Simple blocks – Clay’s Choice

Clay’s Choice is another block with just squares and half-square triangle units. The instructions given are for a 12 inch block as this block is a 4-patch – that is, it has 16 small (4 large) units. Making 4-patch blocks at 12, or 8, inches (or even 16) makes the maths a lot easier.

Clay's choice block

Putting 16 of these blocks together to make a quilt -

Clays choice quilt a

What happens of we swap the light and dark green over?

clays choice quilt d

And if we alternate these colourings?

clays choice quilt b

It suddenly looks a lot more interesting. You can find further ideas in the instructions.

Clay’s Choice


New EU VAT Regulations

New Regulations on VAT are coming into force across Europe on 1st January 2015. These will affect VAT payable on digital downloads. Essentially at the moment if you buy a pattern as a digital download then VAT is payable in the seller’s country – if that seller has a high enough turnover to be registered for VAT. From Jan 1st the seller will have to register for and  pay VAT on sales to the buyer’s country. This means (potentially) registering for VAT in every EU country and collecting data on all sales, working out the VAT for each country (and they are all different) and . . .  need we go on?! The alternative is to register for VAT in the UK and to submit quarterly VAT returns and then all the hassle of the EU payments is done for you – but you still have to collect all the data and make the returns; and records have to be kept for 10 years . . .

Most small businesses – including this one – cannot afford to do this; in time if nothing else and so will be forced to stop selling online. We would still be able to sell a pattern and then manually email it later, as this (we understand) is not governed by the Regulations. As you might expect, a petition has been set up to protest about the unfairness of this Regulation which was designed to prevent large companies taking advantage of differing VAT rules and rates.

You can read more about the changes on this website; sign the EU-wide petition on this website; sign the UK petition here; read HMRC Guidelines here; and find a wonderful cartoon summarising the choice facing small- and micro-businesses here. Susan Briscoe has also been writing about these changes and the possible effects they will have – on trade outside the EU as well as within.

If you would like to be able to continue to buy patterns, ebooks, photos, videos and other digital downloads from small companies in the EU please sign the petitions and write to your MP.

Lickety Split

This is the name Ann Jermey gave this quilt design as it goes together so quickly. It is a big quilt – 50 inches square – and is entirely squares and half-square triangles. The fabulous design comes from the colour placement.


Why not download the pattern (it is only £3.50) from the Meadowside-Designs website and run up your own quilt, lickety-split.

Simple blocks – Churn Dash

Also known as Monkey Wrench, this block is really simple and can be very effective when used as an alternate block in a two-block quilt. Many different designs can be created from the block on its own however, depending on how you colour it. You can download the instructions here.

churn dash block

Here are a few quilt ideas using just the colouring above and its reverse. The instructions include quilt colourings other than the ones shown here.

churn dash quilt

churn dash quilt c

Churn Dash quilt a

One thing we all enjoy doing is taking a simple block (like this one) and drawing out a blank quilt of, say, a 4 x 4 setting and then colouring it in ignoring the boundaries between the blocks. Why not try it?

churn dash blank

With this simple block you can also play around with scale. The block has a square in the middle – why not put a small version of the block in this square?

churn dash double

Make the main block large enough and you have a wall-hanging, or even a bed-size quilt.

Churn Dash


Block of the Month Six

This month’s block is a hexagon star. As last month it uses templates but this time they are included in with the instructions which you can download here.

Here’s a couple of photos from the classes -

hexagon star (1)

hexagon star (2)

In the instructions it suggests making the background pieces slightly longer and trimming back to the right size – the first block has yet to be trimmed and the second has just been completed. We all found this much easier than cutting everything exactly to size and then having to ‘ease’ pieces to fit.

Month 6 Hexagon Star with templates

Simple Blocks – Double X

A few more half-square triangle units in this week’s block which is usually known as Double X. You can download the instructions here.

Double X block

Like last week’s block it is asymmetric and so can be turned around to produce some different looking designs. But first of all here it is just straight set 4 blocks by 4.

Double X quilt a

And then some of the blocks are turned -

Double X quilt b

If you reverse the colours and set it on point -

Double X quilt d

Or suppose you set alternate colourways ?

Double X quilt c

Double X

Japanese Fans

This little quilt is an ideal way to use up any scraps of Japanese prints you may have. The fan pattern is nowhere near as difficult as its reputation would have you believe and the size of the block (8 inches) makes the curved piecing really easy. Honest!

Japanese fans

The quilt measures 23 inches square. Of course if you get carried away (and have lots of scraps – or even yardage) you can make more blocks and a much bigger quilt.

You can embellish your fans with tassels or beads or whatever takes your fancy on the day, and emphasise its shape with your quilting.

The pattern costs just £3.50 and can be downloaded from the Meadowside-Designs website.