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.

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March Doodles

Where do the days go?! While we actually got around to putting up the Doodles page for March at the beginning of the month, we forgot to do a blogpost about them. This month’s doodle features a block called Birds and Star and you can download a colouring sheet here.

March block c

It has taken a long time to come up with the latest ‘bright idea’ but it occurred to us that as well as doing some colouring you might occasionally actually want to make the quilt – so you would need instructions to make the block(s). So now, over on our sister site – Meadowside Designs – you can find instructions and download templates for our March Doodle block.

We have both been busy teaching at the Corner Patch this month. Barbara is using two of her vintage frame quilts in her hand-stitching classes and you can find the patterns on the Heritage Quilts Payhip site if you want to give them a go yourselves.

Chris’s students are busy making a Block of the Month quilt which this year features blocks on a 5-patch grid by way of a change – you can find photos of progress over on Chris’s Instagram account.

While we are on the subject of the Corner Patch – some of you may have heard some rumours about the shop. Jane has been making a regular appearance as a demonstrator on the Sewing Quarter TV programmes for the past couple of years – she’s been so good that they offered her a full-time job. She’d have have been mad to turn it down, but it does mean that the shop needs a new owner. So, if you have ever wanted your own patchwork shop – here’s your opportunity. The shop is based in Eccleshall, a thriving little market town in the middle of the Staffordshire countryside. It has a busy online presence too, as well as a team of teachers (we’re all excellent of course!) covering a wide range of classes and workshops. You can contact Jane via the shop website.

Hannah Hauxwell quilts

Hannah Hauxwell (1926 – 2018) was an amazing woman who lived on a remote farm in Yorkshire almost entirely cut off from the outside world until a TV documentary was made about her in 1972. She died in February last year and next month Tennants will be auctioning the quilts from her house. You can find out a little more about the quilts (and Hannah) in this blogpost from UK Quilters United.

We think most of these quilts were most likely made in the late 19th century (1890s). In her book Seasons of my Life Hannah says –

Both Grandma and Mother were clever with their hands, making mats and quilts. Grandma laboured for years with her frames and turned out all the mats for the house. I have still got two quilts that she made, which have been in use for as long as I can recall. Mother knitted a white cotton quilt before she married, which I treasure to this day. I have done a bit myself, but possess neither the ability nor the patience to do fine work. I prefer thick wool which gets done rather more quickly, and during the war I unravelled some of Grandma’s things and knitted them up again“.

This ‘Grandma’ was probably her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Hauxwell (nee Bayles) (1862 – 1940) as one of the quilts has the initials EB embroidered on the back. Her maternal grandmother was Ann Sayer (nee Tallentire) (1853 – 1930) and it is unlikely Hannah would remember her as she would have only been about four when Ann died. Hannah’s full name by the way was Hannah Bayles Tallentire Hauxwell thus showing her ancestry through her middle names – an absolute gift to genealogists!

We rather liked this six-pointed star quilt from the ones being sold and as Chris has drafted some templates to make something very similar (download them here) Barbara may have a go at making if not an entire quilt then perhaps a cushion or table runner.  Rumour has it that a stash has been picked through, fabrics assembled and pieces cut for a test block or two.  You’ll notice that the original shows identical fabric placement from block to block but we think this charming star and square pattern would look just as good in random scraps.

Mystery quilt?

Chris’s classes at The Corner Patch come to an end this week until September and Barbara won’t be teaching until the Autumn either, so some of you may be feeling a bit bereft and short of something to sew over the summer.

Of course, there is the Retreat on June 22nd to look forward to (contact Jane for details of any last minute places), but it only lasts a weekend.

But, as ever, C&B have the answer! Over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs a new Mystery Quilt is starting this Sunday (June 17th). You can read a little more about it on the blog now.

Maybe it’s May…

… but we’re not convinced. This year is rushing by and we think someone has forgotten to include spring in the plans. The Rural Office is surrounded by tall meadow rather than lawn as it has been too wet to mow, days of strong cold wind at the Overseas Office and all staff at C&B Towers have been issued with new raincoats and wellingtons.

Chris did manage to escape and take a few days to enjoy gardens and tulips –

Somewhere in her travels Chris  managed to pick up a mystery virus which has confined her to C&B Towers for several days – we’re hoping that it will disappear as quickly as it arrived.

Meanwhile, at the Overseas Office, Barbara spotted a new resident –

  • a little stitching has been achieved –

And the most neglected sewing machine ever was spotted in a reclamation yard –

This is probably a timely reminder for us to clean out and oil all our machines and give them an appreciative pat!

Our Electric Quilt Doodles for this month are mega simple, so no downloadable pdf – but do click over and take a look at our May offerings.

We are currently experiencing a number of background technical issues with our blog host WordPress which we hope to have resolved before our next post. 

Also, to comply with new data protection legislation we may need to remove all email subscriptions from the blog – our Technical Department is currently investigating. 

 

March EQ Doodles

March already – Spring is on the way and so are new Doodles. Have a look at the Doodles page to see what we have come up with this month and download your own version to colour here.

Somehow, although the February Doodles Quilt to Colour page was done and ready, we managed not to put it in a blog post all month. (Our Doodle Director has been taken to task!)  So, with many apologies, you can download the February Doodle here.

The joy of these colouring pages is that not only can you print out as many as you want to colour but you can also cut them up and re-arrange the blocks to see what new patterns you can come up with. Perhaps you could try combining blocks from February with the March block? Here’s just one suggestion –

mixed-doodleIf you are need of a project or some more ideas why not hop over to the Meadowside Designs blog and download some of the free block patterns from there. You will find links to all the blocks on the Tutorials page; and a Block of the Month is also running.

eq-doodle-march-2017

eq-doodle-feb-2017

Quilt-along

If you’re feeling in need of something to sew and missing the Chris and Barbara Tittensor workshops you could try heading over to the Meadowside Designs blog where a new Block of the Month quilt-along is starting. The Requirements were posted earlier today and there will be a block or instructions each month for the next year. In between those there will be the usual Simple Block instructions each month as well with ideas for quilts using each block. And all for free!

Dancing Blocks is the name of the Quilt-along wall-hanging which will finish at about 50 inches square.

dancing-block-blues-quilt