classes, Inspiration, Teaching

Pop-Up finishes

A few of the Mystery Pop-Up quilts have been finished (or nearly finished).

Mouse and Chris (although this had to be finished in time for the class, so we’re cheating a bit here!) have made runners

Meanwhile Margaret C has completed her little quilt top and Chris has put the ‘Blue Peters’ together to complete her top. Neither of them quilted yet – decisions have to be made!

How are yours progressing? Photos of finishes (or nearly-finished) always welcome!

The design was based (somewhat loosely) on one of the local Minton tiled doorsteps. Where do you find inspiration for designs?

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!


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

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.

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!


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 ….


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!