Frequently asked questions: if you are new to quilting there may be moments when your fellow quilters seem to be speaking another language! Here are the answers to a few questions I've asked myself...
I am delighted - and relieved - to say that Royal Mail have reopened International Postage after their recent cyber attack. Please bear with me while I catch up with your lovely orders and thank you for your patience and understanding, Nicola xx
What's the difference between a PDF and a Paper Pattern?
A PDF Pattern is a magical, electronic document sent by email - to your PayPal email address - for you to save on your computer and read or print off at your leisure. Paper Patterns - not magical but still lovely - are printed in full colour and sent by first class post from the UK within 3 working days. If you are keen to get started, a PDF pattern is the best option. PLEASE NOTE: if you buy a PDF Pattern you will not receive an additional Paper Pattern by post.
Postage for a Paper Patterns costs £1.45 in the UK and £3.25 everywhere else.
Postage for a Pattern Book costs £2.00 in the UK and £5.00 everywhere else.
Postage for Quilt Kits/Baker's Dozen bundles costs £3.25 in the UK and £13.50 everywhere else.
Due to tax laws introduced in January 2015, all digital products sold to customers within the EU are subject to the Value Added Tax charged in the buyer's country. Not being a tax expert, that's all a bit of a headache. Luckily the lovely people at PayHip sort it all out for me, so when you click on PDF Patterns in the menu you will be automatically redirected to my PayHip shop.
Are there any corrections to my Pattern?
I always test every pattern myself and hope against hope that no errors creep in. Any that do are listed on the Pattern Corrections Page as soon as they're brought to my attention. You can find the Pattern Corrections Page under the Shop menu, here.
Where can I find the tutorial mentioned in my Pattern?
You can find my tutorial for the triangle in a square block - used in the Homely Joys, Mr McGregor's Garden, Dolls House mini, To Skye, Pennine Star, Hearth & Home, Nesting, Homeward Bound and Beach Hut patterns and all of my Sampler Books - on the BLOG here...
What on earth is a Jelly Roll?
Fabric company Moda introduced their popular pre-cuts some eight years ago. These are factory cut from co-ordinating collections of fabrics and have delicious patisserie-inspired names. A Jelly Roll consists of 21/2" x width of fabric (42") strips; a Layer Cake (my personal favourite) is made up of 10" squares; Charm Packs are 5" x 5"; and Candys are 21/2" x 21/2". There are usually 40 different fabrics in each pack (with the odd repeat). You might also come across Honeybuns (11/2" strips,) Honeycombs (hexagons), Slices and Turnovers (both triangles) and Dessert Rolls (5" strips).
My very first quilt used a pack of Charm Squares and a 'recipe' for a Table Runner, designed by Camille Roskelley, from the Moda Bakeshop website and still available here...
Other manufacturers have also introduced a number of pre-cuts with equally whimsical names.
And what's a Fat Quarter?
Nothing to do with cakes this time... A Fat Quarter is a quarter of a yard of fabric, but instead of being measured across the whole width of the fabric (so it would measure 9" x 42") a half metre cut is divided width-ways to give you a more useable piece of fabric, measuring 18" x 21".
Many of my favourite UK on-line quilt shops put together Fat Quarter bundles and they are a great starting point for a quilt (or a fabric hoarding habit...). In fact I love them so much I stock my own Baker's Dozen Fat Quarter Collections of 13 deliciously co-ordinated Fat Quarters: look out for them in the Shop.
Why is everything in inches?
The simple answer is that the majority of speciality quilting fabric manufacturers and pattern designers are based in the USA, which still uses imperial measurements. Most European sewing books - such as Tone Finnanger's lovely Tilda series - tend to show metric measurements first with the imperial in brackets. And then there is THE QUARTER INCH SEAM: it is a golden rule in quilting that all piecing is done with 1/4" seam and most sewing machine manufacturers make a special 1/4" quilting foot to help you achieve it. The '6.4 mm seam' just doesn't have the same ring to it...
What equipment do I really need?
The Quilter's World website has a wonderful guide to essential equipment here and I wrote a blog post about my personal favourites here.....
I try to avoid buying special rulers or templates just for one quilt, although there are notes in the patterns for using them if you already have them.
Personally I don't pre-wash my fabric, use a rotary cutter* & self-healing mat (placed on my kitchen worktop to save my back) and prefer to machine-piece my quilt tops, using a good quality, fine thread like Aurifil 50 wt. I then hand-quilt them, using 100% cotton batting, Gutterman hand-quilting thread and a basting needle. As soon as they're finshed they go straight in the wash - on a cool setting with a colour-catcher - and then into the tumble dryer - again, on cool - to get the crinkly, 'vintage' look that I love.
*PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR ROTARY CUTTER: get into the habit of retracting the blade every time you put it down.