Getting ready for . . .

It’s nearly Autumn and the countdown to the end of the year and big celebrations is gathering pace. (Is it just us, or are the years vanishing faster than we can keep up with?)

So with all that in mind here’s the latest pattern from Meadowside Designs – a little tree skirt made from a Dresden Plate block. Very quick and easy, the pattern has full step-by-step photos.

Dresden mini tree skirt

It could be used as a candle mat as well as a tree skirt for a mini table decoration.

Simple Blocks 3

One step up from the four-patch is nine-patch. This week’s block therefore is Double Nine-Patch.

double9patch block

You can download the instructions to make this block here and, of course, visit the website if you need a refresher in making the 9-patch units.

As ever, courtesy of Electric Quilt, here’s a few ideas for quilts with this block. First a straightforward 4 x 4 straight set.

double9patchquilt d

Then a 4 x 4 straight set with plain alternate blocks

double9patchquilt a

Then set on point (with a border too!)

double9patchquilt b

and finally look what happens when the black and light are switched -

double9patchquilt c

And of course you can make the other block – twin to this colouring – with 4 squares of black and 5 of red. Alternating these on point with their twin and alternate plain squares works well.

double 9-patch

Twenty Years On

Some years ago Barbara Chainey designed a block for Staffordshire Patchworkers and Quilters to celebrate their 20th birthday. The new pattern just arrived at Meadowside Designs is her quilt made using that block. It is machine pieced and quilted.


There’s even a label – we always say ‘add a label’, but how often do we actually do it?  Sometimes labels with a little more information than just a name and date are very important.


With the magic of Electric Quilt its possible to show that the quilt looks good no matter what the colours or the placement of lights and darks (always an indication of a good design).

twenty quilt d

twenty quilt c

twenty quilt b

twenty quilt a

Why not celebrate your anniversary with this quilt?

Simple Blocks 2

Another easy four-patch block is Frayed Four-Patch.

frayed 4-patch block

This just has a four-patch unit in the centre and a border with cornerstones. You can download instructions to make the block here and visit the website if you need a quick refresher on making four-patch units.

Below are a few quilt ideas for putting these blocks together. First of all just 16 blocks (4 x 4) set together.

frayed 4-patch quilt c

Then turn alternate blocks :

frayed 4-patch quilt b

Or put them on point :

frayed 4-patch quilt a

You could try colouring alternate blocks differently. Or what would these blocks look like with the Double Four-Patch block as an alternate?

Frayed four-patch

Ohio Stars

Ohio Star has to be an all-time favourite block as it is so versatile. The pattern currently on the Small quilts page on the website is for a large Ohio Star block with smaller blocks in the five plain squares.

ohio stars

What happens if we change some of the colours around? Using the ‘magic wand’ on Electric Quilt we can change to a darker background and a large print border -

ohio c

Suppose we change the depth of colour of the main star? -

ohio d

Or keep the white background but go for plain deep colours?

ohio a

And how different does it look with a dark background?

ohio b

Don’t feel you have to make patterns in the colours that are illustrated – and for sure you will never be able to find those fabrics again, even in the magazines the fabrics are out of date by the time the magazine hits the shops. Which is why they (nearly) always say ‘similar fabrics will be available’. Enjoy experimenting with colour. If you don’t like the result, someone else will!

Simple blocks

We thought it might be fun to give you a few blocks based on the tutorials over on the Meadowside-Designs website. The first one is Double 4-patch several of which make a ‘chain’ quilt. You can find the tutorial on quick-pieced four-patch units here. Download the instructions to make the block here.

So, here’s the block -

4-patch chain block

and three of the possible arrangements of the block to make a quilt 4 blocks x 4. First a straight set

4-patch chain quilt

and then turn alternate blocks.

4-patch chain quilt b

and then put the blocks on point, turning alternate ones again -

4-patch chain quilt c

Double 4-patch


Aunt Dinah’s Runner

Aunt Dinah is the name of the block used in this table runner which is one of the latest patterns to be added to the Meadowside-Designs website – it also features in the image slider on the Home page. Three 12 inch blocks on point with ‘pointy’ ends makes a runner for a large table or one to be used as a ‘bed scarf’ ( a bit of decoration at the end of, or halfway down, the bed).

Aunt D bed scarf

Please excuse crumpled look of bed – the cream quilt was tossed over to act as a background – only just realised how untidily ‘tossed’ it was now I’ve put the full size photo up.

This is the runner in its full glory – as it appears in the image slider -

Aunt Dinah's runner

And, courtesy of Electric Quilt, here’s some other colour ideas, including one for Christmas -

Aunt D runner d

Aunt D runner c

Aunt D runner b

Aunt D runner a

And of course, you don’t have to add the pointy ends if you want a shorter, squarer runner as also illustrated by the EQ doodles.