Christmas Mystery Part Four

Part Four of eight already! No mitres this week – hopefully you have all been successful and are happy with the results so far.

This time we will be making more little units – lots of cutting and stitching. Download the instructions for Part Four here.

After watching a few videos recently, please can we stress the safe use of those lethal weapons aka rotary cutters. If they are sharp enough to cut through 6 to 8 layers of fabric then they are sharp enough to cut through you. Please make sure you have the blade guarded at all times except when actually making a cut – our students have been heard muttering our mantra under their breath – ‘Guard off; roll and cut; guard on; cutter down’. Do always cut away from yourself as well – not across and most certainly never towards as the consequences if the cutter slips (and they do) don’t bear thinking about: a very nasty gash in your arm if you’re lucky, but a nick in a major blood vessel (no time for an ambulance) if you’re not. And besides which – the blood will ruin all that lovely fabric.

Enjoy making this week’s units and we’ll see you back here next week to find out what to do next.


A new pattern just arrived on the Small Quilts pattern page on the website is a Bargello quilt made using jellyroll strips.


You do need to find a jelly roll that has four strips of each of 10 colours to make life easier for yourself, otherwise you can buy yardage and cut your own jellyroll strips – you need a 10 inch WoF strip of each, but I would tend to buy a little more to allow for ‘error’.

This quilt has proved a very popular class at the Corner Patch in Eccleshall. Wendy came to the last class and has produced this little masterpiece from her own fabric strips.

bar-jelly Wendy's

Christmas Mystery Part Three

This week we learn about mitres! Lots of diagrams to help you with this technique which many of us find scary, but then wonder why when we actually try it – and it works. Be brave – give it a go!

Download Part Three instructions here and get your mitres done.

If you are still confused there is a blurry video – but good explanation on You Tube. Just don’t, please, use the rotary cutter the way demonstrated – it is so dangerous to cut across yourself and even more so to leave the guard off the cutter when you put it down – she very nearly sliced her fingers at one point. Another good and brief video (with safer use of a cutter!) is here, but when I was watching it ground to a halt and stuttered about a minute from the end – but there was enough information there to get the idea. There are plenty of other videos up there but these two were brief and came closest to the method in the pattern. Good Luck – it is easier than it sounds, honest!

Free Patterns

The Free Patterns tend to get posted to the Craftsy page – no particular reason, they just do – so I thought we’d draw your attention to them and provide them here for you to download now.

Just re-created is the Autumnal Pumpkin which first showed up at Young Quilters many years ago and then went on to entertain an assortment of Brownies and Guides working for their Needlework badges. I’ve made a new one and taken step-by-step photos to put in the patterns – a vast improvement on the sketchy (by hand) drawings of the original.


The Spider has been around now for quite some time but is still proving very popular at this time of year.


This too has been re-written with step-by-step photos.

These really are simple little things to make – you just need some small (about 8 inches square) pieces of felt and scraps of wadding to stuff them with. With half-term looming on the horizon why not download both patterns and spend a quiet afternoon populating the house with spiders (these ones don’t scuttle) and pumpkins.

Pumpkin        Spider

Christmas Mystery Part Two

Hopefully by now you have got last week’s little block stitched. This week it is time for a few more units and a bit more ‘joining things together’.

Download the instructions for Part Two here, find the bits and pieces you cut out two whole weeks ago and get ready to stitch!


Evening Bag

Many years ago (well it feels like it – it was 2008) Chris made a Dresden Fan evening bag in a Chinese silk fabric. It was a bit cobbled together but it looked ok and got the daughter’s seal of approval. So Chris asked a friend (Maggie H) to make a better version – Maggie was good at making things in fabrics other than cotton – so the pattern could go into a magazine. British Patchwork and Quilting were kind enough to take it and Maggie’s version looked great! Thanks, Maggie!

evening bag

Having just come across the photos and the text again we’ve revamped it as a pattern for Meadowside Designs.

Here’s a photo of Chris’s attempt

evening bag complete

Not too bad for a trial run to see if the pattern worked, but no embellishments or anything. Maggie added a tassel or two and a bootlace shoulder strap plus some butterflies and assorted other titvations to her version to really make it look special. Couldn’t find a photo of it, but here’s a scan of the photo in the magazine – think the butterflies must have been on the other side.

evening bag scan

Its not that difficult to make (unless you use slithery silks!) and the pattern has step-by-step photos.

If you’ve a special occasion to go to in the coming season why not make your own ‘Designer Exclusive’ bag?

Christmas Mystery Part One

Last Monday you should have downloaded the requirements list and cutting instructions so hopefully today you can’t wait to get stitching.

Download the first set of instructions here and dive in!

To encourage you to start/continue your collection of festive quilts, runners, mats etc here’s a peek into the drawer full of just those things that Chris has -

xmas quilts

No more talking – you’ll be wanting to get on with making the first part of this little wall-hanging.