Diamonds Are Forever Quilt Pattern

Diamonds are Forever quilt

Diamonds are Forever quilt

My Diamonds are Forever quilt has been named in honour of my son’s wedding this weekend.  I have used two different quilt blocks with various colour variations to provide diamonds in both the overall quilt design and in some of the blocks.  Please don’t think that it looks too complicated – each block is actually very simple to make.

The quilt is rectangular, measuring 64″ by 70″, so it would be suitable for a double bed or a throw.  I have used twenty five blocks which are all 12″ square finished size.  For the quilt top I needed 2 yards each of green and white, 1 yard of purple and 3/4 yard each of lilac and yellow.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Diamonds are Forever quilt

2.7/8″ squares:  ninety eight purple, forty eight green, one hundred and fifty white, four yellow

4,7.8″ squares:  twenty four purple, two yellow, twenty six lilac

2.1/2″ squares:  one hundred white

8.1/2″ squares:  twelve green

For the borders you will need to cut three 3.1/2″ yellow strips, seven 2.1/2″ green strips, all across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

You need to make these using both the 2.7/8″ squares and the 4.7/8″ squares.  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.  Trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.  In the 2.7/8″ squares, place white with either purple or green.  For the 4.7/8″ squares, place lilac with either purple or yellow.

First quilt block layout

First quilt block layout

Make the first block

My original intention had been to use a green/white four patch in the middle of this block.  However I felt that it made the quilt look too busy so I changed it for one green square.  As I had already cut the fabric, it meant that I had lots of 4.1/2″ green strips cut – that’s why in the full quilt you’ll see that I have sometimes used two 4.1/2″ by 8.1/2″ green rectangles instead of one 8.1/2″ square.

Place a green 8.1/2″ square in the middle.  On each edge of this square place two purple/white half square triangles with a 2.1/2″ white square on either side of them.  Place the purple triangles together so that they form a larger purple triangle always pointing away from the middle.  In each corner place a purple/white half square triangle with the purple triangle on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew together the four squares above and below the green square and then sew them to the green square.  Join together all the squares down each side to form two columns of six squares.  Sew these to the central section to complete the block.

At this stage the block measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make twelve like this.

Make the second quilt block

The second block is very similar to the first block, but I have created a diamond in the middle instead of a square.

Second block layout

Second block layout

Place four lilac/purple half square triangles (made from 4.7/8″ squares) in the middle.  Lay them so that the purple triangles lie in the middle, forming a purple diamond.

Place two green/white half square triangles and a white square on each edge of this central square.  Place them so that the green triangles together form a larger triangle pointing away from the middle.  Add a purple/white half square triangle in each corner with the purple on the outside.

As you can see, the outer frame of the block is the same as the one in the first block, but with green triangles instead of purple forming the diamond behind the central square.

Sew the four large half square triangles together first to form a square.  Then continue as for the first block.  At this stage the block measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make eight of them in this colour selection.

Central block

Central block

Make the central block

The central block is the same as the basic second block, but with lilac/yellow half square triangles forming a yellow diamond in the middle rather than a purple one.

You need to make only one of this block.

One more variation

In order to emphasise the diamond theme of this quilt, I have created one further colour variation.   These blocks I have placed in the middle of each edge, at the tips of the overall diamond formed by the purple blocks in the quilt design.

Last layout variation

Last layout variation

The layout for the block is the same as for the basic second block, but with the substitution of two yellow/white half square triangles for two of the green/white ones.  This block also measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assemble the Diamonds are Forever quilt

Sew the blocks together in five rows of five blocks.  Row 1 consists of one purple block with substituted yellow triangles in the middle.  Rotate this so that the larger yellow triangle points upwards.  Place two green blocks on either side.

For row 2 place a green block at each end with three purple blocks in the middle.

Row 3

Row 3

Row 3, the central row, is made with a yellow diamond block in the middle.  Place a purple block on either side of this.  At each end place a purple block with substituted yellow triangles,  Rotate these so that the yellow triangles point to each side away from the middle.

Rows 4 and 5 are similar to rows 1 and 2.

Rows 4 and 5

Rows 4 and 5

In row 4 place a green block at each end with three purple blocks in the middle.  In row 5 place the last purple block with substituted yellow triangles in the middle.  Rotate this so that the yellow triangle points downwards, away from the middle.  Lay two green blocks on either side.

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

Add yellow to top and bottom

Add yellow to top and bottom

Add the quilt borders

I wanted this quilt to be rectangular, so I have added 3.1/2″ strips of yellow to the top and bottom of the quilt, but not to the sides.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″.

For the final border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 70.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Diamonds are Forever 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:

Tomorrow my son is getting married to Anna.  No travel news this week as I have been busy finishing the bunting and my jacket for the wedding.  With my next pattern I hope to bring you lots of travel and wedding photos.

 

Orange Peel Quilt – Free Pattern

Orange peel quilt

Orange peel quilt

I have made my orange peel quilt using applique – so much quicker than sewing lots of curved seams!  The thing that I love about orange peel quilts is the way circles form in the design.  There’s always something more to see when you look at the quilt.

I have used thirty six blocks which are 7″ square finished size and the final size of the quilt is 48″ square.  The fabric requirement is 1.3/4 yards each of blue and white, 1/4 yard of pink and 1/2 yard of the border fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

As this is the end of August I am also holding an autumn sale of 15% off everything in the shop – no coupon required – lasting till next Thursday.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the orange peel quilt

5.1/2″ squares:  eighteen blue, eighteen white

1.1/2″ squares:  thirty six blue, thirty six pink

Strips cut across the width of fabric:  two 5.1/2″ blue strips, two 5.1/2″ white strips, two 1.1/2″ blue strips, two 1.1/2″ pink strips

For the applique you need one 3″ strip of pink and three 3″ strips each of blue and white

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

You can download the template here.  Please check that your print square is 5″ square – I’m not sure if it is printing to the right size.

Strip piecing

Strip piecing

Make the background blocks

Sew together 5.1/2″ strips of white with 1.1/2″ strips of blue along the length.  Cut these panels at 1.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 6.1/2″ by 1.1/2″.  Repeat with 5.1/2″ blue and 1.1/2″ pink strips.

Blue background block

Blue background block

Place a 5.1/2″ blue square in the middle with a 5.1/2″ blue rectangle on either side.  Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I could actually have used a 5.1/2″ by 7.1/2″ rectangle instead.  For the top row place a blue/pink rectangle with the pink on the left.  Add a 1.1/2″ blue square on the right.  In the bottom row place a blue/pink rectangle with the pink on the right.  Add a 1.1/2″ blue square on the left.

White block layout

White block layout

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block measures 7.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eighteen of them.  Repeat with the white/blue pieces.  You also need to make eighteen of the white blocks.

These blocks form the background for all of the orange peel sections.

Cut the orange peel shapes

Cut the orange peel shapes

Make the orange peel applique shapes

For the applique I used Steam a Seam for the backing of each shape.  It comes in a 12″ width which I cut to 21″ lengths.  I cut the 3″ blue, white and pink strips in half so that I had 3″ by 21″ strips which I could then press to the steam a seam.

You can download the orange peel shape here.  The print should be 5″ square – you may need to adjust it if it’s bigger than that.  Print and copy on to paper or card.  I found that card worked better as I was using the template thirty six times.  Draw and cut out the shape on the fabric.  I managed to get three shapes from each half strip of fabric.  Altogether you need to make four pink, sixteen blue and sixteen white orange peels.

Press the orange peels on to the background squares.  You need to put pink shapes on two blue and two white background blocks.  Then press sixteen blue shapes on the white background blocks and sixteen white shapes on the blue background blocks.  Make sure that the orange peels run from corner to corner along the diagonal between the small pink or blue squares.  I found that some of my orange peels were slightly too long so I just snipped the tips off so that they fitted between the squares.

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assemble the orange peel quilt

Sew the blocks together in six rows of six. Rows 5 and 6 are exactly the same as rows 1 and 2.  In rows 1 and 5 alternate the blocks across the row, beginning with a blue block.

For rows 2 and 6 you also need to alternate the blocks, but begin with a white block.  Lay the blocks so that the blue orange peels always run from bottom left to top right while the white orange peels always run from top left to bottom right.

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

In rows 3 and 4 the layout is similar but this time using the pink orange peels.  In row 3 begin with a blue block and alternate across the row but use two of the pink orange peels in the middle.  For row 4 begin with a white block and again place two pink orange peels in the middle.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Each set of four orange peels actually makes a traditional block known as True Lover’s Knot.

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the border

For the border I have chosen a completely different fabric to give a bold frame to the quilt.  I’ve used 3.1/2″ strips and you’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the orange peel quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  I haven’t had time to quilt this yet, but my plan is to use the blanket stitch embroidery on my sewing machine and outline each orange peel shape with it.  That way I can secure the applique and quilt all at the same time.

Here’s the video:

Last time I wrote I was just on my way to the Swansea Festival of Stitch.  I had a wonderful weekend in Swansea.  The festival was spread over about nine locations throughout the city, so walking from one place to the next was a great way to see the city as well as all the lovely textile exhibitions.

I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old lady, but I did see a quilt using my Owl and Pussycat design, with nothing to suggest that it was my design.  I provide a huge number of free quilt patterns for quilters around the world and I think that it would be courteous to credit me with the design if it’s used in a public display.

St Tiggywinkles Hospital

St Tiggywinkles Hospital

Now for my travels:  when I went to Bletchley Park I also found a place with the delightful name of St Tiggywinkle’s Hospital.  To read all about it click here or click on the photo.

 

PS  Don’t forget the autumn sale – 15% off everything till next Thursday.

Candy Stripe Binding Courthouse Steps Quilt

Candy stripe binding

Candy stripe binding

In this quilt pattern I have used candy stripe binding to make a simple quilt into something that bit different.  I used seven fabrics within the quilt and then used all seven of them in the binding.  Each quilt block is  14″ square finished size.  The Courthouse Steps is a variation on the log cabin style of block and the alternate block was made with large half square triangle units.

The quilt measures 46″ square and I needed 1.1/4 yards of dark blue, 1 yard of light blue, 3/4 yard of red, 1/2 yard each of medium blue and brown, with 1/4 yard each of orange and natural.  As ever, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

In order to show you the binding I had to finish the quilting so for once I can show you the quilting as well!




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the candy stripe binding quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  five red, ten natural

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ten light blue, ten orange

10.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ten medium blue, ten brown

14.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ten dark blue

15.1/4″ squares:  two dark blue, two light blue

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

For the binding you will need an additional 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric of each of the seven fabrics.

Central area

Central area

Make the Courthouse Steps quilt block

Courthouse steps is a variation on log cabin blocks but you add opposite logs at the same time rather than working round the central square.  All the pieces are 2.1/2″ wide so that you can use jelly rolls if you wish.

So place a 2.1/2″ red square in the middle with a natural square on either side.  Sew these three pieces together in a row.  Add a 6.1/2″ light blue strip to the top and bottom.

Press the seam allowances away from the red square

Press the seam allowances away from the red square

You need to press the block at each stage and it is best to press all the seam allowances away from the red square.

I have shaded the colours away from the central square – light, medium and dark blue in one direction and natural, orange and brown in the other direction.

Second round

Second round

Make the second round with a 6.1/2″ orange strip on either side and a 10.1/2″ medium blue strip on top and bottom.

Full layout

Full layout

For the third and final round, you need to sew a 10.1/2″ brown strip to each side with a 14.1/2″ dark blue strip to the top and bottom.

At this stage the block measures 14.1/2″ square and you need to make five of these.

Cut along both diagonals

Cut along both diagonals

Make the alternate block

Cut the 15.1/4″ dark and light blue squares along both diagonals to create four triangles from each square.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Place two dark blue triangles with two light blue triangles to re form the square shape.  Make sure that the colours alternate.

Sew the triangles together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  The block measures 14.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Row one contains an alternate block in the middle with a courthouse steps block on either side.  Place the alternate block so that the dark blue runs from top to bottom of the block.

Row two

Row two

In row two place a courthouse steps block in the middle with an alternate block on either side of it.  This time the dark blue in the alternate blocks should run from side to side.  Together the blocks form a shape almost like a sweetie or a Christmas cracker.

The third row is the same as the first row – an alternate block in the middle with a courthouse steps block on either side.  The dark blue in the alternate block runs from top to bottom.

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

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

Embroidered quilting

Embroidered quilting

Quilting the quilt

As I wanted to show you the candy stripe binding I had to complete this quilt, so I chose a simple embroidery stitch for the quilting.  I used a contrasting thread (red) rather than a matching one and used the stemstitch option.  I quilted around the central area of each Courthouse Steps block, round the central blue diamond and round the edges of the light blue star shape.

Sew a strip of each fabric

Sew a strip of each fabric

Cut the candy stripe quilt binding strips

Sew together one 2.1/2″ strip of each fabric along the length.  This will give you a panel 14.1/2″ wide by about 42″ long.  Press all the seam allowances open.  Place your ruler so that the 45 degree line runs up one edge of the panel (where my fingers are in the photo).  Cut that bottom triangle off at somewhere round the 4 to 5″ mark.  This triangle can be discarded as it’s too small to be of any use.

Cut the first strip

Cut the first strip

Now move your ruler up so that the 2.1/2″ line runs along the edge that you just cut – where my thumb is in the photo.  Cut along the edge of the ruler.  This will give you a strip 2.1/2″ wide.

Continue cutting strips

Continue cutting strips

Continue moving your ruler up 2.1/2″ at a time, cutting more candy stripe binding strips.  These will get longer and then start getting shorter again as you reach the end of the panel.

Join the strips to make one long strip

Join the strips to make one long strip

Join the binding strips

When you place the binding strips side by side you’ll see that you have two 45 degree edges to join together.

Sew them at right angles to each other

Sew them at right angles to each other

In order to sew these together, you need to place one at right angles to the other.

To make sure that you end up with a straight line you need to offset the two strips against each other.

This happens if you don't offset the strips

This happens if you don’t offset the strips

In the photo above the blue sticks out above the red at the top and the red sticks out below the blue at the bottom.  If you don’t do this your line of binding will not be straight – as you can see in the photo on the side.  When you have joined all the strips together, fold and press the entire strip in half along the length.

It should now resemble an ordinary binding strip and you can sew it to the quilt in the normal way.  Full details of this step can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

My personal favourite

My personal favourite

Festival of Quilts

Last week I spent a wonderful day at the Festival of Quilts – much more easy for me to get to now that I live in Birmingham.  All the quilts were wonderful, as always, but there were two that really caught my eye.  This one was probably my overall favourite.

Beautiful design

Beautiful design

This one was very cleverly designed and really striking.

Neither of my choices matched with the overall Visitors’ Choice quilt.  After it was announced at the end of the show I looked in my photos and found that I hadn’t even taken a photo of that one to show you.

Best miniature quilt

Best miniature quilt

There was one more which was quite breathtaking – a miniature quilt by Philippa Naylor which was quite out of this world – compasses and prairie points in a quilt that probably only measured about 10″ square!  It well deserved to be winner of that category.

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

And finally.  I visited an extraordinary place recently – Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers.  This was the home of all the people who worked on breaking codes during the war.  It’s a fascinating place and very visitor-friendly.  You can see more about my trip by clicking here or click on the photo.

Christmas Star Tree Quilt – Free Pattern

Christmas star quilt

Christmas star quilt

The Christmas star tree quilt pattern is my nod to Christmas in July – well I’ve only missed July by a few days.  The quilt measures 40″ square and I have used 1 yard of red fabric , 1.1/4 yards of gold and 1/4 yard each of green and brown.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  Apart from the brown they are all metallic Christmas fabrics.

I have created a large star in the middle (24″ square) and surrounded it with Christmas tree blocks.  For the cornerstones I have used several layers of fabric on top of each other.  The tree blocks are not square, but they don’t need to be as they are on the edge of the quilt.




Cutting requirements for the Christmas star tree quilt

6.1/2″ squares: four red, four gold

6.7/8″ squares: four red,  four gold

3.7/8″ squares: sixteen green,  sixteen gold

3″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles: thirty two gold

1.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles: sixteen brown

For the cornerstones you will need four 5.1/2″ red squares and eight 5.1/2″ gold squares.

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

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Place a red and a gold 6.7/8″ square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal . Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the line and cut along the line . This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 6.1/2″ square.

Star layout

Star layout

Make the star section

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows of four.  Place the four 6.1/2″ gold squares in the middle with a red square in each corner.  Add two half square triangles on each edge of the central square.  Lay these so that the red triangles together form larger red triangles pointing towards the middle.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The quilt measures 24.1/2″ square at this point.

Top half of the tree

Top half of the tree

Make the tree blocks

I have used a very simple block to make the trees for the first border.  Make half square triangle units with the 3.7/8″ green and gold squares.  Lay these in pairs so that the two green triangles together form a larger triangle pointing upwards.

Strip piece the tree trunk

Strip piece the tree trunk

For the trunk of the trees I have used strip piecing to save time.  Sew together two 3″ strips of gold with a 1.1/2″ brown strip between them.  Cut this panel at 2.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 6.1/2″ long by 2.1/2″ wide.

Tree block

Tree block

Place one trunk strip beneath each pair of half square triangle units.  Sew the two triangles together first and then sew the gold/brown/gold rectangle to the bottom.  These blocks now measure 6.1/2″ by 5.1/2″ and you need to make sixteen of them.

Four trees per strip

Four trees per strip

Make the first border

Sew the trees together in four rows of four blocks.  Sew one row to the top of the star and one to the bottom of the star.  Place the bottom row upside down so that the tree trunks are always nearest the star.

Make the cornerstones

For the cornerstones I have tried something a bit different to give the design a circular feel.

Make the cornerstones

Make the cornerstones

Lay a red 5.1/2″ square with right side up.  Take two 5.1/2″ gold squares and fold them in half along the diagonal.  Place one on the bottom left section of the red square with the fold of the gold triangle running along the diagonal of the red square.  Pin in place.  Repeat with the second folded triangle in the top right section of the red square.

Sew all round the square very close to the edge just to hold the layers together.

Roll the folds back

Roll the folds back

About half way along the diagonal, pin each fold back about 1/4″, exposing the red fabric underneath.

Roll back the fold all along its length.  It will roll back a small amount at each end and up to 1/4″ where you’ve pinned it in the middle.  Sew the fold down to hold it in place.  In the photo the folds are just pinned in the top square, then one side is sewn in the second square and both edges are sewn in the third square.

Sew the fold down

Sew the fold down

I know that some quilters machine sew this stage but I always feel that I get a neater finish when I hand sew.

I feel that this red diagonal gives a lot to the Christmas star tree quilt design – well worth using.

Complete the side borders

Sew the cornerstones to the trees

Sew the cornerstones to the trees

Sew one cornerstone to each end of the two remaining tree strips.  Take care that the red diagonals are placed correctly as shown in the photo.

The strip on the left will go down the left of the quilt while the other one is sewn to the right of the quilt.

There are actually four trees in those strips but I had to fold the strips up in order to fit it all into the photo.

Second border

Second border

Add the second border

For the second and final border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 34.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Christmas star tree 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:

Coffin Works Birmingham

Coffin Works Birmingham

I went to a fascinating museum recently.  It’s called the Coffin Works and you can see my photos by clicking here or on the photo.

I’ve signed up for a stall at a craft fair at the Gunmaker’s Arms in Birmingham on Sunday August 12th.  It’s part of a much bigger festival for the area:  if you’re in the area do call in and say hello.

 

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!

Photo Quilt Cushion Cover Pattern

Photo quilt cushion cover

Photo quilt cushion cover

I’ve used this photo quilt cushion cover pattern as an opportunity to show you how to transfer photos to fabric.  You can use this technique for individual photos or text prints, or you can make a memory quilt using all your favourite photos.  The cushion cover I’ve made fits an 18″ cushion pad and I’ve used about 1 yard of the navy blue fabric, just over 1/2 yard of white fabric and about 10″ of the light blue fabric.

Cutting requirements for the photo quilt cushion cover

It’s a bit difficult to give these because it will vary depending on the size of the photo print that you use.  Broadly you need an 18″ strip of navy cut across the width of fabric for the back panel, an 18″ square of white fabric to line the front panel, a white rectangle about 11″ by 8″ for the photo print and varying strips of navy and light blue to frame the photo.




Soak the fabric

Soak the fabric

Treat the fabric

Cut a rectangle about 11″ by 8″ – roughly the size of A4 paper.  You can buy sheets of treated fabric to print your photo, but I find that my printer doesn’t like these so I usually make my own sheets.  You need to treat the fabric so that it will accept (and keep) the photo print.  I use something called Bubble Jet Set 2000.  Pour a little into a flat tray or bowl and soak the fabric completely.  The instructions say to leave it in the solution for 15 minutes, but I usually just leave it long enough to be sure that all the fabric has been soaked.

Scrunch the fabric up to squeeze excess liquid out and lay it on a towel to dry naturally.  Pour any leftover liquid back into the bottle – it’s okay to use it again.

Back with freezer paper

Back with freezer paper

Cut a sheet of freezer paper slightly smaller than the fabric.  You need to back the fabric because it will not go through your printer on its own.  If you haven’t used it before, freezer paper has one side waxy which acts as an adhesive when you iron it.

Iron the fabric to the waxy side of the freezer paper.  You need to do this really thoroughly or the two layers will separate somewhere in the middle of your printer – yes, it has happened to me.

Clip the top corners

Clip the top corners

Trim the rectangle so that the fabric and paper edges are in line.  I find that clipping across the two top corners helps the fabric to pass through the printer.

Add text if you want

Add text if you want

Print your photo

If you want to print a photo with text on it, I find a website called addtext.com very useful.  You can upload a photo and then it will give you options on size, colour and font for any text that you want to add.

For this particular project I just wanted text on a plain background, so I created a Word document, typed in the words and then printed that onto the fabric.  You need to empty the paper tray so that your treated fabric is the only thing in the tray.  I think that your printer needs to be inkjet rather than any other kind and it helps if it accepts different thicknesses of paper.

After printing, remove the paper backing and rinse the fabric in cold water with a bit of washing up liquid added.  Leave to dry naturally.  Trim to the size that you need.

Add the first border

Add the first border

Add the two borders

I used my first border to square the printed fabric.  I added a 2″ strip to each side which gave me a width of 10″ total.  My photo print is 5″ high so I needed to add 5″ to the top and bottom in total.  That means 2.1/2″ each on top and bottom.  Adding 1/2″ for seam allowances meant that I needed two lengths 3″ wide to complete the square.

For the second border I needed to make the panel 18″ square.  This meant adding 4″ to each edge.  I cut 5″ strips to be safe and sewed a length to each side first and then one to the top and the bottom of the panel.

Line the panel

Line the panel

Line the front panel

In order to protect the seam allowances and the photo print I added a lining of white fabric.  Cut an 18.1/2″ white square and pin carefully to the back of the cushion panel.

Turn under a double hem

Turn under a double hem

Make the cushion back panel

I’ve used an envelope closing for the cushion.  For this I cut a panel of the navy fabric 18.1/2″ by about 42″ – basically across the width of fabric.  Turn under a small double hem on each end of this strip on the 18″ edges.

Lay the panel on the backing strip

Lay the panel on the backing strip

Lay this strip of fabric down with right side up.  Locate the centre of both this strip and of the front cushion panel.  Lay the front panel down also with right side up, matching the two centre lines.

Fold up one end

Fold up one end

Turn up one end of the backing strip so that it partially covers the cushion panel.

Fold the second edge down

Fold the second edge down

Then fold the other end of the backing strip down so that the cushion panel is completely covered.  The two ends overlap which provides the envelope opening on the back of the cushion.  Carefully check that all the edges are lined up – there are quite a few layers of fabric there now.  Pin and sew all round the edge of the square.  Turn the project right side out just to check that you have caught all the layers of fabric in your stitching.  Then turn it back wrong side out so that you can zigzag or overlock the edges to neaten up and prevent fraying.

Finally turn the photo quilt cushion cover right side out again and insert a cushion pad.

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/2fypAqYBTpc

 

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

While I was visiting New York I took a train down to Philadelphia.  What a beautiful city it is!  You can see my photos by clicking here or click on the photo.

Philadelphia – America – Photos

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall

For my Philadelphia visit I travelled by train from New York.  It was a very short visit so there must be large areas that I haven’t seen, but I did at least have a lovely walk round the historic area.  Philadelphia was founded by an Englishman, William Penn in the late seventeenth century.  He was given the land by King Charles II to pay off the king’s debt to Mr Penn.  He went on to found the state of Pennsylvania.

From my hotel the City Hall could be seen dominating the area – what a lovely building it is.  It also made a useful landmark so that I could find my way to the old city – and also back to my hotel afterwards!




Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Philadelphia is well known for being the home of the Liberty Bell, that international symbol of freedom.  the inscription on it reads:

Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof

It is impressive for its history as much as for the actual bell itself.  The whole area was very informative – lots of information boards, videos and historical background.  The bell was apparently rung in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read out and later became a symbol of liberty for the abolitionists.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Congress Hall

Nearby the Independence Hall looked absolutely fascinating.  However entrance is very strictly controlled and I didn’t try to buy advance tickets until it was too late and they were already sold out.

However it was still possible to get into the park area around the Indpendence Hall and that way I could also get to the Congress Hall.

 

Congress Hall

Congress Hall

Luckily the Congress Hall next door was more open to visitors and I thoroughly enjoyed my tour around there.  This photo may look a little lopsided, but it was because I was trying to show the eagle on the ceiling as well as the chairs and table where the Congress used to sit and debate in the early days.  Philadelphia was capital of the United States for ten years while the city of Washington was being built.  It was during a fascinating period when more and more states were signing up to the United States.  Kentucky, Vermont and Tennessee all signed up and ratified the Constitution during this period.

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

The first American flag ever was sewn in the Betsy Ross House.  I would have loved to see inside this house, but about five school groups turned up at the same time as I did.  I guessed there wouldn’t be room to breathe inside with all those children, so I went on by.

Design ideas

Design ideas

Quilt Inspiration

Of course there are always suggestions of ideas wherever you look in any city, but this rug in the Congress Hall definitely took my fancy.

Now all I need to do is figure out a way of simplifying the design to make it into a quilt.

Statue in the park

Statue against trees

Statue against trees

I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t remember whose statue this is.  I just thought that it was really striking with those trees providing a backdrop for the statue.

All in all I had a thoroughly memorable visit to Philadelphia – and I learned a huge amount as well.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

 

 

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!