Mountain Meadow Quilt Pattern

Mountain meadow quilt

Mountain meadow quilt

For the mountain meadow quilt I have used eight of the blocks of that name together with a pinwheel block in the middle.  It’s a lovely block and I’m really pleased with the way the quilt has turned out.  It measures 52″ square, using nine 16″ finished size blocks and I needed 1.1/2 yards each of green and brown together with 1 yard of white fabric.

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the mountain meadow quilt blocks

4.1/2″ squares:  thirty two green

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

2.7/8″ squares:  sixty four brown, sixty four white

4.7/8″ squares:  sixteen brown, sixteen white

For the alternate block you will need:

7.7/8″ squares:  two brown, two green

1.1/2″ by 7.1/2″ rectangles:  two white

1.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  two white

For the border you will need five 2.1/2″ lengths of green, cut across the width of fabric

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make 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 triangle units.

Make these in brown and white using the 2.7/8″ and 4.7/8″ squares, and in brown and green using the 7.7/8″ squares.

Make the mountain meadow quilt blocks

Mountain meadow quilt block layout

Mountain meadow quilt block layout

Lay the squares out as shown. The middle of the block is made with the half square triangles made from 4.7/8″ squares.  These are placed so that the white triangles form a diamond in the middle of the block.

On each edge of this central square place a brown rectangle.  Against each rectangle place four of the small half square triangles made from 2.7/8″ squares.  Place these so that the white triangles form two larger triangles pointing towards the middle in each set of four.  Add a 4.1/2″ green square in each corner.

This doesn’t immediately look like a terribly simple block to put together, but as usual each small step is simple.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

First of all sew the small half square triangles together in strips of four.  Sew the four half square triangles in the middle first in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other to make a four patch unit.

Now you can sew the brown rectangles to the strips of half square triangles, making a sort of crown shape on each edge of the central unit.

As you can see, you now have three rows of blocks.  Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the mountain meadow quilt block.

Pinwheel block layout

Pinwheel block layout

Making the pinwheel block

This is simplicity itself.  Place the four large brown/green half square triangles in a pinwheel formation as shown.  Lay the two smaller white rectangles above and below the pinwheel with the two longer white rectangles on the sides.

Sew the four half square triangles together first to create a four patch unit.  Then sew the white to the top and bottom.  Finally sew the two white rectangles to the sides.

Assembling the quilt

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Lay the blocks out in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are just three mountain meadow blocks together sewn together in a row.

Row two

Row two

For row two place the pinwheel block in the middle with a mountain meadow block on either side.

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

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric.  You will 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 mountain meadow 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:

Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square

Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend some time in London.  Of course the Christmas lights and decorations were amazing, but there are two images that will stay with me.

One was of this enormous hand with a very long raised thumb which is the latest exhibit on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

The basic message according to the label is ‘think positive’  or ‘really good’ and I’m all for that.

Santa and polar bear

Santa and polar bear

The second image that really tickled me was this one in a shop window showing Santa sitting on a polar bear’s lap having his own Christmas treat.  What a lovely image!  I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember which shop window this was, other than that it was one of the big stores in Regent Street.




Good Friends Quilt Pattern

Good friends quilt

Good friends quilt

I began this quilt with the Good Friends quilt block but then changed it so much that now it only vaguely resembles that block – but I thought that the name was very appropriate for this time of year so I’ve stuck with that.  The block may look complicated, but each step is simple to do.  To make the quilt I’ve used four 24″ quilt blocks to make a 54″ square quilt, needing 3/4 yard each of red, light blue and dark blue with 1.1/2 yards of a pale yellow fabric.

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




Cutting requirements for the Good Friends quilt

Good friends quilt block

Good friends quilt block

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

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

3.7/8″ squares:  eight each in red and yellow, eight each in red and light blue for the half square triangles.  In addition you will need sixteen dark blue and sixteen yellow 3.7/8″ squares for the diamond in square blocks

4.3/4″ squares:  sixteen red

6.7/8″ squares:  eight yellow

9″ squares:  four light blue

For the border you will need five 3.1/2″ dark blue strips cut across the width of fabric

Diamond in square section

Diamond in square section

Make the diamond in square sections

Make the central section of each block with a diamond in a square.  Begin with a 9″ light blue square.  Cut the 6.7/8″ yellow squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Lay one triangle on each edge of the square.

Sew the triangles on two at a time

Sew the triangles on two at a time

Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square first.  Press the triangles open with the seam allowances away from the square and then sew the remaining two triangles in place.  The block now measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Smaller diamond in square

Smaller diamond in square

You will also need to make smaller diamond in a square sections.  For these begin with a 4.3/4″ red square and cut the 3.7/8″ dark blue and yellow squares along one diagonal.  Place dark blue triangles on two adjacent sides of the square and yellow triangles on the other two sides.  Continue as above:  sew the top and bottom triangles on first, press and then add the remaining two triangles.

This block now measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.

Make the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Place two 3.7/8″ squares right sides together in the colour combinations listed above – red with either light blue or yellow.  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 which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Make the good friends quilt block

Layout of the central area

Layout of the central area

Place the large diamond in a square in the middle of the block with a small diamond in square in the middle of each edge of the central square.

Complete the rest of the frame with a 3.1/2″ dark blue square on either side of the top and bottom red diamonds and a dark blue rectangle on either side of the other two red diamonds.

Add the red corners

Add the red corners

In the outer frame of the block, the red triangles at the corners are made using a red square with two red triangles.  Notice that the half square triangle units are different on each corner – some are red/yellow and some are red/light blue.

Add yellow squares to the remaining spaces in the top and left hand side of the block but add light blue squares to the spaces in the bottom and right hand sides of the block.

Sew the block together

Sew some squares together in pairs

Sew some squares together in pairs

Begin by sewing some of the squares together in pairs.

You are aiming to create three columns, so the squares are only sewn in pairs within each column.

Create three columns

Create three columns

One column is made of the central diamond in square with the squares above and below it while the other two columns are the side sections.

Once you have sewn together all the pieces within each column it is a simple matter to sew the three columns to each other to complete the good friends quilt block.  You need to make four of these.

Sew the blocks together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  Rotate the blocks so that the two yellow sides of the block are always on the outside with the light blue sides within the quilt forming a cross shape.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the border

Finally, for the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the good friends 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.

Confession time:  my original plan was to make the red diamond in square blocks with either yellow or light blue on two sides.  When I had finished making the blocks I realised that I had made them all with dark blue and yellow only.  Funnily enough I prefer the design this way, so that was a happy mistake to have made!

Here’s the video:

Magical lantern festival

Magical lantern festival

Tonight I am thrilled to be going to the Botanical Gardens to see the Magical Lantern Festival.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good weather.  It looks absolutely stunning and has been on my to do list ever since it opened last month.




California Oakleaf Star Quilt

California oakleaf star quilt

California oakleaf star quilt

I’ve made the California oakleaf star quilt using the block of the same name with a simple alternate block which causes a star to form when the blocks are sewn together.  It’s a nice easy quilt to make – I’m sure that you are all as busy as I am in the runup to Christmas.

The quilt measures 52″ square and I used 1.3/4 yards each of purple and gold, together with 3/4 yard of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  Incidentally, this quilt also looks good made up in red, white and blue.  The blocks are all 14″ square finished size and you need to make five California oakleaf blocks and four alternate blocks.

I’d love to hear from anyone who lives in California – do your oakleaves look any different from those elsewhere?




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the California oakleaf star quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  eighty purple, twenty gold, forty five white

2.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  one hundred each in purple and white – but read the pattern before you cut these as they are simple to make using strip piecing

7.7/8″ squares:  eight purple, eight gold

For the borders you will need ten 2.1/2″ strips of gold cut across the width of fabric and five 1.1/2″ strips of purple cut across the width of fabric.

Make the California oakleaf corners

Sew together strips of purple and white

Sew together strips of purple and white

Make the strip pieced squares first.  The simplest way to make these is to sew together 1.1/2″ strips of white and purple.  Press the seam allowance towards the purple and cut at 2.1/2″ intervals.  This will give you 2.1/2″ squares made of a purple and a white rectangle.  It’s much quicker and less fiddly to make them this way.

Layout of the corners

Layout of the corners

The corners of this block are made with a simple nine patch block.  There’s a purple square in each corner, a gold square in the middle and one of the purple/white squares on each edge of the central square.  These are placed so that the purple rectangle is on the inside, lying against the gold square, and the white is on the outside.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  You need to make four of these for each California oakleaf block, which means making twenty of them altogether.

California oakleaf quilt block layout

California oakleaf quilt block layout

Full layout of the block

Now you can assemble the entire block.  Between each pair of corners there are two white squares and one purple/white square.  There’s a white square in the middle:  the purple/white squares are all placed so that the purple rectangles surround the central square.

Make three rows

Make three rows

Sew together the three squares that make each spur of the central cross.  You can then sew the pieces together to make three rows and finally sew the three rows to each other to complete the California oakleaf quilt block.  Make five of these.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the alternate quilt block

For this block you need to make half square triangles with the 7.7/8″ squares.  Place a purple and a gold 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 7.1/2″ squares.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Lay these out as a four patch unit.  Place them so that the two gold triangles together form larger gold triangles, and so do the purple squares.  Sew the pairs together and then sew the pairs to each other to complete the alternate block.  Make four of these.

Rows 1 and 3

Rows 1 and 3

Assembling the California oakleaf star quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are made with a California oakleaf block at each end and an alternate block in the middle.  Place the alternate block so that the purple is top and bottom with the gold on the sides.

Row 2

Row 2

Make row two with an alternate block at each end and a California oakleaf block in the middle.  This time place the alternate  blocks so that the purple is on the sides and the gold is top and bottom.

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

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

Add the borders

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of gold.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border using 1.1/2″ strips of purple.  Piece two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally for the third border you’ll need 2.1/2″ strips of gold again.  Two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom.

That completes the California oakleaf star 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:

Harborne clock tower

Harborne clock tower

The suburb nearest to where I live is called Harborne and it is dominated by a building which seems incredibly tall for what it is – a clock tower.  The building used to be a school till the 1960’s but is now mainly restaurants.  I’m guessing that the playground used to be where the car park is now.

Apparently the name Harborne is thought to come from the Old English horu burna, meaning dirty stream, although Harborne was considered a health resort at one time.  It was fascinating reading about Harborne’s history – I’m rather ashamed that I haven’t yet done the same for Quinton itself!

Craftsy

Christmas Wreath Quilt Pattern

Christmas wreath quilt

Christmas wreath quilt

I’ve made the Christmas Wreath quilt with four 21″ blocks of my own design – and obviously I have used Christmas fabrics. I’m a bit late starting on all my Christmas projects, but I felt that this design would be suitable for a throw, wall hanging or tablecloth, so it’s quite a versatile start to my Christmas sewing.

If you live in America, I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday.

The quilt measures 50″ square and I have used 1.1/4 yards each of dark green and red, 3/4 yard of gold and 1/4 yard each of white and light green.  You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.




Christmas wreath quilt block

Christmas wreath quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas wreath quilt

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in dark green and white, twenty four each in red and gold, eight each in red and light green

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty two dark green, sixteen red, forty eight gold

For the borders you will need to cut five 2.1/2″ strips in both red and dark green, cut across the width of fabric

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Making the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units with the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will make 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 the triangle tips stick out.

Central area of block

Central area of block

Making the Christmas wreath quilt block

As it’s quite a large block (classified as a seven patch), I’m showing the layout in stages.  The central area of the block is a simple nine patch.  There’s a red square in the middle with a dark green square on each edge of the central square.  In the corners are four red/light green half square triangles, all placed so that the red is on the outside, forming the corners of this section.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Use red/gold half square triangles to form the corners of the next frame.  Again these are placed with the red on the outside to form the corners.  Between each pair of corners place three gold squares.

Add the corners of the final frame

Add the corners of the final frame

In the final frame of the block make the corners with one dark green square and two green/white half square triangles.  As you can see, the half square triangles are placed so that the two green triangles with the green square form a large triangle across each corner.

Christmas wreath quilt block full layout

Christmas wreath quilt block full layout

Place one red square and two red/gold half square triangles in the spaces between the corner triangles.  The red square is in the middle of each edge of the quilt block.

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

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

Add the borders

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

Make the second border with 2.1/2″ strips of dark green fabric – two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Christmas wreath 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:

View from Gas Street

View from Gas Street

I’ve always known that there are many parts of Birmingham that I haven’t explored yet, but it was a very welcome surprise when a friend took me to an area right in the city centre which I hadn’t known existed.  It’s beside the canal and is called Gas Street because it was the first street in Birmingham to get gas lighting – obviously a very long time ago!

It’s a beautiful, very vibrant area with a cinema and loads of restaurants.

Part view of the Cube

Part view of the Cube

One of the buildings is called the Cube.  That had always rather thrown me – most buildings are cubes, aren’t they?  But it is a very unusual and attractive design.

View down to the basement

View down to the basement

What I hadn’t expected was that the inside of the building is hollow, so that you can see up and down to all the other floors.  What a gorgeous design for a quilt that is on the basement floor!




Symmetry in Motion Quilt Pattern

Symmetry in motion quilt

Symmetry in motion quilt

The Symmetry in Motion quilt block caught my attention because of its name – I’ve been humming Buddy Holly’s Poetry in Motion to myself ever since I began this quilt!  It’s a simple four patch block and I’ve used a diamond in a square block as an alternate.

The quilt measures 64″ square and I have used twenty five blocks, all 12″ square finished size.  To make the quilt I needed 2.1/4 yards of blue, 1.1/2 yards of red and 1.1/4 yards of white fabric.  The white that I have used isn’t all that white, but basically it’s a light fabric.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the symmetry in motion quilt

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

3.7/8″ squares:  fifty two each in blue and white, twenty six each in blue and red, twenty six each in red and white

6.7/8″ squares:  twenty four red

9″ squares:  eight blue, four white

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

Making the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles 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 the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam aloowances towards the darker fabric and clip the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Make the symmetry in motion quilt block

Symmetry in motion quilt block layout

Symmetry in motion quilt block layout

This block is made entirely with half square triangles – apologies if you don’t like making them.  Lay the squares out in four rows of four.

It’s best if you look at the larger shapes formed by the triangles.  All the red stripes are made with two red triangles side by side while all the blue stripes are made with three blue triangles.  The central area is made with four blue/white half square triangles placed so that the white triangles form a diamond in the middle.

The red stripes all begin in the corners of the block.  Each one has a blue stripe running beside it.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the symmetry in motion quilt block.  You need to make thirteen of this block.

Make the alternate quilt block

Sew the triangles two at a time

Sew the triangles two at a time

Cut the red 6.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to make two red triangles from each square.  Place one triangle on each edge of a 9″ square.  Sew the triangles to the top and bottom of the square first.  Press the triangles open with the seam allowance pointing away from the square.  Notice that the triangles stick out 1/4″ from the square at each end.

Completed alternate quilt block

Completed alternate quilt block

Now sew the remaining two triangles to the sides of the square.  Press these open and trim the triangle tips that stick out in the middle of each edge of the completed block.  Make eight blocks with a blue square and four blocks with a white square.

Rows 1 and 5

Rows 1 and 5

Assembling the symmetry in motion quilt

Sew the blocks together in five rows of five.

Rows one and five are the same as each other:  three symmetry blocks and two blue diamond blocks alternating across the row.

Rows 2 and 4

Rows 2 and 4

The second and fourth rows are also the same as each other.  They are made with a blue diamond block at each end, a white diamond in the middle and two symmetry blocks on either side of the middle block.

Row 3

Row 3

Finally row 3, the middle row, is made with three symmetry blocks and two white diamond blocks alternating across the row.

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 blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the symmetry in motion 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:

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Last week I showed you a photo of Weoley Castle, a fortified manor house.  This week I can’t resist bringing you photos of Stokesay Castle – a fortified manor house near where I used to live in Ludlow.

It was also built in the 13th century and is regarded as the best preserved example of a fortified manor house.  Apparently during the civil war they fired one cannon shot for the sake of honour and then surrendered, thus saving the castle from being destroyed in the war.

Stokesay Castle gatehouse

Stokesay Castle gatehouse

The Stokesay Castle gatehouse is exquisite.  Many of the buildings in Ludlow have similar beautiful designs.




Stars and Blocks Quilt Pattern

Stars and blocks quilt

Stars and blocks quilt

For the Stars and Blocks quilt I have taken one fairly simple star block and rotated only the corner squares of the block to give an alternate block.  I’m thrilled with the result – plenty to look at within the design.

I have used nine 18″ finished size blocks, giving a quilt that is 58″ square.  This is one that can easily be made bigger by using more columns or rows of blocks.

In making the quilt I used 2 yards of purple, 1.1/2 yards of green and 1 yard of white fabric.  As usual, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the stars and blocks quilt

6.7/8″ squares:  eighteen white, eighteen purple

6.1/2″ squares:  nine green

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty six purple

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty six purple, thirty six green

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Making the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units with both the 3.7/8″ squares and the 6.7/8″ squares.  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 will produce two half square triangle units which are either 3.1/2″ or 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the dark fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Central area for both blocks

Central area for both blocks

Make the first stars and blocks quilt block

The central area of the stars and blocks quilt block is the same for both blocks.  Place a 6.1/2″ green square in the middle with a pair of purple/green half square triangles on each edge of the square.  Place these so that the purple triangles together form a larger purple triangle pointing towards the middle.

Complete layout for first block

Complete layout for first block

Now add the outer frame of the block:  a purple rectangle outside each pair of half square triangles and a large purple/white half square triangle in each corner.  Note that these are placed so that the white triangle is always on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

First you need to sew the small half square triangles together in pairs and sew the purple rectangles to each pair.  This will make them into 6.1/2″ squares.  Now sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  Make five of this version of the block.

Alternate block partially sewn

Alternate block partially sewn

Make the alternate stars and blocks quilt block

For the alternate block, rotate the half square triangles in the corners so that the purple is on the outside, forming the corners of the block.

Apart from that the layout is the same as for the first block – it always amazes me how much you can change the look of a block just by changing the corners!

As before, sew the small half square triangle sections together first then sew the squares together across each row and sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make four of this version of the block.

Rows 1 and 3

Rows 1 and 3

Assembling the stars and blocks quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows 1 and 3 are the same as each other, with a block with white corners at each end of the row and a block with purple corners in the middle.  Sorry – I forgot to take this photo before I sewed the blocks together.

Row 2

Row 2

Row 2 is made with a block with purple corners at each end of the row and a block with white corners in the middle.

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

Add the border

Add the border

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

That completes the stars and blocks 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:

Weoley Castle ruins

Weoley Castle ruins

There’s an area quite near where I live called Weoley Castle.  I’d always just assumed that it was a name given to the area many centuries ago for long forgotten reasons.  So I was surprised (and pleased) to find that there is actually a Weoley Castle – well, the ruins of one – just a couple of miles from where I live.

It’s actually classified as a fortified manor house and was built in the late thirteenth century by the Lords of Dudley.  At one time it was set in a 1,000 acre deer park, although now the ruins are preserved in the small field that you can see in the photo.




Maine Woods Quilt Pattern

Maine Woods quilt

Maine Woods quilt

The Maine Woods quilt pattern is a very straightforward design using the delightful Maine Woods quilt block.  I have used nine 15″ blocks to make a quilt 51″ square.  At the bottom of the page I have also shown it in Christmas colours in case you wanted to make a Christmas quilt.

Please don’t feel that this looks too complex for you – the quarter square triangles are easy to make if you look at one stage at a time.

I have used 1.1/4 yards each of light blue and red, together with 1 yard of dark blue.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the Maine Woods quilt

Completed Maine Woods quilt block

Completed Maine Woods quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty six light blue, forty five dark blue

3.7/8″ squares:  eighteen each in dark blue and light blue, thirty six each in red and light blue

4.1/4″ squares:  eighteen dark blue, eighteen light blue

For the border you will need to cut six 3.1/2″ red strips across the width of fabric

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares for this.  Place a light blue square with either a dark blue or a red square, 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 which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the darker colour and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.  Put these to one side so that they don’t get mixed up with the quarter square triangles.

Make the quarter square triangle units

Make the quarter square triangle units

Making the quarter square triangle units

First you need to make half square triangles as above using the 4.1/4″ squares.  Place two of these half square triangles right sides together.  Make sure that the two seams are both running in the same direction and the light blue of one square rests against the dark blue of the other square – as shown in the bottom left part of the photo.

Mark a line along the diagonal that crosses the original seam lines of the half square triangles and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two quarter square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Maine Woods quilt block layout

Maine Woods quilt block layout

Make the Maine Woods quilt block

Lay the squares out in five rows of five.  There’s a dark blue square in the middle with a dark blue square on each corner of the central square.  The quarter square triangles are placed on the edges of the central square.  You can see that the dark blue egg timer shape is vertical above and below the central square, but horizontal on either side.

There’s a light blue square in the middle of each edge of the block and a dark blue/light blue half square triangle in each corner of the block.  Place these so that the light blue is always on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

Place two red/light blue half square triangles on either side of the corner squares.  These are placed so that the red triangle points towards the middle with the light blue triangles edging the corner squares.

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

Three rows of three blocks

Three rows of three blocks

Assembling the Maine Woods quilt

Lay the blocks out in three rows of three.  The blocks are completely symmetric so you don’t need to worry about rotations – they look the same whichever way you look at them.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 51.1/2″ for the sides.

Maine woods quilt in Christmas colours

Maine woods quilt in Christmas colours

That completes the Maine Woods quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  You’ll find full details of these steps in the quilting for beginners section.

For your interest, this is how the quilt would look if you wanted to make it again in Christmas colours.

Here’s the video:

One of the three spires of Coventry City

One of the three spires of Coventry City

Recently I went to Coventry to meet a friend – in case you live outside the UK, Coventry’s a city not far from Birmingham.  I had always known that Oxford was described as the ‘city of dreaming spires’, but I had not been aware that Coventry used to be referred to as the ‘city of three spires’.

This spire was all of this building that survived the war – the rest was destroyed – but it has been kept intact and now houses what looked like a bar or a cafe.

Ruins of Coventry cathedral

Ruins of Coventry cathedral

The ruins of Coventry Cathedral have been kept and maintained while the new Cathedral has been built beside it – on the far side from where I was standing when I took this photo.

Seeing the new and old cathedrals side by side was an amazing sight – one just a skeleton and the other with a very modern design.

This is definitely a city that I’ll be visiting again – there is so much more to it than just Lady Godiva.




Fair and Square Quilt Pattern

Fair and square quilt

Fair and square quilt

I’ve made the Fair and Square quilt using two different blocks – a version of the fair and square block together with a simple diamond in a square block.  The quilt measures 49″ square and I’ve used 3/4 yards of purple, 1/2 yard of white, 1 yard of lilac batik and 1.1/4 yards of brown batik fabrics.  These blocks are all 15″ square finished size – and there are no half square triangles!

I’m really pleased at the way these two blocks work together – plenty to look at in the quilt.

As ever, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the Fair and Square quilt block

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

9″ squares:  four brown

6.7/8″ squares:  eight lilac

2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles:  eight purple

2″ by 15.1/2″ rectangles:  eight purple

Cutting requirements for the diamond in a square block

4.3/4″ squares:  five lilac

3.7/8″ squares:  ten brown

3.1/2″ squares twenty lilac

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

2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty lilac

2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty purple

2″ by 5″ rectangles:  twenty purple

Place a triangle on each edge of the square

Place a triangle on each edge of the square

Making the diamond in a square block

Cut the 6.7/8″ lilac squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Place one triangle on each edge of the brown squares.

Sew the first two triangles

Sew the first two triangles

Sew the triangles to the top and bottom edges of the square and then press them open with the seam allowances towards the lilac.  Notice that the edges of the lilac triangle stick out 1/4″ from the brown square by 1/4″ on each side – this is necessary to give a good straight edge to the block.

Add the last 2 triangles

Add the last 2 triangles

Now sew the remaining two triangles to the sides of the square and press them open.  Trim the triangle tips where they stick out in the middle of each edge.

Add the purple border

Add the purple border

Finally add a purple frame to the diamond in a square.  Sew the 12.1/2″ lengths to the top and bottom and then sew the 15.1/2″ lengths to the sides.

That completes the diamond in a square block and you need to make four of these.

Begin with diamond in a square

Begin with diamond in a square

Making the fair and square quilt block

This block also starts with a diamond in a square.  I have reversed the colours so that the lilac forms the central square with brown triangles around it.  Use the 4.3/4″ lilac squares with the 3.7/8″ brown squares cut along one diagonal and make the blocks as above.

Add the first frame

Add the first frame

The next frame is made using 3.1/2″ widths of fabric.

Place a white rectangle on each edge of the central square with a lilac square in each corner.

Make three columns

Make three columns

Sew the white rectangles to the top and bottom of the square and sew the lilac squares and white rectangles together down each side so that you end up with three columns.  Sew the three columns to each other.

Add the outer frame

Add the outer frame

The outer frame is made with 2″ purple and lilac strips.

On the top and bottom sew together a 6.1/2″ lilac strip with a 3″ purple strip on either side of it.  Down the sides sew together a 6.1/2″ lilac stripe with a 5″ purple strip on either side of it.  Attach the strips to the top and bottom of the block and you will once again have created three columns.  Sew these columns to each other to complete the fair and square quilt block.  You need to make five of these.

Rows 1 and 3

Rows 1 and3

Assembling the fair and square quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are made with a diamond in the square block in the middle of the row and a fair and square block at each end.

Row 2

Row 2

For row two the blocks are reversed, with a fair and square block in the middle and a diamond in a square block at each end.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the quilt border I used 2.1/2″ strips of brown fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom together with two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the fair and square 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:

Two weeks ago my camera died so for last week’s pattern I used the camera on my phone.  During this week I bought a lovely new camera that I’m thrilled with – except that I can’t seem to download the photos!  The cable that should connect the camera to the computer doesn’t seem to work and I didn’t find out till last night.  Luckily I had taken duplicate photos with a very old camera as well – just in case I had a problem with the new one, given my level of technological incompetence.  I’m very glad that I did that.

 




Hemingway Quilt – Free Pattern

Hemingway quilt

Hemingway quilt

I have named the Hemingway quilt after the fabric range rather than after the author Ernest Hemingway, using more of the Makower fabrics that I bought recently.  I’ve been asked to make more rectangular quilts, so this one is 60″ by 78″.

For the quilt I’ve used three different 9″ quilt blocks which are all very simple to make, using 2.1/4 yards of light blue fabric, 1.1/4 yards of dark blue and 1 yard each of yellow and red fabrics.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Three completed quilt blocks

Three completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Hemingway quilt

3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve light blue, twelve dark blue, twelve yellow

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

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two light blue, thirty two yellow

6.7/8″ squares:  twenty light blue

5.3/8″ squares:  forty dark blue

For the border you will need seven 3.1/2″ strips of red fabric cut across the width of fabric

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the star block

Make half square triangle units with the 3.7/8″ squares.  First place a light blue 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 3.1/2″ squares.

Star block layout

Star block layout

Lay the patchwork pieces out in three rows of three.  There’s a yellow square in the middle and a light blue square in each corner.  Finally place a half square triangle on each edge of the central square to make the star.

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

This should now be a 9.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.

Make the stripey blocks

Make the stripey blocks

Make the stripey block

A very simple block:  sew together 3.1/2″ strips of dark blue, yellow and light blue fabrics to make one panel.  Now cut this at 9.1/2″ intervals to make 9.1/2″ squares.  You need to make twelve of these.

Cut the dark blue squares

Cut the dark blue squares

Make the diamond in a square blocks

First of all cut the 5.3/8″ dark blue squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.

Place one triangle on each edge

Place one triangle on each edge

Place one triangle on each edge of the 6.7/8″ light blue square.

Sew the triangles to two opposite edges of the square first.

Sew two opposite edges

Sew two opposite edges

Notice that the dark blue triangles stick out 1/4″ beyond the light blue square on each side.  Press the triangles away from the square and sew the remaining two triangles to the other edges of the square.

Finally press these triangles open and trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out.

This is now a 9.1/2″ square and you need to make twenty of these.

Rows 1 and 8

Rows 1 and 8

Assemble the Hemingway quilt

Sew the blocks together in eight rows of six blocks.  The first and eighth rows are made using six star blocks sewn together in a row.

Rows 2 and 7

Rows 2 and 7

Make rows two and seven with six diamond in square blocks sewn together in a row.

Row 3

Row 3

For the third row place a diamond block at each end with four stripey blocks between them.  Note that light blue stripe is on the top.

Rows 4 and 5

Rows 4 and 5

In the fourth and fifth rows there is a diamond block at each end with a stripey block inside them on each side and two star blocks in the middle.  The stripey blocks are placed vertically with the dark blue nearest the stars.

Row 6

Row 6

Row six is similar to row three, having a diamond block at each end with four stripey blocks between them, but this time the dark blue is on top.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the border

For the border use 3.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom together with two lengths of 78.1/2″ for the sides.

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

For some reason the ‘print’ button hasn’t appeared, so here’s a link for a pdf file:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxGZXN8CKTa_a0FOWGxzTUxOb0U/view?usp=sharing

Here’s the video:

My grand daughter

My grand daughter

I am delighted to confirm that I am now officially a Granny Smith!  My first grandchild, Holly Anna, is obviously the most delightful, beautiful and charming baby in all the world.  My son and his wife have done an amazing job of producing such a perfect little girl, making me a very proud grandmother.




Heritage Floral Quilt Pattern

Heritage floral quilt

Heritage floral quilt

The Heritage Floral quilt is the one that I designed for Fabric Freedom to showcase the fabric range – and it’s a gorgeous range.  The quilt measures 52″ square and I’ve used sixteen 12″ blocks, needing 1/2 yard each of the blue, red and orange fabrics with 1 yard of white and 1.1/4 yards of the background fabric (a design of bees).  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the heritage floral quilt

Completed star quilt blocks

Completed star quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty blue, twenty red, twenty red, twenty orange and twenty white

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

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




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour combinations listed above.  Place a coloured square with a bee square right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will give you two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Make the star quilt block

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.

There are four orange squares in the middle with a pair of half square triangle units placed along the edges between the corners.  These are placed so that the bee triangles form a larger triangle pointing in towards the middle.  The corners are made with three bee squares and one square of a different colour – in this case I’ve used white for the alternate corner.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Make four of these in orange, four in blue, four in red and four in white.  I have paired these so that the white stars have orange for the alternate corner, while the blue stars have red for an alternate and the red stars have blue for an alternate.  Make four star blocks in each colour combination.

One quarter of the heritage floral quilt

One quarter of the heritage floral quilt

Assembling the heritage floral quilt

The easiest way to put the quilt together is to make each quarter first and then sew the quarters together.  Take one star block of each colour and sew them together to make a four patch unit.

Rotate them so that the alternate colour corners are all in the middle.  You also need to keep the same layout for each quarter.

Sew the quarters together

Sew the quarters together

Lay the quarters out in two pairs of two quarters, rotating them so that the white star is always in the middle of the quilt and the blue square is always in the corner.  Sew the quarters together in pairs and then sew the pairs 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 white fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the heritage floral 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:

A few weeks ago I went to a talk on glassmaking in Stourbridge – that’s a town very close to where I live.  Apparently there is documentary evidence of glassmaking in the area going back 400 years.  Yesterday I visited the glass quarter and had a fascinating time.

Webb Corbett centre

Webb Corbett centre

First I went to the Webb Corbett centre which shows the history of glassmaking.  An incredibly enthusiastic and interesting guide told me all the reasons for this being a glassmaking area and described the history to me.

Mirror with glass mosaic frame

Mirror with glass mosaic frame

Then I went next door to the Ruskin Glass Centre where they have a series of small shops and workshops making and selling glass products.  I was entranced by this mirror with glass mosaic frame which I bought – only to find that it was made in Bali, not Stourbridge.  Ah well.  Of course, you know what my next thought was – will I be able to make the same design as a quilt?




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