27 January 2017

Happy Flower Quilts Blog Hop

Thank you for joining me today for my stop on the Happy Flower Quilts Blog Tour.  I really am SO excited to share my make from the book.  I have been a huge fan of Atsuko Matsuyama for many years and I have coveted collection of her pretty fabrics in my stash. It is true, I regularly do that classic thing of looking and stroking them rather than cutting in to them....you do know where I am coming from, don't you?!  So you can understand when I say that I was extremely excited when I heard on the grapevine that Zakka Workshops were publishing an English version of the elusive 'pink book' and even more excited to discover an email from the lovely Lindsay at Zakka Workshop advising:

  1. That in addition to Lindsay, Kristyne Czuperyk from Pretty By Hand, (one of my favourite bloggers), is one of the technical editors....so I just knew it was going to be good
  2. That my Quilt Shop 'Pretty Fabrics and Trims' is listed as one of the resources in the book....and
  3. That they asked me....yes me... to be on the Blog tour
I must confess that I whooped extremely loudly ....so much so that even my nearly teenage son, raised his head from his tablet to ask if I was ok.....those with nearly teenage children will know that it is no mean feat to draw their attention away from gadgetry!

Before I share more information on my make, I just wanted to clarify that 'Sew Flower Quilts and Gifts' is the UK edition of the book and is, with the exception of the front cover, exactly the same as 'Happy Flower Quilts'.

As you can see, I chose to make the Windmill Passport Case from Page 23.  I decided to embrace my inner Atsuko and with the exception of machine sewing the binding to the front and the lace trims, I  hand sewed all of it, which was just so relaxing.

The first step was to make my templates for the windmill block.  For those without a copy of the book, these are provided on pull out sheets at the back.  Having run of template plastic at home, I simply traced these on to Freezer paper which I ironed on to a cereal box and then cut out.   I then removed the freezer paper and in addition to labelling them (A, B,C & D) as per the pattern, I also marked the outer four right angle corners and finally their individual placement within the block (e.g on piece A, I marked the two inner sides that butted up against pieces B & C).

The hand sewing method requires you to draw around the template (which excludes the seam allowance) on to the wrong side of the fabric.  Then you cut out and at this point include a 1/4" seam allowance..... I must admit that I eyeballed my seam allowance and cut out using scissors.   I used a Frixion pen to mark.  None of this process is difficult, but there are a couple things to bare in mind........

Remember that because the shapes for the windmill block are irregular, you need to make sure that the template is placed right side down on the wrong side of the fabric.  This would not be necessary if for example, you were cutting out a square or a hexie where there is no obvious right or wrong way.

You also need to ensure that the template is placed allowing for the correct grain line of the fabric. On the Windmill templates I established this from marking the right angle corner on each of the four templates.  Effectively what is either the right or left hand side of each template i.e above or below the right angle corner (marked by the circle) is what I used to position in line with the fabric grain/selvedge....hopefully these pictures and the explanation below will help...

On picture one, you can clearly see the markings I talked about, but the placement is wrong because the template is right side up.

On picture two, the template is right side down (correct), but it has been placed without thought for the grain line of the fabric (wrong).

On the third picture, the template is right side down (correct) and has been placed allowing for the grain line...see how one of the outer edge below the right angle corner (in the circle) is running parallel to the selvedge.  I also allowed space around all 4 edges for the 1/4" seam allowance

The 4th picture shows the clear lines left by the Frixion pen which I used to draw around the template.  You want to be able to see these lines when it comes to sewing the pieces together.

On the fifth picture I've turned the fabric to the right side, with the template on top so you can see how the placement on the third and fourth picture translates once you have cut out the shape.  This also shows the added 1/4" seam allowance.

Sorry, I didn't take any in progress photo's of how I sewed the templates together, but you will find some very good instructions with photographs in the book.  Here's the finished outer cover before I quilted it.  I love how all the drawn lines match up.  If you have never hand sewed using this method, I really urge you to give it a go!

I pretty much followed the instructions word for word, my only deviation being to omit the inner case lining.  The pattern calls for the outer cover to be layered (windmill piece / wadding / backing fabric) and then once quilted..... (I hand quilted the cover using Aurifil 50 wt in a very pretty pale pink #2410) .... you then add a separate inner case lining which is what you effectively see under the pockets.  I decided to use the quilted piece as is and have my quilting visible from the inside rather than have this additional lining.

When it came to the pockets there were templates (minus seam allowances) provided for these too.  With the exception of Pocket C, which has the curved upper edge, rather than using these, for the pockets that were simple rectangles, I simply measured the templates, added on a seam allowance and used my quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut these out.
I couldn't resist adding a little fabric label which I made using a rubber stamp I had in my stash and stamping on to some linen. I ironed this to 'set' the ink and used light weight interfacing (Vilene L11 30) to turn it in to an applique.

I used a mix of Lecien fabrics from the shop, I love how all their collections mix together so prettily!

All in all, it took me a couple of evenings and a Saturday afternoon when I got home from work to make and every stitch was extremely enjoyable.  I can not wait to see what my fellow bloggers make, they're all so ridiculously talented.....here's the schedule which includes their instagram accounts and blog names:

23    Kristyn    @prettybyhand     prettybyhand.com   
25 Lisa         @aspoonfulsugar aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com
27 Sarah @prettyfabrictrims alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
30 Minki @zeriano      minkikim.com
1 Heidi @fabricmutt fabricmutt.blogspot.com
3 Clara @claralovestosew Instagram Only
6 Ange @alittlepatchwork alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com
8 Erin         @whynotsewquilts whynotsew.blogspot.com
10 Lauren @transientart transientart.com
13 Sedef @downgrapevinelane downgrapevinelane.com
15 Ayda @cafenohut cafenohut.blogspot.com
17 Renee @sewnwithgrace sewnwithgrace.com
20 Heather @vintagegreyhandmade vintagegreyhandmade.blogspot.com
22 Melissa @ohhowsweetco ohhowsweet.com
24 Greg @greydogwoodstudio greydogwoodstudio.com
27 Stacy @stacyolsondesign stacyolsondesign.com
1 Wynn @zakkaart zakkaart.blogspot.com

You can also search using the hashtags: #happyflowerquilts & #happyflowerqal

Oh and have you heard, there's going to be a Quilt Along starting on the 6th March  to make the uber gorgeous Sampler Quilt from the book.  The Quilt along is being co-hosted by Kristyn at Pretty by Hand, Wynn at Zakka Art and Melissa at Oh How Sweet .... so if you haven't got a copy of the book already,  go and get one...you will not be disappointed. (Don't forget friends, there are copies on my website HERE)

In addition, Zakka Workshop are generously giving away a copy of Happy Flower Quilts by Atsuko Matsuyama, to my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me 'what is your number one project on your wish list to make'......Big or Small I'd love to hear.  The Giveaway is open Worldwide until the 17th February 2017* . The winner will be announced here on this post, (I'll also try to contact you by email, so make sure is poss that you're not a No Reply commenter) so make sure you pop back and check. Good Luck!


The winner randomly chosen by my husband Andy is Kay who said:

I love EPP and am currently in the middle of making an EPP hex quilt in hexies, but I would love dot also make an EPP quilt with dresden. Thank you for a great giveaway. x

Congratulations Kay, please contact me with your address and I can arrange for a copy of the book to be posted to you!

I hope you enjoyed reading this VERY long post and found it helpful.  Thank you again for visiting!


  1. What a lovely blog Sarah! Very informative as usual :) I love the idea of a passport case! To answer your question, the item I'd love to make when I have the time is a wool bag with pockets for my current project that will keep everything safe and to hand! Places for my hooks, sewing needles, pattern, wool and stuffing for the amigurumi :) see you soon. Michelle x

  2. Muitos parabéns, está um trabalho lindo!!
    Respondendo à pergunta, o meu projecto nr. 1, na minha lista de desejos é um grande quilt para a minha cama, combinando técnicas e materiais diferentes!
    Vamos ver consigo cumprir o desejo :)

  3. Hi Sarah, I love your blogs, they are 'sew' inspiring, I would make a quilted bag with lots of pockets to carry my bits and bobs to my craft group using the scrummy Tilda Bumble Bee fabric !!
    Christine Gilenan x

  4. What a sweet little passport case. The fabrics are lovely. I like to make bags and get a kick out of makinf tiny things. I'd like to make a little card wallet, just big enough for cards.

  5. My number one project on my wish list is a "Storm at Sea" quilt. I even have a Pinterest board called " Quilty Wish List"!

  6. Lovely post! Number one on my wish list to make is a mini tumbler quilt. Thank you for an opportunity to win a copy of such a lovely and inspiring book too.

  7. I love the passport case you made, its gorgeous! Number one on my makes list is probably a nice little backpack/purse. I can't seem to find the perfect pattern though!

  8. Number 1 on my wishlist is to make Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest quilt. So far I have purchased the pattern ... It's a start!

  9. So cute- this looks a great book!
    I've just bought Elizabeth Hartman's 'Florence Flamingo' which I'm planning on making for my daughter!

  10. Love all the projects that I've seen from this book so far. Number one on my list of makes is an equilateral triangle quilt for my daughter's 18th birthday later this year.

  11. BEAUTIFUL POST! I'm working on a Baby Charity Quilt in pinks this week! Thank You for a great giveaway! msstitcher1214@gmail.com

  12. So pretty! My number one wish project is a polo coat. I have the fabric but I've been afraid to start! But having seen this, I have to say that making a passport cover is now quite near the top of my list!

  13. This is absolutely the cutest! Thank you for the tips on cutting the templates, I plan to attempt the QAL in March!

  14. My number one thing to complete is a long neglected farmers wife quilt I started. Hrobbins422@yahoo. Com

  15. What a helpful blog post! And I must say Sarah, that your passport case is even more delicious in 'Real Life.' Loved seeing it today. How difficult is your question though! How hard to choose! I think I have 3 quilts that have equal weight although in order of becoming reality they will probably be in this order * the Atsuko Matsuyama Sampler quilt * an Alison Glass quilt * Dear Jane quilt.

  16. Sweet project. When you go through customs, they'll be looking at your case and forget about the passport! lol I hope to finally complete my Farmer's Wife quilt. I hate to even say that it's started because I don't have much to show but EVENTUALLY I will have a quilt. :)

  17. My number one project is to make myself a Hunters Star Quilt. But I need a lot more experience quilting/piecing etc before I will be able to make one I am happy with. I'd love to win this book so I could have some sweet practice in all those areas.

  18. Lovely case and thanks for the detail on the templates. I'd love to finish my Green Tea And Sweet Beans quilt .... Sometime this year!

  19. Really like the passport case and would love to make one too. My number one project to make is the Farm Girl Vintage quilt, one day ...............

  20. I am steeped in UFOs but my wish list includes just about anything from this wonderful book and a Farmer's Wife quilt.

  21. I so love sweet projects like this! Just my style. I have hopes of making something this year with the Dresden Plate template. I've admired it for so long and really need to play with it!

  22. I hope to complete a Dear Jane quilt some day,maybe when I retire......

  23. Goodness: what a wonderful case youve made! Well done! Love it! My dream project is a paper piecing project. I am not particulary good at those and want to improve my skills. I have the pattern (Focal quilt by Carolyn Friedlander) and a fabric pull; now to find some time!
    cottonpaperflowers at gmail dot com

  24. Top of my list is a Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt.

  25. Love your little project--the book looks sooo charming! I hope to finish my Mrs. Billings quilt some day--it's been sitting idle for too long!

  26. Such a Beautiful Collection>Love your projects! Thanks for sharing!

  27. I love EPP an dam currently in the middle of making an EPP hex quilt in hexies, but I would love dot also make an EPP quilt with dresden. Thank you for a great giveaway. x

    1. Congratulations Kay, you're the winner of my Giveaway.....pop me an email to sarah@prettyfabricsandtrims.co.uk with your address so I can arrange for a copy of the book to be sent to you. Yay!!!!!

  28. I really would like to make my very own little sewing kit. I see so many lovely ones I would like to make. But, I don't take the time to make one because of working on other things I feel are more "necessary".

  29. I want to make a bed quilt for my oldest daughter. I'm overdue!

  30. My number one on my wish list is La Passacaglia quilt for me, but I have a lot of other things to make first.

  31. This is so beautiful. Your blog is amazing. Have a wonderful day!!

  32. Oh and to answer your question, I hope to one day make a quilt big enough for our bed along with the smaller ones I make now. Your creation is beautiful.

  33. Your passport case is so gorgeous. This book sounds like it is right up my alley! I would love to make even larger quilts than I'm making now. All of mine have been crib size up to extra large throw size. I've never made one big enough for a full bed, and that would be my goal. I have a machine now that can handle that.

  34. My number one thing to make is Lori Holt's Christmas quilt.

  35. What a great project, I love your passport case! I have nearly finished a quilt top for my daugter (using Lecien fabric) and the next thing I would like to sew is a sew together bag. Thanks for the chance of winning this beautiful book!

  36. Love your passport case! I have wanted to make a 'Tumbling Blocks" quilt for years!!

  37. I've been meaning to make a "whole hand applique" mini quilt for years now. But I'm not as good as I'd like for applique yet.

  38. I have a hand applique pattern that I've wanted to make for years and I still haven't taken the time to do it. Some day I will!

  39. I am collecting fabrics to make a "watercolor" quilt.
    flgirl1987 AT yahoo DOT com

  40. My top of the list, wish list is to start a Gypsy Kisses quilt. I'm trying to get the nerve to jump in with both feet! Lisa in Texas

  41. I'd like to make a weekender bag.

  42. Thanks for an oppottunity to win. I wound love to make the sewing case.

  43. I'd love to make a quilt big enough for my full size bed. I've only made smaller quilts.

  44. My dream quilt is to make a Dear Jane!

  45. I've always wanted to make a New York Beauty quilt

  46. The Chuck Nohara Blocks are calling to me!

  47. I would love to make a Dear Jane quilt. Thanks for your inspiration and the chance to win this fabulous book!

  48. I saw a strawberry mini quilt from this book on another blog. I love strawberry themed items and have many of them. I would love to make that mini quilt to add to my collection. Thanks for the chance to win this book!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo