I’ve been very neglectful in keeping you up-to-date here on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along! Apologies! I think perhaps Christmas put paid to my QAL rhythm and blog routine!!
Since I last updated you on the QAL we have made….
1 Light of Life Lantern (18″ Drunkard’s Path) block:
2 Flying Geese borders:
2 Spools blocks (9″ each):
And this week the ladies are making …
1 Circle of Hearts (9″ Applique) block:
2 Orange Peel (9″ Applique) blocks:
This week marks the end of all our block making! Wow! 17 weeks has gone by in a flash! The photos the ladies put up in the private Facebook Group are wonderful and it’s so exciting seeing the quilts growing week on week.
That just leaves 2 more weeks where we will be covering quilt top assembly and quilting and binding techniques bringing our QAL to an end on 31st January.
I’m very much looking forward to showing you some of the finished quilt tops in a few weeks time!
This week in the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making three 9″ Crossed Paths blocks.
This block column will add a dramatic geometric contrast to the softer curves and sharp points of its surrounding blocks.
The technique focus in making these blocks is how to successfully sew long strips together.
For these blocks we are sewing 3 Width of Fabric strips together (42″-44″) and then chopping them into smaller units to create the striped sections.
If you have ever worked with a Jelly Roll (precut 2.5″ strips) or narrow border strips you may have experienced some curving or bowing when sewing the long strips together.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid curving when sewing long strips together:
1 Pin/clip the strips right sides together, first at the top and bottom edges, then the middle and the quarter points. This will prevent the top strip from ‘travelling’ further than the underneath strip.
2 (If sewing more than 2 strips together, place a pin marker at the top of the first 2 strips so you remember which end you started sewing at.)
3 Use a new 80/12 standard needle and attach a walking foot to your machine (or engage IDT). Sew 1/4″ seam down the length of the strips.
4 Remove the pins/clips and set the seams (press the seam as you have sewn it). Now press the seam either open or to the darkest fabric. This is best done on a large ironing board where you can easily keep the length of the strip straight as you press.
5 Pin and attach the next strip in the same way as before, this time sewing from the bottom end (remember your pin marker donotes the top end). Changing direction of the sewing will resist curving.
Now you should have straight sewn strips with no ruffles or curving along the seams!!
We have reached the half way point in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!!
It’s so wonderful seeing the many blocks being made in our private Facebook group, and the many different colourways and fabric choices personalising them all!
In fact we are already half-way through our block making!! This week is the 2nd week of an English Paper Pieced block called Unity Tile!
English Paper Piecing (EPP) is an ancient hand piecing technique where fabric is hand sewn around paper shapes. The shapes are then sewn together and the papers removed.
EPP is a historical quilting technique that traces back to the 1770s. The earliest hexagon template that quilt researchers have found was made in England in 1770. Hexagons and English Paper Piecing became one of the most popular patterns and styles in England by during the early 1800’s. Godey’s Ladies Book published the first hexagon pattern in 1835.
In the 1800’s paper was a luxury, so women reused what paper that was available, newspaper, old letters, poems, shopping lists, catalogues etc. This has enabled quilt historians to accurately date some of the earliest English Paper Pieced quilts, as the paper was often left in the quilts. Many EPP quilts maintained their papers, either as a way of providing an additional layer of insulation or because the quilt top remained unfinished and they had yet to be removed.
There were also clues in the fabrics used; often velvets, upholstery fabrics, silks and dress cottons, taken from a fabric stash that may span years or even decades. This suggests that patchwork was a fashionable pursuit for the ladies of the gentry and upper middle classes in the eighteenth century. This is contrary to many beliefs that quilts were made purely for utility and practicality. Although this was often the case, EPP in particular was more of a leisure activity due to the time it took and the complexity of the geometric shapes. Source: Modern Quilt Guild
Our ladies have been beavering away on their hand sewing and we’re already seeing some finished blocks!
In addition to our Unity Tile, I asked a couple of ladies to consider getting creative with the Unity Tile templates and coming up with alternative projects!
Here is what Di (@willowbeckdesigns) made for us:
This is a sweet Spring Wallhanging, using 2 of the 3 EPP shapes in the Unity Tile block.
I just love how Di saw ‘flowers’ in these shapes and her interpretation reminds me of a fresh Spring Day when the garden is coming back to life and bursting with colour again!
A ray of sunshine on any dull day!
Thank you Di for making this lovely wallhanging to inspire us with ideas on how we can use our templates for other projects.
And soon I’ll show you 2 more fab ideas that Sarah (@sewmesarah) came up with!
Hi everyone, I can’t believe it’s a week already since my last post!
The new week in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along has brought a new block and technique focus!
This week we are making two 9″ Garden Baskets, showcasing the Y Seam as our technique focus!
What is a Y Seam? It’s where 3 seams converge to form a Y shape.
There are 3 Y seams to navigate in each Garden Basket block.
There seems to be an inherent fear of Y seams (a little like zippers!) in the quilting world, but with a few clever little tips they’re not as nearly as tricky as you might think!
While our basket block involves mostly piecing, we use a diamond template to cut out the ‘flowers’ in our baskets.
I like to get creative with the templates in our QAL, to see what other ways we can use them. Here are a couple of ideas.
LeMoyne Star Candle Mat
The LeMoyne Star is one of the most well known and historical quilt blocks to use Y seams!
Historians disagree over the origins of this 8 pointed star – either named after the LeMoyne Brothers who founded New Orleans in 1718 and used this star in their coat of arms or after Jean Louis LeMoyne who included the star into his designs for the tiles at King Louis XVI’s palace at Versailles in the early 1700!
Either way, it’s old!!
So here’s my more contemporary version, using Makower Scandi fabrics to piece our diamonds into a sweet Christmas candle mat!
There are a total of 8 Y seams in LeMoyne star! I quilted my little mat in the ditches of the diamonds and finished with pre-made bias binding trim.
EPP Tray Mat
Using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) technique (wrapping fabric around paper templates) you can create a beautiful star shape which can then be appli-quilted* onto a contrasting background.
*Appli-quilting is a two in one step, where the stitching down of the applique shape is done through all the layers of the background quilt sandwich, which means it gets quilted at the same time as being appliqued!
Our diamond template is used here to create the EPP papers (the finished size of the diamonds), and the fabric is then cut 1/4″ bigger all the way round the shape.
This means the star in this variation finishes bigger than our LeMoyne Star variation.
A little rounding of the corners gives a softening contrast to the points of the star.
So there we have 2 simple ways to use the humble diamond template (and use up some pretty scraps in the process!).
I’m looking forward to seeing what the ladies produce this week in the QAL!
Hi everyone, I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a busy week of filming here at Just Jude Designs, as well as keeping tabs on the participants of our Kindred Spirits QAL!
This week’s block in the QAL is the Friendship Star block.
We are making two 9″ Friendship Star blocks with sweet pinwheels in the centre. Traditionally though there would be a square in the middle and as the name suggests, this little block had profund meaning to the early pioneer women making for friends who were often on the move.
“The quilts the homesteaders brought with them were a comfort to these women who traded their home, family and friends in the East, for the uncertainty of traveling through vast prairies in the West. A quilt that held special value to the pioneer women was the Friendship Quilt.
Often it was done in secret, and then given to the woman as a going away gift. It usually was a group effort, with each block being sewn by a friend or relative with their name embroidered in the center.
Putting a Friendship quilt on the bed, gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life. It kept alive the memory of family and friends, providing comfort and company during the difficult days of homesteading.”
Source: National Park Service Quilt Discovery Experience
Our main technique focus this week is the Half Square Triangle (HST), a fun little element which can behold a multitude of designs.
Here are just a few of our HST designs down through the years!
Patterns for many HST projects (including several of the quilts shown above) are available in our pattern shop.
But do you know the difference between HSTs, QSTs and HRTs (no, not that one!)?
This week in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making the Sunflower block.
Our technique focus this time is curved piecing using the humble drunkard’s Path unit (Quarter Circle and Background Fan).
I love curved piecing and the endless variety this little quilt block offers.
With the templates my ladies received this week in the QAL, and the trimming technique they learned in the teaching video, they could not only make the pretty Sunflower Block but they could make all of these 13″ quilt blocks too ……
…. and all of these 19.5″ Cushion Panels!!
How cool is that! There are endless curvy possibilities with a drunkard’s path block!
Welcome to part 3 of my series on Log Cabin blocks (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).
So far we’ve looked at the variations within Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps blocks.
This post is all about the Pineapple Block.
Like me, you may be surprised that the Pineapple block is included in the Log Cabin family of blocks.
But there are definite similarities. Fabric strips of equal width are added in rounds from the centre square outwards (just like Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps).
The main difference this time is each round is trimmed ‘on point’ to create a diamond shape, before the next round is added. By alternating the background and main fabrics each round, pineapple shapes start to emerge.
There are several ways to create the Pineapple Block:
1 Foundation Pieced:
For my block (above) I printed and enlarged a paper template and sewed directly onto the paper, only removing the paper on completion of the block.
While this is a time consuming method (especially for a full quilt!) it results in precision piecing and accurate points and edges.
Welcome back to my Log Cabin Blocks series (part 1 available here).
In part 1 we looked at a range of Log Cabin blocks, from Traditional to Wonky!
In part 2, we are going to look at the 2nd category in this family of blocks.
(All sample blocks are made using fabrics from ‘Handmade’ by Makower)
Part 2: Courthouse Steps
Similar to the traditional Log Cabin Block, ‘steps’ are added in rounds to the centre square, this time attaching to two opposite edges first before adding steps to the remaining 2 edges. The ‘steps’ are the same width.
Here is one of my traditional Courthouse Steps Quilts, this time starting with a background square (I’ve marked the block to make it easier for you to identify).
I love how the secondary pattern from the Courthouse Steps blocks dominates in this design!
You can find a traditional Courthouse Steps block tutorial here.
2. Colour Rounds:
As with the Log Cabin Colour Rounds variation, the same fabric is used in each round, but sticking with the same traditional Courthouse Steps construction.
By adding squares (cornerstones) to the ends of the ‘steps’ you will add an Irish Chain secondary pattern to your quilt.
You can change the starting shape of a Courthouse Steps Block to any 4 sided shape (like Log Cabin) but not a triangle.
As I mentioned in my last post, there are lots more great Courthouse steps variations available. Like this ‘sliced’ Courthouse Steps:
In this version, you make two blocks in two fabrics, one positive, one negative.
Slice them in half diagonally, switch them over and sew back together!
Now the point of doing this lies in the secondary patterns you can achieve from Sliced Courthouse Steps.
Aren’t they cool!
A video tutorial of Sliced Courthouse Steps is available here.
You can find more inspiring Courthouse Steps examples on my Pinterest board here.
And I’ll leave you with a picture of a Courthouse Steps block I’m currently working on, using vintage sheets.
I hope you’ll come back soon for part 3 of our Log Cabin Family series.
Last week in classes I taught a short lesson on the Log Cabin Family of blocks!
I’m going to take you through the 3 main categories in a series of posts, with a mystery post to finish the series!
Part 1: Log Cabin
Part 2: Courthouse Steps
Part 3: Pineapple
Part 4: Watch this space!
I demonstrated a few variations within each category, but there are many more than what I can show you here (follow the Pinterest links for lots more inspiration!).
(All the sample blocks have been made using Handmade by Makower)
Part 1: Log Cabin
The standard log cabin block starts with a square centre (traditionally this would have been red) adding ‘logs’ around the centre square (either clockwise or anti-clockwise) in rounds. All the logs are the same width.
The traditional log cabin block was the first block I learned, and made a little quilt for my young daughter using chopped up clothes and linens!
You can find a tutorial on how to make a 12″ traditional block here.
2 Colour Rounds:
This variation of Log Cabin follows exactly the same construction as the traditional version, but keeping the fabric choice of each round the same.
Just a change of fabric placement dramatically changes the look of this block. Here’s another similar example, the back of quilt I made several years ago.
If you enjoy a little ‘improv’ piecing then how about a Wonky Log Cabin!
Again the logs are added in rounds, but this time, the sides are sliced at irregular angles before adding the next log.
While strips are useful to start with here, the width of the finished logs will be varied. No two blocks will be the same!
This can be a really fun block to make if you like a little more ‘freedom’ in your piecing. Just keep adding rounds until your block is a little bigger than you need, then square it off to the required size.
Here’s an example of a Wonky Log Cabin Quilt I made for Quilt Now Magazine several years ago.
To achieve a curved effect in a Log Cabin block, the background logs must be thinner than the coloured logs.
The curved effect becomes more obvious when you put 4 blocks together to create a ‘circle’:
The bigger the difference between the widths of the background and coloured logs, the greater the curve!
There are lots more variations of Log Cabin, like the Quarter Log Cabin (adding logs to the same two adjacent sides each round, rather than to all four sides) ….
(Quarter Log Cabin Cushion tutorial available here.)
….. or how about starting your Log Cabin block with a different shape!!
Welcome to part 3 of my Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our classroom (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).
Part 3 continues the Lori Holt theme, this time looking at her book ‘Quilty Fun’.
7 Lori Holt’s Quilty Fun Book:
I adore ‘row by row’ quilts and Lori’s quilt design is full of cute and adaptable blocks. Here is my version of her quilt, hanging up in class.
I’ve used lots of scraps in this quilt, but for the bigger pieces I used Lori’s Bee Basics range of fabrics, which co-ordinate with all her other fabric collections.
There’s so much to look at in this quilt, and as always the book includes many more ideas on how to use the motifs in different ways for a whole range of projects.
All bar 1 of the books have now sold in class, which I’ll be listing soon in my shop (watch this space!).
8 Quilty Fun Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion
One of the additional projects in the book is a Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion (I omitted the border included in the pattern). Isn’t this fun! The piecing is really easy and I had a ball picking the colours I wanted all my mugs to be!
I went for my favourite zippered cushion back to finish off this 20″ cushion.
9 Quilty Fun Leaf Mat:
This is a smaller version of a table topper project in Quilty Fun. The leaves are the same size as those in the original quilt, and I thought this would make a pretty addition to my kitchen table.
And finally, a Lori Holt inspired cushion, which is on our display shelf:
I made this cushion from Lori’s free ‘Scrappy Cross Roads Block’ tutorial, available here.
Using a small pack of ‘Something Blue’ by Makower, I followed Lori’s tutorial to make the block, and then brought it up to a 20″ cushion size with borders.
I had a lot of fun quilting this one!
The back was pieced with leftovers and my trademark ‘feature zipper’ closure.
And that brings part 3 of my Spring into Summer ’19 series to a close.
Just 3 more quilts and some holiday style pouches to show you in our final post.
Waaaaaaaay back, in February, I facilitated a very good friend’s special birthday request!
16 friends squished into my classroom, each of them charged with making a patchwork block about their dear friend.
Shirley has been a nurse, midwife, missionary and lecturer. She is one of the most generous, caring and just people I know and I feel truly privileged and blessed to call her ‘friend’ these past 21 years.
It took a wee while for a few postal blocks to come in, and then I set to work, finishing up the sketching details and chosen texts, as well as assembling and quilting the quilt.
And then the final handover happened last week (took a while to get us both in the same country at the same time!).
I’ve made a little mosaic of the individual blocks so you can see more of the details (I promise they aren’t as curvy as they seem here – I took pictures of them while the quilt was on the line! It was windy!)
There is so much thought, love and creativity in all of these blocks, a moving tribute to our funny, coffee loving, brilliant friend!
Even though I had already gifted Shirley a quilt for her birthday back in February (read more about this quilt and the sew-in here), I wanted to contribute a block to her Friendship Quilt.
And here it is….
That’s Shirley in the middle (portraits were never my strong suit!) between me on the left (I told you portraits weren’t my strong suit!) and Rosie (amazingly this actually looks like Rosie!). We first met 21 years ago at Bible College, and are the self named ‘Breakfast Club’ (we still meet once a month for breakfast, coffee and catch-up!).
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this very special quilt and its very special recipient!
In class this week, our ‘5 minute lesson’ was all about HSTs (Half Square Triangles), QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles) and HRTs (no not that type of HRT! Half Rectangle Triangles!).
These versatile and clever units form the many building blocks of quilt and quilt block design!
They are component parts that follow the same construction principles but with their many design possibilities, they just keep on giving!
Sewing with triangles can be tricky, especially as those naughty bias edges can flex and stretch! But despite the word ‘triangle’ being mentioned in the names of all of these techniques, at no point are individual triangles sewn together! How cool is that!
Let’s start with the humble Half Square Triangle.
Half Square Triangles (HSTs):
Method 1 (yields 2 identical hsts):
Start off by putting 2 squares right sides together.
Draw a pencil line corner to corner on the wrong side of one of the squares and sew 1/4″ either side of the line.
Cut along the line to create 2 identical half square triangle units. Press the seams open (always press bias seams open where possible).
How easy was that!
Method 2 (yields 4 identical hsts):
Place 2 squares right sides together and sew 1/4″ around all four sides.
Cut in half from corner to corner, and then into quarters through the opposite corners.
As before, press the seams open.
And now that you have cracked hsts, the design possibilities are endless! Here are a couple of my own HST quilts, but for lots more variations, including sizing charts, check out my HST Pinterest Board!
Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs):
This time you need 2 lots of half square triangles. You can work with 2 fabrics, or like I’m doing here, 4 different fabrics.
Now take 1 hst from each pair and place them right sides together so that their seams are lying on top of each other.
Draw a line corner to corner perpendicular to the existing seam. Sew 1/4″ either side of the line.
Cut along the line to separate and press the seams open. Now you have 2 identical QST blocks, with each of the 4 fabrics in each unit.
See if you can spot the QSTs in my friend Susan’s gorgeous ‘Blue Moon’ quilt.
I have a little QST quilt in the works, but I can only show you this sneaky peak for now ……..
So when Popular Patchwork said they were going for a colourful and cheery February issue, I had an idea!
This is Log Cabin Bouquet!
With a few adjustments, the log cabin block can be turned into a heart shape. And when you put the hearts together, you get a flower shape! Neat!
If, like me, you have a ‘Fabric Bucket List’ it’s always a joy when you finally get the opportunity to work with some long desired collection or fabric line.
When Art Gallery launched their Denim Studio, I swooned! Already a long time lover of all things denim, my heart skipped a beat when I saw how creative Art Gallery got with this unassuming textile. Oh boy! The different weights, patterns and textures – so many to choose from.
Imagine my delight when the Editor of Popular Patchwork approved my design! I stuck to denims that were 4oz or 5oz and I thought I’d go braver with the background this time.
The background is Painterly Wash and the backing Ragged Daisies. Wouldn’t these make beautiful tunic dresses (that’ll be another addition to the bucket list then!).
If you are considering Denim Studio, I recommend using the 4-5 oz ones for quilting and the 10 oz ones for bag making and soft furnishings.
So that’s another fabric itch scratched! I definitely see more Denim Studio in my future!
I’m happy to see the actual frost (& snow) on the ground disappear this week! And instead show you my scrappy quilt in icy blues, which is featured in the January issue of Quilt Now.
As you know, I LOVE using scraps. Sticking to a particular colourway while just using scraps is a little more challenging than just using a random selection of colours. Scraptastic challenge accepted!
I started with a spikey block (my trust Sizzix helped me out with the cutting), then dropped the pale aqua and soft blues into it. I only needed to beg a small amount of blue from a willing friend!
You can get a better idea of the block from the cushion above. Katy the editor asked for a cushion of the same block, but in a different colourway. I used Kona solids for the cushion, and went for a more masculine vibe. This is to give the readers an alternative way of seeing the versatility of the block.
My background & binding is Kiss Dot by Michael Miller, and the backing is Vintage Market by Lori Holt.
The weather never matches the quilts when I’m photographing them!
So that’s Frost. I hope you like my scrappy quilt.
I’m in the process of making my very last quilt of 2017. Sadly you won’t get to see it until March ’18.
And with less than one week until the ‘big day’ I hope you are a lot more organised than me!
Didn’t that week go quickly? My feet have hardly touched the ground it’s been so busy here! I’m getting ready to make an important announcement next Tuesday, so it’s full steam ahead here.
In the meantime I can show you a quilt I made for British Patchwork & Quilting, using Tilda’s beautiful Cabbage Rose collection:
The Tilda Cabbage Rose collection is one of my favourites so far. In fact, I’ve thrown in a couple of greens from their Memory Lane collection too!
I’ve called this quilt ‘Garden Steps’, because of the combination of pretty floral prints and the Courthouse Steps quilt block.
The Courthouse Steps block works a little like a Log Cabin block. Cleverly, it’s the main block design which becomes the secondary pattern here.
Can you spot the blocks?
The backing and binding are more Tilda prints from other collections.
This was the first quilt I made in my new Sewing Room. It’s been an interesting journey re-orientating myself to a much smaller space. For example, learning the best way to photograph items and discovering where the light is best.
It was lovely working with pretty, colourful fabrics on a dull day!
I’m getting a little behind schedule in showing you my recent magazine commissions.
The September issue of Quilt Now will be released very soon, but first I need to show you what made front cover of their August issue.
This is my Sun, Sea and Sky scrap buster quilt. I had so much fun making this, and rummaging through scraps and fat quarters to get a colour scheme that evoked the warm aquas and teals of the summer sea and sky, with little hits of bright sunshiney yellow!
I designed a pieced block, which would give me a connecting secondary pattern (not unlike my daughter’s Around the World quilt).
If you look closely, you will see an alternating colour pattern, between the placement of the aqua and teal fabrics in each block, rather like the way the sea reflects the sky and vice versa.
Small scale prints or tone-on-tone fabrics will work best here. That meant I had to discount one or two of my scraps and ‘borrow’ a couple from a fellow fabric addict quilter!
I decided on organic wavy lines for the quilting, to create some movement through the blocks and maintain a fluid theme.
The quilt finishes at 61″ x 73″ and is backed with a fresh aqua polka dot. A blue and white striped binding finished off the coastal feel.
So that finishes my July round up of magazine commissions. The September issues are being released in the next week or so and I will have 3 more exciting quilts to show you!
In the meantime, my sewing room is almost finished, so I might actually be able to show you some photos soon!
In the Siblings Together Quilting Bee (2) I took a 2nd turn at Queen Bee for February.
Spurred on by Sue’s donated wonky star blocks, we all embraced our inner ‘wonk’ and made lots more bright and beautiful star blocks.
And here is the finished quilt:
What a blast of colour!
I’ve a few thank you’s to mention with regards to this quilt.
Firstly a big thank you goes out to Sue and my bee mates for contributing lots of blocks to make this colourful quilt a possibility.
And also thanks to a good friend for quilting it so beautifully too!
Finally, thank you to Sarah (Narcoleptic in a Cupboard) for contributing the Ikea backing. It was the perfect backing for the scrappy mix of colours in the front!
Measuring 60″ x 72″, this quilt will be going in the post this week well in time for this year’s summer camps. It is sent with our love and blessings, knowing that it will bring comfort to a young person separated from her siblings by the care system.
It has been my absolute joy and privilege to be part of an amazingly talented, caring and funny group of quilters called ‘Brit Bee’.
We formed in 2011 from the ‘Brit Quilt’ Flickr Group, and despite 3 member changes, we haven’t stopped sewing for each other since!
Our very first ‘meet up’ at Fat Quarterly Retreat, London, 2012. (I’m on top of a table, just in case you thought I was freakishly tall!)
Although we are spread across the UK, we try to meet up at least once a year (more if we can!). I have missed out on the last 2 retreats, and so was determined to make it to Bedfordshire for our 2017 retreat.
This year, 9 Brit Bee-ers and Cindy (a special friend of Brit Bee) spent the last weekend eating, chatting, sewing, eating, more sewing, considerably more eating, minimal sleeping and lots more sewing!
We may not see each other more than once or twice a year, but we fit so easily together again, like a well worn pair of much loved slippers!
It was such an easy atmosphere, we could wake up, grab a cuppa, and head straight to the sewing machines in our pjs, bleary eyes and dishevelled hair!
We also inspired and ‘nutured’ each other’s creativity, getting caught up on bee blocks, consulting on quilt design, helping out with tricky paper piecing. All the while getting caught up on life, our hopes, dreams, struggles and triumphs.
As always, the weekend goes too quickly, but the inspiration and refreshment from our time together lasts much longer.
I got lots of sewing done too, and will blog about these projects separately.
In the meantime, I will leave you with a picture of the Brit Bee R4 blocks I have received so far.
I get to be ‘Queen Bee’ again for February in Siblings Together Bee 2.
And thanks to Sue (a fellow bee mate), I hit on the perfect idea for which block to set.
A while a go Sue offered up her UFO (unfinished objects) pile of wonky star blocks, some made and some still in pieces.
I happily relieved them from her as a potential Siblings Together quilt!
These are super quick and easy blocks to make. And here is the tutorial for my ST peeps and anyone else who fancies making this scrappy block.
Makes 1 x 12.5″ unfinished block
Use 1/4″ seam allowance
4 x 4.5″ squares of dark fabrics
4 x 4.5″ squares of light fabrics (same colourway as dark fabrics)
1 x 4.5″ square of white fabric (centre square)
4 x 4.5″ squares of white fabric, cut in half diagonally (star points)
1. Put the 4 light squares to one side. These will become the 4 corners.
2. Take a dark square and position a white triangle on it as shown (doesn’t have to be exact positioning). Sew along the diagonal edge of the white triangle, taking care not to stretch the bias edge.
3. Cut away the excess dark fabric at the corner, level with the white fabric.
4. Press the seam towards the dark fabric.
5. Position the 2nd white triangle diagonally across the first white triangle as shown (make sure the lower tip of the 2nd triangle extends past the bottom edge of the dark square). Again sew along the diagonal edge of the 2nd triangle.
6. Cut away the excess of both dark and white fabrics at the corner, level with the 2nd triangle.
7. Press the seam towards the dark fabric.
8. Place the unit onto your cutting mat, with the white triangles positioned at the top. Place a small square ruler on top, aligning the bottom & right hand edges of the block with the 4.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the top and right hand edges of the block.
9. Turn the unit 180 degrees and repeat the trimming for the ‘new’ right hand edge. The unit should now measure 4.5″ square.
10. Repeat steps 2 – 9 3 more times.
11. Layout the block units in 3 rows as shown. Sew the units right sides together in each row.
12. Press the seams of rows 1 and 3 AWAY from the centre. Press the seams of row 2 TOWARDS the centre.
13. Join the rows right sides together, taking care to butt/nest the intersecting seams. Press all new seams open. The block should measure 12.5″ square.
Thanking my ST buddies in advance! Looking forward to receiving these colourful scrappy blocks.
After a wee break in December, we were back making bee blocks in January for Siblings Together (Bee 2).
Sue was queen bee for January, and set this Tic Tac Toe block, with black on white backgrounds and colourful prints for the rest. (here is the tutorial if you fancy having a go at this easy block)
I was queen bee in September, and set the Canvas block. Last week I managed to get them all sewn together into a sizeable flimsy!
I’m taking a 2nd stint as Queen bee, so its my turn again in February! Watch this space!
In September 2015, Brit Bee started our 4th round. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you will know we never stick to the annual schedule! But we are a forgiving and patient lot, forged by longevity and great friendships!
By some miracle I have managed to keep up with the schedule (ish!) and earlier this month I made the last block! Woohoo!
This one is for Katy, in her chosen solids, and the block was designed by Hadley.
As the first one finished, I’ll try hard not to capitalise on bragging rights at our Brit Bee retreat next month!
One of our traditions in Brit Bee is to exchange Secret Santa gifts at Christmas. In previous years we’ve done things like, cushions, decorations, pin-cushions.
This year we went for zippy pouches – you can see what I made for Katy here.
And what did I get?
Only this gorgeous package of cuteness from Ange!
Isn’t it adorable! And I have a feeling it will come in handy for travelling to our retreat!
A few months back when I was planning a commission for the January issue of Popular Patchwork, I knew I wanted to use cool, icey colours.
(And wouldn’t you know it, just when I post about this little quilt, it starts snowing outside!! Brrrrr!)
This block is called The Rolling Stone block (or Broken Wheel).
My icey colours of choice are ‘Littlest’ by Art Gallery, ‘Oh Boy’ Swirls in Aqua by Riley Blake & Kiss Dot Snow by Michael Miller (background), but despite their coolness, there’s also a cute warmth about them too.
Cot quilts should be rectangular in my opinion, so little 1″ square inserts top and bottom soon sorted that out.