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.

Muscat Floor Tile Quilt Pattern

 

Muscat floor tile quilt

Muscat floor tile quilt

The Muscat floor tile quilt is based on my interpretation of the tiles in a shopping mall in Muscat (which is in Oman).  I would love to be able to say that I have just had a short break there, but actually the photos were sent to me by Carol in Muscat – many thanks, Carol.

Original Muscat floor tiles

Original Muscat floor tiles

I have taken elements of the floor design and used them in my quilt – and also added some red fabric to give it some pop.  You can see the tiles that provided the inspiration in this photo.

The quilt measures just under 36″ square and I have used 1 yard of black with 1/2 yard each of red and gold fabrics.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the Muscat floor tile quilt

Black fabric:  five 5.1/2″ squares, eight 2.3/4″ by 5.3/4″ rectangles, four 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric for the quilt itself.  For the border you will need eight 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric

Red fabric:  four 5.3/4″ squares for the quilt. For the border you will need four 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric

Gold fabric:  six 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric, eight 1.1/2″ by 10″ rectangles

Sew five strips together

Sew five strips together

Making the basic block for the Muscat floor tile quilt

Sew five 1.1/2″ strips of three gold and two black together to make one panel.  You will need to make two of these panels.  Cut across the panels at 5.1/2″ intervals.  Four of these squares will be used as they are.  Eight of the squares will be used for the chevron blocks.

Cut the squares along the diagonal

Cut the squares along the diagonal

Making the chevron blocks

Seperate the eight squares into two groups – one group with the stripes running vertically and the other group with the stripes running horizontally.

Cut all the squares along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.

Place a gold strip along the diagonal

Place a gold strip along the diagonal

Mark the 10″ gold strips 1″ from each end using a fabric marker.Take one triangle from the first group and one from the second group so that you get the corner type of design in the black/gold stripes as shown in the photo.  Place a gold strip along the diagonal between the triangles.

Line the triangles up with the 1" marking

Line the triangles up with the 1″ marking

With right sides together, sew the triangles to the gold strip.  Begin sewing with the end of the triangle placed at the 1″ line that you marked.

You need to have the gold strip sticking out beyond the triangles so that you can form the corners of this block.

Trim the corners of the block

Trim the corners of the block

Press the seams and then trim the corners by placing your ruler along the edge of the block.  These blocks are now 5.3/4″ square.  This actually surprised me as I had expected them to be slightly bigger than that, but that is the measurement that I ended up with.

Form a nine patch unit in the middle

Form a nine patch unit in the middle

Assembling the Muscat floor tile quilt

I decided to make this a medallion style quilt and I began with a nine patch unit in the middle, using five plain black squares and four of the basic striped blocks.

Place the striped blocks so that the lines are horizontal in the middle row and vertical in the other two blocks.  Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Use the chevron blocks in pairs

Use the chevron blocks in pairs

For the next frame of the Muscat floor tile quilt I have used the chevron blocks.  I couldn’t resist adding some red fabric at this stage.  Place two chevron blocks together so that the gold diagonals form a V shape.  On each end place a 2.3/4″ by 5.3/4″ black rectangle.  Make four of these units.

Match the middles first and then smooth outwards

Match the middles first and then smooth outwards

Sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt, placing them so that the V shape points towards the middle.  I find that it helps to match the central seam of the chevron blocks to the middle of the gold strip first and then smooth and pin outwards from there.

Sew a red square to either end of the side units

Sew a red square to either end of the side units

Sew a 5.3/4″ red square to each end of the remaining two chevron units and sew one to each side of the quilt.

That completes the main part of the Muscat floor tile quilt.

The first two quilt borders

The first two quilt borders

Quilt border

I have used three borders to frame the quilt.  For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of black fabric.  You will need two lengths of 26″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 30″” for the sides.

The second border is made using 1.1/2″ red strips.  Cut two lengths of 30″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 32″ for the sides.

The third quilt border

The third quilt border

For the third border I used 2.1/2″ strips of black again.  You will need two lengths of 32″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 36″ for the sides.  These are the measurements for my Muscat floor tile quilt, but please do measure yours before you cut the border strips.

That completes the Muscat floor tile 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:

Apparently our good weather is due to end today.  They are talking of blood rain over the weekend, which is caused by red dust blown up here from the Sahara Desert.  That should be interesting.

Craftsy

Florence Floor Tile Quilt Two

 

Florence floor tile quilt two

Florence floor tile quilt two

This Florence floor tile quilt two is another design based on my visit to Florence earlier this year.  I have simplified the design by using a triangle instead of a rectangle – and that’s not something that I ever thought that I would say!

I haven’t prepared a quilt kit this week because instead I am holding a spring sale across the whole shop.  Use coupon code spring (all lower case) to give yourself a huge discount of 16%.  This sale will run for a week – until the end of next Thursday, 26th April.  Click here to view the shop.

The original tile design

The original tile design

The original tile design is fairly random, but I’ve added a bit of order to it in the placement of the colours.  As you can see, there’s a rectangle along each edge of the central square in some of the tiles, but I felt that it was more simple to make the block if I used a triangle instead.

The quilt measures 49″ square and I have used 3/4 yard each of the blue and pink, 1/4 yard of white and 1 yard of the black fabric.  I have deliberately used pastel shades of pink and blue to give a stronger contrast with the black and white surrounding them.

Cutting requirements for the Florence floor tile quilt two

Blue:  eight 9.1/2″ squares, six 6.7/8″ squares

Pink:  four 9.1/2″ squares, seven 6.7/8″ squares

White:  twenty six 2.7/8″ squares

Black:  fifty two rectangles 1.7/8″ by 2.7/8″, fifty two rectangles 1.7/8″ by 5.5/8″ for the blocks, two 2.1/2″ strips 45.1/2″ long and two 2.1/2″ strips 49.1/2″ long for the border.

Make a square in square block

Make a square in square block

Cut along one diagonal

Cut along one diagonal

Making the Florence floor tile quilt two blocks

The first requirement for the first quilt block is to make a square in a square block using the black and white fabrics.  Sew the two small black rectangles to the top and bottom of the white square, press and then sew the two long rectangles to the sides.

These squares will now be 5.5/8″ square.  Cut along one diagonal to make two triangles.

Layout for the first quilt block

Layout for the first quilt block

Sew the triangles to the top and bottom first

Sew the triangles to the top and bottom first

Now you can see why I felt that triangles were more simple than rectangles – well I hope that you agree with me anyway!

Place one triangle on each edge of a 6.7/8″ pink or blue square.  Sew the triangles to the top and bottom first, press and then sew the remaining two triangles to the sides.

You’ll notice that the edge of the triangle is longer than the edge of the square – this is deliberate so that there is enough fabric beyond the corners of the pink square to keep the corners showing when the blocks are sewn together.  You can mark the middles of the triangle edge and the pink square edge to match them up, or make sure that you have the same length of triangle sticking out at each end.

That completes the first block of the Florence floor tile quilt two.  You’ll be relieved to hear that the second one is simply a 9.1/2″ square of either blue or pink.

Rows 1 and 5

Rows 1 and 5

Rows 2 and 4

Rows 2 and 4

Assembling the Florence floor tile quilt two

The blocks are laid out in five rows of five.  Rows one and five are the same as each other: three pink diamond blocks alternating with two blue squares.

Rows two and four are also the same as each other:  a pink square in the middle with a blue diamond on either side and then a blue square at each end.

Row 3

Row 3

Row three, the middle row has a pink diamond in the middle with a pink square on either side and then a blue diamond at each end.

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of black fabric.  I felt that it made the quilt look as though the tiles were floating on a black background.  You will need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the top of the Florence floor tile quilt two.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and sewing.  Full details of these can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

We are expecting a total eclipse of the sun this morning (that reminds me of the song from my youth.  I wish I could remember who it was by!).  It is fairly cloudy here in Ludlow as I write this, so I’m not sure whether we will see it or not.

Thank you so much to all of you who sent in such clever ideas for names for my new embroidery machine.  You really are very inventive!  I have decided to go with the name Matilda – I can’t tell you why except to say that the name just caught my fancy.

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Pisa Cathedral Quilt Pattern

Pisa cathedral quilt

Pisa cathedral quilt

The Pisa Cathedral quilt is based on one of the floor tile designs in the cathedral which stands right next to the leaning tower.  It is an exquisite building and I could have spent hours wondering around it.  I have used the same three colours that I used for the Florence quilt, but I have chosen a more muted red that is a better match for the tiles.

The original floor tiles

The original floor tiles

I have simplified the design enormously and used large squares to make it more easy to make.  You can see the floor that I was working from in the photo.  I have left out the tiny triangles and I have used straight lines (triangles) instead of the semi circles that surround the plain squares in the original.

I love the design because when you look at it you can see stars or small squares or huge squares – more designs the longer you look at it.

The Pisa cathedral quilt measures 46″ square and I have used 1 yard each of red and white, with 3/4 yard of green.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the Pisa cathedral quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  sixteen white, five green, four red

7.1/4″ squares:  twelve white, six green, six red

Sew the triangles in pairs

Sew the triangles in pairs

Making the Pisa cathedral quilt

Cut all the 7.1/4″ squares across both diagonals to make four triangles from each square.  These are known (unsurprisingly) as quarter square triangles.  Sew together a cream triangle with either a red or a green one, making sure that the coloured triangle is on the right, the cream triangle on the left.

Sew the pairs of triangles together

Sew the pairs of triangles together

Sew these pairs of triangles together to make squares.  Place them so that the coloured triangles are opposite each other.  I find it best to pin the middle of the seam and smooth outwards to be sure that your triangles all meet in the middle of the square when the seam is sewn.

That’s the only block that needs piecing for the Pisa cathedral quilt – the other block is a plain square.  The design is formed by rotating the blocks when placing them in rows.

If you wish to make this quilt bigger or smaller, you must keep to an odd number of rows and columns in order for the design to work.  I have made this quilt with seven rows of seven, but you could use five rows of five or nine rows of nine if you wanted to make it smaller or bigger.

First row of the Pisa cathedral quilt

First row of the Pisa cathedral quilt

The first row is made with four plain cream squares alternating with three quarter square triangle squares.  I think it will be easiest if I specify where the red triangle is placed:  in the first square the red is on the right, in the middle square it is on the left and in the third square it is on the right again.  Sew these squares together across the row.  Rows one and five are the same as each other, so you need to make two of this row.

Second and sixth rows

Second and sixth rows

The second and sixth rows are also the same as each other.  They are made with four quarter square triangle squares alternating with plain red or green squares.

In the first and third squares the red is on the top while in the second and fourth squares the red is on the bottom.  The first and third plain squares are green and the middle plain square is red.

Third and seventh rows

Third and seventh rows

The third and seventh rows are the same as each other.  Each one is made with four plain cream squares alternating with three quarter square triangle squares.  In the first and third quarter squares the red is on the left, while in the middle quarter triangle square it is on the right.

Fourth row

Fourth row

The fourth row is the middle row and you need make only one of this row.  This is made with four quarter square triangle squares, two red plain squares and one green plain square.

The red triangles are placed at bottom, top, bottom and then top again.  The red plain squares are placed first and third with the green plain square in the middle of the row.

The first four rows of the pisa cathedral quilt

The first four rows of the pisa cathedral quilt

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Here you can see the first four rows ready to be sewn together – it might be clearer seeing them all together like this.

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of the red fabric.  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.

That completes the Pisa cathedral 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:

I put my father’s house on the market this week so this weekend I am planning to catch up with some quilting.  I am half way through the Florence quilt and I hope to be able to show it to you next week.  I may even have the chance to work with Minnie, my longarm quilting machine, for the first time in quite a while!

Craftsy

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