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  • Nicola

Your favourite posts of 2018...

This seems slightly self-indulgent of me but, two and a half years and seventy-odd posts in, I was interested in finding out which topics you enjoyed most last year.

When I started this blog my main aim was to introduce myself and support my customers with tutorials. It also gave me the chance to talk in more detail about my design inspiration, offer some ‘behind-the-scenes’ musings on running a small craft business and share ‘new-to-me’ tips and techniques.

I was surprised to see that there are posts from every year in the list and really pleased to see that you enjoy reading the tutorials as much I love writing them. So, without further ado, here they are in reverse order...

As this is one of my first posts, it was a pleasant surprise to find it in your Top Ten. It took me the best part of a year to finesse this method of making this useful little unit. I love what it brings to a quilt - and the design possibilities it opens up - but I was determined not to saddle my customers with the extra cost of special acrylic templates just to make one pattern...little did I know how often I'd end up using it.

I have a real soft spot for Dresden Umbrella blocks as they featured in my very first quilt pattern, Jolly Brollies. But dresdens aren't just for umbrellas and I used them for all sorts of winged things in my Spellbound Sampler, which is probably why this tutorial was so popular last year.

This is the finishing tutorial I shared as part of my Spellbound Sampler pattern release in 2017. Those blocks are my best sellers and you have really taken them to your heart, particularly one block, but more of him later...

Your second favourite bird block ;-) This tutorial showed you how to customise your To Skye quilt and make those dainty little webbed feet. It was also the seed for the idea of Petit Four blocks and there are more of those on my cutting board right now.

A very simple quilt, made with four- and nine-patch blocks, this seemed to chime with so many of you and has been the most popular project on my Instagram feed this year. I'm itching to make one in shades of blue for the summer...I've actually been hoarding old check shirts for just such a quilt, so hold me to that one, will you?

Another one of my featured tutorials - you can find them at the top of the sidebar - this was a real game changer for me. My lightbox is an essential part of my sewing room, although I do still rather enjoy making templates from old cereal packets...

4. Spellbound (February)

This post was suggested by a reader and, as well as *lots* of photos of my finished quilt, allowed me to share more information about choosing fabric and using individual blocks. Oh, and to mess about with tartan scarves and apples.

This was a 'gateway' post for me last year, welcoming lots of new readers from Pinterest to the blog. So an enormous thank you to the lovely person who pinned this photo. I know a lot of people weren't able to find the issue of Today's Quilter that Hearth & Home appeared in and, having directed lots of you to the digital copy, I'm happy to say that stand alone Paper & PDF patterns are now available in the shop.

The Wise you love him. Someone has just tagged me in on their Instagram post of this block as I write. My summer sew-a-long with Andrea from the Willow Cottage Quilt Company

was a highlight of my year and I'm hoping we can sew together again soon.

1. Oh, Christmas Tree (October 2015)

Well, this was a total surprise. An outsider that has - to borrow some racing analogies - come from the back of the field over the past month and pipped the others at the post. As well as being a brilliant way of nailing your triangle-in-a-square blocks, it's also a fun way to use up scraps. Thank you once again Pinterest.

To sum up, lovely readers, you appear to enjoy learning new techniques, customising your quilts and a joining a fun sew-along, which tells me I really am writing for friends...a pretty wonderful thought to take into 2019. Thank you for your company and a very Happy New Year, may it be full of your favourite things.

Nicola xx


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