Anvil Steps Quilt – Free Pattern

Anvil steps quilt

Anvil steps quilt

I’ve made the Anvil Steps quilt using three different blocks within the quilt and a different block for the border.  It’s the border that I’m most pleased with – something completely different for you to try.  The quilt measures 58″ square and I’ve used 1.3/4 yards of white, 1.1/4 yards of red, 1 yard of light blue and 1//2 yard of dark blue fabrics.   The blocks within the quilt are 12″ square finished size while the border blocks are 9″ square finished size.

You can buy the fabrics for this quilt at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the anvil steps quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty dark blue, thirty six white, sixteen light blue

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty dark blue, thirty six white, sixteen light blue

2.3/4″ squares:  eight light blue, eighty white – these can be made with strip piecing

5.3/8″ squares:  twenty red, twenty white

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

Create half square triangle units

Create half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use both the 3.7/8″ squares and the 5.3/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in two different sizes.  Place a coloured square right sides together with a white square 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.  Press the seam allowances away from the white and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

The blue and white squares are now 3.1/2″ square while the red and white squares are now 5″ square.

Anvil quilt block layout

Anvil quilt block layout

Make the anvil quilt block

I began this quilt with the idea of the anvil quilt block because it’s a simple four patch block that goes together really quickly.  Lay the blocks out in four rows of four.  There’s a white square in each corner and four dark blue squares in the middle.  On each edge of the central four patch place a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles.  Place these so that so that the dark blue triangles form a butterfly shape across two corners.  On the other two corners, the white triangles together with the white corner square form a larger white triangle.

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

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

For the alternate block I wanted a block that was similar to the anvil block but had more of a vertical shape rather than a diagonal shape.  So I played around with the same squares that make up the anvil block and came up with this alternate block.

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  You still have the white squares in the corners and the four blue squares in the middle.  This time the half square triangles on the edges are placed differently.  On two edges the light blue triangles together form a larger light blue triangle pointing away from the middle.  For the other two edges, the white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four in light blue and one in dark blue.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the anvil steps quilt

Lay the blocks out in three rows of three.  Make row one with an anvil block at each end and a light blue alternate block in the middle.  Place the anvil blocks so that the diagonal lines point towards the middle.  Place the alternate block so that the pointy bits point to either side.

Second row

Second row

Make row two with a light blue alternate block at each end and a dark blue alternate block in the middle.  Place all three blocks so that the pointy bits point up and down.

Row three

Row three

Row three is similar to row one with an anvil block at each end and an alternate block in the middle.  This time the diagonal shape of the anvil block is pointing outwards.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete this section of the anvil steps quilt.

Strip piecing

Strip piecing

Make the border blocks

I’ve used a smaller block for the border. In order to make the four patch units in this block you need to sew together 2.3/4″ strips of light blue and white.  Cut these panels at 2.3/4″ intervals to make rectangles 2.3/4″ by 5″.

Border block layout

Border block layout

Lay four of the rectangles out as shown with the red/white half square triangles.  The red triangles form two corners of the block.  Place four of the light blue/white rectangles so that the light blue squares run along the diagonal.

Sew the rectangles together in pairs to make four patch units.  Then sew one four patch unit to each half square triangle.  Finally sew the two halves of the block together.  The border block measures 9.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twenty of them.

Stepped quilt border

Stepped quilt border

Add the first quilt border

You need to make two strips of four blocks for the top and bottom of the quilt.  Rotate these so that the light blue squares form two peaks across the row.  The red triangles will then form one larger red triangle in the middle pointing down and one larger red triangles each side pointing up.  The strip for the bottom is the same but with the blue squares forming two V shapes.

Add the sides

Add the sides

That leaves twelve border blocks for the sides – two strips of six blocks each.  Lay the first two blocks so that the blue squares follow the same diagonal as the last block in the top row.  That means that around the top right hand corner you have three blocks with the blue squares running from top left to bottom right.  Then add two blocks where they form a V against the side of the quilt top.  Finally place the last two blocks so that the blue squares follow the same diagonal as the last block in the bottom row.

Add the final border

Add the final border

Add the final border

Finally I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric for the outer border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.  That completes the Anvil Steps 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:

What are these used for?

What are these used for?

I have a favour to ask – can you identify what these scissors are used for?  They were in a box of scissors that my cousin gave me a few weeks ago and I’m curious to know what they are.  The top one only has one circle for a finger and the bottom one has a square in the middle – most odd.

Since writing this, I have had many suggestions that the top pair are thread snips and the bottom pair are buttonhole scissors.  I have also been sent this wonderfull informing link on how to use buttonhole scissors:

https://www.ebay.com/gds/How-to-Use-Buttonhole-Scissors-/10000000205702342/g.html

Back view of Coughton Court

Back view of Coughton Court

My travels this week took me to Coughton Court – another National Trust property that is a delight to visit.  You can see more photos by clicking here or you can click on the photo.

Paper Pinwheel Quilt – Free Pattern

Paper pinwheel quilt

Paper pinwheel quilt

The Paper Pinwheel quilt is made using two versions of the block of the same name.  It was the name of the block that attracted me – the design looks like those paper whirligig things that I can remember from my childhood.  The quilt measures 54″ square and I have used sixteen blocks which are all 12″ square finished size.  I needed 1 yard each of light blue, cream and red fabrics, together with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  The block is a simple four patch and I have used red in the middle and on the border to provide more interest to the quilt.

You can buy the fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the paper pinwheel quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  four red, sixty light blue, sixty four dark blue, sixty four cream

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two light blue, thirty two cream

For the border you will need to cut five 3.1/2″ strips of red 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 triangle units.  Place a light blue and a cream 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 to produce two half square triangle units.  These are now 3.1/2″ square and you need to trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Paper pinwheel quilt block layout

Paper pinwheel quilt block layout

Make the basic paper pinwheel quilt block

Lay the squares out in four rows of four.  Begin with four cream squares in the middle.  On each edge of this central section place a half square triangle and a dark blue square.  If you follow the edges of the block in a clockwise direction you’ll see that they always follow the same order – the half square triangle first and then the dark blue square.

In each corner place a light blue square.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of them.

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

Make the alternate block

The alternate block is just as simple as the first one.  All I have done is swap one corner square from light blue to red.

This block also measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Place four basic blocks in a row for rows one and four.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

Use the alternate blocks in rows two and three.  Make row two with a basic block at each end and two alternate blocks in the middle.  Place these so that the red squares are together and at the bottom of the row.

For row three you need a basic block at each end and two alternate blocks in the middle.  This time place them so that the red squares are together and at the top of the row.

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

Red for the border

Red for the border

Add the quilt border

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of red for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the paper pinwheel 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:

I want to apologise to all those of you who have tried to email me or leave comments on the website.  I have upgraded the website so that it has security clearance – the beginning of the address is now https rather than just http.  However this seems to have meant that a lot of my links don’t work – even though I was told that it was a really simple operation!  Please believe me – I am not ignoring your comments and emails – I’m just not receiving them.  I have spent many hours this week on the phone with technical support teams and if it hasn’t been fixed when you see this quilt pattern I sincerely hope that it will be sorted out really soon.

In the meantime I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Four Corners Star Quilt Pattern

Four corners star quilt

Four corners star quilt

I’ve used three different blocks to create the Four Corners star quilt pattern.  The central block contains a star and then I have created a second star around it.  The quilt measures 60″ square, using 1.1/2 yards each of light blue and white with 2.1/4 yards of dark blue and 3/4 yard of yellow fabric.  I have made nine blocks which are all 18″ square finished size.

The central block is known as the four corners quilt block – I didn’t give the quilt its name based on the fact that it has four corners!  The blocks are all large which means that it is a very simple and quick quilt to make.




Completed four corners quilt block

Completed four corners quilt block

Cutting requirements for the four corners star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark blue, four yellow

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  six dark blue

3.7/8″ squares:  four each in yellow and white, four each in dark blue and white

9.1/2″ by 18.1/2″ rectangles:  four light blue

9.7/8″ squares:  four yellow, four white

18.7/8″ squares:  two light blue, two white

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ and the 9.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  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 either 3.1/2″ or 9.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

First stage of layout

First stage of layout

Four corners quilt block

I am showing the layout in two stages for the sake of clarity. Lay two blue rectangles in the middle.  Place a pair of small yellow/white half square triangles on each edge of this central area.  Lay these so that the two yellow triangles together form a larger yellow triangle pointing away from the middle.  Place a yellow square in each corner of this section.

Four corners quilt block layout

Four corners quilt block layout

Now add the outer frame of this block.  Place a blue rectangle in each corner.  Between these place a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Note that the two blue triangles together form a larger dark blue triangle pointing towards the middle.  In rows two and five place a dark blue square at each end.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

The block measures 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make one only.

Second block layout

Second block layout

Make the second block

This is a very simple block.  Place two large yellow/white half square triangles so that the white triangles lie together to form a larger white triangle pointing down.

Above these place a light blue rectangle.  Sew the half square triangles together and then sew them to the blue rectangle.  This block also measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Completed corner block

Completed corner block

Make the corner blocks

The corner blocks are very large half square triangle units.  I haven’t made these in pairs as I did for the smaller units.  Simply cut an 18.7/8″ square along one diagonal and then sew a light blue and a white triangle together.

This block measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the four corners star quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Make the first row with a corner block at each end and a block two in the middle.  Place the corner blocks so that the light blue triangles are on the outside, forming the corners of the quilt.

Row two

Row two

Form row two with the four corners star block in the middle and a block two on either side.  Place these so that the yellow triangles lie against the central block.

Row three

Row three

Finally make row three with a corner block at each end and a block two in the middle.  This time place the yellow triangles at the top of the block.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

Use 3.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the four corners star 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:

Oxford High Street

Oxford High Street

Last week I paid an overnight visit to Oxford, commonly known as the city of dreaming spires.

The buildings are absolutely beautiful and this photo shows the entrance to one of the colleges.  Unfortunately the colleges that I went past weren’t open to visitors.

Bodleian Library reading room

Bodleian Library reading room

I don’t think that this building is actually on a slope, so I’m not sure how I managed to take a photo making it look like  a leaning tower.  I think that it’s the reading room for the Bodleian Library which was just on my right as I took this photo.

As usual I haven’t had time to sort out all the photos, but I’ll make sure to get the Oxford and Blenheim Palace photos ready for next Friday.

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Wonky log cabin quilt

Wonky log cabin quilt

I have made this wonky log cabin quilt in its most simple form.  My main aim was to show you that you don’t have to use foundation piecing.  This simple rectangular quilt can be made with normal piecing – and it’s great fun.  I used it as a scrappy quilt and it ended up being a memory quilt as well.  As I rummaged through my stash I came across some lovely fabrics that I had forgotten about.

The quilt measures about 57″ by 74″, requiring twelve blocks which are 17″ square finished size.  I used about 2.1/2 yards of the grey background fabric together with about 8 red strips (3/4 yard), 14 blue strips (1 yard) and a further 3.1/2″ strip of red for the central squares and 3/4 yard of a dark fabric for the border.  The strips are all 2.1/2″ wide, so that you can used jelly roll leftover strips if you wish.




Wonky log cabin quilt block

Wonky log cabin quilt block

Cutting requirements for the wonky log cabin quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  twelve red

2.1/2″ strips:  approximately 35 grey, 8 red and 14 blue

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

Make the first round

Begin with a red square

Begin with a red square

Log cabin blocks traditionally have a red square in the middle to represent the fire in the hearth of the log cabin.  I have used a red metallic fabric for this.  Sew a 3.1/2″ grey strip to the bottom of the square and a 5.1/2″ strip to the left hand side.

Cut a triangle off

Cut a triangle off

Place your ruler so that it runs from the bottom right hand corner of this section to a point 2″ up from the bottom left hand corner.  Cut this triangle shape off.

Add the remaining logs

Add the remaining logs

Now add a 5.1/2″ grey strip across the top and a 7.1/2″ strip down the right hand side of the red square.

The progression in the photo runs down the left hand side and then down the right hand side of the photo.  Cut a triangle from the left hand side, top and then right hand sides of the section.  In each case the triangle runs from one corner to a point 2″ from the next corner.  This completed section measures about 5.1/2″ or 6″ square.

Add the red strips

Add the red strips

Make the second round of logs

For the next round I have used red strips.  They are from stash so each side is different.  Begin with a strip across the bottom and then add strips in a clockwise direction around the section.

Speed piecing log cabin blocks

Speed piecing log cabin blocks

Speed piecing log cabin blocks

I am using speed piecing for the rest of the block so I am not specifying lengths here.  This involves taking one strip of red fabric and sewing several blocks to it.  Place the red strip with right side up and then place a block with right side down against the red strip.  When you reach the bottom of the block, place another block to butt up against the first block and continue sewing.  At the end of the strip repeat with another red strip until you have added another red strip to every block.  Separate the blocks by cutting across the strip between each block.  This means that you don’t have to measure and cut each strip so it saves a huge amount of time.

Trim the red strips

Trim the red strips

Continue until you have added red strips to all four sides of the section.  Trim a triangle from each edge.  In this case place your ruler to run from one corner to a point only 1″ from the following corner.  This section measures about 9″ or 9.1/2″ square.

One of the reasons that I have varied the size of the triangles is because I wanted the coloured frames to stand out well so that you can see how the block has built up clearly.  So I have taken 2″ triangles from the grey frames and 1″ triangles from the coloured frames.

Third round of logs

Third round of logs

Complete the wonky log cabin quilt blocks

For the next round of logs use 2.1/2″ grey strips.  Cut 2″ triangles from this round.  This section measures about 11″ square.

Add the blue strips

Add the blue strips

I have used blue strips for the fourth round of logs, cutting 1″ triangles from each edge.  At this stage the block measures about 13.1/2″ to 14″ square.

Add the grey strips

Add the grey strips

Make the final round of logs with grey strips.  Don’t cut any triangles from this round of logs.

As I was cutting triangles from the previous frames I wasn’t worrying too much about accuracy.  The final reckoning comes now with the final grey frame.  The edges of all my blocks varied between 17.1/2″ and 18″ long.  At this stage I trimmed all the blocks to 17.1/2″ square.  What size you use for your blocks doesn’t matter.  The important point is that all blocks need to be the same size as each other so that you can sew them together.

Sew the blocks in rows of three

Sew the blocks in rows of three

Assemble the wonky log cabin quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three blocks.  Sew the rows to each other.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of a dark fabric to frame the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of approximately 51.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of approximately 74.1/2″ for the sides.  Do measure your quilt edges as they may vary slightly from mine.

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

Here’s the video:

Snow in my garden

Snow in my garden

I can’t bring you any travel photos this week as I have hardly left the house all week.  We haven’t had nearly as much snow as most parts of the UK, but I still didn’t feel it was worth risking slipping on icy pavements when I didn’t really have any urgent reason to leave the house.

I hope that wherever you live you are safe and warm.

 

Multi Coloured Hawaiian Applique Wall Hanging

Palm tree Hawaiian applique

Palm tree Hawaiian applique

The multi coloured Hawaiian applique wall hanging comes as a result of my recent visit to the Canary Islands.  I was fascinated by the variety of palm trees.  I’ve made Hawaiian applique before, but always in one colour only.  I decided to experiment and see easy or difficult it would be to use several colours in the applique.  Cutting out the applique was slightly more difficult when I had to cut across the seam lines, but apart from that my experiment worked well.  I’ve ended up with yellow in the middle for the sand, then brown for the tree trunks surrounded by green for the palm leaves.




Cutting requirements for the multi coloured Hawaiian applique wall hanging

28″ square of sky blue fabric

3.1/2″ squares:  one yellow, one each in two different browns

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  one each in two different browns

4.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  one each in two different greens

17.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  one each in two different greens

8.1/4″ square of paper

1/2 yard of Mistyfuse or similar double sided fusible interfacing

There are full instructions for drawing the template below, but if you wish to use mine you can download it here.

Mark out a triangle

Mark out a triangle

Make the template

I began with a sheet of A4 paper which happens to be 8.1/4″ wide.  Mark a line 8.1/4″ from the top to create a square.  Mark the diagonal line.  I’ve shaded the bottom section and the top triangle which won’t be needed so that you can see the triangle to be used for the template.

Mark a point 4″ from the left corner on the bottom line of the triangle.  Draw another point 6″ from the left corner on the diagonal line.  These marks show where the brown ends and the green begins when you draw the palm trees.

This template will mark out half of the palm trees because the fabric will be folded when it is cut.

Draw the palm trees

Draw the palm trees

Mark a small triangle in the bottom left corner of the triangle.  This will give you a small star in the finished applique.

Begin with the diagonal edge and draw a line about 3/4″ from the line as far as the 6″ marker.  This is the trunk of the palm tree.  Then branch out and add three palm tree leaves along the rest of the diagonal line, finishing with a line into the corner.  On the bottom edge of the triangle (showing as the right hand edge in the second photo) draw a line for the tree trunk to the 4″ marker point and then add three leaves and a point at the top.  Cut out the template.

Add the brown for the trunks

Add the brown for the trunks

Make the square for applique

Begin with a yellow square (the sand).  Sew a brown square to the top and bottom followed by a brown rectangle to each side.

Add the green

Add the green

Now add a 9.1/2″ green rectangle to the top and bottom followed by a longer green rectangle to each side.

Press all the seam allowances away from the yellow square.  The square measures 17.1/2″ square at this stage.

Add the interfacing

Add the interfacing

Press a layer of double sided fusible interfacing to the back of this square.  I use Mistyfuse, but you can use whatever you prefer.  The important thing is that it’s fusible on both sides as this will mean you can press the final shape to the background square to hold it in place.

Fold the applique square

Fold the applique square

Cut out the template

Begin by folding the applique square in half once and then in half again.

Place this square so that the yellow square is in the bottom left corner.  The bottom and left hand edges will be folded while the top and right hand edges are raw edges.  This step is really important to make sure that your applique comes out as one piece rather than several disjointed pieces.

Pin the template to the fabric

Pin the template to the fabric

Fold the top left corner down to the bottom right corner to form a triangle.  Carefully place the paper template on top of this triangle and pin in place.

Cut around the template

Cut around the template

Using a sharp pair of scissors cut round the template.  This takes a bit of effort when you are cutting across the seam allowances – there are a lot of layers of fabric at these points.  However, the result is well worth the effort!

Applique section

Applique section

Complete the multi coloured Hawaiian applique top

Unpin the template and carefully unfold the multi coloured Hawaiian applique.  Fold the blue background face in half twice so that you have fold lines and can locate the centre where the two folds cross.  Place the applique shape on top of the blue background square and smooth gently.  Make sure that the small star in the middle is placed on the centre of the blue square.

Press carefully, beginning in the middle and pressing along each palm tree.  This will hold the applique in place until you are ready to sew round all the edges to hold the palm trees in place securely.  Layer, quilt and bind as for any quilt.

I am so pleased that I managed to make a project using multi coloured Hawaiian applique and I hope that this has given you lots of ideas for similar projects of your own.

Here’s the video:

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura

Last week I promised you some photos from my trip to Fuerteventura.  I wrote a separate article and you can see it by clicking here or on the photo.

Windblown Square Quilt Pattern

Windblown square quilt

Windblown square quilt

For the Windblown Square quilt I decided to use simple four patch quilt blocks.  I chose three blocks which all have a white diamond forming in the middle of the block.  Obviously one of them was the windblown square quilt block.  Altogether I used three different blocks plus a simple half square triangle for the corners of the quilt.

The quilt measures 64″ square, using sixteen blocks which are all 12″ square finished size.  The fabric required was 2.3/4 yards of white, 1.1/2 yards of red, 3/4 yard of blue and 1/2 yard of gold.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the windblown square quilt

12.7/8″ squares:  two red, two white

3.7/8″ squares:  sixty eight blue, thirty two red, thirty two gold, one hundred and thirty two white

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty six white

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  eighteen white

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square right sides together with either a red, blue or gold square and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangles which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the coloured fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Flywheel quilt block layout

Flywheel quilt block layout

Make the flywheel quilt block

This is a delightful block that reminds me of a laurel wreath.  Lay the squares out in four rows of four.

Place a white rectangle at the beginning of row one and the end of row four. Add four blue/white half squares in the middle, placing them so that the white triangles form a white diamond.  Lay a white square in the top right and bottom left corners.  Add a half square triangle on each edge of the block to form a stripe with the blue triangles from the central area.  That just leaves you with two spaces for a white square at the end of row two and the beginning of row three.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make nine of them.

Windblown square quilt block layout

Windblown square quilt block layout

Make the windblown square quilt block

This block is made entirely with half square triangle units.  Lay the squares out in four rows of four again.  Begin by placing four gold/white half square triangles in the middle, forming a white diamond in the centre of the block.

Along each edge place two blue/white half square triangles to form a larger blue triangle pointing inwards.  Alongside these place a blue/white and a gold/white half square triangle to form a larger white triangle, also pointing inwards.

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

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

Broken dishes quilt block layout

Broken dishes quilt block layout

Make the broken dishes quilt block

The third block is made entirely with red/white half square triangle units.  Begin with four half square triangles in the middle forming a white diamond surrounded by red.

Along each edge place two pairs of half square triangles, each pair facing a different way from the other pair.  To check the correct placement, look out for a white corner to the block and a larger red triangle pointing outwards on each edge.

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

Make the corner blocks

Make the corner blocks

Make the corner blocks

This block is simplicity itself.  Cut the 12.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to make two triangles.  Sew a red and a white triangle together to form a square again.

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

I chose this design for the corners so that they would blend with the border and give a circular feel to the quilt design.

First two rows

First two rows

Assemble the windblown square quilt

Sew the blocks together in five rows of five.  Row one begins and ends with a corner block.  Between these place blue, gold and then blue blocks.

Begin and end row two with gold blocks.  In the middle place blue, red, blue blocks.

Row three

Row three

For row three, the central row, place a blue block at each end.  Between these place red, blue, red blocks.

Rows 4 and 5

Rows 4 and 5

The final two rows are similar to the first two rows.

Make row four with gold, blue, red, blue, gold blocks.  This is exactly the same as row two.

In row five you need two corner blocks at the ends with gold, blue, gold blocks in the middle.  This is the same as row one but with the corner blocks placed so that the red triangles form the bottom two corners of the quilt.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the windblown square quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric for the border.  You will need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the windblown square 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:

Dragon sand sculpture

Dragon sand sculpture

Last week I paid a flying visit to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.  It was wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun after all the snow that we seem to have had in Birmingham this winter.  I haven’t managed to sort through my photos yet so I’ll show them to you next week.  I have managed to find the sand sculpture photos, though.  The men making these were so clever – they worked really quickly to make the most wonderful designs.

It hasn’t shown up in the photo, but this dragon had smoke coming out of his nostrils.

Trees and volcanoes

Trees and volcanoes

A similar technique must have been used to produce smoke coming out of the volcanoes at the back of this sculpture.  The trees at the front fascinated me.  It certainly beats any sand castle that I made with the children when they were young!

 

London Underground Quilt Pattern

London Underground quilt

London Underground quilt

The London Underground quilt pattern is based on the fabric used in the seating on a lot of the carriages.  While sitting there waiting to reach my destination I couldn’t help noticing what a good quilt design the seating would make.

Original seating design

Original seating design

The rectangular quilt measures 63″ by 83″, using 1.1/4 yards of white fabric, 2.1/2 yards of red and 3.1/2 yards of blue.  The quilt uses two different but very simple blocks and I’ve used twelve of the first block and six of the second.  They all measure 14″ square.




London underground quilt blocks completed

London underground quilt blocks completed

Cutting requirements for the London underground quilt

2,1/2″ squares:  ninety six blue, fifty four red, ninety six white

10.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips:  twenty four blue

14.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips:  twelve blue

6.1/2″ by 14.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve blue

2.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ strips:  twelve blue, forty eight white

10.1/4″ squares:  one red

14.7/8″ squares:  five red

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

Make the first block

This first block contains four red squares and a broken white frame while the second block is just one red square on a blue background.

First block layout

First block layout

The first block contains seven rows.  In rows one and seven place a 6.1/2″ white strip on either side with a blue square in the middle.

Rows two and six are made with a white square at each end and a 10.1/2″ blue strip in the middle.

For rows three and five you need alternating squares:  white, blue, red, blue, red, blue, white.

Finally row four, the central row contains just a 14.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ blue strip.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It measures 14.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of them.

Second quilt block layout

Second quilt block layout

Make the second block

The second block is even more easy to make.  Place a 14.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ blue rectangle at top and bottom.  For the middle row place a 6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ blue rectangle either side of a red square.

Sew the pieces of the middle row together first and then sew all three pieces to each other.

The block also measures 14.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make six of them.

Cut the triangles

Cut the triangles

The triangles

In addition to the quilt blocks, this design also needs red triangles in the corners and at each end of the rows.

For the corners I have used a 10.1/2″ red square cut across both diagonals to make four triangles.  At the ends of each row a bigger triangle is needed:  I have used 14.7/8″ squares cut along one diagonal only.  I know that the red squares look the wrong size relative to each other, but that’s for the simple reason that I miscalculated and used half size squares before I realised my mistake.

Rows 1,2 and 3

Rows 1, 2 and 3

First 4 rows of the London underground quilt

I have used a diagonal setting for this quilt.  That means that the layout begins in the top left hand corner of the quilt, rather than being made up of horizontal rows of blocks.

I am counting row one as the red corner triangle at the top of the photo.  This comes from a 10.1/4″ red square.  Make row two with a 4 square block beneath the corner triangle and a red side triangle (from 14.7/8″ squares) on either side of it.  Check the photo to be sure of the placement of these triangles – the right angle (square) corner of the triangle is placed against the bottom of the quilt block.

Make row three with three blocks and a red side triangle at each end.  Now you can see the sides of the quilt beginning to form – the red triangles are forming straight lines away from the corner triangle.

I find it safest to sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other as I go rather than waiting until I have laid out all the blocks.  That way I can be sure that the blocks are alternating both across the rows and down the columns.

Add row 4

Add row 4

Lay out three of the first block alternating with  two of the second block alternating for the fourth row.  On the left hand end of the row place a red side triangle.

Corner triangle on row 4

Corner triangle on row 4

At the other end of the row place a red corner triangle.  This corner triangle forms the top right hand corner – the next row will start to form the right hand edge of the quilt.

Row five

Row five

Last 4 rows of the London underground quilt

Make row five also with three of the first block alternating with two of the second block.  This time you need to place a red corner triangle at the left hand end of the row.

End of row five

End of row five

On the right hand end of row place a red side triangle.  Note that this time the square corner of the red side triangle is placed against the top of the block beside it.

Row six

Row six

Now the rows of the quilt are reducing in size, forming the bottom right hand section of the quilt.  So row six contains only three quilt blocks with a red side triangle at each end.

Rows 7 and 8

Rows 7 and 8

Rows seven and eight are very similar to the first two rows.  For row seven you need one single block with a side triangle at each end.  Row eight is the final corner triangle.

If you haven’t been doing this as you go along, sew the blocks and triangles together across the rows and then sew the rows to each other.

Use blue for the border

Use blue for the border

Add the quilt border

As there are so many triangles along the edges of the London Underground quilt there’s quite a danger of the fabric stretching a little.  So it’s a good idea to add the border as soon as possible.  I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of blue fabric.  Do measure your own quilt, but for my quilt I used two lengths of 59.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 83.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the London Underground 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:

View from Frankley Beeches

View from Frankley Beeches

Although I have lived in Birmingham for a few years now, I am constantly coming across places that are completely new to me.  Last week I was told about a place called Frankley Beeches, just a few miles from here.

At the very top of the hill there’s a small area of beech trees and the view from there is stunning.  You can see down the fields to Frankley Reservoir with Brimingham spread out behind it.  The wood is run by the National Trust.  Apparently on a good day you can see right across to the Berwyn Range in Wales, 70 miles away.  I was also told that the next point to the east as high as Frankley Beeches is in the Ural Mountains in Russia!

Roman Pavements Quilt Pattern

Roman pavements quilt

Roman pavements quilt

The Roman Pavements quilt pattern arises of course from my recent visit to Rome.  It is not based on designs that I saw there, but rather on two blocks which both have ‘Roman’ in their name.  I’ve used nine blocks which are 18″ square finished size – the Roman Pavements quilt block and the Roman Stripes and Squares block.  The colours used are those of the Italian flag – red, white and green.

The quilt measures 58″ square and I needed 1/4 yard of light green, 1/2 yard of white, 1 yard each of dark green and red with 1.3/4 yards of medium green.




Cutting requirements for the Roman pavements quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark green

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

6.1/2″ squares:  eight white

18.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen red, thirty two medium green

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two red, sixteen green

For the border you will need to cut seven 2.1/2″ strips of dark green 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 a green square right sides together with a white square.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a seam 1/4″ either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  Press the seam allowances towards the white and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Central section of the block

Central section of the block

Make the Roman pavements quilt block

I’m showing this block in sections to make it more easy to check on the correct placement of the triangles.  Place four dark green/white half square triangles in the middle.  Lay them so that the dark green triangles are together, forming a diamond in the middle.

On each edge of this place a pair of light green/white half square triangles.  Lay them so that the light green triangles lie together to form a larger triangle pointing towards the middle.

Place a dark green/white half square triangle in each corner with the dark green on the outside, forming the corners of this section.

Roman pavements quilt block layout

Roman pavements quilt block layout

The next frame contains medium green and dark green.  Lay two medium green/white half square triangles on each edge of the central section with a dark green/white half square triangle on either side of them.  Place a dark green square in each corner.  Lay the medium green triangles so that the white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.

The dark green square with three dark green triangles together form a shape that looks a bit like an open envelope in each corner.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It measures 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make one only.

Use strip piecing

Use strip piecing

Make the Roman stripes and squares blocks

I’ve adapted this simple block to fit with my ideas for the quilt.  It is much more easy to make if you use strip piecing.  Sew together panels of 2.1/2″ strips of red/green/red and of green/red/green.

Make squares and rectangles

Make squares and rectangles

Cut the red/green/red at 6.1/2″ intervals to make 6.1/2″ squares.

Cut the green/red/green panels at 18.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 18.1/2″ by 6.1/2″.

Roman stripes and squares layout

Roman stripes and squares layout

Lay these strips out as shown – a green/red/green strip on each side with a central column made using two red/green/red strips and a white square in the middle.

Sew the three squares together down the central column and then sew the three columns to each other.

This block also measures 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eight of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Roman pavements quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are the same as each other, made with three stripes and squares blocks.  Place the first and third blocks with the long stripes running vertically.  Lay the second block with the long stripes running horizontally.

Row two

Row two

Make row two with the Roman pavements quilt block in the middle.  Place a stripes and squares block on each side of it, with the long strips running vertically.

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

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of dark green fabric for the quilt 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 Roman pavements 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:

Roman images

Roman images

Last week I promised you photos of my trip to Rome.  I’ve written them up as a separate article.  Click on Rome images to see the article and photos.

Oslo Norwegian Quilt – Free Pattern

Oslo Norwegian quilt

Oslo Norwegian quilt

I made the Oslo Norwegian quilt based on my recent travels.  The block for the central part of the quilt comes from a floor tile design that I saw in Oslo Cathedral.  It measures 76″ square.

Original tile pattern

Original tile pattern

I wanted to brighten up the design and make it fresh and cheerful for the beginning of the New Year so I have surrounded  the central area with diamond frames in blue and red together with lots and lots of white.  It’s a large quilt, but the individual blocks are very easy to make.

I’ve used sixteen blocks which are all 18″ square finished size. In order to make the quilt I needed 1 yard each of dark blue and red, 1.1/2 yards of light blue and 3 yards of white.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Oslo Norwegian quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  one hundred and thirty six light blue, twenty four white, seventy two red – these can be made with strip piecing, so don’t cut them till you’ve read the pattern

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen dark blue, sixteen red, eight light blue, forty white

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  forty white

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

12.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty four white

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square with either a dark blue, light blue or red square, right sides together.

Mark a line along one diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the coloured fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central area of the Oslo quilt block

Central area of the Oslo quilt block

Make the Oslo quilt block

For the central area of this block, you need to place four light blue/white half square triangles together to make a four patch unit.  Place them so that the blue is always in the middle, creating a blue diamond in a white square.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Make the frame around this area using light blue squares in the corners with a pair of red/white half square triangles on each edge of the central area.  Place these so that the white triangles form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle.

Oslo quilt block layout

Oslo quilt block layout

The outer frame of the Oslo block is very simple.  Place a 6.1/2″ white rectangle on either side of a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles.  This is the same in rows one and six, but note that the blue triangles always point away from the middle.

Down the sides place a white square either side of two dark blue/white half square triangles.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Oslo quilt block.  It now measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Use strip piecing

Use strip piecing

Make the alternate quilt block

For this block I have used strip piecing for speed.  Sew together a 3.1/2″ strip of light blue and red fabrics to make one panel.  Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of light blue, red, light blue to make the second panel.

Cut these panels at 3.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles consisting of either two or three squares.  These are 3.1/2″ wide by either 6.1/2″ or 9.1/2″ long.

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

Lay the sections out for the alternate block in six rows.

The first and sixth rows contain a blue/red strip with a 12.1/2″ white strip.  In the first row place the red/blue on the right.  In the sixth row the blue/red is on the left.  Make sure that the red square is always on the diagonal line.

Lines two and five contain one blue/red/blue strip together with a 9.1/2″ white rectangle.  For lines three and four you need one blue/red/blue strip with a white square on one side and a 6.1/2″ white rectangle on the other side.  It’s easy enough to check your placements by making sure that the red continues down the diagonal.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block is also 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of them.

First 2 rows of the Oslo Norwegian quilt

First 2 rows of the Oslo Norwegian quilt

Assemble the Oslo Norwegian quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Make row one with four alternate blocks.  In the first two blocks the coloured diagonal runs up from bottom left to top right.  For the last two blocks the coloured diagonal runs down from top left to bottom right.

In row two place two Oslo blocks in the middle with an alternate block at each end.  Match the coloured diagonals to the blocks in row one.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

Rows three and four are similar, but forming the bottom of the diamond frames.  In row three place two Oslo blocks in the middle with an alternate block at each end.  Place the alternate blocks so that the coloured diagonals run from the sides towards the middle.

Make row four with four alternate blocks, matching the coloured diagonals to the block above.

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

Border in dark blue

Border in dark blue

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 72.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 76.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

That completes the Oslo Norwegian 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:

Floating Diamond Quilt – Free Pattern

Floating diamond quilt

Floating diamond quilt

In the Floating Diamond quilt I have used the sashed four patch quilt block as an alternative.  Both are very easy blocks and I think they go well together.  I rather like all the secondary designs that form within the quilt.

The blocks are 12″ square finished size and I have made eight floating diamond blocks and eight sashed four patch blocks.  The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used 1 yard of lilac fabric, 1.1/4 yards of purple and 1.1/2 yards of green fabric.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the floating diamond quilt

For the floating diamond quilt blocks:

3.1/2″ squares:  forty eight purple, sixteen lilac

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two each in lilac and green

For the sashed four patch block:

4.1/2″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen lilac

2.1/2″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen lilac

8.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two purple

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a lilac and a green square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Floating diamond quilt block layout

Floating diamond quilt block layout

Make the floating diamond quilt block

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows of four.

Place a 3.1/2″ purple square in each corner with a lilac/purple four patch unit in the middle.  Fill the remaining spaces with half square triangles.  Lay these so that the green triangles together form larger green triangles pointing away from the middle.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eight of them.

Sashed 4 patch quilt block layout

Sashed 4 patch quilt block layout

Make the sashed four patch quilt block

This block is even more easy to make!  Once again place a four patch in the middle but this time use lilac and green 4.1/2″ squares.  Use 2.1/2″ squares in the corners.  Place two green corners to follow one diagonal and two lilac corners to follow the other diagonal.

Fill the remaining spaces with purple rectangles.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew the pieces together in the top and bottom rows.  For the middle section you need to sew the four patch unit together first and then you can sew a purple rectangle to each side.

Sew the rows to each other.  At this stage the block also measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the floating diamond quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four blocks.  In row one use a floating diamond at each end with two sashed 4 patch blocks in the middle.  Note the directions of the diagonals:  the green squares in the middle two blocks begin in the middle and move towards the side.  In the floating diamond blocks the purple squares begin in the corners and move towards the middle.

Row two

Row two

For row two you need two floating diamond blocks in the middle with a sashed 4 patch block at each end.  The squares in the diagonals continue the lines begun in the first row.

Row three

Row three

Row three also contains two floating diamonds in the middle with a sashed 4 patch at each end.  Now the green diagonals are moving from the sides towards the middle and the purple diagonals are moving from the middle towards the edges.

Row four

Row four

Finally in row four place two sashed four patch blocks in the middle with a floating diamond at each end.  The diagonals continue in the same directions as they did in row three.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the quilt border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the floating diamond 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:

Sunrise in Iceland

Sunrise in Iceland

Last week I promised you some of my Icelandic photos.  There were so many to choose from that once again I wrote a separate article.  You can read about my Icelandic trip here.