A Flurry of Confetti Dots

I've spent the last few days working on a quilt for a friend's new baby that I'll be meeting over Christmas. I took quite a long time looking through the latest fabrics lines aimed at children, which was really lovely as it's years since I've looked at children-specific fabrics, but eventually I decided that none of them felt just right. In part because before I started looking at child-centric fabric, I thought that Karen Lewis' soon-to-be-released line for Robert Kaufman would be ideal, being both modern and juicily-coloured, and once I'd had that idea nothing else was going to be right. I considered not making a quilt at all, but then one morning I woke up and remembered that I actually had the perfect fabrics, tucked away in some sort of 'to make' / 'abandoned projects' basket at the back of a cupboard.

Nearly two years ago, on my 36th birthday, after going out for lunch, my husband asked what I'd like to do for the rest of the day, and I told him that I'd like him to be my assistant colour arranger. We planned out a quilt using a charm pack of Confetti Dots that I'd been sent by Dear Stella, supplemented with some of Dashwood's Flurry range, which has a similar feel, with randomly placed dots (do you see what I did with the title for this post now!?). Later that evening, my father came over when he got home from work and carried on helping me with the arrangement. This is where we got to (pictured below). I think I can honestly say that was one of my favourite days ever - sitting around chatting and having my family plan out quilts with me was my idea of heaven. The only problem was that at that time I didn't have a sewing room and people needed to walk on my design floor, so the next day I packed the triangles away and they were never made into anything.

So, with the fabrics having such good memories attached to them, I've really enjoyed getting these out again and playing with them all over again, omitting the pinks and purples to give it a more boyish feel. There must be something family-magnetising about these dots, because my daughter came in and started helping me to arrange the central area of blues and greens for an hour or so...

...and later that day my husband helped me plan out the rest. This time the central square is set on point and concentric squares radiate from it, gradually changing colour.

Even a design wall has its limitations though: you can see that we're actually falling off the wall at the right hand side! However, it's an awesome thing to be able to stick fabric onto a wall with no pins and have it just stay there. I'm currently in the process of taking one pair of triangles down at a time and sewing them together before returning them to their place and taking the next pair - it's a laborious process, but feels safer than using numbered piles where I'd worry I might get them out of order or sew them together along the wrong seam.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may spot a new ironing board! Did you know that if on a Monday evening you need a new ironing board and order it at 5.30pm, Argos actually have the capability to be at your door with it just two hours later! I was stunned and anything that stops one having to go into the actual shop is very welcome in my eyes. It's this Brabantia one and I found a 20% discount code which brought the price down a lot. The legs are more orange than the red shown in the stock photo, but I still really like it and it's very stable and the ironing space is huge.

For my mechanical Pfaff I have a straight-stitch plate which stops fabric being pulled down into the feed dogs when piecing begins with just a tiny point (as it does when piecing together two triangles), however, for my newer fancy-pants Pfaff I don't own one and my local shop don't have any in stock. I eventually tracked one down at Cotton Patch, but until it arrives (tomorrow! Thank you, Cotton Patch!), I'm using tiny scraps of Vilene's wonderful Stitch n' Tear, which completely solves the problem of the fabric being gobbled up. You only need the tiniest bit placed just beneath your first stitches. It's more time consuming, but better than mangled fabric.

I hope you're having a happy week in the run up to Christmas - I felt really delighted to have a few days to sew something so brightly-coloured and fun before my children are home for the holidays, although I'm quite a long way from finishing this, so I'm hoping I can actually pull it together in time.

Florence x


  1. I'm so glad you've gone back to this project and I love the new version of it! I'm quite envious of your new ironing board and I hope you got a new iron to go with it!

    P.S. I always use a 'thread saver' when starting and finishing - just a folded over piece of scrap fabric, and it saves thread, helps keep the ends of seams straight and, as you say, stops points getting eaten by the machine!

  2. Helen beat me to it. That's what I do too. Only I call it a stitch saver. I also leave my needle down in it when I turn my machine off or when I'm transporting it somewhere. Looking forward to the finished quilt.

  3. This is lovely Florence, the colours are so cheerful. I think your design board is fantastic, saves your back crawling on the floor. I'm trying to get a dress made in time for xmas, why I thought I needed it I will never know, but now I'm on a mission to get it finished. Enjoy xmas festivities. X

  4. Stunning and I love your wall. How did you make it, a genius idea.

  5. Your quilt is beautiful. I would love to to see it finished. Take a breath, enjoy the holiday and get back to it when you can.

  6. I love it Florence, and I also listen to This American Life when i sew. I go back through old episodes - it's perfect company for a day spent sewing.


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Florence x