Festival of Quilts – Birmingham 2017

The Festival of Quilts has just finished in Birmingham at the National Exhibition Centre.  As usual it was a delight to visit – so many gorgeous quilts to see, so many interesting trade stalls to visit.

Festival of Quilts - my purchases

Festival of Quilts – my purchases

What did I buy?

I tried to restrain myself and not spend too much money.  But then I always say that when I visit quilt shows!  I have always admired the felt toy kits at House of Zandra .  I had already decided beforehand that I would treat myself there.  Dandy Dragon (on the right of the photo) was my choice and I can’t wait to make him up.

The fabric on the left was so bright and cheerful that I couldn’t resist it.  I did manage to buy only 1 yard of it, though.  Perhaps I’ll use it for something for my grand daughter.

Talks and workshops

Many talks and workshops take place throughout the days.  I only had time to go to one talk.  The talk I attended was given by Dawn Cameron-Dick.  Absolutely fascinating – showing her way of doing needle turn applique by machine.  I learned a lot from her talk and I’m looking forward to trying out her ideas.

The few things at the top of the photo don’t show up very well.  They are Christmas tree ornaments that I won on the Quilters Guild tombola.  Every year the Quilters Guild asks for projects from around the country.  This year they said they had been overwhelmed with support.  I was really pleased with the ones that I won.

My favourite of the quilts

My favourite of the quilts

Now for the quilts

The quilts themselves always form my first port of call – far more important to me than the stalls.  This year they were stunning.  This one was my favourite by a long way.  The photo doesn’t do it justice.  Everything about it was stunning – the design, the colours, the quilting.  It was just breath taking.

Beautiful colours

Beautiful colours

That’s not to say that the other quilts weren’t also gorgeous.

The colours in this quilt were amazing.  I know that I would never have the patience to make a quilt like this.

Teapot quilt

Teapot quilt

This quirky teapot quilt really caught my eye.  A lovely design and very clever as well.

Quilts with movement

Quilts with movement

Some quilts really gave the feeling of movement.

This wasn’t the only one, but it was definitely a hit with me.  You can just feel the wind blowing against these ladies.

Day at the beach

Day at the beach

This setup created a lovely scene.  Everything almost entirely hand crafted.  That’s the deckchair covers, the mermaid and all the extra bits and pieces on the floor.  It was a really clever installation and brought a smile to my face.

The Festival of Quilts 2017 was another resounding success.  Well done to everyone who submitted quilts and to all the people helping with the organisation.

Monkey Wrench Star Quilt Pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

For the Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern I have used only one block.  I have created the stars through variations in the colour.  Altogether I’ve used six blocks which are 16″ square finished size and three borders.  I’m rather pleased with this pattern.

I’ve made each block with a red and white four patch unit in the middle. Then I’ve added a series of triangles attached to the edges of the squares to build up the blocks.

The quilt measures 42″ by 58″.  I have used 3/4 yard each of white and dark blue with 1/2 yard each of light blue, medium blue, red and yellow.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the monkey wrench star quilt pattern

3.3/8″ squares:  twelve red, twelve white

4.7/8″ squares:  twelve light blue

8.7/8″ squares:  eight white, two medium blue, two dark blue

9.1/4″ squares:  four yellow, two dark blue, one medium blue

For the borders cut five 2.1/2″ red strips, five 1.1/2″ yellow strips and five 2.1/2″ dark blue strips, all cut across the width of fabric.

Make the 4 patch units

Make the 4 patch units

Make the four patch units

Sew a 3,3.8″ strip of red and of white together along the length.  Then cut this panel at 3.3/8″ intervals to make rectangles.  Each rectangle contains one white and one red square.  Sew these together in pairs with the colours diagonally opposite each other.  You can see this in the top right of the photo.

Cut squares along one diagonal

Cut squares along one diagonal

Add the first triangles

Cut the light blue 4.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to form two triangles from each square.

Add triangles to the square

Add triangles to the square

Place one triangle on each edge of the four patch unit.  Sew two opposite triangles to the 4 patch unit first.  Press these two triangles open and then add the two remaining triangles.

The progression shown in the photo runs from top left to bottom left, then top right followed by bottom right.  As you can see, you end up with a diamond in a square.

At this stage the squares measure 8.1/2″ square.  Make six of them all the same.  The blocks all contain this central area and then the colours begin to vary in the following frames.  For this reason, I’ve shown the blocks from now on in each row, two at a time.  I found that this was the simplest way to be sure that I had the right colours in the right block.

Cut along both diagonals

Cut along both diagonals

Blocks for row one – first frame

Cut the yellow, medium blue and dark blue 9.1/4″ squares along both diagonals to make four triangles from each square.

Row one next frame

Row one next frame

In the lefthand block of row one, place three yellow and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.  Place the same triangles in the second block, but note that they are positioned differently.  The central squares are placed so that the red squares run vertically within the block.  Now sew the triangles to the central squares two at a time.  Press the first triangles open and then add the second pair of triangles.  At this stage the blocks should measure fractionally under 12″ square.

Final frame for row one

Final frame for row one

Row one – final frame

For the outer frame of these blocks, cut the 8.7/8″ white, medium blue and dark blue squares along one diagonal only to make two triangles per square. On both blocks place three white and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the square.  Notice that the placement is different on each block – the dark blue triangles together form a larger dark blue triangle at the base of the blocks.

As before, sew these triangles on two at a time, pressing before adding the second two triangles.

That completes the two blocks for row one.  They should now measure 16.1/2″ square.  I find it best to sew these two blocks together straight away to avoid any confusion with the next blocks that you make.

Row two next frame

Row two next frame

Row two

Make the next two blocks for row two in the same way, but with different colour placements.  This time each block has two yellow, one medium blue and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.

Row two outer frame

Row two outer frame

Make the outer frame with two white, one dark blue and one medium blue triangle for each block.

Place the white triangles on the sides with the dark blue at the top and the medium blue at the bottom of the block.  Again the blues form larger triangles – dark blue at the top and medium blue at the bottom.

Sew rows one and two together

Sew rows one and two together

Once again sew the blocks to each other.  When you sew these two rows together you can see the stars beginning to form.  I think that you can see now why I chose to sew the rows together as I went.  It would have been terribly easy to muddle the blocks – well, it would for me anyway!

Row three next frame

Row three next frame

Row three

Make the next frame for the blocks for the third row with three yellow and one medium blue triangle on each block.

Row three outer frame

Row three outer frame

For the outer frame place three white and one medium blue triangles on the edges of the squares.  The medium blue together form a larger medium blue triangle and the white lies on the sides and the base of the row.  As ever, sew the triangles on two at a time, then press and add the remaining two triangles.

Sew the blocks to each other and then sew them to rows one and two.

At this stage the monkey wrench star quilt top measures 32.1/2″ by 48.1/2″.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used three borders to give a good strong frame to the quilt.  For the first border use 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You need to cut two lengths of 32.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border with 1.1/2″ strips of yellow:  two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally use 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue for the third border.  You need two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the monkey wrench star quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Athletics World Championships

Athletics World Championships

Thank you so much for all the kind wishes and comments that you sent me last week regarding my hand.  They really did make me feel a huge amount better!  My hand has improved enormously and I’m having the stitches out this afternoon.  I did as I was told and took it easy last week.  I went to stay with my son in London and watched the World Championship Athletics on two evenings.  The first evening it was weather for ducks but still very enjoyable.  The second evening was brilliant weather and a really exciting evening.

 

Double Arrow Quilt Block Pattern

Double Arrow quilt block

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Peaceful Evening Quilt Block Pattern

Peaceful Evening quilt block

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Old Indian Trail Quilt – Free Pattern

Old Indian trail quilt

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Re Upholstered Chair Seat With Piping

Re upholstered chair seat with piping

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Swallow quilt block

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Anniversary dog quilt

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Hummingbird quilt block

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