Simple Blocks – Contrary Wife

We hope you all enjoyed the Mystery Quilt over the last few Mondays and are not too busy quilting it ready for Christmas to enjoy our continuing series of Simple Blocks.

Last time (two months ago?) we started to look at blocks with half-square triangle units and featured the block Calico Puzzle. This month’s is similar, but different, and usually known as Contrary Wife. You can download the instructions for this block here.

contrary wife

It can be coloured in a number of ways – as above, or another idea is that below -

contrary wife b

This is an asymmetric block which makes it quite interesting when you put several blocks together and start turning them around. Here’s a few ideas starting with the first colourway and just straight set 4 blocks by 4.

contrary wife quilt a

And if you turn blocks around

contrary wife quilt b

A similar setting with the second colourway produces this quilt -

contrary wife quilt c

And if you combine the two you get this one -

contrary wife quilt d



Tote Bag

A few years ago our library was selling some large tote bags, they were very strong and sturdy and held a lot of books. They were also cheap and (unsurprisingly) sold out very quickly. This pattern is based on that bag. I’ve added pockets and made it reversible. Also (of course) it is a quilted cotton bag and not the very sturdy canvas that the original bags were made from – but no reason why you can’t buy some canvas . . . !

lc tote 007

The pockets are little Log Cabin blocks made to match the lining fabric. The handles on my bag are long enough to sling the bag over my shoulder but you can make them any length you prefer. The bag has a gusset running all the way round – which is why it holds such a lot – and measures about 20 inches square.

This is a really quick and easy bag to make with minimal patchwork and quilting – ideal for any last minute Christmas present. The pattern costs £3.50 and you can download it from the website.

Christmas Mystery Part Seven – the Solution

Well done, you’ve made it to the end and all will be revealed. The quilt top is completed, just a little titivating to finish the quilt completely now.

Download the final instructions and a picture of the finished quilt here. It would be lovely to see photos of your finishes too – why not send them to us, the address is in the sidebar.

The weekly blocks will be appearing here again on Mondays very soon, maybe even next week! Or perhaps next week will just be a picture of the completed Mystery. Who knows?

Quick and Easy Christmas Runner

This pattern really is easy – and quick. It was taught as part of a Beginners Patchwork class at The Corner Patch last Christmas and there has been much demand for a repeat class and/or the pattern. So (‘by popular demand’) it is now available on the Christmas Patterns page of the website.

runner finished

Here are a few snapshots of some of the ‘finishes’ by the end of the workshop. They are bit blurry as it was hard to get anyone to stay still long enough to take a photo.


runner c

runner b

No pressure then – if this is what complete beginners can achieve in a 10 – 4 workshop, you have plenty of time to make several. The pattern also includes instructions for matching table mats.

Christmas Mystery Part Six

Very nearly there, but first . . .  a few more mitres. Dig out the instructions for Part Three and the links to the videos for a refresher course if you need to.

Download the instructions for Part Six here and practice those mitres – you’ll be an expert by the time we’ve finished.

Hope you’re pleased with what you’ve made so far. We’re nearly at the end of our Mystery and all will be revealed next week. Don’t forget the final part, November 17th is the date for the diary.

Block of the Month Five

This month’s block brings us to another new technique – using templates.  Month 5 Spinning Stars. This is a lovely block, but you do have to take care with the cutting out – a lot of the seams are on the bias, so make sure your fabric is well starched before you start. The link for the templates is below these photos of blocks from classes.

Spinning Stars b

Spinning Stars c

Spinning Stars

Templates – download Month 5 Spinning Star templates here.