Ornament Quilt – Free Pattern

Ornament quilt

Ornament quilt

The idea for the Ornament quilt came from one of Owen Jones designs – but it looks very different now from the original design.  I have designed two different quilt blocks and alternated them across the rows.

The blocks are both very simple, with hardly any half square triangles to make.

The quilt measures 64″ square, using sixteen blocks which are all 15″ square finished size.  I needed 1.3/4 yards of white with 1.1/2 yards each of red and blue fabrics.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the ornament quilt

4.3/4″ squares:  eight blue

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen red, eight each in blue and white

3.1/2″ squares:  sixteen blue

6.1/2″ by 2″ rectangles:  sixteen blue

9.1/2″ by 2″ rectangles:  sixteen blue

9,1.2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two white

5″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen white, sixteen blue

9.1/2″ by 5″ rectangles:  sixteen red

3.1/2″ by 8″ rectangles:  sixteen blue, sixteen white

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

First block layout

First block layout

Make the first block

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows as shown.  Place a red 5.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangle in the top and bottom rows, with a 3.1/2″ by 5.1/2″ blue or white rectangle on either side.  In the top row the white is on the left while in the bottom row the white is on the right.

Make the two middle rows with 3.1/2″ by 8″ blue and white rectangles side by side.  In the second row place the white on the left but in the third row place the white on the right.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the block.  It now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of these.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

You just need two half square triangles for each of the second blocks.

Place a 3.7/8″ blue and white square with right sides together.  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 blue and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Sew a triangle to each edge of the square

Sew a triangle to each edge of the square

Make the diamond in a square

The central area of this block is a diamond in a square.  Cut the 3.7/8″ red squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Place one triangle on each edge of the blue 4.3/4″ square.

Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square and then press them open with the seam allowances towards the red triangle.

Sew the triangles on 2 at a time

Sew the triangles on 2 at a time

Now you can sew the triangles to the sides of the blue square.  Press these open and you will have a blue diamond in a red square.

Note the triangle tips sticking out in the middle of each edge – trim these to reduce bulk in the seams.

Central area of second block

Central area of second block

Make the second block

Place the diamond in a square in the middle of the second block.  Sew a 2″ by 6.1/2″ blue rectangle to the top and bottom and sew 2″ by 9.1/2″ blue rectangle to either side.

Second block layout

Second block layout

For the next frame, sew a 3.1/2″ by 8″ white rectangle to the top and bottom of the block.  Make a column on the left with a 3.1/2″ blue square, another 3.1/2″ by 8″ white rectangle and a blue/white half square triangle at the bottom of the column.

On the right hand side, make a similar column but with the triangle at the top and the square at the bottom of the column.

Sew the three columns to each other to complete the block.  This now measures 15.1/2″ squares and you need to make eight of these.

Rows 1 and 3

Rows 1 and 3

Assemble the ornament quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four, alternating them across each row.

In rows one and three, begin with a diamond in a square block and then alternate across the rows.  Note that the diamond in a square blocks are placed with a blue square on top left of the block, while the stripey blocks are placed with the red rectangles vertical.

Rows 2 and 4

Rows 2 and 4

For rows two and four begin with a stripey block and then alternate the blocks across the rows.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Ornament quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the ornament 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:

Nantes mechanical elephant

Nantes mechanical elephant

Last weekend I visited Nantes in France for their quilt show.  What a wonderful weekend that was!  I have written about both the quilt show and the amazing mechanical elephant in a separate article.  You can read all about them here.

I’ve also included a short video of the elephant in action – he’s so realistic that he even blinks his eyes!

Nine Patch Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Nine patch jelly roll quilt

Nine patch jelly roll quilt

For this nine patch jelly roll quilt I wanted to make the entire quilt using just one jelly roll.  I nearly succeeded, only needing to add two strips of fabric from stash for the final border.  However, I know that jelly rolls do vary in the number of strips of fabric, so you may be able to complete this quilt with just the jelly roll.

There are lots of jelly roll quilt patterns, but I find that very often they require a jelly roll plus a lot of extra fabric.  The target that I set myself here was to use one jelly roll only.




Computer image to show the quilt design

Computer image to show the quilt design

If you haven’t come across jelly rolls before, they are rolls of fabric cut to 2.1/2″ wide and the strips all come from one fabric manufacturer so they usually all go together well.  It’s a great way of getting a wide variety of fabric without having to buy individual quantities of each fabric.  Although the strips are always the same width, the number of strips within a jelly roll can vary.

Because the fabrics vary so much, I have included a computer image of the quilt here using just a few colours so that you can see the quilt design more clearly.

Sort the fabric strips

Sort the fabric strips

Preparing the fabric

I began by sorting the strips into broadly dark, medium and light strips.  In fact I used the medium strips as either dark or light depending on what I needed and I also used them for the borders.

Make the stripey block

Make the stripey block

Make the stripey block

Sew together three strips of fabric in dark, light, dark colours.  This made a panel 6.1/2″ wide by the length of the strips.  Cut this at 6.1/2″ intervals to make a simple 6.1/2″ square.  This is the stripey block.  You should get six of these from each panel.  I found that I could also cut one 2.1/2″ strip from each panel.

Make the nine patch quilt block

Make the nine patch quilt block

Making the nine patch quilt block

For this block I needed panels of dark, light, dark fabric as above, but also some light, dark, light panels of fabric.  Cut these at 2.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles of fabric 2.1/2″ wide by 6.1/2″ long.

Place two dark, light, dark strips of fabric with a light, dark, light strip between them as shown in the top right of the photo.  Sew these three strips together to make the nine patch jelly roll quilt block.

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

The completed blocks

Both these quilt blocks are 6.1/2″ square at this stage.  You need to make twenty four of the stripey blocks and thirty nine of the nine patch jelly roll quilt blocks.

In order to do this, I needed to make nine panels of dark, light, dark fabric together with three panels of light, dark, light fabrics.

First three rows of the nine patch jelly roll quilt

Sew the blocks together in nine rows of seven blocks.

First three rows

First three rows

The first row is made with a stripey block at each end and five nine patch blocks between them.  Note that the left hand stripey block is placed with the stripes horizontal while the other stripey block has the stripes vertical.

In the second row the blocks are reversed, with a nine patch block at each end and five stripey blocks between them.  Note that the stripey blocks alternate between horizontal and vertical placements.

For the third row place a three nine patch blocks in the middle with a vertical stripey block either side of them and a nine patch block at each end.

Central area

Central area

Central area of the quilt

The next four rows are very similar to each other.  Each row has three nine patch blocks in the middle and a nine patch block at each end.  Place the stripey blocks in the second and sixth places of each row.

The stripey blocks alternate down the column, beginning with a horizontal block, then vertical beneath it and so on.  This is the only difference between the rows.

Last two rows

Last two rows

Final two rows of the nine patch jelly roll quilt

The last two rows are similar to the first two rows.  For row eight place a nine patch block at each end with five stripey blocks between them.  In row nine place a stripey block at each end with five nine patch blocks between them.  Check whether the stripey blocks are horizontal or vertical.  My intention with the corner blocks was to have them form a sort of circle around the quilt – that’s why they are placed both horizontally and vertically.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows together.  At this stage the quilt top measures 42.1/2″ by 54.1/2″.

Leftover fabric

Leftover fabric

Make the top and bottom quilt borders

Now my target was to use up the remainder of the jelly roll strips for the borders.  I had six complete strips of fabric and some 6.1/2″ strips left.  Note that you may have a different amount left over as jelly rolls do vary.

Top and bottom borders

Top and bottom borders

I decided to make three borders for the top and bottom of the quilt.

For the first border I used a strip of light fabric.  In the second border I used seven of the 6.1/2″ strips – that’s twenty one squares altogether.

I made the third border with a strip of medium fabric.  Sew the three strips together and sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Make the side borders

By now I was really running short of fabric strips!  I had one light strip left which I didn’t want to use for these borders.  I cut two medium 2.1/2″ strips from my stash and used them with the remaining medium strip and a few individual squares of medium fabric to make two 66.1/2″ lengths for the sides.

That completes the nine patch jelly roll quilt.  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:

Peckforton Castle

Pckforton Castle

My travels last week took me into Staffordshire to somewhere called Peckforton Castle.  What a treat that was!  It’s a genuine castle, although not as old as many of our castles.  It was built in the mid 19th century by a railway magnate for his family.  Outside it looks centuries old but inside there are all mod cons – and two lovely restaurants.

 

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?

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.

 

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.

 

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!

Ombre Quilt – Free Pattern

Ombre quilt

Ombre quilt

The Ombre quilt block is more generally made in colours shading from light to dark, but I’ve chosen to use a strong red within the block to bring out more contrasts.

I have used only one block throughout the quilt, but I love the way that both crosses and diamond patterns appear when they are all sewn together.

The quilt measures 64″ square, using sixteen 15″ square finished size blocks.  I needed 1.3/4 yards each of dark blue, light blue and red fabric.

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




Cutting requirements for the ombre quilt

Ombre quilt block

Ombre quilt block

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two each in dark blue and red, thirty two each in dark blue and light blue, sixty four each in red and light blue

3.1/2″ squares:  sixty four light blue, sixty four red, sixteen dark blue

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Begin with the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units with all the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and 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 darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central section layout

Central section layout

Make the ombre quilt block

Once again it is simpler to look at the central section first.  This is a nine patch unit made with a dark blue square in the middle and a red square on each edge of the central square.  Dark blue/light blue half square triangles are placed in the corners of this central unit with the dark blue nearest the middle.

Ombre quilt block full layout

Ombre quilt block full layout

The outer frame is then fairly easy to add on.  In each corner place a red/dark blue half square triangle with the dark blue on the outside, forming the corners of the block.  Between each pair of corners place a light blue square with a red/light blue half square triangle on either side of it.  Check the photo to be sure which way to place the half square triangles:  you are forming first a light blue and then a red diamond around the central area.

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

Assemble the ombre quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  This really is a very simple quilt to make!

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the ombre 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:

 

St Patricks Day Parade 2017

St Patricks Day Parade 2017

I know that today is St Patricks Day, but the parade in Birmingham was held last Sunday.  It was a lovely day and there was a wonderful atmosphere for the parade.

Last year I prepared a short video of it and most people commented on the bagpipes, so this year I’ve only really included the bagpipes. I hope you enjoy it:

Towers of Camelot Quilt – Free Pattern

Towers of Camelot quilt

Towers of Camelot quilt

The Towers of Camelot quilt block is also known as Air Castles.  It’s the quarter square triangles that form that make you think of turrets and castles.  There are three techniques needed for each block, but once you have made these the quilt block goes together really quickly as a simple nine patch.  Each step is simple – trust me!

I’ve made it as a rectangular quilt as I’ve been told that I make too many square quilts.  It measures 60″ by 78″, using twelve 18″ square finished size blocks.  The quilt used 1.1/4 yards of turquoise, 2 yards of white and 2.3/4 yards of blue fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  If you visit the online shop, you’ll find that all payments are now through Paypal, but you don’t have to have a Paypal account – you can buy as a guest using your card in the normal way.




Cutting requirements for the Towers of Camelot quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

6.7/8″ squares:  twenty turquoise, twenty white, twenty blue

7.1/4″ squares:  ten blue, ten white

4.3/4″ squares: ten white

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty turquoise

13.1/4″ squares:  two blue

9.7/8″ squares:  four white

For the binding you will need to cut eight 3.1/2″ strips of blue across the width of fabric

Make the half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Use the 6.7/8″ squares in turquoise and white only for the half square triangle units.  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 triangles which are now 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the turquoise and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make quarter square triangle units

Make quarter square triangle units

Make the quarter square triangle units

First you need to make half square triangles as above using the 7.1/4″ blue and white squares.  This produces half square triangle units which are 6.7/8″ squares.

Place a blue 6.7/8″ square right sides together with one of the blue/white half square triangles.  Line up the edges and mark a line along the diagonal that crosses the other seam – make sure that your two seams won’t both run along the same diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces a quarter square triangle unit made up of one large blue triangle, one small blue triangle and one small white triangle.  These are now 6.1/2″ squares.

Make the diamond in a square units

Make the diamond in a square

Make the diamond in a square

The central section of the Towers of Camelot quilt block is a white diamond in a turquoise square.  Cut the 3.7/8″ turquoise squares along one diagonal to make two triangles.  Place one triangle on each edge of the 4.3/4″ white square.  I know the square doesn’t look very white in the photo, but it was a dull day when I took the photos.

Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square and then press them open.  Next sew the two triangles to the sides and press them open.  Trim the edges of the resulting square as the fabric from the triangle tips sticks out in the middle of each edge.

For each block you need four half square triangle units, four quarter square triangle units and one diamond in a square.

Towers of Camelot quilt block layout

Towers of Camelot quilt block layout

Make the towers of Camelot quilt block

Lay the sections out in three rows of three.  Place a diamond in a square unit with a quarter square triangle unit on each edge and a half square triangle in each corner.  Sew the sections together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

You need to make ten of these blocks.

Make the alternate block

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

This block is another diamond in a square, but using much larger pieces.

Cut the 9.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to make triangles.  Place one triangle on each edge of the blue 13.1/4″ square.  Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square first.  Press these open and then sew the side triangles to the square.  Trim the edges of the block to remove the triangle tips in the middle of each edge.

Make two of the alternate blocks.

Rows 1 and 4

Rows 1 and 4

Assemble the Towers of Camelot quilt

Lay the blocks out in four rows of three blocks.

Rows one and four are made with three towers blocks side by side.

For rows two and three place an alternate block in the middle with a towers block on either side.

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

Add the quilt binding

Add the quilt binding

Add the quilt binding

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of blue fabric for the binding.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 78.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Towers of Camelot quilt.  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:

Colour through quilting

Colour through quilting

Yesterday I went to Malvern for the Stitch and Craft show. The quilting section was larger than I had expected, with some gorgeous quilts on display.

This one was a black background with all the colour coming from the quilting – very impressive.

It was lovely bumping into (not literally) quilters who knew me through the website – thanks for saying hello.

Landscape quilts

Landscape quilts

These landscape quilts were incredibly realistic.  The one on the right was amazingly detailed with all the branches interlocking in both the top and in the reflection.

I do so admire the attention to detail shown by these quilters.  It inspired me to take a walk in the Malvern hills afterwards.  I think that I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on a much longer walk than I had expected.  As it was such a lovely sunny day that wasn’t really a problem.

Judy Niemeyer quilt pattern

Judy Niemeyer quilt pattern

There were several quilts made from Judy Niemeyer patterns.  Her quilts have always impressed me, so it was really exciting to see some of them in the flesh.

I finished with a quick walk around the town of Malvern, sampling the famous spring water from a tap in the street. Altogether a marvellous day out.

Easter Cross Quilt – Free Pattern

Easter Cross quilt

Easter Cross quilt

I’ve made the Easter Cross quilt with a cross in each quilt block and also a cross within the overall design.  The block is my own design and you may be pleased to know that it is made with only squares and rectangles.  I haven’t used a single triangle!

The quilt measures 67″ square, using 1 yard each of dark blue and medium blue, 1.1/2 yards of light blue, 1.1/4 yards of red and just 1/2 yard of yellow fabric.  I made nine blocks, each one 21″ square finished size.

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




Completed Easter Cross quilt block

Completed Easter Cross quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Easter Cross quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  fifty two medium blue, eighteen red, eighteen yellow, seventy two dark blue

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  seventy two light blue, thirty six dark blue

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  nine yellow

2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  fifty four light blue, fifty four red

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

Easter Cross quilt block layout

Easter Cross quilt block layout

Make the Easter Cross quilt block

The block is simple to make, with the pieces laid out in seven rows.

Make rows one and seven with a dark blue square at each end.  Place a medium blue square in the middle and two 6.1/2″ light blue rectangles between them.

Rows two and six have a 6.1/2″ light blue rectangle at each end.  In the middle there’s a red square with a medium blue square either side of it.

For rows three and five place a 2″ light blue rectangle at each end with a 6.1/2″ medium blue rectangle just inside them.  The middle of these rows consists of a yellow square with a red 2″ rectangle either side.

Finally for the fourth (middle) row place a 9.1/2″ yellow strip in the middle with a 2″ red strip either side followed by a medium blue square either side and a 2″ light blue strip at each end.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the quilt block.  This now measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Alternate quilt block

Alternate quilt block

Make the alternate quilt block

In the alternate block I have swapped the dark blue and medium blue pieces, but left the red, yellow and light blue pieces exactly the same.  As you can see, this gives a darker block and I have used this to form the shape of the cross within the quilt.

Make five of the alternate block.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Easter Cross quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Place an Easter Cross block at each end with an alternate block in the middle for rows one and three.

Row two

Row two

In order to make row two, place three alternate blocks side by side.

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.  Sew a 63.1/2″ length to the top and bottom of the quilt.  Then make 67.1/2″ lengths for the sides.

That completes the Easter Cross 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:

Feathers Hotel Ludlow

Feathers Hotel Ludlow

I think that I may have mentioned problems with my computer over the last few weeks.  Last week it became a far more serious problem so I took a trip back to Ludlow for my wonderful computer man to work his magic on it.  Luckily he was able to fix the problem while I re visited my old haunts around Ludlow.

The Feathers Hotel is a 17th century coaching inn.  The front view is stunning and it’s easy to see how it came to be known as ‘the most handsome inn in the world’.  I had a very welcome coffee in there to escape the constant rain.

Owen Jones Quilt – Free Pattern

Owen Jones quilt

Owen Jones quilt

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

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

Original Owen Jones design

Original Owen Jones design

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

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




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

Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Owen Jones quilt

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

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

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty six light blue

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

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 2.1/2″ squares.

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

Make the central area of the block

Layout of the central area

Layout of the central area

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

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

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

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

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

Owen Jones quilt block layout

Owen Jones quilt block layout

Complete the Owen Jones quilt block

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

Sew the long strips together first

Sew the long strips together first

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

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

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Owen Jones quilt

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

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

Row two

Row two

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

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Stitches 2017

Stitches 2017

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

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

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