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!

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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.

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Tropical touch

We were looking back through the photo vault not so long ago and were reminded of a very successful class we did on Hawaiian style patterns and machine applique. Barbara ventured into a colourful palette for one of the class samples –

Chris was of the opinion that the machine stitching was none too bad for a hand quilter! Here’s Barbara’s first Hawaiian hand stitched sample from way back when (ie 1983) –

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Doodles for April

Our block for this month is Temple Court – another one of our traditional style favourites. Here’s the block as it appears in the EQ8 Library

And here’s a variation of the Temple Court block with an adjustment at the centre making it much easier to piece – we’ve twiddled the colouring so that you can see the adjustment clearly.

We’ve played first with the block as it appears in EQ8, switching colours and moving them around the block –

And then there were the quilts from these blocks, just in straight settings, no sashings –

We had to pause at this point and remember to show the easier-to-piece variation, starting with the block and moving on to quilts.

So, some interesting options from simple changes – and changes that are so easy to make in EQ8 so that you can review before committing to cloth! Download a pdf with a Temple Court block to colour, templates, EQ8s rotary cutting instructions here. Our Technical Department has also produced a pdf to download for the Temple Court variation so you have the best of both worlds!

possibilities, Travel

Somewhat random …

. . . . and somewhat less than organised is the current state of play over at the Rural Office. There’s another transition to the Overseas Office due so there are decisions to be made as to which tech stuff needs to go, which files and folders, which projects to finish, which templates and rulers and so on and so on. Hopefully when everything is gathered up it will all pack into a reasonable amount of space in the car!

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Stencils

More clearing, cleaning and reviewing over at the Rural Office – this time it’s a stack of stencils that requires attention. Barbara has designed stencils since 1990 for Quilting Creations International – her trademark feathers and Egyptian-themed designs are perennially popular.

Designs inspired by The Tentmakers of Cairo – use for quilting or applique
Loop & heart designs are easy for continuous line machine quilting
Detail from a quilt using Barbara’s designs for quilting, embroidery and applique
Quilting design becomes an applique design (same quilt as above)

Stencils offer a reliable method of putting quilting and applique designs onto fabric and have the advantage of being durable. Multiple stencils can be stored flat or clipped together and hung on a rail or hook. Thirty years’ worth of samples is a considerable quantity and weight so storing flat may continue to be the best option!

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Real live PopUp!

Just popping up to let you know that we have scheduled an in-person PopUp class for Saturday 25th June at the Walton Community Centre in Stone, Staffs. In keeping with the very best of chrisandbarbara traditions we are keeping the topic cloaked in mystery – but there will be plenty of tea, coffee and cake during a day of demos, tips and inspiration galore. If you’d like to have more information leave a comment below or on Meadowside Designs.

Two examples from a previous chrisandbarbara PopUp –

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March Doodles

Slightly behind schedule with our March Doodles but better late than never! For this month we’ve chosen the Rhode Island block –

We rather like the star within a star effect of this block and we started our Doodling by swapping from cool to warm colouring –

And on to quilt settings –

You can download rotary cutting instructions and templates to make your own Rhode Island block together with a “skeleton” block and a quilt to colour in – click here! https://chrisandbarbaraquilts.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/march-rhode-island.pdf

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More than we need –

It’s a given that too much fabric is an impossibility, but we are both beginning to think that we might have too much or too many of other quilt-related items – scissors, rotary cutters, pencils, quilting frames, stationery, gadgets, technology, lights – the list goes on. So much has been gathered up, acquired and accommodated over years of teaching, we are now confronting the issues of what (and how much) do we actually need? The scissor category alone is going to be difficult –