colouring in, Free patterns, Inspiration, possibilities, scraps

Meadowside blocks

One of the blocks featured recently over on our Meadowside Designs blog was one called Thrifty – rather appropriate we felt in these times. It’s very simple – just lots of squares.

But you can make some interesting quilt designs with it by changing the lights and darks around

Then we thought what happens if you combine the 6 inch block from Meadowside with a 12 inch block? We called it Double Thrifty!

You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block here, for a 6 inch block from Meadowside Designs here and a Double Thrifty quilt to colour in and play with here.

Once you start moving the lights and darks around in a quilt design it gets very interesting indeed! As each Double Thrifty block is 24 inches you have a big quilt in no time at all. Here the quilts are set 3 x 3 instead of 4 x 4 (so 72 inches square instead of 96 inches) without borders.

To be very thrifty remember that you don’t have to use all the same fabrics throughout, just the same colours (more or less), so it worth hunting through the scrap bags to see what you can find.

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classes, heritage quilts, Inspiration, possibilities

September bows out

We’ll be auditioning some possibilities for our new HQ very soon (see previous post) as staff transfer from the Overseas to the Rural Office. One of the topics high on the “discuss” agenda is – to pop up or not to pop up? and when to pop up? Our in person and virtual pop up classes have been immensely popular but it’s not always easy to match inclination with diaries and venue bookings. Another topic, lower down on the agenda, is linking “Ragged & Rescued” (Barbara’s 2023 theme for lectures and classes) to our Heritage Quilt series. There’s a fair amount of quilts and patchwork stored at the Rural Office which fall within the Ragged & Rescued category and make interesting viewing.

Looks like we might need several coffees!

Inspiration

Random pieces

Many of our favourite patchwork patterns look good in classic black & white – this is a small slab of EPP Barbara made for a 3D patchwork class we taught. The arrangement of half-hexagons is known as Inner City.

Chris is still waiting for Barbara to make a similar EPP piece based on the image below that we featured in a past Tile Tuesday post. Good intentions etc etc ….

Inspiration

Dresden Plates

Over on our Meadowside Designs blog we are running a six-inch sampler series – a year’s worth of six-inch blocks which are appearing alphabetically (it seemed sensible at the time). This week we have reached D for Dresden Plate. Over the years we have had a lot of fun with these blocks, trying different ways to sew them together, applique them to their backgrounds or making the best use of the fabrics available. It’s time for another wander down memory lane . . . starting with the 1980s – a duvet cover made with polycotton sheeting offcuts from the market

Then making things other than quilts – Christmas tree skirts, wreaths and a cushion

Playing with different shape points

Making giant blocks using jelly roll strips

and finally fussy cutting various fabrics

to make blocks

and even finishing a couple of these sets into quilt tops (not quilts yet, but it doesn’t do to rush things).

One quilt is finished however – a little scrappy one using six inch blocks.

Which brings us neatly back to where we started – with six-inch Dresden Plate blocks over on the Meadowside blog this week!

Inspiration, Tile Tuesday

Tile Tuesday

Last Tuesday we showed you part of a floor from the villa at Fishbourne and a diagram of a quilt block and possible quilt. This Tuesday over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs you can download a pattern for the block in different sizes and find lots of ideas for even more quilts and colours.

As a reminder – here’s the block, in the original black and white of the mosaic floor with some added pale grey for extra interest.

We also showed you an idea of what a quilt could look like with the blocks turned on point, but what about adding sashing between the blocks and changing the colours?

There are lots more ideas for quilts and settings in the pattern sheet many of which also incorporate the borders from the original floor.

Inspiration, Piecing, procrastination, Scrappy Sunday

Scrappy Sunday

We can’t believe it’s more than 12months since we started this series of Scrappy posts.  Barbara was looking through her photos from the past year and was quite surprised at the number of scrappy projects she has started, worked on and taught during that time.  We thought we’d share just a few of them – absolutely no prizes for guessing which ones remain at the “begun” stage!

Plenty of autumn and winter stitching in store!

Inspiration, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sundays – Squares

We thought we were done with squares but in tidying (!) the cupboard of ‘class samples and Blue Peters’ ( it sounds better than abandoned bits) Chris found her bag for Cathedral Windows classes. Squares! Big ones and small ones.

If you just want to give it a little try then make a Christmas ornament (sorry, its a bit early, but . . .)

cathedral window decoration

or, more useful perhaps, a pincushion

cathedral window pincushion front

Or make lots and turn them into a whatever this was meant to be (a pencil case possibly?) – but do make sure you actually finish yours as this one is just tacked and the small squares are falling out.

cathedral window pencil case a

There is also a variation called Secret Garden. Again – you could make a thing to dangle on the Christmas tree (and you might even finish yours!)

secret garden roll edges

or you could combine the two techniques and make a ‘mat’. You don’t have to use the same fabrics for the ‘window’ and the ‘garden’ as I have.

secret garden and c w complete

Experiment! Have a play. Find some squares and do some folding and fiddling – hand or machine, your choice. Download a quick tutorial sheet here. If you are in need of more help then the accompanying blog post can be found here.

If you find you love the technique and/or are feeling really masochistic you could try this idea Chris found in one of her old books (Learn Patchwork by Lynette-Merlin Syme, 1986) – a window blind. I imagine the background fabric was a sheer one of some description!

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