chris & barbara quilts

behind the scenes with 2 quilting teachers – plans, projects, progress & procrastination

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Half square triangles

We are busy with all sorts of essential behind the scenes activities – clearing and archiving picture files, tidying up and reducing email files, and generally making sure that our computers are models of tidiness and organisation (ha! – Barbara).  Accounts and bills to file, fabric to sort and put away – we think you get the picture.  Seems we do Summer Cleaning rather than Spring Cleaning!

Barbara was working her way through the picture file we keep for this blog and came across the block pics below.  The quilt itself (really too large to get a decent shot)  was made several years ago but we’ve always meant to get around to “doing something” with it.  Maybe next year will be the time! (Or earlier, if we find ourselves in the mood to write instructions) Just variations on a theme of Half Square Triangles – let us know if you think they would be interesting….





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Doodling with Electric Quilt

Having narrowly averted disaster with our Electric Quilt doodle page for June (posted with only a couple of days left in the month!) we thought we should highlight the fact that the EQ doodles for July are now available for your viewing delight.

As you know, we both use the Electric Quilt design programme a lot and that’s really how our doodle page came about – we had so many virtual quilts that we thought it would be good to share them.  We’ve rather lost track of just how many doodles we’ve published over the years but it’s quite a few!  (We probably should start an Electric Quilt Gallery – Chris)  

Here’s an example of how useful EQ is for reviewing possibilities – we used this in our Mystery Class last year.

Version One –

Feb 14 4


Version Two –

Feb14 1


Version Three –

Feb14 2


and Version Four –

Feb14 5

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String Quartet class report

Over at the Rural Office internet connectivity has been a fragile fleeting thing – sometimes there, most times not.  So battling against the odds, here’s our report on the String Quartet class last Saturday.  Everyone seemed to have a really good time (with the possible exception of Chris who was doing sterling duty supplying vital teas and coffees).  Usually we begin classes with a demo and instructions, this time we dived right in to sewing and stitching little bits of fabric together to make Friendship Star blocks.  Everyone made at least one of these blocks and we rather think that the random piecing technique may prove a popular option – we even had a few mutterings about “good thing to do for a Linus day” “think I’ll do this again” etc etc.  The first few finished blocks are below –



After the Friendship Star blocks we moved on to a quick demo of piecing strips and strings of fabric down onto a paper shape and worksheets were handed out.  Chris’s Monster Scrap Bag made a guest appearance and was carefully picked through as the day progressed – it really was somewhat reduced by the end of class!






So, well done everyone!  Our next Saturday class – Double Delight – is in September.  We’ve got a lot of 2016 planning to do in the summer break and maybe a little more beautifying of the grounds of C&B Towers.

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A slight gap

Well, we certainly didn’t intend that to happen – weeks without posting!  Quickly trying to fill the gap we can show some of the finished “15th Birthday Surprise” pieces from the March class of the same name.  We’ve had a lot of very positive feedback on this project, it proved even more popular than we could have hoped and we think you’ll agree the results look good.

Sue and Mairie compare mystery quilts


finished mystery

finished quilt a

A report on Saturday’s class “String Quartet” follows shortly – there are a number of internet connection “issues” that have to be resolved over at the further outposts of our empire.

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Malvern Quilt Show

Barbara is (almost) all packed and ready to go. . .  She will be selling her quilting patterns and books as well as launching our new venture – Heritage Quilts, patterns which are based on her collection of vintage quilts. Another two patterns have just been added to the ones already on the website – an Irish Chain and one called Poinsettia, which we think looks pretty good for a quilt made over 150 years ago.


While Barbara is working hard at Malvern Chris will be pottering in her garden (weather permitting) as there’s lots to do – new beds to be created, patios to be laid . . . !

But we won’t be too busy to do the worksheet and some samples for our next workshop at Tittensor – String Quartet. The Needs List is on the website so why not print it off and take it along to Malvern. If Chris gets her act together the Needs List for the next class after that (in September!) could be ready for the Show as well. Here’s a sneak preview of Chris’s sample (which used 0.5m of each fabric or thereabouts, just in case the Needs List isn’t done) –


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Plans . . . and Uttoxeter quilt show

We may not be teaching at Tittensor Village Hall after 2015 but we do have plenty of plans to keep ourselves (and you) busy with lots of stitching projects and patterns.

We will be launching a range of patterns based on Barbara’s extensive collection of vintage quilts. Quilts from other private collections will be added in due course. Predictably, with our usual flair for the obvious, we have called this collection – Heritage Quilts. To begin with you can find them listed and for sale on our Payhip page. Buying the patterns is easy – choose your pattern, click on the ‘buy’ button and you’ll be taken to a secure page to cough up your fiver (yes, they are only £5) via Pay Pal or debit/credit card. You will then get an email link to download and print your chosen pattern(s).

The first pattern – a Hexagon Medallion – will be available as a print-out to buy at the Quilt Show this weekend and both the original and Barbara’s remake will be on display.

photo cover

remake photo

The patterns are also available via Craftsy for those who prefer to use this site. The first three patterns have been uploaded and more will follow soon.

Do come and see us at Uttoxeter – we will be upstairs in the main building (stand 74) this year – see what we’re up to, look at some quilts, maybe buy a pattern, or two, or pick up our Free Pattern.



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