Southwark Cathedral – London – Photos

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

I visited Southwark Cathedral when I went to meet my newest grand daughter.  I had a while to wait for my train back to Birmingham and the Cathedral is very close to one of the stations that I went through (London Bridge).  It also stands next to the bustling Borough Market.

Cathedral interior

Cathedral interior

History of Southwark Cathedral

The Domesday Book in 1085 mentions the cathedral but it is thought that there was a religious community there for several centuries before that.  The official name of Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie is quite a mouthful, but it reflects the long history of the building.  First dedicated to St Mary it became known as St Mary Overie where Overie stands for ‘over the river’.   King Henry VIII took control of it and renamed St Saviours.  Now its name includes both of these saints.




Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

The interior

I first visited the cathedral many years ago to listen to a concert given by the choir of my old school in Zimbabwe.  I thought that this quilt showing a map of Zimbabwe was there just for that concert.  However I was thrilled to see it still on the wall.

Lent Art installation

Lent Art installation

The waterfall of fabric hanging from the top of the cathedral to the altar floor puzzled me at first.  It is the Lent Art Installation, called Footfall.  Their website describes its meaning:

The artist Alison Clark has made prints from footfall in the Cathedral by capturing the worn surfaces of monumental stones in the Retrochoir. These prints are an echo of pilgrims who have come to worship over the centuries.

Fascinating.

Tomb of John Gower

Tomb of John Gower

People involved with the cathedral

The tomb of John Gower is very impressive.  He was a Poet Laureate to both King Richard II and King Henry IV and died in 1408.  I didn’t realise that the post of poet laureate went back such a long way.

The church (as it was then) is mentioned by Samuel Pepys.  Shakespeare lived in the parish of the church.  His brother is buried there and one of the stained glass windows celebrates Shakespeare himself.

John Harvard, as in Harvard University, came from the area and was christened in this cathedral in 1607.  He is celebrated through the Harvard Chapel.  This is designated as a place for quiet and reflection so I didn’t take any photos in there.

Floor tile design

Floor tile design

Quilt inspiration

All of Southwark Cathedral is filled with inspiration, but this particular floor tile design struck me as a great idea for a simple quilt.  You could make a scrappy quilt of very small squares from stash and then surround it with a bright and cheerful border.

London Bridge

London Bridge

Outside the cathedral

The area around the cathedral resounds with history.  A short walk to the River Thames brings you to London Bridge on the left.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

To the right lies Tower Bridge.  Between the two bridges lies HMS Belfast.  A wonderful museum that unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit:

Explore all nine decks of HMS Belfast to discover what life was like on board for the crew at war and at sea. The most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship.

All in all, both Southward Cathedral and the surrounding area make a delightful place to visit.  I hope to go back there one day when I have a lot more time.

Pinwheel Snail Trail Quilt Pattern

Pinwheel snail trail quilt

Pinwheel snail trail quilt

This pinwheel snail trail quilt pattern was quite easy to make and I love the way the design has turned out.  It’s another of those patterns than look quite complex but are quite easy to make.

The quilt measures 40″ square so it would make a good lap quilt or throw.  The blocks are all 12″ square finished size and I made five snail trail blocks with four pinwheel blocks.I’ve used 3/4 yard of lilac, 1 yard of purple and 1/2 yard of green 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 pinwheel snail trail quilt

2.5/8″ squares:  ten purple, ten green

3.7/8″ squares:  fifteen purple, fifteen lilac

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  ten lilac

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty purple

6.7/8″ squares:  eight purple, eight lilac

Cut the four patch units

Cut the four patch units

Make the four patch units

You could make these units by just sewing together two green and two purple 2.5/8″ squares.  I chose to strip piece them to save time.  Sew together a 2.5/8″ strip of purple and of green fabric along the length.  Cut this panel at 2.5/8″ intervals.

Four patch units

Four patch units

Place the resulting strips together in pairs with the purple squares diagonally opposite each other.  Sew the pairs of squares together to create the four patch units for the middle of the block.

Add the purple triangles

Add the purple triangles

First section of the snail trail quilt block

Cut a 3.7/8″ purple and lilac square in half along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.  Lay two purple triangles on opposite sides of the four patch units and two lilac triangles on the other two sides.  This section should measure 6.1/2″ square.

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a purple and a lilac square with right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line and you will produce two half square triangle units.  Press the seam allowances towards the purple and trim the corners where fabric sticks out.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Snail trail quilt block layout

Snail trail quilt block layout

Complete the snail trail quilt block

The central part of the block is now a square but the four patch in the middle has been turned on point so that it looks like a diamond.  Make sure that the green squares are side by side rather than above and below each other.  Now it is easy to add the remaining patches to complete the layout of the block.  I’ve realised that the main photo of the quilt was taken with the green squares above each other, but that’s just because I must have rotated the quilt before I hung it up for the photo.

Lay a 6.1/2″ lilac rectangle at the beginning of row one.  Place a half square triangle and a 3.1/2″ purple square at the end of the row.  Lay the half square triangle so that the purple is on top with the lilac between it.  Lay a purple square and a half square triangle on either side of the central area.  On the left the square is beneath the half square triangle and together they form a half-house shape.  On the right the square is above the half square triangle and the half-house shape is now upside down.

For the last row place a purple square and half square triangle at the beginning of the row with the remaining lilac rectangle at the end.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  At this stage it measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make five of these.

Alternate block pinwheels

Alternate block pinwheels

Pinwheel alternate block

I have used a simple pinwheel as the alternate block.  Using the 6.7/8″ squares, make half square triangles in exactly the same way as for the smaller squares above.

Lay these out in two pairs so that the colours alternate all the way round – check the photo.  Sew the pairs of squares together and then sew the pairs to each other.  This block also measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the pinwheel snail trail quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are the same as each other:  a snail trail block at each end with a pinwheel in the middle.  Make sure that you keep the green squares side by side across the row.

Row two

Row two

In row two place a pinwheel at each end with a snail trail block in the middle.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Quilt border

I have used 2.1/2″ green strips for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the pinwheel snail trail 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/9SWleUiri3Q

Jewellery Quarter

Jewellery Quarter

Last week I visited the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.  It’s a lovely vibrant area of the city with a wealth of history.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

I have a very old overlocker which was a basic model even when I bought it many years ago.  This week I have been trying to make scarves and my overlocker has really not been very helpful.  I’ve warned it that I will retire it if it doesn’t behave, but that doesn’t seem to have made any difference.

 

Flying Geese Quilt Pattern

Flying geese quilt

Flying geese quilt

For this flying geese quilt pattern I have used a different technique from my usual method.  The flying geese are quite large and so it was simplest to just sew three triangles together.  I’ve used them to encircle a central area, creating a quilt with a circular look to it.

The quilt measures 56″ square.  I have used 1 yard each of navy blue and white, 3/4 yard of dark blue and medium blue, with 1/2 yard of light blue.  Each block is 12″ square finished size and there are twelve of them with two borders.  You can buy these fabrics in this week’s special offer.  For a multitude of reasons I am holding a sale of 20% off across the whole shop as well.  Details at the bottom of the page.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the flying geese quilt

My apologies for the light and shade in the photo.

12.7/8″ squares:  two dark blue, two white

6.7/8″ squares:  eight dark blue, sixteen medium blue, eight navy blue, all cut along one diagonal

7.1/4″ squares:  twelve light blue cut along both diagonals

4.3/4″ squares:  four dark blue

3.7/8″ squares:  eight white cut along one diagonal

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

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

Add the first frame

Add the first frame

Make the central blocks

This block is a simple square in a square in a square block.  Begin with a 4.3/4″ dark blue square in the middle.  Cut the white 3.7/8″ squares along one diagonal and place one triangle on each edge of the blue square.

Sew the triangles two at a time

Sew the triangles two at a time

Sew the side triangles to the square, press them open and then sew the remaining two triangles to the top and bottom.  Press again and trim the middle of the edges where the triangle tips stick out.  At this stage the block measures 6.1/2″ on each edge.

Add the light blue frame

Add the light blue frame

Now cut the 7.1/4″ light blue squares along both diagonals.  Place one triangle on each edge of the square.  Sew them to the square two at a time as before.

Finish with dark blue

Finish with dark blue

Finally cut the 6.7/8″ dark blue squares along one diagonal and place a triangle on each edge.  Again sew them to the square two at a time.

That completes the central block.  It measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Corner blocks

Corner blocks

Make the corner blocks

These are simplicity itself.  Cut the 12.7/8″ squares along one diagonal.  Sew a dark blue triangle to a white triangle.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue.

The square measures 12.1/2″ at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Lay the triangles out

Lay the triangles out

The flying geese blocks

Finally we get to the flying geese blocks.

Use the 6.7/8″ navy blue squares cut along one diagonal for the central part of the section.  Cut the 7.1/4″ light blue squares along both diagonals to make the triangles.

Sew one triangle on

Sew one triangle on

Sew one light blue triangle to the navy blue, press and then sew the other light blue triangle in place.  Trim the middle of the top and the two ends of the bottom where fabric sticks out.

Sew two units together

Sew two units together

Sew two of these units together, making sure that the triangles point in the same direction.

Add medium blue triangles

Add medium blue triangles

Finally cut the 6.7/8″ medium blue squares along one diagonal.  Place one of these triangles on each edge of the square.  As before, sew them on two at a time.

That completes the flying geese quilt block.  It measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eight of them.

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the flying geese quilt

Lay the blocks out in four rows of four.

In row one place a half square triangle at each end.  Make sure that the blue is one the inside and the white on the outside.  In the middle place two flying geese blocks.  I have chosen to place the flying geese so that they point from the central top towards the sides and from the central bottom towards the sides.  You may prefer a different arrangement.  In row two lay a geese block at each end with two of the square in a square blocks in the middle.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

Rows three and four are similar.  In row three you need a flying geese quilt block at each end with two square in a square blocks in the middle.  Form the fourth row with a half square triangle at each end and two flying geese in the middle.

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

Add the borders

Add the borders

Quilt borders

I’ve used 2,1.2″ strips of white for the first border to emphasise the circular look of the quilt design.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

The navy blue of the second border provides a good frame for the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the flying geese 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:

https://youtu.be/JpWtgj9A3iM

Last week my second grand daugher, Alice, was born.  Great excitement in all the family!  In addition it was my daughter’s birthday yesterday and today is officially the first day of spring – as well as being St David’s Day.

Tapestry fabric

Tapestry fabric

I thought that such a momentous week needed to be celebrated so I am offering 20% off across the whole shop on all orders over £6.  To visit the shop click here or click on the photo.  I’ve also bought some rather gorgeous cotton tapestry and cotton canvas fabrics which are perfect for making cushion/pillow covers. They are included in the sale.   I’ve been busy making cushions all week for a craft stall at the MAC on Sunday.

For my travels, I went to a trade show at the National Exhibition Centre here in Birmingham.  That was where I saw and bought most of these lovely new fabrics.  To see my photos and what was happening at the show click here.

CHSI Stitches Trade Show 2019

 

CHSI stitches trade show

CHSI stitches trade show

The CHSI Stitches trade show 2019 took place at the NEC in Birmingham last week.  If you haven’t heard of it before it’s because the show is for trade only.  This show lets all the suppliers within the sewing and knitting industry showcase their wares.  I always find many suppliers that I haven’t seen before and have a great time seeing all the new fabric ranges which will be available during the coming year.

This delightful knitted ram was penned in on a wool stall showcasing some gorgeous wools and knitting accessories.




Fabric Freedom

Fabric Freedom stall

Fabric Freedom stall

Obviously my old friends Fabric Freedom were there with some lovely new fabric ranges.

I buy a lot of quilting fabrics from them and they always have pretty quilts on display.  The difference this year was that they also displayed cushions and dresses made with their other fabrics.  I looked at some girls’ dresses made with lawn fabric and thought how much I needed that fabric!

Tapestry fabric

Tapestry fabric

I could also say the same for the tapestry fabrics used in the cushions that they displayed.  These are new to me, but I noticed them on other stalls as well.

I’ve bought several of these cushion fabrics in both tapestry and canvas and they’ll be for sale in my shop very shortly.  The cushions will be available on my craft stalls as soon as I can make them.

Catwalk display

Catwalk display

On the catwalk

Another way of persuading traders to buy products is to showcase them in projects.  For this purpose there was a lovely fashion show with half a dozen lovely models wearing knitted products.  Both the colours and the items themselves were lovely.  I really must work on my knitting skills!

Knitted giraffe

Knitted giraffe

This giraffe wasn’t exactly strutting the catwalk, but he certainly caught my attention.  He was made in that very thick knobbly wool which I’m sure knits up very quickly.

Enormous crab

Enormous crab

One final photo of an enormous project.  I think he’s a crab, but you can see how large he is compared with the people standing near him.  Definitely another attention grabber.

All in all CHSI Stitches trade show 2019 was another great experience. It certainly achieved its object of persuading me to buy far more fabrics than I really need.

Attic Windows Quilt Pattern

Attic windows quilt

Attic windows quilt

I’ve made the attic windows quilt pattern using fabric patterns to represent the view outside the window.  You’ve probably seen the quilts where a picture is built up outside the window, but for this pattern I just wanted to show you the basic technique of creating an attic windows design.  In order to create the three dimensional look of the window frame I have used three different brown:  medium brown for the uprights with light and dark brown for the horizontal sashing strips.

The quilt measures 51″ by 78″ finished size. I used 9.1/2″ strips of the sky, floral and grass fabrics with 3/4 yard of medium brown, 1/2 yard of light brown and 1/4 yard of dark brown.  For the border I used a further 1/2 yard of the red metallic floral fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the attic windows quilt

9.1/2″ squares:  three sky, six floral, three grass.

3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles: sixteen medium brown.

3.7/8″ squares:  eight medium brown.

2.3/4″ squares:  eight light brown, with eight 1.3/4″ squares of dark brown. Read the pattern in full before you cut these as they can be strip pieced.

3.1/2″ squares:  eight medium brown.

9.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips:  twelve light brown, together with 9.1/2″ by 1.1/2″:  twelve dark brown.  Again read the pattern before you cut these as they can be strip pieced.

One 3.1/2″ by 39.1/2″ strip of medium brown.

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

First row

First row

Form the rows

For the first row lay out three blue 9.1/2″ squares with four 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ medium brown sashing strips.  That’s one sashing strip at each end of the row and one between each pair of rows.  Sew the pieces together across the row.

Rows 2 and 3

Rows 2 and 3

In order to make the next two rows, use six of the floral squares.  Same idea:  three squares and four sashing strips to each row.

Fourth row

Fourth row

Finally for the fourth row place three green squares with four sashing strips between them.  You’ll see that I have cut the grass fabric in different places.  This is just to provide a little more interest to the quilt.

Sew together light and dark

Sew together light and dark

Make the half square triangle units

These units may look complicated, but the technique is quite simple if you take it step by step.  Begin by sewing together 2.3/4″ lengths of light brown and 1.3/4″ lengths of dark brown along the length.  Cut this panel at 3.7/8″ intervals to make 3.7/8″ squares.

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

In order to make the half square triangles you need one 3.7/8″ medium brown square with one light/dark 3.7/8″ square (top left of the photo).  Place these right sides together taking care that the dark brown strip runs across the bottom.  Mark a line along the diagonal from bottom right to top left.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two triangles each with a seam along the base.  Each one will open up to form a half square triangle as shown on the right of the photo.  As you can see, these are totally different from each other.  The one on the bottom with a dark brown strip across the bottom is the one you need.  Unfortunately the one above it with a corner of dark brown cannot be used in this project.  I have put mine to one side and will probably use them to make a bag of some sort.

Sashing strips

Sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

Sew together the 3.1/2″ and 1.1/2″ strips of light brown and dark brown along the length.  Cut this panel into 9.1/2″ strips.

Each sashing strip contains two half square triangles and three 9.1/2″ light/dark brown strips.  That means the row starts and ends with a strip and there is a half square triangle between each pair of strips.

Add squares at each end

Add squares at each end

Here I have a confession:  I had a brain freeze and completely forgot that I would need a 3.1/2″ medium brown square at each end.  I had already taken the photos so I have no option but to describe these strips as I actually made them.  So now add a 3.1/2″ medium brown square at each end of the strip.

One thing to be careful with:  it is important for the dark brown strip to be even across the width of the quilt.  When sewing the sections together across the row, match the dark brown lines before you sew.  Then if there is a slight mis match in the sizes of the pieces you can trim across the bottom of the row.  Although I am sure that your piecing is far more accurate than mine so you probably won’t need to do any trimming!

You need to make four of these sashing strips.

Add the top sashing

Add the top sashing

Assemble the attic windows quilt

Sew the 39.1/2″ medium brown strip to the top of the first row.

Add sashing between the rows

Add sashing between the rows

Now sew a sashing strip to the bottom of the first row.  Sew the second row of blocks to the bottom of the sashing strip.  Continue down the rows, adding sashing strips between each pair of rows.  Take care to match each half square triangle with the upright medium brown sashing strip above and below it.

Red border for the quilt

Red border for the quilt

Add the attic windows quilt border

I have introduced another fabric altogether for the border.  It’s a red metallic floral fabric which I thought would frame the quilt nicely.  I’ve cut 3.1/2″ strips.  You’ll need two lengths of 39.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 57.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the attic windows 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/NKWPN_P80zQ

Botanical Gardens Tenerife

Botanical Gardens Tenerife

Last week I managed to sort out my photos of the Botanical Gardens in Tenerife.  To see my photos click on botanical gardens or click on the photo.

Rolling star quilt pattern

Rolling star quilt pattern

Two weeks ago I asked for name suggestions for the Rolling Star quilt.  You sent me a wonderful variety of names – all far more imaginative than the name that I had used.  Many, many thanks to everyone who commented on the website or emailed me with suggestions.

The name that I have chosen from these suggestions is CRANBERRY SKY.  Isn’t that a wonderful, evocative name?  Thank you Betty for the suggestion.  I will be emailing you for your postal address so that I can send you a pack of fat quarters.

 

 

Botanical Gardens – Tenerife – Photos

Botanical Gardens Tenerife

Botanical Gardens Tenerife

The Botanical Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, are stunning.  They were set up in 1788 by order of King Carlos III of Spain.  He wanted tropical plants from his overseas territories for his palace in Madrid.  These plants needed somewhere to get used to the colder climate of Spain and the Botanical Gardens were set up as a halfway point to allow them to acclimatise.  In fact, the gardens are still known as the Gardens of Acclimatisation.  The gardens are incredibly well stocked and are highly renowned – on a par with places like Kew Gardens.

These red hot pokers definitely beat any that I have ever grown!




Winter colour

Bougainvillea flowers

Bougainvillea flowers

The whole area of Puerto de la Cruz, where we were staying, is full of colour.  I’m familiar with bougainvillea from my childhood in Africa, but rather surprisingly I had never noticed the small white petals right in the middle.  I have since found out that the white forms the actual flower while the pink or purple petals surrounding it are actually leaves known as bract.

Fan shaped plants

Fan shaped plants

The variety of plants was amazing.  These fan shaped plants had similar leaves to a banana plant, but I have only ever seen bananas growing in a more tree like form.

All the plants were well labelled, which was a great help for me, but I wasn’t able to photograph asll the labels – and of course my memory isn’t up to remembering any of the names of the plants.

Muscular tree

Muscular tree

Unusual trees

Some of the trees looked completely different from the ones that I am used to.  This one had nodules along all the branches which reminded me of muscular arms – either that or balloon sculptures.

Adventitious roots

Adventitious roots

And this one was fascinating.  Those are all roots that you can see – known as adventitious roots.  they are also known as aerial prop roots and support the main structure of the tree.  It allows the tree to grow over a larger area than it would otherwise.

Feathery flowers

Feathery flowers

Glorious colour

Coming from cold and gloomy Birmingham, it was an absolute treat to see all these wonderful colours.  In this particular flower there were droplets of moisture collected between the petals – glistening like diamonds.

Calliandra

Calliandra

I’ve seen this plant as a houseplant in the UK.  It was lovely seeing it growing outdoors in great profusion.  From the labels that I did take photos of, I think that this is called Calliandra and comes originally from Bolivia.

Wallisia

Wallisia

This one was stunning – the flowers seemed almost to be a part of the leaf structure.  I’m guessing that the spikes turned purple along the whole length with time. Gorgeous.  It comes from Ecuador.

Water section

Water section

Water Plants

Behind a wall we nearly missed the steps up to this wonderful water section.  The water was very still so the reflections of the plants made a magnificent feature.

Bird of paradise

Bird of paradise

Finally my favourite flower – and I know that I always show you one of these when I head off to warmer climes.  It’s Strelizia, also known as Bird of Paradise.  They bring back wonderful childhood memories and I’m always thrilled when I find one during my holidays.

The Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit and I’m so pleased that we were able to spend a morning there.  I can quite understand why the King of Spain wanted to transfer some of these magnificent plants to his palace in Madrid back in the eighteenth century!

Rolling Star Quilt Pattern -My Variation

Rolling star quilt

Rolling star quilt

I had the Rolling Star quilt block in mind when I began this quilt design, but then I changed it so much that it’s probably no longer correct to call it a rolling star.  Do tell me if you can think of a better name!  I’m really pleased with the design – lots of secondary patterns to grab your attention when you look at it.  The quilt measures 48″ square and I have used four 20″ finished size blocks.

For the quilt I used 1/2 yard each of gold and white, 3/4 yard of brown, 1 yard of blue and 1.1/4 yards of red fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the rolling star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  four red

4.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in blue and red, six each in red and gold, two each in red and white

2.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two brown

2.1/2″ squares:  sixteen white, sixteen gold

2.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each brown and white, sixteen each in brown and gold, sixteen each in red and white

For the borders you will need to cut five 2.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric in both blue and red.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use both the 2.7/8″ and the 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles 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 produce two half square triangles which are now either 2.1/2″ or 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners on each square where the fabric sticks out.  Sorry – there are quite a lot of half square triangles in this pattern!

Central star

Central star

Make the red star

The star in the middle of each block is a simple eight pointed star.  First place a 4.1/2″ red square in the middle. Then place a pair of red/white half square triangles on each edge of the red square.  Lay these so that the two white triangles are side by side and together they form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.  Now add a 2.1/2″ white square in each corner.

For this block I think that it’s more simple to sew sections together as you go rather than laying out the entire block and then sewing the pieces together.  So begin by sewing the pairs of half squares triangles together.  Sew one pair to the top of the red square and another to the bottom of the square.  Now sew the white squares to the other two pairs of half square triangles to make two columns.  Sew one to each side of the block.  This section now measures 8.1/2″ square.

First frame

First frame

Add the first frame

The next frame is mostly brown and gold.  Place a pair of brown/white half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Lay them so that the two white triangles form a larger white triangle pointing away from the middle.  You’ll see that they now form white diamonds with the larger white triangles in the red star block.

Add a brown/gold half square triangle on each side of the brown/white ones – that’s two on each edge.  Make sure that the brown triangles are together so that they form a short stripe around the white large triangles.  Add a gold 2.1/2″ square in each corner.  Note that the corners are now large gold triangles – that’s another way to check that you have all the triangles correctly placed.

Sew together the four half square triangles at the top and sew them to the central section.  Repeat with the bottom four half square triangles.  Sew the patchwork pieces down the sides into two columns and sew one to each side of the block.  At this stage the block measures 12.1/2″ square.

Final frame

Final frame

The final frame

For this final frame I have increased the size of the squares to give 4″ finished size patches.  Place a pair of blue/red half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Lay them so that the blue triangles lie together, forming a larger blue triangle pointing away from the middle.  Place a 2.1/2″ brown rectangle on either side of the half square triangles.

In three corners add a red/gold half square triangle with the gold on the outside, forming the corner of the block.  For the fourth corner use a red/white half square triangle.  As before, sew together the two half square triangles and the rectangles at the top and bottom and sew them to the central block.  Sew the squares on the sides together to form two columns and sew one column to each side of the block.

That completes the rolling star quilt block.  It measures 20.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Keep the white triangles in the middle

Keep the white triangles in the middle

Assemble the rolling star quilt

Sew the blocks together in two pairs and sew the pairs to each other.  Rotate the blocks so that the white triangle is always in the middle.  These together form the white diamond in the middle of the quilt.

I have added two borders, both made with 2.1/2″ strips of fabric.

Add the borders

Add the borders

For the first border use blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the sides.  Make the second, red border with two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the rolling 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/KIhNpvjkfzw

As a final thought I would love to hear your ideas for a better name for this quilt.  Let me know in the Comments section below.  There’s a pack of four fat quarters for the name that I like best from among your suggestions.

Fabric shop in Tenerife

Fabric shop in Tenerife

The weather seems to have turned very cold for those of us in the northern hemisphere so I am doubly glad that I spent nearly a week enjoying some winter sun in the Canary Islands.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.  As you can see, I managed to find a wonderful fabric shop which sold every type of fabric imaginable!

 

Valentine Heart Lavender Cushion

Heart lavender cushion

Heart lavender cushion

This lavender heart cushion is perfect to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I still have some dried lavender left from last summer so I thought that I would make a small cushion and fill it with a lavender mix.  Then I decided to put a ruffle on the cushion as well just to frame it.

Fabric requirements

Pink and red fabric

Pink and red fabric

8″ squares: two red

5″ strip of pink fabric cut across the width of fabric

Interfacing:  two 5″ squares

Small amount of lavender and toy stuffing




 

Make the cushion front and back

Satin stitch the hearts in place

Satin stitch the hearts in place

Cut two 5″ squares from the ends of the pink strip and back them with interfacing.  Draw a heart on the interfacing, cut the hearts out and place one right side up on the right side of each red square.  Zigzag around the edges of the hearts to secure them and then satin stitch all round.

Make the ruffle strip

Fold the pink strip in half

Fold the pink strip in half

Take the rest of the 5″ pink strip and cut down the middle to make two 2.1/2″ strips.  Sew these together at both ends to make a loop.  For a larger ruffle use the full 2.1/2″ strip – you will have to zigzag the outer edge at the end.  For a smaller ruffle that will be ready finished, fold in half along the length.  The fold will then be on the outside of the ruffle so you won’t need to do any more finishing.

 

 

Mark the quarters of the ruffle strip

Mark the quarters of the ruffle strip

 

Use pins to mark the quarters of the ruffle strip.  This way you can keep the gathering more even by having just one quarter of the ruffle strip going along each edge of the square.

 

 

 

Pull the thread to gather the strip

Pull the thread to gather the strip

 

Using the longest stitch length on your machine sew along the edge which is two raw edgese leaving a gap of a couple of inches between the beginning and end of the stitching.  Take hold of one of the threads from this line of stitching and gently push the fabric away from the end to start to gather the fabric into a ruffle.

 

Ease the ruffle round the corners

Ease the ruffle round the corners

,Pin the ruffle all the way roundPin the ruffle all the way round

Gather from both ends of the stitching.  The ruffle measures roughly 32″.  Pin the ruffle all round the edge of one of the cushion panels, easing it around the corners.  The gathered end should be in line with the edge of the cushion panel, the fold towards the middle.

 

Finish the lavender heart cushion

Turn right side out through the gap

Turn right side out through the gap

Lay the second red square on top of the ruffle with right side down.  Pin well and sew round three and a half edges of the square, leaving a gap through which to turn the cushion right side out.  Check that you have caught all layers of fabric in the stitching and then turn right side out.  Gently push the corners out, fill with a mixture of dried lavender and toy stuffing and stitch the gap closed.

This lavender heart cushion doesn’t take long to make and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s the video:

 

Puerto de la Cruz – Tenerife – Photos

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz

Last week I visited Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife for some much needed winter sunshine.

The first thing that struck me (after the sunshine and the warmth) was the lovely colours used on the houses.  Many of them were delightful shades of ochre, with an odd blue or turquoise house amongst them.  Absolutely lovely.

I think that’s probably my abiding memory of Puerto de la Cruz (Port of the Cross) – the vibrant colours in both the flowers and the buildings.




Fisher Woman

Fisher Woman

Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.  Puerto de la Cruz was a fishing village in the 15th century – so it’s much older than I had realised.  This lovely statue of a fisher woman stands in the harbour area, reminding us of the island’s history.

The islands are so close to Europe that they are a popular destination for those seeking sunshine at any time of the year.  Originally they were visited only by the well off or by researchers – the plant life is amazing.

Church in Puerto de la Cruz

Church in Puerto de la Cruz

Church of Our Lady of the Rock of France

This church lies peacefully in a very attractive square.  You can’t miss it if you are meandering along the coast.  The inside of the church is stunning – very beautiful.

Church interior

Church interior

I couldn’t take photos inside because it was so dark so instead I can show you some of the beauty of the church in Buenavista that we visited.

We had hopped on a bus to take us to Buenavista (meaning good view) to see just how good the view was.  If I’m honest, the view there was no better than the views of the ocean from Puerto, but the church was magnificent.

Ocean view

Ocean view

The Atlantic Ocean

Puerto is set on the ocean front and I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos of the ocean.  I have some fabric that loos very similar to this, with the sea pounding the rocks.

Puerto lighthouse

Pouerto lighthouse

Given all the rocks, it was no surprise to see that a lighthouse was in place.  What was surprising was its unusual design.

According to Wikipedia it is 89 feet high, made of steel framework enclosing the red and white panels.  The light pattern of two flashes every 7 seconds can be seen up to 16 nautical miles away.

El Teide

El Teide

El Teide

This nearby volcano, El Tiede, dominates the skyline at Puerto de la Cruz.  I’m sure it dominates the skyline all over Tenerife.  It is the tallest mountain in Spain, which surprised me.

You can just see the peak in the top right part of the photo.  It is possible to take a cable car and walk to the top, but sadly we ran out of time.  I’ll have to take another trip to Tenerife!

Carved door

Carved door

Quilt inspiration

Obviously during my trip I was on the lookout for quilt designs.  This door had some lovely designs which I’m sure could be transferred to fabric.

I also managed to find an amazing fabric shop full of a huge range of different types of fabric.  I also saw a couple of things that I intend to make up for my craft stalls.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

We also visited the renowned Botanical Gardens but I have so many photos from there that I’ll have to get them sorted in time for next week.

Seascape

Seascape

I’ll just leave you with some more seascapes.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Rose

 

 

 

Scottie Dog Quilt Pattern With Sashing

Scottie Dog Quilt

Scottie Dog Quilt

For this Scottie Dog quilt I wanted to design a really simple quilt block in order to showcase the sashing with stars that I have used.  The Scottie dog is obviously based on a dog!  The sashing is based on a floor tile design that I have adapted and simplified.  Thanks, Carol, for sending me the photo.  The quilt measures 57″ square, using four 24″ blocks finished size.

You can buy the kit for this quilt at this week’s special offer.

Original floor tile design

Original floor tile design

I needed 1.3/4 yards of the background fabric, 1 yard of the blue dog fabric, 3/4 yard of the dark brown for the sashing, together with 1/8 yard each of dark blue and white with 1/4 yard of the medium blue script fabric for the cornerstones.

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Cutting requirements for the Scottie Dog quilt

3.1/2″ strips in the following lengths:

24.1/2″ strips:  four light brown

18.1/2″  strips:  twelve dark brown for sashing

12.1/2″ strips:  eight light brown

9.1/2″ four light brown, eight blue dog fabic

15.1/2″ strips:  eight light brown, eight blue dog fabric

6.1/2″ strips:  twenty light brown, eight blue dog fabric

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty eight light brown, nine medium blue (cornerstones), eight blue dog fabric

4.1/4″ squares:  twelve white, six dark brown, six dark blue

Dog facing right layout

Dog facing right layout

Make the dog facing right

Lay the strips out in eight rows.  All the strips are 3.1/2″ wide so I’ll just list what’s needed in each row:

First row and row 8: one  24.1/2″ light brown strip

Row 2:  12.1/2″ light brown, blue square, 9.1/2″ light brown

Row 3:  12.1/2″ light brown, 9.1/2″ blue, light brown square

Fourth row:  brown square, blue square, 6.1/2″ brown, 9.1/2″ blue, brown square

Rows 5 and 6:  brown square, 15.1/2″ blue, 6.1/2″ brown

Row 7:  brown square, 6.1/2″ blue, brown square, 6.1/2″ blue, 6.1/2″ brown.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  This now measures 24.1/2″ square and you need to make two of these.

Dog facing left

Dog facing left

Make the dog facing left

This is very similar to the first block, but the dog is facing the other way.

First row and row 8:  24.1/2″ brown strip.

Row 2:  9.1,2″ brown, blue square, 12.1/2″ brown

Row 3:  brown square, 9.1/2″ blue, 12.1/2″ brown

Fourth row:  brown square, 9.1/2″ blue, 6.1/2″ brown, blue square, brown square.

Rows 5 and 6:  6.1/2″ brown, 15.1/2″ blue, brown square

Row 7:  6.1/2″ brown, 6.1/2″ blue, brown square, 6.1/2″ blue, brown square.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 24.1/2″ square and you need to make two of this version also.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make quarter square triangles

This is just a case of making half square triangles twice – honestly it’s not too difficult.  Place a white 4.1/4″ square with either a dark blue or a dark brown square, right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a seam 1/4″ either side of the marked line.

Cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.7/8″ square.

Make quarter square triangles

Make quarter square triangles

Now make further units as above, but starting this time with the half square triangles that you have just made.

Begin with one blue/white and one brown/white half square triangle.  Place them right sides together, making sure that the blue triangle on the top layer lies against the white on the bottom layer while the white on the top layer lies against the brown triangle on the bottom layer.  The seams of both of them run from bottom left to top right.

Draw a line along the diagonal that crosses the existing seam line, so going from bottom right to top left in my photo.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces a quarter square triangle unit which measures 3.1/2″ square.  Check that the two white triangles are opposite each other and the blue and brown triangles are opposite each other.

Sashing strips

Sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

Take an 18.1/2″ strip of dark brown fabric and place a quarter square triangle at each end.  Lay them so that the brown triangle lies against the brown strip.  It almost looks like a Christmas cracker now.

Make two of these strips and place one between each pair of Scottie dog quilt blocks.  This joins the pairs of blocks.  I have placed mine so that there is one right facing and one left facing dog in each pair.  They are looking at each other across the sashing strip.

Sashing strip across the middle

Sashing strip across the middle

Now you need sashing strips to lie across the quilt – three of them so that you can have one at the top of the quilt, one joining the two pairs of blocks across the middle of the quilt, and one at the bottom of the quilt.

For each strip make up two strips as above – an 18.1/2″ dark brown strip with a quarter square triangle at each end.  Join these two sections together with a medium blue 3.1/2″ square.  So in each row you have two brown strips, four quarter square triangles and one cornerstone (that’s the medium blue square).  Make three of these strips and sew one to the top of the quilt, one in the middle to join the two pairs of blocks together and one at the bottom of the quilt.

Side strips

Side strips

Sash the sides of the quilt

You now just need two strips for the sides of the quilt.  For each strip make up an 18.1/2″ dark brown strip with a quarter square triangle at each end as before.  Now place a 3.1/2″ medium blue square (cornerstone) at each end of the overall strip and in the middle.

Middle section

Middle section

In case that sounds confusing, the side strip should contain:  cornerstone, quarter square triangle, dark brown strip, quarter square triangle, cornerstone, quarter square triangle, dark brown strip, quarter square triangle, cornerstone.

Sew one of these strips to each side of the quilt.  Confession time:  my seams were obviously not as accurate as they should have been.  I found that my sashing didn’t always match the quilt top.  In one place I ended up trimming the quarter square triangle to make it fit.  I realise now that a far better option would have been to fold and stitch a small pleat in the dark brown fabric strip.  That way I could keep the stars intact.  I’m sure that your stitching is far more accurate than mine, but I just thought that I’d mention it as a way of correcting differences in length.

That completes the Scottie dog 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/eM5yXRoPM3A

Ashby de la Zouch castle

Ashby de la Zouch castle

Last week I mentioned that I was visiting a friend for lunch.  On the way up I stopped in Ashby de la Zouch – the name has always fascinated me!  To see my photos, click here or click on the photo.