New Sewing Projects! Witch Hazel Halloween Pattern Collection

New! The fun, co-ordinating Witch Hazel Halloween Sewing Pattern Collection includes three easy-to-make sewing projects, perfect for beginners and beyond, which you can stitch up for the kids, just in time for Halloween. There are spooky-themed, fabric party bags, a trick-or-treat tote bag and a quilted table-topper mat that can be used year after year!

Halloween Party Set 1

You could use any Halloween themed fabric you like or even try solid fabrics, in oranges, greens and black! I used these fabulously spooky designs from the Witch Hazel collection, by October Afternoon, for Riley Blake Designs.

This collection is a great introduction to bag-making, patchwork and quilting. I’ve designed the projects so that they are easy to follow, with plenty of full-colour images to guide you from start to finish.

If you’d like to make these fun accessories, the pattern collection is available in my Etsy shop: The Witch Hazel Party Collection

My First Bag Making Project in Quilt Now Magazine!

Excited to bring you news of my first bag making project for Quilt Now magazine! Issue 5 is in the shops now and I’m delighted that Katy Jones (editor) has featured my new Rail Fence Bag sewing project. Perfect for using up fabric scraps from your stash, this bag is sure to delight any little girl.

Rail Fence Bag Project by Susan Dunlop in Quilt Now magazine

Issue 5 is all about those scrappy bits you can’t bear to see go to waste! From little projects to big beautiful quilts, like this issue’s cover star, you’ll find it all. There’s a brilliant range of patchwork and quilting projects suitable for all sewing skill levels. As well as all the great projects, this month’s issue also has plenty of interesting reading and fabric eye-candy to get you inspired.

Issue 5 Quilt Now magazine

Quilting Tutorial: Cathedral Windows Part 1 – Preparing the Background Squares

I’ve long admired the Cathedral Windows quilting technique and was determined to learn how to do it. Well, at last, I’ve done it and I loved the result so much that I’m eager to share the technique here with you. If this is something you haven’t tried yet, I definitely recommend you do. It’s one of those techniques that appears really hard to do but, once you get to grips with it, it’s really not as difficult as it looks. Yes, it is time-consuming but it’s so rewarding.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial Part 1

Sneak peek of a Cathedral Windows panel I’ve made.

I used a cream background fabric with scraps of Liberty prints for the windows, which I just knew would make for a stunning effect (if I could complete it anyway!!). As you can see above, I did complete it and loved every minute of making it. So on with how to do it. There’s a lot of pictures but I felt this technique warrants lots of how-to images.


Cathedral Windows Tutorial 1These are the Liberty fabric scraps and plain background fabric I used, along with some prepared squares I did earlier.

To prepare the fabric squares: cut the plain fabric into accurate squares measuring, 10” x 10”. Then cut a piece of thick paper, measuring 9” x 9” – this will be used as a guide, see below, to fold over the raw edges by 1/2”.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 2Place the paper template onto the wrong side of a fabric square, leaving equal 1/2” gaps at all the edges. Fold over and press each edge of the fabric as shown.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 2Remove the paper template and fold the square in half, matching up the folded edges, press. Open up and fold in half again, the other way, press. Open back out.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 4Fold one of the corners to the centre point, press.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 5Fold the remaining corners into the centre and press. Try to do this as neatly and accurately as possible, ensuring that the folds butt up to each other and don’t overlap. Take your time, you’ll get quicker with a bit of practice.

SAMSUNG CSCRepeat the folding process, folding one corner to the centre point and pressing.

 Cathedral Windows Tutorial 7

Fold and press the remaining corners to the centre point, press. Pin through the layers to hold securely. Fold and press more squares in the same way.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 8Place two of the squares side by side and unpin the flaps next to each other. Pin them together.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 9Sew the flaps, along the crease marks, ensuring they’re aligned neatly.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 10Open back out and unpin the sewn together flaps. Stitch another square onto the panel, in the same manner. Add more squares if you want the row to be longer.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 11Press the sewn together flaps flat again. Make more rows of squares in the same manner.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 12To make bigger panels, join two rows of squares together: place side by side, unpin the adjacent flaps and pin together.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 13Ensuring they are aligned, stitch along the crease mark of the pinned together flaps.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 14Unpin the sewn together flaps and press them flat again. Add more rows together in the same way, if you want bigger panels.

Cathedral Windows Tutorial 15Hand-stitch together, all four points at the centre of a square, so they stay securely joined at the points only. Repeat with every square. Do the stitches small and as neat as possible. Once you stitched the points together, you can remove all the pins from the panels.

That’s the background panels now completed. I just made one small panel with three squares joined together and another panel with six squares joined together. You can make your panels as big as you want. I just wanted to start off small whilst learning this new technique.

See the next post CATHEDRAL WINDOWS PART 2 for how to add the prints and make the windows.

New Sewing Magazines, New Projects on The Way!

Many of you will know that I’ve been writing for Sewing World magazine for a few years now. Whilst I’ll be continuing writing new technique features and bag making projects for this fab magazine (I love it so much!), I’m delighted to let you know that you’ll soon also find my project contributions in the new magazines Love Sewing and Quilt Now!

Love Sewing magazine and Quilt Now magazine

Love Sewing magazine recently showcased my new printed sewing patterns with a full-page feature. This was absolutely fantastic for getting the word out about the new patterns, which I’m really pleased to say are proving to be popular through my own website and shop stockists. The response has been wonderful and I’ve just sent off second and third orders to some of these shops. Here’s the feature:

SusieDDesigns Printed Patterns feature in Love Sewing Magazine

Watch out for some of my new projects coming up in the next few issues of Love Sewing. Here’s a wee sneak peak of some of the fabrics I’ve used for them.


I’m also working on a project for an upcoming issue of Quilt Now magazine, which is a great new mag for patchwork and quilting enthusiasts. Again, here’s a wee sneak peek of the fabrics I’m using:

Fabrics for a new project for Quilt Now magazine

Watch this space, to see what I’ve made with these gorgeous fabrics and the upcoming issues the projects will be featured in!

Love Patchwork and Quilting – Review and Special Trial Offer

A while back, I spotted some trial issues of a new quilting magazine and really liked the look of it. So, I promptly signed up for a subscription offer. I’m so pleased I did! Now, on issue 5, I really look forward to the magazine dropping onto the doormat each month.

Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine review

Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine – issues 1 – 5

The thing that drew me towards Love Patchwork and Quilting was the fresh, modern look. I like to dabble in patchwork and quilting and would like to learn more, however I wanted something with a modern twist. As you know, I love to use vibrant fabrics in my sewing creations and I love the fact that the designs in the new magazine use lots of bright, modern fabrics in their projects.

As well as quilt designs to try, there’s also lots of new ideas for using patchwork and quilting skills to make a variety of craft projects too, such as homewares, accessories, toys and bags. There’s plenty of interesting projects to have a go at. If you want to take a break from sewing and put your feet up, the magazine offers a really good read too. It boasts regular features such as:

Love Life: shopping news – fabrics, homewares, accessories and more…

Stitching Notes: A monthly column, by the fabric designer Jeni Baker. Jeni gives amazing insight into the world of quilting and always has loads of interesting tips and advice to share.

Love Fabric: a round-up of exciting new fabric ranges available.

Feature: inspirational behind the scenes features, fabric designers, fabric shops, etc.

My Space: each month we’re invited into the work space of some very admiral fabric designers and sewists.

Techniques Focus: if you’re new to quilting techniques or still learning, a very useful guide is included each month. It covers all the basics and is extremely well explained.

Exclusive Subscription offer:

When I notified Future Publishing that I was doing a post about their fab mag, they very kindly offered a fantastic subscription deal to offer readers. So, if you’d like to see what all the hype is about, you can try the magazine out too. With Mother’s Day being just around the corner, this could be the ideal gift idea for a crafting/sewing mum.

UK Subscription offer + 6 monthly rates for overseas readers:
UK – Try 3 issues for just £3 when you subscribe today / USA, Europe and rest of world – special 6 month rates offer

Terms and conditions: This offer is for new UK/overseas print subscribers only.
You will receive 13 issues in a year. For full terms and conditions click here: Offer ends: 31st May 2014

Offer for North American / Canada audiences:
Try 3 issues for just $10 when you subscribe today

Terms and Conditions: This deal is for new North American print subscribers only. You will receive 13 issues in a year.
For full terms and conditions please email us at Offer ends: 31st May 2014

Subscription benefits:
– Make great savings on the shop price
– Receive a lovely FREE gift on every issue
– Subscription prices are inclusive of delivery
– Receive 13 issues a year
– Never miss an issue

Quilted Patchwork Cushion – a handmade gift

I had great fun making this patchwork cushion for my mum’s Christmas present. I took pics whilst I was making it, so that I could also show how it was made. I took the finished images once mum had opened up the parcel, so that I could convince her to be in the pictures too. So, outside we went to get some shots and here’s my lovely mum and the nearly as nice cushion…

patchwork quilted cushion

I used a layer cake pack in gorgeous red and yellow tones from the Simple Marks Summer collection by Malka Dubrawsy for Moda. Aren’t the colours just so rich and vibrant? My mum has plenty of cushions but I couldn’t resist making her just one more!

I arranged the squares into a layout I liked and took a photo to remind me how I wanted it to look.

cushion 1

To make the triangle sets, I laid one solid and one print square right sides together and drew a diagonal line from corner to corner. Stitched either side, 1/4” from the line and then cut along the line to get two triangle sets. I repeated this with the other sets.

When opened up, the seam allowances were pressed to one side – toward the darker of the two fabrics, so the seam wouldn’t show up on the right side.



I stitched the squares together to make each row, following the layout I’d planned, pressing the seam allowances to alternate sides so that they locked easily together when joining each row. The horizontal seams were then pressed to alternate sides.





I sandwiched the block with a layer of batting and lining, pinned together and did some simple machine-quilting – just some diagonal lines and some ‘in the ditch’.


I had a few left over squares which I thought would look nice as a border on the back of the cushion. I decided on doing a simple two part, overlapping cushion back. Once I’d added the patchwork border to the upper half, I added a layer of batting and a layer of lining fabric. I brought the lining fabric around the raw edges of the border to form a self-bound edge which I topstitched into place. (I’ll need to update later with a pic of the self-binding, as forgot to take one!!)


I finished off the cushion be placing the front and back pieces right sides together, with the two back halves overlapping each other and all outer edges matched up. The edges were all stitched with a 1/4” seam and then all zig-zag stitched to finish off the raw edges.


Look What Mum’s been up to at Quilting Class!

My mum recently began attending a quilting workshop and I was so impress with the blocks she’s been working on that I just had to share some pics with you. They are still work in progress but already looking so fab, I’m looking forward to seeing the finished results.

Quilt block 1

Quilt Block 2

Quilt Block 3

As well as sewing and quilting, my mum also loves to crochet. This is something I really must learn to do one of these days. Crochet went out of fashion for so long but I believe it’s now enjoying a massive revival. I can see why and I love all the different colours my mum has used in these blocks. I’ll update this post with the finished articles soon (no pressure mum!), so watch this space.

Crochet 1

Crochet 2