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Tropical touch

We were looking back through the photo vault not so long ago and were reminded of a very successful class we did on Hawaiian style patterns and machine applique. Barbara ventured into a colourful palette for one of the class samples –

Chris was of the opinion that the machine stitching was none too bad for a hand quilter! Here’s Barbara’s first Hawaiian hand stitched sample from way back when (ie 1983) –

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Browsing through a book of blocks the other day we came across a couple that we have made before (but don’t seem to have pictures of!) and realised that they are related to another block we do have a picture of . . . and then one thing led to another and with the aid of Electric Quilt we had some more related blocks that we may, or may not, make. You can download a PDF of the templates to make all these blocks at 12 inches, foundation piecing is a possibility but they didn’t fit onto A4 paper so they haven’t been included, but you do get a picture of each block to colour in.

So what are these blocks? First of all is Wheel of Destiny and then the star points were made slimmer and the colour kept the same

At which point it began to resemble Starry Path

And then with a bit of tweaking of the outer triangles Starry Path became Interwoven Star.

But you could join the centres of those two stars so they form a quarter-square triangle unit in the centre and make these two blocks – which we’ve called Spinning Stars 1 and 2.

But what happens if we go back to Starry Path and change the outer triangles again and make them a different shape?

And then if we add a tiny triangle to those new ones it almost looks as if the points have folded over (with a bit of clever colouring).

Join us next month for some more stellar blocks.

Free patterns

It’s April

And over on Meadowside Designs this week it’s all about the flowers. We’ve moved onto F in our alphabet soup of six-inch blocks and, as it’s April we’ve chosen Flower Petals as our first block – pieced or applique, your choice –

Our second block this week is Flower Garden Path which we couldn’t help but recolour from the pale pastels of the original EQ colouring to green grass, a lavender border instead of a path and colourful flowers!

You’ll find cutting instructions, templates and blocks to colour ready to download at Meadowside. Meanwhile here’s a little tulip inspiration

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Doodles for April

Our block for this month is Temple Court – another one of our traditional style favourites. Here’s the block as it appears in the EQ8 Library

And here’s a variation of the Temple Court block with an adjustment at the centre making it much easier to piece – we’ve twiddled the colouring so that you can see the adjustment clearly.

We’ve played first with the block as it appears in EQ8, switching colours and moving them around the block –

And then there were the quilts from these blocks, just in straight settings, no sashings –

We had to pause at this point and remember to show the easier-to-piece variation, starting with the block and moving on to quilts.

So, some interesting options from simple changes – and changes that are so easy to make in EQ8 so that you can review before committing to cloth! Download a pdf with a Temple Court block to colour, templates, EQ8s rotary cutting instructions here. Our Technical Department has also produced a pdf to download for the Temple Court variation so you have the best of both worlds!

possibilities, Travel

Somewhat random …

. . . . and somewhat less than organised is the current state of play over at the Rural Office. There’s another transition to the Overseas Office due so there are decisions to be made as to which tech stuff needs to go, which files and folders, which projects to finish, which templates and rulers and so on and so on. Hopefully when everything is gathered up it will all pack into a reasonable amount of space in the car!

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Stencils

More clearing, cleaning and reviewing over at the Rural Office – this time it’s a stack of stencils that requires attention. Barbara has designed stencils since 1990 for Quilting Creations International – her trademark feathers and Egyptian-themed designs are perennially popular.

Designs inspired by The Tentmakers of Cairo – use for quilting or applique
Loop & heart designs are easy for continuous line machine quilting
Detail from a quilt using Barbara’s designs for quilting, embroidery and applique
Quilting design becomes an applique design (same quilt as above)

Stencils offer a reliable method of putting quilting and applique designs onto fabric and have the advantage of being durable. Multiple stencils can be stored flat or clipped together and hung on a rail or hook. Thirty years’ worth of samples is a considerable quantity and weight so storing flat may continue to be the best option!

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Real live PopUp!

Just popping up to let you know that we have scheduled an in-person PopUp class for Saturday 25th June at the Walton Community Centre in Stone, Staffs. In keeping with the very best of chrisandbarbara traditions we are keeping the topic cloaked in mystery – but there will be plenty of tea, coffee and cake during a day of demos, tips and inspiration galore. If you’d like to have more information leave a comment below or on Meadowside Designs.

Two examples from a previous chrisandbarbara PopUp –

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Last month we featured Eccentric Star but this month we go back a step to Friendship Star and several variations of it – including both Eccentric Star and Ribbon Star from last month. You can download a pdf with all the ideas and instructions here.

So first here is a reminder of what Friendship Star, Eccentric Star and Ribbon Star look like

And this is Friendship Star in a straight set quilt and then with two different colourings of sashing between the blocks and finally set alternately with Ribbon Star.

You could make a 3D variation of the block by using folded triangles for the star points – and even add a contrast colour that will show when the edge of the triangle is rolled back (the rolled back edge is orange, possibly should have done one with a greater contrast to show up here!)

We then played around with the corners of the block and came up with these and also a quilt with the Sawtooth variation to illustrate why we gave it that name.

Then finally – what happens if you make your Eccentric Star star points with a striped (or strip-pieced) fabric?

If you want to have a go at making any of these you can download the PDF with cutting and brief piecing instructions, including both templates and foundation piecing papers for the ‘ice-cream cone’ corners. If you need assistance with any of the units or techniques you can find information on our sister blog (Meadowside Designs) on the tutorials page.

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!

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March Doodles

Slightly behind schedule with our March Doodles but better late than never! For this month we’ve chosen the Rhode Island block –

We rather like the star within a star effect of this block and we started our Doodling by swapping from cool to warm colouring –

And on to quilt settings –

You can download rotary cutting instructions and templates to make your own Rhode Island block together with a “skeleton” block and a quilt to colour in – click here! https://chrisandbarbaraquilts.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/march-rhode-island.pdf