Pineapple Quilt Pattern – Courthouse Steps

Pineqpple quilt

Pineqpple quilt

In order to make this Pineapple Quilt I have used all the easy options.  The pineapple sections are folded squares, so minimum sewing.  I have used the courthouse steps quilt block which I always find quicker than making a traditional log cabin quilt adding logs all round the central square.  Altogether I think that the quilt looks complex but is very easy to make.

The quilt measures 50″ square, using four blocks which are 20″ square finished size.  I used 1.1/4 yards of purple fabric, 1.1/4 yards of white and 1.1/2 yards of the leaf fabric.  The leaf fabric actually comes from the Tropicana range and is probably meant to be palm tree fronds.  I felt that they looked sufficiently like pineapple leaves to add to the quilt.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed pineapple quilt block

Completed pineapple quilt block

Cutting requirements for the pineapple quilt

8.1/2″ squares:  four white

3.7/8″ squares:  sixty four purple

2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  eighteen in leaf fabric, seven white, five purple

Fold the squares

Fold the squares

Make the central area

Begin with an 8.1/2″ white square.  Fold the purple squares along one diagonal to make a triangle.

One triangle on each corner

One triangle on each corner

Place one triangle on each corner of the white square so that the raw edges are all in line and the folded edge of the triangle lies across the corner.

Pin the triangles in place – just take care that your pins are not along the seam lines.  The two right hand triangles are waiting to be placed.

Sew the first frame

Sew the first frame

Add an 8.1/2″ strip of the leaf fabric to the top and the bottom of the square.  Press with the seam allowances away from the square.

Add triangles to the corners

Add triangles to the corners

Then add a 12.1/2″ strip to either side.  Check that the triangle edges are lying along the edges of the square as you sew – sometimes they can slip out of line while you’re not looking!

Add a purple triangle to each corner of the block and pin in place.

Second frame

Second frame

Add the second frame

For the second frame you will need two lengths of  12.1/2″ for the top and bottom followed by two lengths of 16.1/2″ for the sides.  Pin purple triangles to each corner.

Third frame

Third frame

Add the third frame

The third frame is the final frame.  I had intended to use four frames, but then decided that the block was going to be large enough with just the three frames.

You’ll need two lengths of 16.1/2″ for the top and bottom followed by two lengths of 20.1/2″ for the sides.

Add a purple triangle to each corner.

Sew a white strip between the pairs

Sew a white strip between the pairs

Assemble the pineapple quilt

Sew the blocks together in two pairs with a white strip between each pair.  This strip measures 20.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ in white fabric.

Make the central row

Make the central row

Now make a strip using two 20.1/2″ white strips with a purple square between them.  This makes the central row which will lie between the two pairs of blocks.

Sew the central strip to the top pair of blocks.  I find it safest to pin the row at the central purple square first and then smooth it in each direction.  That way you get a nice clean join in the middle.

Next sew the bottom pair of blocks to the central row.

Add the top sashing

Add the top sashing

Finish the sashing

At the moment the sashing is only between the blocks but not round the outer edge.  Cut two 42.1/2″ lengths of white fabric and sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.

Add sashing to the sides

Add sashing to the sides

Then cut two 46.1/2″ lengths and sew one to each side of the quilt.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I have used 2.1/2″ strips of purple fabric to frame the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the pineapple 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:

https://youtu.be/D9tYHQvR8jE

 

Lapworth Museum

Lapworth Museum

Last week I stumbled upon a fascinating museum just up the road from where I live.  It’s called the Lapworth Museum of Geology.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

Another busy weekend at the Christmas Craft Fair at the Mac in Cannon Hill Park.  I really will remember to take some photos of my stall this time – I’ve had several requests for photos.  After that I can relax and start to plan my own Christmas.

Lapworth Geology Museum – Birmingham – Photos

Lapworth Geology Museum

Lapworth Geology Museum

My visit to the Lapworth Geology Museum was an unexpected treat.  It’s run by the University of Birmingham and was absolutely fascinating.  It’s also free to visit!  The Museum is set within the University and there is a lot of building work going on around it so I had to use Google Maps to get there.  It was well worth it when I arrived, though.

Charles Lapworth

Charles Lapworth

The Museum has one of the oldest collections of fossils and stones together with lots of detailed information and videos which were great fun.

It is named after Charles Lapworth who was a noted geologist of the time, being Professor of Geology at the Mason College which was the forerunner of the present University of Birmingham.

Magnetic influence

Magnetic influence

Interactive displays

This display showed the influence of magnets really clearly.  As you moved the magnet on the left up along the slot the needle on the compass to the right moved to follow it.  I wish I had known about this museum when my children were young.

I

Revolving globe

Revolving globe

I spent ages at this revolving globe.  At the click of a button you could change the display to cover different areas of information.  In this particular photo you could see the lines of human movement but there were many other options.

Wonderful shapes

Wonderful shapes

Rock displays

I have various bits of rock around my house – I just love the colours produced by different layers of stone when they are polished up.  However these displays were something else – this particular one made me think of coral – what amazing and beautiful shapes.

I also learned a lot about precious stones from the displays.  For instance I have always believed that sapphires are blue but in fact they come in a whole range of colours.

Fossils and bones

Fossils and bones

Fossils and bones

These huge bones were a wonderful reminder of just how large dinosaurs were.

What impressed me about the fossil displays was not only how well preserved the fossils were, but also how instructive the notes were – explaining how fossils were formed.  The plant fossils fascinated me – I get that animals become covered in sediment and their shape is imprinted in the rock, but I was staggered to see that the same thing had happened to plants.  I would have expected them just to decay long before their shape was imprinted on the rocks.  Shows how little I know!

All in all my visit to Lapworth Geology Museum was a real treat – well done Birmingham University!

Medallion Bethlehem Star Quilt Pattern

Bethlehem Star quilt pattern

Bethlehem Star quilt pattern

Using the Bethlehem Star quilt block for this week’s quilt seemed appropriate for this time of year – and it is a lovely block.  I have used it as the central medallion and then surrounded it with a circle of smaller stars.  I love the way it has turned out.

The quilt measures 46″ square, using 1 yard each of dark blue and floral fabrics, 3/4 yard each of medium blue and light blue, with 1/2 yard of white fabric.  The floral fabric counts as a light or medium fabric – altogether for the quilt I used four blues and one white fabric.  These fabrics are available in kit form in this week’s special offerI am also holding my first ever Black Friday sale – details at the bottom of the page.




Completed Bethlehem Star quilt block

Completed Bethlehem Star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Bethlehem Star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark blue, twelve medium blue

3.7/8″ squares:  eight each in medium blue and white, six each in dark blue and white, four each in light blue and white, four each in medium blue and light blue, two each in medium blue and dark blue

2.1/2″ squares:  twenty medium blue, eighty light blue

2.7/8″ squares:  forty each in medium blue and light blue

6.1/2″ squares:  four floral

For border one you will need to cut three 3.1/2″ strips of floral fabric across the width of fabric

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

Half square triangles

Half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides togethr 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.  For the second border you will need half square triangles made in the same way using the 2.7/8″ squares.

Make a pinwheel

Make a pinwheel

Make the Bethlehem Star quilt block

I am building this block up from the middle to make it clear.  So begin with a four patch pinwheel of dark blue/medium blue half square triangles.

Next frame

Next frame

Now add a pair of dark blue/medium blue half square triangles on each edge of the central square.  Place these so that the white triangles together form larger white triangles pointing towards the middle.

Add the corners

Add the corners

Add a medium blue/white half square triangle in each corner.  Place these so that the blue is always on the outside, white on the inside.

Third frame of the block

Third frame

Third frame

For the third frame of squares, begin with two medium blue 3.1/2″ squares in the middle of each edge.  Add a medium blue/floral half square triangle at each end of the squares.  Place these so that the floral triangles lie against the blue squares.

Add the corners

Add the corners

Now add a medium blue square in each corner.  In order to check that your triangles are placed correctly look at the larger shapes.  You have a star in the middle surrounded by white triangles.  In each corner the medium blue square and two triangles form an envelope shape pointing away from the middle.

Fourth frame of the block

Fourth frame

Fourth frame

Begin the fourth frame with a pair of medium blue/white half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Place these so that the blue triangles form a larger blue triangle pointing away from the middle.  On either side of these lay a floral/white half square triangle.  Place them so that the white triangles form two larger white triangles pointing towards the middle on each edge.  Please note that I have mis placed the floral/white half square triangle on the left of the bottom row – as you can see the two white triangles there do not form a larger white triangle.  It seems really obvious now, but I didn’t notice it at the time.

Add the corners

Add the corners

Finally add the corner sections of this frame. – a dark blue square with two dark blue/white half square triangles in each corner.  Place them so that they form a large dark blue triangle across the corners.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the Bethlehem Star quilt block.  It measures 24.1/2″ square at this stage and you just need to make the one.

Press the seam allowances open

Press the seam allowances open

As there are so many triangles, the seams can be quite bulky, so I pressed the seam allowances open as much as I could.

First border

First border

Add the first border

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of floral fabric for this border.  You need two lengths of 24.1/2″ for the top and bottom together with two lengths of 30.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border

I have used simple star blocks for this border.  It is obviously more work than just using strips of fabric, but it does provide a lovely circle of stars around the central block.

Star layout

Star layout

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a medium blue square in the middle and a light blue square in each corner.  Place the half square triangles in the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to make sure that these are placed correctly.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make twenty of them.

Sew stars to the top and bottom of the quilt

Sew stars to the top and bottom of the quilt

Sew the stars together in four rows of five stars each.

Add one row to the top of the quilt and one to the bottom.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Sew a 6.1/2″ floral square to each end of the remaining two rows of stars.  Sew one strip to each side of the quilt.

Third border

Third border

Add the third border

I have framed the Bethlehem Star quilt with a simple border of 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue 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 Bethlehem Star 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:

https://youtu.be/cEX-nJdMMgQ

This week I am holding my first Black Friday sale ever.  I am offering a 20% discount – the most that I have ever offered! – on all orders over £6.  There is no coupon required:  the discount will be applied automatically at checkout.  To take a look click here.

 

Royal Liver Building

Royal Liver Building

And I have also been on my travels again.  You can see my photos of Liverpool by clicking here or you can click on the photo.

Liverpool – Merseyside – Photos

Liverpool memories

Liverpool memories

Liverpool is a photographer’s dream, but I have chosen this photo because the symbolism moved me so much.  A bombed out church has been left as it must have been at the end of the war and the sculpture in front of it shows a German and an English soldier shaking hands over a football during the Christmas truce.  Wonderful imagery!

I had not visited Liverpool before so it was a real treat for me.  I’m sure that most people (myself included) link Liverpool with the Beatles and the music of the sixties, but there is so much more to it than just that.  I had not realised that it is a Unesco designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.




Gateway to America

Gateway to America

Liverpool as gateway to the Atlantic

I knew that the Founding Fathers left England from Plymouth to travel to America, but apparently far more people left from Liverpool.  In fact the estimate is that nine million emigrated to America through Liverpool.

This Legacy Sculpture was given to Liverpool by the Mormon Church as a tribute to all the families who made that journey.  It shows a family with suitcases and the small child is intended to represent moving forward to a new future.

The Cavern Club

The Cavern Club

The Cavern Club

Even though I knew that Liverpool was way more than the Beatles and the Mersey Beat, I couldn’t resist a pilgrimage to the Cavern Club.  We had intended to have a quick wander around the club and then continue our sightseeing, but ended up staying there for several hours.  They have live music during the day and we happily bellowed out all the old Beatles songs.

Interestingly, they also had an impressive collection of memorabilia – signed guitars and such like.

Liverpool docks

Liverpool docks

The Waterfront

As with so many cities, the docks have been re developed to create a wonderful area of museums, exhibitions and art galleries.  We could have spent several days exploring just that area, but time did not allow.

The Liverpool Museum had lovely interactive sections for the children – but as there weren’t many children around I had a play on several of the sections and ended up with a good rating for being a potential docker!

Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedrals

There are two cathedrals in Liverpool, not far apart from each other.  The first one that we came across was the Catholic cathedral.  It is a very modern and striking building.  I believe the overall shape has been likened to the pope’s hat.

Inside the cathedral

Inside the cathedral

It certainly dominated the area, but I was quite unprepared for the beauty of the interior.  Clever lighting framed the individual wall hangings which were all very impressive in their own right.  The building is round and they had made use of every inch of space.

We couldn’t descend to the crypt as there was something on that day, but apparently it was designed by Edwin Lutyens and is a masterpiece in its own right.

Cathedral Church of the Risen Christ

Cathedral Church of the Risen Christ

The second cathedral is built to a far more traditional design.  It is no less beautiful and surprisingly was only built at the beginning of the 20th century.

It is the longest cathedral in the world, although my photo only shows one end of it.  In this article you can find far more information about it than I could give you.

Royal Liver Building

Royal Liver Building

The Royal Liver Building

This wonderful building was built for the Royal Liver Assurance Company.  The two Liver Birds that you can see on the tops of the towers watch over the city and the sea.  Legend has it that if they ever flew away then the city of Liverpool would cease to exist.  Let’s hope that never happens to such a wonderful city.

Bluebirds Flying Quilt – Free Pattern

Bluebirds flying quilt

Bluebirds flying quilt

The name of the Bluebirds Flying quilt block attracted me, thinking of all the birds migrating to warmer climates at this time of year – it’s also a very pretty block!  I have teamed it with a simple alternate block to make this lovely fresh looking quilt.

The quilt measures 69″ square using nine blocks which are 21″ square finished size.  I used 2.3/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of light blue and dark blue, with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  As usual, these fabrics are available at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed bluebirds flying quilt block

Completed bluebirds flying quilt block

Cutting requirements for the bluebirds flying quilt

3,7.8″ squares:  forty dark blue, forty white

3.1/2″ squares:  forty dark blue, five red, sixty white

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty white

11.3/8″ squares:  eight light blue, eight white

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make the half square triangles.  Place a dark blue 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 triangles which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Bluebirds flying quilt block

Bluebirds flying quilt block

Make the bluebirds flying quilt block

The layout for this block is very simple.  Begin with a red square in the middle.  Place a white rectangle on each edge of the central square, forming a cross shape.

Layout for the corners

Layout for the corners

Now add the corner sections.  These are all the same as each other, just rotated in the placement.

Along one diagonal place two dark blue squares and one white square.  Place two white squares in the remaining two corners.  Add a pair of half square triangles on either side of the bottom blue square, placing them so that the blue triangles with the square form a larger blue triangle.  Place another pair of half square triangles on either side of the middle blue squares with the two blue triangles forming a butterfly shape together.

Block partially sewn

Block partially sewn

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row of this nine patch unit and then sew the rows together.  Repeat with the other three corners.  You can now sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

At this stage the block measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make five of them.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

I have made the half square triangles for this block by simply cutting the 11.3/8″ along one diagonal.  Then I could sew a light blue and a white triangle together.  Use four half square triangles for each block, placing them so that they form two larger blue triangles meeting in the middle and two larger white triangles meeting in the middle.

Sew the pieces together in two pairs and then sew the two pairs to each other.  At this stage the block also measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the bluebirds flying quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three blocks.  Rows one and three are the same as each other.  Lay a bluebird block at each end with an alternate block in the middle.

Row two

Row two

For row two you need to place a bluebird block in the middle with an alternate block in the middle.

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

Red for the border

Red for the border

Add the border

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of the same red fabric that I used within the blue bird blocks.  You need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 69.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Bluebirds Flying 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:

https://youtu.be/aNwt0hX5dA4

 

National Memorial Arboretum

National Memorial Arboretum

Earlier this year I visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.  With Remembrance Sunday taking place this weekend I thought that it was a good time to share my photos with you.  You can see them by clicking here or on the photo.  I hope that the weather isn’t too bad for all the parades on Sunday.

As the weather forecast isn’t good for tomorrow I thought that I might go and see Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema.

National Memorial Arboretum – Alrewas – Photos

National Memorial Arboretum

National Memorial Arboretum

I visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas earlier this year.  This was officially opened in May 2001 and is a moving tribute to our armed services.  This is the official description of it:

A spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country.

It is now run by a charity with countless volunteers and I felt that I could have spent far longer than a day there to explore the 150 acres of trees and memorials.

Lifting a fallen comrade

Lifting a fallen comrade

I’ll try to keep my talking to a minimum now and concentrate on the photos.

This tableau is part of the first section that you come to, surrounded by walls inscribed with the names of those who have died in active service since World War II- so many of them.

The surrounding walls are placed so that at 11am on the 11th November the sun shines through two slits in the walls and a shaft of light falls on a wreath in the middle.

So many varied trees

So many varied trees

There are 30,000 trees here with the number growing all the time. What struck me was the wonderful variety of trees – leaves of every colour and shape.

Memorials everywhere

Memorials everywhere

Memorials along every walk way.  This particular one was at the end of a very long walkway.  The simplicity of two hands clasped was moving.

Engraved ball

Engraved ball

This globe had names engraved over the surface of the ball.

Memorial

Memorial

Every aspect of the armed services – support services as well – was remembered somewhere within the arboretum.

Bordered by rivers

Bordered by rivers

The arboretum is bordered by the rivers Trent and Tame and was built on a former gravel pit.  The rivers add to the peace of the area.

Curved Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Curved log cabin quilt

Curved log cabin quilt

My curved log cabin quilt pattern has turned out really well – well I think so, anyway!  I’ve used the basic log cabin quilt block but with different sized logs.  This means that the red square which began in the middle of the block actually ends up way off centre.  Traditionally, the central square of a log cabin block is red to represent the fire in the hearth of a log cabin.  The colours move from dark to light on each side and I have added the logs clockwise rather than anti clockwise.  The quilt measures 60″ square.

I made sixteen identical blocks and created the design by rotating the blocks.  Each block is 14″ square finished size and I used 1 yard of red, 3/4 yard each of the two darkest blues and darkest light fabrics, with 1/2 yard each of the two lightest blues and the third lightest light fabric, and just 1/4 yard of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements

The red squares in the middle are 2.1/2″.  The blue logs are 2.1/2″ wide while the light logs are 1.1/2″ wide.  I made the border with 2.1/2″ red strips.  I haven’t listed the log sizes here because it would take me half a page to do that and also because you may prefer to speed piece the logs – details below.

Cut the central square

Cut the central square

Central square

Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of red and the lightest blue along the length.  Cut this panel at 2.1/2″ intervals to give rectangles 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″.  These will form the central red square and the first blue log of the block.

You need to make sixteen of these.

First round of logs

Add the second log

Add the second log

For the next blue log you could cut a 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ blue rectangle and sew it to the left hand side of the red square.

Speed piecing

Speed piecing

Alternatively, if you wish to save time with speed piecing, you can cut a 2.1/2″ strip and sew the blue/red rectangles to it.  Place the rectangle on the blue strip.  Make sure that the red square is above the blue square and keep adding more blue/red rectangles until you have sixteen – for this you will need more than one blue strip.

Cut the strip between the rectangles

Cut the strip between the rectangles

Cut the blue strip between each pair of rectangles.  I find this speed piecing much quicker than cutting each log individually before sewing it.  If you are unclear of how I’ve done this, you may find the video helpful – link at the bottom of the page.

Add the first white log

Add the first white log

I’ve made the next two logs of this frame using 1.1/2″ strips of white fabric.  You need a 4.1/2″ rectangle across the top.  This is shown on the right of the photo.  If you’re speed piecing then place the white strip and the block as shown on the left of the photo.

Second white log

Second white log

Add a 5.1/2″ white strip down the right hand side of the block, shown on the right of the photo.  If you’re speed piecing, place the blocks on the white strip as shown on the left of the photo.  This completes the first round of logs around the central square.

First log, second round

First log, second round

Second round of logs

For this round you need the next darkest blue and light fabrics.  The blues are always 2.1/2″ wide and the lights are always 1.1/2″ wide so I’ll just specify the lengths of the logs from now on.  Add a 5.1/2″ blue strip across the bottom of the block.  Place the block against the blue strip as shown on the left if you are speed piecing.

Second log, second round

Second log, second round

For the second log sew a 7.1/2″ blue rectangle to the left hand side of the block.

The speed piecing option is shown on the left of the photo.

Third log, second round

Third log, second round

For the next log sew a 7.1/2″ light rectangle to the top of the block.  Speed piecing option shown on the left.

Fourth log, second round

Fourth log, second round

Make the final log of this round using an 8.1/2″ light rectangle down the right hand side of the block.

For speed piecing place the block as shown against the light strip.

First log, third round

First log, third round

Third round of logs

Add an 8.1/2″ strip of the next darkest blue across the bottom of the block.  Place the block as shown for speed piecing.

Second log, third round

Second log, third round

Now add a 10.1/2″ blue strip up the left hand side of the curved log cabin quilt block.

Speed piecing shown on the left of the photo.

Third log, third round

Third log, third round

Use the third darkest light fabric for the next two logs.  Add a 10.1/2″ strip across the top of the block.

Fourth log, third round

Fourth log, third round

Now sew an 11.1/2″ rectangle down the right hand side of the block.

Speed piecing layout shown on the left of the photo.  That completes the third round of logs – just one more round to go now!

First log, fourth round

First log, fourth round

Fourth round of logs

Using the darkest blue (I’ve used purple) place an 11.1/2″ strip across the bottom of the block.

Second log, fourth round

Second log, fourth round

Sew a 13.1/2″ rectangle up the left hand side of the block.

Placement of the block for speed piecing shown on the left.

Third log, fourth round

Third log, fourth round

Using the darkest of the light fabrics (I’ve used yellow), sew a 13.1/2″ strip across the top of the block.  For some reason I seem to have taken the photo when the block was upside down, so please take care when placing this strip.

Fourth log, fourth round

Fourth log, fourth round

For the final log of this curved log cabin quilt block, sew a 14.1/2″ strip down the right hand side.  This time the block is the right way up!  The block should now measure 14.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.

First two rows of blocks

First two rows of blocks

Assemble the curved log cabin quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  I think that using the purple corner for reference will be clearest.  Make row one with two pairs of blocks where the purple corner is bottom right, bottom left, bottom right again and then bottom left.

In row two place the purple corners top left, bottom right, bottom left and then top right.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

Row three is similar to row two.  Place the purple corners bottom left, top right, top left and bottom right.

In row four the purple corners are top right, top left, top right and top left.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the border

I have picked out the red of the central squares for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the curved log cabin 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:

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Recently I visited somewhere that has been on my list for a long time – Warwick Castle.  It is relatively close to where I live and to see my photos you can click on the photo or click here.

Tomorrow I have a stall at Moseley Art Market – I hope that it’s not going to be as cold as they are forecasting!

Warwick Castle – Photos

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is one of those places that I had always intended to visit but as it’s nearby I hadn’t quite managed a trip there until recently.  After all, it has been there since 1068 so I felt that it was likely to be around for a while yet.  What a lovely castle it is with lots of activities.

The castle lies on the River Avon and you can see at the front of the photo where the moat used to be.  Originally it was built in wood during the time of William the Conqueror but in the twelfth century it was rebuilt in stone.  It is run by Merlin Entertainments, rather than the more usual English Heritage or National Trust.




Inside the great hall

Inside the great hall

Inside the castle

The Great Hall is magnificent.  No floor tile patterns to inspire a quilt, but plenty to see.  This horse was a bit like the Mona Lisa – he seemed to be watching me as I walked around the hall.

Bear and ragged staff

Bear and ragged staff

I had heard of the bear and ragged staff many times before without quite knowing its significance.  The symbol of a bear with ragged staff is closely associated with Warwickshire – the T20 cricket team the Birmingham Bears is part of Warwickshire County Cricket Association..  They play at Edgbaston, just down the road from me.  Somewhere else that I still need to visit.

Apparently one of the Earls of Warwickshire was a Knight of the Round Table in the time of King Arthur.  His name was Arthgal.  The name is thought to have come from the Welsh word for bear.  A different earl a few centuries later fought off a giant using a tree branch from which he had stripped all the twigs and leaves – the ragged staff.  I have to admit that the link seems a bit weak to me, but it makes a nice story!  You can see two bears with ragged staffs in the photo.

Time Tower

Life at the castle

Life at the castle

The Time Tower provided some great stories of the castle through the ages.  There were some very lifelike models showing how people lived at the castle during various stages of its history.  The story of the castle was explained as you walked through a series of rooms – very interesting and well set up.

Wonderful tapestries

Wonderful tapestries

When I visit these historical buildings I am always struck by how well some tapestries seem to survive the years.

There are many lovely tapestries in Warwick Castle.  It’s the fact that the colours are still so good even after hundreds of years that always impresses me.

Outside the castle

I visited the castle out of season so a lot of the usual activities were closed, but I can imagine that in full season there would be lots of activities and demonstrations aimed at keeping the children happy and involved.

Peacocks close by

Peacocks close by

The trebuchet (siege machine) was fascinating.  For safety reasons this huge catapult was situated and fired on the other side of the river.  My photos aren’t clear enough for it to be worth showing them to you, but there are some good photos on the Warwick Castle website.  The trebuchet was used to hurl stones and rocks into whatever castle they were attacking.  Sometimes they also hurled things like dead animals over the defensive walls in the hope of spreading rotten meat throughout the area.  What nice times they lived in!

We sat on a hill on our side of the river to watch.  I was rather amazed at how close the peacocks came to all the spectators.  I had never seen a peacock so close up – what amazing colours they have in their feathers.

All in all, Warwick Castle provides a magnificent day out with a fascinating glimpse of life through the centuries.

 

Budapest Quilt Pattern – Floor Tile Design

Budapest quilt

Budapest quilt

The Budapest quilt design is based on floor tiles that I saw on my recent visit to Hungary.  You can find a link to the photos from that trip at the bottom of the page.  The quilt measures 67″ square, using nine 15″ blocks with three borders.

For the borders I have used blue strips for borders 1 and 3, with a smaller version of the central block for border 2.

I have used 2.1/2 yards of cream fabric, 1.3/4 yards of red and 1.1/2 yards of blue.




Original tile design

Original tile design

There were so many wonderful buildings from which to choose a design that it was difficult to choose one, but the quilt is loosely based on the tiles in this photo.

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Budapest quilt

Central block:  one 11.1/8″ red square, two 8.3/8″ cream squares

Cross block:  sixteen 6.1/2″ cream squares, sixteen 3.1/2″ cream squares, twenty 3.1/2″ red squares

Third block:  sixteen 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ cream rectangles, sixteen 3.1/2″ cream squares, eight 3.1/2″ red squares, eight 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ red rectangles, four 14.1/2″ by 3..1/2″ red rectangles

For borders 1 and 3 you will need to cut twelve 2.1/2″ blue strips across the width of fabric

For border 2 you will need thirty two 5.1/2″ red squares and sixty four 4.3/8″ cream squares.

Central block layout

Central block layout

Make the central block

I have made a simple diamond in a square block for the middle of the Budapest quilt.  Cut the 8.3/8″ cream squares along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.  Place one cream triangle on each edge of the 11.1/8″ red square.

Sew the two side triangles first

Sew the two side triangles first

Sew two opposite triangles on to the square, press them open and then add the remaining two triangles.

Trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out.  The block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you just need to make one.

Cross block layout

Cross block layout

Make the cross block

The layout for this block is very simple.  Place a 6.1/2″ cream square in each corner.  Between the top two corners place a cream and then a red 3.1/2″ square.  For the bottom two corners place a red and then a cream 3.1/2″ square.  Make the middle row with a 9.1/2″ red strip in the middle and a 3.1/2″ cream square at each end.

Sew the red and cream squares together first and then you’ll be able to sew all the pieces together in three distinct rows.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

The cross quilt block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Layout for the third block

Layout for the third block

Make the third block

In the third block I have tried to use rectangles rather than individual squares as much as possible in order to save time sewing the block.

Make rows one and five with a red square in the middle and a 6.1/2″ red rectangle on either side.

Rows two and four contain a 9.1/2″ red rectangle with a cream square at each end.

For row 3 you just need one 15.1/2″ red rectangle.  Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Budapest quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are the same as each other, with a cross block in the middle and a third block on either side.

Row two

Row two

For row two place the diamond in a square block in the middle with a cross block on either side of it.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  At this stage the Budapest quilt top measures 45.1/2″ square.

First border

First border

Add the first quilt border

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ blue strips to separate the main quilt from the borders.  You will need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides.

Add the second border

Make smaller blocks

Make smaller blocks

In the second border I have used a reduced version of the central diamond in a square block.  This time I used 5.1/2″ red squares surrounded by triangles made by cutting 4.3/8″ cream squares along one diagonal.  Don’t forget to trim the edges of the block where the triangle tips stick out.  Each block now measures 7.1/2″ square and you need to make thirty two of them.

Press the seam allowances open

Press the seam allowances open

Sew the blocks together in two rows of seven blocks and two rows of nine blocks.  I have pressed the seam allowances open along these strips as the middle of the seam can be quite bulky.

Border two

Border two

Sew one row of seven blocks to the top of the quilt and one to the bottom.

Sew one row of nine blocks to each side of the quilt.

Border three

Border three

Third quilt border

Finally for the third border I have returned to the 2.1/2″ strips of blue fabric.  You need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt with two lengths of 67.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

River Danube and Budapest

River Danube and Budapest

As I mentioned at the start of the page, this quilt was inspired by my trip to Budapest in Hungary.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

The weather seems to be doing strange things all across the world and I hope that you can stay safe and warm over the weekend.

 

Budapest – Hungary – Photos

Budapest - Hungary

Budapest – Hungary

Budapest has been on my list for a long time and I am delighted that I have finally managed to visit this beautiful city.  The River Danube runs right through the city, which was once the three cities of Bhuda, Obhuda and Pest (pronounced pesht).  I had always thought that Budapest was created from the two cities of Bhuda and Pest, so that was the first thing that I learned on my arrival.

Most photos of Budapest focus on the unbelievably beautiful buildings so I thought that I would open with a photo of a statue way above the city – it took me a long time and a lot of puffing and panting to climb up there but it was well worth it to see the panorama of the city spread out beneath me.




Budapest's Statue of Liberty

Budapest’s Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Budapest

The statue above was actually a sidekick to Budapest’s very own Statue of Liberty.  This was perched on the hilltop on the Bhuda side of the river and completely dominated the skyline no matter where you were in the city.  It’s a very impressive area with magnificent views – appreciated all the more because it was such a steep climb to reach it.

It was erected in 1947 and shows Liberty holding a palm leaf aloft.  Actually, I thought it was a feather and have only just realised that it isn’t!

St Gerhard

St Gerhard

I have to confess to a senior moment here – while I was on a Danube cruise I heard the guide talking about the statue of the Archbishop while directing our attention to that side of the river.  So I thought that Liberty was the Archbishop until I climbed up the hill and realised that she couldn’t possibly be a man.

In fact the statue of St Gerhard is half way down the same hill that Liberty stands on.  He was the first bishop of Hungary.  The cruise guide told us that he was flung off the hill for his beliefs and that the waterfall beneath him signifies his death in the Danube, but I can’t find any reference to that anywhere else.

Parliament building

Parliament building

Parliament Building

The Parliament Building is best viewed from the river to get the full impact, but this is the front entrance.  They were obviously expecting someone special on this day – the red carpet was being unrolled while we watched and there was a very heavy army presence.  The following day we were allowed on to the area immediately in front of the palace so that we could see the memorial to those killed in the 1956 uprising.  I felt sad to see how open the area was – compared with our own Palace of Westminster which has to be so heavily barricaded and policed.

St Mathias church

St Mathias church

St Mathias Church

There is an area of Budapest called the Fisherman’s Bastion, built at the end of the 19th century to provide a panoramic view of the city.  This is beautiful but it was the Church of St Mathias just behind it which really caught my attention.  The roof alone dominates the area – such lovely patchwork designs created with the roof tiles.  I knew that the inside must be special and I wasn’t disappointed.

Inside the church

Inside the church

Inside, the church was breathtaking.  Every inch was decorated and the overall effect was eyewateringly beautiful.  Even with all the tourists the church managed to maintain a peaceful and calming atmosphere.

I took loads of photos of the interior – definitely lots of quilt inspiration there!

Shoes on the Danube

Shoes on the Danube

Shoes on the Danube

I had heard of the shoes on the banks of the Danube but it was still very moving to see them.

They are laid out along a stretch of at least 20 yards – sixty pairs of all shapes and sizes made in iron.  The memorial was created to remember the 3,500 people killed by the Arrow Cross militia men during the war.

The people were lined up on the banks of the Danube then ordered to take off their shoes.  When they were shot their bodies fell into the river.  The shoes are made of iron and many people have left flowers or candles in amongst the shoes.

Hungarian embroidery

Hungarian embroidery

Hungarian embroidery

Hungary embroidery is world renowned and it was a real treat to see it everywhere.

I have to admit that some of it looked mass-produced, but there were also ladies sitting in many areas embroidering the most delightful table runners and clothing.

Heroes Square

Heroes Square

Heroes Square

On our last day we visited Heroes Square.  This is a very impressive square where the Pope celebrated mass when he visited Budapest.  the figure at the top of the column is the Archangel Gabriel.

The square was laid out at the end of the 19th century to mark 1000 years of Hungary and there are magnificent museums and art galleries around it.

Museum in City Park Budapest

Museum in City Park Budapest

Behind the square lies City Park – an oasis of calm.  We didn’t go in to this museum but the architecture was a reminder of how these wonderful buildings seem to appear wherever we walked in Budapest.

Polar bears in the zoo

Polar bears in the zoo

We walked among the trees and fountains and then happened upon the zoo.  These polar bears were probably picking fish off each other’s teeth, but it was rather nice to imagine that they were kissing!

We visited so many places within the city that I haven’t been able to show you a fraction of my photos, but Budapest is a beautiful city – well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.

The beauty of Budapest

The beauty of Budapest

We travelled around on trams and buses.  Each journey cost the equivalent of about £1 although if I had been a year older I would have travelled for free.  All EU citizens over 65 travel free on Budapest’s extensive public transport system.  Food and wine are cheap and around every corner you can find a magnificent building to gaze at in awe.