Author Archives: Chris

Free Pattern Friday 12

This week’s pattern comes to you via Electric Quilt – although don’t forget that a lot of the patterns in our Payhip shop are free at the moment.

Browsing through the EQ block library we came across one called Hayes Corner.

Hayes Corner block

But then there was one of those ‘what if …?’ moments and a couple more seam lines were added to make what we’ve called Hayes Corner Variation. Never let it be said we lack imagination at Meadowside!

Hayes Corner Variation block

You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block here.

And then we put the blocks into a quilt and turned them around a bit

Hayes Corner Variation quilt a

And then we played with the EQ magic wand to change the colours randomly

Its interesting how moving the places where the lights and darks can change the look of the quilt design. You can download a quilt to colour here and have a play yourself.

If you fancy making a quilt the yardage requirements for a 4 x 4 12inch block setting are here and the block/quilt instructions are here. The instructions also include lots of other quilt setting ideas.

Yet another Star

This block is just called Two Colours according to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia which seems a shame – it looks as if it could do with Star in there somewhere.

Two Colours block

The original block is a sort of 8-Pointed Star with lots of set-in seams which is fine for handstitching but a little trickier when machining and you can download the templates to make a 12 inch block here.

However it is the work of moments to add a few extra seam lines to make a block that is easy to rotary cut and easy to machine piece – and the rotary instructions can be downloaded here.

Two Colours block variation

It also gives opportunities for different colourings too.

Put in a quilt (with alternate blocks coloured as ‘rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul’ it can look quite acceptable.

Two Colours quilt variation

But then . . .  what if . . . ? We add another few seams and turn those corner squares into triangles? Download the rotary cutting instructions for this variation here.

Two Colours block variation triangles a


And then put that block into a quilt?

Two Colours quilt variation triangles

Want to have a play yourself? Download a ‘quilt to colour’ here – print it out lots of times and have fun adding lines and changing the block around. What else could you put in those corner squares?

Free Pattern Friday

First an apology for last week’s ‘Free Pattern’ – fumble-fingers changed the price to 50p instead of £0. That has now been changed, so this week it is free! Download Puss in the Corner for free.

Now to this week – another from the Payhip Shop (and I checked – it is free this week!). and this one is called Mum’s Wallpaper Strippy.

mum's wallpaper strippy

A simple strippy quilt for those wonderful prints that you can’t bear to cut up too much. You can also practice your free motion (or hand) quilting in those strips and any wobbles won’t show up in a busy print – ‘win-win’!

Of course, if you wish to show off your fabulous quilting skills, you can use plain fabrics in the strips instead.

Find the pattern for Mum’s Wallpaper Strippy here and discover why it has that name.

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And if it looks a little familiar – it appeared in a Patchwork and Quilting magazine special booklet titled Inspirational Strippy Quilts some years ago (there’s no date on my copy) probably around 2011 or 2012, maybe even 2013 – time seems somewhat elastic these days!

Summer Mystery

The new Summer Mystery starts in July but in these uncertain times we felt you needed a long lead-up time to acquire just the right fabrics (Murphy’s Law states that you never have that in your stash and certainly not in sufficient quantities). The Mystery quilt top will finish at about 36 inches square without any borders.

You can download the list here, but first a few words about colour choices. You will need five fabrics – a very light, a very dark, a bright and two mediums – one lighter (or darker!) than the other.

If you can never decide what you like or what ‘goes’ then find a print that you like and look at the selvedge to see what colours are in it, then pick five from there. You don’t even have to use the print, although it might make a nice border if you have enough. Here’s three very different examples from the stash –

2020-05-21 16.51.202020-05-21 16.50.052020-05-21 16.49.01

And then with the colour choices picked out  –

2020-05-24 14.35.012020-05-24 14.37.172020-05-24 14.38.47

If you want to use up stash but don’t have enough of any one fabric then you could use several of the same colour, providing they are close enough in shade. To replace the shortage of red in the example above for instance you could choose from some, or all, of these instead –

reds a

Happy Hunting! We’ll see you on July 1st (a Wednesday the calendar says – and we might even know what day it is by then) for the first installment. In the meantime Tuesday Stars will continue.



Tangled Stars

A long time ago (2012?) Barbara (Chainey) and I taught this star at one of our ChrisandBarbara evening classes. We then did some blog posts about it and they have been some of our most viewed posts ever. We still get enquiries about the pattern now.

tangled star block

You can download the templates to make an 8 inch block here and the original worksheet from our class here.

But what about a quilt? You can have fun with the colouring – two different backgrounds perhaps, or mix the colours up in alternate blocks, or put the blocks on point . . .


Download a quilt to colour for yourself here.

There  is a pattern to make a Christmas table runner using a variation of this star, adapted for foundation piecing, available over on the Meadowside Designs Payhip shop – currently yours for only 50p!

Tangled Star runner

Come back tomorrow for a needs list for the Summer Mystery starting in July – giving you plenty of time (hopefully) to raid your stash or contact your local quilt shop for a top-up of essentials via the postman.

Free Pattern Friday

Another free pattern today from our Payhip Shop where nearly all the patterns have been drastically reduced in price down to £1, 50p or free. Edit – and the price on this has now been changed to Free (sorry for the fumble-fingered 50p earlier)

This is another one that appeared many years ago in Patchwork and Quilting magazine as a Junior Project and that we had made a year or two earlier at Staffordshire Young Quilters.

puss in corner

The block used is Puss in the Corner and our young stitchers decided it would be fun to put ‘puss’ in the middle (and maybe a mouse in the corner). We used the pattern to practice different methods of applique and in later years it also proved quite popular with adult education classes for the same purpose.

The pattern includes the template to make the applique cat and an outline of the different methods you could use to stitch your cat in place as well as instructions to make the blocks and the small wall-hanging illustrated.

Back in the ’90s computers were still quite new but some ten years later we used the same pattern to print the cats onto fabric – sadly I don’t have any photos of those nor of the times we used fabric paints, transfer crayons and even coloured paper bags to make our cats.

Download the pattern from here and have fun exploring the many different ways and colours you can make your cat appliques. Download a quilt to colour here.

Interwoven Star

Another week, another star. This week it is the Interwoven Star block – the name obviously coming from the fact that the star points appear woven together at the centre.

interwoven star block greyscale

You can colour the block in a variety of ways – just one colour family and a range of lights and darks; on a dark background or a light background (that can really change the look of a block).

interwoven star block yellowsinterwoven star block yellows dark

You can make it multi-coloured as well.

interwoven star block multi

There are lots of tricky angles in this star block – so it can’t be rotary cut unfortunately. But you can download the templates or the foundations to make a 12 inch block. It isn’t difficult to make once the pieces are cut – just remember to make it as four large triangles rather than the squares that we usually do.

But what about quilts? Here are the blocks in the three colourways above and just straight-set.

interwoven star quilt yellowsinterwoven star quilt yellows darkinterwoven star quilt multi

But if you flip (ie stitch a mirror image of half the blocks) then you can get quite a different pattern.

interwoven star quilt flip multi

And you can play with colour and settings yourself if you download the colouring sheet – cut it up, glue it back together again or just sit and colour – print it out as many times as you wish and just play.

Advance notice – only a few more weeks of stars. Starting in July will be a Mystery quilt sew-along. One ‘clue’ each week on a Tuesday. We’ll let you know what you will need once we’ve worked it out, but think scraps!