Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

We couldn’t have Stellar Sampler without our favourite block – the Ohio Star. But it has many, many names depending on how you place the colours, which book or magazine you found it in and even when you read that book or magazine. These blocks below all look like Ohio Star – they have the four corner squares, a plain square in the centre and quarter-square triangles as the star points. Download cutting instructions etc here.

However – the first one is usually known as Mosaic and the second as Ohio Star. On the second row we have multiple names for the first two. According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Block Patterns Block 1 is (has been) known as Eight-Point Design, Lone Star, Star Design, Texas Star, Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, Texas, Eastern Star, Eight Point Star, Shoofly, and just Star. Block 2 is often known as Variable Star as well as Texas, Star Spangled, Western Star, Star of the West, Henry of the West, Star of Hope and Lone Star. The final block is usually known just as Flying Crow. Having said all that most of us refer to them all as either Variable Star or, more often, Ohio Star so as not to confuse it with the 4-patch Variable Star block.

By using different units in the centre or corners you can alter the block to make a new one, and there are many variations to be found. Today we have just a few with altered corners starting with Swamp Angel – sometimes known as The Four-X Quilt depending on the colour placement. This just has half-square triangles in the corners instead of squares.

The Ornate Star has altered corners too

This next variation doesn’t have a name

and if you turn the corner units round you get another variation

Yet another variation without a name is this one

If you don’t fancy making just one block but want to turn one or more of these into a quilt, what would those quilts look like? Perhaps something like these –

Your download this week has cutting instructions / foundation papers for all the variations we’ve shown this week as well blocks to colour and some quilt settings to colour too. There are so many ways to play with Ohio Star so next month we will have found some more ideas.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities

May’s blocks on Meadowside

Over on Meadowside Designs, as you have probably gathered by now, we are working our way through the alphabet with a sampler series of six-inch blocks. May sees us arrive at H (and later I and even J). This week our H blocks include Hour Glass. There are (literally) dozens of blocks that have been given this name or contain these words. We chose four similar ones to feature on Meadowside

but here’s just a few of the others simply called Hour Glass that we found –

That last one was designed by Carlie Sexton and published in 1928 (Barbara Brackman) and we rather thought some of you might fancy making it, so you can download the templates to make a 12 inch (six inch seemed a little small?) block. It might fit in quite well with some of the other star blocks we are featuring here at Chris & Barbara this year.

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

star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Yet more blocks! Well, we wouldn’t want you running out of things to do this year. We’ve been trawling through our old worksheets and class notes and EQ projects from the last (I think we’d rather not say) ‘several’ years and have come up with a random selection of our favourite (mostly) star blocks to add to the ones from this year’s Doodles. Each month we will provide cutting instructions for a 12 inch block – there may be a worksheet to help with piecing as well and a few ideas to go with it. And to start you thinking here’s a few we made earlier –

To start us off we’ve found a nice simple block – the Eccentric Star. Just a few half-square triangles and a centre square. Download the instructions (a worksheet from a long-ago sampler quilt class).

But how you colour it in can change the way the blocks look when put together.

And what happens if you make mirror images of the block (which often happens quite by accident here).

Or if you turn those corner triangles round?

This ‘new’ block is called Ribbon Quilt.

There’ll be another star to download and play with in a month’s time.

Free patterns, possibilities

More blocks

Just in case you are need of yet more blocks / inspiration this year we are running a Six-Inch Sampler every Saturday over on our sister blog – Meadowside Designs. A rummage through various boxes / cupboards / bags produced a quantity of six-inch blocks looking for a quilt (or two) and some new ideas.

This one goes with our Doodles theme quite nicely – it features the blocks from the Little Book Of Stars put together into a mini quilt with an attic windows setting.

The blocks being featured on Meadowside can be put together into one big(ish) sampler quilt

or you could choose a theme such as stars (as the attic windows one) or cakes-and-pies perhaps – there seem to be quite a few blocks with ‘sweet’ names.

Being only six-inches square they are ideal for using up those smaller scraps and can be put together with any of the 12 inch blocks you end up making from our doodles or the twelve inch star blocks coming here from next week!

We seem to be planning a stellar year!

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.

Free patterns, Piecing, Projects, Sew along Sampler

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 patterns, Piecing, Sew along Sampler

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.

classes, Piecing, Sampler Quilt class, Teaching

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!