Spool and Bobbin Quilt – Free Pattern

Spool and Bobbin Quilt

Spool and Bobbin Quilt

I have used the spool and bobbin quilt block along with the Belle’s Favourite block for this quilt and I think that it gives a lovely quilt.  The quilt measures 40″ square, a good size for a lap quilt and I have used 3/4 yard each of purple, lilac and green fabrics, with 1/4 yard of white fabric.

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

There are nine blocks,  all 12″ square finished size.  They are all very simple four patch blocks.

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the spool and bobbin quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty purple, sixteen white

3.7/8″ squares:  ten purple, sixteen lilac, twenty six green

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  eight purple

6.1/2″ squares:  ten lilac

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




Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make the half square triangle units.  Place a green square with either a purple or a lilac square, 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″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Spool and bobbin quilt block layout

Spool and bobbin quilt block layout

Make the spool and bobbin quilt block

Lay the patchwork pieces out as a four patch unit.  In the top right and bottom left segments place a 6.1/2″ lilac square.  In the remaining two spaces lay out small four patch units with two purple squares and two purple/green half square triangles in each section.  Place the purple squares so that they form the diagonal running from top left to bottom right of the quilt block.  Place the half square triangles in the remaining spaces.  In the top left corner the green triangles are placed top left while in the bottom right corner the green triangles lie in the bottom right of the square.

Sew the small squares together within each four patch unit first.  Then sew each four patch unit to the lilac square next to it.  Finally sew the two rows to each other to complete the block.  This block measures 12.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make five of them.

Belle's Favourite layout

Belle’s Favourite layout

Make the Belle’s Favourite quilt block

This block is also a simple block to make.  For the first and fourth rows place a white square at each end with a purple rectangle between them.  I know that the white fabric I have used is more pink than white, but I think of it as white.

For rows two and three use lilac/green half square triangles only.  In row two the green triangles together form two larger green triangles pointing upwards while in row three the green triangles form two larger green triangles pointing downwards.  Together they form two green diamonds.

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

Row one

Row one

Assemble the spool and bobbin quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Form row one with a spool and bobbin quilt block at each end and a Belle’s Favourite block in the middle.  Note that the lilac squares lie in the top corners of the row and the green triangles lie horizontally in the middle.

Row two

Row two

In row two you need a bobbin and spool block in the middle with a Belle’s Favourite on either side of it.  Note that the two green diamonds are placed vertically in the end blocks and the lilac squares are top right and bottom left in the central block.

Row three

Row three

For row three place a spool and bobbin block at each end with a Belle’s Favourite between them,  This time the two green diamonds are placed horizontally as in the first row.  The lilac squares in the end blocks are placed so that they lie in the bottom corners of the row.

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

Green for the border

Green for the border

Add the border

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

That completes the spool and bobbin 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:

Wimbledon

Wimbledon

Last week I had a wonderful day at Wimbledon.  Our tickets were for No. 1 Court and on that day we saw two men’s double matches and one mixed doubles match (Jamie Murray).  I hadn’t realised how much more entertaining doubles matches are than singles matches.  The tennis was absolutely spellbinding – fast rallies racquet to racquet when the ball didn’t touch the ground for several shots.  I found it difficult even to see the ball, so can’t comprehend how they had time to react to the ball!

The whole experience was amazing – so well organised and such a lovely atmosphere.

Blue star quilt

Blue star quilt

In between my travels I have been continuing to work on my unfinished projects and if you want to see some of my work click here or click on the photo.

Piano Keys Star Quilt Free Pattern

Piano Keys Star quilt

Piano Keys Star quilt

When I designed the Piano Keys Star quilt my original intention was to place a piano keys border around each block.  However as I went along I decided to use the piano keys sections as sashing rather than complete borders around each block.

I had hoped to create a look where the light blue background to the star blocks blended with the light blue piano keys, while the dark blue plain blocks blended with the dark blue piano keys.  I think that I have achieved this.

I’ve used ten simple star blocks with ten plain squares, all 9″ square finished size.  The piano keys sections are 3″ by 9″ finished size and I made thirty of them.

The quilt measures 49″ by 61″, another rectangular quilt.  I have used 1 yard of red, 1.1/2 yards of light blue and 1.3/4 yards of dark blue fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Quilt components

Quilt components

Cutting requirements for the piano keys star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  ten dark blue, forty light blue, twelve red

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty dark blue, twenty light blue

9.1/2″ squares:  ten dark blue

1.1/2″ strips:  fifteen light blue, twelve dark blue – all cut across the width of fabric

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

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a light blue and a dark blue 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.  Press the seam allowances towards the dark blue and clip the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star quilt blocks

I’ve used a very simple nine patch star quilt block pattern.  Place a dark blue square in the middle and a light blue square in each corner.  Place a half square triangle unit in each of the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to be sure that you have them placed correctly.

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

Make three panels

Make three panels

Make the piano keys sections

Sew together five light blue and four dark blue 1.1/2″ strips.  This will give you a panel 9.1/2″ wide and around 42″ long.  Make three of these panels.  Cut the panels at 3.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″.  You will need thirty of these.

Basic rows of the quilt

Basic rows of the quilt

Assemble the piano keys star quilt

Each row of the quilt contains two star blocks, two dark blue plain squares and three piano keys sections.  Each sashing row contains four sashing strips and three red cornerstone squares.

Make three rows as the top row shown, with star, plain, star, plain blocks.  Make four of the sashing rows shown in the middle of the photo.  You need to make just two of the final row shown with plain, star, plain, star blocks.

Sew the blocks together across each row.  Sew the rows together alternating the star rows with the plain block rows and placing a sashing row after every row.

Use red for the border

Use red for the border

Add the piano keys star quilt border

I have used simple 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric to tie in with the red cornerstones.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt with two lengths of 61.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

Washington DC

Washington DC

I have finally written up the Washington part of my American trip.  To see the photos you can click here or click on the photo.

Hawaiian quilt

Hawaiian quilt

I have also been busy finishing quilts and I have found it really satisfying.  I began with a couple of wall hangings that have been waiting in the UFO pile for quite a while.  For this Hawaiian quilt I used a blanket stitch machine embroidery to edge the palm trees.

Sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower wall hanging

I am really pleased with the Sunflower wall hanging.  I drew three petals in each triangle and then sewed each petal shape with a second petal echo quilted just inside the first one.  It’s a very simple design but looks great, I think.

Before the next quilt pattern in two weeks’ time I will write a full article showing you how I have finished various projects.  I’m not suggesting that my quilting is the right way, but I hope that it will give you ideas for your own quilting.

Church Tile Quilt – Free Pattern

Church Tile Quilt

Church Tile Quilt

My design for the Church Tile quilt is based on a panel behind the altar in a church that I visited last weekend.  It’s an incredibly quick quilt to make, using mostly squares only.  I don’t have a photo of the panel itself – I didn’t take my phone with me in case it went off during the service and then of course when I saw the tiling I wished that I had it with me.

The quilt measures 46″ by 55″, using 1.1/4 yards of purple, 1/2 yard of green and 3/4 yard each of lilac and gold fabrics.  I’ve used a diagonal setting to create the effect that I wanted and there are very few triangles in the quilt – just round the edges.  The beauty of a diagonal setting is that you can create a design that looks like diamonds but use only squares – nice and easy to sew together.

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




Cutting requirements for the church tile quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  four gold, thirty four purple, four lilac, eight green

6.7/8″ squares:  nine lilac

7.1/4″ squares:  one lilac

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

Cut the triangles

Cut the triangles

Cut the triangles

To make the corner triangles, cut the 7.1/4″ square along both diagonals.  Make the edge triangles by cutting the 6.7/8″ squares along one diagonal only – two from each square.  These are the only triangles used within the pattern – the rest of the quilt is made using squares only.

Assemble the quilt – top half

Begin the layout in the top lefthand corner of the quilt with one corner triangle – cut from the 7.1/4″ lilac square.

First three rows

First three rows

Beneath that for the second row place an edge triangle on either side of a purple square.  Place the edge triangles (cut from 6.7/8″ squares) so that the right angled corner (the square corner) lies against the square between them.  So it’s bottom right in the first triangle and bottom left in the other one at the end of the row.  The longest edge of the triangle lies on the outside, forming the edge of the quilt.

In the third row place an edge triangle at each end of the row, with a purple, gold and purple square between them.  Place the edge triangles in the same way as those in the row above.  As you can see, the rows are increasing in length.  Each row has two more squares than the row above it.

Rows four and five

Rows four and five

I find it easiest to sew the patches across each row and sew the rows together as I go along – I’m less likely to get in a muddle that way.

In rows four and five place an edge triangle at each end of the rows.  The fourth row contains purple and green alternating squares, beginning and ending with purple.

The fifth row contains five purple squares followed by one green and then another purple square.

Assemble the quilt – middle section

Rows six and seven

Rows six and seven

By now I hope you can see the design of the quilt starting to take shape.  The lilac triangles are forming the left hand and the top edges of the quilt.  Rows six and seven use the same squares as each other, but placed in the opposite order to each other.

Bottom left corner of the quilt

Bottom left corner of the quilt

For row six you need them in this order:  purple, green, purple, lilac, green, two purple, gold, purple.  Place an edge triangle at the beginning of this row and a corner triangle at the end of the row.

This will form the top right hand corner of the quilt.

Other end of rows six and seven

Other end of rows six and seven

In row seven begin with a corner triangle.  Following this place the squares in the reverse order from row six:  purple, gold, two purple, green, lilac, purple, green, purple.  Finish this row with an edge triangle.

As this row begins to form the right hand edge of the quilt, you need to place the final edge triangle in a different way from all the previous rows.  In this case the square corner of the triangle must be placed at the top rather than the bottom of the square next to it.  You can see from the photo that this begins to form a straight line down the side of the quilt.  From now on all the edge triangles will be placed in this way as we work towards the bottom right hand corner of the quilt.

Assemble the quilt – bottom section

The rows now begin to reduce in length.  From row one the number of squares increased by two squares in each row.  Rows six and seven had the same number of squares as each other but from row eight the rows begin to decrease with two squares less in each row.

Bottom right hand corner

Bottom right hand corner

In row eight place an edge triangle at each end of the row.  Between them lay a purple, green and five purple squares.  This is the same as row five but with the squares in reverse order.

For row nine place an edge triangle at each end with purple and green squares alternating between them – purple, green, purple, green, purple.

Row ten contains only three squares between the edge triangles – purple, gold, purple.

Now you can form the bottom right hand corner of the quilt – for row eleven place just one purple square between two edge triangles.  For row twelve use the final corner triangle.  That completes the layout of the rows – continue sewing them to each other as you go along.

Use gold for the border

Use gold for the border

Add the quilt border

As all the edges of this quilt are cut on the bias, having been cut from the diagonals of the squares, it’s a good idea to get the border on as quickly as you can.  This will help prevent the fabric from stretching.  Use 2.1/2″ strips of gold fabric – two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 55.1/2″ for the sides.

Trim the edges

Trim the edges

Before you sew the border on, trim the edges of the quilt where the triangle tips stick out.

That completes the Church Tile 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:

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

Last week I mentioned that I was going to Wiltshire for the weekend.  To see my photos of the area, click here or click on the photo.

Over the years I have accumulated vast quantities of part finished quilts, never having time to complete them.  My cupboards are filled with PHD’s (project half done).

After a lot of thought I have decided that it’s time to give myself time to start completing these quilts.  So from now on I am only going to send out one new pattern every other Friday rather than every Friday.  That means that the next pattern will come to you on Friday 6th July rather than next Friday – and I hope I’ll be able to bring you some news of finished quilts then!

New York Flooring Quilt Pattern

New York flooring quilt

New York flooring quilt

My New York flooring quilt is based on a design of tiles that I saw in a New York diner.  I have of course changed the design quite a bit, but that was the basis for the design.  There were many, many more quilt inspirations during my American holiday but this is a nice easy pattern to begin with.

Original tile design

Original tile design

I have kept to the original design for the tile block but then I have added a star block in place of the open spaces of white tiles.  I have rotated the blocks so that the medium blue diagonals change direction half way down the quilt.  The same happens with the light blue diagonals so that I have created two intersecting sideways V shapes forming a small diamond in the middle of the quilt.

The quilt measures 58″ by 76″, using 2.1/2 yards of white fabric, 1.1/2 yards of dark blue, 1 yard of medium blue and just 1/2 yard of the light blue fabric.  I have made twelve blocks, all 18″ square finished size.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed tile block

Completed tile block

Cutting requirements for the New York flooring quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty six light blue, thirty six medium blue, twenty four dark blue, seventy two white

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty four medium blue, twenty four white

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve dark blue, twelve medium blue, twenty four white

12.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve white

18.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve white

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

Make a 4 patch unit

Make a 4 patch unit

Make the tile quilt block

Begin with a simple four patch unit using two medium blue and two light blue squares.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Now for the next frame add a medium blue square in two corners and a light blue square in the other two corners.  Make sure that you place them so that one diagonal is all medium blue while the other diagonal is all light blue.  Between the corners on the top and bottom rows place a 6.1/2″ dark blue rectangle.

On each side place a dark blue square on each end of the two middle rows.

New York flooring quilt block layout

New York flooring quilt block layout

Complete the layout with two medium blue and two light blue squares in the corners of the final frame.  Between these place a 12.1/2″ white rectangle in the top and bottom rows.  Use four white squares down each side, so that these rows begin and end with a white square.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make six of them.

Half square triangles

Half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

I’ve used a simple star block to replace the open spaces in the original tile design and for this I need half square triangle units.  Use the 3.7/8″ squares.  Place a medium blue and a white square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.

These are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central section of star block

Central section of star block

Make the star quilt blocks

Begin with two 6.1/2″ medium blue rectangles in the middle.  On each edge of this central square place two half square triangle units.  Make sure that the two white triangles together form a larger white triangle pointing towards the middle of the block.  In each corner place a 6.1/2″ white rectangle.  I know that these stick out beyond the other squares, but it just saves a bit of time when sewing the rows together.

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

For the final frame, add two white squares to the ends of the central rows, one at each end.  As you can see, this evens up the lengths of the rows.

Finally add an 18.1/2″ white rectangle to the top and the bottom of the block.  Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

The star block now measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make six of these as well.

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assemble the New York flooring quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three.  In row one place a tile block at each end with a star block in the middle.  For the second row place a star block at each end with a tile block in the middle.  Note that the medium blue diagonal runs from top left to bottom right in each of the tile blocks.

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

In row three place a star block in the middle with a tile block at each end.  This time place them so that the medium blue diagonal runs from bottom left left to top right.

For row four lay a star block in the middle with a tile block at each end.

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

I have used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 76.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the New York flooring 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:

Rockefeller square in the rain

Rockefeller square in the rain

As you know by now, I have just returned from a wonderful trip to the USA.  I have pulled together some photos from the New York part of the trip and to see them click here or click on the photo.

I had set the two last patterns to publish automatically while I was away and I gather that the links didn’t work for everyone, so my apologies for that.  As many of you pointed out, I had forgotten to include the fabric requirement for the Columbian  Star quilt – they are 4.3/4 yards of white, 4 yards of purple and 3/4 yard of the floral border fabric.  I have added them to the pattern now and if I can’t get the waterfall video to work I will have to delete it.  Apologies again!

Columbian Star Quilt Pattern

Columbian star quilt

Columbian star quilt

The Columbian Star quilt block is the centrepiece of this quilt pattern.  I have tried to use elements from this block in the surrounding blocks.  The nine blocks are all huge – 30″ square finished size – giving an enormous 94″ square quilt.  This should cover any size of bed comfortably.

I needed 4.3/4 yards of white fabric, 4 yards of purple and 3/4 yard of the floral border fabric.

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Columbian star quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  four white

12.1/2″ squares:  one purple

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

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty white, twenty purple

3.1/2″ squares:  four purple, eight white

15.7/8″ squares:  four purple, four white

15.1/2″ squares:  four purple

8″ squares:  sixteen white

8.3/8″ squares:  sixteen purple, sixteen white

For the border you will need to cut nine 2.1/2″ strips across the width of a contrasting 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 triangle units.  Place a purple and a white square 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 purple and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

You will also need to make half square triangle units from the 15.7/8″ and 8.3/8″ squares, but for these I have simply cut the squares along one diagonal and then sewn one white and one white purple triangle together along the diagonals.

Top section

Top section

Make the Columbian star quilt block top

I am showing you this layout in three sections for clarity.  Place a 6.1/2″ white square at each end with two half square triangles on two edges of each square.  Lay a 3.1/2″ purple square diagonally in from the corner of each white square.  Between these corner sections place a 12.1/2″ white rectangle at the top with a row of four half square triangles beneath it.  Underneath these place two 3.1/2″ white squares with a pair of half square triangles betwen them.  Check the photo carefully to be sure which way to place all the half square triangles.  In the middle they need to form a V shape pointing downwards.

Partially sewn section

Partially sewn section

Sew the squares together across the two rows between the white squares.  Then sew the two rows to each other.  Now add the large white square on each end.  Sew all the squares together across the third row and add this to the bottom of the section.

Central section

Central section

Middle section of block

Begin this section with the 12.1/2″ purple square.  For the column on either side of the square place four half square triangles.  Lay them so that the purple triangles start to form a V shape pointing towards the central square.  For the next column out you need two white squares with a half square triangle at each end of the column.  For the third column out place one 12.1/2″ white rectangle.  Sew the patchwork pieces together down each column, sew the columns to each other and then sew these sections to the central square.

Bottom third of the block

Bottom third of the block

Lower third of the block

The bottom section of the block is more or less the same as the top section, just the other way up.  The first row of this section contains four half square triangles in the middle with a purple square outside of these and then two more half square triangle units.

Make the second row with two white squares in the middle and a pair of half square triangles on either side of the squares.  Use the final 12.1/2″ white rectangle with a half square triangle at each end for the third row.  Add a 6.1/2″ white square at each end of these last two rows.  Once again sew the small squares together across each row, sew the bottom two rows to each other and then sew them to the white squares at the ends.  Sew this section to the first row.

Finally sew all three sections together to complete the Columbian star quilt block.  This measures 30.1/2″ square at this stage and you just need to make one.

Corner block layout

Corner block layout

Make the corner blocks

For the corner blocks I have used the rosebud shape that appears in the Columbian star quilt block – but made it a lot bigger.  Make half square triangles using the 15.7/8″ squares.  Cut the squares in half along one diagonal and then sew a purple triangle to a white triangle.

Place a white and a purple 15.1/2″ square diagonally opposite each other.  Lay two half square triangles diagonally opposite each other so that the purple triangles form a butterfly shape.

Sew the pieces together in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  This block now measures 30.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Third block layout

Third block layout

Make the third block

In the third block I have taken the V shapes in the Columbian star quilt block and again supersized them.  Make half square triangles using the 8.3/8″ squares.  In the first row use four half square triangles placed so that the white triangles form a larger triangle pointing downwards and the purple triangles begin to form the stripes of the V shape.  In the second row place two half square triangles in the middle with an 8″ white square at each end.  Repeat these two rows to form the third and fourth rows.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block now measures 30.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  In row one place a rosebud block at each end with a V block in the middle.  Place the rosebuds so that they point towards the corner, with the white square forming the corner of the quilt.

Row two

Row two

For the second row place the Columbian star quilt block in the middle with a V block at each end.  Place these so that the V shapes are horizontal, pointing towards the middle.

Row three

Row three

In row three place a rosebud block at each end with a V block in the middle.  The V shapes point upwards towards the middle while the rosebuds point towards the corners.

Add the top border

Add the top border

Finishing the quilt

Normally now I would add the border, sew the blocks to each other and then sew the three rows to each other.  However this quilt is so large that I am going to sew it together using quilt as you go in rows.  I have added the border strip of a contrasting fabric to the top of the first row and the bottom of the third row.  Then I added wadding and backing fabric to each row, making sure that I left a good 3″ of these at either side.  Now I am going to quilt each row separately, sew the rows to each other using qayg and then add the side borders as a final step.  I haven’t had time to do these steps yet, but I will show you the photos when I have completed the quilt.

Here’s the video:

 

Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls

Last week I spent a few days in North Wales.  On the way back I stopped to see the Swallow Falls which I have always intended to visit.  The falls are just outside a small town called Betws-y-Coed.  They were absolutely stunning, but it was almost impossible to take a photo that did them justice.  They weren’t very wide but seemed to go on in stages for a great distance.  My photos looked terribly flat and didn’t show the force of the falls so I put together a short video which gives more of a feeling of the water thundering down.

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Butterfly Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Butterfly star quilt

Butterfly star quilt

For the Butterfly Star quilt my aim was to find a design where the butterflies and stars appeared to be floating randomly within the quilt.  In order to achieve this I made the butterflies and stars off centre so that when I rotated the blocks they would look like random placements rather than straight lines.  Both of the blocks are very easy to make so this quilt goes together really quickly.  I have used sixteen blocks which are all 12″ square finished size.  The quilt measures 52″ square, using 2 yards of the blue sky background fabric, 3/4 yard of green star and 1/2 yard of lilac floral fabric.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the butterfly star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  sixteen blue

4.7/8″ squares:  eight blue, eight lilac

8.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  eight blue

12.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  eight blue

3.1/2″ squares:  eight green, thirty two blue

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen blue

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  eight blue

12.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  eight blue

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

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units.

Use both the 3.7/8″ and 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place either a lilac or a green square right sides together with a blue 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 triangle units which are either 3.1/2″ or 4.1/2″ square.   Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Butterfly block layout

Butterfly block layout

Make the butterfly quilt block

Lay two lilac/blue half square triangles and two 4.1/2″ blue squares diagonally opposite each other.

Lay an 8.1/2″ blue rectangle down the right hand side of the four patch unit, with a 12.1/2″ blue rectangle across the bottom.  Sew the squares and half square triangles together in pairs and then sew the pairs together.  Add the rectangle to the right and then sew the 12.1/2″ rectangle across the bottom.

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

Star block layout

Star block layout

Make the star quilt block

Lay the nine pieces of the star in three rows of three.  Place a green star square in the middle with a green/blue half square triangle on each edge of the central square.  Lay these so that the triangles form the points of the star.  Place a 3.1/2″ blue square in each corner of this nine patch section.

Sew the three squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Now add a 3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ blue rectangle on the right hand side and then a 3.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ blue rectangle across the bottom of the block.

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

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the butterfly star quilt

There are many different ways of arranging these blocks.  I have chosen to alternate the butterflies and stars across the rows and down the columns, rotating them to give the random placement effect.

In row one begin with a butterfly placed top right of the block.  Follow this with a star placed bottom right, a butterfly placed top left and a star also placed top left.

For row two you need to place a star top left, a butterfly placed top right, a star placed bottom right and a butterfly placed top right.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

In row three I have begun with a butterfly placed top right, a star placed top right, followed by a butterfly placed bottom right and a star placed placed top left.

For row four begin with a star placed top left followed by a butterfly placed bottom left, a star placed top left and a butterfly placed top right.

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

Green stars for the border

Green stars for the border

Add the quilt border

I have used 2.1/2″ strips of the green star fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with a 52.1/2″ length for each side.

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

Here’s the video:

 

 

Himley Hall

Himley Hall

And I have also been exploring this week.  I visited (accidentally) Himley Hall and spent a wonderful morning touring the exhibitions and the parkland.  You can read about it here or just click on the photo.

Pieced Sashing Star Quilt Pattern

Pieced sashing star quilt

Pieced sashing star quilt

For my pieced sashing star quilt pattern I have used a very simple star block and pieced the sashing instead of using just one fabric in strips.  I think that it has added quite a lot to the design and I’m really pleased with the extra shapes that show up within the quilt.  It makes the quilt pattern look quite complicated when in fact it’s very easy to make.

The quilt is rectangular, measuring 48″ by 62″.  I have used twelve 12″ finished size blocks and I needed 1 yard each of the green and lilac together with 1.1/2 yards of dark blue. They are all batik fabrics.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the pieced sashing star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  forty eight dark blue, twenty lilac

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty four green

3.7/8″ squares:   forty eight green, forty eight dark blue

For the sashing you will need four 3.1/2″ lilac strips cut across the width of fabric, two 6.1/2″ dark blue strips cut across the width of fabric, and twenty 2.1/2″ lilac squares.

To make the border you will need six 2.1/2″ lilac strips cut across the width of fabric.

Making half square triangles

Making half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a green and a dark blue 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.

Press the seam allowances towards the dark blue and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star blocks

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows.

Begin with two green rectangles in the middle.  Together these form a 6″ square finished size.  You could also use one 6.1/2″ square or four 3.1/2″ squares for this part.  On each edge of this central area place two half square triangle units.  Lay these so that the two dark blue triangles together form a larger triangle pointing towards the middle.  Add a dark blue square in each corner.

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

Cut the sashing strips

Cut the sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

For the sashing I have made 2.1/2″ pieced strips.  Use strip piecing for the most simple way to make these sections.  Sew together a 3.1/2″ lilac strip on either side of a 6.1/2″ dark blue strip.  Cut this panel at 2.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 2.1/2″ wide by 12.1/2″ long.

You need to make two of these panels so that you can cut thirty one sashing strips.

Sew the rows together

Sew the rows together

Assemble the pieced sashing star quilt

Lay the blocks in four rows of three blocks each.  Add sashing strips at the beginning and end of each row as well as between the blocks.  That means that you need three blocks and four sashing strips for each row.  Sew the sections together across each row.

Add sashing strips between the rows

Add sashing strips between the rows

You need a row of sashing strips between each row of quilt blocks.  Make these strips using three sashing strips and four cornerstones (2.1/2″ lilac squares), so that you have a lilac square at each end as well as one between each pair of strips.

Make five of these sashing strips.  Sew one between each row of star quilt blocks as well as one at the top and the bottom of the quilt.

Lilac quilt border

Lilac quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve added a simple border using 2.1/2″ lilac strips.  You need two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt with two lengths of 62.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

 

Alcester high street

Alcester high street

Last week I mentioned that I was visiting Alcester, a small town not far from here.  The town has a really pretty high street and I loved the church.

Inside Alcester church

Inside Alcester church

The inside of the church was beautiful.  Imagine having to paint between those beams in the ceiling!

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.