Category Archives: beginners patchwork

Simple Blocks – Aunt Dinah

Aunt Dinah is a variation of the Ohio Star – it has our featured ‘Mary’s Triangles units in the four corners. You can download the instructions for making the block here.

When I first coloured in this block I came up with this

Aunt Dinah block 2

Bu I felt poor Aunty looked a bit dull, so (as it is November and therefore nearly December) I decided to jazz her up a bit with some red and a few snowflakes and stars.

Aunt Dinah block

Like Ohio Star this block can be bit ho-hum just straight set on its own and you can lose the stars – they become a pieced sashing.

Aunt Dinah quilt

But add plain sashing between the blocks or alternate the colours of the stars and things look a better.

Aunt Dinah quilt 1

Or you could turn the corners of the block around and then alternate these with the original, changing the colours of the block as well

Aunt Dinah quilt 2

Even ‘dull’ Aunt Dinah doesn’t look too dull when given this makeover

Aunt Dinah quilt 4

Of course, given the time of year, you could always make something a lot smaller –

Aunt Dinah quilt runner

– give it a border, and maybe ‘pointy’ endsĀ  . . . ?

Or you could head over to our Payhip shop and buy a pattern to make a runner – we featured it way back in 2014.

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Simple Blocks – Spinning Tops

This is a very similar block to last month’s Grandmother’s Choice – the only difference is that the centre rectangles have been split into two squares. You can download the instructions for the Spinning Tops block here.

Spinning Tops block

Try different ways of colouring the block – it can look quite different in pastel shades for example –

Spinning Tops block a

Because we have coloured the corners differently and because alternate units are turned the blocks are not symmetrical which means you can have a lot of fun turning them around – alternate blocks, or alternate rows or . . . mixing them with alternate Grandmother’s Choice blocks.

 

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Or you set them on point, with or without sashing. This is what the pastel ones look like –

Spinning Tops quilt d

Spinning Tops quilt c

Have fun playing with these blocks. You can download a blank quilt to colour here – you can print lots of copies, cut them up and design your own unique quilt.

Summer mystery revealed

Several people have asked what the finished Summer Mystery looked like when completed. Up until now I have replied that they need to look at the instructions – especially the penultimate week to find out why I couldn’t tell them.

However . . . having found the photos of my quilt in the construction phase while I decided just how to finish it . . . I thought I would show you why I couldn’t tell you.

The mystery instructions had you make 16 blocks in total – 8 of one, 8 of another – and the final instruction (before quilting and binding) was to arrange the blocks in a way that you yourself felt most pleasing. It took me a long time to settle on one.

So first I set the blocks alternately and then started turning them around (they are directional blocks).

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Then I put one set of blocks in the centre and corners and turned them around a few times

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Finally I put the other set of blocks in the centre and corners and turned them around

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If you are still struggling with the layout of yours I hope these photos have given you a few ideas, rather than muddled you even further.

For those who have yet to make the quilt, perhaps you can now see why a final photo of the finished quilt was not possible at the time.

This is one of the joys of patchwork – the endless possibilities from two simple blocks put together.

PS. Mine was finished and gifted to charity – probably Siblings Together, as that is where my larger quilts go; the smaller ones go to Linus.

Simple Blocks – Grandmother’s Choice

Quite a number of the blocks using the Mary’s Triangles units are 5-patch (sometimes known as uneven 9-patch) blocks. For this reason they are best made at sizes that are multiples of 5 – and 10 inches is usual. This month’s block is Grandmother’s Choice and is a typical (and simple) 5-patch block. You can download the instructions to make this block here.

Grandmother's Choice block

The block on its own just set straight together is not very exciting, but if you alternate the colours in the block it starts to look a little more interesting.

Grandmother's Choice quilt b

Add in another colour perhaps, as sashing?

Grandmother's Choice quilt a

Or go pastel?

Grandmother's Choice quilt c

Or on point with sashing and cornerstones? It is starting to look very different.

Grandmother's Choice quilt d

Enjoy playing with this quilt – change the colours around – it looks quite different done in brights and lights for instance.