About

Hi! My name is Miss Leela, welcome to The Maker’s Stash a humble little shop where you will find everything to do with the gentle craft of English Paper Piecing and Slow Stitching. Please have a browse through my range of papers designed and cut by me in my home studio. You will also find English Paper Piecing kits and patterns, as well as sewing notions. Be sure to stop by my Blog where I share musings and inspiration about my creative life and Slow Stitching.

English Paper Piecing is a traditional method of quilt making dating back to the 18th Century. It is a method by which fabric shapes are cut & tacked over a paper template. The shapes are then hand sewn together to form an array of patterns & shapes. This method of quilt making is thought to have arisen out of a need to make economical bedding and is believed to be of English origin. It developed as a way to use leftover scraps from other sewing projects or to reuse second-hand fabrics.

I believe that Slow Stitching Soothes the Soul. English Paper Piecing allows us to escape to a place where time almost stands still. The methodological nature of using hand stitches to connect fabric shapes together goes deeper than just creating a finished item. As we stitch we sew in our memories, each stitch represents a feeling or a thought in time. I invite you to join a community of Makers who embrace and enjoy this gentle craft. At The Maker’s Stash, I hope to pass on and share the tradition of English Paper piecing through the sharing of knowledge and joy.

I have been creating patchwork quilts & miniature patchwork artworks for over 10 years. My signature style is working in Miniature English Paper Piecing, a method of patchwork that is completely hand sewn. A desire to always have the miniature shapes I prefer to use in English Paper Piecing lead me to develop my own range of Paper Pieces. From my home studio in the Blue Mountains, I run The Maker’s Stash, designing English Paper Pieced patterns. I also make a range of handmade items and textile art that I sell.

I worked as an Interior Designer for 15 years.  Growing up I enjoyed many creative pursuits but it wasn’t until my early twenties that I discovered a love for patchwork quilting, & later on crochet, knitting, and embroidery. An only child to two creative parents, I thank my Mumsie for being my greatest craft mentor.

In 2018 I was honored to be featured in the book Flossie Teacake’s Guide to English Paper Piecing by Florence Knapp. I love being a member of such a giving & inspirational community of crafter’s.

If you would like to contact me please do so at my email address themakersstash@gmail.com

Thank you for stopping by, Miss Leela x

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The Polly Quilt

The Polly Quilt Pattern - English Paper Piecing Pattern - Miss Leela The Maker's Stash Patchwork QuiltI never set out to design a quilt, it just sort of happened. It certainly has been a journey, one that included a few months hiatus because I just didn’t feel like working on it. But that’s quilt making and English Paper Piecing. Nothing ever happens quickly, attention span waivers, the call of new projects and ideas momentarily distract you.

The Polly Quilt started with the ‘Polly Block’. Back in 2021 I started to plan work shops and Tutorials, hoping to finally take my knowledge and passion for this quilt making method on the road. A survey of what sewers wanted to learn came back with a common interest of wanting to know what shapes went with what.

Taking on board this request for knowledge, I started to experiment with the shapes of the Polygon family. These shapes include hexagon, half hexagon, jewel, 60-degree diamond and equilateral triangle. They are all members of the Polygon family because they are all made up of 60-degree angles. This means that they will all fit together in varying ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than starting with my customary hexie flower at the center, I used a jewel flower instead. Around this I used hexagons and half hexagons to form the middle of the block. I then bordered this now hexagon shaped block with jewels, triangles and finished it off with diamonds, thus making it into a large hexagon block.

My initial sample was made in half inch size shapes. I did this as I was thought I would turn it into an appliqued rosette that could be quickly taught and stitched in a 2–3-hour workshop. Once made though I instantly saw it scaled up and made into a lap quilt. So, I pulled out some of my 1930’s reproduction fabrics and made the block again, this time with one inch sized shapes.

And so, the journey begun, and I became addicted to making these blocks, raiding my stash of 1930’s fabrics. It felt good to actually use these fabrics that I had been collecting for years.

I knew I didn’t want to make a large quilt, lap sized seemed more appropriate. Once I had a few full-sized blocks made I started to lay them out and work out how many more I needed to get it to the size I felt was right. Then I worked out the half blocks, side blocks and corner blocks needed to square it off. Piecing the blocks together wasn’t as in cumbersome as I thought it might be, and the whole quilt stitched together rather quickly.

With the quilt top completely pieced it was time to work out what quilting method to use. I had chosen a black cotton gingham fabric for the back as it had that Retro feel that I thought would complement all the colourful 1930’s prints on the front. That led me to the idea of doing big stitch hand quilting in a black perle size 12 cotton thread. It was the first time I quilted in hand using this style of quilting and thread, and I have to say I absolutely love it! I think it suits the design and complements the fabrics really well. I was also surprised at how quickly I managed to get it quilted.

With the quilting complete it was time for binding. Continuing with the black theme I chose a black fabric with small white spot. Again, I thought it complemented the quilt top and would recede to the background and let the blocks pop.

Now that my quilt was finally finished it was time to nut out the pattern. Being my first EPP Quilt pattern, I was very daunted by the prospect of writing out the instructions and necessary requirements. Thankfully the Quilting community are very supportive, and I reached out to one of my Stitchy friends who read my pattern and gave me some pointers.

The Polly Quilt pattern is written for intermediate to experienced quilt makers and EPPers. Knowledge of how to do English Paper Piecing and putting a quilt together is required to be able to make this quilt. The pattern includes graphs for piecing the Polly Block and the Quilt together. There are also photo instructions where required, a quilting chart and a colouring graph if you want to plan out your fabric placement.

I filmed various stages of making this quilt and you can find a video of the process over on my YouTube channel or click HERE to watch.

I am immensely proud of this quilt, my first English Paper Pieced quilt I have designed. It was fun to stitch, and I know I am going to enjoy snuggling under it. For me, each stitch of this quilt now represents a large part of my stitching journey. It holds a lot of different emotions, as so many quilts do.

I hope that this quilt pattern brings others joy as they slowly and with purpose stitch the blocks together. It is a wonderful quilt to make for oneself to snuggle up under on the couch or for a child to sleep blissfully below, wrapped up in a sewers love.

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela

Find the pattern and paper template kit Here

Quilt NSW Exhibition 2022

I was super proud and excited to take my little shop to the inaugural Quilt NSW Exhibition at Rosehill Racecourse. This wonderful three-day event included the always inspiring Sydney Quilt Show, and it did not disappoint. The show comprised of a wide selection of quilts from traditional, applique, modern, and of course English Paper pieced quilts (always my favourite to see).

This year the Quilt NSW Guild decided to hold their own show and exhibition, bringing on board Craft Alive event organisers to help with the coordination of the show and run the vendor section. As always the Craft Alive team went above and beyond which resulted in a fantastic show with over 20 patchwork businesses setting up to sell.

I was there as soon as we could access the venue Thursday morning to set up my stall, a task that takes me all day. Unfortunately, that night I came down with a highly inconvenient bout of gastro! I could not believe my bad luck. I will not subject you to the details but let us just say I spent a lot of time in the bathroom that night and got little sleep. I had to be at the venue by 9:30am for Friday, day one of the show. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball in my bed and sleep!

Thankfully, my Mum was helping me on my stall for the three days of the show. I honestly would not have gotten through Friday without her. The first day also turned out to be the busiest day. We could not believe the number of quilters that streamed through the doors. Everyone was so excited to be attending a Quilting & Patchwork exclusive event.

Miss Leela & Mumsie Makes

I survived through most of the day, but by around 3pm I was getting very weary, and I am ashamed to say I had to lie down on the floor under my display tables for a rest. I was utterly drained! As soon as I got home that day, I said a quick hello to my family and then went straight to bed.

Saturday morning, I awoke feeling so much better and with a lot more energy, thank God! I felt so much more present for the rest of the weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone who came to my stall. It always reignites the passion for EPP in me when I get to talk with others who love slow stitching as much as I do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to put up a small display wall of all my mini EPP pieces and samples, my own little Mini Exhibition of sorts. I had many people admiring them, and naturally I received a few comments along the lines of ‘are you insane’ and ‘too tiny for me’! It was a wonderful source of encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing, and to follow my own slow stitching path.

I am so thankful to the Quilt NSW Guild for having me, for the support and encouragement that Sally, Brett, and the Craft Alive team have shown me, and for all of the wonderful customers that supported my business. Having my little shop really is a dream come true for me and it is the Quilt Community that make it possible.

And of course, I could not have done it with out the unwavering and unconditional support of my beautiful Mother. I would not be stitching today if it had not been for her. Thank you, Mum, from the bottom of my heart for everything xxx

The Makers Stash Booth Display

You can view the Quilt Show Gallery Here!

I am excited to let you know that the Quilt NSW Exhibition has been booked for next year and will take place at Rosehill Racecourse September 15 to 17. See you there next year!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela