No featured block for our Doodles this month but a red/green re-colouring of some of the 2022 blocks to reflect a festive theme. In no particular order –
We’ve both made an effort this year to finish things up or at least progress them. Of the two of us Chris has probably had a higher success rating but during the year we have both turned scraps into blocks, random blocks into tops and some tops into quilts. Barbara has counted up an embarassingly large number of long-term projects still not completed and made some progress on moving several of them on to the next phase, whatever that may be.
Very little chance of being without “something to do” -!!
Our recent high level conferences have been most successful, possibly because we’ve added bacon sandwiches to the essential conference menu ! There has been much scribbling in notebooks, consulting diaries and, of course, making lists. Top of the list was finding a date for another PopUp class and we’re pleased to report that we’ve found a date, made plans and booked the venue for a C&B PopUp Class next March – Saturday 18th March 2023. Although we’ve officially retired ourselves from hosting regular C&B classes we do enjoy these occasional PopUp events which have proven extremely popular (maybe it’s the lemon drizzle cake? – not visible in the pics below).
And now back to the lists and the ongoing finishing/progressing of projects/samples ancient and modern – we’re both trying very hard on this front with varying levels of success!
Browsing through the star blocks in BlockBase and Electric Quilt Chris came across a star called Star and Dot which looks a bit like a Blazing Star with bits missing. Further browsing produced a few more stars in the same family.
Let’s start with Star and Dot
Then add a few lines to make New Star
Or add spiked corners to make Blazing Star
Split those corners to make another version of Blazing Star
Change the corner and centre to make the Emerald block
Or add in lots of extras to make Optical Illusion
You can download the cutting instructions for all these blocks (12 inches) and blank blocks to colour here. You could also use the blank Star and Dot block to design a block of your own.
One of the blocks featured recently over on our Meadowside Designs blog was one called Thrifty – rather appropriate we felt in these times. It’s very simple – just lots of squares.
But you can make some interesting quilt designs with it by changing the lights and darks around
Then we thought what happens if you combine the 6 inch block from Meadowside with a 12 inch block? We called it Double Thrifty!
You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block here, for a 6 inch block from Meadowside Designs here and a Double Thrifty quilt to colour in and play with here.
Once you start moving the lights and darks around in a quilt design it gets very interesting indeed! As each Double Thrifty block is 24 inches you have a big quilt in no time at all. Here the quilts are set 3 x 3 instead of 4 x 4 (so 72 inches square instead of 96 inches) without borders.
To be very thrifty remember that you don’t have to use all the same fabrics throughout, just the same colours (more or less), so it worth hunting through the scrap bags to see what you can find.
We just couldn’t resist showing you some seasonal garden colour from the Overseas Office – a great combination of mulberry leaves against a Spanish sky!
Meanwhile, at the Rural Office, it’s raining again!
This is the time of year when we usually have several in-depth conferences at HQ and do what we cheerily call “forward planning”. Decisions and conversations regarding PopUp classes, virtual or actual; blog, maintain or discard; articles and patterns, do more or do less – and so on. Quantities of caffeine can be consumed at these conferences and there is much scribbling in notebooks. The first conference is a week away and we will be trying out our new HQ venue. Wish us luck!
Part of our conference preparation is to look back at bygone classes and projects – here are a few random memories from the Rural Office archive –
We’ve another family of blocks to explore this month – the Eight-Pointed Stars, based on the LeMoyne Star
You can download cutting instructions for 12 inch blocks and blank blocks to play with here.
Taking Lemoyne Star as a starting point you could add some extra little points – we called this one Double Star
But those corner squares looked a bit plain so we added four-patches and, with our usual panache, called it Double Star Variation
Or you could start dividing the star points – to give a block often called Blazing Star
Another division of the star points and turning the corner squares into half-square triangles gives us EQ Star
The blocks above are all included in the download but there are lots of other variations to the basic star – dividing the star points in half lengthwise and adding half-square triangles in the corners gives us a block often called Silver and Gold
Using stripes – or strips – to make the star points can make Spiderweb Star
or Wrapped Star
If you go searching you will find dozens of other variations like these, or you can draw your own using the blank blocks in the download – the templates included should be enough to make many of the variations.
Over on our sister blog our wander through the block alphabet has reached S. So far we have posted six-inch patterns for Schoolgirl’s Puzzle
Shoofly (and Snowball – just a different way to colour the same block)
and (as it’s October) two Spiderweb blocks.
There will be another two blocks next Saturday before we explore blocks beginning with T.
We slip into autumn with the spotlight on Pinwheel Square –
Scroll through the blocks and straight quilt settings below and enjoy the difference that simple changes of value or placement of value can make.
It’s always interesting to try out combinations of different versions of the same block –
And sometimes you just have to turn it all on point!
You’ll find a free pdf download with block to colour, rotary cutting directions and templates here.