Irish Chain Star Quilt Pattern

Irish chain star quilt

Irish chain star quilt

My Irish chain star quilt was intended to be more of an Irish chain but I kept adding extra elements so I’m not sure if it still qualifies as an Irish chain quilt.  All three blocks are very simple to make.  I’ve used two batik fabrics and I’m really pleased with how the quilt looks now.  There are twenty five 9″ blocks finished size in the design.  The quilt measures 53″ square and I have used 1.3/4 yards of blue batik, 1 yard of cream, 3/4 yard of white and 1/2 yard of green batik.

As usual you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  As it’s my 65th birthday on Sunday I am also offering an additional 20% off all purchases over £6.  Details at the bottom of the page.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Irish star quilt

3,1/2″ squares:  sixty five blue, sixty eight white, four cream  – but check the pattern before you cut these as they can be pieced using strip piecing

3.7/8″ squares:  eight cream, eight white

9.7/8″ squares:  four green, four blue

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

Strip piecing

Strip piecing

Make the nine patch units

Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of blue, white, blue and of white, blue, white.  Cut these panels at 3.1/2″ intervals.  This gives you rectangles 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ which can be used to form the nine patch units.

Nine patch unit

Nine patch unit

Lay down a blue-white-blue strip at the top and bottom with a white-blue-white strip between them.  Sew the three strips to each other.  This forms the nine patch unit.  At this stage it measures 9.1/2″ square and you need to make thirteen of these.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the alternate block

Use the 9.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Lay a blue and a green square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Cut along the marked line to produce two half square triangle units.  Trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  This unit measures 9.1/2″ square now and you need to make eight of them.

Star block layout

Star block layout

Make the star blocks

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the same way as above.  Place a 3.1/2″ cream square in the middle with white squares in each corner.  Add four half square triangle units in the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to see that you place the triangles correctly.  You need to have a cream edge lying against the central square.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block measures 9.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the Irish chain star quilt

Sew the blocks together in five rows of five.

In row one place a nine patch unit in positions one, three and five with a blue/green half square triangle in positions two and four.  Place the half square triangles so that the green is on the outside.  The seam line begins to form a line going from the top middle of the quilt to the middle of the sides.

For row two lay a half square triangle at each end with a nine patch, star, nine patch between them.  Again place the half square triangles so that the green is on the outside.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

In row three, the central row, place nine patch units in positions one, three and five.  Lay two star blocks in positions two and four.

Row four is similar to row two – a half square triangle at each end with a nine patch, star and nine patch between them.  Note that the half square triangles are angled differently now, so that the seams now begin to form lines running from the sides to the middle of the bottom edge.

Row five

Row five

Row five is similar to row one – nine patch units in positions one, three and five with half square triangles in positions two and four.  Again the half square triangles are placed so that the green is on the outside.

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

Add the borders

Add the borders

Add the quilt borders

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of cream fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border with 2.1/2″ strips of blue fabric – two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 53.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Irish chain 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/ffqrXk512Mg

Prague patchwork 2019

Prague patchwork 2019

A few weeks ago I fulfilled one of my ambitions and went to Prague Patchwork 2019.  I first heard about it years ago and have always wanted to visit it.  It was a magnificent exhibition and you can see my photos by clicking here or click on the photo.

Now at the top of the page I mentioned that on Sunday I will reach the ripe old age of 65.  In order to celebrate this I am offering a 20% discount across the shop on all purchases over £6.  There is no code required – the discount will be applied automatically at checkout.  You can visit the shop here.

20% off all purchases over £6

Prague Patchwork 2019 – Photos

Prague Patchwork 2019

Prague Patchwork 2019

Prague Patchwork 2019 followed the Sitges quilt festival by just a couple of weeks.  I was delighted to be able to visit both of them – even if it was a hectic couple of weeks.  I’ve wanted to visit Prague Patchwork for many years, so it was a real thrill to make it at last.  The exhibition took place in a Sports Centre, so there were different displays in all the badminton halls, football halls and such like.

This particular quilt struck me because it has so much depth – you feel the birds might step out of the quilt at any time.

We had a minor hiccup on our way there, having not validated our train tickets properly, but a wonderful young lady who spoke perfect English came to our rescue.  She was also on her way to the exhibition so she took us under her wing and made sure that we arrived there safely.  Without her, we would probably still be wandering the streets of Prague now!

Group mystery quilt

Group mystery quilt

Group mystery quilt

This quilt was absolutely stunning not only in its own right, but also for the way that it was made.  It’s called Midnight Dance, but the quilters were not told that.  Each one of them was given the pattern for a section – and also asked what they thought the final quilt might look like.

As you can imagine, it must have been a real surprise when they saw the finished quilt.  If I had been given a section of skirt, for example, to make there’s no way in the world that I could have predicted what the subject of the quilt would be.  What a lovely idea.

Third in theme

Third in theme

Prize Winners

Near the entrance to the main hall there was a display of prize winning quilts.  This quilt was third in theme and it was quite delightful.  All the colours blended beautifully and the design was amazing.

I loved the way she had added three leaves in each corner – really striking.

Another winning quilt

Another winning quilt

This was another quilt from the prize winning section.  This one certainly took my breath away – really eyecatching.

Passacaglia quilt

Passacaglia quilt

Passacaglia quilt

Willyne Hammerstein had an exhibition of her quilts on display.  I first came across the Millefiori quilts at Nantes quilt show a few years ago and have loved them ever since.  The link takes you to a pinterest board showing lots of her quilts (I couldn’t find a website to link to).

As you can imagine, the templates for these quilts are tiny, but they do make stunning quilts.

Dresden butterfly

Dresden butterfly

Classical Challenge – Dresden Plate

I have never seen so many Dresden plates used in such creative ways.  I would never have thought of using small Dresdens to create a butterfly.

More Dresden plates

More Dresden plates

This quilt used Dresden plates to great effect.  I really must get my template out and make some Dresden quilts now that I have seen how interesting they can be.

There were many, many more of these quilts on display – a real feast for the eyes.

What depth

What depth

Three dimensional looking quilts

I think we probably all like quilts that look three dimensional.  I thought that this one was a particularly good example.  Birgit Schuller is a Handiquilt ambassador and does some extraordinary quilting.  You can see more of her work here.

See the elephant head

See the elephant head

This quilt really caught my attention because of the wonderful way India had been converted into an elephant head.  What a lovely quilt.

It had the overall look of one of those very old maps.  The Mariners Compass in the corner is also very impressive.

Sorry but I don’t seem to have noted the name of the quilter who produced this.

Landscape quilt

Landscape quilt

Wow factor quilts

Detail of the quilt

Detail of the quilt

It’s not quite a case of saving the best to last, but this part of the exhibition was amazing.  These landscape quilts could have been paintings or photos.  The detail and the choice of colours is superb.  I took this closeup so that you could see that she has pieced each individual leaf – a real work of art.

There were many equally beautiful landscape quilts.  They are all by Grycova Jaroslava, a Czech quilter.  Once again I couldn’t find a website for her, but you can see a lot more of her stunning work on this Google Images page.

My visit to Prague Patchwork 2018 was an amazing opportunity to see some extraordinary quilts and also to explore a delightful and beautiful city.  My photos of Prague itself will follow when I’ve had a chance to sort them out.

 

 

Michigan Beauty Quilt Pattern

Michigan Beauty quilt

Michigan Beauty quilt

I’ve made the Michigan Beauty quilt using the block of the same name and an alternate block of my own design which I tried to make as much the reverse of it as I could.  My plan was to make an interesting quilt with plenty to look at.  The first block has lilac in the middle with white outside it while the alternate has white in the middle with lilac outside it.  The green flower shapes point outwards in the first block and inwards in the alternate block.

The quilt measures 58″ square.  I have used nine 18″ blocks, needing 1.1/2 yards each of white and blue with 3/4 yard each of green and lilac.  As ever, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Michigan Beauty quilt

3,1.2″ squares:  thirty six green, sixteen lilac, twenty white

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

3.7.8″ squares:  thirty six each in green and white, twenty eight each in blue and white, thirty six each in blue and lilac

For the border you will need to cut six 2.1/2″ blue 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 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 triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Central area

Central area

Make the Michigan Beauty quilt block

Begin with the two 6.1/2″ lilac rectangles in the middle of the block.  Place a pair of blue/lilac half square triangles on each edge of this central square.  Make sure that the lilac triangles are together, forming a larger lilac triangle pointing away from the middle.  Add a green square in each corner.

Michigan Beauty quilt block layout

Michigan Beauty quilt block layout

For the outer frame, place a pair of blue/white half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Add a green/white half square triangle on each side of the blue/white half square triangles.  Place a white square in each corner.  Note that the blue triangles together form a larger blue triangle pointing outwards and the white triangles together form larger white triangles pointing inwards.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  At this stage it measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make five of these.

Alternate block centre

Alternate block centre

Make the alternate block

Place four blue/white half square triangles in the middle.  Lay them so that the white triangles together form a diamond in the middle.  Add a pair of blue/lilac half square triangles on each edge of the central square.  Lay them so that the blue triangles together form a larger blue triangle pointing outwards.

Add a lilac square in each corner.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

For the outer frame place a pair of white squares in the middle of each edge.  Add a green/white half square triangle on each side of the white squares.  The white pieces should now form a mountain shape on each edge.  Add a green square in each corner.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  At this stage the block measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Blue quilt border

Blue quilt border

Add the border

Use the 2.1/2″ blue strips for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Michigan Beauty 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/HSHboNtxEcU

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

While I was in Spain for the Sitges quilt festival I had time for some sightseeing in Barcelona.  The lovely Sagrada Familia, still being constructed after over 100 years, was top of my list of places to see.  What a treat!  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about my demonstrations on Sewing Quarter.  I had a wonderful morning there – they were all so welcoming and friendly that I felt far more relaxed than I had expected to.  I don’t have any more dates yet, but will definitely let you know when I do.

Sagrada Familia Temple – Barcelona – Photos

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

I visited the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona during my Spanish trip to visit the Sitges Quilt Show.  I’m ashamed to say that when I first saw it I thought that all the cranes and builders were doing restoration work.  In fact the building is still under construction.  Work began on it in 1882 and although the interior of the church is complete and has been consecrated, the exterior is still being built.  they are hoping to complete it by 2026 to commemorate the death of Antoni Gaudi in 1926.

Gaudi was the second architect to work on the construction and more or less devoted his life to it.  The church is beautiful on the outside, but totally, eyewateringly, exquisite on the inside.  I feel that I want to call it a cathedral, but apparently it is technically a minor basilica because it does not have a bishop.




Exterior detail

Exterior detail

Sagrada Familia exterior

The outside of the Sagrada is a mix of colours because the stone has been added over such a long period.  The design is extraordinary for its attention to detail.  There are holes in the stonework to allow the sounds of the music to reach out to the people of Barcelona. Eighteen spires will eventually reach above the church, representing Mary, the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists and of course Jesus himself.  His spire will be the tallest.

Statues everywhere

Statues everywhere

Every aspect of the building has a religious reason behind it.  There are statues and columns and readings every where you turn.  A real feast for the eyes.

Texts

Texts

This section has passages of the Bible engraved in the stone.   Some words are highlighted in white against the blue of the other words.

Light shining through the stained glass windows

Light shining through the stained glass windows

Interior of Sagrada Familia

Step inside and the light is the first thing to hit you.  The stained glass windows are enormous .  They are designed so that the light shining through them is shaded through a particular colour range.  For example the windows nearest the door produced green/blue light which faded to gold from the windows further down the side.  The effect is stunning.

Blue stained glass

Blue stained glass

Here they are coloured blue, highlighting the statue.

Everything about the interior is planned to the last detail.  They are still using the plans and drawings produced by Gaudi before he died.  The length and breadth of the church are particular multiples – the only trouble is that I can’t remember what they are multiples of.  Sorry – that’s my age catching up with me!

Columns represent trees

Columns represent trees

The columns are made in different stones partly to represent different aspects of the bible, but also so that the ones that need to bear the greatest weight can be made from a stronger stone.  They are designed to represent trees and you can see the branches of the trees at the top of the columns.  This particular photo was taken in a mirror which allows you to see more clearly into the heights of the Sagrada Familia – so the branches are actually at the bottom of the photo.

The Altar

Sagrada Familia altar

Sagrada Familia altar

With all the stunning beauty and decoration throughout the church, the altar is a lovely contrast – very simple.  You can just see the top of the altar at the bottom of the photo with Christ suspended above it in a halo of lights.

View of the inside

View of the inside

I have been lucky enough to visit many beautiful places in my travels over the last few years.  I think that this building must definitely rank amongst the most beautiful that I have seen.

This view of the overall interior gives you some idea of the size of it.  There are no little chapels or anything to distract from the overall beauty.  Gaudi had wanted to give the feel of a forest and he certainly succeeded in that.

Interlocking Squares Quilt Pattern

Interlocking squares

Interlocking squares quilt

For this Interlocking Squares quilt I have begun with the interlocking squares quilt block and then surrounded it with Millwheel quilt blocks.  I’ve used pink and blue which are not my usual colour choices and have decided that I should be more adventurous in my fabric choices.  The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used 1.1/4 yards of light pink fabric, 1/2 yard of dark pink, together with 1.1/2 yards of dark blue and 3/4 yard of light blue.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

The quilt blocks are all 16″ square finished size – one interlinked squares block and eight millwheel blocks.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the interlocking squares quilt

4.7/8″ squares:  sixty four light pink, thirty two dark blue, sixteen light pink, sixteen dark pink

2.1/2″ squares:  eight dark blue, four light blue, four dark pink

2.7/8″ squares:  two each in dark pink and light blue, two each in dark pink and light pink, four each in light pink and light blue, four each in light pink and dark blue

4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  two light blue

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  four dark blue

8.1/2″ by s.1/2″ rectangles:  two light blue

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the millwheel quilt blocks

Use 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″ square either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This gives you two half square triangles which are now 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Millwheel block layout

Millwheel block layout

Lay these squares out in four rows of four.  Begin with four light pink/dark pink half square triangles in the middle.  Lay these so that the dark pink triangles form a diamond in the middle.  On each edge of this central square place a dark blue/pink and a light blue/pink half square triangle.  Lay these so that the pink triangles together form a larger light pink triangle pointing towards the middle.  Now add a dark blue/light pink half square triangle in each corner with the pink on the outside.  Check that the dark blue triangles come together in pairs to make larger blue triangles.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It measures 16.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eight of them.

Central area

Central area

Make the interlocking squares quilt block

For this block I have made half square triangles using the 3.7/8″ squares made in the same way as those above.  Begin with two 8.1/2″ light blue strips in the middle.  Place a 4.1/2″ light blue strip above and below with a light blue/light pink half square triangle in each corner of this central area.  Place these so that the pink is on the outside.

First frame

First frame

Now add the first frame.  Across the top lay one light blue square followed by a light blue/dark pink  half square triangle, one dark pink square, one dark pink/light pink half square triangle, one light pink/light blue half square triangle and finish with a light blue square.  Notice that the dark pink patches form a mountain shape.  Repeat this sequence down the right hand side, across the bottom and up the left hand side of the block.

Complete layout

Complete layout

The final frame is very simple.  On the top and bottom rows place a 6.1/2″ dark blue strip on each end with a pair of dark blue/light pink half square triangles in the middle.  Place these so that the light pink triangles form a larger pink triangle pointing away from the middle.

On the sides place a pair of dark blue squares at each end with the pair of dark blue/light pink half square triangles in the middle.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the interlocking squares quilt block.  This now measures 16.1/2″ square and you just need to make the one.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are simply three millwheel blocks sewn together in a row.

Row two

Row two

In row two place a millwheel block at each end with an interlocking squares quilt block in the middle.

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

Blue border

Blue border

Add the border

Using the 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue, make two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the interlocking squares 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/sWPyD4MJpnU

Sitges quilt show 2019

Sitges quilt show 2019

Recently I visited the Sitges quilt show in Spain.  Quilt shows in other countries always have a different feel to them – as well as gorgeous quilts.  To see my photos of the show click on the photo or click here.

Recently the Sewing Quarter TV channel invited me to design and demonstrate for them.  I designed a quilt that I have called Floral Dance and I’ll be demonstrating it for them on Thursday 25th April.  If you can’t find their channel then there is always youtube.

Sitges International Patchwork Festival 2018

Sitges patchwork festival

Siges patchwork festival

The Sitges International Patchwork Festival is an annual event and I have often thought about visiting it – this year I actually made it!  Sitges is a delightful fishing town just along the coast from Barcelona in Spain.  The buildings were all white with brick edging as you can see in the photo and the mountains made a magnificent backdrop.

I stayed in Barcelona for a few days but those photos will have to wait for another day.  The quilt festival was spread across nine venues throughout Sitges, but they were all within easy reach of each other.




Ricky Tims

Ricky Tims

Ricky Tims

The first venue was an exhibition of work by Ricky Tims.  I’m familiar with his work, so it was lovely to see some of his quilts up close.

Ricky Tims (I think)

Ricky Tims (I think)

Over the course of the day I saw many, many quilts and I can’t always remember which quilt came from which part of the exhibition, so please forgive me if I get it wrong.

Kumiko Frydl


Kumiko Frydl

Kumiko Frydl and Betty Busby

The next two venues were devoted to the above two quilters.  The work of Kumiko Frydl was amazing – such clever use of white to give the impression of light radiating from the middle.  This particular quilt was named ‘Night cruise on the River Thames).

Betty Busby

Betty Busby

The work of Betty Busby was interesting.  I have to admit here that I am not sure how this one was made.  I think it was either reverse applique or Hawaiian style applique but of course no touching was allowed so I’m not sure.  It certainly made an interesting quilt.

The fourth venue was of Anne Woringer’s work, but I’m afraid that I didn’t get to that.  The venue was out on a limb and it was a really hot day.

Mini hexagons

Mini hexagons

Sitges Patchwork Festival -Vintage quilts

The fifth venue was described as vintage quilts from the British Isles.  Naturally I thought these would be from Jen Jones, but instead the quilts belonged to Christopher Wilson.  What a treat they were.  I have since found out that Christopher is a Moda designer and has a huge store in London.  I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss him all these years.

This hexagon quilt was breath taking.  I put my finger across the quilt so that you could see how small the hexagons are – unbelievable.

Tumbling blocks

Tumbling blocks

This tumbling blocks quilt had an interesting central medallion – what a lot of work must have gone into this quilt!  The colours are amazing.

The trade stalls stood in marquees along the beach.  They were absolutely heaving with shoppers and it was difficult to move so I didn’t stop long enough to see what they were selling – although it was nice to see so many names of companies that were new to me.

There was also a marquee which was open to businesses only.  I managed to blag my way in there and made some good contacts.  They all said that they would deliver to the UK, so I hope I can offer some unusual fabrics in the future.

Peter Hayward

Peter Hayward

Peter Hayward and Ximo Navarro

Somewhere along the beach there was a venue devoted to Reiko Kato and students, but I can’t seem to find any photos of their work.

My final destination was to see the work of Peter Hayward.  Believe it or not, this quilt is a flat square.  The use of colour and size of squares has made it seem to bulge out.  I assumed he was Spanish because I heard him chatting to visitors in Spanish, but now that I’ve looked him up I see that he’s from the UK and has a website The Accidental Quilter.

Peter Hayward again

Peter Hayward again

All of his work was quite stunning, showing so much movement.

The same room featured the work of Ximo Navarro and that was very different but very interesting.  Some very ornate designs in his quilts.

I had a wonderful time both in Sitges and in Barcelona.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the wonderful quilts that I saw.

Ximo Navarro

Ximo Navarro

 

Log Cabin Stained Glass Quilt Pattern

Log cabin stained glass quilt

Log cabin stained glass quilt

For my log cabin stained glass quilt pattern I have combined two of my favourite quilt techniques.  The quilt measures 36″ square, using nine blocks which are 10.1/2″ square finished size.  A square in square block forms the central block with some stained glass around the central diamond.  In the log cabin blocks I have used stained glass around each block but not within the blocks.  The colours run from lightest in the middle to darkest at the edges of the block.

I have used 1/8 yard each of white and light blue, 1/4 yard each of yellow, medium and dark blue, 1/2 yard each of cream and black, with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the log cabin stained glass quilt

All the strips are 2″ wide cut size, so for the log cabins I will just specify the lengths of the strips here:

2″:  eight red, eight light blue

3.1/2″:  eight light blue, eight white

5″:  eight white, eight medium blue

6.1/2″:  eight medium blue, eight yellow

8″:  eight yellow, eight dark blue

9.1/2″:  eight dark blue, eight cream (this is the darkest of the light fabrics)

11″:  eight cream

For the central square cut one 7.7/8″ square in cream and two 6.1/8″ red squares.

Cut 1.1/4″ strips of black across the width -for the stained glass sashing – you will need about nine strips.

For the border cut four 2.1/2″ red strips across the width of fabric.

First half of first frame

First half of first frame

Make the log cabin blocks

Begin with a 2″ red square.  Beneath it place a 2″ light blue square and on the right place a 3.1/2″ light blue strip.Sew the two squares together first and then add the light blue strip on the right.

Complete the first frame

Complete the first frame

Make the second half of the first frame with white strips.  Sew a 3.1/2″ white strip across the top with a 5″ strip down the left hand side.  Apologies if the white strips don’t show up too well in the photo.

Second frame

Second frame

Begin the second frame of logs with medium blue strips – a 5″ strip across the bottom and a 6.1/2″ strip on the right.  Follow these with a 6.1/2″ yellow strip across the top and an 8″ strip down the left hand side.

Third frame

Third frame

There are just three frames to these log cabin blocks.  Begin the third frame with an 8″ dark blue strip across the bottom, followed by a 9.1/2″ dark blue strip up the right hand side.  The final strips look brown in the photo although they are more cream in fact.  Sew a 9.1/2″ strip to the top and finish with an 11″ cream strip down the left hand side.

Trim the blocks if necessary.  They should now measure 11″ square and you need to make eight of them.

Central square layout

Central square layout

Make the central block

Place the 7.7/8″ cream square in the middle.  Cut the 6.1/8″ red squares along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.  Place one triangle on each side of the square.  You now need to make sashing strips so that you can add sashing around the square before you sew the triangles to the square.

Sashing strips

Sashing strips

Cut four 1.1/4″ strips of black fabric 11″ long.  Fold them in half along the length and press to create a fold mark down the middle of the strip.  Open each strip up and line up the edge of the strip with the edge of the square.  Sew the strip to the square along the fold.  Now press the black strip across the sewing line so that it looks as it did when you first pressed it, but it is know sewn to the square.  Repeat with one strip on each edge of the square.

Sew the triangles on

Sew the triangles on

Next sew two of the red triangles to opposite edges of the square.  Press them open and then sew the remaining two triangles in place.

Trim the edges

Trim the edges

Trim the middle of the edges where the triangle tips stick out.

This block measures 11″ square and you just need to make the one.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the log cabin stained glass quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  In row one place three log cabin blocks.  Rotate them so that the blue triangle section of each block is placed top right, top left and then bottom right.

Seam partially sewn

Seam partially sewn

Cut two 11″ strips of black fabric for the sashing.  Prepare them as above, folding in half along the length to create a fold line to sew along.

Sew one sashing strip to the right hand edge of the first block.  Then sew the second block to the first block along the sashed edge.  Sew a sashing strip to the right hand side of the second block and sew the third block to the second block.

Rows two and three

Rows two and three

For row two place a log cabin block at each end with the central block in the middle.  Add two sashing strips between the blocks.  The blue triangles of the log cabins should be bottom left and then top right.

Make row three with three log cabin quilt blocks.  Place the blue triangles top left, bottom right and then bottom left.  My aim was to place the log cabins in pairs forming a sort of mountain shape pointing from the edge of the quilt towards the middle.  You’ll see one of these mountains on each edge of the quilt.

Sashing across the rows

Keep your eye on the needle

Keep your eye on the needle

When you are sewing the sashing on,  try to keep your eye on the needle to check that it’s coming down in the fold of the fabric each time.

Sew the blocks together across each row.  Trim the top and the bottom of each row to a straight line.  Your lines are probably already straight, but I find that I have to trim mine.  With a sashing this small it would be difficult to sew it to the row if there were ups and downs in the edges of the rows.  Your sewing is probably far more accurate than mine is!

Add sashing between the rows

Add sashing between the rows

Add the sashing between rows

Cut four 1.1/4″ strips of black fabric.  Fold and press them as before.  Sew one to the top of the first row, one each between the rows and one to bottom of the third row.  The actual length required is about 33.1/2″, but I tend to use a complete length and then trim it.

Now cut two further strips of black fabric, fold and press as before, and sew one to each side of the quilt.

You will no doubt notice that my vertical sashing is not always a straight line.  This would be for either of both these reasons:  either my seam allowances were not accurate or I didn’t trim the blocks to size accurately enough before joining them.  Just thought that I’d mention that so that you can avoid my mistakes.

Add the border

Add the border

Log cabin stained glass quilt border

In order to frame the quilt I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 32.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the log cabin stained glass 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/Aun8OLGtPeo

Borough market and Southwark Cathedral

Borough market and Southwark Cathedral

Recently I spent some time in London.  I was lucky enough to have time to visit Southwark Cathedral – what a treat that was!  It’s right beside Borough Market, not far from London Bridge.  To see my photos click here or click on the image.

I have a stall at Moseley Arts Market tomorrow.  I’m hoping that the weather will be as warm as it has been so far this week.

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.