Sunday, 27 January 2013



 Sometimes I just like to play with quilt block elements and see what turns up.  Does that sound a bit sad?  I made several of this four patch block so that I could play around with different arrangements.  I'm calling it the Rose Block for want of any better name.  The four squares in the top right of the block are what I tend to think of as a rosebud, which is where the name came from. 

The block is made using five 2.1/2" white squares, four 2.1/2" light blue squares and two dark blue 2.1/2" squares.  In addition you'll need one 2.7/8" square each in dark blue/white and two 2.7/8" squares in light blue/white.  You'll only need three of the light blue/white half square triangles.

The options for layout now are amazing:  the easiest way to describe them is by looking at where the dark blue corner squares are.  In this fairly uninteresting layout the squares are all facing the same way and the blue squares are always bottom left.

Rotate the blocks so that the dark blue square is on the outer corners of the larger block and you get quite an interesting square on point in the middle.

 Place the dark blue squares all in the middle and you get something a bit like a shoofly quilt block - but more interesting.

And finally place the dark blue squares so that they form a pair at the top and the bottom and you get two larger triangles joining at the tip.  I can imagine any one of these layouts in a quilt - or even all four of them in one quilt, now I come to think of it.


 Much to my delight I have made the January block for the Lucky Stars block of the month - only just in time before the end of the month.  The instructions provided are very clear and I'm looking forward to getting February's block now.

Lucky Stars BOM Button

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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Interlocked Squares Quilt Block


The interlocking squares quilt block is a four patch block that has a three dimensional effect.   It is so simple to make those pink frames look inter twined and there are all sorts of options for it - you could put a pinwheel or a photo in the middle or even a small star.

I've made it here as a 16" block using four colours plus white.

Fabric Requirements

2.7/8" squares:  four each in light pink/dark blue, two each in light blue/dark pink, two each in light blue/light pink, two each in light pink/white and two each in dark pink/light pink.

2.1/2" squares:  twelve dark blue, four light blue, four dark pink, four white

4.1/2" by 2.1/2" rectangles:  four white and four dark blue.

Making the block

Make all the 2.7/8" squares into half square triangles and then lay the squares out in eight rows of eight.  The white rectangles are in the middle of the square and the blue rectangles are in the top and bottom rows.  I've used blue squares rather than rectangles in rows two to seven so that the squares could be sewn together easily in rows.

I think that the layout shows up better when you see the first four rows sewn together.  The dark pink squares are placed together as one half square triangle, one square, one triangle.  It doesn't show up so well in the second row because the dark pink is a batik and the colour was much lighter in the right hand half square triangle.  The second four rows are the same as the first four rows but upside down.  Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together.

It really is a very simple quilt block pattern and I can see it being very useful.

Other Quilting

 I've been working on a paper pieced quilted wall hanging this week.  I'm really excited about how it's turning out, but I think that I will have to make it at least one more time before I feel confident enough to write a tutorial on it.

I've also decided to join in with the Quilting Board block of the month.  This is the January block, called Whirling Star 2.  It's just so pretty, but it does have inset seams which slow the construction down a little.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Albany Quilt Block Pattern


Traditionally, the Albany quilt block is made using a pink and purple that have a big contrast, but I decided that I wanted to make it with two fabrics that gave a less stark contrast.

So I made it using one plain and one patterned blue fabric and I can assure you that they are different fabrics, although in the photo they seem to have melded into one.  I didn't think that the photos of this block would be particularly helpful to you so I made it again as shown above in the traditional colours for the Albany quilt block. 

To make this quilt block pattern as a 16" block you will need eight 2.1/2" white squares and four each 2.1/2" pink and blue squares.  In 2.7/8" squares for the half square triangles you'll need eight each of pink/blue, pink/white and blue/white.

 Lay the squares out in eight rows of eight.  As ever, the simplest way to lay them out is to look at the larger shapes formed by several squares - I laid out all the white squares and half square triangles first and then just filled in with the other two colours.

 This photo shows the first four rows in more detail so that you can see the placement more clearly.

The bottom four rows are the same as the first four rows, just upside down.  Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the quilt block.

I have to admit that I am still rather taken with the first version that I made in the blue plain and patterned fabrics.

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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Paper Pieced Star Quilt Block


I made the Aunt Sukey quilt pattern using fabric from stash and was thrilled with how little fabric there was left over at the end.  The pattern for that went out in a newsletter yesterday, so today I am playing with my block of the month patterns.

I have signed up for a foundation paper pieced lucky star block of the month with Elizabeth Dackson.  I've used calico as a foundation in the past, so this will be my first time using paper for the foundation.  The instructions are great and Elizabeth included a practice star to try out first.  I looked at the pattern and decided that only four fabrics to each triangle were not going to be difficult so I'd make the star before lunch.  Let's just say that I had a very late lunch!  It's a really pretty star so I'm looking forward to starting on the official January star block.

The other bom that I'm doing is the one from Craftsy.  The January block consists of four of these log cabins.  I was able to use scrap fabric for them, so that pleased me.  I've bought a box file to keep these blocks in, because otherwise I know that come December I wouldn't have a clue where to find the January and February blocks.

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013



Isn't this an unusual quilt block?  I love those white triangles in two of the corners.  It's called the Indian Mat quilt block and it's a nine patch from Nancy Cabot.

I've made it as 12" block using the following fabric:

four 2.7/8" squares each of purple and white
two 2.7/8" squares each of purple and lilac
2.1/2" squares:  nine white, five purple and ten lilac.

Use all the 2.7/8" squares to make half square triangles in the proportions listed above.  Once these have been made, lay the squares out in six rows of six squares.  I could have used larger squares - for example one 4.1/2" lilac square instead of four 2.1/2" squares - but I'm trying to use up fabric from stash and I have way more 2.1/2" squares than larger ones.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together.  This is a terribly straightforward quilt block to make, but I think it's a really unusual looking one.

I'm on a roll now with my block of the month signups.  Usually I don't think about them until later in the year but I seem to be a little more organised this year (so far!).  I've signed up for the Craftsy programme and for another one making foundation pieced stars.  I'll give you full details of them once I have completed the January blocks for both of them.

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Monday, 7 January 2013

Aurifil BOM 2013


I've never felt able to commit to block of the month quilt alongs before, but I've decided that 2013 is going to be the year that I get a grip on managing my time, so I'm starting in January as I mean to continue.  The first BOM that I have joined is the Aurifil one which is being run by Pat Sloan and you can see my version of the first block in the photo.  I'm not sure about the two central colours - not enough difference between them - but I've submitted the photo now so I'll have to live with it.

If you are interested in trying it out you get full instructions for each block from whoever the designer is for each month and then post your photo on the flickr group.  That's on Aurifil Designers.

If you know of any other block of the month quiltalongs, do let me know.  I feel all fired up for them now.

 I'm not sure if I should admit to this, but for my first go at the quilt block I managed to sew the four patch units for the corners on the wrong way round so that the light square is in the corner rather than the green square.  Amazing how different it makes the block look.

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Saturday, 5 January 2013

Quilt Block Patterns - Harmony Square Block


harmony square quilt block
Some quilt blocks have a really restful feel to them.  The harmony square quilt block is definitely one of them.  I have a failing for blue anyway, but even so ....

I've made it here as a 20" block using squares and half square triangles only, which makes it very simple to put together.

Total cutting requirements: 
five light blue 4.1/2" squares for the corners and centre
four each light blue and white 4.7/8" squares for the hst's around the corner squares
four white 4.1/2" squares to go in the centre of each edge of the block
eight 2.1/2" dark blue squares for the corners of the inner square and of the smaller white square
four each dark blue and light blue 2.7/8" squares for the hst's either side of the dark blue corners
four each dark blue and white 4.1/2" by 2.1/2" rectangles for the edges of the central square.

harmony square quilt blockThe squares are laid out in five rows and I think that you can see how it goes together from this.  The small squares at the corners of the dark blue square need to be sewn together to make four patch units and the rectangles need to be sewn together before the three middle rows can be sewn together.

harmony square quilt block pattern

Once the squares have been sewn across each row it is simply a case of sewing the rows together.

bow tie quilt pattern
I had a major panic getting this week's newsletter out on time as my computer is still playing up.  Don't you just hate it when they sit there and ignore you or tell you that you are not connected to the internet.  Anyway, I made it in the end.  It's a bow tie quilt using both traditional and 3D bow tie quilt blocks and I was able to use up stash fabric, which always pleases me.

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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

What a wonderful year 2012 was!  Happy New Year to all - here's hoping that 2013 will be just as good.  Here in Ludlow we have begun the year with a full day of brilliant sunshine - that's not something we have seen very often.  I felt that this jelly roll quilt was quite appropriate for the day.  It's made out of a jelly roll and has a summery feel to it.

After several requests, I have started putting some of my videos on to DVD.  It means that quilters can look at the videos on their TV (better resolution and no ads!) and they get the printed instructions along with the DVD.  This year I am hoping to increase the number of quilting DVDs available.

Last week I made a cat quilt showing the back of a cat sitting on a window ledge looking out at the stars.  He could have been seeing the old year out or welcoming the new year in, but now I've had several requests for something similar but with a dog, so I'll have to have a think about that one.

 I've just finished a quilt that is very loosely based on the leap frog quilt block.  As happens so often, I didn't expect all the extra design features that popped up when several blocks were sewn together.  These aren't my usual fabric colours, but it's fun trying something different every now and then.  Usually, I end up managing to put blue somewhere in most of my quilts.

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