The Clip’n’Pincushion

Hello! Today I thought I’d talk about the inspiration behind the  clip’n’pincushion that was launched a few months ago.

Clip’n’pincushion by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

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To be honest, this mostly came about as a result of my lack-lustre sewing habits!!! I love using wonder clips as I find them so useful…do you ever use them? Mine are in constant rotation – holding thick layers of fabric together, keeping pattern pieces together for quilting and dressmaking, keeping blocks together in order whilst sewing a quilt top together, clipping binding in place……..the possibilities are endless!

I’m not quite so good at tidying them away as I go along though – tending to throw them in the vague direction of the box they came in. Then they end up everywhere (buried under fabric!) and I can never find one when I actually need it!

The clip’n’pincushion has a trim around the edge which is the perfect size for clips to be attached to, and the pincushion has enough depth that the clips are still easy to grab a hold of, and pins can go in without stabbing you in the finger when you pick the pincushion up!

For these samples, I used HSTs left over from previous projects, but you could also use any scraps of fabric you have lying around. I found a spare economy block and made a mini-version to use when I’m sat on the sofa/out and about. I love the ones that Tara at Wefty Needle made with her EZ Miter corner templates, and Kim at Persimon Dreams created with ‘Sew’ appliqued on.

Clip'n'Pincushion by fabricandflowres | Sonia Spence

Anyone who knows me will most likely agree that I’m terrible at following patterns and am always thinking of ways that I could tweak them or shortcuts to make it a little quicker!!!

All my patterns are written as Pattern Guides. Each PDF includes the standard step-by-step instructions and then at the back some ideas on how you could personalise/tweak the pattern, alternative instructions if for example (non-) directional fabrics were being used and also a space to write any notes or plan any changes. For this pattern, this means instructions on how to adjust the trim to fit any size pincushion that you would like to make.

If you would like to make your own clip’n’pincushion, you can check out the pattern in my Etsy shop here and if you have any questions then please do drop me a line!

Have a great weekend,


Today’s sky::: lots of blue sky and beautifully sunny!

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Gem Quilt

I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you one of the secret sewing projects that I finished a few months ago!

Gem Quilt in Issue 51, Quilt Now by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

It’s a foundation paper-pieced quilt and I cannot pinpoint exactly where my inspiration came from…..I was playing around with different block ideas one day and loved how the use of colours/shades of each of the sections could create completely different patterns within the one quilt top. And there is also something immensely about the preciseness that you can get with FPP!

Gem Quilt Pattern in Quilt Now, Issue 51 |

I quilted it simply with wavy lines – one of my favourites for adding lots of texture and bringing some movement into the structured design – and a simple line straight through the centre of the gems with a variegated thread to make it look like they were threaded on a string!

Gem Quilt Pattern in Quilt Now, Issue 51 |

I keep thinking that a quilt made with different colours for each of the blocks – or maybe a scrappy version? – could be really fun. Maybe I should add that to the to-do list?!

Gem Quilt in Issue 51, Quilt Now by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

It’s available now in issue 51 of Quilt Now, which is full of lots of other fun patterns too….that’s my reading for the weekend sorted!

S x

Today’s sky::: beautifully blue, again!

New Pattern – a pencil case for your notebook. The Notebook Buddy!

Today I’m sharing my latest pattern with you –  a pencil case pouch that can be attached to a notebook or planner with an elastic strap – the Notebook Buddy!

Notebook Buddy, Pencil Case, PDF Pattern, fabricandflowers

I don’t know about you, but I nearly always have at least one notebook with me at any one time, but trying to find a pen when I need it – and one that works! – is always the tricky part….

I’ve also been dabbling with bullet journaling this year to try and keep on top of the to-do list and stay motivated. I’m not the best at drawing though, so bought a few stencils to make my pages look a bit prettier but was then stuck with where to keep them, as not all notebooks have a pocket in them. And so the Notebook Buddy was born!

(PS – If you’re interested in starting your own notebook or bullet journal, I’ve been really happy with the eco-friendly natural cork notebook, pictured above)

It’s a slimline boxy pouch with a dividing pocket so that you can separate pens or have stencils in the back pocket and pens in the front, and an elastic strap so that you can slip it on the front cover of whichever notebook you’re using.

I was showing it to a friend and she commented how if it was a little bit smaller to fit a phone, credit card and maybe a couple of pens it would be perfect for carrying the essentials around at work, so I obliged and created a smaller version for that very purpose!

The Notebook Buddy pattern includes two sizes with full-sized templates – one for the office essentials and one for notebook list making/journalling – along with two different sized divider pockets. This means that you can mix and match the insides of the pouch to fit your exact needs. Full sized templates are included with information on how to make a patchwork version (if you’re using scraps or a directional fabric) or one main outer fabric.


The pattern also shows you how to adjust the elastic strap to perfectly fit the size of notebook you are using – A5 or A4. You can use one piece of wider elastic or a couple of bits of thinner elastic – you really can work with whatever you have to hand! And you can also have a play with some of the decorative stitches on your machine (you know, those ones that never get used?!) if you fancy making the strap more decorative.

I’ve also thought about leaving the strap off to make it a normal pouch, or may be used as a case for carrying crochet hooks and sock needles in? The possibilities are endless!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind the #NotebookBuddy – if you’d like to make your own, you can find the pattern here in my Etsy shop, and if you do make one then please tag me so I can see!

S x

Today’s sky::: beautifully blue and sunny!

Recent goings on!

Giant pin-cushions featured in Make Modern Issue 7

My word, the last few weeks have flown by! I always forget how little I get to do sewing wise over the summer. However, a few secret-sewing projects have now been published so it’s exciting to finally be able to show you these! First up are these giant pin-cushions that I made for a new-to-me e-zine, Make Modern Issue 7. It’s a really good read with lots of patterns, articles and a modern medallion Block of the Month. There are some fantastic contributors in there so I’m really honoured to have made it in too.

Colour Block improv cushion featured in Issue 14 of Quilt Now

Next up is a Colour Block cushion that is published in Issue 14 of Quilt Now. These blocks are a gentle introduction to improv and a great way of using up little scraps of fabric. There is also a scaled-down version of the block to make a set of coasters.

Colour Block improv cushion and coasters featured in Issue 14 of Quilt Now

Other than that very little has happened! There was the very exciting arrival of a new sewing machine which I had to have an immediate play on…..

Small zippy case

…I used some Cotton & Steel scraps that I had lying around to whip up this little pouch and took the opportunity to play with some of the quilting stitches. It was lots of fun but I felt like a new sewist trying to find my way around the machine!!!! Hopefully, once the kids are back to school (tomorrow!) I’ll get some time to play and get back up to speed.


Today’s sky – mostly grey with the odd splash of blue and lots of rain. Meh.

May in Sewing

Gosh, I’ve been gone a while haven’t I?! Things have all been hectic since Easter….daily life with the children seems to be getting busier by the term and I’ve been trying to sort some things out on the home front too. Slowly, slowly I’m making progress and you’ll hopefully see me around a bit more!

Jewelled Stars Quilt, Quilt Now Issue 11, by fabricandflowers

Probably the most exciting thing that happened this month was some secret sewing I’d done for Quilt Now being published and finding out that I’d made the front cover. I confess to squealing and jumping up and down a bit when I found out. Sooooo exciting!    

Jewelled Stars Quilt, Quilt Now Issue 11, by fabricandflowers

The pattern is foundation paper pieced (FPP) and is a great introduction to the technique – each star block is made up of four smaller blocks with just three pieces to each block and no tricky angles. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase bold prints – I really enjoyed getting to play with a bundle of Cotton & Steel and teaming it with some Essex Dyed Linen!

Quilting and Dressmaking projects by fabricandflowers

In other sewing news, there’s been quite a lot going on, especially of the dress-making variety. There was a sample quilt, a kimono using By Hand London’s fab tutorial, a Chambray Tova with a hint of Liberty (detailed here!) and some Wavy Coasters (you can find a tutorial here) for a commission. So enough to be keeping me busy!

Back soon,  

S x

Today’s sky: cloudy