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.

 

Bells Christmas Wall Hanging Pattern

Bells Christmas wall hanging

Bells Christmas wall hanging

I’ve made the Bells Christmas Wall Hanging mainly so that I could show you an unusual way of placing a border on a quilt block.  I first came across this technique at a quilt show many years ago and I’ve always liked the idea.

This idea would only be suitable for a wall hanging, not for a quilt which would need washing now and then.

The wall hanging is very simple – just two blocks of bells and two blocks of holly.  I’ve put them together to give a slightly circular design.




 

Cutting requirements for the Bells Christmas wall hanging

Red fabric:  one length 1.1/2″ by 20″, two 2.1/2″ lengths cut across the width of fabric

Green fabric:  one length 3″ by 20″

Gold fabric:  one length 5″ by 20″

White fabric:  four 10″ squares

One red paper napkin

Cut out the templates

Cut out the templates

Make the applique shapes

You probably have your own bells and holly templates, but if you wish you can download my templates here.

First of all I backed the fabric strips with Mistyfuse, a backing fusible on both sides.  You can use whatever backing you prefer for applique.  Then I cut out four bells, four holly leaves and eight red circles.

Position the applique on the white squares

Position the applique on the white squares

Make the blocks

I placed two bells on each of two white squares and two holly leaves on the remaining two white squares.

Place them so that the shapes overall form a more or less circular shape.  Add the red circles as berries on the holly leaves and as ringers on the bells.

When you’re happy with the blocks, press the applique shapes to fuse them to the white squares.  Sew the blocks together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.

Place paper napkin strips on the seamlines

Place paper napkin strips on the seamlines

Add the block borders

Cut four 1″ strips from the paper napkin.  Place these along the seamlines so that they will form a border round each block.

Using red thread, reduce your stitch length to about 1.5 and sew the strips in place along the seamlines.

Sponge the paper strips

Sponge the paper strips

Now take a damp sponge and gently rub the red strips.

Most of the paper will be rubbed away – just be careful that you don’t rub too hard and remove too much paper.  Leave to dry.

Add the border

Add the border

Add the border

For the border I used simple 2.1/2″ red strips.  You’ll need two lengths of 19.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 23.1/2″ for the sides.

Bells Christmas wall hanging conclusions

To my embarrassment, the colour ran from the paper on to the white background.  I think that my sponge was too wet – try and keep yours damp only.  I also think that I should have used three ply napkins.  The only red ones that I could find in my local shop were two ply.

Yellow napkin on grey

Yellow napkin on grey

Here you can see a yellow napkin on grey fabric making a grid.  For this one I placed a complete napkin on the fabric and then sewed a grid of lines and sponged off the excess paper.

The technique is particularly appropriate for Christmas because if you use a white napkin on red or green fabric you can give the illusion of snow.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

 

Quarter Log Cabin Quilt – Free Pattern

Quarter log cabin quilt

Quarter log cabin quilt

The quarter log cabin quilt pattern is just what it says – blocks made in the traditional log cabin style but representing only one quarter of a completed log cabin block.  This allows you far more freedom to rotate the blocks, allowing many new design options.  In this rectangular quilt design I have put the blocks together to make one complete log cabin block with half and three quarter log cabins around it.

The quilt measures 52″ by 68″, using 3/4 yard each of dark blue and medium blue, together with 1 yard of light blue and 1.1/4 yards of white fabric.  I have used thirty six blocks which are 8″ square finished size.

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




 

Cutting requirements for the quarter log cabin quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty six dark blue, thirty six medium blue

4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty six medium blue, thirty six light blue

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty six light blue, thirty six white

8.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty six white

For the borders you will need to cut 2.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric:  three each in medium blue, light blue and white.  You will need to cut seven strips in dark blue.

Sew together two strips

Sew together two strips

Make the quarter log cabin quilt block

The first part of the block can best be made using strip sewing.  Sew together a strip of dark blue and one of medium blue.  Cut these strips at 2.1/2″ intervals. This gives you rectangles 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ which are basically a square each of the two blues.

Add a strip on the left

Add a strip on the left

Lay down one of these rectangles with the dark blue square at the bottom.  Sew a 4.1/2″ medium blue square to the left hand side.  This forms the first frame around the dark blue.

As you can see, the dark blue square is only framed on two sides, whereas in a full log cabin block it would have a medium blue frame on all four sides.

Add the light blue frame

Add the light blue frame

Now add a 4.1/2″ light blue strip to the top.  Sew a 6.1/2″ light blue strip to the left hand side.

Add the final frame

Add the final frame

For the final frame I have used white patterned fabric.  Sew a 6.1/2″ white strip to the top.  Add an 8.1/2″ strip to the left hand side.

That completes the quarter log cabin quilt block.  It measures 8.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make thirty six of them.

Assemble the quarter log cabin quilt – first three rows

First three rows

First three rows

Sew the blocks together in six rows of six.  I’m showing the rows three at a time for the sake of clarity.

I find it most simple to concentrate on the dark blue squares so that I can see which way to rotate the blocks.

Row one contains three pairs of blocks – with the dark blue at the bottom right and bottom left.  This way the dark blue squares form three rectangles.

In row two place the dark blue squares top right, bottom right twice, bottom left twice and then top left.  At each side you can now see the corner frame formed with three dark blue squares.

For the third row place the dark blue bottom right three times and then bottom left for the remaining three blocks.

Rows four, five, six

Rows four, five, six

Remaining three rows

In the second three rows the design is similar but the other way up.

For row four place the dark blue squares top right three times and then top left three times.

In row five place the dark blue bottom right, top right twice, top left twice and then finally bottom left.

Lay the blocks in row six in three pairs – one top right and one top left within each pairing.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the main section of the quilt top.

Borders for top and bottom

Borders for top and bottom

Add the quilt borders

I’ve used all the colours in the borders and have made the quilt rectangular by using bigger borders for the top and the bottom.

Both panels are made using dark blue, medium blue, light blue and white fabrics followed by an additional dark blue strip.  For each one the colours fade from dark blue to white away from the quilt.  This means placing the panels with white near the top on the first panel and near the bottom on the second panel.

Make two panels 48.1/2″ long and sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Finally add a 68.1/2″ dark blue strip to each side of the quilt.

That completes the quarter log cabin 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:

Palace in Oslo

Palace in Oslo

Last week I promised you some details of my trip to Oslo.  There were too many to tack on to this pattern so I have written a complete article with lots of photos.  You can see it in Visiting Oslo.

Visiting Oslo – Norway – Photos

Visiting Oslo - the fortress

Visiting Oslo – the fortress

Visiting Oslo last week was an amazing experience.  It was my first visit to any Scandinavian country and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I couldn’t decide which photo to use to head up this article but finally decided that this one of the fortress defined Oslo for me.

King Christian's glove

King Christian’s glove

History of Oslo

Oslo was a Viking settlement founded in about 1040.  Through the centuries it was often ruled by other nations but in the 17th century there was a fire that destroyed most of the city.  King Christian of Denmark (who ruled Norway at the time) visited the ruins of the city.  He threw down his glove at the point where now there is a statue, and declared that the new city should be built around that point.

City of beautiful buildings

City of beautiful buildings

He stipulated that the streets should be wider to act as fire breaks and that the buildings should be built of bricks rather than wood, again for fire prevention.  He also slipped in the fact that the city would then be called Christiana after him!

In the photo I think you can just see that the water of the fjord was covered in ice.

City hall Oslo

City hall Oslo

Visiting Oslo – City Hall

The city hall dominates the harbourfront area.  Many statues stand around the building – and on the building itself.

Inside the Peace Hall

Inside the Peace Hall

I hadn’t realised that four of the five Nobel prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, but the Peace Price is awarded in Oslo.  This ceremony takes place in the City Hall – and what a fitting place it is.  Totally gorgeous quilting designs everywhere!

Summer house outside Oslo

Summer house outside Oslo

Oslo Fjord

We took a boat trip up the fjord – giving lovely views of both the city and the surrounding areas.  We saw many, many summer houses – the one in the photo has been restored recently – what a grand design for a summer house.  Personally I can’t imagine those waters ever being warm enough to swim in, but apparently it happens.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park

Statues in Oslo

Oslo city is full of statues.  There are new statues to see around every corner throughout the city as well as two parks devoted to statues and sculptures.

Vigeland Park is the largest sculpture park in the world devoted to the sculptures of one artist.  Gustav Vigeland died in 1943 and this park contains 200 of his sculptures in many different materials.  Very impressive.  We also found an extremely good and inexpensive restaurant a short distance away from the park.  I had been warned that Oslo is a very expensive city and I’d certainly agree with that.

Bronze tiger

Bronze tiger

This tiger seemed an odd choice for one of the main squares, but there is a reason.  It is best described on the Visit Oslo website:

The reason Oslo wanted a tiger, is the city’s nickname Tigerstaden (“The Tiger City”), which most Norwegians are familiar with. The name was probably first used by Norwegian poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. His poem “Sidste Sang” from 1870 describes a fight between a horse and a tiger; the tiger representing the dangerous city and the horse the safe countryside. 

Since then Oslo has been known as “The Tiger City”, but these days it’s not necessarily meant as a negative thing. “The Tiger City” can be an exciting and happening place rather than dangerous.

A building in the fortress area

A building in the fortress area

Quilting designs in Oslo

I found the city to be a real treasure trove of design ideas for quilts.  On this building the bricks in the central area are placed vertically rather than horizontally.  This made a lovely contrast which I can visualise in a quilt.

Seating in the Peace Hall

Seating in the Peace Hall

Seating in the Peace Hall gave further inspiration – as did the flooring.  In fact there were new ideas everywhere I turned!

Quilt shop in Oslo

Quilt shop in Oslo

I wouldn’t have expected to find a quilt shop just five minutes from our hotel – thanks to Viv for alerting me to this.  It was an interesting shop well stocked with fabrics, patterns and completed quilts.  Most of the fabrics seemed to be Moda – and quite expensive compared with fabrics in the UK.

Opera House Oslo

Opera House Oslo

Opera House

I couldn’t leave you without mentioning the Opera House.

This is an amazing building designed to represent an iceberg.  It’s possible to climb up the outside and see the whole panorama of the city.  We did this but had to step very carefully owing to all the ice.  One slip and you might end up in the water!

Overall a wonderful week with my daughter – somewhere completely different from our normal trips.

Shoulder Bag Pattern – All Machine Sewn

Shoulder bag pattern

Shoulder bag pattern

I like my shoulder bag pattern – it’s going to be really useful when I’m travelling.  The only hand sewing I used was for the fastener.  The shoulder bag has two compartments and a long strap to go on the shoulder or across the body.  The body of the bag measures about 9″ wide by 8″ high and it is fully lined.

Cutting requirements for the shoulder bag pattern

Blue fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric, one 2″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Gold fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Wadding:  one rectangle 8″ by 9″, one rectangle 8″ by 20″

Fastener:  I used a pressed stud with a button for decoration.




Mark curves at one end

Mark curves at one end

Layer the fabrics

Lay the two strips of fabric with right sides together.  Make a mark at 8″ intervals along the length of the fabrics.  Mark curves in one end using a plate or something similar.  Cut along the curves.

You should now have one end straight and one end curved.

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay the first (8″) rectangle of wadding on the straight end of the fabrics – to the right in the photo.  Place the second (20″) rectangle at the curved end.  One end of the larger wadding should be in line with the third 8″ marker while the other end should overlap the curved end.  You will have a 16″ gap with no wadding, only fabric.

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve on the wadding to match the curve in the fabrics.

Press strip in half along the length

Press strip in half along the length

Make the shoulder bag strap

Fold the 2″ blue strip of fabric along the middle lengthways.  Press.  Fold under a 1/4″ hem along one raw edge and press.

Top stitch on both sides

Top stitch on both sides

Usually I try and fold under the two raw edges at the same time, but I realised that it made much more sense to press one edge under first.  Then it’s much more easy to fold the other edge under to match the one that’s already pressed.

Top stitch 1/4″ in from the edge to hold the layers together.  Top stitch again 1/4″ from the other edge.  This gives extra strength to the strap and also looks neater.

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Add the strap to the shoulder bag

Working at the curved end of the fabrics, fold back the wadding and the blue fabric.  Place one end of the strap on each side, making sure that the strap isn’t twisted.  Lay them so that they are on the fourth 8″ marker, making them about 8″ from the curved end.

Now tuck the rest of the strap down between the blue and gold fabrics (away from the edges) and fold the blue fabric and wadding back into place.

In the past I have always hand sewn the strap in place after I’ve finished the rest of the bag.  It was never very neat, so sewing the strap to the bag during the construction was one of the things that I wanted to achieve.  Luckily it worked!

Sew the layers together

Clip the curve

Clip the curve

Beginning somewhere in the middle, sew a seam about 1/4″ from the edge all round the fabrics.  This secures the three layers together.  Leave a gap of about 6″ so that you can turn the project right side out.  I usually leave this somewhere in the middle where there is no wadding – it makes it more easy to turn the project out.

Trim the seam allowance and clip in towards the stitching around the curve.  This gives a more even curve for the front of the shoulder bag.

Turn the shoulder bag right side out through the gap.  Pin the edges to make sure that the seam lies along the edge and press.  At this stage turn under small hems across the gap.  Top stitch all round the edge of the bag.  This closes the gap so there’s no hand sewing required there – another stage that I could never manage neatly.

Form the first pouch

Form the first pouch

Fold the sections of the shoulder bag pattern

Begin at the straight end of the bag.  Pull the end of the bag up to the second 8″ marker, so that the fold is at the first 8″ marker.  You may need to put pins in to re mark the sections if like me you had made your original marks on the wrong side of the fabric.  This forms the first compartment of the bag.

Make the second compartment

Make the second compartment

Now take the top of that first compartment (both layers) and pull it up to the fourth 8″ marker – about 8″ from the curved end.  This forms the second compartment behind the first one.  The top of the compartments should now be level with the strap.

Sew the sides of the compartments

Embroidery for the sides

Embroidery for the sides

I have always found sewing the sides of the compartments together a pain because there was too much fabric for me to be able to use my machine.  That’s why I designed this shoulder bag pattern so that there is wadding at the front and the back of the bag, but none in the two layers between.  I bet you were wondering why there was that area with no wadding on the fabric!

Because of the reduced thickness, I was able to use my machine to sew the sides together and I used one of the embroidery stitches.  I used a stem stitch which turned out really well.

Button just for show

Button just for show

That’s pretty much it now.  For a fastening I used a pressed stud to secure the front flap of the bag.  Then I added a button on the front of the flap just for show.  I’m sure that you will be far more creative in your embellishments.

Modelling the bag

Modelling the bag

I am ridiculously pleased with my should bag pattern.  It took no time to make because it was all machine sewn.  It’s sturdy and practical.  I think that it will be great for when I’m travelling – I can keep my passport and tickets secure by my body.  Or I could make several and match them to outfits.

Here’s the video:

Sherlock Holmes statue

Sherlock Holmes statue

I was in London last week and I was reminded of how much history there is around every corner.  I needed to walk to Baker Street station and outside there was a lovely big statue of Sherlock Holmes.  All the shops and pubs in the area seemed to be named after him as well.

MCC

MCC

On the way there, just round the corner from Marylebone station, I happened upon a square which was the original home of the Marylebone cricket club – now known as the MCC.  There were various plaques around the square detailing the history.  Both my sons play cricket so it was fascinating to see this cricketing history.

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