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.

Free Pattern

The final block in our Four-Patch Sew-Along Sampler is now on the website. This time we’ve chosen a block called Turnstile – yet more half-square triangles, but quarter-square ones too by way of a change! When we get round to it examples of quilts will show up on Flickr and on the EQ Doodles.

It was good to meet with many of you at Malvern  and yes, Barbara did catch the flight to Jordan – just have to hope she gets back now.  Chris will be doing Saturday’s Jelly Roll class with help from Ann Jermey (thanks, Ann!)

Free Pattern

The next block for our Sew-Along Sampler is up on the website. Hopefully this break will have given you a chance to catch up! What have we been doing, instead of posting Free Patterns? We wish we knew – it probably seemed important at the time … !

Back to sampler blocks – this time we bring you Dutchman’s Puzzle. Try making it the conventional way with triangles or try making it with Folded Geese or, even, folded triangles rolled back …. And as for ways to colour it … Enjoy the possibilities this block has to offer while we get busy organising the next Free Pattern block.

Sampler class solo

Well, who would have thought it?  Chris is still out of action so Barbara will be teaching solo for our Sampler Class tonight and probably also on Saturday for Flying Geese.  Tonight the topic is curved piecing by hand and/or machine with Drunkards Path variations for homework.  These are Barbara’s hand pieced blocks –

and the Flying Geese are gathering in readiness for Saturday –

Looking forward to seeing lots of sampler block homework in class!

Free Pattern

The next block (the fifth) in our Sew-Along Sampler is now available on our website. This block is Whirlpool – yet more half-square triangles.

Whirlpool block

Previous blocks in this sampler are Carrie Nation Quilt, Hourglass, Old Maid’s Puzzle and Clay’s Choice. EQ doodles of these have been on the blog and there are some on our flickr site too.

Free Pattern

The next block in our sew-along sampler is on our website. We’ve chosen Clays Choice as our next block and you can see some sample quilts on our flickr page – they’ve probably appeared on the sidebar here too – and some more will appear on the EQ doodles page soon.  If you visit Maggi’s blog http://todreamtostitch.blogspot.com you can see what great things she’s doing with our Sewalong Sampler blocks and a batch of her own hand-dyed fabric.

Clays Choice block

Wading through treacle

There are times when it doesn’t matter how many hours or effort you put into something, you just don’t see any progress or forward movement.  We have always referred to this state of affairs as “wading through treacle” and we have both had our fair share of it over the past week or so.  Chris is working really hard to get class handouts, requirements lists, and samples done in good time for our evening and Saturday classes.  Barbara thinks she’s working really hard at the same things but there has been no tangible or helpful output.   There is however some slight movement on the samples for one of our Saturday classes –

and all the units for another Drunkards Path variation (Sampler Quilt class) have been stitched and decisions need to be taken on the final arrangement

Whilst we were wading through coffee and brownies at our favourite local coffee shop

we remembered that we had said we’d post pics of 4patch sampler blocks from one of last year’s quilt.  Here’s the first batch – Carrie Nation Quilt, Hour Glass, Old Maid’s Puzzle

These are blocks taken from a quilt which began life as demo blocks at Quilts in the Garden at Trentham last year.  Definitely no wading through treacle at that time – the blocks were all together within 3 days and then went off to be quilted by those nice folks at Quilters Trading Post in Whitchurch.   It’s wonderful what some quilted texture can do to disguise indifferent piecing.  All that’s needed now is for the binding to be handstitched down – and a little less treacle on the floor!

Free Pattern

Another block in our Sew-Along Sampler has been posted on our website, www.chrisandbarbara.co.uk. This time its Old Maid’s Puzzle – lots of half-square triangles for you to play with. We sometimes wonder whether anyone out there is making any sampler blocks, or quilts from the patterns. Or are you just saving them for a rainy day? Which is what we find ourselves doing with all sorts of patterns, designs and other interesting things we come across, but somehow the promised ‘rainy day’ never arrives. Months later (years, even!) one or other of us finds a folder (that organised?! – Chris) when tidying and remembers, vaguely, meaning to make it when the right fabric was found, or ‘after these classes have finished’ and yet, here it is, still unused. Hey ho. Did you hear the old saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? We have however been making virtual quilts on Electric Quilt using the blocks from the Sew-Along. Here are a couple of Old Maid’s Puzzles – you will find some others on our EQ Doodles page.

Old  Maid's Puzzle quilt

Old Maid's Puzzle quilt

We’d love to see photos of any blocks or quilts you’ve made from these patterns. A sampler quilt with these blocks in does exist somewhere in Barbara’s quilt cupboard, when she finds it we’ll post a photo!

Found – totally fabulous hexagons – a must-see

Following on from the vintage fabrics and hexagons we came across some completely luscious hexagon pieces on this blog

http://dragonflyquilting.blogspot.com

you’ll need to look for the February 1st post and scroll down the page but it really will be well worth it! 

First night of the new Sampler Quilt class went really well and we were so wrapped up in what was going on that we quite forgot to take pictures – must rectify that next week!  Everyone seemed to have a good time and the homework we’ve set is to make one block chosen from the 4patch patterns we’ve given them.  Here are our class samples as a reminder –