Jacobs Ladder Diamond Quilt

Jacobs ladder diamond quilt

Jacobs ladder diamond quilt

I’ve made the Jacobs Ladder Diamond quilt using a variation of the Jacobs Ladder quilt block, but I’ve used rotations of the block to give the diamond design and I’ve put a red square in the middle to tie in with the red border.

The quilt measures 84″ square and I’ve used thirty six 12″ square blocks.  Fabric used was 1.1/4 yards of dark blue, 1.3/4 yards of medium blue with 2 yards of light blue, 3/4 yard each of yellow and green and 1.3/4 yards of red.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  I have deliberately used solid fabrics because I want to use quilting to highlight the diamond shapes and I thought that this would show up better with plain rather than patterned fabrics.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Jacobs Ladder Diamond quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  three hundred and fifty six medium blue, four red, two hundred and eighty eight light blue, sixteen dark blue

4.7/8″ squares:  thirty six each in green and light blue, thirty six each in yellow and dark blue

For the border you will need to cut four 6.7/8″ squares in red and in dark blue, together with eight 6.1/2″ red strips cut across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangles using the 4.7/8″ squares in light blue/green and in dark blue/yellow.  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 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

You’ll also need to make half square triangles with the 6.7/8″ red and dark blue squares for the border.  These will give you 6.1/2″ squares.

Make 4 patch units

Make 4 patch units

Make the four patch units

There are so many four patch units required that I would recommend strip piecing.  Sew 2.1/2″ lengths of light blue/medium blue or medium blue/dark blue together along the length.  Cut at 2.1/2″ intervals.  This will give you rectangles 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″, each containing two squares.  Sew these rectangles together in pairs, rotating them so that the colours are diagonally opposite each other.

You will need four of these units with a red square replacing the medium blue in the top left corner.

Quilt block layout

Quilt block layout

Assemble the Jacobs Ladder quilt block

Lay the squares out in three rows of three.  In the first row there’s a light blue/medium blue at each end and a light blue/green half square triangle in the middle.  The second row is made with a medium blue/light blue four patch unit in the middle, a green/light blue triangle unit n the left and a dark blue/yellow triangle unit on the right.  For the third row you need a medium blue/light blue four patch unit on the left, a yellow/dark blue triangle unit in the middle and a medium blue/dark blue four patch unit on the right.

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

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

Assemble the alternate block

I have changed just one square in the alternate block.  The top left square is red instead of medium blue.  You need to make four of this version of the block.

Assemble the Jacobs Ladder Diamond quilt

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Sew the blocks together in six rows of six.  Rows one and two are exactly the same as each other.  I’ll describe the blocks in terms of the stripe formed by the lines of the triangles.  In the first three blocks these stripes go up from bottom left to top right.  For the second three blocks the stripes go down from top left to bottom right

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

In row three the first two and last two blocks are the same as in the first two rows.  The middle two blocks are the alternate blocks and they are placed so that the red squares are side by side at the bottom of the row.

Row four is where the design starts to form the bottom part of the overall diamond design.  The first two blocks have the stripes going down from top left to bottom right.  These are followed by two alternate blocks with the red squares together at the top of the row.  In the final two blocks the stripes go up from bottom left to top right.

Rows 5 and 6

Rows 5 and 6

Finally rows five and six are the same as each other.  The first three blocks in these rows have the stripes running down from top left to bottom right while the last three blocks have the stripes running up from bottom left to top right.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

The borders are made with two red/dark blue triangles in the middle and lengths of red fabric on either side.  For the top and bottom of the quilt sew 30.1/2″ lengths of red to each side of the triangles.  Sew 36.1/2″ lengths of red to the sides of the triangles for the sides of the quilt.  The half square triangles are made from 6.7/8″ squares and the red fabric strips are 6.1/2″ wide.

That completes the Jacobs Ladder Diamond 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:

 

There are no sightseeing photos this week, I’m afraid.  I’ve had real problems with my computer system and most of the week has been spent trying to sort these out.  This morning I’m off to the dentist and this afternoon I shall sit back and relax!
Craftsy

Times Remembered Quilt Pattern

Times remembered quilt

Times remembered quilt

I chose the Times Remembered quilt block for this quilt because that’s what I always find myself doing at the start of a new year – taking a glance back at the previous year.  Whether or not you do the same, I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed your festive break and will have a wonderful new year.

The Star and Cross block is my choice for an alternative.  I’m quite pleased with the way that it forms a circle around the central area of the quilt.  There are sixteen blocks – eight of each – and they are all 15″ square finished size.  Altogether I used 1/2 yard of dark blue, 3/4 yard of medium blue, 1.1/4 yards of light blue, 1.1/2 yards each of red and white fabrics.  The quilt measures 66″ square.

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




Cutting requirements for the times remembered quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  forty dark blue, forty eight medium blue, thirty two light blue for the times remembered blocks,  together with forty eight white and sixty four light blue for the star and cross quilt

3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  eight medium blue, eight red for the times block, together with eight white for the star block

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in red and white for the times block, together with thirty two each in light blue and white for the star block

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

Making half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

I’ve used 3.7/8″ squares for the half square triangles, 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.

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

Times remembered quilt block layout

Times remembered quilt block layout

Make the times remembered quilt block

Lay the patchwork pieces out as shown in the photo.  Place a dark blue square in each corner and in the middle.  Add a light blue square on each edge of the central square and a red/white half square triangle in each corner of that central area.  Place these so that the white triangles are on the outside, forming the corners of that area.

For the outer frame you need a medium blue rectangle at the top, a red rectangle at the bottom and three medium blue squares on each side.

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

Star and cross quilt block layout

Star and cross quilt block layout

Make the star and cross quilt block

Lay the patchwork out as shown.  Form the central cross with a white rectangle in row three and a white square above and below it.  Place a white square in each corner of the block, with a blue/white half square triangle forming a butterfly shape across each corner.

Place a light blue square in the middle of each edge of the block.  Add the remaining light blue squares diagonally inside each white corner square.

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

Row one

Row one

Assemble the times remembered quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  In row one place two star blocks in the middle with a times block at each end of the row.  Place these so that the red rectangles are at the bottom of the blocks.

Row two

Row two

The second row is made with two times blocks in the middle and a star block at each end.  Place the times blocks so that the red rectangle is first on the right and then on the bottom of the blocks.

Row three

Row three

For the third row the blocks are the same as for the second row, but this time the red rectangles are first on the top and then on the left of the blocks.  This is how the cross in the centre of the quilt is formed.

Row four

Row four

Finally the fourth row comprises two star blocks in the middle with a times block at each end.  Rotate the times blocks so that the red rectangles are at the top of the blocks.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 3.1/2″ strips of red for the quilt border.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 66.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Times Remembered 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:

Earlswood lakes

Earlswood lakes

I’ve had a very relaxing break.  While my sewing machine was carefully tidied away I took lots of lovely walks.  One in particular to Earlswood Lakes gave me some gorgeous scenes of the sun shining on the water:  sometimes my camera just shows this as a blur, but for some reason this time it showed the sun’s reflection beautifully.  I think that I’ll have to try and use this particular photo as the basis of a quilt.

Holly's vest

Holly’s vest

In addition I wanted to share with you a baby vest that I adapted for my granddaughter, Holly.  It was very simple to make – I added some text to a photo of Christmas fabric and then printed it on plain fabric.  I sewed that and a holly shape on to the vest, giving a festive vest.  It was a really simple way of personalising a gift for her.

Red Hat Quilt – Free Pattern

Red hat quilt

Red hat quilt

This red hat quilt pattern was a request.  The members of the Red Hat Society wear red hats with purple outfits, so I decided to use both red and purple hats in the quilt.  I was asked for a very simple quilt pattern, so I designed the most simple hat quilt block that I could using two shades of colour and then made the blocks in both red and purple.

Each block measures 12″ square finished size and I have used 3/4 yard of dark red with 1 yard each of light red, dark purple and light purple.  The quilt itself is 52″ square.




Cutting requirements for the red hat quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  eight dark purple, eight dark red

2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  eight dark purple, eight dark red

2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles:  eight light purple, eight light red

3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen light purple, sixteen light red

2″ squares:  sixteen light purple, sixteen light red

3.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles:  eight light purple, eight light red

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

Red hat quilt block layout

Red hat quilt block layout

Make the red hat quilt block

Lay the pieces out as shown.  The first row is the 2″ by 12.1/2″ strip.  In the second row the dark purple square is in the middle with a 3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ light purple rectangle on each side.

For the third row you need to place the dark purple strip in the middle with a 2″ light purple square on each side.  Finally the fifth row is the 3.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ light purple rectangle.

Sew the pieces together across the rows

Sew the pieces together across the rows

Sew the pieces together across the rows in the second and third rows.

Then sew the rows to each other to complete the quilt block.  Make eight blocks in purple and eight blocks in red.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Assemble the red hat quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four, alternating the purple and red across the rows and down the columns.

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

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

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

Kansas Beauty Star Quilt Pattern

Kansas Beauty star quilt

Kansas Beauty star quilt

The Kansas Beauty Star quilt is based on the Kansas Beauty quilt block, but I have used three different colour variations to form a star design on the quilt.

I have used nine 16″ square finished size blocks.

The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used 1/4 yard of yellow star fabric, 1/2 yard each of light blue and dark blue, 3/4 yard of white and 1.1/2 yards of red fabric.  There are nine 16″ finished size blocks.

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

For those of you who have pointed out that the star looks like a swastiks, I apologise.  I did not see the likeness and I certainly meant no offence.  This is what Wikipedia says about the shape:

It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in contemporary religious cultures such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back at least 11,000 years.



Completed Kansas beauty star quilt blocks

Completed Kansas beauty star quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Kansas beauty star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  nine white

3.3/8″ squares:  seventy two red, thirty six white

5.1/4″ squares:  nine red, cut along both diagonals to make four triangles

8.7/8″ squares:  four yellow, six light blue, eight dark blue, cut along one diagonal to make two triangles

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

Make diamond in a square blocks

Make diamond in a square blocks

Making the diamond in a square central section

Begin with a 4.1/2″ white square and on each edge of it place a red triangle cut from the 5.1/4″ red squares (cut along both diagonals to make four triangles).  Sew the top and bottom triangles on first, press them open and then add the triangles to the sides of the square.  The progression of making the block starts in the top left photo of the photo and then follows three columns till you get to the diamond in a square in the bottom right of the photo.

Press and trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out.

Add a frame to this section

Layout of central area

Layout of central area

The next part of the quilt block layout is common to all nine of the blocks – it’s only the outer triangles where I have used the colour variations.

Place the diamond in a square in the middle and surround it with red and white 3.3/8″ squares.  Each edge of this frame is made with one red, one white and then two red squares.  If you begin at the top left and follow the squares round in a clockwise direction, you’ll see that each edge follows the same pattern.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew the squares together across the top and bottom rows.  Join the two pairs of squares either side of the diamond in a square together so that you can sew the middle section together in one row.  Now sew the three rows to each other.  You need to make nine of these sections.

Add triangles to the edges

Add triangles to the edges

Final frame of the Kansas beauty quilt block

Cut the 8.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Now make further diamond in a square blocks using the red and white central sections for the diamonds.

Follow the same technique as above, adding two triangles at a time.  Press the first two triangles open and then sew the remaining two triangles in place.  You need to make four blocks with the colours as shown – two triangles of dark blue and two of star fabric.

In addition, make one block with only light blue triangles and make four more with two light blue and two dark blue triangles.  See the photo near the top of the page for the layouts.

Row 1

Row 1

Assemble the Kansas beauty star quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  In row one place a star/dark blue block in the middle with a dark blue/light blue block at each end.  Notice that the dark blue triangles are placed so that they form two larger dark blue triangles pointing downwards.  This means that you have light blue triangles in these top corners of the quilt.

Row 2

Row 2

In row two place the single light blue block in the middle with a dark blue/star block on each end.  Place these so that the star fabric triangles are on either side of the central block, with the dark blue triangles on the outer edges.

Row 3

Row 3

Use the remaining three blocks in the third row.  The dark blue/star block in the middle is placed with the star triangles at the top.  The two light blue/dark blue blocks on the edges are placed so that the dark blue triangles form two larger triangles at the bottom, pointing towards the middle row.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red 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 Kansas beauty 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:

Lantern festival horse and carriage

Lantern festival horse and carriage

Last week I told you that I was going to the Magic Lantern Festival in the Botanical Gardens.  We were lucky enough to have a lovely dry and mild night for it.  The lanterns were amazing!  They had fitted so many scenes into a relatively small area.

lantern festival toadstools

lantern festival toadstools

They even had a model of the Birminghm bull, but my photo of that didn’t come out very well, so I’m showing you some magic toadstools instead.

Where did my body go?

Where did my body go?

Then at the weekend, as part of my whirlwind runup to Christmas, my daughter and I went to Edinburgh.  What a beautiful city.  I’ll show you more photos of it after Christmas, but for now I couldn’t resist showing you where I was beheaded in in the Camera Obscura building.  As you will have already guessed, it’s all done with mirrors.

So now it just remains for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  I hope that you have a wonderful festive season leading up to a happy, prosperous and healthy new year.  Thank you for letting me share with you throughout this last year.

I won’t be sending out a quilt pattern next Friday – the next one will be Friday 6th January 2017.

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.




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