classes, Electric Quilt, Mystery Monday

November – so soon!

One of our high level executive meetings at HQ last month generated a lot of furious scribbling in notebooks – to-do lists, class topic lists, ideas lists, lists of lists, and lots of impromptu diagrams and quilt plans.  And then we had the bright (?) idea that we might, from time to time, share a glimpse into our notebooks right here on the blog.  Just because we could.  So, striking while the proverbial iron is still warmish, here’s the first showing of Barbara’s current notebook, somewhat battered and dog-eared and a random taste of what it contains –

We have had many requests for the return of our weekly Mystery Monday feature and we’re planning on reviving this excellent tradition very soon – it may be a brand new Mystery or one from the archives, we haven’t decided yet – but a Mystery there will be.  We went rummaging through the archives in the basement of C&B Towers and had the greatest difficulty in finding any suitable images to post here for Mystery Monday so no encouraging pictures as yet – just have to wait for the real thing to show up.

The Overseas Office is starting to show signs of activity – the first projects look like being English Paper Piecing (EPP) with a hexagonal flavour….

Chris is busy with plans and samples for next year’s classes and was heard muttering something about “houses, houses ….”    And of course, lots of houses in our area have lovely Minton tile floors …

Our EQ doodles page has been refreshed and  – do click over and take a look at this month’s offering.  You’ll find a free colouring page to download here – EQ doodle November.

Happy stitching!


Block A Week, Free patterns, Mystery Monday, Piecing, Sew along Sampler

Meadowside Designs

One chunk of the mighty C&B Empire that is expanding rapidly is Meadowside Designs – yes, we know it doesn’t sound like it might be related but that might even be a good thing!  Chris has spent hours and hours, possibly even days (felt more like months actually – Chris) writing patterns, doing diagrams, checking measurements, uploading patterns and updating the Meadowside Craftsy site too.  There are now 20+ patterns available as instant download pdfs on the Meadowside website, and 20+ patterns similarly available at Craftsy. Not all of them are Chris’s (or even Barbara’s) as some have come from our good friend Ann Jermey.


this little piggy 1Christmas runner style


Just started on the blog is a Mystery Quilt for Christmas – so if you’ve missed our Mystery Mondays you can try the one (on Mondays) over at Meadowside.

Plus there’s a free Block of the Month program posted on the blog. It started in July but there’s still time to catch up if you wanted to collect them all.

autumn star sampler

And, as if that weren’t enough, on previous Mondays (and will be once more after the Mystery Quilt finishes) there have been free patterns to download from the blog for a variety of simple blocks.

Lots more patterns are lined up for the weeks ahead – follow the Meadowside blog to keep in touch with what’s new as it becomes available.  Chris has just disappeared into the IT Suite to finish another pattern …

Free patterns, Mystery Monday

Not very Mysterious quilt Step One

We’ve reached the first step of sewing it all together.  The instructions for Mystery Quilt Step 1 can be downloaded by clicking on the link.

You will need your A and D Quarter-Square Triangles for this step which involves stitching them in pairs to form Half-Square Triangles.

If you fancy joining in this not very mysterious Mystery Quilt it’s not too late. The Requirements can be found here and the grand Cutting Plan here.

Instructions will be posted each week – there are nine steps in total – to make a quilt top measuring about 52 inches square (depending on borders, sashing etc). The blocks are 8 inches square and there will be 16 of them.

Here’s a picture of Barbara’s blocks –


Free patterns, Mystery Monday

Mystery Cutting plan

A bit later than planned, Part Two of our not very mysterious Mystery Quilt is the Grand Cutting instructions. Find the fabric from the last time and cut (most of) it up as per this Plan. You might want to put in carefully labelled bags to keep it all safe for Part One. How to sew it back together again follows soon. . . (hopefully we will remember). . .  !


Free patterns, Mystery Monday

Not really a mystery

It’s a long time since we hosted our very popular Mystery Mondays on the blog and we do get requests from time to time to offer some more. As a result of several meetings at the highest level of C&B Towers we’ve decided to post the steps for the quilt top that featured in our most recent Mystery day

And, yes, we do realise that it’s no longer a Mystery to do it this way, but we have also had a lot of interest in the pattern so this seemed to be almost the best of both worlds. So look out for the requirements list to make this terrific top – it should show up here very soon.

classes, Mystery Monday

Not-so-Lone Star

Everything was ready for our Lone Star class – full list of students, worksheets printed, samples done, and it was all going so well until we arrived at the hall – only to find that the caretaker had completely forgotten we had booked so locked door and a sense of rising panic.  Phonecalls, then door opened to reveal that, instead of a completely empty space, all the tables and chairs had been set out in readiness for the evening community dance event.  And the kitchen set out ready to serve tea and coffee to 70 people with cups and saucers in neat rows from one end of the countertop to the other.  Jackets off, sleeves rolled up and we set to and changed everything around in just under 15 minutes so that we could then set everything out according to our usual plan.   Not our preferred start to a class!

Once everyone had arrived and settled into their spaces we started the serious business of constructing Lone Star diamonds from strips, using the 45degree line on a ruler.  A deep and thoughtful silence accompanied Chris’s demo of putting the strips together, cutting apart into slices and joining slices back into diamonds.  Coffee, tea and biscuits were quickly served to fuel all the fabric choices required before construction began and promises of cake were made to encourage and lift the spirits….  But actually, it was fine and everyone had a good time and made diamonds for Lone Stars and we’re looking forward to seeing some new quilt tops, maybe even at our next class “Braid Strips” on June 16th.  (Chris wants to remind everyone that we can now take bookings online at our website

So, lots of random pictures to show you what was going on – enjoy!

By the time this arrived

and we’d admired Maggi’s Mystery Monday One quilt and Val’s cushion from the Hawaiian Applique class

there were lots of Lone Stars around


Well done everyone!  A most successful day after all.  Tomorrow Chris has an urgent appointment with some restful (?!) gardening and Barbara is packing ready for Quilts UK …

Mystery Monday, Projects

Mystery Monday 7 Step 13

And here we are – the final week where you get to arrange the blocks according to our Grand Plan. Download the printable version here.

First, find your blocks – you should have 4 of Block 1, 4 of Block 2 and 1 of Block 3.

Arrange your blocks with Block 3 at the centre. Barbara is arranging hers like this –

But because you have the same number of Blocks 1 and 2 you could change things around.  Which would look like this –

Once you have decided on an arrangement, simply (!?) stitch your blocks together. Add a border or two and then just layer, quilt and bind, not forgetting the all-important label of course.  It’ll be ready for Christmas!

And that’s all (for this year) folks! Have a good Christmas and we wish you a Happy New Year with lots of stitching time. Mystery Monday will return – eventually, and possibly in a different format, but we’re going to take a holiday for a few months. When we started it was just going to be one mystery quilt for the summer holidays, but somehow … …

Mystery Monday

Mystery Monday 7 – Step Twelve

By now we are getting very close to the end of this Mystery Project – download the printable instructions here.

This week we are making the final block, Block 3

You will need to find:-

4 Unit 2 from Step 7 at the corners

4 Flying Geese 2 from Step 5 north south east and west

1 D square from Step 1 at the centre

Assemble and join the units into strips then into the block.

Label as Block 3 and put with Blocks 1 and 2 in that safe place ready for next week.

With apologies for the poor quality of the photo and block pic but Chris is doing this week’s post and has failed to find the original jpegs so this one is copied and pasted from the pdf. Tomorrow, of course, the jpegs will emerge from their hiding place chortling happily.

(p.s. this post may or may not be posted correctly – its publication has been entrusted to Chris’s daughter, Rebecca, who is monopolising the computer into the small hours of the morning desperately trying to finish her work before 9am Monday morning, and desperately trying not to get distracted by the likes of I suspect that being given the responsibility of blog-posting is also punishment for having ‘come home to visit my mother for the weekend’ and in fact pitching up late on Saturday evening, disappearing for most of Sunday and only reappearing to sleep in her spare bed, eat her food, and incarcerate myself in her study in order to complete the weekend’s work. I have promised to be a better daughter in future…)