California Chimney Quilt Block Pattern

California chimney quilt block

California chimney quilt block

The California Chimney quilt block is a delight – easy to make and using three different shades of blue with white.  It is classified as a five patch block and I have made it here as an 18″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the California chimney quilt block

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  four white, two medium blue

3.1/2″ squares:  four white, four medium blue

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




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the central section

Central section

Central section

I’m showing the central area first.  This is a more simple way of seeing the layout and all the half square triangles are used up in this section.

Place the four dark blue/light blue half square triangles in the middle.  Make sure that the dark blue triangles form a diamond in the middle of the block.

On each edge of this central area place two medium blue/light blue half square triangles.  Make sure that the medium blue triangles form a larger triangle pointing towards the middle.  In each corner of this section place a light blue/white half square triangle with the white on the outside, forming the corner of the section.

Full layout

Full layout

California chimney quilt block full layout

For the full layout you now need to add just one more frame.  The top and bottom rows are made with a 6.1/2″ medium blue rectangle in the middle and a white rectangle on either side.

For the sides, place two medium blue squares in the middle of each edge with a white square on either side.

I have chosen to use rectangles in the top and bottom rows but pairs of squares down the sides purely to simplify the sewing.  This way it is straightforward now to sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the quilt block.

Basic California chimney quilt

Basic California chimney quilt

California chimney quilt ideas

For the basic quilt design I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.

With added green

With added green

As an alternate design I have simply added one green square in one corner of each block.  I was quite surprised at how much difference this made to the overall look of the quilt.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Friendship Quilt – Free Pattern

Friendship quilt

Friendship quilt

The Friendship quilt block has always been one of my favourites.  I have changed the colours slightly to use it in this quilt and teamed it with a large half square triangle for the alternate block.

The quilt measures 58″ square and I have used nine blocks which are 18″ square finished size.  I have used 1/2 yard of white, 3/4 yard of yellow, 1.1/4 yards of red and 2.1/4 yards of black fabric.  The black is rather a pretty Ebor fabric with vibrant coloured pins so I have used bright fabrics to match that colouring.

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the friendship quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty black, twenty yellow, forty white

3.7/8″ squares:  forty black, forty yellow

6.1/2″ squares:  five red

18.7/8″ squares:  two black, two red

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a black and a yellow 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 3.12″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the black and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central area

Central area

Make the friendship quilt block

The central area of this block is very simple.  Begin with a 6.1/2″ red square.  On each edge of this square place two half square triangles.  Place each pair so that the two black triangles together form a larger black triangle pointing towards the red square.  Now add a yellow square in each corner.

Friendship quilt block layout

Friendship quilt block layout

Lay out the outer frame next.  Outside each pair of half square triangles place another pair of half square triangles.  This time place them so that the two yellow triangles together form a larger yellow triangle pointing towards the red square.  You can see that the black now forms a V shape on each edge of the square.  Place a white square on either side of the half square triangles.  Add a black square in each corner.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sewing the friendship quilt block

The top two and bottom two rows are simple to sew together:  just sew the squares across the rows.

For the middle section you need to sew the half square triangles together vertically first.  Then you can sew the pairs together to form a four patch unit either side of the red square.  Now you can sew the pieces together across this middle section.

Sew the rows together to complete the block.  You need to make five of these.

Sew the triangles together

Sew the triangles together

Alternate quilt block

Fold the 18.7/8″ squares in half along one diagonal.  Press to create a fold line and then cut along the line to make two triangles from each square.

Sew a black and a red triangle together along the longest edge to make a large half square triangle block.  Make four of these.

Assemble the Friendship quilt

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.

Lay the blocks out for rows one and three with a friendship block in the middle and a half square triangle on each side of it.  Note that the half square triangle is placed so that the black is beside the friendship block, with the red triangle on the outside, forming the corner of the quilt.

For row two simply sew together three friendship quilt blocks in a row.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of black fabric to frame the quilt.  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 Friendship 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:

 

Winners' enclosure

Winners’ enclosure

Last week I visited the British Stitch and Quilt show at Uttoxeter Racecourse.  I just had to show you this delightful topiary horse and jockey in the Winners’ Enclosure.  Isn’t it clever!  (It’s on the right towards the back of the photo).

Best in show

Best in show

The quilts were of course as gorgeous as ever.  This beauty was judged best in show, and deservedly so.

Teapot quilt

Teapot quilt

This one took my fancy because I drink tea by the gallon so the sight of all these different teapots made me chuckle.

It’s always great seeing the work of other quilters, isn’t it?

Oklahoma Twister Quilt Block Pattern

Oklahoma Twister quilt block

Oklahoma Twister quilt block

I have made the Oklahoma Twister quilt block before, but I managed to place one of the half square triangles wrong, so I am writing the pattern again.  This time with the triangles all correct, I hope!

In order to save time, I have also used white rectangles equivalent to either two or three white squares.  The block as I’ve made it is an 18″ square.

Cutting requirements for the Oklahoma Twister quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  six white

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

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

3.7/8″ squares:  eight red, eight white




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

The half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make the 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.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the Oklahoma Twister quilt block

Oklahoma Twister quilt block layout

Oklahoma Twister quilt block layout

Lay the patchwork pieces out in six rows.  It may look like a maze of half square triangles, but just take it slowly and look at small sections.

First of all, in the middle is a red/white pinwheel formed by four half square triangles.  From each blade of this pinwheel extends a white rosebud shape formed by a square and two triangles.  In the top left the rosebud is to the left of the pinwheel triangle while in the top right the pinwheel is above the pinwheel triangle.

Place the white rosebud to the right of the bottom right pinwheel triangle and beneath the bottom left corner of the pinwheel.

The 9.1/2″ white rectangles are placed in the top and bottom rows, while each of the other rows contains a 6.1/2″ white rectangle.

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

Basic Oklahoma Twister quilt image

Basic Oklahoma Twister quilt image

Oklahoma Twister quilt ideas

For the basic quilt design, I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  This gives quite a pleasant swirly look to the quilt.

Using blue in each block

Using blue in each block

For an alternate idea, I changed the white rosebud shapes to light blue and this changes the look to a distinctly floral effect.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Oh Susannah Quilt Pattern

Oh Susannah quilt

Oh Susannah quilt

The Oh Susannah quilt block is a simple block that comes in several different versions.  I began with a basic version and then played around with the colours a little to add to the design. I wanted to add a little extra interest to the quilt.

You may be pleased to hear that there aren’t many half square triangles in this quilt.

The quilt measures 52″ square, using sixteen 12″ square finished size blocks.  I needed 1/2 yard of green, 3/4 yard of white, 1 yard of orange and 1.1/4 yards of blue fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

I am holding a spring sale this week giving a 15% discount on all orders over £6 – full details at the bottom of the page.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Oh Susannah quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  fifty six white, forty green, sixty four blue

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two blue, thirty two orange

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen blue

For the border you will need to cut five 2.1/2″ orange strips 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 triangle units.  Place a blue and an orange 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.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Oh Susannah quilt block layout

Oh Susannah quilt block layout

Make the basic Oh Susannah quilt block

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.

Place four half square triangles in the middle with the orange triangles together forming a diamond shape.  Lay white squares in three of the corners with a green square in the fourth corner.  Place a blue rectangle above and below the central diamond, with two blue squares on each side of it.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make eight of these.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Alternate Oh Susannah quilt block

In this version of the block I have added even more green squares.  Lay the squares out once again in four rows of four.  The central area is the same as in the block above, but there is a green square on each edge of the block.

If you follow the outer frame round clockwise from the top left hand corner, you’ll see that the squares follow the sequence white, blue, green on each edge.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  Make eight of these.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Oh Susannah quilt

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  For rows one and three alternate the blocks across the row, beginning with the basic block.

Rows two and four

Rows two and four

For rows two and four alternate the blocks again, this time beginning with the alternate block.

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

Use 2.1/2″ strips of orange fabric for the quilt border.  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 Oh Susannah 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:

Spring blossom

Spring blossom

We’ve been enjoying wonderful weather here in Birmingham this week – lots of lovely sunshine to bring out gorgeous displays of spring blossom.

I decided that it’s a good time to hold my spring sale, so there’s a 15% discount on everything in the shop.  No coupon code required – the discount will be applied automatically at checkout on all orders over £6.  To take a look at some of the lovely fabrics, click here.

 

Lincolns Platform Quilt Block

Lincolns Platform quilt block

Lincolns Platform quilt block

The Lincolns Platform quilt block is usually made in red and white, but I’ve chosen to make it here in red and yellow.  I’ve made it as a 14″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the Lincolns Platform quilt block

4.7/8″ squares:  two red, two yellow

2.1/2″ squares:  thirteen yellow, eight red

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  four red




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangles

Use the 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red and a yellow 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 to produce two half square triangle units.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the corners of the block

Make the corners separately

Make the corners separately

Sew the four corners of the block first – this is by far the most simple way to make the block.

Place a half square triangle with the yellow triangle on the bottom right.  Across the top place a red and a yellow square.  Down the left hand side place three squares:  yellow, red, yellow.

Make two columns

Make two columns

Sew the two top squares to each other and then sew them to the top of the half square triangle.

Join the three squares down the side to make a column.  Sew the two columns to each other.  This forms one corner of the block so you need to make four of these altogether.

Lincolns platform quilt block layout

Lincolns platform quilt block layout

Assemble the Lincolns Platform quilt block

Lay the corners out as shown.  Note that the corners are rotated so that the yellow triangle is always nearest the middle and there is always a yellow square in the corner.

Place a red rectangle between each pair of corners and a yellow square in the middle of the block.

Sew the pieces together across each of the three rows and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Lincolns Platform quilt block.

Basic Lincolns Platform quilt image

Basic Lincolns Platform quilt image

Quilt design ideas

For the basic quilt I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  Quite interesting the way you get a shoofly type design appearing where the blocks join together.

Using an alternate block

Using an alternate block

For an alternative design idea, I have made four alternate blocks of a diamond in a square and placed these in the corners.  This is also quite an interesting design, I think.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

San Marco Quilt – Free Pattern

San Marco quilt

San Marco quilt

The San Marco quilt is the result of a quick trip I took to Venice last week.  It’s the most beautiful, inspirational city:  I’ve added a link to my Venice photos at the bottom of the page – together with a short video of a gondolier serenading his passengers.  This quilt is based on a small portion of the incredible floor tile designs that I saw in the San Marco basilica.

The quilt is rectangular, measuring 67″ by 85″, and I have used 3 yards of grey fabric with 1.1/2 yards each of red and black.  I’ve made sixty three blocks, all 9″ square finished size.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Floor tile mosaic

Floor tile mosaic

The combination of a plain square with a diamond in a square is quite common in these floor tiles – you can see it in diagonal lines at the bottom of this photo.  It formed the basis of many of the designs.

The fact that there are plenty of plain grey squares make it a simple and quick quilt to make.  I have added the red part of the quilt design to give it some pop.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the San Marco quilt

9.1/2″ squares:  twenty eight grey

6.7/8″ squares:  sixteen grey, fourteen red

5.3/8″ squares:  sixty black

3.7/8″ squares:  ten red, ten grey

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty grey, five red

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units for the stars

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red and a grey 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.

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

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star quilt blocks

Lay the 3.1/2″ squares and the half square triangles out in a nine patch formation.  There’s a red square in the middle, a grey square in each corner and half square triangles in the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to be sure of getting the triangle placements correct.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  You need to make five of these star blocks.

Sew the triangles to the squares

Sew the triangles to the squares

Make the diamond in a square blocks

Cut the 5.3/8″ black squares along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.  Lay a triangle on each edge of the central 6.7/8″ square.  Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square first.  Then press these open and sew the remaining two triangles in place.

Trim the triangle tips

Trim the triangle tips

You will see that there are triangle tips sticking out in the middle of each edge.  Trim these to reduce bulk when you’re sewing the blocks together.

You need to make sixteen of these blocks in grey on black together with fourteen blocks in red on black.

The other block required is a plain 9.1/2″ grey square.

First three rows

First three rows

Assemble the San Marco quilt

Sew the blocks together in nine rows of seven blocks.  I’ll show you the rows three at a time.  In the first and third rows place the plain grey squares in positions one, three, five and seven.  The second row contains grey squares in positions two, four and six.  Place a red diamond in square in the middle of the first row with two red diamonds diagonally below it in row two.  Continue the diagonal lines with two red diamonds in row three.  Fill the remaining spaces with grey diamonds – two each in rows one and two with just one in the third row.

Rows four to six

Rows four to six

Rows four to six form the central area of the quilt.  Place a star in the middle of rows four and six, with three stars in row five.

There are two plain grey squares in each of these rows, together with two grey diamonds in each row.  The red diamonds appear twice in each of rows four and six but there are none of them in row five.

Rows seven to nine

Rows seven to nine

Finally, rows seven to nine are very similar to rows one to three.

The red diamonds are now forming a V shape to complete the overall diamond shape begun in the top of the quilt.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 85.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the San Marco 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:

Venice

Venice

Last week I had a magical few days in Venice.  I had so many photos that I’ve written a separate article about the gorgeous city.  Click here to see my photos and a very short video of a singing gondolier.

 

Venice Quilt Inspirations – Floor Tiles

Venice quilt inspirations

Venice quilt inspirations

Venice quilt inspirations are everywhere!  I have long wanted to visit Venice, and last week my dream finally came true.  Oh what a beautiful city it is.

I was only there for a few days, but I walked myself into the ground in that time.  The guide books suggested that I should not to plan my walks – just to walk randomly and see what beautiful buildings I could find.  I did that and was totally overwhelmed.

Grand Canal Venice

Grand Canal Venice

Grand Canal Venice

First thing I saw as I left the bus station was the Grand Canal.  This is the largest canal wandering through the middle of Venice.  The bridges crossing this canal have about 39 steps going up and the same going down on the other side – and that’s before you’ve even started walking the streets of Venice!

The Scalzi

Church of Santa Maria of Nazareth

Church of Santa Maria of Nazareth

I came across a building that was shrouded in scaffolding and I very nearly walked right past it.

Then I noticed an open door so I headed in and actually felt my eyes well up with the sheer beauty inside.

It turned out to be the Church of Santa Maria of Nazareth, also known as the Scalzi.  So I had nearly walked straight past the second most beautiful church in Venice!  Every square inch of the interior was covered in beautiful paintings, exquisite sculptures and a clever use of different coloured marble for panels and columns.  What a treat!  I returned to this church on my last day just to feast my eyes one more time.

Murano glass

Murano glass

Murano Glass

An added bonus in the Scalzi was a display of Murano glass for the Easter celebrations.  I knew that I wouldn’t have time to visit the island of Murano, home of the glass making industry, so it was lovely to be able to see many Murano pieces displayed throughout the church.

Just an aside on the subject of Murano glass:  I bought three beautiful pizza cutters with Murano glass handles as gifts for the children.  Having only half a brain working, I didn’t give a thought to going through security before the flight back.  They were confiscated at the airport, so the only gift that I took home was a bib for Holly.

Floor tile designs in San Marco

Floor tile designs in San Marco

Venice Quilt Inspirations

Gently I meandered my way across Venice and arrived at the Basilica of San Marco.  This is a World Heritage Site, and deservedly so.  What a beautiful building, both inside and out.

More floors

More floors

Given time I could make a dozen quilts from all the exquisite designs that I saw on the floors.

My first quilt design loosely based on one part of one of these patterns should be finished by Friday.

Canals of Venice

Canals of Venice

The Canals and Gondolas of Venice

I couldn’t finish without a mention of the canals and gondolas of Venice.  Some of the canals are huge, such as the Grand Canal shown at the top of the page, while some of them are very narrow.  The only access to these buildings is by boat.

Gondolas

Gondolas

The gondolas are a tourist attraction but I don’t think they would be used by local people.  I didn’t go on one myself, although it was fun watching them.  The gondolier was the man on the left in a pink shirt and boater hat.

The traditional view of them is the gondolier singing to the passengers, but I only came across that once and managed to get a very short video so that you could hear him:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Chisholm Trail Quilt Block Pattern

Chisholm Trail quilt block

Chisholm Trail quilt block

The Chisholm Trail quilt block is a really simple block that makes up nicely in red, blue and white.  It’s classified as a four patch block and I’ve made it here as a 12″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the Chisholm Trail quilt block

3.7/8″ squares:  seven red, seven white

3.1/2″ squares:  two blue




Make the half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Use 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 give you two half square triangle units.  They are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Make the Chisholm Trail quilt block

Chisholm Trail quilt block layout

Chisholm Trail quilt block layout

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  Make a four patch unit in the middle with two blue squares and two red/white half square triangle units.  Place these so that the red triangles form a butterfly shape in the middle of the block.

In each corner of the block place a half square triangle with the red on the outside.  Between each pair of corners place a pair of half square triangles, laying them so that the white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing in towards the middle.

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

Basic Chisholm Trail quilt idea

Basic Chisholm Trail quilt idea

Chisholm Trail quilt ideas

For the basic quilt idea I have shown sixteen blocks sewn together in four rows of four.  The red seems to form grid lines along the diagonals which is quite attractive.

Same quilt with some rotations

Same quilt with some rotations

In the second idea, there may not seem to be much of a change, but there are a lot more secondary designs showing up.  All I have changed is the rotation of the blocks.  If you concentrate on the direction of the blue squares, you’ll see that I have rotated half the blocks.  This gives an impression of diamonds rather than the grid lines in the first quilt which I found far more pleasing.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Grandmothers Choice Quilt Pattern

Grandmothers choice quilt

Grandmothers choice quilt

For the Grandmothers Choice quilt I have used two different blocks to create a quilt that could be suitably masculine in some colour choices or delightfully feminine in different colour choices.  The quilt is rectangular and is rather large at 64″ by 94″, using twenty four blocks which are all 15″ square finished size.  To complete the quilt I used 1.3/4 yards of white, 2.1/4 yards of brown and 2.3/4 yards of yellow fabric.

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




Cutting requirements for the grandmothers choice quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  seventy two brown, forty eight white

6.1/2″ squares:  forty eight brown

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  forty eight yellow

6.7/8″ squares:  twenty four white, twenty four yellow

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

Grandmothers choice quilt block

Grandmothers choice quilt block

Make the grandmothers choice quilt block

Definitely an easy one this!  Place a 6.1/2″ brown square in each corner with a 3.1/2″ brown square in the middle.  Between each pair of corners place a yellow rectangle.  Sew the pieces together to form three rows and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make twelve of these.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a yellow 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 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the yellow and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the alternate block

Alaska Homestead quilt block layout

Alaska Homestead quilt block layout

For the alternate block I have chosen the Alaska Homestead quilt block.  Lay the squares out as shown with a half square triangle in each corner and a 3.1/2″ brown square in the middle.  Place the triangles so that the white is always on the outside, forming the corners of the block.

Between each pair of corners place a brown square and a white square.  As you can see, that means that the central cross is made of alternating brown and white squares.

Sew the rows to each other

Sew the rows to each other

In the first and third rows you need to sew the two small squares together first.  Then sew the pieces together across the rows.  The second row is straightforward – just sew all the squares together across the row.

Sew the rows to each other to complete the alternate block.  You need to make twelve of these.

Rows 1 and 6

Rows 1 and 6

Assemble the grandmothers choice quilt

The blocks are sewn together in six rows of four.  Each row contains two grandmothers choice block and two alternate blocks.  Rows one and six are made with an alternate block at each end and two grandmothers choice blocks between them.

Rows 2 - 5

Rows 2 – 5

The blocks are reversed for rows 2, 3, 4 and 5, with a grandmothers choice block at each end and two alternate blocks between them.

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

Make the border with 2.1/2″ strips of yellow fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 94.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the 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:

Bourneville pavilion

Bourneville pavilion

After all my gardening last week, I needed a trip to the tip to take all my garden clippings.  I have to go through a part of Birmingham called Bourneville – which of course is where all the chocolate is made.  I will go to Cadbury World one day and show you some photos, but on this particular day it was the Pavilion that struck me.

Bourneville pavilion - side view

Bourneville pavilion – side view

When the boys were young I took them to cricket grounds all over the country for their games, but I don’t remember ever seeing such a beautiful pavilion as this one.  Before you ask, yes it was raining when I took these photos.  You can see the rain spots on the top photo!

Double Star Quilt Block Pattern

Double star quilt block

Double star quilt block

The double star quilt block is surprisingly easy to make – only two colours and it’s made from squares, rectangles and half square triangles only.  It is a big block, though.  I have made it here as a 30″ square finished size, but you could make it as a 20″ square using 2.1/2″ and 2.7/8″ squares instead.  In the size that I have made it, it just needs a few borders to become a lap quilt or a Linus quilt.

Cutting requirements for the double star quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  twelve white

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty red, twenty white

3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles:  six red

9.1/2″ squares:  four white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a 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.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the central star block

Central star layout

Central star layout

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.

Place two rectangles in the middle with a pair of half square triangles on each edge.  Lay the half square triangles so that the white triangles lie together, forming a larger white triangle pointing towards the rectangles.

Add a 3.1/2″ white square in each corner.

Sew the rows together

Sew the rows together

Sew the squares together across the top and bottom rows.  For the middle row you need to sew the two half square triangles together first and then you can sew the pieces together across the row.

Sew the three rows to each other.

Part star layout

Part star layout

Make the part star sections

The parts stars are obviously very similar to the full star block.  Lay the pieces out in three rows of four, using just one rectangle rather than the two used in the full star block.  Arrange the half square triangles in pairs around the rectangle.  Note that there are white squares in the first row only.

Sew the rows to each other

Sew the rows to each other

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

You need to make four of these part star blocks.

Double star quilt block layout

Double star quilt block layout

Assemble the double star quilt block

This last bit is easy:  lay the blocks out in three rows of three.  Place a 9,1/2″ white square in each corner with the full star in the middle.  Lay one part star on each edge of the central star.  Rotate them so that the white corners are always on the outside.

Sew the blocks together across each row.  Note that the rows are different heights:  the first and third rows are 9.1/2″ high while the second row is 12.1/2″ high.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the quilt block.

Basic quilt design

Basic quilt design

Double star quilt suggestions

When the block has been made this large, it doesn’t need much to make it into a quilt.  For my first quilt suggestion I have just added three borders to the block.

The first and third borders are 3″ wide while the middle border is 1″ wide.

Alternate quilt design

Alternate quilt design

As an alternative I have added large half square triangles around the block to give it more of a frame.

These half square triangle units are made from both 4.7/8″ and 9.7/8″ squares.

Here’s the video:

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