Free Pattern Friday

Over on our sister site – Meadowside Designs – where we put our patterns, we have started a Free Pattern Friday series to keep us busy while confined to our homes. This Friday we are ‘doing a runner’ (and that is just how we feel right now) pattern from one our Chris and Barbara workshops.


Head over to Meadowside for more information, more photos and to download your free pattern.


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.


Free Pattern

We’re at Sandbach today for the annual grand Fabric Sale and quilt show. While we’re there we thought we would have a quick giveaway – a Limited Edition free pattern for one of Barbara’s big quilts.


We’ve only printed a few (circumstances totally beyond our control!) so these will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. But then we thought of all you folk too far away to get to Sandbach for the day and decided to offer it as a free download for today only – it will disappear by tomorrow (if I remember – Chris).

So, if you come to the Sandbach show, do drop by to say ‘hello’ and pick up a free pattern if we still have one available; otherwise you can use the link below to download your copy before it’s too late!

Sorry, the pattern has now gone – but there may be another one (or even the same one, we haven’t decided!) for the Uttoxeter Show in April.

Not block of the month

A change of colour scheme for this month’s “Not Block of the Month” which is a classic traditional Basket block, known as Basket of Chips among other names.  How could we resist? Barbara was persuaded to switch from the red & green combination she used for the first three blocks of this series to “something else”, but the “something else” turned out to still feature red.  Do you have a default colourway/colour preference too?  Here’s the gathering of fabrics before the starching, pressing and cutting started –

fabric choices

This is a fairly quick block to make thanks to quick-piecing techniques for the Half Square Triangles.

getting started

block construction

finished block ready for pressing

Here’s the black & white vintage version of this, about half the size of ours – but  what a great stripe fabric!

vintage block

Click here to download a printable free pattern and make your own Basket block(s) – a perfect summer project!

Another block to try

Here’s another “Not Block of the Month” for you to try – the free downloadable instructions are here.  This time we’ve chosen a simple traditional block, Goose Tracks, which looks good if made using just two fabrics  – this is the vintage black & white version from Barbara’s block collection –

vintage black & white block

Barbara made up her version using 4 fabrics – two closely-related main red prints and two backgrounds – putting more emphasis on the rectangles from the centre of the block.  

layout of pieces

You can see on the right hand side above that Electric Quilt was it’s usual helpful self – Chris drew out the block and put it into one of our shared files (thank you DropBox!) and Barbara just selected the block size – 12 inches finished – and hit the print button for a complete set of rotary cutting instructions.

trimming points

finished block

You could make various changes and substitutions in your version – let us know how what you decide to do!

Free Pattern

To celebrate the quilt show at Uttoxeter – British Quilt & Stitch Village – we thought we’d offer you a free pattern to download just for the three days of the show. It’s the basic instructions for the Layer Cake Scramble which Chris taught at The Corner Patch a few weeks ago.   Since then so many people have been asked about it that we thought this might be a good idea.  As you can see Chris hasn’t quite finished hers yet, but its coming on … slowly. (Some half-baked excuse about “run out of fabric” apparently – Barbara)

Layer cake scramble

We’ll both be demonstrating at the show and giving away the pattern there as well, although numbers will be limited.  (Chris should also be hunting for fabric to finish that Layer Cake Scramble – Barbara).  If you are at the show do drop by to say hello – we’re upstairs at Stand 75.   It looks like being a jolly good day out as we understand there are over 70 traders coming plus a working demonstration by one of the Tentmakers from Cairo, and any number of other exhibits, events and classes.  We were at the showground on Monday, delivering quilts for the main exhibition, and everywhere looked very smart, fresh and well-tended – a very pleasant spot indeed.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday Sewing Special #1 – Clay’s Choice

So, if you’re ready here’s our first Saturday Sewing Special.  We’re starting with Clay’s Choice.  This is one of our all-time favourite blocks – very straightforward piecing, only two shapes to measure and cut plus lots of possibilities for interesting fabric/colour placement.  Click here for a printable set of instructions to make a 12 inch block together with suggestions for several different quilt layouts.

  • Clay’s Choice is a simple four-patch block – that is, it is made up from four (or in this case 16) smaller units.


  • It is best made to finish at a size that is a multiple of 4 – i.e. 8inches or 12inches etc.
  • You will need a minimum of three fabrics including a background.

You’ll find lots of greyscale quilt layouts included with the printable instructions – here (courtesy of that magical EQ7 quilt design program)  are just 3 very simple quilt layouts featuring this block


Mystery Monday Step 5

The last of the cutting! You can download a printable version of this week’s instructions here.

This week you will need Fabrics A, B, C & D

Unit 5. More half-square triangles.

Take careful note of the fraction involved in the measurement this week – we really do mean ⅝”

Cut 2, 3⅝” squares of A and then cut diagonally into two (4 triangles)

Cut 16, 3⅝” squares of B and then cut diagonally into two (32 triangles)

Cut 16, 3⅝” squares of C and then cut diagonally into two (32 triangles)

Cut 2, 3⅝”squares of D and then cut diagonally into two (4 triangles)

Stitch the B and C triangles together into 32 squares

Press and trim “ears”

Stitch the D and A triangles in the same way to make 4 squares.

Press and trim “ears”

Put all half-square triangle units into Bag X.

This week’s double check:

Those three bags continue to fill up

Bag X should now contain – 18 of Unit 1; 32 Unit 5 B/C; 4 Unit 5 A/D

Bag Y should now contain – 44 Unit 2 BDB; 4 Unit 2 ABA; 16 Unit 3 EB; 32 Unit 3 AB;

8 Unit 4 CECA; 4 Unit 4 CACA

Bag Z should now contain – 16 Unit 2 ABD; 16 Unit 3 EB; 16 Unit 3 AD

See you next week for Step 6 – happy stitching!

Mystery Monday Step 3

Today’s the day for Step 3 of our current Mystery Monday project – you can download a printable version of this step here.

For this step you will need fabrics A, B, D and E.

Unit 3  Half Square Triangles

The finished size of these units is 2” and you will need to make –

32 units using fabrics E and B

32 units using fabrics A and B

16 units using fabrics A and D

Here’s how to make the units:

From Fabric E cut 16 squares 2⅞”

From Fabric B cut 16 squares 2⅞”

Pair these squares RS together and stitch into half square triangle units by marking the diagonal and stitching ¼” away on both sides of the marked line.  Alternatively you could mark the two stitching lines and not the cutting line.

(We confess that this is usually our preferred option even though it requires two lines to be marked, not one – we have convinced ourselves that this is a more accurate method as you can perhaps see from the photo below, the unit on the right was done with two lines)

Press flat to set the stitches before cutting apart and pressing the half square triangle units.

Trim “ears” from units .

You should have a total of 32 EB units – put 16 of these into Bag Z and the remaining 16 into Bag Y.

From Fabric A cut 16 squares 2⅞”

From Fabric B cut 16 squares 2⅞”

Pair these squares RS together and proceed as above to make a total of 32 pressed and trimmed AB units.   All 32 AB units now go into Bag Y.

From Fabric A cut 8 squares 2⅞”

From Fabric D cut 8 squares 2⅞”

Pair these squares RS together and proceed as before to make a total of 16 pressed and trimmed AD units.  All 16 AD units go into Bag Z.

Double check everything:

Bag X should now contain – 18 of Unit 1

Bag Y should now contain – 44 Unit 2 BDB; 4 Unit 2 ABA; 16 Unit 3 EB; 32 Unit 3 AB

Bag Z should now contain – 16 Unit 2 ABD; 16 Unit 3 EB; 16 Unit 3 AD

………. and that’s it for this week – Step 4 is waiting in the wings ready for next Monday!