Windblown Square Quilt Pattern

Windblown square quilt

Windblown square quilt

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

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the windblown square quilt

12.7/8″ squares:  two red, two white

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

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty six white

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

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

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

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

Flywheel quilt block layout

Flywheel quilt block layout

Make the flywheel quilt block

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

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

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

Windblown square quilt block layout

Windblown square quilt block layout

Make the windblown square quilt block

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

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

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

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

Broken dishes quilt block layout

Broken dishes quilt block layout

Make the broken dishes quilt block

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

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

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

Make the corner blocks

Make the corner blocks

Make the corner blocks

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

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

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

First two rows

First two rows

Assemble the windblown square quilt

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

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

Row three

Row three

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

Rows 4 and 5

Rows 4 and 5

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

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

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

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the windblown square quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Dragon sand sculpture

Dragon sand sculpture

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

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

Trees and volcanoes

Trees and volcanoes

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

 

Butterfly Coloured Trapunto Wall Hanging

Butterfly coloured trapunto wall hanging

Butterfly coloured trapunto wall hanging

I made the butterfly coloured trapunto wall hanging to show you how easy it is to colour your trapunto. The idea of trapunto is that you place extra wadding behind some of the shapes in order to make them stand proud from the quilt.  It looks very effective when you see colours showing through the fabric of a quilt.  I have used a plain white cotton fabric for the background of this wall hanging, then added red felt behind the fabric.  It shows through as pink against the white fabric.

The only fabric used was 1/2 yard of white fabric – that’s enough for the front and the back of the wall hanging – together with four 6″ squares of red felt and 1/4 yard of pink butterfly fabric for the binding and the hanging sleeve.  I also needed an 18″ square of wadding.  You can buy these fabrics in this week’s special offer, but please note that I won’t be able to post it till Tuesday.




Pin felt behind the butterfly

Pin felt behind the butterfly

Prepare the fabric

Cut two 18″ squares in the white fabric – one for the front and one for the back of the wall hanging.  Print and cut out the template – if you want to use mine then you can download it from this link.

Then use a fabric marker to draw round the template four times on the white square.  Pin a red felt square behind each butterfly drawing.

Sew the shape of the butterfly

Sew the shape of the butterfly

Working on the front of the wall hanging, sew all round the shape of the butterfly.  Some quilters use a soluble thread so that they can wash it off afterwards, but I have used a pink thread to match the zigzag stitching that I will use to outline the butterfly later.

Cut the felt around the stitching

Cut the felt around the stitching

Cut the butterfly shapes

Working on the back now, cut the felt squares as close as you can to the stitching.  You’ll need a small, sharp pair of scissors and a lot of care.  The obvious risk is that you will snip the white fabric accidentally.  I try to position one finger between the scissors blade and the fabric and take lots of small snip rather than trying to cut the felt too quickly.

In the photo in the previous paragraph you can see that the two butterflies on the left have been cut out but the two on the right have not.

Zigzag the outlines

Zigzag the outlines

Returning to the front of the wall hanging, stitch all round the butterfly shapes again, this time using a close zigzag stitch.  I used stitch width 2 and stitch length 1, using a pink quilting thread.

You can see that I have added a couple of lines to mark out the body and one line around the bottom of the head.  This made the butterfly more realistic but also it meant that I could do all the zigzagging in one go without having to sew over any lines twice.

The foot on the right works best

The foot on the right works best

With my zigzag stitch I was following the original line of stitching marking out the butterflies.  I found it quite difficult to keep to the line at first so I swapped to a different sewing machine foot.  The foot on the left is the one that I usually use.  The foot on the right was much easier for this work because I could see through the plastic and it had a much wider open section to help me see the line that I was following more clearly.

Layer the wall hanging and quilt

Layer the wall hanging and quilt

Layer and quilt the coloured trapunto wall hanging

Lay the second square of white fabric with right side down, add an 18″ square of wadding and then lay the wall hanging with right side up.

Pin the three layers together and quilt.  I drew a small flower in the middle and did not quilt within the petals so that they stand out a little – but not as much as the butterflies.  The blue you can see is my fabric marker pen:  I was using white thread for the quilting.

Micro meander quilting

Micro meander quilting

Then around thie flower I used a very small meander quilting to really flatten the fabric down.  I think it’s technically known as vermicelli quilting, but it’s basically just micro meander quilting.

Swirls around the edge

Swirls around the edge

This obviously takes longer than larger quilting designs so I changed to a larger swirl design around the edge of the wall hanging.  This served two purposes – it stopped me from getting too bored with the micro quilting and it made a nice frame for the wall hanging.

Bind the wall hanging

Bind the wall hanging

Finish the wall hanging

Finally I trimmed the edges, added binding and a hanging sleeve.  Full details on binding are given here and how to make a hanging sleeve is given here.

Here’s the video:

 

Church in Moseley

Church in Moseley

I love visiting churches because they always feel so peaceful and restful.

They can also provide some great quilting ideas.

Adjoining church in Moseley

Adjoining church in Moseley

These two churches drew my attention because they are so close together.  They are both large and are just the other side of the road from each other.  They are in an area of Birmingham called Moseley and unfortunately they were both closed when I noticed them and stopped to take photos.  So I can’t even tell you if they’re similar to each other inside or not.

 

London Underground Quilt Pattern

London Underground quilt

London Underground quilt

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

Original seating design

Original seating design

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




London underground quilt blocks completed

London underground quilt blocks completed

Cutting requirements for the London underground quilt

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

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

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

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

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

10.1/4″ squares:  one red

14.7/8″ squares:  five red

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

Make the first block

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

First block layout

First block layout

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

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

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

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

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

Second quilt block layout

Second quilt block layout

Make the second block

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

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

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

Cut the triangles

Cut the triangles

The triangles

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

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

Rows 1,2 and 3

Rows 1, 2 and 3

First 4 rows of the London underground quilt

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

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

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

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

Add row 4

Add row 4

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

Corner triangle on row 4

Corner triangle on row 4

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

Row five

Row five

Last 4 rows of the London underground quilt

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

End of row five

End of row five

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

Row six

Row six

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

Rows 7 and 8

Rows 7 and 8

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

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

Use blue for the border

Use blue for the border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

View from Frankley Beeches

View from Frankley Beeches

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

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

Travel Jewellery Roll Pattern

Travel jewellery roll

Travel jewellery roll

This travel jewellery roll pattern was requested a long time ago and I feel ashamed that it has taken me this long to make one, but here it is at last.  I think that the problem is that I don’t wear much jewellery myself so the pattern took a while to rise to the top of my to do list.

I’ve made the roll small enough so that it doesn’t take up much space – about 3″ by 8″ when rolled but there’s plenty of padding for the jewels and I think that it is a very secure roll.




Jewellery roll wrapped up

Jewellery roll wrapped up

Cutting requirements for the travel jewellery roll

Two rectangles 17″ by 12″ – one in top fabric and one in lining fabric – I’ve used two cotton fabrics

One rectangle 9″ by 12″ in wadding

Two rectangles 4.1/2″ by 13″ in a contrasting fabric for the compartments – I’ve used red.

Three safety fasteners – I call them pressed studs.

Cut the corners off

Cut the corners off

Make the basic roll

Lay the two largest rectangles out with the 17″ edge along the top.  Mark a line 4″ in from each side.  These two lines are down the rectangle.  Mark a line 3″ down from the top of each rectangle and another line 6″ down from the top.  These two lines are across the rectangle.

The lines will now mark out a 3″ by 4″ rectangle in the top two corners of the rectangle and also a 6″ by 4″ rectangle in the bottom two corners.  Cut these corners out so that you are left with the central shape shown in the photo.

Layer the rectangles

Layer the rectangles

Lay the rectangles out with the wadding first then the lining fabric with right side up.  On top lay the main fabric with right side down.

Leave a gap in the stitching

Leave a gap in the stitching

Sew the three layers together around the outside edge of the shape.  Leave a gap of about 3″ on one side so that you can turn the project right side out later.  You can see the trailing threads on the right of the photo showing where I left a gap.

Clip across the corners where the angle is outwards and clip in towards the stitching on those corners where the angle is inwards.

Pin the gap

Pin the gap

Turn the project right side out through the gap, gently pushing the corners out.  Turn under a small hem across the gap and pin – don’t sew it yet.

Add the compartments

The compartments are formed by a red rectangle pinned to the top and the bottom of the main rectangle.  Turn under and sew a small hem on all four edges of the red rectangles first.

Pin the red for the compartments

Pin the red for the compartments

With the right side up, pin the first red rectangle to the bottom of the lining rectangle.  Line the ends up with the edges of the lining fabric along the sides.  The red rectangle is slightly longer than the main jewellery roll rectangle.  This is intentional, so that you can have some space to place your jewellery in at the top of each compartment.

I need four compartments so I have pinned the red to the lining at three places across its length – roughly at 3″ intervals.  Each time I have used two pins and raised the red fabric slightly between the two pins.  At the bottom of the red rectangle flatten this spare fabric to form a mini pleat.

Add the second red rectangle

Add the second red rectangle

Repeat with the other red rectangle at the top of the jewellery roll lining.  You now have four compartments at the top and at the bottom.  They all open towards the middle which I felt was the most secure way to place them.

Sew all round the edge of the main rectangle of the project – don’t include the tabs in this seam.  This secures the three layers of the main rectangle in place, secures the red rectangles on three sides and also closes the original gap left from when you turned the project right side out.  So it’s quite an important seam!

Roll up fabric for the rings

Roll up fabric for the rings

Make the ring roll

I wanted to make a separate section for rings so that there was no chance of them slipping out.

Use a spare rectangle of fabric – I used one about 5″ by 7″ from the outer fabric.  Turn under and press a small hem along the two long edges.  Fold the two short edges in towards the middle and roll the fabric up.  This gives you a roll about 7″ long.

Secure the ring roll

Secure the ring roll

Slipstitch the edge of the roll so that it doesn’t unroll.  Position the roll so that it’s midway between the top and bottom edges of the jewellery roll.  Sew one end to the red fabric.  Sew a snap fastener on the other end to make a closure for the other end of the ring roll.  Now you can undo the snap fastener to place your rings on the roll and then fasten it to stop them slipping off.

Fold the jewellery roll

Fold the jewellery roll

Finish the travel jewellery roll

Fold the sections of the jewellery roll to give its final layout.  I fold the left hand panel first, then the two panels on the right.

Fold the tabs down or up and secure them in place with a snap fastener on each tab.  You could use ribbon or buttons to secure the jewellery roll closed, but I felt that snap fasteners were the easiest and most secure way to do it.

I hope you find this jewellery roll pattern helpful – one of those projects that would make a great gift.

Here’s the video:

Birmingham's oldest statue

Birmingham’s oldest statue

There are loads of statues in Birmingham but I was quite surprised to see which one of them was considered to be the oldest.  This one is of King George I who died in 1722.  The statue was commissioned by the City of Dublin who then sold it 200 years later to the Barber Institute of Fine Art in 1937.  You can just see the edge of the Barber building on the right of the photo.

 

It’s a lovely statue and provides a great welcome to anyone visiting that section of the University.

Roman Pavements Quilt Pattern

Roman pavements quilt

Roman pavements quilt

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

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




Cutting requirements for the Roman pavements quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark green

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

6.1/2″ squares:  eight white

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

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

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations listed above.

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

Central section of the block

Central section of the block

Make the Roman pavements quilt block

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

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

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

Roman pavements quilt block layout

Roman pavements quilt block layout

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

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

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

Use strip piecing

Use strip piecing

Make the Roman stripes and squares blocks

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

Make squares and rectangles

Make squares and rectangles

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

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

Roman stripes and squares layout

Roman stripes and squares layout

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

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

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

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Roman pavements quilt

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

Row two

Row two

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

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

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips of dark green fabric for the quilt border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Roman pavements quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

Roman images

Roman images

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

Sewing Curved Seams – Drunkards Path Cushion

Drunkards path cushion cover

Drunkards path cushion cover

Sewing curved seams worries many quilters, but it really only takes a bit of care.  You need to sew the seam slowly and adjust the fabric as you go.  I find this easier than coping with lots of pins all along the seam.

This Drunkards Path cushion cover is an ideal way to try sewing curved seams as you only need to make four of the blocks.  In this tutorial I have also used a very simple method of making an envelope closing for the cushion cover.




Cutting requirements for the Drunkards Path quilt block

You can download the templates here – or you can find many templates on the internet.

Four of the squared off template in lilac.

Two purple and two green of the wedge templates.

Cut two 2.1/2″ green strips across the width of fabric and one 18″ green strip across the width of fabric.

Lay the pieces in position

Lay the pieces in position

Pin the ends before sewing curved seams

Place one of each shape next to each other, both with right side up.  This will help you to be sure that you are sewing along the correct seam.  In the photo the purple is just placed in position while the green one shows the completed block.

Flip the purple wedge so that it is right sides together with the lilac shape.  You need to pin at each end of the curved seam.  If you look at the shapes as they are in the first  photo you can see where the purple edge along the top will form a straight line with the lilac.

Pin the ends only

Pin the ends only

So pin the purple to the lilac along that straight edge as shown in the left hand part of the photo.  Repeat at the other end of the curve.  Those are the only pins that I use because I find that I can adjust the fabric as I’m sewing curved seams without too many pins getting in the way.

Begin sewing the curved seam

Begin sewing the curved seam

Sewing curved seams

Begin sewing at one end, making sure that it is the curved seam that you are sewing along.  You will find on the internet some people saying you must have the lilac shape on top and others saying that you must have the purple shape on top.  I find it easiest to sew with the lilac shape on top, but I prefer to say to you try both and see which way you find easiest.

Keep the fabrics lined up

Keep the fabrics lined up

So, back to sewing curved seams.  Do a few stitches and then stop so that you can adjust the fabrics.  Line up the fabrics to be in line about an inch or two along the seam.  Put your finger on this point and then with your other hand gently ease the purple fabric to the left so that it is in line with the lilac fabric.  Sew that inch or so along the seam then stop and repeat the process.  Smooth the lilac fabric so that it is always lying flat – that’s why I find it easiest to have the lilac on top.

Continue along the seam until you reach the other end which is pinned.  I have described this procedure as best I can, but I think that this is one of those occasions when the video will help (link given at the bottom of the page).

Make small clips into the seam allowance, taking care not to cut the stitches.  This will help your block to lie flat.  Press with the seam allowance towards the lilac section.  Make two in green and two in purple.

Lay the blocks to form a circle

Lay the blocks to form a circle

Assemble the Drunkards Path cushion cover

Lay the blocks out in two rows of two so that the green and purple wedges form a circle.  There are loads of ways of varying the placement to give different designs, but I have gone with this simple placement for the cushion.

Sew the pairs of blocks together.  The important thing is to match up the seam allowances to form a smooth circle.  Match these seams first and then sew the seams.

Finally sew the two pairs of blocks to each other, again matching the seam allowances at the ends of the curved seams.

Add the border

Add the border

I’ve added 2.1/2″ strips of green to form a frame around the blocks.  For mine I used two strips of 14″ for the top and bottom with two strips of 18″ for the sides.

Before you do this, measure your block.  The template that I used had 7″ sides but I have a feeling that if you use my templates they do not print to the same size.  It doesn’t actually matter:  as long as all four of your blocks are the same size as each other, your blocks will form the circle.

For your border, measure the sides of the block, then cut two strips of that length for the top and bottom and two lengths 4″ longer for the sides.

Lay the quilt block on the backing

Lay the quilt block on the backing

Making the cushion backing

I haven’t used a zip to complete this cushion cover.  Instead I have used the most simple method for making an envelope closure that I know.  It also provides a lining for the front of the cushion to protect the seam allowances.

Take the 18″ width of green fabric and turn under a small double seam at each short end.  These will be the edges of the envelop closing.  Lay the strip with right side up.

Place the drunkards path quilt block exactly in the middle of the green strip, also with right side up.  Fold the bottom of the green strip up over the top of the quilt block.  The bottom of the quilt block should lie along the fold line.

Fold the top down

Fold the top down

Now fold the top of the green strip down.  The top of the quilt block should lie along the top fold line.  The end of the top of the backing will overlap the bottom edge by about six inches.  This provides the opening for you to insert a cushion pad.  The quilt block is completely enclosed within the backing strip.

Back of the cushion

Back of the cushion

The advantage of using this method is that you now also have a layer of fabric backing the drunkards path quilt block, protecting the seam allowances.

Line up all the edges of the fabrics and pin in place.  Sew all round the edge of the square.  I tend to use quite a large seam – about 1/2″ or 3/4″ – so that I can be sure that all layers of fabric will be caught in the seam.

Turn the project right side out through the gap in the back, check that all the layers of fabric were caught in the seam and insert a cushion pad.

I hope that this simple project will show you that sewing curved seams is not difficult.  Sew the seam slowly and try a project like this with fairly large blocks first before tackling one with small curved seams.

Here’s the video:

St Pete's Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica

Last month I managed a flying visit to Rome.  What a breathtaking city it is!  I haven’t had time to sort out all the photos yet, but I hope that I’ll be able to bring them to you next Friday.

Oslo Norwegian Quilt – Free Pattern

Oslo Norwegian quilt

Oslo Norwegian quilt

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

Original tile pattern

Original tile pattern

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

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Oslo Norwegian quilt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

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

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

Central area of the Oslo quilt block

Central area of the Oslo quilt block

Make the Oslo quilt block

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

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

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

Oslo quilt block layout

Oslo quilt block layout

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

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

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

Use strip piecing

Use strip piecing

Make the alternate quilt block

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

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

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

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

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

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

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

First 2 rows of the Oslo Norwegian quilt

First 2 rows of the Oslo Norwegian quilt

Assemble the Oslo Norwegian quilt

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

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

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

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

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

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

Border in dark blue

Border in dark blue

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Wedge Shaped Cushion Cover Tutorial

Wedge shaped cushion cover

Wedge shaped cushion cover

Recently I was asked for an article on making a wedge shaped cushion cover.  Most cushions we cover are square, rectangular or round, so this was a good opportunity to look at making covers for cushions of irregular shape.  I bought a wedge of foam from a local shop so my measurements here are naturally for that specific wedge.

Over Christmas I felt that I could well have more people than chairs in my tiny sitting room.  The wedge proved useful for someone to rest against a wall while sitting on the floor.




Wedge shaped foam

Wedge shaped foam

Cutting requirements for the wedge shaped cushion cover

Before you can buy the fabric or even think of cutting it, you need to take careful measurements of each face of the wedge.

I measured each face (six in total) and then added 1″ to each measurement so that I could use a 1/2″ seam allowance.

I thought that the wedge was shaped so that the front and the back were both at an angle.  In fact if you look carefully at the photo you’ll see that the back is at right angles to the base and the front is at an angle.

This obviously makes a difference to the pieces that you cut.  When I cut the two wedge shaped pieces for the sides I cut them with the fabric folded over so that my two wedge shapes were mirror images of each other.

List of sizes

List of sizes

You also need to decide which face you are going to put the zip in.  For my wedge I have sewn the zip into the base.

The measurement for the base was 9″ by 21″.  Instead of using one piece, I cut two pieces 5″ by 21″.  This was so that I could sew the zip in the middle between the two rectangles.

Add the zip

I began by turning under a 3/4″ hem hem on one long edge of each of the base rectangles.  Then I sewed the zip to these two edges so that the rectangles were joined by the zip in the middle.  I used an 18″ zip because that’s what I had in stock.  This was a mistake – if I had used a longer zip I would have found it easier to pull the cover over the wedge when I had finished.

Assemble the wedge shaped cushion cover

Add the front and back first

Add the front and back first

Next I added the front and back panels to the base section, making one long strip.  The sides (the wedge shaped pieces) are next to be sewn.  They will be added to the ends of the base section.  The fabric is now in a cross shape.

When sewing the sides in place, be careful to sew only as far as the seam lines – see below.

I had to be careful when adding the side sections because the back of the wedge is at right angles to the base while the front is angled against the base.  This meant that I had to check that the right angled corners of each side section were on the same side as each other – on the left in the photo.

Sew the sides to the back and front

Sew the sides to the back and front

Next I needed to join the side sections to the back and front sections.  This involves pulling the edge of the back to the edge of the side section.  This means that you will have three seams joining together at the base.  Because you only sewed as far as the seam lines above, this should leave you sufficient fabric to form a seam.  This time you need to start sewing with your needle on the seam line joining the base to the front or back.

You are making a pouch at this stage – almost like putting the side gusset in a bag.  Be careful to smooth all the other fabric out of the way before you begin sewing.  There are four seams to sew in this way – two sides of each side section.

Sew the sides of the top

Sew the sides of the top

Add the top section

Before you sew the top in place, open the zip at least half way.  This will enable you to turn the project right side out.

Now with right sides together sew the two short ends of the top to the tops of the side sections.

Finally sew the long sides of the top to the front and back of the cushion cover.  These seams again need care as you have three seams meeting at each point.

One thing (or do I mean another thing) that I could have improved upon:  the front of the wedge is slightly longer than the back because it’s at an angle to the base.  I didn’t pick up on this when I was measuring the foam wedge.  It meant that the front section was slightly shorter than the sides and back when I sewed everything together.  It was easy enough to trim everything to the same length before I sewed the seams, but I thought that it was worth mentioning as something you might find helpful.

Making a wedge cushion cover is mainly a matter of logic.  Begin at the base and then gradually add the other pieces to build up your wedge, finishing with the top section.  I hope you’ll find this article useful no matter what shape of cushion you are making a cover for.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

 

Friendship Bouquet Wall Hanging Pattern

Friendship bouquet wall hanging

Friendship bouquet wall hanging

The Friendship Bouquet quilt block was a request.  It is such a pretty block that I decided to make four of them to form a wall hanging.  At first glance it looks quite a complicated block, but as usual it is far more simple when you look at it in small sections.  I also liked the name of the block – warm and friendly for this time of year.

The wall hanging measures 26″ square and I used four blocks which are 11″ square finished size.  I needed 1/2 yard of purple batik together with 1/4 yard each of yellow, gold, green and lilac.




Completed friendship bouquet quilt block

Completed friendship bouquet quilt block

Cutting requirements for the friendship bouquet wall hanging

5.7/8″ squares:  four purple

3,3/4″ by 6.1/8″ rectangles:  four yellow – cut these with fabric folded in two layers

3.3/8″ squares:  twelve yellow

2.7/8″ squares:  twenty four purple

1.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  eight gold, eight lilac

5.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  eight gold

9.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  four gold

11.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  four gold

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

Add a triangle on each edge

Add a triangle on each edge

Make the diamond in square sections

Cut the 2.7/8″ purple squares across one diagonal to make two triangles from each squares.  Place one triangle on each edge of the 3.3/8″ yellow squares.

Sew triangles two at a time

Sew triangles two at a time

Sew the triangles to the squares two at a time.  On the left of the photo you can see the side triangles sewn in place.  The right hand part of the photo shows those two triangles pressed open.

Add the next pair of triangles

Add the next pair of triangles

Now the two triangles at top and bottom can be sewn to the squares.

Trim the triangle ends sticking out in the middle of each edge and trim the entire block to 4.1/2″ square.  Make twelve of these blocks.

Make the cone section

The handle or grip of the bouquet is formed by sewing two triangles to a 5.7/8″ square of purple fabric.

Forming the handle of the bouquet

Forming the handle of the bouquet

Cut the yellow rectangles along one diagonal to make two triangles from each rectangle.  Make sure that the fabric is folded in half the way it comes from the shop with wrong sides together.  This because for each block you need two triangles which are mirror images of each other.

Lay one of each triangle on the purple square, matching two edges with the edges of the square.  At this stage the triangles are right side up.  This is how you can check that you have the right triangle in each position.

Now flip one of the triangles so that it is right sides together with the purple square.  The top of the triangle should just stick out above the square while the bottom of the triangle should just stick out from the corner of the square.  Sew the triangle in place and cut off the excess purple triangle to the left of the seam.

Add the second triangle

I did try marking a chalk line along the edge of the triangle before I flipped it, but it didn’t really work for me.  You may find that helpful.  I found that making the edges of the triangle stick out a little at each end gave me the best position for the triangle before I sewed it.  These cones will not be beside each other in the finished wall hanging so it doesn’t matter if they are not exactly the same as each other.

Add the second triangle

Add the second triangle

Press the triangle open and lay the second triangle in place.  From left to right in the photo you can see the second triangle placed in position, the excess purple triangle cut off and then the final cone section completed.

Trim these cone sections to 5.1/2″ square and make four of them.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

There aren’t many half square triangles in this block!  Place a lilac 1.7/8″ square right sides together with a gold square.

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.  Press the seam allowances towards the gold fabric and trim the block to 1.1/2″ square if necessary.

First part of layout

First part of layout

Assemble the friendship bouquet quilt block

For each block you need one cone section and three diamond in a square sections.

Place a lilac 4.1/2″ strip between the top two diamond in a square blocks.  Place one lilac strip above the bottom diamond in a square.

Make two rows

Make two rows

Sew the top three sections together to form one row.  Sew the lilac section to the bottom diamond in a square.  Then you can sew the cone section to the side to form another row.

Sew the rows to each other.

Top and bottom of the frame

Top and bottom of the frame

Add the outer frame

Make the outer frame of the friendship bouquet quilt block with 1.1/2″ gold strips and the half square triangle units.

For the top of the frame place a 4.1/2″ gold strip either side of a half square triangle.  Check the photo to make sure which way to place the half square triangle.

Add a 9.1/2″ gold strip to the bottom of the block.

Sides of the frame

Sides of the frame

The sides of the frame are formed in a similar way.

For the right hand side place a 5.1/2″ gold strip either side of a half square triangle unit.  Sew these together and then sew them to the block.  Add an 11.1/2″ gold strip to the left hand side of the block.

That completes the friendship bouquet quilt block.  Make four of these and trim them to 11.1/2″ square.

Rotate the blocks

Rotate the blocks

Assemble the friendship bouquet wall hanging

Lay the blocks out in two rows of two.  Rotate the blocks so that the cone always points into the corner.  You’ll also see the lilac square frame form around the middle of the wall hanging.  Sew the blocks together in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.

Add the border

Add the border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of a green batik fabric to suggest leaves.

You’ll need two lengths of 22.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 26.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the friendship bouquet wall hanging.  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:

I am sure that you are very busy and won’t want to hear from me over the next week or two so I will not be posting another quilt pattern for two Fridays during the festive season.  My next full pattern will appear on Friday 5th January 2018 when I’ll be posting a new pattern and holding a new year sale.

So it just remains for me to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas followed by a happy and healthy new year.  Thanks for your interest and support for my website over the course of the year.

Large Daisy Quilt Block Pattern

Large daisy quilt block

Large daisy quilt block

The Large Daisy quilt block probably has several names, but I couldn’t find any so I have named it myself.  It really does look like a bright and cheerful daisy to me.  It is classified as an eight patch block, which is not as common as four or nine patch blocks.  I have made it here as a 24″ square so I won’t have too much to add to it to make a small Linus quilt.

Cutting requirements for the large daisy quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty red, sixteen white

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

3.7/8″ squares:  eight red, eight white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red 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 and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the large daisy quilt block

Layout for each quarter

Layout for each quarter

I found it most simple to make this block in quarters and then just sew the quarters together.  Lay the squares out in four rows of four squares.

The first row contains a red, white then red square with a half square triangle at the end.

Row two is made with white, red, white squares followed by a half square triangle.

For the third row you need only one red square and one white rectangle.

Finally the fourth row is made with two half square triangles followed by a white and a red square.

Completed quarter block

Completed quarter block

Note that the two red triangles at the top form a larger red triangle pointing to the left while the two red triangles at the bottom form a larger red triangle pointing upwards.

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

Large daisy quilt block layout

Large daisy quilt block layout

Assemble the large daisy quilt block

Rotate the quarter blocks so that there is a red square in each corner and those three red squares form a diagonal across each corner.  Check that the pairs of red triangles now combine to form diamonds and that there are four red squares in the middle.

Sew the quarters together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.

Basic large daisy quilt

Basic large daisy quilt

Large daisy quilt design ideas

For the basic quilt suggestion I have shown nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  I have added a green border and this makes a bright and cheerful quilt.

Alternate design

Alternate design

However I felt that it might look better if the blocks were separated a little so that they showed the block design more.  I added green sashing (leaves?) and I like this quilt design better.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose