A late report (but better late than never) on our Live Online PopUp class on Saturday 17th October. This started out as a real class scheduled for March this year, postponed to July, then again to October. Around September we decided that we would adapt to Zoom rather than keep moving the date and being disappointed. And it worked really well – we had two main demo sessions with a break after each and a short summary at the end when everyone waved blocks around. Live online classes are the next best thing to the live in person classes that we’ve become so used to over the years, but we appreciate that not everyone wants to make the transition or deal with technology!
Here are Kate & Jane’s first blocks forwarded to us during the class –
And Speedy Helen sent these pics of her FINISHED (as in quilted and bound) quilt on Tuesday –
complete with pieced back!
Thanks to everyone who was with us on screen on Saturday, and particular thanks to our pal Judi Mendelssohn who had been volunteered ( by us ) to help us keep things heading in the right direction.
The October EQ Doodles are up and its time to look at scrappy versions. But first here’s the Rolling Crosses block with some colour – the original block could look like this
or if you swap the colours of the inner triangles you get windmills instead of crosses.
Put into quilts they would look like these.
But what happens when we make them from scraps? First of all are sixteen blocks and each is different
Suppose we make the outer triangles the same colour? You then get pinwheels forming where the four blocks meet. The dark version
looks quite different from the light version.
If you want to have a go at making this block you can download templates for a 6inch block or for a 12 inch block. And if you just fancy a spot of colouring-in then you can download a quilt to colour.
Its time to look at our September EQ Doodle and magically turn it from greyscale to glorious scrappy technicolor. Our block this month is Drunkards’ Pinwheel (download the templates to make 3inch units here) which in colour could look like this
Or you could use different shades of the same colours
or you could use lots of colour (or scraps!)
And then put them into quilts
You can download a quilt to colour here – print it out, chop it up, re-arrange it, colour it in, have fun playing with ideas and no fabric will be harmed!
Our August EQ Doodle block is Birds in the Air. There are so many ways to use colour and scraps in this block – and its great for using up those left-over half-square triangles too. So whether you have plenty of the same colours, or not much of anything you can make lots of blocks and put them together. Ideally for each block you need a consistent ‘background’ colour – it needn’t be the same fabric, just the same shade of the same colour (more or less) – a variety of whites, or creams, or greys perhaps; or go darker and use navy, black, or dark grey with brights or pastels.
And once you have made lots of blocks you can put them together and twirl them around and make a variety of patterns. You’ll find lots more ideas on the EQ Doodles page (in greyscale).
If you want to have a go at making the block you can download the rotary cutting measurements for a 6 inch block here courtesy of Electric Quilt (EQ).
Barbara’s scrappy stitching has swerved off in a slightly different direction this week. Small “apple cores” have sneaked in under the radar and a small teaching sample is under way. Super easy for handstitchers, more of a challenge for machine piecers perhaps.
The most recent scrappy project for Barbara’s intrepid band of handstitchers featured a Four Point Star block – the blocks finish at 6inches so the project is a very manageable 18inches square without borders.
Over at the Rural Office bags of scraps and crates of stash have been emptied out and re-sorted just because that’s what you do when life gives you lockdown. At C&B Towers there has been much cajoling of scraps into blocks, backgrounds, backings and battings. Scrappiness definitely rules!
As some of you may have noticed, we have been doing a star block every week over on our sister site Meadowside Designs. The other week we featured one just called Two Colours – it was ok (ish) but needed a few tweaks, partly to make it easier to rotary cut and machine piece. The tweaks opened up a few more possibilities for colouring and it struck us that it would make quite a good candidate for a scrappy block.
You can find out a little more – and download instructions to make it – over on Meadowside but here is what a quilt or two might look like if done scrappy-style, without sashing
and with sashing.
Double Pyramid is the name Jan Halgrimson gives to this wonderfully scrappy block (Great Scrapbag Quilts, p28). Building real pyramids from tiny half square triangles would be impossible, but it’s a really handsome block and a great way to make a dent in your scraps.
To make one 12inch block you need: 3 squares 4 1/2inches, 3 squares 4 7/8inches cut once on the diagonal to yield 6 half square triangles, 36 half square triangle units (72 triangles), 24 half square triangles. For triangles cut 1 7/8inch squares and cut once on the diagonal. Or cut 2inch squares, cut once on diagonal and trim if necessary once stitched.
We’re not going to do the math to work out how many pieces would be needed for a 4x4block quilt (48inches square without sashing or borders) – we know it’s a LOT! but here’s a couple of virtual quilts to show you the effect –
So we’re off to cut scraps into strips, strips into squares and pair squares to make half square triangle units – we may be some time!
Our June Doodle is the Devil’s Puzzle block.
Lots of opportunity for colours and scrappiness here.
Look at the Doodles page for more greyscale design options.
Download a quilt to colour and then if you fancy making it you can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 9 inch block and the (brief) instructions to make a block.
The May doodle is called Jungle Flower – a variation on Drunkards Path. You can download the templates to make a 12 inch block here. Over on the Doodles page we have just shown the block and possible settings in grey-scale, such as this one –
We have shown various possibilities for shading but not for colour and the quilts use the same – or at most two – shadings. So what could the blocks look like with a bit of colour added?
And if we used lots of colour, making each block different, and then put them together in a wonderful colourful scrappy quilt?
Download a quilt to colour here – and remember that you can print it out as many times as you like, cut it up, turn the blocks around and generally play with the possibilities yourself.
Chris has been browsing her bookcase in the last few weeks and unearthed one of her earliest patchwork books – The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon.
All black and white, no colour at all, and lots of useful information on making and using templates and sewing patches together by hand – no rotary cutter or indeed machine stitching mentioned. On the other hand it does contain a lot of blocks and one that caught my eye was called Becky’s 9-Patch as it consisted of different width strips plus a couple of squares.
You can download the rotary cutting instructions to make a 9 inch version here (courtesy of Electric Quilt). I then had a play with the colours. If you make all your blocks the same colours (and remember they needn’t be the same fabrics as they are in my diagrams, they could just be the same shade of whatever colour) then you get some very interesting patterns appearing depending on where the colour emphasis is and which way you turn the blocks.
You do get more of a mish-mash if you make everything a different colour.
But you could try to make just the long edges all the same (ish) to get some pattern and symmetry back into your quilt.
Download a quilt to colour in and/or cut up to play with – you can print it out as many times as you like.