Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along: Update

By Judith on January 11, 2021
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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!

Stayed tuned!


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Crossed Paths

By Judith on December 3, 2020
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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!!


Happy sewing!


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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 4

By Judith on May 27, 2019
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Welcome to the final part of my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.

Part 1 (Log Cabin) available here

Part 2 (Courthouse Steps) available here

Part 3 (Pineapple) available here

(All sample blocks were made using Handmade fabrics by Makower)


Now in my introduction to this series, I described this part as the Mystery section!

That’s because this post is all about Partial Seams!


Partial Seams Variations


Just like the other Log Cabin Family members, in these examples fabric is pieced around a central shape.


1 Log Cabin


You may have noticed that the ‘logs’ in the Log Cabin block above are equal length in each round, unlike the Log Cabin Block from Part 1.


Partial Seams
Log Cabin Block: Part 4

Log Cabin Construction
Log Cabin Block: Part 1


This is made possible by starting each round with a partial seam (denoted here with the number 0.5 instead of 1!).


Partial Seams Construction


The first ‘log’ being attached is stitched only half way along the seam.  It is then pressed out allowing the 2nd ‘log’ to be fully attached.  This one is then pressed out before attaching log 3 and the same for log 4.  Now you can bring the unsewn section of log 1 right sides together to log 4 and finish sewing the starting (partial) seam.


Photo source: Pieced By Number


I love how clever this technique is.  Without prior knowledge of partial seams, it would be difficult to work out how to construct this block.  Therein lies the mystery!!


2. Rail Fence

In this example, the ‘rail fence’ sections are pieced separately, before being attached to the centre square.


Partial Seams


As before, the first seam will be a partial seam.


Partial Seams


(Tutorial for a similar block available here)


3. Hope of Hartford


As for the Rail Fence block above, the corner sections of this block are made separately, before being pieced around the centre square.


Partial Seams


(Tutorial available here)


4 Octagon


And just like a traditional Log Cabin block, you don’t have to start with a square!

The ‘logs’ in each round of this Octagon block start with a partial seam, just like the partial seams version of the Log Cabin block .


Partial Seams


Here is an example of a quilt I made using partial seams in the blocks:


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)
Crossed Paths for Quilt Now Magazine


And to make the partial seams blocks a little easier to spot, here is a deconstructed block from the quilt:



Now that you know how easy partial seams are, I hope you won’t be put off trying a whole other range of blocks to enhance your quilts.


And check out my Pinterest Board for lots more fabulous examples of Partial Seams!




Thank you for tuning in to my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.


I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!


Happy sewing!



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Disappearing Blocks!

By Judith on March 11, 2018
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In my classes last week, I gave another ‘5 minute demo’.  This month the demo was all about Disappearing Blocks!


No, not magic tricks or a trick of the eye.  But how to turn a well known quilt block into something rather special (without lots of intricate piecing)!

The following are pictorial instructions on how to make the disappearing blocks.  A few notes to consider before we get started:


    • please work on the basis of colour placement being the same in each series, even if the fabrics are slightly different! (A big thank you to my daughter for making all the blocks)
    • I haven’t included sizes here.  You need to start with the finished block size and work backwards allowing for extra seam allowances per cut.
    • The position of the ‘cut’ lines can vary to give different effects, as long as they are equidistant from each seam.
    • check out my pinterest board for tutorials, sizes and variations.


1. Disappearing 9 Patch:



Here’s what to do:


2. Disappearing 9 Patch Variation:



Here’s what to do:


3.  Double Disappearing 9 Patch:



Here’s what to do:


4. Disappearing Hourglass:



Here’s what to do:




5. Disappearing Pinwheel:



Here’s what to do:



6. Disappearing Pinwheel Variation:



Here’s what to do:



7. Disappearing Four Patch:

(assume finished block is in same fabrics!)



Here’s what to do:




8. Disappearing 4 Patch Variation:

Start with another 4 patch block.




These are just a sample of the many disappearing blocks you can make! Aren’t they cool!


photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine


And if you make a quilt with one of these disappearing blocks, you can get some lovely secondary patterns emerging too, like my Disappearing 9 Patch quillow (pattern available here.)


I hope you have been inspired and have fun making some impressive (yet easy) quilt blocks!


Happy sewing!




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Birthday Quilt & Sew-In

By Judith on February 26, 2018
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A few months back, a good friend approached me with an idea for her 50th birthday celebrations – a ‘Sew-In’ at The Mill.


Her wish was to gather around her closest friends and equip them to each make a personalised quilt block for a birthday memory quilt.  Isn’t that a lovely idea!


50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill


So at the weekend, 18 of us had a wonderful breakfast in The Little Mill Bistro, before heading upstairs to my classroom to get creative!


50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

While not all of the ladies were confident sewers, creativity and ideas weren’t lacking!


50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill


My daughter Shannon assisted with a little free motion sketching where needed, and by lunchtime, we had 15 almost completed blocks (not all displayed here).


50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill


All that is left to do, is machine sketch some text the ladies have requested, and make the blocks into a quilt for my friend!


It was a really fun morning and all the ladies (& the birthday girl!) left with big smiles and happy memories!


Of course I couldn’t not make my friend of 20 years a quilt myself!!


Shirley's Birthday Quilt
63″ x 63″


These fabrics are mostly Honeysweet by Fig Tree Quilts, with a little complimentary Tilda thrown in for good measure!


Shirley's Birthday Quilt


Working from a layer cake, I wanted to stretch out the yardage as far as it would go, so I kept the cutting to a minimum.


Shirley's Birthday Quilt


Some Tilda Harvest Bird Tree (Ginger) seemed like the perfect yardage for the back!


Shirley's Birthday Quilt


I gifted the quilt to my friend at the sew-in yesterday and it was very well received! Yay!



Another successful day!


“The noblest art is that of making others happy!” P T Barnam


Happy sewing!


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Crossed Paths Quilt

By Judith on February 6, 2018
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Hi there,


These weeks are rolling past so quickly I’m struggling to keep up with blog posts about my magazine commissions!


The February issue of Quilt Now is out this week, but I haven’t gotten around to telling you about my quilt in the January issue yet!


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)
60″ x 60″


This is Crossed Paths, made completely from Spectrum Solids by Makower.


In quilt design, the terms ‘advanced’ or ‘technical’ can be quite subjective, depending on which part of the quilt the term refers to.


For example, a quilt can look ‘uncomplicated’ due to the fabrics used, but the piecing technique may require complete accuracy or many instructions.


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)


At the other end of the spectrum, a quilt can look cleverly complicated with really straightforward piecing.


Crossed Paths falls somewhere in between!  The repeating 15″ blocks are based around 2 elements:  (1) Foundation pieced quadrants are made separately, papers removed then pieced around the central square using (2) a partial seam (tutorial on partial seams coming soon!).




However, close attention must be paid to the cutting instructions and fabric placement, to achieve the gradation of background from dark to light and the reverse gradation of the ‘crossed paths’.


This is a quilt where lots of labels and plastic bags are recommended to keep yourself organised!


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)


So if you like making quilts with a little more ‘bite’ then this one’s for you!


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)

Happy sewing!


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