be used to mop up some sort of tomato disaster… So, a cushion cover it became.  I love a good cushion cover – nothing brightens up a room quicker than a fresh cover.


Fabric Feather Applique

This is the first time I’ve tried applique although I’ve had the vliesofix (bondaweb) for quite some time.  The nice lady at the fabric shop wrote some brief instructions on how to use it but the interwebs is also awash with instructions.

I decided to up-cycle an old work shirt for this – a favourite that I hadn’t spilled anything on or accidentally written on.  Very unusual for me…

As this was my first go at applique, I tried zigzag on the edges but didn’t like the look – then I progressed to another stitch on my machine that kind of looks like blanket stitch but not quite which I still wasn’t happy with.  After some frustrating unpicking I decided to slowly stitch just on the inside of the shape with a plain stitch on the longest length.  It’s not as dramatic but I prefer the subtle stitching on the feather shape.

Well, as you can imagine I was so happy with the end product here that I decided on another cushion – for mum for mother’s day.  My mum loves owls, and although she likes her owls to look like owls there was no way I was going to do a brown cushion…. So, some secret sewing later I came up with this…


The Owl

I used two coordinating fat quarters of floral fabrics and some pale yellow for the eyes.  Again just a simple straight stitch to “applique”.  The template was just an image I googled and cut out. I added two little wooden buttons for the eyes ‘cos the stitching was awful but they needed something to bring them out. The white it sits on is another fat quarter from the stash – I really broke into my good stuff for this one!

Mum was really pleased with it and it now sits pride of place on her bed.  It’s hard to know what to get mum – she never knows what she wants (or needs), but as long as it has an owl on it then you’re half way there.

Hope you all had a lovely day with families [or banishing the family and spending some time sitting and relaxing or getting your craft on].





The Sister Quilt, Part 4

Another week done – another Sister Quilt completed and gifted!

This quilt was for my little sister, no. 4,  who celebrated a birthday with a big fat zero in it… ha ha.  I won’t say what the first number was but as a clue it rhymes with door.


The Sister Quilt, Part 4


This quilt was all made from Spotlight purchased fabric – FF Fancy Birdcage; FF Fancy Peacock; FF Fancy Paisley; FF Fancy Bird Toile. These prints are bird themed with lots of feathers and cages and all kinds of curls and leaves.

As with all my quilts I just cut squares and sew them together until I get the size I want.  A method that is yet to fail me! Although I ended up having to buy some additional yardage of the Fancy Paisley and Bird Toile – but not to worry I’m sure the left overs will be put to good use…

I used Quiltville’s Scrappy Trip method to ensure the pink chain fell in the right spot.  I really like using that pattern – it’s versatile and a quick way to construct a top.


The Sister Quilt, Part 4 — backing and binding

I chose to do complete machine binding in pink to echo the pink chains – rather than saturate it with any more of the duck egg.  The backing was some flannelette that I had leftover from another quilt – it’s a bit little girly but it is so soft and luxe to the touch, and pink, that it was just the thing to finish it off.  The quilting again was very simple – only this time I quilted just past every second line to keep it puffy and loose.


The Sister Quilt, Part 4

Of course, enough leftovers to make a cushion cover…


The Sister Quilt, Part 4 — Cushion cover

Pretty sure my sister liked it although I think she may have a struggle with her daughter over who actually gets to use it.

On to the next birthday quilt I guess – Dad turns 83 this month and I have a lovely stack of Sakizome Momen with his name on it.

Have a cheery weekend,



%d bloggers like this: