State of the Union 2018

No, not the Donald Trump speech mutterings of a madman but an idea of were Little Hippo Sews one year on.

Finished projects – Since this time last year….
The Crazy Ticket Quilt (that made it to the Scottish Quilt Show just last week)


2 Baby Quilts
My recycled hoodie quilt
A remake of my Harry Potter cloak for Halloween complete with a Liberty fabric lined hood.


…and I did enter Festival of Quilts but the less said about that the better probably. I do love my quilted frame but it wasn’t up to quality and it wasn’t displayed correctly.

Current projects –
The Quilter’s Planner Sampler Quilt – although I’m currently a month behind on my miniaturised edition. At the piecing stage.
My miniature bookcase quilt – now being hand quilted. It might go to competition or I might just pet it.
Grace’s Tree of Paradise – I’ve developed an obsession with Alias Grace (book by Margaret Atwood, TV show by Netflix; read it, watch it, you WILL love it). It has many quilt references including a tree of paradise at the very end which I’ve sketched out as a mini.
Tree of Life – An experiment with acrylic paint and quilting. Not sure where this one is going but it’s quite large scale and I would need to paint outside since I’ve discovered that a meter and a half square board is too big for the sewing room.

You have maybe noticed a trend there. (Not trees, that’s just a coincidence) I have developed a bit of love for the smallest of the quilt groups. This might be where my quilting goes for awhile. It’s actually quite exciting because I’ve been all over the place after my 3D creation ideas dried up a little. Sadly 3D creations can’t go very far and the world of quilting is so vast.

Social Media – Instagram isn’t so bad I’m trying to keep up with everything. Facebook is a little sparse but I’m working on that too.
Blog – Well that has been dire. I apologise. I will try harder this year.
Etsy – 1 sale. Shop in holiday mode. I’m going to bring it back to life this year by adding patterns for the baby quilts that I have made recently.

The Important Thing About Equipment 

I’ll let you into a secret….. You don’t need the most expensive gear to get a result. Really. I’m currently breaking in a replacement pair of walking boots. Cost £35. Okay, they wouldn’t be enough if I was going to the Antarctic but I’m not. They need to survive a bit of rain and probably a couple of muddy camps and they will do that. If I properly take up Munro bagging (that habit of all good mountaineers where it’s a proper challenge to climb every Munro height [over 3000 feet] molehill in Scotland [there’s 282 of them]) then yes I will invest in something maybe a little more robust.

The same is true about sewing. I started with remnants of fabrics and hand sewing. Now I have 2 machines and a stash of fabrics. When the west of America was still wild, women would make their quilts with fabrics to hand, some bought in for the purpose but also seed bags or feed sacks. I’m not kidding – Google books If they can do it so can you. Please don’t be fooled or put off by the amount of gear people have. Some of my most useful items are cheap or not even made with sewing in mind at all, like my squared jotter for creating the layouts of quilts. 

Believe in yourself and try.

I have a confession….

My name is Claire.

I’m 32 years old and have been sewing since I was a kid.

I hate the word sewist.

I am a quilter, embroider, an artist, a crafty person but I do not and never will call myself a sewist.

In all fairness it might be how it sounds in my Glaswegian accent but I really just don’t like the word. It feels too general. Be a tailor or tailoress, seamstress, quilter (or whatever branch of quilting you love – art, modern, miniature), embroider… Be whatever you want to be, there will be a lovely name for it and a band of people who will love you and your work. There is a converse to my argument saying that one word will band us together but to me I would rather be called something much more specific. I’m not much of a dressmaker and don’t want to take the shine away from those amazing people who can do a set-in sleeve. So why lump us together?

Apologies For The Radio Silence

I’ve been a bad blogger for the last 2 months (when I went off on a rant about craft fairs). It’s not an excuse but I have been busy…

My 2 Festival of Quilts entries for this year have consumed my time and as usual I have nothing to publicly show for it. Also I may actually be mad for attempting 2 – one for Quilt Creations and 1 for… well actually I can’t quite figure out what class this one will end up in. It’s either meant to be “art quilt” or “contemporary”. Mostly it’s a Claire special and has no real category. But it is flat so that’s a new one.

However something else has consumed my time – 

I took the plunge and have started Little Hippo Sews properly. The local agricultural show had space for more stands and I got in. It’s all very official now – I have insurance and everything. 

So I am available to teach sewing machine basics, hand embroidery and quilting. 

Hopefully you’ll see me out and about. I’m thinking of doing ‘make and takes’ next time.