colouring in, Uncategorized

May doodles

May already! “Birds Nest” is our chosen block for doodling and, following our tried and true Doodle traditions, here is the default colouring of the block in the EQ Library –

All very monochrome but lots of possibilities nonetheless –

Choosing to stay with the classic blue and white palette but ramping up the shade of blue –

Forward to the block settings where the changes really show up –

This reminds us very much of our beloved Minton tiled floors, so much so that we can feel a quilt coming on straight away!

We were about to fall down the rabbit hole of on-point settings when we had the brilliant idea that we could, just this once, suggest that if you tip your head either right or left you can get an impression of what on-point might look like. The usual quilt colouring sheet can be downloaded here to play with colourways of your own.

colouring in, Electric Quilt, Uncategorized

April doodles

We’ve chosen “Bluebell” from the EQ Block Library for our April doodling – here’s the default colouring of this floral block –

This would be a great block to foundation piece with lots of options for graphic arrangements. Here’s just a few block colouring choices to start off –

On to multiple blocks! Begin with that default colouring with all blocks following the same orientation –

The urge to start twirling blocks around was too great to resist – the results were maybe slightly predictable but we thought they looked really good!

So we’re off to choose blue fabrics from our stashes. You can download a Bluebell quilt to colour here while you are deciding which arrangement to make!


PopUp pics

Later than planned but nonetheless – we wanted to share just a few pics from our PopUp Mystery class last week. All the usual C&B stuff- lots of chat, lots of tea and coffee, lots of humming sewing machines – was in evidence, plus an outstanding colour co-ordinated manicure modelled by Mouse …

We began to wonder if we had sent out a memo to everyone that said “Come dressed to match your fabric choices” –

And here’s Mouse’s blocks ready to be stitched together – another example of matching to fabric choices

A few more pics to come in our next post – see you soon!

Inspiration, Piecing

Just because –

Moving back and forth from the Overseas Office to the Rural Office sometimes turns up the unexpected. This time several of Barbara’s unofficial collection of Really Small Quilts have surfaced and we thought you’d like to see one or two of them. The mini sampler above was made by Darlene Zimmerman who also made the teeny Sawtooth Star below –

A seaside charmer by Katharine Guerrier –

And a positively miniscule wholecloth by Margaret Davidson –

Inspiration, Piecing

PopUp, tiles and a finish

We’re really looking forward to our PopUp Mystery day on 18th March – just over a week away now. Nearly all the preparation (printing, samples, equipment) is done and ready to go and it will be great to have a large room full of quilters working their way through the Mystery steps aided by tea, coffee and cake.

Somewhere in southern Spain Barbara has been temporarily sidetracked (again!) by a fabulous book on the tiles and mosaics of the Alhambra (“How to draw the mosaics of the Alhambra” by Manuel Martinez Vela).

Back at C&B Towers Chris has been mega busy and productive continuing with her mission to finish things – this little gem emerged from her workroom just a few days ago.

Happy stitching!

Electric Quilt, possibilities

March Doodles

A mathematical title for this month’s block – Four times Nine, according to the EQ Block Library. This is the EQ default colouring –

Switching in some green, add more pink, taking out some of the green and putting a different blue back in – we never tire of playing with EQ!

And on to some straight-set quilts, default colouring first, finishing with a mixture on point with a little magic infill courtesy of EQ.

Download a colouring sheet here to plan your own Four times Nine quilt. Happy stitching & colouring!


Random prep

Much activity in both locations at present – we’re continuing to move existing projects along, finish up samples from yesteryear, make new samples, and even start new projects. Top-secret preparations for our Mystery PopUp day in March are well in hand –

Mysterious preparations also for Barbara’s Pioneer group – who knows how this will turn out?!

And, somehow, at the Overseas Office something a little different (picking up from 40years ago!) has made an appearance

classes, procrastination, scraps

Using up …

At C&B Towers and the Overseas Office the current working theme seems to be put all orphan blocks, sample blocks and bits, and UFOs to good use.

In the last few months Chris has resurrected and revived all manner of pieces that she had almost forgotten about and it has been very satisfying to make Something Unplanned out of them. The Photography Department has promised us that we will have pictures of these pieces to show in a future post.

Further south at the Overseas Office Barbara has been conjuring blocks for class samples out of scraps left over from other class samples and that has been a satisfying exercise too. For several years now the majority of class samples Barbara has made have had a similar colour palette, nearly always with a red print or prints included. The useful thing about this strategy is that, ultimately, all the samples should “go” together and can be arranged into some sort of sampler. This is not a new idea but it really does work very well and this year may be the start of arranging the contents of the sample bag. Here’s a quick glimpse of the current class sample plus one or two from 2022 –

This really is using up – the black print above featured in a quilt Chris made a LONG time ago and Barbara purloined the leftovers!

Back to sorting out pieces from the past!


February doodles

This month’s doodle features a truly traditional block – Pine Tree. Lots of triangles in this one but a stunningly graphic block that is well worth the effort. This is the default block from the EQ Library –

We weren’t too sure about those outer strips so the first change we made blended them in to the background –

We followed this with some minor adjustments – first one being to change the whole background value, then a more “realistic” background.

Directional blocks such as Pine Tree present their own challenges when it comes to setting into a quilt. Scroll through the selection of options that we came up with –

You can download a free quilt colouring sheet here as a start for your own Pine Tree project.

And tomorrow – if you feel you would like to actually make the block or a quilt – you can download the cutting instructions for both 6 inch and 12 inch versions from our sister site Meadowside Designs.

classes, possibilities, Teaching

Popping up in 2023

Even though 2023 has only just begun we are already looking ahead to our PopUp Mystery day on Saturday 18th March. Lots of office work and admin at C&B Towers and quite a bit of fabric cutting and stitching over at the Rural Office.

It’s going to be interesting to see all the different versions of the Mystery. And still on the topic of things mysterious we are going to respond to popular demand and post a vintage C&B Mystery here beginning in March – sharpen your rotary cutter, check your stash and dust off your sewing machine!