Another Star Block

This week’s star block is similar to last week’s and is called Robbing Peter to Pay Paul. According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns it first appeared in a pattern book published in (or before) 1895 by the Ladies Art Company – thought to be the first mail-order quilt pattern company. You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block (as given by Electric Quilt) here.

Rob Peter block d

It is usually coloured with just two contrasting colours as above but sometimes with two shades of one of those colours. Changing the placement of those colours can change the look of the block quite considerably. . .

. . . which is especially noticeable when they are put together in a quilt. First with two colours –

Rob Peter quilt fRob Peter quilt e

and then with three –

Rob Peter quilt dRob Peter quilt cRob Peter quilt b

Or you can alternate two of the colourings to give a different look.

Rob Peter quilt a

Download a quilt to colour (and/or cut up to play with) here.

You could also collect the instructions for all the star blocks and make a stellar sampler quilt – or two.

Or just use two of them such as today’s Robbing Peter to Pay Paul with last week’s Memory.

Rob Peter plus Memory


Free Pattern Friday

A 9-patch quilt today – make it as simple or complicated as you wish. I made this one a very long time ago with a limited colour palette and your pattern download is the class worksheet I drew up after I made it.

Amish 9-patch

However, you can put your own stamp on it – change the colours, change the layout, use scraps, make more blocks (or fewer blocks). Here’s a few limited palette ideas that Electic Quilt came up with.


Recently I have been mindlessly sewing scrap squares into 9-patches and as you can see you could make this quilt with those.

2020-03-31 09.27.55

Or you can just set them in a straight grid with sashing between.

2020-03-31 09.25.20

Or you could offset alternate rows.


Or you could . . . ? Download a colouring/design sheet here to play with instead!

And as an added bonus – from today all the patterns in the Meadowside Shop have been reduced – most are £1, some are 50p and some are free!

Memory block

This is another Sawtooth variation and loosely related to last week’s block. It is called Memory and, according to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Patterns was designed by Clara Stone who contributed patterns to American magazine Hearth & Home and wrote a booklet in 1906 entitled Practical Needlework: Quilt Patterns.

This is the way the colours in the original block design were laid out

Memory block bandw

and with colour –

There is no rule however that says we can’t change these colours around a little and add new ones in or perhaps find a print to fussy cut for the centre as we did last week.

You can find rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block for the first colour set here and for the second colour set here. Why two downloads? Because it is easier to follow the colours in the direct printouts from EQ – you’ll see if you download both!

You can download a quilt to colour (or cut up and play with individual blocks) here.

Free Pattern Friday

Just a ‘virtual’ pattern today courtesy of Electric Quilt. It is a variation of Rail Fence and I’ve used 2 1/2 inch strips.

The instructions are for a 3 x 3 block setting and you can download a design to colour here.

Pinwheels and windmills quilt

But no reason why you can’t make fewer blocks for a runner – I’ve changed the reds and acid greens around for this one

Pinwheels and windmills runner

Or even fewer blocks (i.e. 1) for a cushion

Pinwheels and windmills cushion

Or lots more blocks for a big bed quilt –

Pinwheels and windmills big quilt

depending on how much fabric you have.

Electric Quilt came up with this colour variation which I like (I might even have to make this quilt for real).

Pinwheels and windmills quilt a

But I think it could work quite well as a scrappy if you kept to colour families – so instead of all the same red (for instance) you used lots of similar reds.

Star blocks

Today’s star block is Odd Fellows Chain. There are a lot of pieces in this rather spiky block, but it is another Sawtooth Star variation – or even a Rising Star variation. You can download the instructions for making a 12 inch block here.

Odd Fellow's Chain block

With so many different things going on in the block you can have quite a lot of fun playing with colours.

There is also a block known as Odd Fellows Chain Variation which has a plain square in the centre instead of a mini Sawtooth Star. This is ideal for fussy-cutting a big print that you otherwise don’t know what to do with.

What do these blocks look like when put together in a quilt? This is the basic block in two different colourways –

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt a

For me this is a bit too spiky. It might be less so with the Variation block added in? With a fussy-cut print or with a plain fabric? I maybe needed a different print?

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt d

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt c

Or perhaps use the Rising Star block as an alternate one?

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt b

Have fun designing your quilts – download a colouring sheet with a quilt of both the basic block and the variation. Print it out as many times as you like. Cut it up and rearrange the blocks . . .  hours of entertainment!


Free Pattern Friday

Given what’s going on these days we decided to keep us all busy during our enforced isolation with yet more ideas and things to make by offering a free pattern on Fridays for as long as it takes.

So – if you fancy ‘doing a runner’ we have a pattern today. You can make this by hand (EPP or otherwise) or by machine.


What you will get in your download is a worksheet from a Chris & Barbara workshop back in 2013 but we think that you have all the information (and templates) in there that you need.

For those doing it by machine here’s a quick slideshow of step by step photos –

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And here’s a couple of blocks others have made – one from Barbara and one from Karen.

And then there are other ways to put these blocks together –

Have fun with this. Keep sewing . . .keep safe . . .

Aunt Addie’s Album

This block is yet another Sawtooth Star variation – this time the star points are divided.

Aunt Addies Album

On its own its not that exciting in a quilt unless you have a swap around of the colours.

But there is no quilting law that says we can’t add a few lines here and there . . . such as a 4-patch centre

Aunt Addies a

and we change the colours a little

Aunt Addies b

which makes this quilt –

Aunt Addies b quilt

Or how about a quarter-square triangle in the centre and half-square triangles in the corners?

Aunt Addies c

Aunt Addies c quilt

Put the 4-patch back together with the triangles and you get this block and its quilt –

Aunt Addies d

Aunt Addies d quilt

Or we could put a square-in-a-square as the centre unit –

Aunt Addies e

or colour it differently –

Aunt Addies f

And now, what about splitting those triangles between the star points?

Aunt Addies g

aunt addie's album quilt d

You can download a quilt to colour here. Print it out as many times as you like and play with the design – see what you can come up with.