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Owen Jones Quilt – Free Pattern

Owen Jones quilt

Owen Jones quilt

The Owen Jones quilt is perhaps wrongly named because I’ve designed this quilt very very loosely on an Owen Jones pattern design.  You can see what Wikipedia says about him:

Owen Jones (15 February 1809 – 19 April 1874) was an English-born Welsh architect. A versatile architect and designer, he was also one of the most influential design theorists of the nineteenth century. He helped pioneer modern color theory, and his theories on flat patterning and ornament still resonate with contemporary designers today.

Original Owen Jones design

Original Owen Jones design

The design that I began working from – as you can see the connection between this and the quilt is fairly loose!

Please don’t look at it and think it looks too complicated for you.  I have only used half square triangles, squares and rectangles to design the blocks.




The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used nine 16″ square (finished size) blocks. You need to use 3/4 yard each of dark blue and white with 1 yard of red and 1.1/4 yards of light blue fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Owen Jones quilt

2.7/8″ squares:  nine each in dark blue/light blue, sixty three each in light blue/white, fifty four each in dark blue/white

4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty six dark blue

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty six light blue

2.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles:  eighteen light blue, eighteen red

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above.  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 triangle units which are now 2.1/2″ squares.

You need to make these in light blue/white, dark blue/white and light blue/dark blue.

Make the central area of the block

Layout of the central area

Layout of the central area

I have shown the layout of the central area separately before the full layout for the block.

Place four light blue squares in each corner of this area.  The light blue/dark blue half square triangles are placed at the end of the fourth row and the beginning of the fifth row.  Everywhere else there are light blue/white or dark blue/white half square triangles only.

Rather than trying to list the squares individually, I think it’s best for me to point out the larger shapes within the area which can be used to make sure that the placement is correct.

The most obvious of these are the two dark blue diamonds within white frames and the two crown shaped dark blue shapes in the middle – the left hand one pointing upwards while the right hand one points downwards.  Running down the sides of the central area, there are two larger light blue triangles formed by placing two light blue triangles side by side.

When you are happy with the placement, sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Owen Jones quilt block layout

Owen Jones quilt block layout

Complete the Owen Jones quilt block

Now you can add the sides to the block.  On each side add first a red strip and then a light blue strip.  Place a 4.1/2″ dark blue rectangle above and below each pair of strips – so that’s four needed for each block.

Sew the long strips together first

Sew the long strips together first

Begin by sewing the two long strips to each other on each side.  Then you can add the dark blue rectangles above and below.

You should now have three columns.  Sew these to each other to complete the block.  You need to make nine of these.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Owen Jones quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Some of the blocks are rotated, which is what gives the quilt its deliciously complicated look.

In rows one and three place the blocks at each end with the red strips running from top to bottom, while in the middle block the red strips run from side to side.

Row two

Row two

For row two place the blocks so that the ones at each end have the red strips running horizontally while the block in the middle has the red strips running vertically.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of the red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom together with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Owen Jones 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:

Stitches 2017

Stitches 2017

Last week I went to a trade fair at the NEC.  It’s known as Stitches but covers knitting, papercraft and many other crafts.  There were lots and lots of fabric manufacturers there so it was a wonderful day.

This sheep really took my fancy – his body is made using something similar to puff quilting – isn’t he gorgeous!

Coxcomb Quilt Block Pattern

Coxcomb quilt block

Coxcomb quilt block

I’ve made the Coxcomb quilt block in traditional colours although I can’t help feeling that it should be made in red rather than green for realism.  It’s shown here as a 16″ square and is made entirely from half square triangle units in two different sizes.

Cutting requirements for the coxcomb quilt block

4.7/8″ squares:  six green, six white

2.7/8″ squares:  eight green, eight white

Make the half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Use all the squares to make half square triangles.  Place a green 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 which are either 2.1/2″ or 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the cream triangle and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central section

Central section

Make the coxcomb quilt block

I’ve shown the central layout first for clarity.  For this you need to use the small half square triangle units, laid out in four rows of four.  The first two rows and the second two rows are exactly the same as each other.  Place the triangles so that each pair of rows makes a larger green triangle pointing inwards at each end with a green diamond in the middle.

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

Coxcomb quilt block layout

Coxcomb quilt block layout

Now add the larger half square triangles to form the outer frame.  Place two above the central section and two below it, forming larger green triangles pointing away from the middle.

Make two columns of four half square triangles for the sides of the block.  Each one of these forms two larger green triangles pointing towards the middle.

Make three columns

Make three columns

Sew the patchwork pieces together to form three columns and then sew the columns to each other to complete the coxcomb quilt block.

Basic coxcomb quilt image

Basic coxcomb quilt image

Coxcomb quilt ideas

I have shown the basic quilt first, using four rows of four blocks.  I added a purple border just to provide a bit more interest.

With added purple

With added purple

Then I decided that more purple might make a better quilt design.  For this option I have two purple triangles to eight of the blocks to give that purple edge at the top and bottom.  Then I added one purple triangle to four blocks to make those two purple diamonds in the middle.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Temple Court Quilt – Free Pattern

Temple court quilt

Temple court quilt

For the Temple Court quilt I have used a very simple alternate block in the middle of the quilt and I think it has made a quilt that has a medallion look to it.  Although the Temple Court block is a stunner, it can be made with only squares and half square triangles.  Altogether I have used nine blocks which are all 16″ square finished size.

The quilt measures 52″ square, using 1.1/4 yard of light purple, 3/4 yards of dark purple with 1.3/4 yards of white.  The two purples that I have used are rather lovely dragonfly fabrics by Inprint Makower.  As ever, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the temple court quilt

8.7/8″ squares:  two purple, two white

4.1/2″ squares:  thirty two lilac, eight white

4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  sixty four white

3.3/8″ squares:  thirty two lilac

2.7/8″ squares:  thirty two each in lilac and white, with a further sixty four in white only

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty two lilac

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

You need to make half square triangles using both the 2.7/8″ squares and the 8.7/8″ 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 will give you two half square triangle units which are now either 2.1/2″ or 8.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.  Incidentally, in case you’re wondering – the seam allowances are pressed towards the darker fabric purely because then there’s less chance of the seam allowance showing through on the top of the quilt.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

This is really so simple.  Place the four large half square triangles in two pairs with the purple always towards the middle, forming a diamond shape.

Sew the squares together within each pair and then sew the pairs to each other.  That’s it – the central block is complete.  It measures 16.1/2″ square and you need to make just the one block.

Make the diamond in a square sections

Diamond in a square sections

Diamond in a square sections

The diamond in a square sections can be made with four half square triangle units if you prefer, but I prefer to make them by sewing triangles to the edges of a square.

Cut the remaining 2.7/8″ white squares along one diagonal to give two triangles per square.  Begin with a 3.3/8″ lilac square and place a triangle on each edge.  Sew these to the square in pairs – first sew the triangles to the sides of the square.

Add the remaining triangles

Add the remaining triangles

Press the triangles open and then sew the remaining two triangles to the top and bottom.

Trim the triangle tips that stick out in the middle of each edge.  These units are now 4.1/2″ square and you need to make thirty two of them.  If you did want to use half square triangles, you would need four hst’s made from 2.7/8″ squares for each unit.

Central area of the block

Central area of the block

Make the temple court quilt block

Finally we can lay out all the pieces to make the block.  Place a 4.1/2″ white square in the middle with a pair of half square triangles on each edge and a 2.1/2″ lilac square in each corner.  Note that the lilac triangles together form larger lilac triangles pointing away from the middle.

Temple court quilt block layout

Temple court quilt block layout

The outer frame of the block is now very simple.  Place a 4.1/2″ lilac square in each corner.  Between each pair of corners place a diamond in a square unit with a white rectangle on either side of it.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew the pieces togethe across  the top and bottom rows.  In the central row you need to sew together the pieces vertically first – into columns.  On each edge sew the rectangles to either side of the diamond in a square.  In the middle sew each pair of half square triangles together and then sew them to the central square.  Outside of this, sew the two squares and two half square triangles together to make a column either side of the central column.

Now you can sew the pieces together across this central section.  Sew the three rows to each other to complete the temple mount quilt block.  This is now a 16.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.

Make rows one and three with three temple mount blocks sewn together in a row.

Row two

Row two

In row two place the alternate block in the middle with a temple block on either side of it.  Sew the blocks together across the row.

Finally sew the rows to each other.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of purple fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the temple mount 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:

Winter sunshine

Winter sunshine

Last week I was very slow to reply to emails and comments – my apologies for that.  I was in Spain grabbing a few days of winter sunshine and my internet access was very limited.

I love walking along the beach – even in the winter I’m happy to walk ankle deep in the water.  I’m afraid I’m far too much of a wimp to actually swim in the sea at this time of year.

Bird of Paradise flowers

Bird of Paradise flowers

These Bird of Paradise flowers were a welcome surprise.  I hadn’t expected to see them so early in the year.

Indian Hatchet Quilt Block Pattern

Indian hatchet quilt block

Indian hatchet quilt block

The Indian Hatchet quilt block is a gorgeous four patch block but just requires a little concentration when you’re laying out the half square triangles.  Or keep your seam ripper handy – I needed mine a couple of times!  I’ve made it here as a 16″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the indian hatchet quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  four brown, twelve white, four yellow

4.1/2″ squares:  one brown

3.7/8″ squares:  three each in brown and white, seventeen each in yellow and white




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square right sides together with either a yellow or a brown square.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line. Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units which are now 2.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the yellow or brown and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central area layout

Central area layout

Central area of the block

I think it will be clearer if I show you the layout in stages, beginning with the central area.  The 4.1/2″ brown square goes in the middle of the block.  Place brown squares in two corners and white squares in the other two corners.

There are two yellow/white half square triangles along each edge of the central square.  The yellow triangles face the same way within each pair of squares.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Add the next frame of the block

Here the layout is again straightforward.  Across each corner place a yellow square with a yellow/white half square triangle on either side to form a larger yellow triangle at each corner.  Place two white squares between each pair of corners.

Indian hatchet quilt block layout

Indian hatchet quilt block layout

Indian hatchet quilt block full layout

Try and just concentrate on the outer frame in the photo.  There are brown squares in two corners with white squares in the other two corners – same as in the central area.

In the middle of each edge place two white/yellow half square triangles so that the white triangles together form a larger triangle pointing outwards.  There are two half square triangles on either side of these pairs.  I won’t try and describe how each one is laid other than to say notice that there are two brown/white half square triangles on one edge of two of the corners with one brown/white unit on the other side of that corner.  The rest are all yellow/white half square triangles.

When you are happy that you have all the triangles facing the correct way sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the indian hatchet quilt block.

Basic quilt image

Basic quilt image

Quilt ideas

The first image uses the indian hatchet quilt block only.  It does have some interesting features but I didn’t feel that it was a quilt that I was itching to make.

With 4 patch alternate block

With 4 patch alternate block

So for the second quilt I tried a simple four patch in yellow and brown for an alternate block.

OK, but nothing special.

With diamond in a square alternae block

With diamond in a square alternate block

Finally for the third option I tried a diamond in a square alternate block.  This is made with four yellow/brown half square triangle units.

Success!  This is the only one of the three options that I would like to make.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

Tea Basket Quilt Pattern

Tea basket quilt

Tea basket quilt

I’ve used a simplified version of the tea basket quilt block together with a simple diamond in a square block to make this quilt.  I’ve also added some blue to the block – you know how I like my blues!

The quilt measures 54″ square and I have used sixteen 12″ finished size blocks.  Fabric requirements are 1.3/4 yards of blue, 1.1/4 yards of brown, 3/4 yard of white and 1/2 yard of yellow.

Cutting requirements for the tea basket quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty two brown, eight blue, twenty four white

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in yellow and white, eight each in yellow and brown, eight each in brown and white

6.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in blue and brown

For the border you will need five 3.1/2″ strips of blue fabric cut across the width of fabric.




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour pairings listed above.  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 will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Repeat with 6.7/8″ squares to make 6.1/2″ half square triangle units for the alternate blocks.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Tea basket quilt block layout

Tea basket quilt block layout

Make the tea basket quilt block

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  There are brown 3.1/2″ squares in three corners, with a white square for the fourth corner.  The blue square in the second row is an addition that I made to tie in with the alternate blocks.  The yellow triangles form a butterfly shape across the white corner while the brown triangles form one across the diagonally opposite brown corner.

In the middle section, a brown square with two brown triangles form a larger triangle.  I think that this is a fairly easy block to layout because any wrong placements will show up quite quickly.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the tea basket quilt block.  YOu need to make eight of these.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

This block is even more simple – just four of the large half square triangles.  Place these so that the blue is always on the inside, forming a blue diamond within the brown square.

Sew the squares into pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  You also need to make eight of this block.

Assemble the tea basket quilt

Row one

Row one

The blocks are laid out in four rows of four.  Each row contains two tea basket blocks and two alternate blocks.  Row one is made with two alternate blocks in the middle.  The blocks at the ends of the row are placed so that the tea baskets point towards the corners.

Row two

Row two

For row two the alternate blocks are at the ends of the row.  The tea basket blocks are placed so that they point towards the top corners.

Row three

Row three

In row three the blocks are the same but the tea baskets point towards the bottom corners.  This gives you that X shape in the middle of the quilt.

Fourth row

Fourth row

Finally in the fourth row the tea basket blocks are at the ends, pointing towards the bottom corners.  The two alternate blocks are in the middle of the row.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the tea basket 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:

What a time span!

What a time span!

St Martins Church, Birmingham

The rag market in Birmingham is situated just below the bullring shopping centre.  So is St Martins church.  The other day I happened to look up and realise what an amazing time span was covered by the war memorial on the left, a glimpse of the bullring shopping centre in the middle and St Martins church on the right.

St Martins is a Victorian building, built on the site of a 13th century church.  It was originally the parish church of Birmingham and is a lovely calming place to visit.

The Bullring dates back to medieval times, but the most recent version of the shopping centre was completed in 2003.

War memorial and St Martins church

War memorial and St Martins church

The Tree of Life war memorial was dedicated in 1993 and remembers the blitz when Birmingham had to endure 365 air raid alerts and 77 actual air raids.

So much history in one place!

Star and Chains Quilt Block Pattern

Star and chains quilt block

Star and chains quilt block

The star and chains quilt block is a total delight and is easily made with just squares and half square triangles.  It is also known as rolling star and ring around the star, which are both very appropriate names for it.  I’ve made it here as a 16″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the star and chains quilt block

2.1/2″ squares:  twelve red, twelve white

2.7/8″ squares:  twenty red, twenty white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use all the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red and a white square 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 triangle units which are now 2.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red triangle and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the star and chains quilt block

Central section

Central section

I am showing the layout in stages for the sake of clarity.  The central section is made in four rows of four.  In the middle I have placed four 2.1/2″ red squares, although you could use a 4.1/2″ square if you prefer.

Place a white square in each corner with two half square triangle units between each pair of corners.  Lay the half square triangles so that the two white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle of the block.

The next frame

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Placement of the next frame is more simple than it may look.

Once again there is a white square in each corner.  Between each pair of corners there are four half square triangles.  Now these can be placed most easily by beginning with two half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Place these so that the white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing away from the middle – and also completing a white diamond with the white triangles inside it.  Once these middle two half square triangles are in place, it is more clear to see how to place the remaining two along each edge so that they form red stripes.

Add the outer frame

Full layout of the star and chains quilt block

Full layout of the star and chains quilt block

Finally you can add the outer frame of the star and chains quilt block. Begin with a white square in each corner.  Add the two half square triangles in the middle , forming a larger white triangle pointing outwards.  On each side of this pair place a red square and then another half square triangle.

As ever, it helps if you look for the larger shapes:  check that you have a star in the middle, four white diamonds around the star and larger white triangles in the corners and also just inside the corners.

Once you’re happy with the layout, sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the star and chains quilt block.

Basic star and chains quilt

Basic star and chains quilt

Quilt suggestions

For the basic quilt I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  As expected, this makes a lovely eyecatching quilt.

With added yellow

With added yellow

For a second quilt option, I tried adding a little yellow to each block.  This doesn’t make a huge difference to the look of the quilt, but I was pleased with this version of the quilt.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

V&A Museum Floor Tile Quilt Pattern

V&A museum floor tile quilt

V&A museum floor tile quilt

I have based the V&A museum floor tile quilt on the corners of a floor tile design in the museum.  There are many beautiful things to see in the museum, but I can’t help looking down at my feet wherever I go because there is so much inspiration down there on the floor.

I have simplified the design and also added some red to give some pop to the design.  I’m  hoping that I have achieved the aim of showing the blue square frame in the middle weaving over and under the grey and black strips.

You’ll be pleased to hear that this quilt is made with 2.1/2″ strips only – not a half square triangle in sight.




Original tiles

Original tiles

The quilt measures 50″ square, using sixteen 10″ finished size blocks.  Fabric requirements are 1/4 yard of red, 3/4 yard each of blue and black with 1 yard of grey fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the V&A museum floor tile quilt

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

The fabrics are all 2.1/2″ wide strips, so I have just specified the lengths of the pieces below.

Red fabric:  seventeen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips

Blue fabric:  sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips, sixteen 8.1/2″ strips, sixteen 10.1/2″ strips

Black fabric:  sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips, thirty two 9.1/2″ strips

Grey fabric:  sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 6.1/2″ strips, four 22.1/2″ strips, two 46.1/2″ strips, two 50.1/2″ strips

V&A floor tile quilt block layout

V&A floor tile quilt block layout

Make the individual blocks

Lay the strips out as shown.  The 10.1/2″ blue strip is across the top of the block, with the 8.1/2″ blue strip down the left hand side.  8.1/2″ black strips are placed horizontally above and below the central area.  The central area is made with a 4.1/2″ black strip on the left, a 4.1/2″ red strip above a red square.  To the right of these are a black square and a 4.1/2″ blue strip.

Sew the central area first

Sew the central area first

Sew the central area together first:  that’s the red strip with a black square in one row and the red square with a blue strip in the other row.  Join these two rows as shown on the right of the photo.

Add the black strips

Add the black strips

Now you can sew the black strip to the side of the unit and then black strips to the top and bottom.  Finally sew the blue strip to the left hand side and then the blue strip across the top of the block.

It really is a very simple block to make!

Make the sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

For the sashing, sew together a 6.1/2″ grey strip with first a blue square and then a grey square.

You need to make sixteen blocks and sixteen sashing strips.

One quarter of the quilt

One quarter of the quilt

Assemble the V&A museum floor tile quilt

Make the quilt in four quarters, using four blocks for each quarter.  Form one row with two blocks and a sashing strip between them.  For the second row sew together two sashing strips with a red square between them.  In row three place two blocks with a sashing strip between them.

Rotate the blocks so that the blue is always on the outside.  This is how you form the blue square frame weaving over and under the black and grey strips.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Make four of these sections.

Sew the four quarters together

Sew the four quarters together

For the the sashing between the quarters use the 22.1/2″ grey strips with just the one red square in the middle.  So rows one and three consist of two blocks with a grey strip between them.  Make the second row with two grey strips and a red square between them.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

Finally, for the border I have basically continued the sashing.  You’ll need two lengths of 46.1/2″ across the top and bottom and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the V&A museum floor tile 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:

Queues of people!

Queues of people!

Birmingham Back to Backs

Yesterday I went into Birmingham centre and was rather surprised to see crowds of people just around the area that I was visiting.  It turned out to be the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent.

There were huge numbers of people waiting to get in to the theatre – they were very good natured and every now and then there was a huge roar of approval, presumably when someone well known arrived.

 

Back to backs

Back to backs

The reason that I was there was to visit a place called Back to Backs, which was absolutely fascinating.  These are houses set around a courtyard, but each house had another one attached to the back of it.  They had re created the interiors of the houses to show how they would have been at various times.  For this they had used actual families that had lived in the houses.

The earliest was set up as 1870, when the houses were built.  So much attention had been paid to making the details accurate that it was a real treat to see them.  In the most modern house – around 1970 – a tailor had been the tenant and there was evidence of his sewing all over the house.  I really wish that I had been able to take photos inside the house to show you.  I saw two sewing machines – one the treadle type which I’m sure you have seen, but the other was even older than that.  It looked very big and bulky and really interesting.  Apparently this tailor was so good that people used to come to him from London to get their suits made.

Quilt As You Go In Sections

Quilt as you go in sections

Quilt as you go in sections

I made a quilt as you go in sections quilt just before Christmas.  I was in a hurry – because obviously I wasn’t organised enough to begin the quilt in October as I should have done.  The quilt design itself was really simple – squares of curtain fabric with a 1/4″ royal blue sashing between them.  The problem was that it was going to be too big to quilt easily on my domestic sewing machine, but I didn’t want to use quilt as you go for individual blocks because of all the hand sewing that would be involved.  I know it’s possible to machine sew the joins between the blocks, but I find that I get neater results if I handsew those seams.




Quilt top sewn in three sections

Quilt top sewn in three sections

Why quilt as you go in sections?

I could have made rows of blocks and then layered and quilted them, but I decided to try going one step beyond that.  I made the blocks up in several rows at a time so that I had three sections.  Each section was small enough to quilt easily and I would only have two long seams between the sections to handsew.

I need to add here that I had also planned a 10″ border, bigger than I normally use.  The individual blocks were cut 12″ squares, giving me 11.1/2″ square blocks.  So my first section was the top border and the first two rows of the quilt.  There are six rows altogether in the quilt.  I made the second section with the two middle rows of the quilt.  The third section consisted of the last two rows plus the bottom sashing.

Extra wadding and backing on the sides

Extra wadding and backing on the sides

Sew the top first

I layered each section with backing fabric and wadding extending out 11″ further than the blocks on each side, but just the normal inch or two above and below the sections.  That way I could add the side borders on later even though the top and bottom borders were already on.  Using normal quilt as you go, I machine sewed the three sections of the quilt together, but on the top only.  I wanted to add the side borders first before I sewed any seams on the wadding and back of quilt.

I sewed the sashing to the side borders

I sewed the sashing to the side borders

Finish the wadding and backing

At this stage I added sashing to the side borders and sewed them to the main section of the quilt.  Now I was ready to turn over and sort out the back of the quilt.

There were two long seams to hand sew in both the wadding and the backing, but that was it!  The quilt was almost complete.  I basted the entire outer edge of the quilt, trimmed the layers and added the binding.  This really was a super speedy way of finishing a large quilt.  I had managed to quilt manageable sized sections of the quilt but hadn’t had to hand sew great lengths of seam.  I would recommend this to anyone planning a large quilt.  I even gained enough time so that I could make a cushion to match the quilt.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Delectable Mountain Quilt Block Pattern

Delectable mountain quilt block

Delectable mountain quilt block

Once again, I chose to make the Delectable Mountain quilt block because I like its name!  It’s also a very pretty block and easy to make if you don’t mind making half square triangle units.  I’ve made it here as a 16″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the delectable mountain quilt block

2.1/2″ squares:  four white, twelve green

2.7/8″ squares:  twenty four green, twenty four white




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use all the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a green and a white square 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 which are now 2.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the green and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Outer frame

Outer frame

Make the delectable mountain quilt block

I have shown the outer frame of the quilt block first.  There’s a white square in each corner and just inside each corner there are three green squares placed as a two and a one.

Between each pair of corners there are two sets of three green/white half square triangles.  Place the middle two of these so that the two white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.  Then the correct placement of the rest of the half square triangles follows logically.

Delectable mountain quilt block layout

Delectable mountain quilt block layout

When the full layout is shown, the trick is to look for the larger shapes in order to make sure that the triangles are all facing in the correct direction.

The five white diamonds are an obvious first choice.  Then check that the four green shapes make crown shapes, forming the spokes of the central star.  As a final check, make sure that the overall white diamond enclosing the star is showing.

I had a slight problem in that I instinctively wanted to make those green shapes into diamonds.  This meant that I didn’t have a star shape and the big white diamond wasn’t complete, so it is worth standing back to look at these shapes to check them.

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

Basic quilt design

Basic quilt design

Delectable mountain quilt ideas

I became a little carried away with quilt designs for this block.  The first design shows sixteen blocks sewn together in four rows of four.  I like the way the triangles in the outer frame of each block appear to form sashing strips.

Add red to the middle of the blocks

Add red to the middle of the blocks

In the second design I added red to the middle of each block and a red border.

I think that this one is my favourite of the designs, although it would be a very large quilt!

Added sashing

Added sashing

Finally I tried adding red sashing to the second design, even though I had already settled on the second choice as my favourite.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

Cactus Pot Quilt – Easy Free Pattern

Cactus pot quilt

Cactus pot quilt

I’ve made the cactus pot quilt using two different colours for the block and some large white squares.  I feel that this gives a great feeling of space and freshness.

All the blocks are 12″ square finished size.  The quilt measures 78″ square and I have used 3.3/4 yards of white, 1.7/8 yards of purple, 1.1/4 yards of lilac with 1/4 yard of green fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the cactus pot quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  one hundred and forty white

3.7/8″ squares:  forty eight each in lilac and white, eight each in green and white, twenty eight each in purple and white

6.7/8″ squares:  twelve each in purple and lilac, two each in purple and green

12.1/2″ squares:  eight white

For the border you will need eight 3.1/2″ purple strips cut across the width of fabric

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour pairings listed above for the small half square triangle units.  Place a white square with either a lilac, green or purple square right sides together.  Mark a line along one diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Repeat with the 6.7/8″ squares which will give you 6.1/2″ squares.

Cactus pot quilt block layout

Cactus pot quilt block layout

Make the cactus pot quilt blocks

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  Place a large half square triangle in the middle.  There are two lilac/white half square triangles above the central square and on the left hand edge.  On the right hand side and beneath the central square place a white square and a purple/white half square triangle.  The four corners are all white squares.

Look for the larger shapes.  Note that the two lilac triangles around the top corner form a butterfly shape.  In the bottom corner the white square with two white triangles form a larger white triangle.

Sew the squares together across the top and bottom rows.  For the middle two rows you need to sew the two small squares together first and then sew them to the central square.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make twenty four of this version of the block.

Layout for alternate block

Layout for alternate block

Make the alternate version of the block

Lay the squares out exactly the same as for the block above, but swap the lilac shapes for green.

Make the block in exactly the same way.  You need to make four of this version of the block.

Assemble the cactus pot quilt

Row one

Row one

Lay the blocks out in six rows of six.

Row one is made with a green cactus at each end, two lilac blocks in the middle with a 12.1/2″ white square between the lilac and the green blocks.  Check the rotation of the blocks from the photos.

Row two

Row two

In row two there’s a white square at each end enclosing four lilac cactus blocks.  Again check the rotation of the blocks in the photo.

Row three

Row three

For row three you will need six lilac cactus blocks.  Check the photo to be sure you have all the blocks facing the correct way.

Row four

Row four

Row four is very similar to row three, but with different rotations of the blocks.  There are again six lilac blocks.

Row five

Row five

In row five the blocks are the same as in row two, but with the blocks facing in different ways.

Row six

Row six

Finally in row six you have the same blocks as row one, but this time the cactus in each block is facing downwards, two of them towards the left and two towards the right.

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of purple fabric.  Piece together two 72.1/2″ strips for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two 78.1/2″ lengths for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the cactus pot 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:

Postcards from the V&A

Postcards from the V&A

Last week, as you know I went to the V&A Museum to see some rather spectacular embroidery – as well as lots of other fascinating things.  The exhibition was called Opus Anglicanum.  I had a wonderful afternoon there and you can see some photos here.

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