Spool and Bobbin Quilt – Free Pattern

Spool and Bobbin Quilt

Spool and Bobbin Quilt

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

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

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

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the spool and bobbin quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  twenty purple, sixteen white

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

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

6.1/2″ squares:  ten lilac

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




Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make the half square triangle units.  Place a green square with either a purple or a lilac square, right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.

Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Spool and bobbin quilt block layout

Spool and bobbin quilt block layout

Make the spool and bobbin quilt block

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

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

Belle's Favourite layout

Belle’s Favourite layout

Make the Belle’s Favourite quilt block

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

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

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

Row one

Row one

Assemble the spool and bobbin quilt

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

Row two

Row two

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

Row three

Row three

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

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

Green for the border

Green for the border

Add the border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Wimbledon

Wimbledon

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

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

Blue star quilt

Blue star quilt

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

Piano Keys Star Quilt Free Pattern

Piano Keys Star quilt

Piano Keys Star quilt

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

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

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

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




Quilt components

Quilt components

Cutting requirements for the piano keys star quilt

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

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

9.1/2″ squares:  ten dark blue

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

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

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a light blue and a dark blue square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the dark blue and clip the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star quilt blocks

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

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

Make three panels

Make three panels

Make the piano keys sections

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

Basic rows of the quilt

Basic rows of the quilt

Assemble the piano keys star quilt

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

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

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

Use red for the border

Use red for the border

Add the piano keys star quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Washington DC

Washington DC

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

Hawaiian quilt

Hawaiian quilt

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

Sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower wall hanging

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

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

Church Tile Quilt – Free Pattern

Church Tile Quilt

Church Tile Quilt

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

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

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




Cutting requirements for the church tile quilt

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

6.7/8″ squares:  nine lilac

7.1/4″ squares:  one lilac

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

Cut the triangles

Cut the triangles

Cut the triangles

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

Assemble the quilt – top half

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

First three rows

First three rows

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

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

Rows four and five

Rows four and five

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

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

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

Assemble the quilt – middle section

Rows six and seven

Rows six and seven

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

Bottom left corner of the quilt

Bottom left corner of the quilt

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

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

Other end of rows six and seven

Other end of rows six and seven

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

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

Assemble the quilt – bottom section

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

Bottom right hand corner

Bottom right hand corner

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

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

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

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

Use gold for the border

Use gold for the border

Add the quilt border

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

Trim the edges

Trim the edges

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

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

Here’s the video:

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

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

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

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

Photo Quilt Cushion Cover Pattern

Photo quilt cushion cover

Photo quilt cushion cover

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

Cutting requirements for the photo quilt cushion cover

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




Soak the fabric

Soak the fabric

Treat the fabric

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

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

Back with freezer paper

Back with freezer paper

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

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

Clip the top corners

Clip the top corners

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

Add text if you want

Add text if you want

Print your photo

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

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

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

Add the first border

Add the first border

Add the two borders

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

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

Line the panel

Line the panel

Line the front panel

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

Turn under a double hem

Turn under a double hem

Make the cushion back panel

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

Lay the panel on the backing strip

Lay the panel on the backing strip

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

Fold up one end

Fold up one end

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

Fold the second edge down

Fold the second edge down

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

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

Here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/2fypAqYBTpc

 

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

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

Philadelphia – America – Photos

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall

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

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




Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

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

Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof

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

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Congress Hall

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

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

 

Congress Hall

Congress Hall

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

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

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

Design ideas

Design ideas

Quilt Inspiration

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

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

Statue in the park

Statue against trees

Statue against trees

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

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

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

 

 

New York Flooring Quilt Pattern

New York flooring quilt

New York flooring quilt

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

Original tile design

Original tile design

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

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




Completed tile block

Completed tile block

Cutting requirements for the New York flooring quilt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make a 4 patch unit

Make a 4 patch unit

Make the tile quilt block

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

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

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

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

New York flooring quilt block layout

New York flooring quilt block layout

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

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

Half square triangles

Half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

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

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

Central section of star block

Central section of star block

Make the star quilt blocks

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

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

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

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

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

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assemble the New York flooring quilt

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

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

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

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

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Rockefeller square in the rain

Rockefeller square in the rain

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

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

Special Occasion Clutch Bag Pattern

Special occasion clutch bag

Special occasion clutch bag

I made this special occasion clutch bag as I have another wedding on the horizon.  My plan is to make this butterfly bow bag to match my outfit.  It’s my second son Tom, who is getting married in September.

I have used silk so that I can use both sides of the fabric.  It could just as easily be made with any fabric that matches your outfit.  I would recommend something soft, maybe silk or organza, for the bow.  The bag measures about 10″ wide by 7″ high.

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




Cutting requirements for the special occasion clutch bag

Rectangle 21″ by 10″:  one in top fabric, one in lining fabric, one in wadding

Rectangle 7″ by 10″ for the bow

Square 7″ for the tie on the bow

Butterfly.

Make the body of the bag

Lay the wadding down first, then the lining fabric (pink) with right side up followed by the top fabric (blue) with right side down.

Cut curves at one end

Cut curves at one end

At one end of the rectangle, mark a curve with a plate or something and then cut the two curves in all three layers.

Hem the sides

Hem the sides

For the bow you need a rectangle in contrasting fabric.  I have used the back of the silk, so that I am using the blue side for the body of the bag and the green side for the bow.  Turn under a small double hem on both the long edges of this rectangle.

I have used a rectangle 10″ wide, but if you wanted a fuller bow you could use an 11″ rectangle, leaving some fullness for the bow.

Place the bow fabric on the top bag section

Place the bow fabric on the top bag section

Place this rectangle on the right side of the top fabric as near to the curved corners as you can.

Flip the top fabric and place it back  on the lining fabric.  You now have wadding, lining fabric, bow rectangle, top fabric.

Leave a gap

Leave a gap

Sew 1/4″ from the edge around three and a half sides, leaving a gap on the edge opposite the curves for you to turn the bag right side out.

Clip around the curved edge

Clip around the curved edge

Before you turn the bag, though, trim the seam allowance anywhere it looks bulky, clip across the straight corners and clip towards the seam around the curved end.

Turn the bag right side out

Turn the bag right side out

Now you can turn the project right side out through that gap.  Pin the edges to make sure that the seam is right on the edge and you can’t see the lining fabric from the top.  Turn under a small hem across the gap so that you can close that as well.  Stitch all round the edge about 1/4″ in from the seam.

Fold the square in half

Fold the square in half

Make the bow

Fold the 7″ square in half with right sides together and sew the seam.

Turn this tube right side out and press it flat with the seam in the middle.

Slip the tie behind the bow section

Slip the tie behind the bow section

Slip this tube behind the bow section of the bag with the seam uppermost.  The seam will then be hidden when you pull the ends together to make a circle.

Pull the ends of the tube together

Pull the ends of the tube together

Take each end of the tube and pull them together over the top of the bow section, gathering it.

Turn under a small hem on one end of the tube and push the other end inside the hemmed end.  Slipstitch in place.  It doesn’t matter if the join isn’t quite straight (mine wasn’t) because this join will be hidden beneath the bow.

Add a butterfly

Add a butterfly

Ease the tie section around so that the join is at the back, well hidden by the bow.  At this stage you can add an embellishment of some sort on the tie.  I have used an applique butterfly that matches the fabric.

Sew the sides

Sew the sides

Finish the special occasion bag

It just remains now to fold the project and make it into a clutch bag.

Fold the rectangular end of the project up 7″ from the end.  This creates the pouch of the bag.  Sew down the sides.  I used double thickness thread to do this bit.  Fold down the curved top end of the bag to complete your special occasion bag.  You can carry the bag by slipping your hand beneath the bow so that the bow lies around your wrist.

Here’s the video:

Crooked House pub

Crooked House pub

Recently I visited a most unusual pub.  It’s called the Crooked House and I had heard it about many times in the past.  It’s in the Dudley area and one side is about 4 feet lower than the other end.  It was a farmhouse originally and the subsidence was caused by mining in the area.

I was standing upright here

I was standing upright here

It’s a really weird feeling to walk towards it – you feel as though it’s you rather than the building that’s at an angle.  I am assured that the building has been shored up and is totally safe.

Columbian Star Quilt Pattern

Columbian star quilt

Columbian star quilt

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

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

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Columbian star quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  four white

12.1/2″ squares:  one purple

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

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty white, twenty purple

3.1/2″ squares:  four purple, eight white

15.7/8″ squares:  four purple, four white

15.1/2″ squares:  four purple

8″ squares:  sixteen white

8.3/8″ squares:  sixteen purple, sixteen white

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




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a purple and a white square right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the purple and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

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

Top section

Top section

Make the Columbian star quilt block top

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

Partially sewn section

Partially sewn section

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

Central section

Central section

Middle section of block

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

Bottom third of the block

Bottom third of the block

Lower third of the block

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

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

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

Corner block layout

Corner block layout

Make the corner blocks

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

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

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

Third block layout

Third block layout

Make the third block

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

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

Row one

Row one

Assemble the quilt

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

Row two

Row two

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

Row three

Row three

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

Add the top border

Add the top border

Finishing the quilt

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

Here’s the video:

 

Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls

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

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Sunflower Wall Hanging Pattern

Sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower wall hanging

I made the Sunflower Wall Hanging partly because it’s pretty and very appropriate for the time of year and partly to show you how easy it is to keep adding frames of triangles to a central square.  Below I have given details of two methods for calculating the size of the squares from which to cut the triangles.  I would also like to say a big thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes that I received last week. The wall hanging measures 31″ square and I have used 1/2 yard each of sunflower fabric and yellow background fabric together with 1/4 yard each of two other fabrics from the sunflower range.  

Central area

Central area

Cutting requirements for the sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower fabric: one 4.1/2″ square, three 4.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric for the border Yellow fabric:  two 3.3/4″ squares, two 6.1/2″ squares, two 12.1/4″ squares Turquoise fabric:  two 4.7/8″ squares Sunflower silhouette fabric:  two 8.7/8″ squares.

Fussy cut a sunflower

Fussy cut a sunflower

Cut the central square

Cut a 4.1/2″ strip of sunflower fabric and cut a square that gives a complete sunflower for the middle of the wall hanging.  You can do this with any suitable fabric and you can vary the size of this central square to suit the fabric.

One triangle on each edge

One triangle on each edge

Add the first triangles

Cut the 3.3/4″ squares along one diagonal to form triangles.  Place one triangle on each edge of the central square.

Sew two triangles in place and then press

Sew two triangles in place and then press

You need to sew these triangles to the square in pairs.  Sew the top and bottom triangles and press them open.  Press the seam allowances away from the square.  Then sew the remaining two triangles to the sides and press open. You’ll notice that each triangle is longer than the edge of the square.  Make sure that the triangles extend the same distance beyond the square on each side. Trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out and if necessary trim the square to 6.1/2″.

How to measure the triangles

How to measure the triangles

How to measure the triangles

Now what happens if you want to use a larger (or smaller) central square?  I use two different methods so that I can check up on myself.  The first method is a simple calculation.  Using a calculator, divide the size of the square edge (4.1/2) by 1.41.  Add 1/2″ to this measurement and cut the square to that size. For the second method I use a tape measure placed across the corner of my cutting mat.  I place the end of the measure on the top line and the 4.1/2″ mark on the right hand line of the mat.  Make sure that these two ends of the tape measure are both the same distance from the corner.  In this case they are both 3.1/4″ from the corner.  Add 1/2″ and you have the measurement of 3.3/4″ which I have used for the squares to make the first round of triangles. Personally I prefer the tape measure method because it gives the result in 1/8″ intervals whereas the calculator gives decimal figures.  Whichever way you use, I hope this will help you to make this design using any size of central square.

The second round

The second round

Add the second frame

In order to make the second round of triangles I have used another sunflower fabric.  Overall I have alternated sunflower fabrics with plain yellow so that you can see what I’ve done more easily.  This time the triangles are cut from 4.7/8″ squares.  Add them two at a time as before and trim the edges.  Your square should now measure 8.1/2″ on each edge.

Sew with the square on top

Sew with the square on top

One thing that I do find useful is to sew the triangles on with the triangle underneath and the square on top.  This means that you can see the stitch lines of the previous frame in the middle of each edge.  You can then make sure that the seam you are now sewing passes just across the corner of the previous seam.  This means that your diamonds keep their points as you build up the rounds.

Add yellow triangles

Add yellow triangles

Another yellow frame

For the next frame cut the triangles from 6.1/2″ yellow squares.  Place one on each edge of the square and sew them on two at a time as before. Trim the edges of the square, which should now measure 11.1/2″.

Third round

Third round

Add the black frame

I have used 8.7/8″ squares to make the triangles for the next round.  Sew the triangles to the yellow square.  Your square should now measure 16.1/2″ on each edge.

Add a final yellow frame

Add a final yellow frame

One final round of triangles

I had intended to finish the wall hanging with the black frame shown above, but I realised that the central square is upright at this stage.  I want it to finish on point, in a diamond shape, so I need one more round of triangles. Use triangles cut from 12.1/4″ yellow squares.  Trim your square to 23″ along each edge.

Sunflower border

Sunflower border

Add the border

I have used 4.1/2″ strips of the same sunflower fabric as that used in the middle for the border. You’ll need two lengths of 23″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 31″ for the sides. That completes the sunflower wall hanging top.  It can now be layered, quilted and bound as for any quilt.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section. Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/TFg7qW2HHGo

Telford

Telford

Thanks for all the comments on my new privacy policy.  I mentioned last week that I had been to a workshop to check that I am doing it correctly.  The workshop took place in Telford in one of the museums of the Ironbridge Gorge.  It’s a beautiful area and it was a lovely day.  This park area combined the new and the old beautifully.

Telford's Iron Bridge

Telford’s Iron Bridge

I would have loved to bring you a photo of Thomas Telford’s original Iron Bridge but it was shrouded in scaffolding while they do some major work on it.  However I managed to find an old photo of it that I took many years ago.  

Vote or no vote

Vote or no vote

This area really took my fancy.  It celebrates the fact that in February 1918 women were first given the vote in Parliamentary elections.  However not all women were allowed the vote – of approximately 160 women working in that area of Ironbridge Gorge at the time only 37 were given the vote.

Wonderful imagery

Wonderful imagery

Each one of those 37 women is remembered with an individual silhouette showing their name.  Wonderful imagery!

Pillar of friendship

Pillar of friendship

The Pillar of Friendship was created when a conference of Master Blacksmiths took place there.  Each panel represents one blacksmith’s idea of friendship.  That was really interesting.  

Butterfly Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Butterfly star quilt

Butterfly star quilt

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the butterfly star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  sixteen blue

4.7/8″ squares:  eight blue, eight lilac

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

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

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

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen blue

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

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

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

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units.

Use both the 3.7/8″ and 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place either a lilac or a green square right sides together with a blue square and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.

This will produce two half square triangle units which are either 3.1/2″ or 4.1/2″ square.   Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Butterfly block layout

Butterfly block layout

Make the butterfly quilt block

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

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

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

Star block layout

Star block layout

Make the star quilt block

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

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

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

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the butterfly star quilt

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

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

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

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

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

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

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

Green stars for the border

Green stars for the border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

 

 

Himley Hall

Himley Hall

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