About Rose

Making Pillowcases – Sewing Projects

Making pillowcases

Making pillowcases

Making pillowcases is incredibly quick and simple to do.  I don’t suppose that this project took me more than an hour.  It’s a great way to make pillowcases to tone in with your bedroom or to give as a gift.  Made in a plain fabric with some embroidery , they make lovely personalised gifts.

Cutting requirements for making pillowcases

I based my measurements on an existing pillowcase and cut two lengths of fabric – one 19″ by 30″ and one 19″ by 36″.  I used two different fabrics so that you could see more clearly what I did.  The pillowcase also now matches the duvet cover that I made a few weeks ago.




Overlocking on the edges

Overlocking on the edges

Making pillowcases

I began by serging round all four edges of each rectangle to seal the edges.  Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I realised afterwards that I should have left this to the end and then I could have serged two edges together.  Basically I’m so thrilled to have my serger working that I serge anything that sits still for long enough.

The story behind this is that I bought my serger machine a few years ago for £100 at Aldi.  I was busy at the time but just felt that it was a really good buy, so I didn’t actually try to use it for some months.  Then I went to a workshop to find out what I could do with the machine.  I found that there was a screw missing on the plate so the feed didn’t work and I basically couldn’t do any sewing with it.  All I really learned was how to thread all the different threads.

Fast forward some considerable time and I managed to find a small screw that would work, fired up the machine and am absolutely thrilled with it.  I wish that I had sorted it out ages ago.

One panel longer than the other

One panel longer than the other

Anyway, back to making pillowcases …  I turned under a small double hem on one short edge of each panel of fabric and sewed the hem in place.  Then I lined up the two rectangles, right sides together, so that the bottom edges of the two were in line with each other.  At the other end, where I had hemmed the edges, the blue rectangle was about 6″ longer than the red one.

Fold the blue rectangle

Fold the blue rectangle

I folded the blue rectangle down so that the fold was in line with the edge of the red rectangle.

Then I sewed the two long edges and the bottom short edge.  This creates a pouch.  Turn the pillowcase right side out and insert a pillow.  The folded blue fabric acts as an envelope so that you can tuck the pillow in to keep it in the pillowcase.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Moreton Hall Quilt Pattern – Stained Glass

Moreton Hall quilt

Moreton Hall quilt

The Moreton Hall quilt pattern is based on the outer walls of Little Moreton Hall.  When I showed you a photo after I had visited the hall, several quilters commented on what a lovely quilt it would make – and they were absolutely right!

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

I began with the stark black and white design that is common to Tudor buildings but then decided that I wanted some colour.  The addition of red and blue changed the look of the quilt completely.  Suddenly it began to look like a stained glass window.  I’m thrilled with it!




The quilt is rectangular, measuring about 47″ by 56″, using sixteen blocks which are also rectangular.  I have used 1/2 yard of blue fabric, 3/4 yard of white, 1 yard of red and 1.1/2 yards of black fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s Moreton Hall quilt kit.  Several people told me that they had trouble with the checkout process when they were buying fabric.  Thanks for alerting me to this – it has now been fixed and you should be able to use the Secure Checkout tab without any problems.

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Moreton Hall quilt

Black fabric:  thirty two rectangles 1.7/8″ by 12.1/2″, thirty two rectangles 1.7/8″ by 6.7/8″.  For the sashing and borders you will need twelve rectangles 2″ by 10.1/2″ as well as eleven 2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.

Red fabric:  sixteen rectangles 1.7/8″ by 9.3/4″, eight 2.7/8″ squares.  For the border you will need five 3.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.

Blue fabric:  sixteen rectangles 1.7/8″ by 9.3/4″, eight 2.7/8″ squares.

White fabric:  sixteen rectangles 1.7/8″ by 13.7/8″.

Shaping the rectangles

Shaping the rectangles

Make the first half of the block

Cut the red and blue squares along one diagonal to make two triangles.  Each block contains a triangle in two corners and the rest of the block comprises stripes of varying size and colour.

To make the stripes in red, blue and black, fold down the top corner on each end of the rectangles so that it touches the bottom edge.  This forms a fold running from the bottom corner of the rectangle to the top edge.  Cut along the fold.

I would recommend that you don’t cut the white rectangles until you are ready to place them – the cuts are different for the white and I felt that it was safer to cut them when I could see which direction the edges need to point.

Begin in the bottom left corner

Begin in the bottom left corner

Begin with a blue triangle in the bottom left corner of the block.  Add a black stripe cut from a 6.7/8″ rectangle.  Now add a blue stripe cut from a 9.3/4″ rectangle.

I’ve shown the blue triangles that I have cut off to help you see where the cuts were made.

Continue with a black stripe cut from a 12.1/2″ rectangle.

Add the white stripe

Cut the white rectangle

Cut the white rectangle

Now comes the white stripe.  Follow the photo and fold down the top right corner of the rectangle.  Fold up the bottom left corner of the rectangle.  Cut along the folds.

Place the white stripe

Place the white stripe

Now lay the white stripe in place.  The black stripe above it is from another 12.1/2″ rectangle.  Notice that the stripes below the white were all placed like a bowl with the shorter edge at the bottom.  Place the black stripe above the white with the shorter edge at the top, like a mountain.

Look along the left hand edge and you’ll see a (more or less) straight line which will be the left hand edge of the block.  From the black stripe above the white the edge starts to run across the top of the block.

Complete layout

Complete layout

Continue adding stripes – a red stripe from a 9.3/4″ rectangle followed by a black stripe from a 6.7/8″ rectangle.  The red triangle completes the layout for this block.

Sew the stripes together, beginning with the blue triangle and adding stripes.

The blue overlaps the black

The blue overlaps the black

The triangle overlaps the black rectangle.  This means that when you press the triangle open you will get a straight line across the seam.  The same applies on each seam.

Press the block and trim the seams to remove all the ends of triangles sticking out.  I had intended the blocks to be 8.1/2″ by 10.1/2″ but mine ended up measuring 8″ by 10″.  The important thing is to keep all the blocks the same size as each other.  You need to make eight of them.

Make the second block

Make the second block

Make the second block

Not being the brightest button in the box, I had planned on rotating the blocks to form the design – until I remembered that the blocks were rectangular.  So the second block is almost exactly the same as the first, but the stripes move in a different direction.  I’ve shown the two blocks next to each other so that you can see how similar they are.

I built up the second block (on the left) from the bottom right corner, rather than the bottom left.  Follow the triangle with the same stripes in the same order.  Just pay special attention to the white stripe.  If you cut this stripe so that the edges are horizontal rather than vertical you will end up with another block the same as the first.  I know because that’s what I did!  My seam ripper worked hard while I made this quilt.  You need to fold the bottom right corner up and the top left corner down.  Apart from that the block is identical to the first.  Make eight of these as well.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Moreton Hall quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Rows one and three are the same as each other.  Alternate the blocks across the row so that they form the top half of two red diamonds.

Lay three sashing strips between the blocks so that you have sashing between all of the blocks but not at the ends of the rows.

Rows two and four

Rows two and four

Rows two and four are the same as each other.  Lay the blocks so that they form the bottom half of two red diamonds.  Again, place three sashing strips between the blocks of each row.

Sew the blocks and sashing together across each row.

Add sashing between the rows

Add sashing between the rows

Join the rows with sashing

Cut five 2″ black strips to use as sashing between the rows.  These will be about 36.1/2″ long.  Sew one strip to the top of the first row, then one between all the rows and one at the bottom of the quilt.

Add sashing to the sides

Add sashing to the sides

In order to enclose the design fully, sew a 2″ black strip to each side of the quilt.  These will be about 47.1/2″ long.

Add the Moreton Hall quilt borders

I wanted a strong frame for the quilt, so I added two more borders.  For the first of these I used 3.1/2″ strips of red:  two lengths of 39.1/2 for the top and bottom and two lengths of 53.1/2″ for the sides.

For the final border I returned to the 2″ black strips:  two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the sides.  These measurements for the borders are all approximate.

That completes the Moreton Hall 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:

Llandrindodd Wells

Llandrindodd Wells

My travels this week took me to Wales.  I visited several lovely areas but for this week I’ll just mention Llandrindodd Wells.  I hadn’t realised that this used to be a spa town – although the name of the town should have given me a clue!  On my way to see the old Victorian bath house I came across a gorgeous small forest all set up with walking trails.  Beside one particularly pretty section with a waterfall these four chairs (the four Kings) had been set up.  They were designed by a local artist and they were a real pleasure to see – so fitting for their surroundings.

Jackson Star Quilt Block Pattern

Jackson star quilt block

Jackson star quilt block

The Jackson star quilt block is a beauty.  I’ve made it in blues because I like blues, although it is more traditionally made in greens.  It’s classified as an eight patch block and I have made it here as a 24″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the Jackson star quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  eight white, twelve dark blue, four light blue

3.7/8″ squares:  twelve each in dark blue and white, four each in light blue and white

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  four white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square right sides together with a dark blue or light blue square and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the blue triangles and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central part of layout

Central part of layout

Make the Jackson star quilt block

I’ve shown the central part of the block first, using two white rectangles for the central square.  You could use a 6.1/2″ square or four 3.1/2″ squares if you prefer.  On each edge of this square place a pair of light blue/white half square triangles.  Note that the two white triangles together make a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.  In each corner of this section place a 3.1/2″ light blue square.

For the first frame around the central area place a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles outside the existing light blue/white half square triangles.  Place them so that the four white triangles now form a diamond.  On either side of the half square triangles lay two dark blue squares.  Use this layout on each edge of the central area.

In the outer frame place a white rectangle in the middle of the top and bottom rows, with two white squares in the middle of each side.  On each side of these place a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles.  Place these so that the white triangles form larger triangles pointing in towards the middle.  Lay a white square in each corner of the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Jackson star quilt block.

Basic quilt design

Basic quilt design

For quilt ideas I have shown a basic Jackson star quilt using four blocks in two rows of two.

Alternate design

Alternate design

As an alternative design, I have used just one block but added three borders to it.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Cross Table Runner Pattern

Christmas Cross table runner

Christmas Cross table runner

The Christmas Cross table runner is very simple to make and I think it’s really beautiful – but I would say that, wouldn’t I!  I’ve used three blocks which are 16″ square finished size and added a red frame to it.

The table runner measures 18″ by 56″ and it takes 1/2 yard each of red, green and gold.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas cross table runner

4.7/8″ squares:  six red, six green

2.7/8″ squares:  twelve green, twelve gold

4.1/2″ squares:  six gold

12.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  three gold

2.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve green

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve green

18.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  two red

1.1/2″ by 48.1/2″ strips:  two red

You will also need rectangles about 20″ by 60″ in both backing fabric and wadding.  Oh yes – about 170″ of binding as well.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

You need to make half square triangles with both the 4.7/8″ and 2.7/8″ squares.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangles which are either 4.1/2″ or 2.1/2″ square.

Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Christmas cross table runner block layout

Christmas cross table runner block layout

Make the Christmas cross quilt block

As this is a simple block, I have shown the full layout rather than showing it in stages.  Place a 12.1/2″ gold rectangle in the middle with a gold square above and below it.  In each corner of this central section place a red/green half square triangle with the red on the outside.

Make the outer frame with green rectangles and green/gold half square triangles.  The top and bottom rows are made with 6.1/2″ green rectangles on either side and a pair of green/gold half square triangles in the middle.

For the sides lay down two 4.1/2″ green rectangles with a pair of green/gold half square triangles between them.

Sew the patchwork pieces across the row for all the rows except the middle one.  For this one you need to sew the two half square triangles at the ends together first and then sew the pieces across the row.

The block measures 16.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make three of them.

Add red to the sides

Add red to the sides

Assemble the Christmas cross table runner

Sew the blocks together in one column.  Sew a 1.1/2″ red strip to each side of the column.

Mark a curve on the corners

Mark a curve on the corners

For the ends of the table runner I chose to round the edges but you might prefer  just to leave them square.

Fold the red rectangles in half along the length so that all the corners lie together.  That way you make sure that you have the same curve on each corner.  Mark a small curve across the corner – I used a plate – and cut along the curve.

Sew rectangles to the ends

Sew rectangles to the ends

Sew one rectangle to each end of the table runner, with the curved edges at the ends.

That completes the Christmas cross table runner.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  This is done in the same way as for a quilt.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

I should add here that as there are curves on the corners I should recommend that you use binding cut on the bias but these are such small curves that when I bind it I will just use normal straight binding.

Here’s the video:

Trip to London

Wellington statue

Wellington statue

Last week my daughter managed to get hold of tickets for Live at the Apollo in London.  We had a wonderful evening and the next morning I took a walk around the Buckingham Palace area before catching my train back to Birmingham.  So much splendour!

The buildings are wonderful and I was particularly struck by how much parkland and greenery exists even in the middle of London.  Look at all those trees around the statue of the Duke of Wellington.

Wellington archway

Wellington archway

It was a sunny day and I couldn’t see the screen of my camera very easily so the photos of Buckingham Palace either show too much sky or too much pavement – but then I’m sure you’ve seen many images of Buckingham Palace already.

The English Heritage photo of the Wellington archway shows more detail than mine does – and it gives you the history as well.  Apparently it was built in the early 19th century and then moved towards the end of the century.  The archway is very imposing and again you can see the trees very close to it.

MakingDuvet Covers – Pattern andTutorial

Making duvet covers

Making duvet covers

Making duvet covers is easy to do and allows you to choose your own fabrics to match the rest of the room.  They also make quick gifts.  I’ve made a single duvet cover here but of course you can make any size – the method is the same whatever size duvet you are covering.

Making duvet covers – measurements

My duvet measures 52.1/2″ by 74″.  I have added 1″ to the width and 2″ to the length so I am cutting my fabric 53.1/2″ by 76″.  You can make any size cover – just measure your own duvet first.  I’m using crease resistant cotton 60″ wide so that makes it even more easy to make the cover – no piecing involved.

I have used two different colour fabrics – partly so that my duvet cover will be reversible and partly so that the photos will be more clear for you to follow what I am doing.  I have used 40″ of popper tape – most haberdashers will stock this, but mine came from Dunelm.  You can buy the kit for this single duvet cover here.




Sew pieces with wrong sides together

Sew pieces with wrong sides together

Sewing the sides and top

I’m using French seams so that there is no chance of any fraying on the inside of the duvet cover.  So begin by placing your two rectangles with wrong sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam on three sides – one short edge and both long edges, creating a pouch.

Press the seam allowances and turn the pouch wrong side out.  Using a slightly larger seam allowance, sew the same three sides together.  This encloses the raw edges within the seam.  Press the seam allowances.

Mark line 2" from bottom

Mark line 2″ from bottom

Making the hem

While the fabric s are still right sides together, mark a line 2″ from the edge along the open end of the pouch.  You need to do this on both fabrics.  Beginning at the side of the duvet cover, sew 6″ towards the middle along the marked line, sewing through both fabrics.  This will be the bottom corner of your cover.

Repeat on the other side.  You should now have a gap of about 40″ across the bottom of the pouch.

Turn under a double hem

Turn under a double hem

Create the bottom hem by turning the fabric up so that the edge of the fabric touches the 2″ line.  Then turn it up again so that the fold line is along the 2″ line and you have a 1″ double hem.  Make sure that you are only working with one layer of fabric at a time and do the same on both sides.

Popper tape

Popper tape

Add the popper tape

Turn the duvet cover right side out.  I find that this is safest, so that you can be sure that you are sewing the tape to the correct side of the fabric.  You want the tape to be lying along the hem on the inside (wrong side of fabric).

The popper tape comes in two lengths joined together by the poppers.  Turn under the end of the tape and pin one length to one side (eg red) and then do the same with the other piece of tape on the other side (blue).  Make sure that the poppers from one tape are opposite the poppers on the other tape so that you don’t have bumps in your fabric.

Sew the two tapes in place.  I began by using my normal sewing foot but soon had to change to my zipper foot because you haven’t got much room to sew around the poppers.  Even so, I still had a little bulge in the stitching around the poppers, but not enough for it to look untidy.

That’s it!  Making duvet covers really is that easy and I’m thrilled with mine.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Christmas Star quilt

Christmas Star quilt

The Christmas Star quilt is bright and cheerful and will definitely put you in the festive mood!  It’s small enough to be relatively quick to make but large enough to be useful as a throw, lap quilt or even on the festive table.

I’ve used 1.1/4 yards each of white and red, 1/2 yard each of batik green and metallic green with 1/4 yard of brown fabric.  The quilt measures 46″ square, using nine 12″ squares finished size with a Christmas tree border.

You can buy these fabrics at a discount by clicking on Christmas Star quilt kit.




Completed Christmas star quilt block

Completed Christmas star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas Star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  nine white, four metallic green

4.7/8″ squares:  eighteen each in red and batik green, eighteen each in red and white

2.7/8″ squares:  thirty six each in metallic green and white

1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four white and two brown, eight red

2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four white

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red square eight sides together with either a green or a white square and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This gives you two half square triangles which are now 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Christmas star quilt block layout

Christmas star quilt block layout

Make the Christmas star quilt block

Lay the squares out in three rows of three.  Place a 4.1/2″ white square in the middle with a red/white half square triangle on each edge of the central square.  Lay a red/green half square triangle in each corner with the green on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  This measures 12.1/2″ square at the moment and you need to make nine of these.

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.

Make the base of the tree

Make the base of the tree

Make the Christmas tree border

For this border I have changed to a different green – this one has a gold sheen to it, more like a decorated tree I thought.

For the trunk of the tree you need a brown square with a white strip on either side of it.  The simplest way to make this is by strip piecing.  Sew together a 1.1/2″ brown strip with a 2″ white strip on either side of it.  Cut this panel at 1.1/2″ intervals.  This creates rectangles 1.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ for the base of the tree.

Christmas tree layout

Christmas tree layout

Make half square triangles with the 2.7/8″ white and metallic green squares.

Place two half square triangles side by side with the green triangles forming a larger green triangle.  Lay the rectangle for the trunk beneath them.

Sew the half square triangles together and then sew them to the rectangle.  This creates a rectangle 4.1/2″ wide by 3.1/2″ high.  I was going to add a 1.1/2″ red strip across the top at this stage but then I realised that it would be far quicker to add a red strip after the tree blocks have been sewn together.

Sew the trees in strips of nine

Sew the trees in strips of nine

You need to make thirty six of the tree blocks and sew them together in four rows of nine trees each.

Add the first border

Add the first border

Complete the first border

Cut four 1.1/2″ red strips 36.1/2″ long and sew one to the top of each strip of trees.  Much easier doing it this way, isn’t it!

Sew one strip to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.  Remember to place them so that the tree trunk is nearest the quilt.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Sew a 4.1/2″ metallic green square to each end of the two remaining strips of trees.  Sew one strip to each side of the quilt.

Add the final border

Add the final border

The final border

As a final border I have used more 1.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Christmas 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:

Osborne House

Osborne House

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful few days in the Isle of Wight.  If you live outside the UK, this is an island off the south coast of England.  I took loads of photos and had great fun deciding which ones to show you.

Formal gardens

Formal gardens

In the end I decided that you would be most interested in Osborne House.  It was built for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 19th century and apparently they spent a lot of time there.  I can certainly see why!

Osborne House interior

Osborne House interior

The gardens and parkland were gorgeous – and the interior was exquisite.  Some of the rooms were completely breathtaking.  Funnily enough, they didn’t feel formal – I felt that I could imagine Victoria there with her children and grand children running round the place.

Big T Quilt Block – Free Big Block Pattern

Big T quilt block

Big T quilt block

I have made the Big T quilt block as an 18″ square.  There are quite a few blocks named T but this is a particularly pretty one in my view.  It is a very simple block to make and looks more difficult than it is.

Cutting requirements for the Big T quilt block

6.1/2″ squares:  one blue

6.7/8″ squares:  two blue, two white

3.7/8″ squares:  four blue, four white

3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles:  four white




Make the half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

You need to make half square triangles with both the 3.7/8″ and the 6.7/8″ squares.  Place a blue and a white square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.

This gives you a pair of half square triangles.  They are either 3.1/2″ square or 6.1/2″ square.  Press the seams towards the blue and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Big T quilt block layout

Big T quilt block layout

Make the Big T quilt block

The layout for this block is so simple that I’ll show you the full layout without any steps on the way.

Place the 6.1/2″ blue square in the middle with a white rectangle on each edge.

In each corner place a large blue/white half square triangle with the white on the outside forming the corner of the block.

Outside each white rectangle place two small half square triangles.  Place these so that the two white triangles side by side form a larger white triangle pointing in towards the middle.

In order to sew the block together, first sew the small half square triangles together in pairs and sew this pair to the white rectangle inside it.  You now have three rows of patchwork pieces which are simple to sew together.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the Big T quilt block.

Basic Big T quilt design

Basic Big T quilt design

Quilt Ideas

For the basic quilt idea I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  Considering how easy the block is to make, I think that the quilt looks satisfyingly complicated.  It’s a good one to impress non-quilters!

Alternate quilt design

Alternate quilt design

For an alternate design I have used a block made using half square triangles.  For these I made half square triangles from 9.7/8″ squares.

I think that this is one of the rare occasions when I actually prefer the basic quilt design to the alternate.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Hint of Colour Clutch Bag Pattern

Hint of colour clutch bag

Hint of colour clutch bag

I’ve made the Hint of Colour clutch bag using a technique that I think gives a gorgeous bag.  I’ve made it in various different styles before, but the clutch bag is probably the easiest of bag designs to show you the technique.  This purse measures approximately 8.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ and you can buy it as a kit here.

I’ve used 3/4 yard of pink fabric and 1/2 yard of black.  The pink is an Ebor fabric going by the delightful name of Sangria.  For the black I have used cotton canvas, slightly stronger than normal quilting cotton but just as easy to use.




Cutting requirements for the hint of colour clutch bag

It is actually best to make two of these at a time to save fabric wastage.

1.1/2″ strips:  nine pink, ten black

9″ by 20″ rectangles:  one pink and one wadding for each bag

One button and about 6″ of ribbon for each bag.

Sew the strips together

Sew the strips together

Make the striped panel

Sew the strips of black and pink fabric together along the length, beginning and ending with black.  Press the seam allowances all in one direction.

This is not only the easiest way to press them, but also makes the sewing much easier as well.

Cut this panel into two 20″ lengths.  You actually only need one of these 20″ lengths for one hint of colour clutch bag, but if you make a second purse at the same time then you can use up all the fabric strips.  The instructions following are for one bag only from now on.

Form the pleats

Form the pleats

Form the pleats

Place the panel with the stripes running vertically.  Working from right to left, grip the pink/black seam and pull it across to the next black stripe.

Pull the black across the pink

Pull the black across the pink

With your left hand, gently push the pink to make sure that it is lying flat.  Pin the pleat in place.  Continue down each stripe.

Pleat across all the pink stripes

Pleat across all the pink stripes

Basically you are folding the black stripes across the pink stripes so that only black shows on the top side of the panel.

You will need to form nine pleats, one to cover each pink stripe.

Sew a zigzag stitch just inside the top and the bottom edges to hold the pleats in place.  You need to sew from the right edge to the left edge so that you are following the folds of the pleats.  Otherwise you might find your sewing machine foot pushing against the pleats as you sew.

Zigzag lines across the middle

Zigzag line across the middle

Zigzag line across the middle

Here I have a slight problem because I had started out planning a larger bag.  For this I had planned one fold in the pleated panel, with a pink square added at the bottom to form the third section of the clutch bag.

However this gave me a bag that was too deep and didn’t look right.  I decided to fold the pleated panel twice and forget about the extra pink square.  Unfortunately the video and my photos had already been taken with a line of zigzag stitching across the middle.

What I should have done is added a line of zigzag 7″ from the bottom and a further line 14″ from the bottom.  This holds the pleats in place along the lines where the panel will be folded.  You will then have two sections of 7″ for the pouch of the bag and one of 6″ for the flap.

Press the pleats with a steam iron, removing the pins as you go.

Layer the bag sections

Layer the bag sections

Add the lining and wadding

Measure the width of your pleated panel.  In theory it should be 10.1/2″, but in fact mine was 9″.  This is because you lose a little width with all the folds in the pleating.  Cut a rectangle of wadding and pink fabric to your final measurements – 9″ by 20″ in my case.

Lay the wadding down first with the pink rectangle on top of it, right side up.  Place the pleated panel on top with right side down, so that the pink and the pleats are right sides together.

Leave a gap in the seam

Leave a gap in the seam

Sew around three and a half sides, leaving a gap to turn the bag right side out.  I have left the gap in the middle of one of the long edges.  It is easier to slipstitch the gap closed along a black strip rather than across the pleats in the short ends.

Trim the seam allowances and clip across the corners to reduce bulk in the corners.

Slipstitch across the gap

Slipstitch across the gap

Push the bag through the gap to turn it right side out.  Turn under a small hem across the gap and slipstitch in place.  Press.

Slipstitch the two edges

Slipstitch the two edges

Fold the sections

Fold the bag across the 7″ line to create the pouch of the hint of colour clutch bag.

Sew the two edges together on each side.  I tried to use my machine but there was too much bulk so I hand stitched the seam.

Fold the flap down

Fold the flap down

Fold the flap down over the pouch of the bag.  It should finish about 1″ above the bottom of the bag.  This is intentional so that there is room for a fastener.  I have used a button on the flap with a ribbon loop beneath it on the pouch.

The beauty of this bag is that it’s simple to make and just hints of colour show through the black, particularly when you have something in the bag.  You can use any colour combinations to match an outfit, but I think that you do need to have a good contrast between the fabrics for it to be effective.

You might be interested in other bag patterns on my free bag patterns page.

Here’s the video:

Thank you so much for all the comments and emails that I received with regard to my addition of small projects to the weekly emails.  I hope that this pattern has proved to be helpful to you.  It certainly could be made for a Christmas gift, which I know many of you are looking for.

Chateau Impney

Chateau Impney

And I haven’t forsaken the travel section!  The photo this week is of a hotel called Chateau Impney.  The building has a fairytale castle look to it and it is set in beautiful parkland.

I have admired it from afar for many years so I was delighted when a friend offered to take me there to have a look around.  We thought that we would have a coffee and then a walk in the parkland.  Unfortunately nobody seemed interested in serving us coffee so we had to make do with just the walk in the park bit – but it was lovely to have seen the chateau from close up after all these years of admiring it from a distance.

 

Making a Quilted Door Curtain

My new bedroom door

My new bedroom door

I’ve been making a quilted door curtain recently.  This probably sounds a strange thing to need to make, but when I moved in to this house I found many odd things.

One of them was that when I open my bedroom door it covers both the light switch and the radiator.  The door was hinged on the left in the photo.  If I had changed it to be hinged on the right then it would have bumped into the bed when it opened.




In order to switch the light on I had to partially close the door and reach behind it.  Probably not that much effort, but oh so irritating.  So that’s why I’ve been making a quilted door curtain.  I’ve removed the door altogether.

Strips of fabric

Strips of fabric

Making a quilted door curtain

The width of a door isn’t that much less than the width of fabric which meant that the actual quilt was simple to make.  All that I needed to do was just cut strips of fabric across the width and sew them all to each other.

I have some elephant fabric that is ideal for a row quilt.  I cut strips of each of the two different colours and used a matching plain fabric between the rows.  The door curtain will be visible from both sides, so I made two quilts exactly the same as each other.  Layering them took a little extra effort in order to be sure that they matched up with each other.  Usually my backing is larger than the quilt top, but in this case the two layers were exactly the same size.  Then I quilted and bound them to make a normal quilt.

Add curtain tape

Add curtain tape

Turning it into a curtain

When I’d finished the quilt all I needed to do was sew some curtain tape across the top on one side.  It really was that simple!  Now I have removed the door and have a quilted curtain across the doorway – and I can reach my light switch easily.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Batwing Quilt – Free Pattern

Batwing quilt

Batwing quilt

In the Batwing quilt I have used two very simple blocks to make quite a striking quilt.  I’ve simplified the batwing quilt block – although it was pretty simple to start with!

The quilt measures 49″ square.  I have used 3/4 yard of dark purple, 1 yard of light purple and 1.1/2 yards of white fabric.   You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

The blocks are all 15″ square finished size – five batwing quilt blocks and four alternate quilt blocks.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the batwing quilt

6.7/8″ squares:  ten purple, ten white

3.1/2″ squares:  five dark purple, fifty two light purple, forty eight white

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty white

For the border you need to cut five 2.1/2″ strips of dark purple across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a blue and a white square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units.  Each one is now 6.1/2″ square.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue triangle and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Batwing quilt block layout

Batwing quilt block layout

Make the batwing quilt block

Lay the pieces out in three rows of three.  Place a half square triangle in each corner with a white rectangle between each pair of half square triangles.  Check the photo to be sure which way to place the triangles.

In the middle row place a dark purple square with a white rectangle on either side of it.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

At this stage the block should measure 15.1/2″ square.  You need to make five of these.

Sew 2 strips

Sew 2 strips

Make the alternate block

For this block I used some strip piecing to save time.  Sew a 3.1/2″ strip of white and of light purple together along the length.  Cut this panel at 3.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles. These measure 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ and contain a purple square and a white square.

The alternate block is made of five rows of five alternating squares.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Use the pairs of squares together with individual purple and white squares to make the rows.

The first, third and fifth rows start with a purple square while the second and fourth rows start with a white square.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block. This now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the batwing quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  For rows one and three place an alternate block in the middle with a batwing block on either side.

Row two

Row two

In row two the layout is reversed, with a batwing block in the middle and an alternate block on each side.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Dark purple for the border

Dark purple for the border

Add the quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ dark purple strips for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the batwing 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:

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

A few weeks ago I went to Warrington for a meeting. On the way up I called in at Little Moreton Hall.  What an experience!  Apparently most architects are in agreement that the place should not still be standing.  The whole building is warped and the walls and floors have all sorts of curves and slanted lines that shouldn’t be there.  Walking across the floor of the upper hall could make you feel seasick it was so wavy.  The fact that it was so different from anywhere else I had visited made it a wonderful day.

Change of emphasis

Usually I send out a quilt pattern every Friday.  I have been giving this a lot of thought recently and I’ve decided that from now on I will send you a full quilt pattern every other Friday.  On the Fridays in between the project will be more general – maybe a bag pattern, something to make for a gift, or even an idea for a quilt border or quilting design.  I hope you’ll find this interesting and would welcome your thoughts on my idea.

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