Roman Pavements Quilt Pattern

Roman pavements quilt

Roman pavements quilt

The Roman Pavements quilt pattern arises of course from my recent visit to Rome.  It is not based on designs that I saw there, but rather on two blocks which both have ‘Roman’ in their name.  I’ve used nine blocks which are 18″ square finished size – the Roman Pavements quilt block and the Roman Stripes and Squares block.  The colours used are those of the Italian flag – red, white and green.

The quilt measures 58″ square and I needed 1/4 yard of light green, 1/2 yard of white, 1 yard each of dark green and red with 1.3/4 yards of medium green.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




 

Cutting requirements for the Roman pavements quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark green

3.7/8″ squares:  eight each in dark green and white, four each in medium green and white, four each in light green and white

6.1/2″ squares:  eight white

18.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen red, thirty two medium green

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two red, sixteen green

For the border you will need to cut seven 2.1/2″ strips of dark green across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations listed above.

Place a green square right sides together with a white square.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a seam 1/4″ either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  Press the seam allowances towards the white and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Central section of the block

Central section of the block

Make the Roman pavements quilt block

I’m showing this block in sections to make it more easy to check on the correct placement of the triangles.  Place four dark green/white half square triangles in the middle.  Lay them so that the dark green triangles are together, forming a diamond in the middle.

On each edge of this place a pair of light green/white half square triangles.  Lay them so that the light green triangles lie together to form a larger triangle pointing towards the middle.

Place a dark green/white half square triangle in each corner with the dark green on the outside, forming the corners of this section.

Roman pavements quilt block layout

Roman pavements quilt block layout

The next frame contains medium green and dark green.  Lay two medium green/white half square triangles on each edge of the central section with a dark green/white half square triangle on either side of them.  Place a dark green square in each corner.  Lay the medium green triangles so that the white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.

The dark green square with three dark green triangles together form a shape that looks a bit like an open envelope in each corner.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It measures 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make one only.

Use strip piecing

Use strip piecing

Make the Roman stripes and squares blocks

I’ve adapted this simple block to fit with my ideas for the quilt.  It is much more easy to make if you use strip piecing.  Sew together panels of 2.1/2″ strips of red/green/red and of green/red/green.

Make squares and rectangles

Make squares and rectangles

Cut the red/green/red at 6.1/2″ intervals to make 6.1/2″ squares.

Cut the green/red/green panels at 18.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 18.1/2″ by 6.1/2″.

Roman stripes and squares layout

Roman stripes and squares layout

Lay these strips out as shown – a green/red/green strip on each side with a central column made using two red/green/red strips and a white square in the middle.

Sew the three squares together down the central column and then sew the three columns to each other.

This block also measures 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eight of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Roman pavements quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are the same as each other, made with three stripes and squares blocks.  Place the first and third blocks with the long stripes running vertically.  Lay the second block with the long stripes running horizontally.

Row two

Row two

Make row two with the Roman pavements quilt block in the middle.  Place a stripes and squares block on each side of it, with the long strips running vertically.

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

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of dark green fabric for the quilt border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Roman pavements quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

Roman images

Roman images

Last week I promised you photos of my trip to Rome.  I’ve written them up as a separate article.  Click on Rome images to see the article and photos.

Visiting Rome – Italy – Photos

Rome wasn't built in a day

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Visiting Rome was a real treat.  It’s an enchanting city and I’m very aware that there is much more to it than I managed to see – after all they say that Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Visiting Rome

Visiting Rome

Rome was founded in 735 BC.  You must know the legend of Romulus and Remus – twin brothers who were brought up by a wolf and went on to found the city.  There is a square with a huge statue of the twins with the wolf, but I didn’t have time to visit it.  In those days it was an Iron Age hut village, but of course in later centuries the Roman Republic went on to conquer and rule much of Europe and North Africa.

St Peter's basilica

St Peter’s basilica

Vatican City

The Vatican is a city state within Rome, ruled by the Pope.  It was formed in 1929.  My hotel was near the Vatican City so I was able to visit it early in the morning and see it before the crowds had arrived.

First stop was St Peter’s Basilica.  The open square in front of this is the one where you see the crowds waiting for a papal blessing.  The building itself is one of those that overwhelms you completely – so much beauty to see.

Steps to St Peter's tomb

Steps to St Peter’s tomb

It is built over St Peter’s tomb and these are the steps (closed to the public) leading down to his tomb.  As you can see, they are right in front of the altar.

Within the Vatican Museum

Within the Vatican Museum

Vatican Museum

Next stop was the Vatican Museum, containing the Sistine Chapel.  Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of this room.  No photos allowed but it was absolutely breath taking.

Further on within the museum I came across this lovely sculpture in an open square.  I thought that the design was etched on the ball itself, but it’s actually cut into the ball and the dark bits are the inner ball.  Very clever.

Trevi Fountains

Trevi Fountains

Trevi Fountains

From there I made my way into Rome itself.  More by accident than design I found my way to the Trevi Fountains.  My sense of direction is hopeless and even Google Maps had trouble directing me there.  However it was well worth it when I eventually arrived there.  By this time there were loads of people around so I couldn’t get in close to the fountain.  Apparently you should throw three coins in the fountain (over your left shoulder).  The first is to ensure that you return to Rome, the second and third guarantee a romance and marriage.  I was content just to soak up the beauty of the sculptures and fountains.

Monument of Victor Emmanuel

Monument of Victor Emmanuel

Monument of Victor Emmanuel

The geographical centre of Rome is the Piazza Venezia.  This is dominated by the Monument of Victor Emmanuel.  It was only completed in 1925 so in Roman terms is relatively modern.  It’s built in white marble.  I thought it was beautiful but apparently it’s known locally as the typewriter building!

It would have been easy to spend a whole day exploring this square but I didn’t have the time.

 

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

The Colosseum is of course very much part of ancient Rome.  I didn’t take any photos of the outside because there are thousands of those photos all over the internet.  Instead I’ve chosen this photo of the interior to show you.  I was absolutely fascinated by the warren of rooms and corridors which lay underneath the arena.  This was where the gladiators, lions and prisoners were housed before they appeared in the arena.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

Visiting Rome is such a treat because wherever you go you keep happening upon wonderful squares of great beauty.  Piazza Navona was one square that Google Maps and I happened on by accident.

It is actually one of the best known squares in Rome with fountains, statues and sculptures all over.  I rather liked this seagull perched on the head of one of the sculptures.  It was easier to get close to him than to the Bernini fountain which dominates the square.

Quilt inspiration

Quilt inspiration

Quilt Inspiration

Obviously visiting Rome provided mountains of ideas for quilts.  This is actually a floor tile design but it would make a gorgeous stained glass quilt – one day!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

I’ve made up a small video of some of the places I visited in Rome:

 

Sewing Curved Seams – Drunkards Path Cushion

Drunkards path cushion cover

Drunkards path cushion cover

Sewing curved seams worries many quilters, but it really only takes a bit of care.  You need to sew the seam slowly and adjust the fabric as you go.  I find this easier than coping with lots of pins all along the seam.

This Drunkards Path cushion cover is an ideal way to try sewing curved seams as you only need to make four of the blocks.  In this tutorial I have also used a very simple method of making an envelope closing for the cushion cover.

You can buy the fabrics that I used at a discount in this week’s special offer.




 

Cutting requirements for the Drunkards Path quilt block

You can download the templates here – or you can find many templates on the internet.

Four of the squared off template in lilac.

Two purple and two green of the wedge templates.

Cut two 2.1/2″ green strips across the width of fabric and one 18″ green strip across the width of fabric.

Lay the pieces in position

Lay the pieces in position

Pin the ends before sewing curved seams

Place one of each shape next to each other, both with right side up.  This will help you to be sure that you are sewing along the correct seam.  In the photo the purple is just placed in position while the green one shows the completed block.

Flip the purple wedge so that it is right sides together with the lilac shape.  You need to pin at each end of the curved seam.  If you look at the shapes as they are in the first  photo you can see where the purple edge along the top will form a straight line with the lilac.

Pin the ends only

Pin the ends only

So pin the purple to the lilac along that straight edge as shown in the left hand part of the photo.  Repeat at the other end of the curve.  Those are the only pins that I use because I find that I can adjust the fabric as I’m sewing curved seams without too many pins getting in the way.

Begin sewing the curved seam

Begin sewing the curved seam

Sewing curved seams

Begin sewing at one end, making sure that it is the curved seam that you are sewing along.  You will find on the internet some people saying you must have the lilac shape on top and others saying that you must have the purple shape on top.  I find it easiest to sew with the lilac shape on top, but I prefer to say to you try both and see which way you find easiest.

Keep the fabrics lined up

Keep the fabrics lined up

So, back to sewing curved seams.  Do a few stitches and then stop so that you can adjust the fabrics.  Line up the fabrics to be in line about an inch or two along the seam.  Put your finger on this point and then with your other hand gently ease the purple fabric to the left so that it is in line with the lilac fabric.  Sew that inch or so along the seam then stop and repeat the process.  Smooth the lilac fabric so that it is always lying flat – that’s why I find it easiest to have the lilac on top.

Continue along the seam until you reach the other end which is pinned.  I have described this procedure as best I can, but I think that this is one of those occasions when the video will help (link given at the bottom of the page).

Make small clips into the seam allowance, taking care not to cut the stitches.  This will help your block to lie flat.  Press with the seam allowance towards the lilac section.  Make two in green and two in purple.

Lay the blocks to form a circle

Lay the blocks to form a circle

Assemble the Drunkards Path cushion cover

Lay the blocks out in two rows of two so that the green and purple wedges form a circle.  There are loads of ways of varying the placement to give different designs, but I have gone with this simple placement for the cushion.

Sew the pairs of blocks together.  The important thing is to match up the seam allowances to form a smooth circle.  Match these seams first and then sew the seams.

Finally sew the two pairs of blocks to each other, again matching the seam allowances at the ends of the curved seams.

Add the border

Add the border

I’ve added 2.1/2″ strips of green to form a frame around the blocks.  For mine I used two strips of 14″ for the top and bottom with two strips of 18″ for the sides.

Before you do this, measure your block.  The template that I used had 7″ sides but I have a feeling that if you use my templates they do not print to the same size.  It doesn’t actually matter:  as long as all four of your blocks are the same size as each other, your blocks will form the circle.

For your border, measure the sides of the block, then cut two strips of that length for the top and bottom and two lengths 4″ longer for the sides.

Lay the quilt block on the backing

Lay the quilt block on the backing

Making the cushion backing

I haven’t used a zip to complete this cushion cover.  Instead I have used the most simple method for making an envelope closure that I know.  It also provides a lining for the front of the cushion to protect the seam allowances.

Take the 18″ width of green fabric and turn under a small double seam at each short end.  These will be the edges of the envelop closing.  Lay the strip with right side up.

Place the drunkards path quilt block exactly in the middle of the green strip, also with right side up.  Fold the bottom of the green strip up over the top of the quilt block.  The bottom of the quilt block should lie along the fold line.

Fold the top down

Fold the top down

Now fold the top of the green strip down.  The top of the quilt block should lie along the top fold line.  The end of the top of the backing will overlap the bottom edge by about six inches.  This provides the opening for you to insert a cushion pad.  The quilt block is completely enclosed within the backing strip.

Back of the cushion

Back of the cushion

The advantage of using this method is that you now also have a layer of fabric backing the drunkards path quilt block, protecting the seam allowances.

Line up all the edges of the fabrics and pin in place.  Sew all round the edge of the square.  I tend to use quite a large seam – about 1/2″ or 3/4″ – so that I can be sure that all layers of fabric will be caught in the seam.

Turn the project right side out through the gap in the back, check that all the layers of fabric were caught in the seam and insert a cushion pad.

I hope that this simple project will show you that sewing curved seams is not difficult.  Sew the seam slowly and try a project like this with fairly large blocks first before tackling one with small curved seams.

Here’s the video:

St Pete's Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica

Last month I managed a flying visit to Rome.  What a breathtaking city it is!  I haven’t had time to sort out all the photos yet, but I hope that I’ll be able to bring them to you next Friday.

Oslo Norwegian Quilt – Free Pattern

Oslo Norwegian quilt

Oslo Norwegian quilt

I made the Oslo Norwegian quilt based on my recent travels.  The block for the central part of the quilt comes from a floor tile design that I saw in Oslo Cathedral.  It measures 76″ square.

Original tile pattern

Original tile pattern

I wanted to brighten up the design and make it fresh and cheerful for the beginning of the New Year so I have surrounded  the central area with diamond frames in blue and red together with lots and lots of white.  It’s a large quilt, but the individual blocks are very easy to make.

I’ve used sixteen blocks which are all 18″ square finished size. In order to make the quilt I needed 1 yard each of dark blue and red, 1.1/2 yards of light blue and 3 yards of white.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  I’m also holding a sale throughout the next seven days – details at the bottom of the page.




 

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Oslo Norwegian quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  one hundred and thirty six light blue, twenty four white, seventy two red – these can be made with strip piecing, so don’t cut them till you’ve read the pattern

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen dark blue, sixteen red, eight light blue, forty white

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

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty four white

12.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty four white

For the border you will to cut eight 2.1/2″ dark blue strips across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square with either a dark blue, light blue or red square, right sides together.

Mark a line along one 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 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the coloured fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central area of the Oslo quilt block

Central area of the Oslo quilt block

Make the Oslo quilt block

For the central area of this block, you need to place four light blue/white half square triangles together to make a four patch unit.  Place them so that the blue is always in the middle, creating a blue diamond in a white square.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Make the frame around this area using light blue squares in the corners with a pair of red/white half square triangles on each edge of the central area.  Place these so that the white triangles form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.

Oslo quilt block layout

Oslo quilt block layout

The outer frame of the Oslo block is very simple.  Place a 6.1/2″ white rectangle on either side of a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles.  This is the same in rows one and six, but note that the blue triangles always point away from the middle.

Down the sides place a white square either side of two dark blue/white half square triangles.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Oslo quilt block.  It now measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Use strip piecing

Use strip piecing

Make the alternate quilt block

For this block I have used strip piecing for speed.  Sew together a 3.1/2″ strip of light blue and red fabrics to make one panel.  Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of light blue, red, light blue to make the second panel.

Cut these panels at 3.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles consisting of either two or three squares.  These are 3.1/2″ wide by either 6.1/2″ or 9.1/2″ long.

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

Lay the sections out for the alternate block in six rows.

The first and sixth rows contain a blue/red strip with a 12.1/2″ white strip.  In the first row place the red/blue on the right.  In the sixth row the blue/red is on the left.  Make sure that the red square is always on the diagonal line.

Lines two and five contain one blue/red/blue strip together with a 9.1/2″ white rectangle.  For lines three and four you need one blue/red/blue strip with a white square on one side and a 6.1/2″ white rectangle on the other side.  It’s easy enough to check your placements by making sure that the red continues down the diagonal.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block is also 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of them.

First 2 rows of the Oslo Norwegian quilt

First 2 rows of the Oslo Norwegian quilt

Assemble the Oslo Norwegian quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Make row one with four alternate blocks.  In the first two blocks the coloured diagonal runs up from bottom left to top right.  For the last two blocks the coloured diagonal runs down from top left to bottom right.

In row two place two Oslo blocks in the middle with an alternate block at each end.  Match the coloured diagonals to the blocks in row one.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

Rows three and four are similar, but forming the bottom of the diamond frames.  In row three place two Oslo blocks in the middle with an alternate block at each end.  Place the alternate blocks so that the coloured diagonals run from the sides towards the middle.

Make row four with four alternate blocks, matching the coloured diagonals to the block above.

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

Border in dark blue

Border in dark blue

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 72.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 76.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the Oslo Norwegian 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:

As I stated above, I’m holding a New Year sale from Friday 5th January to Thursday 11th January.  I’m offering an 18% discount across the shop on all orders over £5.  There is no coupon code required – the discount will be applied automatically when you check out.  Take a look at the shop here.

I have a favour to ask while you are looking:  I have made some tote bags with slogans on them and I’d really appreciate your comments on them – what you think of colour, font, design or any slogans that you think would look good.  I’d really appreciate your views.

18% DISCOUNT:  CLICK HERE

Wedge Shaped Cushion Cover Tutorial

Wedge shaped cushion cover

Wedge shaped cushion cover

Recently I was asked for an article on making a wedge shaped cushion cover.  Most cushions we cover are square, rectangular or round, so this was a good opportunity to look at making covers for cushions of irregular shape.

I bought a wedge of foam from a local shop so my measurements here are naturally for that specific wedge.

Over Christmas I felt that I could well have more people than chairs in my tiny sitting room.  The wedge proved useful for someone to rest against a wall while sitting on the floor.




 

Wedge shaped foam

Wedge shaped foam

Cutting requirements for the wedge shaped cushion cover

Before you can buy the fabric or even think of cutting it, you need to take careful measurements of each face of the wedge.

I measured each face (six in total) and then added 1″ to each measurement so that I could use a 1/2″ seam allowance.

I thought that the wedge was shaped so that the front and the back were both at an angle.  In fact if you look carefully at the photo you’ll see that the back is at right angles to the base and the front is at an angle.

This obviously makes a difference to the pieces that you cut.  When I cut the two wedge shaped pieces for the sides I cut them with the fabric folded over so that my two wedge shapes were mirror images of each other.

List of sizes

List of sizes

You also need to decide which face you are going to put the zip in.  For my wedge I have sewn the zip into the base.

The measurement for the base was 9″ by 21″.  Instead of using one piece, I cut two pieces 5″ by 21″.  This was so that I could sew the zip in the middle between the two rectangles.

Add the zip

I began by turning under a 3/4″ hem hem on one long edge of each of the base rectangles.  Then I sewed the zip to these two edges so that the rectangles were joined by the zip in the middle.  I used an 18″ zip because that’s what I had in stock.  This was a mistake – if I had used a longer zip I would have found it easier to pull the cover over the wedge when I had finished.

Assemble the wedge shaped cushion cover

Add the front and back first

Add the front and back first

Next I added the front and back panels to the base section, making one long strip.  The sides (the wedge shaped pieces) are next to be sewn.  They will be added to the ends of the base section.  The fabric is now in a cross shape.

When sewing the sides in place, be careful to sew only as far as the seam lines – see below.

I had to be careful when adding the side sections because the back of the wedge is at right angles to the base while the front is angled against the base.  This meant that I had to check that the right angled corners of each side section were on the same side as each other – on the left in the photo.

Sew the sides to the back and front

Sew the sides to the back and front

Next I needed to join the side sections to the back and front sections.  This involves pulling the edge of the back to the edge of the side section.  This means that you will have three seams joining together at the base.  Because you only sewed as far as the seam lines above, this should leave you sufficient fabric to form a seam.  This time you need to start sewing with your needle on the seam line joining the base to the front or back.

You are making a pouch at this stage – almost like putting the side gusset in a bag.  Be careful to smooth all the other fabric out of the way before you begin sewing.  There are four seams to sew in this way – two sides of each side section.

Sew the sides of the top

Sew the sides of the top

Add the top section

Before you sew the top in place, open the zip at least half way.  This will enable you to turn the project right side out.

Now with right sides together sew the two short ends of the top to the tops of the side sections.

Finally sew the long sides of the top to the front and back of the cushion cover.  These seams again need care as you have three seams meeting at each point.

One thing (or do I mean another thing) that I could have improved upon:  the front of the wedge is slightly longer than the back because it’s at an angle to the base.  I didn’t pick up on this when I was measuring the foam wedge.  It meant that the front section was slightly shorter than the sides and back when I sewed everything together.  It was easy enough to trim everything to the same length before I sewed the seams, but I thought that it was worth mentioning as something you might find helpful.

Making a wedge cushion cover is mainly a matter of logic.  Begin at the base and then gradually add the other pieces to build up your wedge, finishing with the top section.  I hope you’ll find this article useful no matter what shape of cushion you are making a cover for.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

 

Friendship Bouquet Wall Hanging Pattern

Friendship bouquet wall hanging

Friendship bouquet wall hanging

The Friendship Bouquet quilt block was a request.  It is such a pretty block that I decided to make four of them to form a wall hanging.  At first glance it looks quite a complicated block, but as usual it is far more simple when you look at it in small sections.

I also liked the name of the block – warm and friendly for this time of year.

The wall hanging measures 26″ square and I used four blocks which are 11″ square finished size.  I needed 1/2 yard of purple batik together with 1/4 yard each of yellow, gold, green and lilac.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




 

Completed friendship bouquet quilt block

Completed friendship bouquet quilt block

Cutting requirements for the friendship bouquet wall hanging

5.7/8″ squares:  four purple

3,3/4″ by 6.1/8″ rectangles:  four yellow – cut these with fabric folded in two layers

3.3/8″ squares:  twelve yellow

2.7/8″ squares:  twenty four purple

1.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  eight gold, eight lilac

5.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  eight gold

9.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  four gold

11.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  four gold

For the border you will need to cut three 2.1/2″ strips of green across the width of fabric.

Add a triangle on each edge

Add a triangle on each edge

Make the diamond in square sections

Cut the 2.7/8″ purple squares across one diagonal to make two triangles from each squares.  Place one triangle on each edge of the 3.3/8″ yellow squares.

Sew triangles two at a time

Sew triangles two at a time

Sew the triangles to the squares two at a time.  On the left of the photo you can see the side triangles sewn in place.  The right hand part of the photo shows those two triangles pressed open.

Add the next pair of triangles

Add the next pair of triangles

Now the two triangles at top and bottom can be sewn to the squares.

Trim the triangle ends sticking out in the middle of each edge and trim the entire block to 4.1/2″ square.  Make twelve of these blocks.

Make the cone section

The handle or grip of the bouquet is formed by sewing two triangles to a 5.7/8″ square of purple fabric.

Forming the handle of the bouquet

Forming the handle of the bouquet

Cut the yellow rectangles along one diagonal to make two triangles from each rectangle.  Make sure that the fabric is folded in half the way it comes from the shop with wrong sides together.  This because for each block you need two triangles which are mirror images of each other.

Lay one of each triangle on the purple square, matching two edges with the edges of the square.  At this stage the triangles are right side up.  This is how you can check that you have the right triangle in each position.

Now flip one of the triangles so that it is right sides together with the purple square.  The top of the triangle should just stick out above the square while the bottom of the triangle should just stick out from the corner of the square.  Sew the triangle in place and cut off the excess purple triangle to the left of the seam.

Add the second triangle

I did try marking a chalk line along the edge of the triangle before I flipped it, but it didn’t really work for me.  You may find that helpful.  I found that making the edges of the triangle stick out a little at each end gave me the best position for the triangle before I sewed it.  These cones will not be beside each other in the finished wall hanging so it doesn’t matter if they are not exactly the same as each other.

Add the second triangle

Add the second triangle

Press the triangle open and lay the second triangle in place.  From left to right in the photo you can see the second triangle placed in position, the excess purple triangle cut off and then the final cone section completed.

Trim these cone sections to 5.1/2″ square and make four of them.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

There aren’t many half square triangles in this block!  Place a lilac 1.7/8″ square right sides together with a gold 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.  Press the seam allowances towards the gold fabric and trim the block to 1.1/2″ square if necessary.

First part of layout

First part of layout

Assemble the friendship bouquet quilt block

For each block you need one cone section and three diamond in a square sections.

Place a lilac 4.1/2″ strip between the top two diamond in a square blocks.  Place one lilac strip above the bottom diamond in a square.

Make two rows

Make two rows

Sew the top three sections together to form one row.  Sew the lilac section to the bottom diamond in a square.  Then you can sew the cone section to the side to form another row.

Sew the rows to each other.

Top and bottom of the frame

Top and bottom of the frame

Add the outer frame

Make the outer frame of the friendship bouquet quilt block with 1.1/2″ gold strips and the half square triangle units.

For the top of the frame place a 4.1/2″ gold strip either side of a half square triangle.  Check the photo to make sure which way to place the half square triangle.

Add a 9.1/2″ gold strip to the bottom of the block.

Sides of the frame

Sides of the frame

The sides of the frame are formed in a similar way.

For the right hand side place a 5.1/2″ gold strip either side of a half square triangle unit.  Sew these together and then sew them to the block.  Add an 11.1/2″ gold strip to the left hand side of the block.

That completes the friendship bouquet quilt block.  Make four of these and trim them to 11.1/2″ square.

Rotate the blocks

Rotate the blocks

Assemble the friendship bouquet wall hanging

Lay the blocks out in two rows of two.  Rotate the blocks so that the cone always points into the corner.  You’ll also see the lilac square frame form around the middle of the wall hanging.  Sew the blocks together in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.

Add the border

Add the border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of a green batik fabric to suggest leaves.

You’ll need two lengths of 22.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 26.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the friendship bouquet wall hanging.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

I am sure that you are very busy and won’t want to hear from me over the next week or two so I will not be posting another quilt pattern for two Fridays during the festive season.  My next full pattern will appear on Friday 5th January 2018 when I’ll be posting a new pattern and holding a new year sale.

So it just remains for me to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas followed by a happy and healthy new year.  Thanks for your interest and support for my website over the course of the year.

Large Daisy Quilt Block Pattern

Large daisy quilt block

Large daisy quilt block

The Large Daisy quilt block probably has several names, but I couldn’t find any so I have named it myself.  It really does look like a bright and cheerful daisy to me.  It is classified as an eight patch block, which is not as common as four or nine patch blocks.  I have made it here as a 24″ square so I won’t have too much to add to it to make a small Linus quilt.

Cutting requirements for the large daisy quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty red, sixteen white

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  four white

3.7/8″ squares:  eight red, eight white




 

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red 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 now 3.1/2″ squares.  Trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the large daisy quilt block

Layout for each quarter

Layout for each quarter

I found it most simple to make this block in quarters and then just sew the quarters together.  Lay the squares out in four rows of four squares.

The first row contains a red, white then red square with a half square triangle at the end.

Row two is made with white, red, white squares followed by a half square triangle.

For the third row you need only one red square and one white rectangle.

Finally the fourth row is made with two half square triangles followed by a white and a red square.

Completed quarter block

Completed quarter block

Note that the two red triangles at the top form a larger red triangle pointing to the left while the two red triangles at the bottom form a larger red triangle pointing upwards.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the quarter block.  This measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Large daisy quilt block layout

Large daisy quilt block layout

Assemble the large daisy quilt block

Rotate the quarter blocks so that there is a red square in each corner and those three red squares form a diagonal across each corner.  Check that the pairs of red triangles now combine to form diamonds and that there are four red squares in the middle.

Sew the quarters together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.

Basic large daisy quilt

Basic large daisy quilt

Large daisy quilt design ideas

For the basic quilt suggestion I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  I have added a green border and this makes a bright and cheerful quilt.

Alternate design

Alternate design

However I felt that it might look better if the blocks were separated a little so that they showed the block design more.  I added green sashing (leaves?) and I like this quilt design better.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Floating Diamond Quilt – Free Pattern

Floating diamond quilt

Floating diamond quilt

In the Floating Diamond quilt I have used the sashed four patch quilt block as an alternative.  Both are very easy blocks and I think they go well together.  I rather like all the secondary designs that form within the quilt.

The blocks are 12″ square finished size and I have made eight floating diamond blocks and eight sashed four patch blocks.

The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used 1 yard of lilac fabric, 1.1/4 yards of purple and 1.1/2 yards of green fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




 

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the floating diamond quilt

For the floating diamond quilt blocks:

3.1/2″ squares:  forty eight purple, sixteen lilac

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two each in lilac and green

For the sashed four patch block:

4.1/2″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen lilac

2.1/2″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen lilac

8.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two purple

For the border you will need five 2.1/2″ green 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 to make half square triangles.  Place a lilac and a green 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 produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Floating diamond quilt block layout

Floating diamond quilt block layout

Make the floating diamond quilt block

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows of four.

Place a 3.1/2″ purple square in each corner with a lilac/purple four patch unit in the middle.  Fill the remaining spaces with half square triangles.  Lay these so that the green triangles together form larger green triangles pointing away from the middle.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eight of them.

Sashed 4 patch quilt block layout

Sashed 4 patch quilt block layout

Make the sashed four patch quilt block

This block is even more easy to make!  Once again place a four patch in the middle but this time use lilac and green 4.1/2″ squares.  Use 2.1/2″ squares in the corners.  Place two green corners to follow one diagonal and two lilac corners to follow the other diagonal.

Fill the remaining spaces with purple rectangles.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew the pieces together in the top and bottom rows.  For the middle section you need to sew the four patch unit together first and then you can sew a purple rectangle to each side.

Sew the rows to each other.  At this stage the block also measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the floating diamond quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four blocks.  In row one use a floating diamond at each end with two sashed 4 patch blocks in the middle.  Note the directions of the diagonals:  the green squares in the middle two blocks begin in the middle and move towards the side.  In the floating diamond blocks the purple squares begin in the corners and move towards the middle.

Row two

Row two

For row two you need two floating diamond blocks in the middle with a sashed 4 patch block at each end.  The squares in the diagonals continue the lines begun in the first row.

Row three

Row three

Row three also contains two floating diamonds in the middle with a sashed 4 patch at each end.  Now the green diagonals are moving from the sides towards the middle and the purple diagonals are moving from the middle towards the edges.

Row four

Row four

Finally in row four place two sashed four patch blocks in the middle with a floating diamond at each end.  The diagonals continue in the same directions as they did in row three.

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

That completes the floating diamond 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:

Sunrise in Iceland

Sunrise in Iceland

Last week I promised you some of my Icelandic photos.  There were so many to choose from that once again I wrote a separate article.  You can read about my Icelandic trip here.

Visiting Reykjavik – Iceland – Photos

Sunrise in Iceland

Sunrise in Iceland

Visiting Reykjavik was an enchanting experience.

My daughter and I had gone there specifically to see the Northern Lights, but the whole area is unbelievably beautiful.

We passed this lake at sunrise and the views were quite breathtaking.  The lake is the largest natural lake in Iceland and it is apparently the same size as Manhattan island in New York.




 

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

We did get to see the Northern Lights, but my camera couldn’t cope with the dark so I’m afraid that I can’t bring you any images of my own.  I’ve cheated and shown you an image from the Visit Norway website.  We didn’t see all those colours, but the lights were like stardust spread in plumes all across the sky.

You could see the stars behind them so you could tell that the lights were moving and waving in the sky.  What an experience!

Reykjavik bay

Reykjavik bay

Visiting Reykjavik City

Our hotel was in Reykjavik itself and this was the view across the bay.  It looks cold and it was cold!  There were lovely patterns in the mountains where the rocks showed through the snow.

Reykjavik Cathedral

Reykjavik Cathedral

The cathedral in Reykjavik was stunning.  This photo was taken at sunset – there wasn’t a lot of time between sunrise and sunset.

The structure is a very modern stepped design and this stepping was used within the cathedral for the ends of the pews.

Every morning at 11 o’clock someone plays the organ and we were lucky enough to be there while the organ was playing – that really lent a lovely atmosphere to the cathedral.

Cathedral interior

Cathedral interior

The inside of the cathedral was also very modern and very, very simple.  There was very little adornment, no stained glass windows and the effect was very striking.

The simplicity was a statement in itself.  It felt really peaceful in there.

The theatre was also very attractive.  The design made me think of Birmingham Library – sorry but I didn’t get any photos of that.

The rift

The rift

The National Park

Iceland lies along two tectonic plates.  The rift is the line running along the diagonal of the photo.

One side is the American plate and the other side is the Eurasian plate.  This is the reason that Iceland has so much volcanic activity – the plates moving against each other causing instability.  It’s also the reason that they have such easy access to thermal springs and geo thermal power.

This is the same area as the lake that I mentioned at the top of the page.

Geyser

Geyser

The Geysers

We visited a delightful area where the steam was hissing out from the ground.  When the temperature reaches a certain level the hot water bursts out from the hole in the ground with a loud pop and a huge cloud of steam.

Apparently this particular geyser at Geysir was the one studied by Robert Bunsen to provide the explanation of how geysers work.

Frozen waterfall

Frozen waterfall

The Waterfalls

We visited this waterfall and you’d think that all the water was frozen, but in fact there was a huge roaring of water going over the falls.  There must have been just as much area of water as there was ice.  It was so cold here that our eyes hurt!

Volcano crater

Volcano crater

Volcanic Crater

I’m sure we all remember the volcano that threatened to erupt in Iceland a few years ago.  All flights in the area were forbidden and many people missed their holidays.

This volcano that we visited was dormant and the frozen lake inside the crater was really peaceful looking.  You can just see people walking on the lake below – I shudder to think how they got down there.

Troll at the airport

Troll at the airport

Farewell to Reykjavik

Iceland is full of folklore, particularly tales of trolls.  At the airport this guy was waiting to have his next meal.  The bowl in front of him was big enough to hold a person, so people were climbing into it, pretending that the troll was eating them!

I’ve put together a very short video showing the waterfall and the geyser eruption:

Christmas Gift Storage Bag

Christmas gift storage bag

Christmas gift storage bag

The Christmas gift storage bag could of course be used at any time for general storage and tidying up.  However I thought that at this time of year it would be a useful idea for transporting Christmas gifts to their various destinations.  No doubt you are far more organised than I am and have already made all your Christmas gifts!

The body of the bag measures about 24″ high by 11″ wide by 7″ deep.  I’ve used just over 3/4 yard of the main fabric with 1/4 yard of an alternate fabric..  I’ve used French seams for the sides to make it stronger and the outer bag is made with cotton canvas for the same reason.

You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




 

Cutting requirements for the Christmas gift storage bag

Main fabric:  two rectangles 25″ by 12″, two rectangles 8″ by 12″, on rectangle 23.1/2″ by 6.1/2″, one 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width of fabric.

Alternate fabric:  one 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width for the strap linings, two 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width of fabric for the facing.

Sew with right sides together

Sew with right sides together

Make the body of the outer bag

Place a 25″ rectangle and a 12″ rectangle with right sides together.  Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Repeat with the other pair of rectangles.  This gives you a normal looking seam.

Sew a second seam

Sew a second seam

Press the seam allowances and then fold the seam so that the fabrics are wrong sides together with the seam line running along the fold.  Sew 1/2″ away from the fold.

Sew the pairs of rectangles together to make a loop

Sew the pairs of rectangles together to make a loop

This gives you a box seam with the seam allowance on the outside of the bag.  This gave me the boxy look that I was hoping for.

Repeat with the other pair of rectangles and then sew the two pairs of rectangles together to make a loop, using the same method.

Add the base of the bag

I am not using French seams to sew the base to the bag.  I think that it would make the pattern more complicated – and I’m not bright enough to work out how to do it!  Actually I also felt that it was only the side seams that I wanted to strengthen so that the bag would stand upright, and I felt that the seam allowances at the corners would be very bulky if I used French seams all over.

Sew the base to the two long edges

Sew the base to the two long edges

With right sides together, sew the base rectangle to the two long edges of the bottom of the loop made earlier.  This will leave you with a gap at each side of the bag.  I have done this deliberately to make this part as easy as possible.  Very often when sewing the base to a bag you end up with inset seams or forming triangles to fold under.

Sew the sides to the base

Sew the sides to the base

I have tried to make this part of the pattern as simple as I can, so I have sewn the two long edges first.  Now it is much more easy to sew the two remaining seams to close off the sides of the bag where they join the base.

That completes the body of the outer Christmas gift storage bag.  I have not lined this bag because I felt that it didn’t need a lining – the inside of the bag is neat already because of the French seams.

Make the straps

For the straps I have sewn together the two 2.1/2″ strips – one in the main fabric and one in the alternate fabric – with right sides together.  Sew along the long edges to make a tube.  Cut in half and then turn the tubes right side out.  Topstitch 1/4″ in from the edges to give added strength and to hold the fabrics in place.

 

Pin the straps

Pin the straps

Assemble the Christmas gift storage bag

Pin the straps to the outer bag – one strap to each side of the bag.  I have positioned mine with the ends about 5″ apart.

On the alternate fabric strip press under a 1/4″ hem along one long edge.

Pin the facing around the top

Pin the facing around the top

Pin the facing around the top of the bag using the edge that hasn’t been pressed.  Turn under a 1/4″ hem at each end of the facing (the short edges).

The facing should be about 62″ long.  To be safe, I tend to cut the end when I’ve nearly finished sewing the facing to the bag.  That way I can be sure that the two ends of the facing just meet with each other.

Flip the facing to the inside of the bag and press in place.

Sew the facing in place

Sew the facing in place

Finishing the bag

In order to sew the facing in place I have begun by topstitching 1/4″ from the seam using a normal sewing stitch.  That holds the top of the facing in place.

In the past I have always hand sewn the other edge of the facing in place.  This time I decided to use an embroidery stitch in order to speed things up.  I selected a stem stitch on my sewing machine and used that to hold the bottom of the facing in place.  I sewed this on the outside of the bag – you can feel where the facing hem is as you’re sewing to make sure that you always catch this in the stitching.  Using this method saves time and also makes a feature just beneath the top of the bag.

That completes the Christmas gift storage bag.  I hope you’ve found this a useful idea.

Here’s the video:

Freemasons Hall

Freemasons Hall

One of the joys of visiting London is finding gems around every corner.  Yesterday I met some friends for lunch in London.  I was early so had a wander around the Covent Garden area.  The first building that struck me turned out to be the Freemasons Hall.  It’s a gorgeous building (regarded as one of Britain’s finest Art Deco buildings) and they have a museum that is free to visit.  It took me out of the cold so I had a look in the museum.  It was fascinating.

Throne for King George

Throne for King George

This throne was made for King George IV.  It seemed far too big for a person to sit on, but apparently he weighed 25 stones so needed a big throne!

Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

Then around the next corner I came across the Royal Opera House – another gorgeous building.  This is somewhere I have always wanted to visit because when I see it on TV it always looks so luxurious inside.

Seven Dials

Seven Dials

Wandering just another block further I came across somewhere called Seven Dials.  I had never been there before but when I looked it up it turns out to be a very pretty area where seven streets meet up between Covent Garden and Soho.

 

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