Puzzle Quilt Block 1

Our first block is a nice simple one – just a few squares and half-square triangles to ease us in gently! This is a 4-patch block usually known as Clay’s Choice. The worksheet has plenty of ideas for changing the colours around as well as instructions for making your blocks – and a couple of blank blocks for you try out your own colourings.

These are the two blocks from the original quilt

Your blocks should measure 12 1/2 inches when completed. We will then add a border to each block which will give you the opportunity to trim each block to the same size before trying to put everything together. So don’t fret too much if your blocks end up anywhere between 12 and 13 inches.

Here are the same two arrangements in some different colour combinations

Block 2 will arrive in mid-February. If you have any problems with making units have a look on our tutorials page to download step-by-step photo instructions.

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Tile Tuesdays

Last Tuesday on our Chris & Barbara sister blog we showed you part of a floor from the Roman villa at Fishbourne and a diagram of a quilt block and possible quilt. This Tuesday you can download a pattern to make the block (in two, or more sizes) and lots of quilt ideas – with measurements.

As a reminder – here’s the block, in the original black and white of the mosaic floor with some added pale grey for extra interest.

We also showed you an idea of what a quilt could look like with the blocks turned on point, but what about adding sashing between the blocks, and changing the colours?

Then again – you could go mad and add in the squares-on-point border of the original floor, use it as sashing and then as a border, and then change the colours . . .

There are lots more ideas for quilts and settings in the pattern sheet and if you just want to play at colouring in we’re sorry but we haven’t done a colouring sheet as the block is just simple squares – 9 x 9 of them – so all you need is some squared paper.

Puzzle Quilt colours

I cheerfully said ‘choose your colours’ in the last post but sometimes it just isn’t that easy so I asked EQ to work its magic and come up with some ideas and then I tweaked them and added a few of my own. Have a look at the ones in the slideshow below – there’s everything from pink and girly to brown and boyish, and from bright to somewhat more restrained!

Try to choose as many fabrics as you can in your chosen colours – a light, medium and dark as a minimum. If you are working with limited stash or cash then you need roughly 8 fat quarters or 2m in total – raid your scraps as well to provide added interest. Then add in extra fabric for borders, sashing, backing etc as in the Needs List.

Puzzle Quilt-Along

I feel we all probably need something to sew – keep our minds and fingers occupied while locked down, in a high tier or whatever, wherever we happen to be at the moment. To which end I have dug out the worksheets for the Puzzle Quilt class I should have been teaching at The Corner patch during 2020-21 as a Block of the Month.

A Puzzle Quilt is like a sampler (and/or a BoM) in that I give you a block pattern each month, but for a puzzle quilt you make each block twice (or more if you wish) and re-arrange the colours so the two blocks look completely different – the ‘puzzle’ being to find the pairs of blocks once they are in the quilt. Clear as mud!

We’ll start in a couple of weeks – say Saturday 16th – with the first block. In the meantime you can decide on your colours and download a needs list. The shops may be shut but you can still order online from most places- and many of them have sales on at the moment. The quilt also lends itself to being scrappy – it makes it even more of a puzzle if you have used different fabrics for each block as well. I used blues and yellows in my quilt as you can see, but I used lots of different ones.

There’s still time . . .

. . . . to make a few quick Christmas decorations or presents. Have a look at our Free Patterns page for some quick and easy ideas for you to make – or to give to the young stitchers in your family.

You will find a tree skirt, a wreath, a mug rug, lots of decorations for the tree and a few quick gift ideas –

These are just a few of what’s available.

New patterns

A couple of new patterns (for quite old quilts) have been added to the Meadowside Christmas shop this month in time for December – just go to the Christmas category once you find the shop. If you are in need of table toppers or small wall-hangings we have several ideas including the two just added.

First is a small quilt (just 23 inches) called Sirius – this uses fat quarters and is really quick and easy. The pattern includes some other ideas to play with as well.

The other ‘new’ quilt just added is a Log Cabin variation called Stars and Wreaths. You can fussy-cut the centres as I did, or – if you don’t want to drive yourself mad unpicking things – just choose a pretty and contrasting print.

Also in the shop you will find a star made using diamond Log Cabin (we do like Log Cabin!)

The Poinsettia quilt which gave rise to the runner featured in the last post

One called Christmas Crackers

and finally Winter Blues which also looks good in Christmas colours.

Time for a runner?

We seem to be more than halfway through October already. How and when did that happen? This seriously weird year seems to be passing even quicker than a normal one – which is possibly a good thing. Anyway, halfway through October means it is time to hunt out those seasonal fabrics to make ‘stuff’ to decorate the home with. (Notice we are avoiding the C word!)

Over in the Meadowside shop we have a number of seasonal items that are quick to make so we’ll have a review of some of them in the next few weeks, starting with table runners today. Click on the runner name to go to the pattern page in the shop. None of the patterns are expensive and all have step-by-step illustrations.

One that has proved popular over the years is the Tangled Star runner. The pattern provided has lots of ideas and it can be made with templates or rotary cut and machine pieced.

This next runner is called Aunt Dinah – after the name of the block. Although this one is made in non-seasonal colours we have added a mock-up of a red/green/white colourway on the pattern page to give you an idea of what you could make at this time of year.

The next few runners are really quick and easy – they all started life as one-day workshops. This first one we called the Fat Quarter Runner as it originally used a bundle of five fat quarters, but you could use fewer – this one illustrated used four plus the background.

Christmas Stars is just one block but the colours are switched in alternate blocks

The Zig-zag Stars runner is a similar concept – one block, different colouring

Another runner in the collection is the Poinsettia. This uses the blocks from the Poinsettia wall-hanging pattern but puts them together in a line instead of a square.

All the runners shown can be made bigger by adding further borders or pointed ends – as the Aunt Dinah runner has. Or you can go the other way and turn the blocks into table toppers by joining four blocks in a 2 x 2 setting.

Lots of patterns can be made into seasonal items simply by changing the colouring, or these Christmas ones (oh – we said it, sorry) can be made for any time of the year by using colours to suit your decor. There are a lot of patterns in our shop but if you look at the top you will find ‘category’ tabs so you can look for runners, or for Christmas, or whatever else you need, which will narrow things down a bit!

Will you manage to do a runner before December??

Summer Mystery Revealed

How did you get on?

Having had a head start this is the (almost) finished quilt –

finished quilt

There’s a bit more quilting needs to be done as there should perhaps be something in those white squares.

The border and cornerstones have been quilted with a motif based on the floral border – though my sister, peering at it from a suitable social distance, asked why the border fabric was printed with both tomatoes and unripe bananas as it seemed a weird combination! I think they are meant to be chrysanthemums, but looking at the photo you can see what she meant.

I might use the same motif in the white squares

quilting design a

or perhaps a slightly simpler flower . . .

quilting design b

Maybe . . .?

Summer Mystery Week 11

Phew. We made it! This is the final week when everything comes together.

Download the instructions here.

In the instructions you will read how I did my borders – but when it came to it I changed my mind! However I did use one of the other options I have outlined for you.

Now ‘all’ you have to do is quilt it and bind it.

Come back next week when there will be a photo of the (almost) finished quilt with some of the ideas used for quilting it.

The last of the garden photos follows.

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