Hey there! My name is Megan and I'm the sewing, pattern making girl behind Dolly Henry. This is my blog, where I share my own creative adventures and hope to meet fellow fabric enthusiasts. I also design and sell sewing patterns through my online boutique, alongside a beautiful collection of clothing and dolls. Thank you for stopping by!


Diary of a Newbie Quilter

I don't have a patchwork bone in my body. I've done a lot of different sewing but most of the quilt piecing techniques are foreign to me. And I have discovered I am poorly equipped in the tools department. I've got Strawberry Biscuit on my sewing table at the moment, doing some secret sewing. I tried to make a quilt block but with a mix of impatience and sheer ignorance (no clue as to what I'm doing), it didn't go so well and the poor block was turfed in the waste basket. I turned back to the comfort of garment sewing, and decided patchwork wasn't for me.

A day or so later, the acrylic templates I had purchased to make fussy cut hexagons arrived and what I had thought was just an indulgent purchase (I was doing fine with my homemade version and scissors) quickly made me realize that it wasn't - some tools are required to make your job easier, and produce a better finish. I love my new templates, even though I struggled with my rotary cutter around them. I also bought a glue stick because I'm not the most patient of people, and well hasn't that made things go a bit faster too! I am a glue-basting convert. I got mine from my LQS but incase you can't find one (I nearly didn't), I've put the link at the bottom of the post. (a glue pen, not a LQS)

Feeling much more comfortable in hexie land than I had previously, I sought out the opinions of trusted quilty friends, and from the good folk on instagram, on rotary cutters. I have been struggling with what I have discovered is a very blunt blade. The brand I have is Fiskars, and considering I never clicked with it, the blade has gone blunt lying idle for about five or six years. Olfa got many good recommendations and I have since purchased an Olfa Splash - because it's Aqua, people! - I can't wait for it to arrive. I will likely lop my fingers off because isn't that a danger when you are used to blunt blades or knives? I've been using my Sew Easy Quilt and Sew ruler for all my quilt blocks in case you were curious as to how this disorganised creature managed without the usual tools. I think I have slummed it enough and if I am to try to learn and enjoy this craft without constant frustration, a few purchases need to be made.

Incidentally, did you know bad patchwork blocks can be recycled into kind of fancy hexies? I scurried through my scraps and turned a poorly made quilt block into a fun hexagon - I feel slightly less guilty about the waste of fabric now!

I have SO so SO much to learn when it comes to patchy things. And an impatient, impulsive, independent creative spirit to match. Eeeek. It can be hard to go back to L-Plate phase. Why they say if you can sew clothes, you can quilt I will never know. So many terms are strange to me too. Like fabric pull. I had to learn that one! It means when you pull fabrics out of your stash for a project. I THINK. When you Google it, it means when you catch the thread on your fabric and how to fix it. So not the same thing. Or alternatively a fabric drawer pull, which brings up photos of fabric handles on drawers instead of the usual ones.....le sigh.

Speaking of fabric pulls, I finally 'shopped my shop' and got some fabrics out for me. I've been in the biggest fabric drought personally since opening the shop, all my love, time (and *whisper* budget) has gone into making my new business grow, kind of like a well-tended flower garden. Like a person on a diet working in a pastry shop, it finally got to me and I set some shop fabric aside for me. Just fat quarters. I was conservative you see. It's partly my customers fault - they put together such yummy combinations! Especially that red, navy and yellow one below. I changed it a little, but it was inspired by an order - and I love it!

I can't wait to get settled into some craft, as I explore this new dimension of quilt and patch-ness. I hope my adventures in crafting will inspire others to give it a go, who have long been procrastinating as I have or at the very least amuse you!

What had you stumped when you were a learner? Did you struggle with impatience?

Supply Details: Want to make hexies? Learn how to make them here. You can buy templates and the paper pieces here. And glue here. Strawberry Biscuit is available from the Dolly Henry shop. Helpful crafty friends can be found on Instagram - make a profile if you haven't, the community is lovely!


  1. They are seriously tiny bits of beautiful fabric made into hugely inspiring hexagons :)

  2. The fabrics you have in your shop are beautiful. The best thing I did a few years back was a Beginner Patchwork class that went for 6 weeks and covered most of the basics plus we made a sampler quilt.

    1. Thank you Linda! That sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately none of my local craft shops offer these kind of classes :-(

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