About Barbara

teacher and writer http://barbarachaineyquilts.wordpress.com www.barbarachainey.com

Frame quilts – part 2

 

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Bowing to popular demand (!) we’ve put together our rundown of the basics for making a square frame quilt:-

  1. Make a centre square. This can be any measurement you like and can be cut from one fabric or pieced fabric, strips of fabric, orphan blocks, mosaic patchwork (more usually referred to as English Paper Piecing).  Make a reference diagram for yourself that looks like this and note down what you would like the centre measurement (shaded area) to be.

2. Add the first frame. This can be any depth you like and can be one fabric or pieced or pieced units.  Note down the depth you have chosen on your reference diagram.  Measure your centre square and take care to cut the 4  frame strips to this measurement.  Measure and cut 4 squares to the same measurement as the strip depth – these will be the cornerstones.

Stitch, press and trim.  Measure the new square and make a note of it on your reference diagram.

3. Add the second frame. This can be any depth you like and can be one fabric, several fabrics, pieced units.  Make a note of this measurement on the reference diagram. Measure the new centre square and cut the frame strips to this measurement.  Cut 4 squares to the same strip depth measurement for the cornerstones for this frame.

Stitch, press and trim.  Measure the new square and note it down.

4. Add the third frame. Again, this can be any depth you like and can be one fabric, several fabrics, pieced units.  Make a note of the depth measurement as in previous steps.  Measure the centre square at the end of the previous step and cut the strips for this frame to this measurement.  Also cut 4 squares of the correct depth measurement for the cornerstones.

Stitch, press and trim.  Measure the new square and make a note.

Continue in this sequence until you reach a size that suits your needs.

And that’s it!!  You are making the decisions, you are not following a pattern.  So everything is cut and pieced to fit the measurements of your work rather than working with measurements determined by someone else.

You can make things easier for yourself by ensuring that each time you want to make a pieced border the measurements are a number that is easily divisible – not a prime number – in other words, if you want to put four-inch finished units/blocks in the border then the length of that border needs to be a number that can be divided by four. Unless you do what previous generation of quilters have done and mutter ‘oh bother’ when you get to the end and the border doesn’t fit, and either chop a bit off the last piece or add an extra bit of fabric. Those of us who like symmetry and neatness need to work things out first, those who are happy to go with the flow and improvise just add or subtract bits until everything (more or less) fits.

everything worked out first –                improvise, add and subtract –

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Happy stitching!

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Frame quilts – part 1

Over the years we have come to love and appreciate one of the most classic quilt styles in the UK tradition – frame quilts.  We’ve taught several classes together and individually featuring this style (one of Chris’s class samples is shown above) and we’ve also re-visited it in several of our series of Heritage Quilt patterns.  What is so appealing about this style is its sheer versatility – it can be as simple or complicated as your time and skills allow.  Lots of piecing, not very much piecing, co-ordinated fabrics or truly scrappy, perhaps throw in some appliqué, hand piece or machine piece or combine the two techniques – it will all work.  We’ve rounded up some examples to pique your interest and Barbara has gone so far as to start up a Frame Quilts board on her Pinterest account.

First, a vintage Welsh “everyday” frame quilt from the house collection of Jen Jones.  Look how simple this is – and how stunning.

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There are several frame quilts tucked away in Barbara’s quilt cupboard –

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This is one of two frame quilts featured in Barbara’s classes at The Corner Patch this year.  Below you can see Barbara’s re-make of the same quilt – quite a difference!

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Another vintage frame quilt from The Cupboard

Again, really simple and so effective.  This would look great in almost any “style” of fabric – modern, reproduction, batiks…

And two more from the Jen Jones collection

A small selection of non-vintage frame quilt tops from our classes –

We’re going to follow this pictorial post with Frame Quilts Part 2, coming soon to a screen near you – tips and guidance on how to go about constructing your own frame quilt.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

Lots of activity, lots of caffeine and lots of changes – Barbara is transferring to the Overseas Office for a few weeks, our Rural Office may be re-locating, there are new classes to plan and prepare, more patterns and tutorials for Meadowside Designs, The Corner Patch retreat in June requires lots of samples and worksheets, re-launch Barbara’s blog – the list is extensive.  So we’ve made a start by updating our EQ Doodles page – this time we’re featuring the Boxed Star block

Click here  to download a colouring page based on this block so you can doodle your very own variation.

We’ve been rummaging through stacks of boxes in the Archive Department at C&B Towers and found all sorts of interesting stuff including LOTS of pictures of flowers, gardens, landscapes.  We’re all familiar with the advice to find colour (and general) inspiration from this type of image but don’t always put it into practice, so we thought we’d post some random selections for you to scroll through –

We had a similar rummage through some EQ Doodles that we had filed away – it looks like some of our palette choices are influenced and inspired by images such as those above –

March 19 4

September 9 2018

March 2

Sept 17 3

March 16 5

Just a reminder that you can find us also on Instagram as @chrisfranses and @barbarachainey.  Also check out the range of patterns and tutorials on Meadowside Designs.

end of January

C&B Towers has shut down for a few days while the British winter does its worst – not the numbing polar blast our US friends are experiencing but grim enough that the best remedy is a steaming mug of coffee next to a warmed-up sewing machine and a nest of batting to keep out the draught.

At the Overseas Office however the sun is shining and the skies are blue….

We’ve both been very inspired by the Hannah Hauxwell quilts we talked about in our previous post.  Chris has drafted templates for one of the quilts,  Barbara has made test blocks and is now frantically rummaging through the Overseas Stash to find just the right fabrics to make some more.  We’ve also revisited our extensive  files of vintage quilts including some from the depths of The Cupboard at the Rural Office – we predict that several new patterns will be available before too long!  Here’s a quick glimpse of just two of The Cupboard quilts –

Both of these quilts are particular favourites of ours – the first one starts at the centre with a 4inch block and then grows out in traditional frame style with very simple pieced borders; the second one is far more elaborate with a centre panel of pieced blocks and a series of pieced borders.  We’ll show you some more of both quilts once Barbara returns to the Rural Office and rummages in The Cupboard.

And in other news, our Electric Quilt Doodles have been updated and you can download a colouring page here – feb doodle

Happy stitching!

 

2019 rolls in

All the festive stuff has been packed away and the corridors of C&B Towers have been swept clear of tinsel ready to be replaced with the usual random pins and bits of thread.  Over at the Rural Office it’s a similar story but with added suitcases and project boxes – there’s a short visit to the Overseas Office in the offing and a healthy level of supplies needs to be maintained.

There are new doodles over on our Doodles page for you to scroll through plus a link there for a downloadable colouring page.  The IT Department is working overtime on a number of changes and improvements to various aspects of our web presence – we’ll post updates here when work is complete.

A quick glimpse of a corner of Barbara’s desk – some EPP looks to be under way. Chris’s desk is too overloaded to take any pics – a large quilt is being finished so watch this space!

Keeping this post really short, more soon!

 

December!

We seem to have reached the last month of this year in somewhat of a rush.  There may be snowflakes falling across the blog pages but we haven’t yet managed to acquire much festive spirit.  Barbara is packing up her desk at the Overseas Office ready to make a quick return to the Rural Office and Chris is hurtling around at C&B Towers putting the finishing touches to class plans, Web Wandering, class samples and other essentials.

Breaking news of the gloomy sort is that our beloved HQ may soon be closing its doors so we are going to have do undertake extensive research to find a replacement.  For more than 10 years it has been our preferred venue for coffee, lunches, executive meetings and general hideout – a very hard act to follow.  Fingers crossed that it is one of those rumours that occasionally sweep through the town but turn out not to be that accurate.

Our Electric Quilt doodles page has been updated – you can find a printable download for a colouring page here.

Tentative steps are being taken this week to host internet linked classes at The Corner Patch.  Barbara has been connecting wires to cameras and laptops and turning a bedroom in the Overseas Office into a mini studio – the not-yet-finished quilt on the bed looked rather fetching (and seasonal) –

Seasonal greetings and happy stitching to one and all.

 

November – so soon!

One of our high level executive meetings at HQ last month generated a lot of furious scribbling in notebooks – to-do lists, class topic lists, ideas lists, lists of lists, and lots of impromptu diagrams and quilt plans.  And then we had the bright (?) idea that we might, from time to time, share a glimpse into our notebooks right here on the blog.  Just because we could.  So, striking while the proverbial iron is still warmish, here’s the first showing of Barbara’s current notebook, somewhat battered and dog-eared and a random taste of what it contains –

We have had many requests for the return of our weekly Mystery Monday feature and we’re planning on reviving this excellent tradition very soon – it may be a brand new Mystery or one from the archives, we haven’t decided yet – but a Mystery there will be.  We went rummaging through the archives in the basement of C&B Towers and had the greatest difficulty in finding any suitable images to post here for Mystery Monday so no encouraging pictures as yet – just have to wait for the real thing to show up.

The Overseas Office is starting to show signs of activity – the first projects look like being English Paper Piecing (EPP) with a hexagonal flavour….

Chris is busy with plans and samples for next year’s classes and was heard muttering something about “houses, houses ….”    And of course, lots of houses in our area have lovely Minton tile floors …

Our EQ doodles page has been refreshed and  – do click over and take a look at this month’s offering.  You’ll find a free colouring page to download here – EQ doodle November.

Happy stitching!