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.

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Columbian star quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  four white

12.1/2″ squares:  one purple

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

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty white, twenty purple

3.1/2″ squares:  four purple, eight white

15.7/8″ squares:  four purple, four white

15.1/2″ squares:  four purple

8″ squares:  sixteen white

8.3/8″ squares:  sixteen purple, sixteen white

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




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

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

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

Top section

Top section

Make the Columbian star quilt block top

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

Partially sewn section

Partially sewn section

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

Central section

Central section

Middle section of block

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

Bottom third of the block

Bottom third of the block

Lower third of the block

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

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

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

Corner block layout

Corner block layout

Make the corner blocks

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

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

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

Third block layout

Third block layout

Make the third block

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

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

Row one

Row one

Assemble the quilt

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

Row two

Row two

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

Row three

Row three

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

Add the top border

Add the top border

Finishing the quilt

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

Here’s the video:

 

Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls

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

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Butterfly Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Butterfly star quilt

Butterfly star quilt

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




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the butterfly star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  sixteen blue

4.7/8″ squares:  eight blue, eight lilac

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

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

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

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen green, sixteen blue

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

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

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

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units.

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

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

Butterfly block layout

Butterfly block layout

Make the butterfly quilt block

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

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

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

Star block layout

Star block layout

Make the star quilt block

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

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

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

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the butterfly star quilt

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

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

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

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

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

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

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

Green stars for the border

Green stars for the border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

 

 

Himley Hall

Himley Hall

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

Pieced Sashing Star Quilt Pattern

Pieced sashing star quilt

Pieced sashing star quilt

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

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




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the pieced sashing star quilt

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

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

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

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

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

Making half square triangles

Making half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a green and a dark blue square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

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

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star blocks

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows.

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

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

Cut the sashing strips

Cut the sashing strips

Make the sashing strips

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

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

Sew the rows together

Sew the rows together

Assemble the pieced sashing star quilt

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

Add sashing strips between the rows

Add sashing strips between the rows

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

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

Lilac quilt border

Lilac quilt border

Add the quilt border

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

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

Here’s the video:

 

Alcester high street

Alcester high street

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

Inside Alcester church

Inside Alcester church

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

Four Corners Star Quilt Pattern

Four corners star quilt

Four corners star quilt

I’ve used three different blocks to create the Four Corners star quilt pattern.  The central block contains a star and then I have created a second star around it.  The quilt measures 60″ square, using 1.1/2 yards each of light blue and white with 2.1/4 yards of dark blue and 3/4 yard of yellow fabric.  I have made nine blocks which are all 18″ square finished size.

The central block is known as the four corners quilt block – I didn’t give the quilt its name based on the fact that it has four corners!  The blocks are all large which means that it is a very simple and quick quilt to make.




Completed four corners quilt block

Completed four corners quilt block

Cutting requirements for the four corners star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  four dark blue, four yellow

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  six dark blue

3.7/8″ squares:  four each in yellow and white, four each in dark blue and white

9.1/2″ by 18.1/2″ rectangles:  four light blue

9.7/8″ squares:  four yellow, four white

18.7/8″ squares:  two light blue, two white

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ and the 9.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now either 3.1/2″ or 9.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

First stage of layout

First stage of layout

Four corners quilt block

I am showing the layout in two stages for the sake of clarity. Lay two blue rectangles in the middle.  Place a pair of small yellow/white half square triangles on each edge of this central area.  Lay these so that the two yellow triangles together form a larger yellow triangle pointing away from the middle.  Place a yellow square in each corner of this section.

Four corners quilt block layout

Four corners quilt block layout

Now add the outer frame of this block.  Place a blue rectangle in each corner.  Between these place a pair of dark blue/white half square triangles in the middle of each edge.  Note that the two blue triangles together form a larger dark blue triangle pointing towards the middle.  In rows two and five place a dark blue square at each end.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

The block measures 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make one only.

Second block layout

Second block layout

Make the second block

This is a very simple block.  Place two large yellow/white half square triangles so that the white triangles lie together to form a larger white triangle pointing down.

Above these place a light blue rectangle.  Sew the half square triangles together and then sew them to the blue rectangle.  This block also measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Completed corner block

Completed corner block

Make the corner blocks

The corner blocks are very large half square triangle units.  I haven’t made these in pairs as I did for the smaller units.  Simply cut an 18.7/8″ square along one diagonal and then sew a light blue and a white triangle together.

This block measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the four corners star quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Make the first row with a corner block at each end and a block two in the middle.  Place the corner blocks so that the light blue triangles are on the outside, forming the corners of the quilt.

Row two

Row two

Form row two with the four corners star block in the middle and a block two on either side.  Place these so that the yellow triangles lie against the central block.

Row three

Row three

Finally make row three with a corner block at each end and a block two in the middle.  This time place the yellow triangles at the top of the block.

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

Add the border

Add the border

Add the quilt border

Use 3.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

Oxford High Street

Oxford High Street

Last week I paid an overnight visit to Oxford, commonly known as the city of dreaming spires.

The buildings are absolutely beautiful and this photo shows the entrance to one of the colleges.  Unfortunately the colleges that I went past weren’t open to visitors.

Bodleian Library reading room

Bodleian Library reading room

I don’t think that this building is actually on a slope, so I’m not sure how I managed to take a photo making it look like  a leaning tower.  I think that it’s the reading room for the Bodleian Library which was just on my right as I took this photo.

As usual I haven’t had time to sort out all the photos, but I’ll make sure to get the Oxford and Blenheim Palace photos ready for next Friday.

Broken Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Broken star quilt

Broken star quilt

I’ve used the Broken Star quilt block together with trumpet cornerstones to make this pretty quilt.  It measures 42″ square and I’ve used 1.1/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of yellow and brown together with 1/2 yard of orange.

I’ve used flying geese units within the block – don’t be worried if you haven’t made these before.  They really are very simple to make.




Cutting requirements for the broken star quilt

6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangles:  four white, eight yellow, eight brown

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

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two white, eight orange

6.1/2″ squares:  five white

3.1/2″ squares:  four white

For the borders you will need four 3.1/2″ strips each of orange, yellow and brown together with sixteen 5″ squares each in brown and yellow.

Making flying geese units

Making flying geese units

Make the flying geese units

There are many ways of making flying geese units, but I have chosen the most straightforward way this time.  Place a 6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangle with right sides up.  Lay a 3.7/8″ square right sides together on one side of the rectangle.  Mark a line along the diagonal of the square and sew along the line.

Cut the fabric 1/4″ away from the seam (in the photo this step is middle left).  Discard the two triangles that you have cut off (brown and orange) and press the remaining part of the square open.

Completed flying geese units

Completed flying geese units

Place another square right sides together on the other side of the rectangle.  Repeat the above step, drawing a line along the diagonal, trimming off excess fabric and pressing the triangle open.  There is a different method of making flying geese here.

Trim the flying geese units

Trim the flying geese units

You need to make eight flying geese units in yellow and white, four in brown and orange, four in white and orange.  Trim them to 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, making sure to trim from all four edges.

Broken star quilt block top section

Broken star quilt block top section

Make the broken star quilt block

The top and bottom sections of this block are the same as each other.  These sections consist of two rows.  Make the first row with a 6.1/2″ white square at each end, then a yellow/white flying geese unit.  In the centre place a 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle with an orange/white flying geese unit beneath it.  For the second row place a yellow/white flying geese unit at each end, then a 3.1/2″ white square with a brown/orange flying geese in the middle.  Check the photo to make sure that you have the flying geese units correctly placed.

Sew the white rectangle and orange/white flying geese together first and then sew the patchwork pieces together across the rows.  Sew the two rows to each other.  Make two of these sections – one for the top of the block and the other to be placed upside down for the bottom section.

Middle row

Middle row

To make the middle row place a 6.1/2″ white square at each end and in the middle.  On either side of the central square place a brown/orange and a white/orange flying geese unit.

Sew the pieces together across the row.

Broken star quilt block layout

Broken star quilt block layout

Here you can see the full layout of the broken star quilt block when the three sections of the block have been sewn together.  Now you just need to sew the three sections to each other.

Top border

Top border

Add the quilt border

Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of brown, yellow and orange.  Make four of these and cut them to give strips 24.1/2″ long by 9.1/2″ wide.

Sew one to the top of the broken star block and one to the bottom.

Make the trumpet units

For the cornerstones I am indebted to Jennie Rayment.  She’s a star and if you ever have the chance to take one of her workshops then do grab the opportunity.  She always provides lots of information and lots of laughs.

Fold the square twice

Fold the square twice

I am using four trumpets for each corner unit.  Fold a yellow 5″ square along one diagonal with right sides together.  Then fold the resulting triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.  This has all the raw edges along one side, a fold on the second side and two folded layers on the third side.  This last is the open edge.

Sew the triangle between two squares

Sew the triangle between two squares

Place a yellow triangle along one edge of a brown 5″ square.  The side of the triangle with all raw edges lies along the edge of the square.

Place a second brown square right sides together on top of the first square.  Sew the edge that encloses the triangle to join the two squares with the yellow triangle appearing now between the two squares.

Press the triangle flat to make a pouch. and press.  Make eight of these units.

Lay two units to make a four patch

Lay two units to make a four patch

Complete the corner units

Lay two of the units with the open edges of the yellow triangles furthest from the middle.  Place two more yellow triangles to lie along the top of the bottom unit, meeting in the middle.  Make sure that the open edges of the triangles are at the ends away from the middle.

Completed corner unit

Completed corner unit

Flip the top unit down right sides together with the bottom unit and sew the two units together.

Flatten the triangles and press.

Sew the corner units in place

Sew the corner units in place

Sew one corner unit to each end of the two remaining border strips.  Add one strip to each side of the quilt.

Secure the trumpets

Secure the trumpets

There are several ways of securing the trumpets in place.  I have chosen to add a few stitches to either side of each trumpet just at the corners where my finger is pointing in the photo.

That completes the broken 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:

Flower display

Flower display

Last week I visited the Malvern Autumn Show.  The flowers on display were absolutely beautiful.  I was fired with enthusiasm and bought loads of spring bulbs although I could never hope to arrange my flowers as beautifully as the displays at the show.

Superb vegetables

Superb vegetables

They also had a section of giant vegetables which was fun to see.  These leeks must have been several feet long.

Giant marrows

Giant marrows

Although this isn’t a brilliant photo I thought that it would give you an idea of the size of these vegetables when seen beside people.

I had a problem on my way home which made it into a long day.  Birmingham was holding its first 100 mile bike race, Velo Birmingham.  It was a tremendous success (well done Birmingham!) but there were lots and lots of road closures.  My area seemed to be shut off completely and it took me ages to find a way home.

Monkey Wrench Star Quilt Pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

For the Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern I have used only one block.  I have created the stars through variations in the colour.  Altogether I’ve used six blocks which are 16″ square finished size and three borders.  I’m rather pleased with this pattern.

I’ve made each block with a red and white four patch unit in the middle. Then I’ve added a series of triangles attached to the edges of the squares to build up the blocks.

The quilt measures 42″ by 58″.  I have used 3/4 yard each of white and dark blue with 1/2 yard each of light blue, medium blue, red and yellow.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the monkey wrench star quilt pattern

3.3/8″ squares:  twelve red, twelve white

4.7/8″ squares:  twelve light blue

8.7/8″ squares:  eight white, two medium blue, two dark blue

9.1/4″ squares:  four yellow, two dark blue, one medium blue

For the borders cut five 2.1/2″ red strips, five 1.1/2″ yellow strips and five 2.1/2″ dark blue strips, all cut across the width of fabric.

Make the 4 patch units

Make the 4 patch units

Make the four patch units

Sew a 3,3.8″ strip of red and of white together along the length.  Then cut this panel at 3.3/8″ intervals to make rectangles.  Each rectangle contains one white and one red square.  Sew these together in pairs with the colours diagonally opposite each other.  You can see this in the top right of the photo.

Cut squares along one diagonal

Cut squares along one diagonal

Add the first triangles

Cut the light blue 4.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to form two triangles from each square.

Add triangles to the square

Add triangles to the square

Place one triangle on each edge of the four patch unit.  Sew two opposite triangles to the 4 patch unit first.  Press these two triangles open and then add the two remaining triangles.

The progression shown in the photo runs from top left to bottom left, then top right followed by bottom right.  As you can see, you end up with a diamond in a square.

At this stage the squares measure 8.1/2″ square.  Make six of them all the same.  The blocks all contain this central area and then the colours begin to vary in the following frames.  For this reason, I’ve shown the blocks from now on in each row, two at a time.  I found that this was the simplest way to be sure that I had the right colours in the right block.

Cut along both diagonals

Cut along both diagonals

Blocks for row one – first frame

Cut the yellow, medium blue and dark blue 9.1/4″ squares along both diagonals to make four triangles from each square.

Row one next frame

Row one next frame

In the lefthand block of row one, place three yellow and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.  Place the same triangles in the second block, but note that they are positioned differently.  The central squares are placed so that the red squares run vertically within the block.  Now sew the triangles to the central squares two at a time.  Press the first triangles open and then add the second pair of triangles.  At this stage the blocks should measure fractionally under 12″ square.

Final frame for row one

Final frame for row one

Row one – final frame

For the outer frame of these blocks, cut the 8.7/8″ white, medium blue and dark blue squares along one diagonal only to make two triangles per square. On both blocks place three white and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the square.  Notice that the placement is different on each block – the dark blue triangles together form a larger dark blue triangle at the base of the blocks.

As before, sew these triangles on two at a time, pressing before adding the second two triangles.

That completes the two blocks for row one.  They should now measure 16.1/2″ square.  I find it best to sew these two blocks together straight away to avoid any confusion with the next blocks that you make.

Row two next frame

Row two next frame

Row two

Make the next two blocks for row two in the same way, but with different colour placements.  This time each block has two yellow, one medium blue and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.

Row two outer frame

Row two outer frame

Make the outer frame with two white, one dark blue and one medium blue triangle for each block.

Place the white triangles on the sides with the dark blue at the top and the medium blue at the bottom of the block.  Again the blues form larger triangles – dark blue at the top and medium blue at the bottom.

Sew rows one and two together

Sew rows one and two together

Once again sew the blocks to each other.  When you sew these two rows together you can see the stars beginning to form.  I think that you can see now why I chose to sew the rows together as I went.  It would have been terribly easy to muddle the blocks – well, it would for me anyway!

Row three next frame

Row three next frame

Row three

Make the next frame for the blocks for the third row with three yellow and one medium blue triangle on each block.

Row three outer frame

Row three outer frame

For the outer frame place three white and one medium blue triangles on the edges of the squares.  The medium blue together form a larger medium blue triangle and the white lies on the sides and the base of the row.  As ever, sew the triangles on two at a time, then press and add the remaining two triangles.

Sew the blocks to each other and then sew them to rows one and two.

At this stage the monkey wrench star quilt top measures 32.1/2″ by 48.1/2″.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used three borders to give a good strong frame to the quilt.  For the first border use 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You need to cut two lengths of 32.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border with 1.1/2″ strips of yellow:  two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally use 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue for the third border.  You need two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the monkey wrench 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:

Athletics World Championships

Athletics World Championships

Thank you so much for all the kind wishes and comments that you sent me last week regarding my hand.  They really did make me feel a huge amount better!  My hand has improved enormously and I’m having the stitches out this afternoon.  I did as I was told and took it easy last week.  I went to stay with my son in London and watched the World Championship Athletics on two evenings.  The first evening it was weather for ducks but still very enjoyable.  The second evening was brilliant weather and a really exciting evening.

 

Times Remembered Quilt Pattern

Times remembered quilt

Times remembered quilt

I chose the Times Remembered quilt block for this quilt because that’s what I always find myself doing at the start of a new year – taking a glance back at the previous year.  Whether or not you do the same, I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed your festive break and will have a wonderful new year.

The Star and Cross block is my choice for an alternative.  I’m quite pleased with the way that it forms a circle around the central area of the quilt.  There are sixteen blocks – eight of each – and they are all 15″ square finished size.  Altogether I used 1/2 yard of dark blue, 3/4 yard of medium blue, 1.1/4 yards of light blue, 1.1/2 yards each of red and white fabrics.  The quilt measures 66″ square.

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




Cutting requirements for the times remembered quilt

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

3.1/2″ squares:  forty dark blue, forty eight medium blue, thirty two light blue for the times remembered blocks,  together with forty eight white and sixty four light blue for the star and cross quilt

3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ rectangles:  eight medium blue, eight red for the times block, together with eight white for the star block

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in red and white for the times block, together with thirty two each in light blue and white for the star block

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

Making half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

I’ve used 3.7/8″ squares for the half square triangles, in the colour pairings listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Times remembered quilt block layout

Times remembered quilt block layout

Make the times remembered quilt block

Lay the patchwork pieces out as shown in the photo.  Place a dark blue square in each corner and in the middle.  Add a light blue square on each edge of the central square and a red/white half square triangle in each corner of that central area.  Place these so that the white triangles are on the outside, forming the corners of that area.

For the outer frame you need a medium blue rectangle at the top, a red rectangle at the bottom and three medium blue squares on each side.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  Make eight of them.

Star and cross quilt block layout

Star and cross quilt block layout

Make the star and cross quilt block

Lay the patchwork out as shown.  Form the central cross with a white rectangle in row three and a white square above and below it.  Place a white square in each corner of the block, with a blue/white half square triangle forming a butterfly shape across each corner.

Place a light blue square in the middle of each edge of the block.  Add the remaining light blue squares diagonally inside each white corner square.

Sew the squares together across each row and sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  Make eight of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the times remembered quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  In row one place two star blocks in the middle with a times block at each end of the row.  Place these so that the red rectangles are at the bottom of the blocks.

Row two

Row two

The second row is made with two times blocks in the middle and a star block at each end.  Place the times blocks so that the red rectangle is first on the right and then on the bottom of the blocks.

Row three

Row three

For the third row the blocks are the same as for the second row, but this time the red rectangles are first on the top and then on the left of the blocks.  This is how the cross in the centre of the quilt is formed.

Row four

Row four

Finally the fourth row comprises two star blocks in the middle with a times block at each end.  Rotate the times blocks so that the red rectangles are at the top of the blocks.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used 3.1/2″ strips of red for the quilt border.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 66.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

Earlswood lakes

Earlswood lakes

I’ve had a very relaxing break.  While my sewing machine was carefully tidied away I took lots of lovely walks.  One in particular to Earlswood Lakes gave me some gorgeous scenes of the sun shining on the water:  sometimes my camera just shows this as a blur, but for some reason this time it showed the sun’s reflection beautifully.  I think that I’ll have to try and use this particular photo as the basis of a quilt.

Holly's vest

Holly’s vest

In addition I wanted to share with you a baby vest that I adapted for my granddaughter, Holly.  It was very simple to make – I added some text to a photo of Christmas fabric and then printed it on plain fabric.  I sewed that and a holly shape on to the vest, giving a festive vest.  It was a really simple way of personalising a gift for her.

Kansas Beauty Star Quilt Pattern

Kansas Beauty star quilt

Kansas Beauty star quilt

The Kansas Beauty Star quilt is based on the Kansas Beauty quilt block, but I have used three different colour variations to form a star design on the quilt.

I have used nine 16″ square finished size blocks.

The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used 1/4 yard of yellow star fabric, 1/2 yard each of light blue and dark blue, 3/4 yard of white and 1.1/2 yards of red fabric.  There are nine 16″ finished size blocks.

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

For those of you who have pointed out that the star looks like a swastiks, I apologise.  I did not see the likeness and I certainly meant no offence.  This is what Wikipedia says about the shape:

It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in contemporary religious cultures such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back at least 11,000 years.



Completed Kansas beauty star quilt blocks

Completed Kansas beauty star quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the Kansas beauty star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  nine white

3.3/8″ squares:  seventy two red, thirty six white

5.1/4″ squares:  nine red, cut along both diagonals to make four triangles

8.7/8″ squares:  four yellow, six light blue, eight dark blue, cut along one diagonal to make two triangles

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

Make diamond in a square blocks

Make diamond in a square blocks

Making the diamond in a square central section

Begin with a 4.1/2″ white square and on each edge of it place a red triangle cut from the 5.1/4″ red squares (cut along both diagonals to make four triangles).  Sew the top and bottom triangles on first, press them open and then add the triangles to the sides of the square.  The progression of making the block starts in the top left photo of the photo and then follows three columns till you get to the diamond in a square in the bottom right of the photo.

Press and trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out.

Add a frame to this section

Layout of central area

Layout of central area

The next part of the quilt block layout is common to all nine of the blocks – it’s only the outer triangles where I have used the colour variations.

Place the diamond in a square in the middle and surround it with red and white 3.3/8″ squares.  Each edge of this frame is made with one red, one white and then two red squares.  If you begin at the top left and follow the squares round in a clockwise direction, you’ll see that each edge follows the same pattern.

Partially sewn block

Partially sewn block

Sew the squares together across the top and bottom rows.  Join the two pairs of squares either side of the diamond in a square together so that you can sew the middle section together in one row.  Now sew the three rows to each other.  You need to make nine of these sections.

Add triangles to the edges

Add triangles to the edges

Final frame of the Kansas beauty quilt block

Cut the 8.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Now make further diamond in a square blocks using the red and white central sections for the diamonds.

Follow the same technique as above, adding two triangles at a time.  Press the first two triangles open and then sew the remaining two triangles in place.  You need to make four blocks with the colours as shown – two triangles of dark blue and two of star fabric.

In addition, make one block with only light blue triangles and make four more with two light blue and two dark blue triangles.  See the photo near the top of the page for the layouts.

Row 1

Row 1

Assemble the Kansas beauty star quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  In row one place a star/dark blue block in the middle with a dark blue/light blue block at each end.  Notice that the dark blue triangles are placed so that they form two larger dark blue triangles pointing downwards.  This means that you have light blue triangles in these top corners of the quilt.

Row 2

Row 2

In row two place the single light blue block in the middle with a dark blue/star block on each end.  Place these so that the star fabric triangles are on either side of the central block, with the dark blue triangles on the outer edges.

Row 3

Row 3

Use the remaining three blocks in the third row.  The dark blue/star block in the middle is placed with the star triangles at the top.  The two light blue/dark blue blocks on the edges are placed so that the dark blue triangles form two larger triangles at the bottom, pointing towards the middle row.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

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

Here’s the video:

Lantern festival horse and carriage

Lantern festival horse and carriage

Last week I told you that I was going to the Magic Lantern Festival in the Botanical Gardens.  We were lucky enough to have a lovely dry and mild night for it.  The lanterns were amazing!  They had fitted so many scenes into a relatively small area.

lantern festival toadstools

lantern festival toadstools

They even had a model of the Birminghm bull, but my photo of that didn’t come out very well, so I’m showing you some magic toadstools instead.

Where did my body go?

Where did my body go?

Then at the weekend, as part of my whirlwind runup to Christmas, my daughter and I went to Edinburgh.  What a beautiful city.  I’ll show you more photos of it after Christmas, but for now I couldn’t resist showing you where I was beheaded in in the Camera Obscura building.  As you will have already guessed, it’s all done with mirrors.

So now it just remains for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  I hope that you have a wonderful festive season leading up to a happy, prosperous and healthy new year.  Thank you for letting me share with you throughout this last year.

I won’t be sending out a quilt pattern next Friday – the next one will be Friday 6th January 2017.

California Oakleaf Star Quilt

California oakleaf star quilt

California oakleaf star quilt

I’ve made the California oakleaf star quilt using the block of the same name with a simple alternate block which causes a star to form when the blocks are sewn together.  It’s a nice easy quilt to make – I’m sure that you are all as busy as I am in the runup to Christmas.

The quilt measures 52″ square and I used 1.3/4 yards each of purple and gold, together with 3/4 yard of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.  Incidentally, this quilt also looks good made up in red, white and blue.  The blocks are all 14″ square finished size and you need to make five California oakleaf blocks and four alternate blocks.

I’d love to hear from anyone who lives in California – do your oakleaves look any different from those elsewhere?




Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the California oakleaf star quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  eighty purple, twenty gold, forty five white

2.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles:  one hundred each in purple and white – but read the pattern before you cut these as they are simple to make using strip piecing

7.7/8″ squares:  eight purple, eight gold

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

Make the California oakleaf corners

Sew together strips of purple and white

Sew together strips of purple and white

Make the strip pieced squares first.  The simplest way to make these is to sew together 1.1/2″ strips of white and purple.  Press the seam allowance towards the purple and cut at 2.1/2″ intervals.  This will give you 2.1/2″ squares made of a purple and a white rectangle.  It’s much quicker and less fiddly to make them this way.

Layout of the corners

Layout of the corners

The corners of this block are made with a simple nine patch block.  There’s a purple square in each corner, a gold square in the middle and one of the purple/white squares on each edge of the central square.  These are placed so that the purple rectangle is on the inside, lying against the gold square, and the white is on the outside.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  You need to make four of these for each California oakleaf block, which means making twenty of them altogether.

California oakleaf quilt block layout

California oakleaf quilt block layout

Full layout of the block

Now you can assemble the entire block.  Between each pair of corners there are two white squares and one purple/white square.  There’s a white square in the middle:  the purple/white squares are all placed so that the purple rectangles surround the central square.

Make three rows

Make three rows

Sew together the three squares that make each spur of the central cross.  You can then sew the pieces together to make three rows and finally sew the three rows to each other to complete the California oakleaf quilt block.  Make five of these.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the alternate quilt block

For this block you need to make half square triangles with the 7.7/8″ squares.  Place a purple and a gold square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 7.1/2″ squares.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Lay these out as a four patch unit.  Place them so that the two gold triangles together form larger gold triangles, and so do the purple squares.  Sew the pairs together and then sew the pairs to each other to complete the alternate block.  Make four of these.

Rows 1 and 3

Rows 1 and 3

Assembling the California oakleaf star quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows one and three are made with a California oakleaf block at each end and an alternate block in the middle.  Place the alternate block so that the purple is top and bottom with the gold on the sides.

Row 2

Row 2

Make row two with an alternate block at each end and a California oakleaf block in the middle.  This time place the alternate  blocks so that the purple is on the sides and the gold is top and bottom.

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

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

Add the borders

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

Make the second border using 1.1/2″ strips of purple.  Piece two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally for the third border you’ll need 2.1/2″ strips of gold again.  Two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom.

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

Here’s the video:

Harborne clock tower

Harborne clock tower

The suburb nearest to where I live is called Harborne and it is dominated by a building which seems incredibly tall for what it is – a clock tower.  The building used to be a school till the 1960’s but is now mainly restaurants.  I’m guessing that the playground used to be where the car park is now.

Apparently the name Harborne is thought to come from the Old English horu burna, meaning dirty stream, although Harborne was considered a health resort at one time.  It was fascinating reading about Harborne’s history – I’m rather ashamed that I haven’t yet done the same for Quinton itself!

Craftsy

Stars and Blocks Quilt Pattern

Stars and blocks quilt

Stars and blocks quilt

For the Stars and Blocks quilt I have taken one fairly simple star block and rotated only the corner squares of the block to give an alternate block.  I’m thrilled with the result – plenty to look at within the design.

I have used nine 18″ finished size blocks, giving a quilt that is 58″ square.  This is one that can easily be made bigger by using more columns or rows of blocks.

In making the quilt I used 2 yards of purple, 1.1/2 yards of green and 1 yard of white fabric.  As usual, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the stars and blocks quilt

6.7/8″ squares:  eighteen white, eighteen purple

6.1/2″ squares:  nine green

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty six purple

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty six purple, thirty six green

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Making the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units with both the 3.7/8″ squares and the 6.7/8″ squares.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along one 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 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the dark fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.

Central area for both blocks

Central area for both blocks

Make the first stars and blocks quilt block

The central area of the stars and blocks quilt block is the same for both blocks.  Place a 6.1/2″ green square in the middle with a pair of purple/green half square triangles on each edge of the square.  Place these so that the purple triangles together form a larger purple triangle pointing towards the middle.

Complete layout for first block

Complete layout for first block

Now add the outer frame of the block:  a purple rectangle outside each pair of half square triangles and a large purple/white half square triangle in each corner.  Note that these are placed so that the white triangle is always on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

First you need to sew the small half square triangles together in pairs and sew the purple rectangles to each pair.  This will make them into 6.1/2″ squares.  Now sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  Make five of this version of the block.

Alternate block partially sewn

Alternate block partially sewn

Make the alternate stars and blocks quilt block

For the alternate block, rotate the half square triangles in the corners so that the purple is on the outside, forming the corners of the block.

Apart from that the layout is the same as for the first block – it always amazes me how much you can change the look of a block just by changing the corners!

As before, sew the small half square triangle sections together first then sew the squares together across each row and sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make four of this version of the block.

Rows 1 and 3

Rows 1 and 3

Assembling the stars and blocks quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Rows 1 and 3 are the same as each other, with a block with white corners at each end of the row and a block with purple corners in the middle.  Sorry – I forgot to take this photo before I sewed the blocks together.

Row 2

Row 2

Row 2 is made with a block with purple corners at each end of the row and a block with white corners in the middle.

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

Add the border

Add the border

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

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

Here’s the video:

Weoley Castle ruins

Weoley Castle ruins

There’s an area quite near where I live called Weoley Castle.  I’d always just assumed that it was a name given to the area many centuries ago for long forgotten reasons.  So I was surprised (and pleased) to find that there is actually a Weoley Castle – well, the ruins of one – just a couple of miles from where I live.

It’s actually classified as a fortified manor house and was built in the late thirteenth century by the Lords of Dudley.  At one time it was set in a 1,000 acre deer park, although now the ruins are preserved in the small field that you can see in the photo.