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Sorting

We seem to spend countless hours sorting, sifting and moving things from one place to another in our workspace. Barbara also moves from one workspace to another at regular intervals which is not always helpful – you can bet that there’s always something left behind or forgotten even with copious lists. Sorting and sifting in the Overseas Office brought a set of blocks to the surface which are still waiting to be turned “into something”. One of the blocks is a version of the Temple Court block which we have previously featured in classes and also here in our EQ Doodles –

And then there was a set of blocks from a Chris&Barbara class and also one of our Mystery Monday series –

These blocks have now made their way by a very circuitous route over to Chris who may well “do something” with them even if it’s only re-sorting them into the system at C&B Towers.

It might be time to stop sorting and start progressing and finishing things!

colouring in, Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Last month our stellar sampler looked at Ohio Star and some of its variations and this month we continue that theme – one of the reason we love the basic block is that are so many ways to alter it, colour it and create a new (or new-looking) block.

One variation we looked at was Swamp Angel, but what if you split those corner triangles, or use a wide stripe? The resulting block is called Jacknife or Treasure Chest

Or you could split the outer triangles into a square and two smaller triangles and make Aunt Dinah – note too the change of colouring in the ‘star’ units

Or divide the inner triangle into two smaller triangles to make Mystery Flower Garden

Or split the corner squares with a thin strip from the inner to the outer corners – which makes a block called Old Snowflake

You can download the cutting instructions to make all these blocks at 12 inches and we have included colouring pages for each one as well – the colours shown above are the EQ default colours but there are plenty of opportunities to make these blocks your own.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

More six inch blocks

Our Saturday Sampler of six-inch blocks over on Meadowside has reached the letter J and this week’s blocks include one called Jewel Star

It really doesn’t look very star like but if you look at the colour versions that EQ and its magic wand came up with and then put sixteen blocks together in a 4 x 4 setting you start seeing stars – but it does depend very much on where the strongest colours are placed and on the contrast between those colours

The design also depends on which blocks you turn, and how far you turn them

That last pair illustrate the importance of where the strongest colours are placed – the centre brown and yellow dominate and the star is almost lost whereas in the pair above the contrast brightness of the yellow highlights the star.

If you fancy having a play with this block you can download the templates and a block to colour from our Meadowside blog.

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June Doodles

The block we’ve chosen for Doodling in June has the charming name of Dogtooth Violet. However we are stumped for seeing any resemblance of a flower in the block! Perhaps we’re missing something?

This is the block as it appears in the EQ8 Library –

We thought it would be a good idea to take a colour cue from the name of the block and change to a more appropriate palette –

This block is actually a Sawtooth Star (one of our all-time favourites) turned on point with fancy corners added. Lots of scope and lots of options! Here are some basic straight quilt settings of the block variations above and we’ve added in an on-point setting just for good measure.

A colouring page and other assorted goodies can be downloaded here. Enjoy your violets!

Inspiration

Random pieces

Many of our favourite patchwork patterns look good in classic black & white – this is a small slab of EPP Barbara made for a 3D patchwork class we taught. The arrangement of half-hexagons is known as Inner City.

Chris is still waiting for Barbara to make a similar EPP piece based on the image below that we featured in a past Tile Tuesday post. Good intentions etc etc ….

procrastination, quilting, Travel

Stitching away

News is in from the Overseas Office that some stitching is actually happening, just not in the expected quantities. An orphan block has been rescued from oblivion** –

– and some simple outline quilting has been added since the above picture was taken. More quilting may yet be done.

** oblivion = one of several boxes of stash

One or two other projects are being similarly progressed with just the very essentials of outline quilting to begin with. The small unplanned wrinkles on the Sugar Loaf remake should quilt out and the Friendship Star/Nine Patch is going to feature easy straight lines.

The Project Inspection Department at C&B Towers expects to see considerable progress by the end of this month!

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

We couldn’t have Stellar Sampler without our favourite block – the Ohio Star. But it has many, many names depending on how you place the colours, which book or magazine you found it in and even when you read that book or magazine. These blocks below all look like Ohio Star – they have the four corner squares, a plain square in the centre and quarter-square triangles as the star points. Download cutting instructions etc here.

However – the first one is usually known as Mosaic and the second as Ohio Star. On the second row we have multiple names for the first two. According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Block Patterns Block 1 is (has been) known as Eight-Point Design, Lone Star, Star Design, Texas Star, Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, Texas, Eastern Star, Eight Point Star, Shoofly, and just Star. Block 2 is often known as Variable Star as well as Texas, Star Spangled, Western Star, Star of the West, Henry of the West, Star of Hope and Lone Star. The final block is usually known just as Flying Crow. Having said all that most of us refer to them all as either Variable Star or, more often, Ohio Star so as not to confuse it with the 4-patch Variable Star block.

By using different units in the centre or corners you can alter the block to make a new one, and there are many variations to be found. Today we have just a few with altered corners starting with Swamp Angel – sometimes known as The Four-X Quilt depending on the colour placement. This just has half-square triangles in the corners instead of squares.

The Ornate Star has altered corners too

This next variation doesn’t have a name

and if you turn the corner units round you get another variation

Yet another variation without a name is this one

If you don’t fancy making just one block but want to turn one or more of these into a quilt, what would those quilts look like? Perhaps something like these –

Your download this week has cutting instructions / foundation papers for all the variations we’ve shown this week as well blocks to colour and some quilt settings to colour too. There are so many ways to play with Ohio Star so next month we will have found some more ideas.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities

May’s blocks on Meadowside

Over on Meadowside Designs, as you have probably gathered by now, we are working our way through the alphabet with a sampler series of six-inch blocks. May sees us arrive at H (and later I and even J). This week our H blocks include Hour Glass. There are (literally) dozens of blocks that have been given this name or contain these words. We chose four similar ones to feature on Meadowside

but here’s just a few of the others simply called Hour Glass that we found –

That last one was designed by Carlie Sexton and published in 1928 (Barbara Brackman) and we rather thought some of you might fancy making it, so you can download the templates to make a 12 inch (six inch seemed a little small?) block. It might fit in quite well with some of the other star blocks we are featuring here at Chris & Barbara this year.

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May Doodles

We’ve chosen a favourite traditional block to feature in our Doodles for May – Martha Washington Star. We’ve been looking at a number of red and white quilts in the picture vaults of C&B Towers and the following Doodles rather reflect that – here’s the EQ8 default colouring of the block to begin with.

Even these simple variations and colour switches can produce striking results in straight settings of the blocks – see if you can work out the various combinations.

You can download resources to make your own Martha Washington Star block(s) here.