Flamingo Quilt Pattern – Tropicana Fabrics

Flamingo quilt

Flamingo quilt

For the Flamingo quilt pattern I have used fabrics from a lovely new range called Tropicana by Fabric Freedom.  I have based the block on the golden gate quilt block, using twelve 18″ blocks sewn together in four rows of three.

The rectangular quilt measures 62″ by 80″.  I have used 1 yard of pink fabric, 1.1/2 yards of green, 1/2 yard of the flamingo fabric, 3/4 yard of the tropical leaves fabric, with 1 yard of the large leaves and 1.1/4 yards of the small leaves fabric.

All these fabrics are available at a 10″ discount in this week’s special offer, but in addition I am holding a 12% sale this week (details below) to celebrate the new look to my shop.




Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the flamingo quilt

6.7/8″ squares:  twenty four pink, twenty four large leaves fabric

6.1/2″ squares:  twelve flamingo

6,1.2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ninety six small leaves, forty eight green – cut sixteen and eight strips across the width of fabric for these

For the borders you will need fifteen 1.1/2″ green strips and eight 2.1/2″ tropical leaves strips, all cut across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a pink and a large leaves square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Mark a seam along one diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  These are now 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the pink triangle and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the stripey blocks

Make the stripey blocks

Make the stripey blocks

Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of green and small leaves fabric for this block.  Use a light fabric on either side with a dark fabric in the middle.

Cut these panels at 6.1/2″ intervals to make 6.1/2″ squares.  You need four of these for each block – forty eight in total.

Flamingo quilt block layout

Flamingo quilt block layout

Make the flamingo quilt block

The block itself is very easy to make – a simple nine patch block.

Place a flamingo block in the middle with a stripey block on each edge of the central square.  Place these so that in two of them the stripes are horizontal while in the other two they are vertical.  This way they form a frame around the central square.

Place a half square triangle unit in each corner of the block, always with the pink on the outside forming the corners of the block.  The pink was chosen to tie in with the flamingoes and has the lovely name of Hot Pink!

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together.  The blocks measure 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of them.

Assemble the flamingo quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three.  The blocks are symmetrical so it doesn’t matter which way you sew them unless like me you are using a directional fabric.  I made sure that I kept the flamingoes standing the right way up when I sewed the blocks together.

Three quilt borders

Three quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

I had intended to use one border only.  However I decided that the quilt deserved more of a frame so I ended up with three borders.

I made the first border using 1.1/2″ strips of green:  two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 74.1/2″ for the sides.

For the second border I used 2.1/2″ strips of a new fabric called Tropical Leaves.  I needed two lengths of 56.1/2″ for top and bottom with two lengths of 78.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally for the third border I returned to the 1.1/2″ strips of green – two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 80.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Flamingo 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:

Stepping stones

Stepping stones

I was asked for an image of the stepping stones in my garden so here it is.  Apologies for the shadow of the friend with his spade who helped me – I didn’t notice it till this morning.

They mean that I should be able to walk to my workshop in the winter without my feet sinking in to soggy grass.

New shop design

Now the big news this week is that I have a new home page on my shop.  It was suggested to me by the people who run the shopping cart side of things.  It was terribly stressful when they began work because they were emphasising what I thought were all the wrong things and using photos from the internet rather than my own photos.  Luckily we managed to agree things eventually and I am thrilled with the results – much more professional looking than it used to be.

In order to celebrate the new look  I am holding an autumn sale – 12% off all purchases over £5 throughout the shop.  No coupon code needed – the discount will be applied automatically at the checkout.  You can browse the shop here.

Broken Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Broken star quilt

Broken star quilt

I’ve used the Broken Star quilt block together with trumpet cornerstones to make this pretty quilt.  It measures 42″ square and I’ve used 1.1/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of yellow and brown together with 1/2 yard of orange.

I’ve used flying geese units within the block – don’t be worried if you haven’t made these before.  They really are very simple to make.

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




Cutting requirements for the broken star quilt

6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangles:  four white, eight yellow, eight brown

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

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two white, eight orange

6.1/2″ squares:  five white

3.1/2″ squares:  four white

For the borders you will need four 3.1/2″ strips each of orange, yellow and brown together with sixteen 5″ squares each in brown and yellow.

Making flying geese units

Making flying geese units

Make the flying geese units

There are many ways of making flying geese units, but I have chosen the most straightforward way this time.  Place a 6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangle with right sides up.  Lay a 3.7/8″ square right sides together on one side of the rectangle.  Mark a line along the diagonal of the square and sew along the line.

Cut the fabric 1/4″ away from the seam (in the photo this step is middle left).  Discard the two triangles that you have cut off (brown and orange) and press the remaining part of the square open.

Completed flying geese units

Completed flying geese units

Place another square right sides together on the other side of the rectangle.  Repeat the above step, drawing a line along the diagonal, trimming off excess fabric and pressing the triangle open.  There is a different method of making flying geese here.

Trim the flying geese units

Trim the flying geese units

You need to make eight flying geese units in yellow and white, four in brown and orange, four in white and orange.  Trim them to 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, making sure to trim from all four edges.

Broken star quilt block top section

Broken star quilt block top section

Make the broken star quilt block

The top and bottom sections of this block are the same as each other.  These sections consist of two rows.  Make the first row with a 6.1/2″ white square at each end, then a yellow/white flying geese unit.  In the centre place a 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle with an orange/white flying geese unit beneath it.  For the second row place a yellow/white flying geese unit at each end, then a 3.1/2″ white square with a brown/orange flying geese in the middle.  Check the photo to make sure that you have the flying geese units correctly placed.

Sew the white rectangle and orange/white flying geese together first and then sew the patchwork pieces together across the rows.  Sew the two rows to each other.  Make two of these sections – one for the top of the block and the other to be placed upside down for the bottom section.

Middle row

Middle row

To make the middle row place a 6.1/2″ white square at each end and in the middle.  On either side of the central square place a brown/orange and a white/orange flying geese unit.

Sew the pieces together across the row.

Broken star quilt block layout

Broken star quilt block layout

Here you can see the full layout of the broken star quilt block when the three sections of the block have been sewn together.  Now you just need to sew the three sections to each other.

Top border

Top border

Add the quilt border

Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of brown, yellow and orange.  Make four of these and cut them to give strips 24.1/2″ long by 9.1/2″ wide.

Sew one to the top of the broken star block and one to the bottom.

Make the trumpet units

For the cornerstones I am indebted to Jennie Rayment.  She’s a star and if you ever have the chance to take one of her workshops then do grab the opportunity.  She always provides lots of information and lots of laughs.

Fold the square twice

Fold the square twice

I am using four trumpets for each corner unit.  Fold a yellow 5″ square along one diagonal with right sides together.  Then fold the resulting triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.  This has all the raw edges along one side, a fold on the second side and two folded layers on the third side.  This last is the open edge.

Sew the triangle between two squares

Sew the triangle between two squares

Place a yellow triangle along one edge of a brown 5″ square.  The side of the triangle with all raw edges lies along the edge of the square.

Place a second brown square right sides together on top of the first square.  Sew the edge that encloses the triangle to join the two squares with the yellow triangle appearing now between the two squares.

Press the triangle flat to make a pouch. and press.  Make eight of these units.

Lay two units to make a four patch

Lay two units to make a four patch

Complete the corner units

Lay two of the units with the open edges of the yellow triangles furthest from the middle.  Place two more yellow triangles to lie along the top of the bottom unit, meeting in the middle.  Make sure that the open edges of the triangles are at the ends away from the middle.

Completed corner unit

Completed corner unit

Flip the top unit down right sides together with the bottom unit and sew the two units together.

Flatten the triangles and press.

Sew the corner units in place

Sew the corner units in place

Sew one corner unit to each end of the two remaining border strips.  Add one strip to each side of the quilt.

Secure the trumpets

Secure the trumpets

There are several ways of securing the trumpets in place.  I have chosen to add a few stitches to either side of each trumpet just at the corners where my finger is pointing in the photo.

That completes the broken star 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:

Flower display

Flower display

Last week I visited the Malvern Autumn Show.  The flowers on display were absolutely beautiful.  I was fired with enthusiasm and bought loads of spring bulbs although I could never hope to arrange my flowers as beautifully as the displays at the show.

Superb vegetables

Superb vegetables

They also had a section of giant vegetables which was fun to see.  These leeks must have been several feet long.

Giant marrows

Giant marrows

Although this isn’t a brilliant photo I thought that it would give you an idea of the size of these vegetables when seen beside people.

I had a problem on my way home which made it into a long day.  Birmingham was holding its first 100 mile bike race, Velo Birmingham.  It was a tremendous success (well done Birmingham!) but there were lots and lots of road closures.  My area seemed to be shut off completely and it took me ages to find a way home.

Moreton Hall Quilt Pattern – Stained Glass

Moreton Hall quilt

Moreton Hall quilt

The Moreton Hall quilt pattern is based on the outer walls of Little Moreton Hall.  When I showed you a photo after I had visited the hall, several quilters commented on what a lovely quilt it would make – and they were absolutely right!

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

I began with the stark black and white design that is common to Tudor buildings but then decided that I wanted some colour.  The addition of red and blue changed the look of the quilt completely.  Suddenly it began to look like a stained glass window.  I’m thrilled with it!




The quilt is rectangular, measuring about 47″ by 56″, using sixteen blocks which are also rectangular.  I have used 1/2 yard of blue fabric, 3/4 yard of white, 1 yard of red and 1.1/2 yards of black fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s Moreton Hall quilt kit.  Several people told me that they had trouble with the checkout process when they were buying fabric.  Thanks for alerting me to this – it has now been fixed and you should be able to use the Secure Checkout tab without any problems.

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Moreton Hall quilt

Black fabric:  thirty two rectangles 1.7/8″ by 12.1/2″, thirty two rectangles 1.7/8″ by 6.7/8″.  For the sashing and borders you will need twelve rectangles 2″ by 10.1/2″ as well as eleven 2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.

Red fabric:  sixteen rectangles 1.7/8″ by 9.3/4″, eight 2.7/8″ squares.  For the border you will need five 3.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.

Blue fabric:  sixteen rectangles 1.7/8″ by 9.3/4″, eight 2.7/8″ squares.

White fabric:  sixteen rectangles 1.7/8″ by 13.7/8″.

Shaping the rectangles

Shaping the rectangles

Make the first half of the block

Cut the red and blue squares along one diagonal to make two triangles.  Each block contains a triangle in two corners and the rest of the block comprises stripes of varying size and colour.

To make the stripes in red, blue and black, fold down the top corner on each end of the rectangles so that it touches the bottom edge.  This forms a fold running from the bottom corner of the rectangle to the top edge.  Cut along the fold.

I would recommend that you don’t cut the white rectangles until you are ready to place them – the cuts are different for the white and I felt that it was safer to cut them when I could see which direction the edges need to point.

Begin in the bottom left corner

Begin in the bottom left corner

Begin with a blue triangle in the bottom left corner of the block.  Add a black stripe cut from a 6.7/8″ rectangle.  Now add a blue stripe cut from a 9.3/4″ rectangle.

I’ve shown the blue triangles that I have cut off to help you see where the cuts were made.

Continue with a black stripe cut from a 12.1/2″ rectangle.

Add the white stripe

Cut the white rectangle

Cut the white rectangle

Now comes the white stripe.  Follow the photo and fold down the top right corner of the rectangle.  Fold up the bottom left corner of the rectangle.  Cut along the folds.

Place the white stripe

Place the white stripe

Now lay the white stripe in place.  The black stripe above it is from another 12.1/2″ rectangle.  Notice that the stripes below the white were all placed like a bowl with the shorter edge at the bottom.  Place the black stripe above the white with the shorter edge at the top, like a mountain.

Look along the left hand edge and you’ll see a (more or less) straight line which will be the left hand edge of the block.  From the black stripe above the white the edge starts to run across the top of the block.

Complete layout

Complete layout

Continue adding stripes – a red stripe from a 9.3/4″ rectangle followed by a black stripe from a 6.7/8″ rectangle.  The red triangle completes the layout for this block.

Sew the stripes together, beginning with the blue triangle and adding stripes.

The blue overlaps the black

The blue overlaps the black

The triangle overlaps the black rectangle.  This means that when you press the triangle open you will get a straight line across the seam.  The same applies on each seam.

Press the block and trim the seams to remove all the ends of triangles sticking out.  I had intended the blocks to be 8.1/2″ by 10.1/2″ but mine ended up measuring 8″ by 10″.  The important thing is to keep all the blocks the same size as each other.  You need to make eight of them.

Make the second block

Make the second block

Make the second block

Not being the brightest button in the box, I had planned on rotating the blocks to form the design – until I remembered that the blocks were rectangular.  So the second block is almost exactly the same as the first, but the stripes move in a different direction.  I’ve shown the two blocks next to each other so that you can see how similar they are.

I built up the second block (on the left) from the bottom right corner, rather than the bottom left.  Follow the triangle with the same stripes in the same order.  Just pay special attention to the white stripe.  If you cut this stripe so that the edges are horizontal rather than vertical you will end up with another block the same as the first.  I know because that’s what I did!  My seam ripper worked hard while I made this quilt.  You need to fold the bottom right corner up and the top left corner down.  Apart from that the block is identical to the first.  Make eight of these as well.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Moreton Hall quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Rows one and three are the same as each other.  Alternate the blocks across the row so that they form the top half of two red diamonds.

Lay three sashing strips between the blocks so that you have sashing between all of the blocks but not at the ends of the rows.

Rows two and four

Rows two and four

Rows two and four are the same as each other.  Lay the blocks so that they form the bottom half of two red diamonds.  Again, place three sashing strips between the blocks of each row.

Sew the blocks and sashing together across each row.

Add sashing between the rows

Add sashing between the rows

Join the rows with sashing

Cut five 2″ black strips to use as sashing between the rows.  These will be about 36.1/2″ long.  Sew one strip to the top of the first row, then one between all the rows and one at the bottom of the quilt.

Add sashing to the sides

Add sashing to the sides

In order to enclose the design fully, sew a 2″ black strip to each side of the quilt.  These will be about 47.1/2″ long.

Add the Moreton Hall quilt borders

I wanted a strong frame for the quilt, so I added two more borders.  For the first of these I used 3.1/2″ strips of red:  two lengths of 39.1/2 for the top and bottom and two lengths of 53.1/2″ for the sides.

For the final border I returned to the 2″ black strips:  two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the sides.  These measurements for the borders are all approximate.

That completes the Moreton Hall 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:

Llandrindodd Wells

Llandrindodd Wells

My travels this week took me to Wales.  I visited several lovely areas but for this week I’ll just mention Llandrindodd Wells.  I hadn’t realised that this used to be a spa town – although the name of the town should have given me a clue!  On my way to see the old Victorian bath house I came across a gorgeous small forest all set up with walking trails.  Beside one particularly pretty section with a waterfall these four chairs (the four Kings) had been set up.  They were designed by a local artist and they were a real pleasure to see – so fitting for their surroundings.

Christmas Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Christmas Star quilt

Christmas Star quilt

The Christmas Star quilt is bright and cheerful and will definitely put you in the festive mood!  It’s small enough to be relatively quick to make but large enough to be useful as a throw, lap quilt or even on the festive table.

I’ve used 1.1/4 yards each of white and red, 1/2 yard each of batik green and metallic green with 1/4 yard of brown fabric.  The quilt measures 46″ square, using nine 12″ squares finished size with a Christmas tree border.

You can buy these fabrics at a discount by clicking on Christmas Star quilt kit.




Completed Christmas star quilt block

Completed Christmas star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas Star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  nine white, four metallic green

4.7/8″ squares:  eighteen each in red and batik green, eighteen each in red and white

2.7/8″ squares:  thirty six each in metallic green and white

1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four white and two brown, eight red

2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four white

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red square eight sides together with either a green or a white square and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This gives you two half square triangles which are now 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Christmas star quilt block layout

Christmas star quilt block layout

Make the Christmas star quilt block

Lay the squares out in three rows of three.  Place a 4.1/2″ white square in the middle with a red/white half square triangle on each edge of the central square.  Lay a red/green half square triangle in each corner with the green on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  This measures 12.1/2″ square at the moment and you need to make nine of these.

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.

Make the base of the tree

Make the base of the tree

Make the Christmas tree border

For this border I have changed to a different green – this one has a gold sheen to it, more like a decorated tree I thought.

For the trunk of the tree you need a brown square with a white strip on either side of it.  The simplest way to make this is by strip piecing.  Sew together a 1.1/2″ brown strip with a 2″ white strip on either side of it.  Cut this panel at 1.1/2″ intervals.  This creates rectangles 1.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ for the base of the tree.

Christmas tree layout

Christmas tree layout

Make half square triangles with the 2.7/8″ white and metallic green squares.

Place two half square triangles side by side with the green triangles forming a larger green triangle.  Lay the rectangle for the trunk beneath them.

Sew the half square triangles together and then sew them to the rectangle.  This creates a rectangle 4.1/2″ wide by 3.1/2″ high.  I was going to add a 1.1/2″ red strip across the top at this stage but then I realised that it would be far quicker to add a red strip after the tree blocks have been sewn together.

Sew the trees in strips of nine

Sew the trees in strips of nine

You need to make thirty six of the tree blocks and sew them together in four rows of nine trees each.

Add the first border

Add the first border

Complete the first border

Cut four 1.1/2″ red strips 36.1/2″ long and sew one to the top of each strip of trees.  Much easier doing it this way, isn’t it!

Sew one strip to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.  Remember to place them so that the tree trunk is nearest the quilt.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Sew a 4.1/2″ metallic green square to each end of the two remaining strips of trees.  Sew one strip to each side of the quilt.

Add the final border

Add the final border

The final border

As a final border I have used more 1.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Christmas Star 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:

Osborne House

Osborne House

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful few days in the Isle of Wight.  If you live outside the UK, this is an island off the south coast of England.  I took loads of photos and had great fun deciding which ones to show you.

Formal gardens

Formal gardens

In the end I decided that you would be most interested in Osborne House.  It was built for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 19th century and apparently they spent a lot of time there.  I can certainly see why!

Osborne House interior

Osborne House interior

The gardens and parkland were gorgeous – and the interior was exquisite.  Some of the rooms were completely breathtaking.  Funnily enough, they didn’t feel formal – I felt that I could imagine Victoria there with her children and grand children running round the place.

Batwing Quilt – Free Pattern

Batwing quilt

Batwing quilt

In the Batwing quilt I have used two very simple blocks to make quite a striking quilt.  I’ve simplified the batwing quilt block – although it was pretty simple to start with!

The quilt measures 49″ square.  I have used 3/4 yard of dark purple, 1 yard of light purple and 1.1/2 yards of white fabric.   You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

The blocks are all 15″ square finished size – five batwing quilt blocks and four alternate quilt blocks.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the batwing quilt

6.7/8″ squares:  ten purple, ten white

3.1/2″ squares:  five dark purple, fifty two light purple, forty eight white

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

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a blue 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.  Each one is now 6.1/2″ square.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue triangle and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Batwing quilt block layout

Batwing quilt block layout

Make the batwing quilt block

Lay the pieces out in three rows of three.  Place a half square triangle in each corner with a white rectangle between each pair of half square triangles.  Check the photo to be sure which way to place the triangles.

In the middle row place a dark purple square with a white rectangle on either side of it.

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

At this stage the block should measure 15.1/2″ square.  You need to make five of these.

Sew 2 strips

Sew 2 strips

Make the alternate block

For this block I used some strip piecing to save time.  Sew a 3.1/2″ strip of white and of light purple together along the length.  Cut this panel at 3.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles. These measure 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ and contain a purple square and a white square.

The alternate block is made of five rows of five alternating squares.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Use the pairs of squares together with individual purple and white squares to make the rows.

The first, third and fifth rows start with a purple square while the second and fourth rows start with a white square.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block. This now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the batwing quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  For rows one and three place an alternate block in the middle with a batwing block on either side.

Row two

Row two

In row two the layout is reversed, with a batwing block in the middle and an alternate block on each side.

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

Dark purple for the border

Dark purple for the border

Add the quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ dark purple strips for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the batwing 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:

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

A few weeks ago I went to Warrington for a meeting. On the way up I called in at Little Moreton Hall.  What an experience!  Apparently most architects are in agreement that the place should not still be standing.  The whole building is warped and the walls and floors have all sorts of curves and slanted lines that shouldn’t be there.  Walking across the floor of the upper hall could make you feel seasick it was so wavy.  The fact that it was so different from anywhere else I had visited made it a wonderful day.

Change of emphasis

Usually I send out a quilt pattern every Friday.  I have been giving this a lot of thought recently and I’ve decided that from now on I will send you a full quilt pattern every other Friday.  On the Fridays in between the project will be more general – maybe a bag pattern, something to make for a gift, or even an idea for a quilt border or quilting design.  I hope you’ll find this interesting and would welcome your thoughts on my idea.

Monkey Wrench Star Quilt Pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

For the Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern I have used only one block.  I have created the stars through variations in the colour.  Altogether I’ve used six blocks which are 16″ square finished size and three borders.  I’m rather pleased with this pattern.

I’ve made each block with a red and white four patch unit in the middle. Then I’ve added a series of triangles attached to the edges of the squares to build up the blocks.

The quilt measures 42″ by 58″.  I have used 3/4 yard each of white and dark blue with 1/2 yard each of light blue, medium blue, red and yellow.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the monkey wrench star quilt pattern

3.3/8″ squares:  twelve red, twelve white

4.7/8″ squares:  twelve light blue

8.7/8″ squares:  eight white, two medium blue, two dark blue

9.1/4″ squares:  four yellow, two dark blue, one medium blue

For the borders cut five 2.1/2″ red strips, five 1.1/2″ yellow strips and five 2.1/2″ dark blue strips, all cut across the width of fabric.

Make the 4 patch units

Make the 4 patch units

Make the four patch units

Sew a 3,3.8″ strip of red and of white together along the length.  Then cut this panel at 3.3/8″ intervals to make rectangles.  Each rectangle contains one white and one red square.  Sew these together in pairs with the colours diagonally opposite each other.  You can see this in the top right of the photo.

Cut squares along one diagonal

Cut squares along one diagonal

Add the first triangles

Cut the light blue 4.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to form two triangles from each square.

Add triangles to the square

Add triangles to the square

Place one triangle on each edge of the four patch unit.  Sew two opposite triangles to the 4 patch unit first.  Press these two triangles open and then add the two remaining triangles.

The progression shown in the photo runs from top left to bottom left, then top right followed by bottom right.  As you can see, you end up with a diamond in a square.

At this stage the squares measure 8.1/2″ square.  Make six of them all the same.  The blocks all contain this central area and then the colours begin to vary in the following frames.  For this reason, I’ve shown the blocks from now on in each row, two at a time.  I found that this was the simplest way to be sure that I had the right colours in the right block.

Cut along both diagonals

Cut along both diagonals

Blocks for row one – first frame

Cut the yellow, medium blue and dark blue 9.1/4″ squares along both diagonals to make four triangles from each square.

Row one next frame

Row one next frame

In the lefthand block of row one, place three yellow and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.  Place the same triangles in the second block, but note that they are positioned differently.  The central squares are placed so that the red squares run vertically within the block.  Now sew the triangles to the central squares two at a time.  Press the first triangles open and then add the second pair of triangles.  At this stage the blocks should measure fractionally under 12″ square.

Final frame for row one

Final frame for row one

Row one – final frame

For the outer frame of these blocks, cut the 8.7/8″ white, medium blue and dark blue squares along one diagonal only to make two triangles per square. On both blocks place three white and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the square.  Notice that the placement is different on each block – the dark blue triangles together form a larger dark blue triangle at the base of the blocks.

As before, sew these triangles on two at a time, pressing before adding the second two triangles.

That completes the two blocks for row one.  They should now measure 16.1/2″ square.  I find it best to sew these two blocks together straight away to avoid any confusion with the next blocks that you make.

Row two next frame

Row two next frame

Row two

Make the next two blocks for row two in the same way, but with different colour placements.  This time each block has two yellow, one medium blue and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.

Row two outer frame

Row two outer frame

Make the outer frame with two white, one dark blue and one medium blue triangle for each block.

Place the white triangles on the sides with the dark blue at the top and the medium blue at the bottom of the block.  Again the blues form larger triangles – dark blue at the top and medium blue at the bottom.

Sew rows one and two together

Sew rows one and two together

Once again sew the blocks to each other.  When you sew these two rows together you can see the stars beginning to form.  I think that you can see now why I chose to sew the rows together as I went.  It would have been terribly easy to muddle the blocks – well, it would for me anyway!

Row three next frame

Row three next frame

Row three

Make the next frame for the blocks for the third row with three yellow and one medium blue triangle on each block.

Row three outer frame

Row three outer frame

For the outer frame place three white and one medium blue triangles on the edges of the squares.  The medium blue together form a larger medium blue triangle and the white lies on the sides and the base of the row.  As ever, sew the triangles on two at a time, then press and add the remaining two triangles.

Sew the blocks to each other and then sew them to rows one and two.

At this stage the monkey wrench star quilt top measures 32.1/2″ by 48.1/2″.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used three borders to give a good strong frame to the quilt.  For the first border use 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You need to cut two lengths of 32.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border with 1.1/2″ strips of yellow:  two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally use 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue for the third border.  You need two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the monkey wrench star 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:

Athletics World Championships

Athletics World Championships

Thank you so much for all the kind wishes and comments that you sent me last week regarding my hand.  They really did make me feel a huge amount better!  My hand has improved enormously and I’m having the stitches out this afternoon.  I did as I was told and took it easy last week.  I went to stay with my son in London and watched the World Championship Athletics on two evenings.  The first evening it was weather for ducks but still very enjoyable.  The second evening was brilliant weather and a really exciting evening.

 

Old Indian Trail Quilt – Free Pattern

Old Indian trail quilt

Old Indian trail quilt

For the Old Indian Trail quilt I have used two different blocks – the block of the same name and a simple alternating squares block.  I think this is one of those blocks where you can see how it came by its name fairly easily.  I feel that this quilt looks very much like a mosaic.  The quilt uses sixteen blocks, all 15″ square finished size.

The quilt measures 64″ square and I have used 1/2 yard of blue fabric, 1.1/2 yards of red, 1 yard of yellow and 2 yards of white.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the old indian trail quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  forty eight red, forty eight white, twelve yellow

3.7/8″ squares ninety six red, ninety six white

For the alternate block you will need fifty two blue 3.1/2″ squares with forty eight white 3.1/2″ squares.  Some of these can be strip pieced, so don’t cut the squares until you have read the pattern.

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

My apologies for the number of half square triangles to those of you who don’t like making them!  Place a red and a white 3.7/8″ 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.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central section of the block

Central section of the block

Make the old indian trail quilt block

The central section of this block is a simple nine patch unit.  Place three red squares along one diagonal with two white squares in the remaining two corners.  Add four half square triangle units around the central square.  Place these so that the red triangles form that large red stripe running down the diagonal.

Old Indian trail quilt block layout

Old Indian trail quilt block layout

Now it’s easy to add the outer frame of the block.  Add two white squares in the top left and bottom right corners.  Place a red and a yellow square in the other two corners.

Between each pair of corners lay three half square triangle units.  Across the top and down the right hand side place the red triangles bottom left of their squares.  Down the left hand side and across the bottom place the red triangles top right of their squares.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Old Indian trail quilt block.  It measures 15.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of these.

Make pairs of blue and white squares

Make pairs of blue and white squares

Make the alternate block

For the blocks in the corners of the quilt I have used alternating blue and white squares.  Some of these can be made by strip piecing – sew together a blue and a white 3.1/2″ strip along the length.  Cut this panel at 3.1/2″ intervals.  This gives you rectangles 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ which are basically a square each of blue and white.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

These can be used for part of the block, but as you need five squares across each row you will also need individual squares to complete the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the Old Indian trail quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  In the first row place an alternate block at each end.  Place the two Old Indian blocks in the middle of the row so that the red stripes form a peak in the middle.  The yellow squares lie side by side at the bottom of the row.

Row two

Row two

For the second row you need four old indian trail quilt blocks.  Place the first two so that the red stripe runs from bottom left to top right with the yellow squares in the bottom right corner.  Lay the second two blocks so that the red stripe runs from top left to bottom right with the yellow squares in the bottom left corner.

Row three

Row three

Row three is similar to row two, but the red stripes run from top left to bottom right for the first two blocks.  The yellow squares are in the top right position.  Place the second two blocks so that the red stripes run from bottom left to top right with the yellow squares in the top left corner.

Row four

Row four

Finally make row four with an alternate block at each end and two old indian trail quilt blocks.  Place these so that the red stripes form a V and the yellow squares lie together at the top of the row.

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

Use yellow for the border

Use yellow for the border

Add the Old Indian Trail quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ strips of yellow for the border.  Make two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Old Indian trail 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:

Dusmaston Hall

Dudmaston Hall

A short while ago I visited Dudmaston Hall, which is another National Trust property.  It was of course absolutely beautiful, but what I enjoyed most about it were the many walks in the parkland around it.

Lake in the grounds

Lake in the grounds

It would have been possible to keep taking different walks for a very long time.

An added bonus was that they had a few rose plants for sale.  One of them, called Olivia I think, had an exquisite perfume.  It reminded me that the David Austen Rose Centre isn’t too far from here.  Definitely time that I paid them a visit!

My poorly hand

My poorly hand

PS.      Since I wrote this pattern I have had an operation to remove a lump from my hand.  I thought that the consultant would stitch it up and slap a sticking plaster on it.  However my hand is quite swollen and I don’t think that I will be able to make a quilt pattern next week.  So the next one will be on Friday 11th August.

Tippecanoe Quilt – Free Pattern

Tippecanoe quilt

Tippecanoe quilt

The Tippecanoe quilt is a little different from my usual in that you need  to use templates, but it is still a very easy quilt to make.  It seems that the tippecanoe quilt block is named for an 1811 battle in Indiana, America.

I have made the quilt 40″ square – a decent size for a lap quilt pattern.  I used thirty six blocks, all 6″ square finished size.  The fabric requirements are 1/4 yard each of yellow and medium blue, 1/2 yard each of brown and light blue, with 3/4 yard of dark blue.

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




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Tippecanoe quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  eight light blue, six medium blue and six dark blue

tippecanoe templates:  sixteen of each template

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

First template

Second template

I apologise for the two templates being separate, but I couldn’t work out how to make them into one document.

Print and cut out the templates

Print and cut out the templates

Cut the patchwork pieces

You can print the templates here and here.  The dark line is the sewing line and the outer dotted line is the cutting line.  I find it best to label each template with the fabric colour as well, just to avoid confusion as you cut the pieces.

Cut the yellow triangles

Cut the yellow triangles

From the yellow fabric cut 7.3/8″ strips of fabric across the width.  Lay the template on the fabric with the base of the triangle in line with the edge of the fabric.  Make two cuts for the sides of the triangle and then you just need to clip the corners.

If you line the base of the triangle with first the bottom and then the top of the fabric you can cut the maximum number of triangles from each strip of fabric.

Cut the large brown triangles

Cut the large brown triangles

For the brown large triangles use 3.5/8″ strips of brown fabric.  If you cut your templates from fabric folded in half, as it comes from the shop, you’ll find that you get both triangles from one template.

Cut the small triangles

Cut the small triangles

Finally for the small brown triangle I used 3.7/8″ strips of brown fabric because that’s what EQ7 suggested.  I think that I could probably have cut them from the same 3.5/8″ strips that I used for the larger triangles.

You need to cut sixteen of each template piece.

Add the small triangle

Add the small triangle

Make the tippecanoe quilt block

Sew the small triangle to the base of the yellow triangle.  Press with the seam alllowance away from the yellow.

Add the side triangles

Add the side triangles

Add the side triangles one at a time, pressing the first triangle open before adding the second.  The progression in the photo goes down the left hand side and then down the right hand side.

Trim the edges to straighten the sides.  The block now measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of these.

Cut 6.1/2″ squares of light, medium and dark blue.  You need eight light blue, six medium blue and six dark blue.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the tippecanoe quilt

Sew the blocks together in six rows of six.  Make the first row with a pair of tippecanoe blocks in the middle and one at each end.  Place light blue squares in the remaining two spaces.  Note the direction of the yellow triangles.  At each end of the row they point towards the corner of the quilt.  In the middle the first yellow triangle points to bottom left while the second one points to top right.

Row two

Row two

Rows two and five are both made with blue squares only.  Make row 2 with light, dark medium, dark, medium, light blue squares.  The layout for row five is slightly different:  light, medium dark, medium, dark light.

The idea is for the medium and dark blue squares to alternate around the central section.

Row three

Row three

Rows three and four contain the same blocks as each other.  In row three place a tippecanoe block at each end and two in the middle.  The yellow triangles point to top left in the first, third and sixth blocks.  In the fourth block it points to top right.  Place a medium blue square in second position and dark blue in the fifth.

Row four

Row four

Last three rows

Lay the same blocks out for the fourth row.  This time the yellow triangles point to bottom right in the first, fourth and sixth positions.  The triangle in the third position points to bottom left.  Place the dark blue square in the second position and the medium blue in fifth position.

Row six

Row six

Row six contains the same blocks as row one but the yellow triangles are placed in different directions.  At each end they point down towards the corners of the quilt.  In the middle pair the yellow triangle points first to bottom left and then to top right.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Finish the quilt

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

For the border I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue.  You need two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Tippecanoe 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:

Quilting on Minnie

Quilting on Minnie

Last week I mentioned that I had finally sorted out Minnie, my longarm quilting machine.  Well, I’ve begun quilting the Plaid quilt on her.  I can’t tell you how good it felt to finally get going.  Naturally, I was also hugely relieved that it went so well.

I had been very nervous that after the move I might have some of the problems with tension (mine and hers!) that I’d had when I first bought her, but it all went really smoothly.

I had picked up some pretty tartan fabric in the rag market and I’m using that for the backing.  It’s brushed cotton so it should make the quilt feel nice and warm to curl up in.

Anniversary Dog Quilt – Free Pattern

Anniversary dog quilt

Anniversary dog quilt

I’ve named the Anniversary Dog quilt after two totally different things.  The first is that the design comes from a wall in a restaurant that I went to in London last weekend.  I had been to watch the Anniversary Games held in the Olympic Stadium (more about that at the end of the page).  The second totally separate reason for the name is that I’ve used all the fabrics from a new range of dog fabrics that I have just bought.

The quilt is rectangular, measuring 49″ by 64″.  I’ve used twelve blocks which are all 15″ square finished size.  The fabric requirement is for 3/4 yard of each of five different fabrics with just 1/4 yard of light blue.  I’ve tried to call the fabrics in shades of blue rather than just the pattern on the 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 Anniversary Dog quilt

Light blue fabric (dog breeds):  thirty six 3.1/2″ squares

Medium blue fabric (words):  twelve 6.1/2″ squares, twelve 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles

Dark blue fabric (bones):  twenty four 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles

The wall that inspired the quilt design

The wall that inspired the quilt design

White fabric (dog silhouettes):  twelve 6.1/2″ squares, twelve 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles, twelve 3.1/2″ squares

Red fabric:  twelve 15.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles

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

The block is most easily made in two completely separate halves

Make the top half of the block

Top half of the block

Top half of the block

Begin with a 6.1/2″ medium blue square on the left.  Next to this place a white rectangle and a light blue square with a light blue square and a dark blue rectangle beneath them.

Sew the pieces across the two right hand rows and then sew the two rows to each other.  Sew this section to the square on the left.

It’s an incredibly simple design, but it just struck me as  delightful when I saw it on the wall.

Make the lower half of the block

Lower half of the block

Lower half of the block

This is very similar to the top half, but place the large 6.1/2″ square on the right this time.  Working from the left, place a light blue square and a dark blue rectangle with a medium blue rectangle and light blue square beneath them.  Place a large white square on the right.

Once again sew the rectangles to the small squares and then sew these two rows to each other.  Sew this panel to the white square on the right.

Completing the block

Add red sashing

Add red sashing

I had intended to sew these two sections of the block together to make a rectangular block, but when I put several of them together they just looked a muddle.  So I decided to add a red strip across the middle between the two sections.  I felt that this would help me give some structure to the quilt design.

It also makes the block square, although that was not my primary objective.

Sew a red sashing strip between the top and lower half of the block.

The block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make twelve of these.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the anniversary dog quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three blocks.

In the first row the red stripes are all vertical.  I’m using the red stripes and the medium blue large squares to define how to place each block.  The blue squares are placed bottom left, bottom left and then top right.

Row two

Row two

For the second row, the red stripes are vertical then horizontal then vertical again.

Place the medium blue squares bottom left, bottom right and then top right.

Row three

Row three

In row three the red stripes are again vertical then horizontal and then vertical.  Place the medium blue squares bottom left, top left and then top right.

Row four

Row four

Finally for row four place the red stripes all vertically.  The medium blue squares lie bottom left, top right and top right.

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 you will need to sew two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the anniversary dog 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:

The Monument in London

The Monument in London

The Anniversary Games are held each year in the former Olympic Stadium in London.  Last weekend was the first time that I had visited the Stadium and it was a real treat to see some of the great stars of athletics in action.  Mo Farah is retiring this year so it was a privilege to see him running.

We also had time for some sightseeing and went to see the Monument which commemorates the Great Fire of London in 1666.  The tower was built a few years later to celebrate the re building of London and it still dominates the area even all these centuries later.

Plaid Quilt – Free Pattern Beginner Quilting

Plaid quilt

Plaid quilt

The Plaid quilt block is somewhat unusual looking – it has dark blue strips on two sides only so looks a bit lop sided.  However it makes an interesting quilt because you can rotate the blocks and make quite a difference.  The curtains that I made recently had blue squares and I felt that this quilt would match the room perfectly.

In case you haven’t come across the word before, plaid is another name for tartan.  The block is super easy to make – not a triangle to be seen.

The quilt measures 76″ square using sixteen blocks which are all 18″ square finished size.  I needed 2.1/4 yards of dark blue, 2 yards of light blue, 1.1/4 yards of medium blue together with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  Unfortunately I used up all my dark blue batik fabric so I can’t offer these fabrics as a special this week.




Completed plaid quilt block

Completed plaid quilt block

Cutting requirements for the plaid quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  one hundred and twenty eight medium blue, sixteen light blue, sixty four dark blue

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixty four light blue

15.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen dark blue

18.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen dark blue

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

Make the nine patch unit

Make 9 patch blocks

Make 9 patch blocks

The simplest way to make the nine patch unit in the middle of the block is by using strip piecing.  Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of fabric along the length:  one panel of medium, dark, medium blue and another panel of dark, light, dark blue.

Cut these panels at 3.1/2″ intervals.  This produces rectangles 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, each one made of three squares.  Lay down two of the medium, dark, medium rectangles with a dark, light, dark rectangle between them, as shown on the right of the photo.

Sew the three rectangles to each other to create a 9.1/2″ squares.  You need to make sixteen of these.

Add the first frame

Add the first frame

Make the rest of the block

On each edge of the nine patch unit place a 9.1/2″ light blue rectangle.  Lay a medium blue square in each corner.  Sew these pieces together in three columns and then sew the columns to each other.

Add the dark blue strips

Add the dark blue strips

Now it just remains to add a 15.1/2″ dark blue rectangle across the top and then an 18.1/2″ dark blue rectangle down the left side of the block.

The block now measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of these.

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the plaid quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Concentrate on the dark blue outer strips when laying out the blocks.  In row one the dark blue runs on the left and across the top of the block.  In the second block the dark blue runs across the bottom and up the right side.  This is reversed in the third block where the dark blue runs down the left and then across the bottom.  Finally the fourth block has dark blue on the top and down the right.

In row two the first two blocks have the dark blue across the top and down the left.  The second two blocks have the dark blue across the top and down the right.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

In row three the dark blue forms an L shape in the first two blocks. The second two blocks have a back to front L instead.

In row four the dark blue runs down the left and across the bottom, then across the top and down the right in the second block.  For the third block the dark blue runs across the top and down the left.  The fourth block has the dark blue running across the bottom and up the right.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the plaid quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ strips of red to make the border.  I decided to introduce an extra colour for the border as I thought it would give a bit of pop to the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of 72.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 76.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the plaid 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:

Birmingham bear

Birmingham bear

The Bears have come to town!  Two years ago, when I moved to Birmingham, the city was full of owl sculptures.

Birmingham owl

Birmingham owl

They were all decorated in totally different ways and at the end of the summer they were auctioned off and raised huge amounts of money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  They resulted in my Owl and Pussycat quilt pattern.

This year the whole thing is being repeated but with over 100 bears.  The first few are on display already and I saw my first one yesterday.  Needless to say, there will be a teddy bear quilt pattern arriving some time soon!

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