classes, Piecing, possibilities

Still puzzling

Chris’s Puzzle Quilt classes at Pollyanna Patchwork were full of returning homework this week.  “Beginners’ and ‘Improvers’ turned up with lots of blocks.  After two blocks last time some of the Beginners were quite disappointed to be given only one block design this week and requested others be e-mailed.  We think the pictures just speak for themselves – first a sample from Beginners :

Chris didn’t manage to get many photos – beginners are shy and don’t think their work is worth photographing. How wrong can they be?! We love how different these pairs of blocks look – they are pairs of the same design, hence ‘Puzzle Quilt‘.

The ‘Improvers’ – and some are really Beginners – have been getting two different blocks to make each class so their piles of blocks are growing even faster. Again lights (or blocks) have been hidden under bushels (or in bags).

Saturday’s students had time to make blocks and speedy ones even quilted.

The others made the London Roads block first and will make their Mystery Flower Garden blocks at home.

Chris and Alison aren’t sure they can wait for a fortnight to see what comes in from this week’s ‘homework’. Some of the blocks are now starting to look like ‘proper’ quilts as students begin to quilt-as-they-go and everyone is getting excited at the prospect of having a finished quilt by the end of term.

classes, Piecing, possibilities, Projects, Teaching


Chris taught her first two classes of the term at Pollyanna Patchwork last week.  As you may recall from posts earlier in the summer we are doing Puzzle quilts; one with half a dozen simple blocks for beginners and one with a few more and slightly more challenging blocks for ‘improvers’. We’re also going to be making them quilt-as-you-go so (hopefully) by the end of six sessions the quilts will near enough ready to go on  beds.

On Thursday the beginners had a go at rotary cutting and strip piecing to make a Greek Square (or Churn Dash) block.  As a change from the blues and yellows Chris made the sample quilts from, the demo piece was done in autumnal colours (much more “me” – Chris).

We didn’t get around to doing any sewing in class so no pictures yet of students’ blocks, but some starching and pressing of fabric took place and even a little cutting.  Chris had brought along some fabric-that-didn’t-matter so that everyone could practice cutting without using their own precious fabric.  One of the students was having real problems with her cutting – she’d managed fine with Chris’s cutter but when she swapped to her own new cutter the nice smooth raw edges were all chewed.  Investigation showed the cutter fitted with two blades. So – a free spare blade and a mysterious puzzle solved!

Saturday’s students had done some sewing and even P&Q before, so were designated ‘Improvers’ much to their disbelief.  A swift review of choosing fabrics/colours and of rotary cutting and we were straight into a demonstration of the first block.  This time Clay’s Choice.  (You might remember this from our Saturday Sewing Specials)  A majority decision was taken on Chris’s colour scheme for this block – which proved to us all how different fabric looks when you cut it up and put it in a block rather than just put it in a heap on the table.

Clay's Choice block

Those triangles have gone quite ‘muddy’.  (Although I think it looks fine – Barbara)  Never mind – the joy of Puzzle quilts is that you get to make two blocks and change the colours and values around (and perhaps even use different fabrics). After lunch everyone got stuck into making their first block. Chris only managed to capture two of these before the end of class; hopefully more next time.

Cindy's Clay's Choice

Rosie's Clay's Choice

And it will be interesting next time to see how everyone has tackled their second block and how different they have managed to make them.  We only meet every fortnight … so see you for a Puzzle update in two weeks.

classes, Uncategorized

Coffee and Cupcakes

Its Friday again (and how come there seem to be more Fridays in a week all of a sudden?) so off to Eccleshall and Pollyanna Patchwork for coffee and cupcakes again. Lemon ones this week.

We were a bit late arriving so a good start had already been made! We helped it along a little bit … Considerable discussion this week about cupcake flavours and could we pre-order, or should we have scorecards each week to vote for our favourites, or … actually its quite fun seeing what turns up. Then a little retail therapy (you can’t visit a quilt shop and not fondle the fabric at the very least) and back home to the reality of preparing for a class tomorrow. So Chris has spent the afternoon burrowing in her cupboard under the stairs to retrieve assorted boxes of irons and extension leads and spare sewing machines and ironing boards while Barbara has been marshalling the worksheets and samples and Blue Peters and preparing for her mother’s 90th birthday bash on Sunday. Its all go.  A quiet sit down with coffee and cake on Monday, in a cafe somewhere, will be called for! Providing we’ve remembered to put up the Mystery Monday post. And then it’ll be the preparation for the Wednesday Evening classes starting next week, and Chris’s classes for Pollyanna Patchwork start on Thursday and then Barbara’s will start a week or two after that … Another coffee and a sit down is called for – right now!

classes, Sampler Quilt class

Work in progress – ?

Chris has been busy making bags – it’s almost turned into a bag-a-thon!  Several enjoyable visits to our nearest quilt shop, Pollyanna Patchwork, have already been required and there will doubtless be a few more before the class in January.  The requirements list for this class should be available on our website in the next few days, or as soon as Barbara gets down to writing up her part of it.

Some progress from both of us on the blocks for the Sampler Quilt class – in amongst all the general pre-Christmas stuff that we all get sucked into – and we’d actually prefer for all the Christmas stuff to go away and just sew our way through the next few weeks…