Valentine Heart Lavender Cushion

Heart lavender cushion

Heart lavender cushion

This lavender heart cushion is perfect to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I still have some dried lavender left from last summer so I thought that I would make a small cushion and fill it with a lavender mix.  Then I decided to put a ruffle on the cushion as well just to frame it.

Fabric requirements

Pink and red fabric

Pink and red fabric

8″ squares: two red

5″ strip of pink fabric cut across the width of fabric

Interfacing:  two 5″ squares

Small amount of lavender and toy stuffing




 

Make the cushion front and back

Satin stitch the hearts in place

Satin stitch the hearts in place

Cut two 5″ squares from the ends of the pink strip and back them with interfacing.  Draw a heart on the interfacing, cut the hearts out and place one right side up on the right side of each red square.  Zigzag around the edges of the hearts to secure them and then satin stitch all round.

Make the ruffle strip

Fold the pink strip in half

Fold the pink strip in half

Take the rest of the 5″ pink strip and cut down the middle to make two 2.1/2″ strips.  Sew these together at both ends to make a loop.  For a larger ruffle use the full 2.1/2″ strip – you will have to zigzag the outer edge at the end.  For a smaller ruffle that will be ready finished, fold in half along the length.  The fold will then be on the outside of the ruffle so you won’t need to do any more finishing.

 

 

Mark the quarters of the ruffle strip

Mark the quarters of the ruffle strip

 

Use pins to mark the quarters of the ruffle strip.  This way you can keep the gathering more even by having just one quarter of the ruffle strip going along each edge of the square.

 

 

 

Pull the thread to gather the strip

Pull the thread to gather the strip

 

Using the longest stitch length on your machine sew along the edge which is two raw edgese leaving a gap of a couple of inches between the beginning and end of the stitching.  Take hold of one of the threads from this line of stitching and gently push the fabric away from the end to start to gather the fabric into a ruffle.

 

Ease the ruffle round the corners

Ease the ruffle round the corners

,Pin the ruffle all the way roundPin the ruffle all the way round

Gather from both ends of the stitching.  The ruffle measures roughly 32″.  Pin the ruffle all round the edge of one of the cushion panels, easing it around the corners.  The gathered end should be in line with the edge of the cushion panel, the fold towards the middle.

 

Finish the lavender heart cushion

Turn right side out through the gap

Turn right side out through the gap

Lay the second red square on top of the ruffle with right side down.  Pin well and sew round three and a half edges of the square, leaving a gap through which to turn the cushion right side out.  Check that you have caught all layers of fabric in the stitching and then turn right side out.  Gently push the corners out, fill with a mixture of dried lavender and toy stuffing and stitch the gap closed.

This lavender heart cushion doesn’t take long to make and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s the video:

 

Scottie Dog Quilt Pattern With Sashing

Scottie Dog Quilt

Scottie Dog Quilt

For this Scottie Dog quilt I wanted to design a really simple quilt block in order to showcase the sashing with stars that I have used.  The Scottie dog is obviously based on a dog!  The sashing is based on a floor tile design that I have adapted and simplified.  Thanks, Carol, for sending me the photo.  The quilt measures 57″ square, using four 24″ blocks finished size.

You can buy the kit for this quilt at this week’s special offer.

Original floor tile design

Original floor tile design

I needed 1.3/4 yards of the background fabric, 1 yard of the blue dog fabric, 3/4 yard of the dark brown for the sashing, together with 1/8 yard each of dark blue and white with 1/4 yard of the medium blue script fabric for the cornerstones.

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Cutting requirements for the Scottie Dog quilt

3.1/2″ strips in the following lengths:

24.1/2″ strips:  four light brown

18.1/2″  strips:  twelve dark brown for sashing

12.1/2″ strips:  eight light brown

9.1/2″ four light brown, eight blue dog fabic

15.1/2″ strips:  eight light brown, eight blue dog fabric

6.1/2″ strips:  twenty light brown, eight blue dog fabric

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty eight light brown, nine medium blue (cornerstones), eight blue dog fabric

4.1/4″ squares:  twelve white, six dark brown, six dark blue

Dog facing right layout

Dog facing right layout

Make the dog facing right

Lay the strips out in eight rows.  All the strips are 3.1/2″ wide so I’ll just list what’s needed in each row:

First row and row 8: one  24.1/2″ light brown strip

Row 2:  12.1/2″ light brown, blue square, 9.1/2″ light brown

Row 3:  12.1/2″ light brown, 9.1/2″ blue, light brown square

Fourth row:  brown square, blue square, 6.1/2″ brown, 9.1/2″ blue, brown square

Rows 5 and 6:  brown square, 15.1/2″ blue, 6.1/2″ brown

Row 7:  brown square, 6.1/2″ blue, brown square, 6.1/2″ blue, 6.1/2″ brown.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  This now measures 24.1/2″ square and you need to make two of these.

Dog facing left

Dog facing left

Make the dog facing left

This is very similar to the first block, but the dog is facing the other way.

First row and row 8:  24.1/2″ brown strip.

Row 2:  9.1,2″ brown, blue square, 12.1/2″ brown

Row 3:  brown square, 9.1/2″ blue, 12.1/2″ brown

Fourth row:  brown square, 9.1/2″ blue, 6.1/2″ brown, blue square, brown square.

Rows 5 and 6:  6.1/2″ brown, 15.1/2″ blue, brown square

Row 7:  6.1/2″ brown, 6.1/2″ blue, brown square, 6.1/2″ blue, brown square.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 24.1/2″ square and you need to make two of this version also.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make quarter square triangles

This is just a case of making half square triangles twice – honestly it’s not too difficult.  Place a white 4.1/4″ square with either a dark blue or a dark brown square, right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a seam 1/4″ either side of the marked line.

Cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.7/8″ square.

Make quarter square triangles

Make quarter square triangles

Now make further units as above, but starting this time with the half square triangles that you have just made.

Begin with one blue/white and one brown/white half square triangle.  Place them right sides together, making sure that the blue triangle on the top layer lies against the white on the bottom layer while the white on the top layer lies against the brown triangle on the bottom layer.  The seams of both of them run from bottom left to top right.

Draw a line along the diagonal that crosses the existing seam line, so going from bottom right to top left in my photo.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces a quarter square triangle unit which measures 3.1/2″ square.  Check that the two white triangles are opposite each other and the blue and brown triangles are opposite each other.

Sashing strips

Sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

Take an 18.1/2″ strip of dark brown fabric and place a quarter square triangle at each end.  Lay them so that the brown triangle lies against the brown strip.  It almost looks like a Christmas cracker now.

Make two of these strips and place one between each pair of Scottie dog quilt blocks.  This joins the pairs of blocks.  I have placed mine so that there is one right facing and one left facing dog in each pair.  They are looking at each other across the sashing strip.

Sashing strip across the middle

Sashing strip across the middle

Now you need sashing strips to lie across the quilt – three of them so that you can have one at the top of the quilt, one joining the two pairs of blocks across the middle of the quilt, and one at the bottom of the quilt.

For each strip make up two strips as above – an 18.1/2″ dark brown strip with a quarter square triangle at each end.  Join these two sections together with a medium blue 3.1/2″ square.  So in each row you have two brown strips, four quarter square triangles and one cornerstone (that’s the medium blue square).  Make three of these strips and sew one to the top of the quilt, one in the middle to join the two pairs of blocks together and one at the bottom of the quilt.

Side strips

Side strips

Sash the sides of the quilt

You now just need two strips for the sides of the quilt.  For each strip make up an 18.1/2″ dark brown strip with a quarter square triangle at each end as before.  Now place a 3.1/2″ medium blue square (cornerstone) at each end of the overall strip and in the middle.

Middle section

Middle section

In case that sounds confusing, the side strip should contain:  cornerstone, quarter square triangle, dark brown strip, quarter square triangle, cornerstone, quarter square triangle, dark brown strip, quarter square triangle, cornerstone.

Sew one of these strips to each side of the quilt.  Confession time:  my seams were obviously not as accurate as they should have been.  I found that my sashing didn’t always match the quilt top.  In one place I ended up trimming the quarter square triangle to make it fit.  I realise now that a far better option would have been to fold and stitch a small pleat in the dark brown fabric strip.  That way I could keep the stars intact.  I’m sure that your stitching is far more accurate than mine, but I just thought that I’d mention it as a way of correcting differences in length.

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

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/eM5yXRoPM3A

Ashby de la Zouch castle

Ashby de la Zouch castle

Last week I mentioned that I was visiting a friend for lunch.  On the way up I stopped in Ashby de la Zouch – the name has always fascinated me!  To see my photos, click here or click on the photo.

Pinwheel Diamond Quilt – Free Pattern

Pinwheel diamond quilt

Pinwheel diamond quilt

My pinwheel diamond quilt pattern is made with just two simple blocks – and I think it’s really attractive.  The pinwheels are placed in the middle with a circle of gold diamonds around them.

The quilt measures 58″ by 70″, made with twenty 12″ blocks sewn together in five rows of four.  I have used 2 yards of gold fabric with 1.3/4 yards each of purple and lilac.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

But before I begin the pattern I just want to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.  It’s rather exciting having a whole new year ahead of us!




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the pinwheel diamond quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  forty lilac, forty gold

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty each in purple and gold, twenty each in purple and lilac

6.7/8″ squares  twenty lilac, twenty gold

For the borders you will need to cut six 1.1/2″ strips of gold and thirteen 2.1/2″ of purple across the width of fabric.

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a purple square with either a lilac or 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 purple and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.  You need to make them in purple/gold and in purple/lilac.

Pinwheel quilt block layout

Pinwheel quilt block layout

Make the pinwheel block

This block has a very simple four patch layout.  Begin with four purple/lilac half square triangle units in the middle.  Place these so that they form a pinwheel, with the lilac and purple alternating.

Now place a purple/gold half square triangle outside each purple triangle of the central pinwheel.  Lay these so that the outer purple triangle and the inner purple triangle together form a diamond shape, extending the pinwheel.

Place a lilac square in each corner and a gold square in the remaining four spaces.

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

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in exactly the same way as you made the smaller ones above.

Lay the half square triangles in fours.  Place them so that the triangles form larger triangles – two gold triangles opposite each other and two lilac triangles opposite each other.

Sew the pieces together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  These also measure 12.1/2″ square and you need to make ten of them.

Rows 1 and 5

Rows 1 and 5

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in five rows of four.  Rows one and five are the same as each other:  a pinwheel at each end with two alternate blocks between them.  Place the alternate blocks so that the gold triangles form diamonds across the rows while lilac triangles point up and down.

Rows 2,3,4

Rows 2,3,4

Rows two to four are also the same as each other.  This time the two pinwheel blocks are in the middle with an alternate block at each end.

Note that this time the gold triangles run up and down while the lilac triangles run from side to side.

At this stage the quilt top measures 48.1/2″ by 60.1/2″.

First border

First border

Add the borders

I’ve used 2.1/2″ purple strips for the first border.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

Second and third borders

Second and third borders

In the second border you need to cut 1.1/2″ strips of gold:  two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 66.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally for the third border use 2.1/2″ strips of purple again:  two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 70.1/2″ for the sides.

The pinwheel diamond quilt top is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/blLul-GZh9g

Owl and Pussycat table runner

owl and Pussycat table runner

No travels this week – I just luxuriated in the festive season.  What I can show you, though, is a table runner that I made using the owl and pussycat templates that I used in the quilt of the same name.  To see it click here or click on the photo.

Owl and Pussycat Table Runner Pattern

Owl and Pussycat table runner

Owl and Pussycat table runner

I thought that the Owl and Pussycat table runner would make a fun addition to any table.  I have used the same templates that I used in the owl and pussycat quilt but sewn in a column and with the addition of two pea green boats in the middle of the table runner.

The table runner measures 18″ wide by 66″ long.  I have used 3/4 yard of sea fabric, 1/2 yard of brown batik, 1/2 yard of green batik, 1/4 yard of sky fabric with just 1/8 yard of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics (with the applique already backed with Mistyfuse) on this link.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Owl and Pussycat table runner

Brown batik:  four 10″ by 7″  squares backed with Mistyfuse or other fusible interfacing, two 1.1/2″ by 16.1/2″ strips, two 1.1/2″ by 66.1/2″ strips

Green batik:  two 9.1/4″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles, two 12.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips, two 64.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips

White fabric:  one 4.3/4 ” white square

Sky fabric:  two 3.7/8″ squares, two 6.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips, two 8.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips

Sea fabric:  four 12.1/2″ squares, two 2.7/8″ squares, two 12.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips.

For the cat template click here.

For the owl template click here.  There is a small V in the top of the owl template – ignore this.

Cut the corners of the green rectangles

Cut the corners of the green rectangles

Make the central block

Begin with the two 9.1/4″ rectangles of green batik.  Fold each bottom corner up to the top edge of the rectangle.  Pin and cut along the fold.  Discard the green triangles that you have cut from the rectangles.  Cut the 2.7/8″ sea rectangles in half along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.  Sew the long edge of these triangles to the cut edges of the green rectangle as shown in the bottom of the photo.

Make the boat sails

Make the boat sails

Now make the diamond in a square for the middle of the block.  This represents the sails of the two boats.  Cut the 3.7/8″ sky squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Lay one triangle on each edge of the white square.  Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square, press them open and then sew the remaining two triangles to the square.  Press and trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out.

Central layout of the block

Central layout of the block

Add a 6.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ sky strip to each side of the diamond in square.  Then add an 8.1/2″ sky strip to the top and bottom.

Sew the strips to the sides of the diamond in square first and then sew all the pieces shown together in one coloumn.  Note that the short edge of the green boat lie along the top and bottom of this section.

Complete layout of the block

Complete layout of the block

Finally add a 12.1/2″ sea strip to each side of the block.  Sew these in place to complete the central block.

Make the applique blocks

Make the applique blocks

Make the applique blocks

Back the brown squares with Mistyfuse or any fusible interfacing.  Draw round the templates and cut two owls and two cats in the brown.  Lay one cat or owl on each 12.1/2″ sea square.  Press to secure the applique to the background.

Sew round the applique shapes to secure them more permanently to the backgrounds.  I used the blanket stitch option on my sewing machine.

Sew the blocks together

Sew the blocks together

Assemble the Owl and Pussycat table runner

Lay all the squares out in the order owl, cat, central block, cat and then owl.    Note that the top owl and cat are placed in the opposite direction to the bottom owl and cat.  Sew them all together in one strip.

First border

First border

Add the borders

For the first border I used 2.1/2″ strips of the green batik fabric.  Sew the 12.1/2″ strips to the top and bottom of the table runner.  Then sew the 64.1/2″ strips to the sides.

Final border

Final border

I had intended that to be the complete table runner but I decided that I needed a darker border to frame the table runner.  For this I used 1.1/2″ strips of brown batik.  Sew the 16.1/2″ strips to the top and bottom.  Finally sew the 66.1/2″ strips to the sides.

That completes the top of the Owl and Pussycat table runner.  It can now be layered, quilted and bound as for any quilt.  You can find details of these stages in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/2qz3r18BldI

Well, that’s my final pattern for 2018.  My warmest wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2019.

Pineapple Quilt Pattern – Courthouse Steps

Pineqpple quilt

Pineqpple quilt

In order to make this Pineapple Quilt I have used all the easy options.  The pineapple sections are folded squares, so minimum sewing.  I have used the courthouse steps quilt block which I always find quicker than making a traditional log cabin quilt adding logs all round the central square.  Altogether I think that the quilt looks complex but is very easy to make.

The quilt measures 50″ square, using four blocks which are 20″ square finished size.  I used 1.1/4 yards of purple fabric, 1.1/4 yards of white and 1.1/2 yards of the leaf fabric.  The leaf fabric actually comes from the Tropicana range and is probably meant to be palm tree fronds.  I felt that they looked sufficiently like pineapple leaves to add to the quilt.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed pineapple quilt block

Completed pineapple quilt block

Cutting requirements for the pineapple quilt

8.1/2″ squares:  four white

3.7/8″ squares:  sixty four purple

2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  eighteen in leaf fabric, seven white, five purple

Fold the squares

Fold the squares

Make the central area

Begin with an 8.1/2″ white square.  Fold the purple squares along one diagonal to make a triangle.

One triangle on each corner

One triangle on each corner

Place one triangle on each corner of the white square so that the raw edges are all in line and the folded edge of the triangle lies across the corner.

Pin the triangles in place – just take care that your pins are not along the seam lines.  The two right hand triangles are waiting to be placed.

Sew the first frame

Sew the first frame

Add an 8.1/2″ strip of the leaf fabric to the top and the bottom of the square.  Press with the seam allowances away from the square.

Add triangles to the corners

Add triangles to the corners

Then add a 12.1/2″ strip to either side.  Check that the triangle edges are lying along the edges of the square as you sew – sometimes they can slip out of line while you’re not looking!

Add a purple triangle to each corner of the block and pin in place.

Second frame

Second frame

Add the second frame

For the second frame you will need two lengths of  12.1/2″ for the top and bottom followed by two lengths of 16.1/2″ for the sides.  Pin purple triangles to each corner.

Third frame

Third frame

Add the third frame

The third frame is the final frame.  I had intended to use four frames, but then decided that the block was going to be large enough with just the three frames.

You’ll need two lengths of 16.1/2″ for the top and bottom followed by two lengths of 20.1/2″ for the sides.

Add a purple triangle to each corner.

Sew a white strip between the pairs

Sew a white strip between the pairs

Assemble the pineapple quilt

Sew the blocks together in two pairs with a white strip between each pair.  This strip measures 20.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ in white fabric.

Make the central row

Make the central row

Now make a strip using two 20.1/2″ white strips with a purple square between them.  This makes the central row which will lie between the two pairs of blocks.

Sew the central strip to the top pair of blocks.  I find it safest to pin the row at the central purple square first and then smooth it in each direction.  That way you get a nice clean join in the middle.

Next sew the bottom pair of blocks to the central row.

Add the top sashing

Add the top sashing

Finish the sashing

At the moment the sashing is only between the blocks but not round the outer edge.  Cut two 42.1/2″ lengths of white fabric and sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.

Add sashing to the sides

Add sashing to the sides

Then cut two 46.1/2″ lengths and sew one to each side of the quilt.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I have used 2.1/2″ strips of purple fabric to frame the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/D9tYHQvR8jE

 

Lapworth Museum

Lapworth Museum

Last week I stumbled upon a fascinating museum just up the road from where I live.  It’s called the Lapworth Museum of Geology.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

Another busy weekend at the Christmas Craft Fair at the Mac in Cannon Hill Park.  I really will remember to take some photos of my stall this time – I’ve had several requests for photos.  After that I can relax and start to plan my own Christmas.

Medallion Bethlehem Star Quilt Pattern

Bethlehem Star quilt pattern

Bethlehem Star quilt pattern

Using the Bethlehem Star quilt block for this week’s quilt seemed appropriate for this time of year – and it is a lovely block.  I have used it as the central medallion and then surrounded it with a circle of smaller stars.  I love the way it has turned out.

The quilt measures 46″ square, using 1 yard each of dark blue and floral fabrics, 3/4 yard each of medium blue and light blue, with 1/2 yard of white fabric.  The floral fabric counts as a light or medium fabric – altogether for the quilt I used four blues and one white fabric.  These fabrics are available in kit form in this week’s special offerI am also holding my first ever Black Friday sale – details at the bottom of the page.




Completed Bethlehem Star quilt block

Completed Bethlehem Star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Bethlehem Star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark blue, twelve medium blue

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

2.1/2″ squares:  twenty medium blue, eighty light blue

2.7/8″ squares:  forty each in medium blue and light blue

6.1/2″ squares:  four floral

For border one you will need to cut three 3.1/2″ strips of floral fabric across the width of fabric

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

Half square triangles

Half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides togethr and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  For the second border you will need half square triangles made in the same way using the 2.7/8″ squares.

Make a pinwheel

Make a pinwheel

Make the Bethlehem Star quilt block

I am building this block up from the middle to make it clear.  So begin with a four patch pinwheel of dark blue/medium blue half square triangles.

Next frame

Next frame

Now add a pair of dark blue/medium blue half square triangles on each edge of the central square.  Place these so that the white triangles together form larger white triangles pointing towards the middle.

Add the corners

Add the corners

Add a medium blue/white half square triangle in each corner.  Place these so that the blue is always on the outside, white on the inside.

Third frame of the block

Third frame

Third frame

For the third frame of squares, begin with two medium blue 3.1/2″ squares in the middle of each edge.  Add a medium blue/floral half square triangle at each end of the squares.  Place these so that the floral triangles lie against the blue squares.

Add the corners

Add the corners

Now add a medium blue square in each corner.  In order to check that your triangles are placed correctly look at the larger shapes.  You have a star in the middle surrounded by white triangles.  In each corner the medium blue square and two triangles form an envelope shape pointing away from the middle.

Fourth frame of the block

Fourth frame

Fourth frame

Begin the fourth frame with a pair of medium blue/white half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Place these so that the blue triangles form a larger blue triangle pointing away from the middle.  On either side of these lay a floral/white half square triangle.  Place them so that the white triangles form two larger white triangles pointing towards the middle on each edge.  Please note that I have mis placed the floral/white half square triangle on the left of the bottom row – as you can see the two white triangles there do not form a larger white triangle.  It seems really obvious now, but I didn’t notice it at the time.

Add the corners

Add the corners

Finally add the corner sections of this frame. – a dark blue square with two dark blue/white half square triangles in each corner.  Place them so that they form a large dark blue triangle across the corners.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the Bethlehem Star quilt block.  It measures 24.1/2″ square at this stage and you just need to make the one.

Press the seam allowances open

Press the seam allowances open

As there are so many triangles, the seams can be quite bulky, so I pressed the seam allowances open as much as I could.

First border

First border

Add the first border

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of floral fabric for this border.  You need two lengths of 24.1/2″ for the top and bottom together with two lengths of 30.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border

I have used simple star blocks for this border.  It is obviously more work than just using strips of fabric, but it does provide a lovely circle of stars around the central block.

Star layout

Star layout

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a medium blue square in the middle and a light blue square in each corner.  Place the half square triangles in the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to make sure that these are placed correctly.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make twenty of them.

Sew stars to the top and bottom of the quilt

Sew stars to the top and bottom of the quilt

Sew the stars together in four rows of five stars each.

Add one row to the top of the quilt and one to the bottom.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Sew a 6.1/2″ floral square to each end of the remaining two rows of stars.  Sew one strip to each side of the quilt.

Third border

Third border

Add the third border

I have framed the Bethlehem Star quilt with a simple border of 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Bethlehem 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:

https://youtu.be/cEX-nJdMMgQ

This week I am holding my first Black Friday sale ever.  I am offering a 20% discount – the most that I have ever offered! – on all orders over £6.  There is no coupon required:  the discount will be applied automatically at checkout.  To take a look click here.

 

Royal Liver Building

Royal Liver Building

And I have also been on my travels again.  You can see my photos of Liverpool by clicking here or you can click on the photo.

Bluebirds Flying Quilt – Free Pattern

Bluebirds flying quilt

Bluebirds flying quilt

The name of the Bluebirds Flying quilt block attracted me, thinking of all the birds migrating to warmer climates at this time of year – it’s also a very pretty block!  I have teamed it with a simple alternate block to make this lovely fresh looking quilt.

The quilt measures 69″ square using nine blocks which are 21″ square finished size.  I used 2.3/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of light blue and dark blue, with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  As usual, these fabrics are available at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed bluebirds flying quilt block

Completed bluebirds flying quilt block

Cutting requirements for the bluebirds flying quilt

3,7.8″ squares:  forty dark blue, forty white

3.1/2″ squares:  forty dark blue, five red, sixty white

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

11.3/8″ squares:  eight light blue, eight white

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make the half square triangles.  Place a dark 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 and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangles which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue and clip the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Bluebirds flying quilt block

Bluebirds flying quilt block

Make the bluebirds flying quilt block

The layout for this block is very simple.  Begin with a red square in the middle.  Place a white rectangle on each edge of the central square, forming a cross shape.

Layout for the corners

Layout for the corners

Now add the corner sections.  These are all the same as each other, just rotated in the placement.

Along one diagonal place two dark blue squares and one white square.  Place two white squares in the remaining two corners.  Add a pair of half square triangles on either side of the bottom blue square, placing them so that the blue triangles with the square form a larger blue triangle.  Place another pair of half square triangles on either side of the middle blue squares with the two blue triangles forming a butterfly shape together.

Block partially sewn

Block partially sewn

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row of this nine patch unit and then sew the rows together.  Repeat with the other three corners.  You can now sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

At this stage the block measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make five of them.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Make the alternate block

I have made the half square triangles for this block by simply cutting the 11.3/8″ along one diagonal.  Then I could sew a light blue and a white triangle together.  Use four half square triangles for each block, placing them so that they form two larger blue triangles meeting in the middle and two larger white triangles meeting in the middle.

Sew the pieces together in two pairs and then sew the two pairs to each other.  At this stage the block also measures 21.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the bluebirds flying quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three blocks.  Rows one and three are the same as each other.  Lay a bluebird block at each end with an alternate block in the middle.

Row two

Row two

For row two you need to place a bluebird block in the middle with an alternate block in the middle.

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

Red for the border

Red for the border

Add the border

I have used 3.1/2″ strips of the same red fabric that I used within the blue bird blocks.  You need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 69.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/aNwt0hX5dA4

 

National Memorial Arboretum

National Memorial Arboretum

Earlier this year I visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.  With Remembrance Sunday taking place this weekend I thought that it was a good time to share my photos with you.  You can see them by clicking here or on the photo.  I hope that the weather isn’t too bad for all the parades on Sunday.

As the weather forecast isn’t good for tomorrow I thought that I might go and see Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema.

Curved Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Curved log cabin quilt

Curved log cabin quilt

My curved log cabin quilt pattern has turned out really well – well I think so, anyway!  I’ve used the basic log cabin quilt block but with different sized logs.  This means that the red square which began in the middle of the block actually ends up way off centre.  Traditionally, the central square of a log cabin block is red to represent the fire in the hearth of a log cabin.  The colours move from dark to light on each side and I have added the logs clockwise rather than anti clockwise.  The quilt measures 60″ square.

I made sixteen identical blocks and created the design by rotating the blocks.  Each block is 14″ square finished size and I used 1 yard of red, 3/4 yard each of the two darkest blues and darkest light fabrics, with 1/2 yard each of the two lightest blues and the third lightest light fabric, and just 1/4 yard of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements

The red squares in the middle are 2.1/2″.  The blue logs are 2.1/2″ wide while the light logs are 1.1/2″ wide.  I made the border with 2.1/2″ red strips.  I haven’t listed the log sizes here because it would take me half a page to do that and also because you may prefer to speed piece the logs – details below.

Cut the central square

Cut the central square

Central square

Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of red and the lightest blue along the length.  Cut this panel at 2.1/2″ intervals to give rectangles 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″.  These will form the central red square and the first blue log of the block.

You need to make sixteen of these.

First round of logs

Add the second log

Add the second log

For the next blue log you could cut a 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ blue rectangle and sew it to the left hand side of the red square.

Speed piecing

Speed piecing

Alternatively, if you wish to save time with speed piecing, you can cut a 2.1/2″ strip and sew the blue/red rectangles to it.  Place the rectangle on the blue strip.  Make sure that the red square is above the blue square and keep adding more blue/red rectangles until you have sixteen – for this you will need more than one blue strip.

Cut the strip between the rectangles

Cut the strip between the rectangles

Cut the blue strip between each pair of rectangles.  I find this speed piecing much quicker than cutting each log individually before sewing it.  If you are unclear of how I’ve done this, you may find the video helpful – link at the bottom of the page.

Add the first white log

Add the first white log

I’ve made the next two logs of this frame using 1.1/2″ strips of white fabric.  You need a 4.1/2″ rectangle across the top.  This is shown on the right of the photo.  If you’re speed piecing then place the white strip and the block as shown on the left of the photo.

Second white log

Second white log

Add a 5.1/2″ white strip down the right hand side of the block, shown on the right of the photo.  If you’re speed piecing, place the blocks on the white strip as shown on the left of the photo.  This completes the first round of logs around the central square.

First log, second round

First log, second round

Second round of logs

For this round you need the next darkest blue and light fabrics.  The blues are always 2.1/2″ wide and the lights are always 1.1/2″ wide so I’ll just specify the lengths of the logs from now on.  Add a 5.1/2″ blue strip across the bottom of the block.  Place the block against the blue strip as shown on the left if you are speed piecing.

Second log, second round

Second log, second round

For the second log sew a 7.1/2″ blue rectangle to the left hand side of the block.

The speed piecing option is shown on the left of the photo.

Third log, second round

Third log, second round

For the next log sew a 7.1/2″ light rectangle to the top of the block.  Speed piecing option shown on the left.

Fourth log, second round

Fourth log, second round

Make the final log of this round using an 8.1/2″ light rectangle down the right hand side of the block.

For speed piecing place the block as shown against the light strip.

First log, third round

First log, third round

Third round of logs

Add an 8.1/2″ strip of the next darkest blue across the bottom of the block.  Place the block as shown for speed piecing.

Second log, third round

Second log, third round

Now add a 10.1/2″ blue strip up the left hand side of the curved log cabin quilt block.

Speed piecing shown on the left of the photo.

Third log, third round

Third log, third round

Use the third darkest light fabric for the next two logs.  Add a 10.1/2″ strip across the top of the block.

Fourth log, third round

Fourth log, third round

Now sew an 11.1/2″ rectangle down the right hand side of the block.

Speed piecing layout shown on the left of the photo.  That completes the third round of logs – just one more round to go now!

First log, fourth round

First log, fourth round

Fourth round of logs

Using the darkest blue (I’ve used purple) place an 11.1/2″ strip across the bottom of the block.

Second log, fourth round

Second log, fourth round

Sew a 13.1/2″ rectangle up the left hand side of the block.

Placement of the block for speed piecing shown on the left.

Third log, fourth round

Third log, fourth round

Using the darkest of the light fabrics (I’ve used yellow), sew a 13.1/2″ strip across the top of the block.  For some reason I seem to have taken the photo when the block was upside down, so please take care when placing this strip.

Fourth log, fourth round

Fourth log, fourth round

For the final log of this curved log cabin quilt block, sew a 14.1/2″ strip down the right hand side.  This time the block is the right way up!  The block should now measure 14.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.

First two rows of blocks

First two rows of blocks

Assemble the curved log cabin quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  I think that using the purple corner for reference will be clearest.  Make row one with two pairs of blocks where the purple corner is bottom right, bottom left, bottom right again and then bottom left.

In row two place the purple corners top left, bottom right, bottom left and then top right.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

Row three is similar to row two.  Place the purple corners bottom left, top right, top left and bottom right.

In row four the purple corners are top right, top left, top right and top left.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the border

I have picked out the red of the central squares for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Recently I visited somewhere that has been on my list for a long time – Warwick Castle.  It is relatively close to where I live and to see my photos you can click on the photo or click here.

Tomorrow I have a stall at Moseley Art Market – I hope that it’s not going to be as cold as they are forecasting!

Budapest Quilt Pattern – Floor Tile Design

Budapest quilt

Budapest quilt

The Budapest quilt design is based on floor tiles that I saw on my recent visit to Hungary.  You can find a link to the photos from that trip at the bottom of the page.  The quilt measures 67″ square, using nine 15″ blocks with three borders.

For the borders I have used blue strips for borders 1 and 3, with a smaller version of the central block for border 2.

I have used 2.1/2 yards of cream fabric, 1.3/4 yards of red and 1.1/2 yards of blue.




Original tile design

Original tile design

There were so many wonderful buildings from which to choose a design that it was difficult to choose one, but the quilt is loosely based on the tiles in this photo.

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the Budapest quilt

Central block:  one 11.1/8″ red square, two 8.3/8″ cream squares

Cross block:  sixteen 6.1/2″ cream squares, sixteen 3.1/2″ cream squares, twenty 3.1/2″ red squares

Third block:  sixteen 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ cream rectangles, sixteen 3.1/2″ cream squares, eight 3.1/2″ red squares, eight 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ red rectangles, four 14.1/2″ by 3..1/2″ red rectangles

For borders 1 and 3 you will need to cut twelve 2.1/2″ blue strips across the width of fabric

For border 2 you will need thirty two 5.1/2″ red squares and sixty four 4.3/8″ cream squares.

Central block layout

Central block layout

Make the central block

I have made a simple diamond in a square block for the middle of the Budapest quilt.  Cut the 8.3/8″ cream squares along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square.  Place one cream triangle on each edge of the 11.1/8″ red square.

Sew the two side triangles first

Sew the two side triangles first

Sew two opposite triangles on to the square, press them open and then add the remaining two triangles.

Trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out.  The block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you just need to make one.

Cross block layout

Cross block layout

Make the cross block

The layout for this block is very simple.  Place a 6.1/2″ cream square in each corner.  Between the top two corners place a cream and then a red 3.1/2″ square.  For the bottom two corners place a red and then a cream 3.1/2″ square.  Make the middle row with a 9.1/2″ red strip in the middle and a 3.1/2″ cream square at each end.

Sew the red and cream squares together first and then you’ll be able to sew all the pieces together in three distinct rows.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

The cross quilt block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Layout for the third block

Layout for the third block

Make the third block

In the third block I have tried to use rectangles rather than individual squares as much as possible in order to save time sewing the block.

Make rows one and five with a red square in the middle and a 6.1/2″ red rectangle on either side.

Rows two and four contain a 9.1/2″ red rectangle with a cream square at each end.

For row 3 you just need one 15.1/2″ red rectangle.  Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  It now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

Assemble the Budapest quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are the same as each other, with a cross block in the middle and a third block on either side.

Row two

Row two

For row two place the diamond in a square block in the middle with a cross block on either side of it.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  At this stage the Budapest quilt top measures 45.1/2″ square.

First border

First border

Add the first quilt border

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ blue strips to separate the main quilt from the borders.  You will need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 49.1/2″ for the sides.

Add the second border

Make smaller blocks

Make smaller blocks

In the second border I have used a reduced version of the central diamond in a square block.  This time I used 5.1/2″ red squares surrounded by triangles made by cutting 4.3/8″ cream squares along one diagonal.  Don’t forget to trim the edges of the block where the triangle tips stick out.  Each block now measures 7.1/2″ square and you need to make thirty two of them.

Press the seam allowances open

Press the seam allowances open

Sew the blocks together in two rows of seven blocks and two rows of nine blocks.  I have pressed the seam allowances open along these strips as the middle of the seam can be quite bulky.

Border two

Border two

Sew one row of seven blocks to the top of the quilt and one to the bottom.

Sew one row of nine blocks to each side of the quilt.

Border three

Border three

Third quilt border

Finally for the third border I have returned to the 2.1/2″ strips of blue fabric.  You need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt with two lengths of 67.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

River Danube and Budapest

River Danube and Budapest

As I mentioned at the start of the page, this quilt was inspired by my trip to Budapest in Hungary.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

The weather seems to be doing strange things all across the world and I hope that you can stay safe and warm over the weekend.

 

New Waterwheel Quilt – Free Pattern

New waterwheel quilt

New waterwheel quilt

The New Waterwheel quilt is far larger than I had intended it to be.  It ended up measuring 85″ by 112″, large enough for a king size bed with some left over either to drape down the sides to wrap around the pillow.  The blocks are large and very simple, so the quilt went together really quickly.

I have used twelve 27″ blocks, half in blue and white with the other half in red and white.  The fabric required is 1.1/2 yards of light blue, 2 yards of red, 2.1/4 yards of dark blue, and 4 yards of white fabric.




Cutting requirements for the New Waterwheel quilt

9.7/8″ squares:  twelve red, twelve dark blue, twenty four white

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty red, twenty four white

9.1/2″ squares:  six light blue

3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  twenty four red, forty eight dark blue, seventy two white – read the pattern before cutting these as they can be made using strip piecing

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

Sew the triangles together

Sew the triangles together

Make the new waterwheel quilt block

Use the 9.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  As the squares are quite large I have not made them in pairs, but just cut each square along the diagonal and then sewn a white triangle to either a red or a blue triangle.

Make the striped sections

Make the striped sections

For the striped sections of the blocks I have saved time by using strip piecing.  For the new waterwheel block sew together 3.1/2″ strips of white, red, white along the length.  Cut these panels at 9.1/2″ intervals to create 9.1/2″ squares.

Central section

Central section

For the central section of the block make a nine patch unit of red and white squares.  The top and bottom rows are 3.1/2″ squares of red, white, red while the middle row uses white, red, white squares.

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

New waterwheel quilt block layout

New waterwheel quilt block layout

Assemble the full quilt block

Lay the sections out in three rows of three.  Place the nine-patch in the middle with a red/white half square triangle in each corner.  Make sure that the red triangles are on the outside, forming the corners of the block.  Between each pair of corners, place a striped block.  These should form a frame around the central area – the top and bottom ones are laid horizontally while the side ones are placed vertically.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block measures 27.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make six of them.

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

Make the alternate block

The alternate block has most of the same elements as the new waterwheel block.  It is even easier to make because there is no nine patch in the middle – just a plain light blue square.

The striped blocks are made in exactly the same way as above, but using dark blue, white, dark blue strips.  Place the light blue square in the middle with a blue/white half square triangle in each corner, blue on the outside.  Place the striped blocks so that the stripes point away from the middle, rather than framing the middle.  Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

The alternate block measures 27.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make six of them.

Rows one and four

Rows one and four

Assemble the new waterwheel quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three.  Rows one and four are the same as each other.  Place a blue block in the middle with a red block on either side of it.

Rows two and three

Rows two and three

Rows two and three are the same as each other.  Place a red block in the middle with a blue block on either side.

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

Add the border

I just wanted a small border for this quilt because it is so large, so I used 2.1/2″ strips of the light blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 81.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 112.1/2″ for the sides.  The new waterwheel quilt top is now finished and ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor

Recently I visited Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury.  It’s a magnificent property, built originally for the Rothschild family, along with equally lovely parkland.  To see my photos click here or click on the photo.

Tom and Anna

Tom and Anna

And of course last weekend was the wedding of my second son Tom to the lovely Anna.

The church had been recently refurbished and was beautiful, the cake was carrot and banana and was delicious.  My daughter was a bridesmaid and was also beautiful.

 

My daughter as bridesmaid

My daughter as bridesmaid

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Heytesbury Church

Heytesbury Church

My granddaughter

My granddaughter

My eldest son with my grandaughter.