Category Archives: colour play

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.

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.



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!

Free Pattern Friday 9

Welcome to another Friday and another free pattern while we are isolating / locked-down / socially-distanced or otherwise unable to meet up and go to classes.

This week’s is a simple to make design but at first glance looks quite complicated. It is one of a number that you can currently download for free from the Meadowside Designs Payhip shop. Called Which Way is Up? it seemed rather appropriate for things as they are at the moment. This is the link to go straight to the pattern in the shop to download it.

which way

Have a play with the colouring – download a colouring sheet here – to design your own. I had a quick play with Electric Quilt’s magic wand to change the colours randomly starting with my original black and white with red.

which way a

I saved a few to show you – notice that a very pale pastel colour for the arrows and one other colour doesn’t really show up the arrows likewise the purple and green one I felt I could see lots green arrows instead of the few greyish ones.

which way 5which way 1

A strong contrast colour for the few arrows makes them stand out more – like the original red – even though the other two colours are quite contrasting as well. But if you use similar tones for the many arrows and a strong contrast in tone and/or colour then those few arrows really pop out.

which way 4which way 3which way 2

What effect are you after? How many contrast arrows do you want to add in? Your quilt – your choices!

As for the border – feel free to change it, use a single fabric rather than the half-square triangles I used (they were left-over from something else and just happened to fit) or design your own border to suit. Flying Geese might be an idea?

which way a border

Although maybe not as many? Separate them out a bit with some random plain squares or rectangles?

which way b border

I quite like this version – I might just have to make it. Sometime.

Double Star

The more usual name for this block is Hope of Hartford but I prefer Double Star – it is, after all, two stars superimposed.

double star block f

The construction of this block is a little different from the other stars we have looked at so far – it involves a partial seam. You can download the instructions to make the block – with step-by-step diagrams of the partial seam constructions – here. The measurements will make a 12 inch block to fit with the previous ones (although 10 inches would make for simpler measurements as it is a 5-patch block).

With the aid of Electric Quilt I had a bit of a play with the colouring of the block

and then ‘made’ a few quilts – these first two have sashing between the blocks, the second one has cornerstones added as well..

These next ones are ‘made’ with the yellow and grey fabrics, no sashing

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You can download a quilt to colour here.

Free Pattern Friday 8

Another ‘locked-down’ Friday and another free pattern for you, thanks to the magic that is EQ. Today’s block is called Flying Clouds and comes from one my favourite (and earliest) quilt book purchases – The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon. The illustration in the book is just greyscale so I have added a little colour and you can see I haven’t put my fabrics as suggested – what would happen if I had?

Because the block is not symmetrical you can turn them around to get different patterns when you put them together in a quilt.

You can also get different effects depending on where you put your lights and darks too.

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You can download a quilt to colour, the rotary cutting instructions for an 8 inch block and the instructions to make a quilt here.

As for what would happen if I moved my fabrics around to match the ones in the original diagram – here’s the block

Flying Clouds block a

and here’s the quilt (with alternate blocks turned once)

Flying Clouds quilt e

I’m beginning to think I prefer this version now  . . . !

Star Blocks – Lucky Star

Another different star this week and Lucky Star is probably easier to piece using either templates or foundation piecing – the angles are not quite right for easy rotary cutting – I have done both for an 8 inch block. The block is a 4-patch and each big square unit is made from two triangle units composed of smaller triangles, so when making the block using templates piece the smaller triangles first then add the larger triangles. Join the large triangles into pairs to make the square units before joining the four squares together. If you are foundation piecing the block is still a 4-patch but the units are four large triangles so the block is divided diagonally. The foundation piecing papers are numbered to guide you as to the piecing sequence.

In greyscale the star looks ok

Lucky Star greyscale

but once you start adding colour you find more interest – where do you put your light, dark or medium and what difference does it make?

Lucky Star block b

Lucky Star block a

And then you can try lots of blocks together into a quilt (and you start to see why it is a ‘star’ block – on its own it just looks like a variation of a Pinwheel) – but, depending on where you put the colour emphasis, you can see Pinwheels or you can see four-pointed stars, or sometimes even both.

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If you want to play with colour then you can download a colouring sheet to print out.