San Marco Quilt – Free Pattern

San Marco quilt

San Marco quilt

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

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

Floor tile mosaic

Floor tile mosaic

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

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the San Marco quilt

9.1/2″ squares:  twenty eight grey

6.7/8″ squares:  sixteen grey, fourteen red

5.3/8″ squares:  sixty black

3.7/8″ squares:  ten red, ten grey

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty grey, five red

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units for the stars

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red and a grey square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

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

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star quilt blocks

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

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

Sew the triangles to the squares

Sew the triangles to the squares

Make the diamond in a square blocks

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

Trim the triangle tips

Trim the triangle tips

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

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

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

First three rows

First three rows

Assemble the San Marco quilt

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

Rows four to six

Rows four to six

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

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

Rows seven to nine

Rows seven to nine

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

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

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Venice

Venice

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

 

Grandmothers Choice Quilt Pattern

Grandmothers choice quilt

Grandmothers choice quilt

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

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




Cutting requirements for the grandmothers choice quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

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

6.1/2″ squares:  forty eight brown

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

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

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

Grandmothers choice quilt block

Grandmothers choice quilt block

Make the grandmothers choice quilt block

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a yellow and a white square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the yellow and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the alternate block

Alaska Homestead quilt block layout

Alaska Homestead quilt block layout

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

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

Sew the rows to each other

Sew the rows to each other

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

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

Rows 1 and 6

Rows 1 and 6

Assemble the grandmothers choice quilt

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

Rows 2 - 5

Rows 2 – 5

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

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Bourneville pavilion

Bourneville pavilion

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

Bourneville pavilion - side view

Bourneville pavilion – side view

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

Ombre Quilt – Free Pattern

Ombre quilt

Ombre quilt

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

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

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

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




Cutting requirements for the ombre quilt

Ombre quilt block

Ombre quilt block

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

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

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Begin with the half square triangle units

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

Central section layout

Central section layout

Make the ombre quilt block

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

Ombre quilt block full layout

Ombre quilt block full layout

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

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

Assemble the ombre quilt

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

 

St Patricks Day Parade 2017

St Patricks Day Parade 2017

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

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

Towers of Camelot Quilt – Free Pattern

Towers of Camelot quilt

Towers of Camelot quilt

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

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




Cutting requirements for the Towers of Camelot quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

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

7.1/4″ squares:  ten blue, ten white

4.3/4″ squares: ten white

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty turquoise

13.1/4″ squares:  two blue

9.7/8″ squares:  four white

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

Make the half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Use the 6.7/8″ squares in turquoise and white only for the half square triangle units.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangles which are now 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the turquoise and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make quarter square triangle units

Make quarter square triangle units

Make the quarter square triangle units

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

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

Make the diamond in a square units

Make the diamond in a square

Make the diamond in a square

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

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

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

Towers of Camelot quilt block layout

Towers of Camelot quilt block layout

Make the towers of Camelot quilt block

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

You need to make ten of these blocks.

Make the alternate block

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

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

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

Make two of the alternate blocks.

Rows 1 and 4

Rows 1 and 4

Assemble the Towers of Camelot quilt

Lay the blocks out in four rows of three blocks.

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

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

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

Add the quilt binding

Add the quilt binding

Add the quilt binding

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

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

Here’s the video:

Colour through quilting

Colour through quilting

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

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

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

Landscape quilts

Landscape quilts

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

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

Judy Niemeyer quilt pattern

Judy Niemeyer quilt pattern

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

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

Easter Cross Quilt – Free Pattern

Easter Cross quilt

Easter Cross quilt

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

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

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




Completed Easter Cross quilt block

Completed Easter Cross quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Easter Cross quilt

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

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

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

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

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

Easter Cross quilt block layout

Easter Cross quilt block layout

Make the Easter Cross quilt block

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alternate quilt block

Alternate quilt block

Make the alternate quilt block

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

Make five of the alternate block.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Easter Cross quilt

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

Row two

Row two

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

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  Sew a 63.1/2″ length to the top and bottom of the quilt.  Then make 67.1/2″ lengths for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

Feathers Hotel Ludlow

Feathers Hotel Ludlow

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

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

Owen Jones Quilt – Free Pattern

Owen Jones quilt

Owen Jones quilt

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

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

Original Owen Jones design

Original Owen Jones design

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

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




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

Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Owen Jones quilt

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

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

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty six light blue

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

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

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

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

Make the central area of the block

Layout of the central area

Layout of the central area

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

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

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

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

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

Owen Jones quilt block layout

Owen Jones quilt block layout

Complete the Owen Jones quilt block

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

Sew the long strips together first

Sew the long strips together first

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

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

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Owen Jones quilt

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

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

Row two

Row two

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

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Stitches 2017

Stitches 2017

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

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

Temple Court Quilt – Free Pattern

Temple court quilt

Temple court quilt

For the Temple Court quilt I have used a very simple alternate block in the middle of the quilt and I think it has made a quilt that has a medallion look to it.  Although the Temple Court block is a stunner, it can be made with only squares and half square triangles.  Altogether I have used nine blocks which are all 16″ square finished size.

The quilt measures 52″ square, using 1.1/4 yard of light purple, 3/4 yards of dark purple with 1.3/4 yards of white.  The two purples that I have used are rather lovely dragonfly fabrics by Inprint Makower.  As ever, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the temple court quilt

8.7/8″ squares:  two purple, two white

4.1/2″ squares:  thirty two lilac, eight white

4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  sixty four white

3.3/8″ squares:  thirty two lilac

2.7/8″ squares:  thirty two each in lilac and white, with a further sixty four in white only

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty two lilac

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

You need to make half square triangles using both the 2.7/8″ squares and the 8.7/8″ squares.  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 give you two half square triangle units which are now either 2.1/2″ or 8.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.  Incidentally, in case you’re wondering – the seam allowances are pressed towards the darker fabric purely because then there’s less chance of the seam allowance showing through on the top of the quilt.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

This is really so simple.  Place the four large half square triangles in two pairs with the purple always towards the middle, forming a diamond shape.

Sew the squares together within each pair and then sew the pairs to each other.  That’s it – the central block is complete.  It measures 16.1/2″ square and you need to make just the one block.

Make the diamond in a square sections

Diamond in a square sections

Diamond in a square sections

The diamond in a square sections can be made with four half square triangle units if you prefer, but I prefer to make them by sewing triangles to the edges of a square.

Cut the remaining 2.7/8″ white squares along one diagonal to give two triangles per square.  Begin with a 3.3/8″ lilac square and place a triangle on each edge.  Sew these to the square in pairs – first sew the triangles to the sides of the square.

Add the remaining triangles

Add the remaining triangles

Press the triangles open and then sew the remaining two triangles to the top and bottom.

Trim the triangle tips that stick out in the middle of each edge.  These units are now 4.1/2″ square and you need to make thirty two of them.  If you did want to use half square triangles, you would need four hst’s made from 2.7/8″ squares for each unit.

Central area of the block

Central area of the block

Make the temple court quilt block

Finally we can lay out all the pieces to make the block.  Place a 4.1/2″ white square in the middle with a pair of half square triangles on each edge and a 2.1/2″ lilac square in each corner.  Note that the lilac triangles together form larger lilac triangles pointing away from the middle.

Temple court quilt block layout

Temple court quilt block layout

The outer frame of the block is now very simple.  Place a 4.1/2″ lilac square in each corner.  Between each pair of corners place a diamond in a square unit with a white rectangle on either side of it.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew the pieces togethe across  the top and bottom rows.  In the central row you need to sew together the pieces vertically first – into columns.  On each edge sew the rectangles to either side of the diamond in a square.  In the middle sew each pair of half square triangles together and then sew them to the central square.  Outside of this, sew the two squares and two half square triangles together to make a column either side of the central column.

Now you can sew the pieces together across this central section.  Sew the three rows to each other to complete the temple mount quilt block.  This is now a 16.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.

Make rows one and three with three temple mount blocks sewn together in a row.

Row two

Row two

In row two place the alternate block in the middle with a temple block on either side of it.  Sew the blocks together across the row.

Finally sew the rows to each other.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

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

That completes the temple mount 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:

Winter sunshine

Winter sunshine

Last week I was very slow to reply to emails and comments – my apologies for that.  I was in Spain grabbing a few days of winter sunshine and my internet access was very limited.

I love walking along the beach – even in the winter I’m happy to walk ankle deep in the water.  I’m afraid I’m far too much of a wimp to actually swim in the sea at this time of year.

Bird of Paradise flowers

Bird of Paradise flowers

These Bird of Paradise flowers were a welcome surprise.  I hadn’t expected to see them so early in the year.

Tea Basket Quilt Pattern

Tea basket quilt

Tea basket quilt

I’ve used a simplified version of the tea basket quilt block together with a simple diamond in a square block to make this quilt.  I’ve also added some blue to the block – you know how I like my blues!

The quilt measures 54″ square and I have used sixteen 12″ finished size blocks.  Fabric requirements are 1.3/4 yards of blue, 1.1/4 yards of brown, 3/4 yard of white and 1/2 yard of yellow.

Cutting requirements for the tea basket quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty two brown, eight blue, twenty four white

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in yellow and white, eight each in yellow and brown, eight each in brown and white

6.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in blue and brown

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




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

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

Repeat with 6.7/8″ squares to make 6.1/2″ half square triangle units for the alternate blocks.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Tea basket quilt block layout

Tea basket quilt block layout

Make the tea basket quilt block

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  There are brown 3.1/2″ squares in three corners, with a white square for the fourth corner.  The blue square in the second row is an addition that I made to tie in with the alternate blocks.  The yellow triangles form a butterfly shape across the white corner while the brown triangles form one across the diagonally opposite brown corner.

In the middle section, a brown square with two brown triangles form a larger triangle.  I think that this is a fairly easy block to layout because any wrong placements will show up quite quickly.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the tea basket quilt block.  YOu need to make eight of these.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

This block is even more simple – just four of the large half square triangles.  Place these so that the blue is always on the inside, forming a blue diamond within the brown square.

Sew the squares into pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  You also need to make eight of this block.

Assemble the tea basket quilt

Row one

Row one

The blocks are laid out in four rows of four.  Each row contains two tea basket blocks and two alternate blocks.  Row one is made with two alternate blocks in the middle.  The blocks at the ends of the row are placed so that the tea baskets point towards the corners.

Row two

Row two

For row two the alternate blocks are at the ends of the row.  The tea basket blocks are placed so that they point towards the top corners.

Row three

Row three

In row three the blocks are the same but the tea baskets point towards the bottom corners.  This gives you that X shape in the middle of the quilt.

Fourth row

Fourth row

Finally in the fourth row the tea basket blocks are at the ends, pointing towards the bottom corners.  The two alternate blocks are in the middle of the row.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

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

That completes the tea basket 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:

What a time span!

What a time span!

St Martins Church, Birmingham

The rag market in Birmingham is situated just below the bullring shopping centre.  So is St Martins church.  The other day I happened to look up and realise what an amazing time span was covered by the war memorial on the left, a glimpse of the bullring shopping centre in the middle and St Martins church on the right.

St Martins is a Victorian building, built on the site of a 13th century church.  It was originally the parish church of Birmingham and is a lovely calming place to visit.

The Bullring dates back to medieval times, but the most recent version of the shopping centre was completed in 2003.

War memorial and St Martins church

War memorial and St Martins church

The Tree of Life war memorial was dedicated in 1993 and remembers the blitz when Birmingham had to endure 365 air raid alerts and 77 actual air raids.

So much history in one place!

V&A Museum Floor Tile Quilt Pattern

V&A museum floor tile quilt

V&A museum floor tile quilt

I have based the V&A museum floor tile quilt on the corners of a floor tile design in the museum.  There are many beautiful things to see in the museum, but I can’t help looking down at my feet wherever I go because there is so much inspiration down there on the floor.

I have simplified the design and also added some red to give some pop to the design.  I’m  hoping that I have achieved the aim of showing the blue square frame in the middle weaving over and under the grey and black strips.

You’ll be pleased to hear that this quilt is made with 2.1/2″ strips only – not a half square triangle in sight.




Original tiles

Original tiles

The quilt measures 50″ square, using sixteen 10″ finished size blocks.  Fabric requirements are 1/4 yard of red, 3/4 yard each of blue and black with 1 yard of grey fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the V&A museum floor tile quilt

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

The fabrics are all 2.1/2″ wide strips, so I have just specified the lengths of the pieces below.

Red fabric:  seventeen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips

Blue fabric:  sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips, sixteen 8.1/2″ strips, sixteen 10.1/2″ strips

Black fabric:  sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips, thirty two 9.1/2″ strips

Grey fabric:  sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 6.1/2″ strips, four 22.1/2″ strips, two 46.1/2″ strips, two 50.1/2″ strips

V&A floor tile quilt block layout

V&A floor tile quilt block layout

Make the individual blocks

Lay the strips out as shown.  The 10.1/2″ blue strip is across the top of the block, with the 8.1/2″ blue strip down the left hand side.  8.1/2″ black strips are placed horizontally above and below the central area.  The central area is made with a 4.1/2″ black strip on the left, a 4.1/2″ red strip above a red square.  To the right of these are a black square and a 4.1/2″ blue strip.

Sew the central area first

Sew the central area first

Sew the central area together first:  that’s the red strip with a black square in one row and the red square with a blue strip in the other row.  Join these two rows as shown on the right of the photo.

Add the black strips

Add the black strips

Now you can sew the black strip to the side of the unit and then black strips to the top and bottom.  Finally sew the blue strip to the left hand side and then the blue strip across the top of the block.

It really is a very simple block to make!

Make the sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

For the sashing, sew together a 6.1/2″ grey strip with first a blue square and then a grey square.

You need to make sixteen blocks and sixteen sashing strips.

One quarter of the quilt

One quarter of the quilt

Assemble the V&A museum floor tile quilt

Make the quilt in four quarters, using four blocks for each quarter.  Form one row with two blocks and a sashing strip between them.  For the second row sew together two sashing strips with a red square between them.  In row three place two blocks with a sashing strip between them.

Rotate the blocks so that the blue is always on the outside.  This is how you form the blue square frame weaving over and under the black and grey strips.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Make four of these sections.

Sew the four quarters together

Sew the four quarters together

For the the sashing between the quarters use the 22.1/2″ grey strips with just the one red square in the middle.  So rows one and three consist of two blocks with a grey strip between them.  Make the second row with two grey strips and a red square between them.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

Finally, for the border I have basically continued the sashing.  You’ll need two lengths of 46.1/2″ across the top and bottom and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the V&A museum floor tile 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:

Queues of people!

Queues of people!

Birmingham Back to Backs

Yesterday I went into Birmingham centre and was rather surprised to see crowds of people just around the area that I was visiting.  It turned out to be the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent.

There were huge numbers of people waiting to get in to the theatre – they were very good natured and every now and then there was a huge roar of approval, presumably when someone well known arrived.

 

Back to backs

Back to backs

The reason that I was there was to visit a place called Back to Backs, which was absolutely fascinating.  These are houses set around a courtyard, but each house had another one attached to the back of it.  They had re created the interiors of the houses to show how they would have been at various times.  For this they had used actual families that had lived in the houses.

The earliest was set up as 1870, when the houses were built.  So much attention had been paid to making the details accurate that it was a real treat to see them.  In the most modern house – around 1970 – a tailor had been the tenant and there was evidence of his sewing all over the house.  I really wish that I had been able to take photos inside the house to show you.  I saw two sewing machines – one the treadle type which I’m sure you have seen, but the other was even older than that.  It looked very big and bulky and really interesting.  Apparently this tailor was so good that people used to come to him from London to get their suits made.

Cactus Pot Quilt – Easy Free Pattern

Cactus pot quilt

Cactus pot quilt

I’ve made the cactus pot quilt using two different colours for the block and some large white squares.  I feel that this gives a great feeling of space and freshness.

All the blocks are 12″ square finished size.  The quilt measures 78″ square and I have used 3.3/4 yards of white, 1.7/8 yards of purple, 1.1/4 yards of lilac with 1/4 yard of green fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the cactus pot quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  one hundred and forty white

3.7/8″ squares:  forty eight each in lilac and white, eight each in green and white, twenty eight each in purple and white

6.7/8″ squares:  twelve each in purple and lilac, two each in purple and green

12.1/2″ squares:  eight white

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour pairings listed above for the small half square triangle units.  Place a white square with either a lilac, green or purple square right sides together.  Mark a line 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 which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Repeat with the 6.7/8″ squares which will give you 6.1/2″ squares.

Cactus pot quilt block layout

Cactus pot quilt block layout

Make the cactus pot quilt blocks

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  Place a large half square triangle in the middle.  There are two lilac/white half square triangles above the central square and on the left hand edge.  On the right hand side and beneath the central square place a white square and a purple/white half square triangle.  The four corners are all white squares.

Look for the larger shapes.  Note that the two lilac triangles around the top corner form a butterfly shape.  In the bottom corner the white square with two white triangles form a larger white triangle.

Sew the squares together across the top and bottom rows.  For the middle two rows you need to sew the two small squares together first and then sew them to the central square.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make twenty four of this version of the block.

Layout for alternate block

Layout for alternate block

Make the alternate version of the block

Lay the squares out exactly the same as for the block above, but swap the lilac shapes for green.

Make the block in exactly the same way.  You need to make four of this version of the block.

Assemble the cactus pot quilt

Row one

Row one

Lay the blocks out in six rows of six.

Row one is made with a green cactus at each end, two lilac blocks in the middle with a 12.1/2″ white square between the lilac and the green blocks.  Check the rotation of the blocks from the photos.

Row two

Row two

In row two there’s a white square at each end enclosing four lilac cactus blocks.  Again check the rotation of the blocks in the photo.

Row three

Row three

For row three you will need six lilac cactus blocks.  Check the photo to be sure you have all the blocks facing the correct way.

Row four

Row four

Row four is very similar to row three, but with different rotations of the blocks.  There are again six lilac blocks.

Row five

Row five

In row five the blocks are the same as in row two, but with the blocks facing in different ways.

Row six

Row six

Finally in row six you have the same blocks as row one, but this time the cactus in each block is facing downwards, two of them towards the left and two towards the right.

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of purple fabric.  Piece together two 72.1/2″ strips for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two 78.1/2″ lengths for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the cactus pot 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:

Postcards from the V&A

Postcards from the V&A

Last week, as you know I went to the V&A Museum to see some rather spectacular embroidery – as well as lots of other fascinating things.  The exhibition was called Opus Anglicanum.  I had a wonderful afternoon there and you can see some photos here.

%d bloggers like this: