Ali Wilkinson


I have so many balls in the air right now – work wise and quilt wise. It’s full on at work with the last month of a new IT system underway and still lots of loose ends to finish. So I have not done much sewing mid week to help destress.

In complete contrast to my usual “stick to one project at a time” mantra, right now I have several projects on the go. In order of closest to completion, they are:

  • Slices floor mat
  • Indian Blanket lap quilt
  • Wheel lap quilt
  • In-flight queen quilt
  • Green Tea and Sweet Beans queen quilt (but as I posted recently in my Confession, we won’t be mentioning that again…)

I don’t think I have blogged about the Slices mat or Wheel lap quilt yet. These are the remaining projects in the Curves class I am taking with Rachel from Stitched in Color, and as I took the Camp version of the class I have to complete them by March 22 in order to qualify for a handmade gift from Rachel. Given I am a bit of a fan of her work I am doing all I can to complete on time!

I am making the Slices floor mat for my daughter who is hoping that our cat will love to sleep on it at the side of her bed. Kuching the cat is the least cuddly cat I’ve known and so I think she is going to be living in hope, but who am I to pop her bubble?! She has picked specifically feline fabrics which I will show in their full glory tomorrow as I intend to bind the mat whilst catching up on Babylon tonight and so will have progress and finish photos to share. In the meantime, here you can see what Kuching thought of the top itself:


He prefers elevated situations where he can pretend he is perched on his very own throne. That pouf behind him (on its side) is one of his favourite spots, so I am not sure if he is unimpressed with the new mat, is a bit concerned at the jumping cats on the fabric, or simply wants his pouf throne back.

The Wheel lap quilt is another Curves class project. The version in the class is more of a mini quilt, but I am not a mini quilt fan (what, I ask, is the point? They are too big or the wrong size to be table runners and too small to even be cot quilts or playmats. I’m not big on putting quilts on the wall, so you see why I just don’t get them). Anyway, I digress. I have had Tula Pink’s Moxie pattern and the required fat quarters sitting in my sewing room for the best part of a year. I loved this quilt from the moment I saw it but the curves scared me, until now. So as it is very similar to the Wheel quilt I decided to use the Moxie pattern and the fabric I had bought but follow Rachel’s principle of single colour segments. The end result will be a larger version of the Wheel quilt with Moxie overtones.

I heavily starched the fabric with Best Press before cutting and I am hoping that will make the curved sewing easier. Here’s what the arrangement looks like pinned on my design wall.


I am quite excited about this interpretation and was really pleased to achieve some form colour progression around the wheel.

Indian Blanket got glue basted to some Warm and White ready for hand quilting. I have now set it to one side for a few weeks until all the above projects are done and the cooler autumn evenings are here when I will appreciate a quilt across my lap. I have to say I consider myself with lots to learn in the way of glue basting. We have an old villa and so we don’t have open plan areas with big clear floor spaces, so I have to roll back rugs to be able to masking tape the various components to the floor. I also don’t have a clear wall as our walls have wood panelling. I am looking forward to the change when we build the new house next year to replace this one, with a large dedicated sewing room and open plan living.

Finally, the Oval Elements fabric I am using as the background for In Flight arrived this week so I can get on with that too. I think I am about 4 birds behind the quilt-along itself, but should be able to have a marathon one weekend (Easter?!) to catch up.

OK, I should get that Slices mat and sew the binding on so I can show the end results tomorrow.


Ali Wilkinson

Swan in Flight

In Flight Badge1

A few weeks ago I posted that I was going to join Tartan Kiwi in her In flight Quilt Along and no doubt as I haven’t posted anything since you have been wondering if I dropped out before it started. When I downloaded the pattern I was a little overwhelmed as it is over a hundred pages long! I knew I couldn’t print it on my little Pixma inkjet and I kept forgetting to go to the copy shop to get it printed. Until today.

In many ways I am pleased that I didn’t print it immediately as I have spent the last few weeks pondering which fabrics to use that would work as paper pieced designs and would bring the best out of the pattern. It was only this morning that I reached a decision that I was happy with; Art Gallery Oval Elements (which you should know by now is one of my favourite fabrics!) in Mood Indigo, which is a dark blue, as the “sky” background, and plain solids in strong but not overpowering colours for the birds.

I am hoping the Oval Elements will create texture to the sky, and as a regular “any way up” pattern it works well for paper piecing.

needledown-nz_swan_in_flight_ 1

It’s been a while since I paper pieced and I had to remind myself how to do it, but only had to unpick one seam, so am quite pleased about that! I have bought a light box in the intervening time and found it to be really useful in this process.

needledown-nz_swan_in_flight_ 3

This pattern was really straightforward and a good choice for the first bird. A quick glance at the later patterns show they get a bit more complex towards the last block!

Here’s the finished product which I am really happy with. Now I need to order a bit more of the Oval Elements as I only have enough in my stash for about 3 more blocks.

needledown-nz_swan_in_flight_ 4

Ali Wilkinson

In-flight Quilt Along

In Flight  badge


Sometimes adding another project to an already busy schedule is unavoidable, and that happened to me today. There I was minding my own business when I read about the In-flight Quilt Along by Tartan Kiwi. Tartan Kiwi is a very clever quilt pattern designer who puts together incredibly detailed paper foundation piecing patterns. I quite enjoy foundation piecing from time to time and this quilt design absolutely sold itself to me when I saw this image:


I am mesmerised by those birds.

The quilt along is being run over a few months with different blocks being released every two weeks, or you can jump right in and buy the e-book and go at a different pace.

I am already thinking that I might use a light midnight blue solid Kona (e.g. Prussian Blue) or maybe a black line print on white that I have that reads grey from a distance. I am thinking of bold colours for the birds, or possibly Liberty printed birds. What do you think?

Here is a link to the introductory post by the Tartan Kiwi. Will you join in too?