Waddesdon Manor – Aylesbury – Photos

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor is another delightful National Trust property.  It was built in the late nineteenth century for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.  He wanted somewhere to display his arts and sculptures – and of course to entertain his friends.  Although the property is owned by the National Trust, it is managed by the Rothschild Foundation.

A visit there is a real treat as both the buildings and the gardens are superb.  We had to park quite a distance away, but they have a shuttle bus between the car park and the manor, which helps.




The aviary

The aviary

The Gardens

The first place that we came across in the gardens was the aviary.  We didn’t look as closely as I would have liked at the birds because there were about three school trips that day and the noise from the children was deafening!

As you can see, the buildings are substantial and the birds had plenty of room in their enclosures.  Now I would never think of putting red and purple together in a quilt, but don’t you think that the flower bed on the right makes a lovely display.

What lovely colours

What lovely colours

My mind was still on quilts when I came to the next flower bed – those colours look gorgeous together.  There were statues all over the place and a rose garden that you could smell well before you reached it.

Beautiful topiary

Beautiful topiary

The other eyecatcher on our way to the manor was the topiary.  I’ve seen clever topiary before now, but what stood out here was the way they had used different plants to give a different green for the bird’s breast.  Very clever.

Tapestry fire screen

Tapestry fire screen

Inside Waddesdon Manor

The interior of the manor was breathtaking.  The colours in this tapestry were stunning and they had some really large tapestries hanging on the walls as well.

Zebra in harness

Zebra in harness

I was brought up in Africa and I was always told that zebra could not be tamed so it was delightful to see this photo of zebra pulling a carriage.

This is just an example of how varied the treasures are within the manor.

Twelve Caesars

Twelve Caesars

While we were there – and just about to finish – was an exhibition called the Twelve Caesars.  This consisted of gold or bronze sculptures of each of the first twelve Caesars.  It was fascinating and the amazing thing is that they don’t know who made them or why.

Dining in style

Dining in style

The meals were obviously sumptuous when the Rothschilds lived at Waddesdon Manor.  This table was set for a wonderful feast.  It was the chandelier that was truly beautiful, but I’m afraid my photo hasn’t done it justice.

Waddesdon Manor is an amazing place to visit both inside and outside – well worth it if you’re in the area.

Diamonds Are Forever Quilt Pattern

Diamonds are Forever quilt

Diamonds are Forever quilt

My Diamonds are Forever quilt has been named in honour of my son’s wedding this weekend.  I have used two different quilt blocks with various colour variations to provide diamonds in both the overall quilt design and in some of the blocks.  Please don’t think that it looks too complicated – each block is actually very simple to make.

The quilt is rectangular, measuring 64″ by 70″, so it would be suitable for a double bed or a throw.  I have used twenty five blocks which are all 12″ square finished size.  For the quilt top I needed 2 yards each of green and white, 1 yard of purple and 3/4 yard each of lilac and yellow.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Diamonds are Forever quilt

2.7/8″ squares:  ninety eight purple, forty eight green, one hundred and fifty white, four yellow

4,7.8″ squares:  twenty four purple, two yellow, twenty six lilac

2.1/2″ squares:  one hundred white

8.1/2″ squares:  twelve green

For the borders you will need to cut three 3.1/2″ yellow strips, seven 2.1/2″ green strips, all 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 these using both the 2.7/8″ squares and the 4.7/8″ 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 produce two half square triangle units.  Trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.  In the 2.7/8″ squares, place white with either purple or green.  For the 4.7/8″ squares, place lilac with either purple or yellow.

First quilt block layout

First quilt block layout

Make the first block

My original intention had been to use a green/white four patch in the middle of this block.  However I felt that it made the quilt look too busy so I changed it for one green square.  As I had already cut the fabric, it meant that I had lots of 4.1/2″ green strips cut – that’s why in the full quilt you’ll see that I have sometimes used two 4.1/2″ by 8.1/2″ green rectangles instead of one 8.1/2″ square.

Place a green 8.1/2″ square in the middle.  On each edge of this square place two purple/white half square triangles with a 2.1/2″ white square on either side of them.  Place the purple triangles together so that they form a larger purple triangle always pointing away from the middle.  In each corner place a purple/white half square triangle with the purple triangle on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew together the four squares above and below the green square and then sew them to the green square.  Join together all the squares down each side to form two columns of six squares.  Sew these to the central section to complete the block.

At this stage the block measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make twelve like this.

Make the second quilt block

The second block is very similar to the first block, but I have created a diamond in the middle instead of a square.

Second block layout

Second block layout

Place four lilac/purple half square triangles (made from 4.7/8″ squares) in the middle.  Lay them so that the purple triangles lie in the middle, forming a purple diamond.

Place two green/white half square triangles and a white square on each edge of this central square.  Place them so that the green triangles together form a larger triangle pointing away from the middle.  Add a purple/white half square triangle in each corner with the purple on the outside.

As you can see, the outer frame of the block is the same as the one in the first block, but with green triangles instead of purple forming the diamond behind the central square.

Sew the four large half square triangles together first to form a square.  Then continue as for the first block.  At this stage the block measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of them in this colour selection.

Central block

Central block

Make the central block

The central block is the same as the basic second block, but with lilac/yellow half square triangles forming a yellow diamond in the middle rather than a purple one.

You need to make only one of this block.

One more variation

In order to emphasise the diamond theme of this quilt, I have created one further colour variation.   These blocks I have placed in the middle of each edge, at the tips of the overall diamond formed by the purple blocks in the quilt design.

Last layout variation

Last layout variation

The layout for the block is the same as for the basic second block, but with the substitution of two yellow/white half square triangles for two of the green/white ones.  This block also measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assemble the Diamonds are Forever quilt

Sew the blocks together in five rows of five blocks.  Row 1 consists of one purple block with substituted yellow triangles in the middle.  Rotate this so that the larger yellow triangle points upwards.  Place two green blocks on either side.

For row 2 place a green block at each end with three purple blocks in the middle.

Row 3

Row 3

Row 3, the central row, is made with a yellow diamond block in the middle.  Place a purple block on either side of this.  At each end place a purple block with substituted yellow triangles,  Rotate these so that the yellow triangles point to each side away from the middle.

Rows 4 and 5 are similar to rows 1 and 2.

Rows 4 and 5

Rows 4 and 5

In row 4 place a green block at each end with three purple blocks in the middle.  In row 5 place the last purple block with substituted yellow triangles in the middle.  Rotate this so that the yellow triangle points downwards, away from the middle.  Lay two green blocks on either side.

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

Add yellow to top and bottom

Add yellow to top and bottom

Add the quilt borders

I wanted this quilt to be rectangular, so I have added 3.1/2″ strips of yellow to the top and bottom of the quilt, but not to the sides.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″.

For the final border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 70.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Diamonds are Forever 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:

Tomorrow my son is getting married to Anna.  No travel news this week as I have been busy finishing the bunting and my jacket for the wedding.  With my next pattern I hope to bring you lots of travel and wedding photos.

 

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