Category Archives: free pattern

April EQ Doodles

Despite best intentions to have another post up between Doodle posts I seem to have failed. Sometimes life just gets in the way  . . . !

So, over on the chrisandbarbaraquilts blog you can find our April doodle which this month features Boxed Star – actually a very similar block to last month, Barbara is having an Eight-Pointed Star moment!

Boxed Star

If you would like to make this block you can download the templates for a 12 inch square here.

If you prefer to rotary cut then you will need to cut two 3 and 3/8 inch squares, cut in half diagonally, for the four corner burgundy squares and the same for the purple triangles around the star; two 4 and 3/4 inch squares, cut in four diagonally, for the eight burgundy outer triangles; four 3inch squares in purple (or your colour choice – this one is a bit garish!) and from the white four 3 x 4 and 1/8 inches. The yellow star diamonds are cut from 2 and 1/4 inch wide strips – cut them as you did for last month’s star and the instructions are here. This block is not easy to rotary cut – the measurements are rounded up to the nearest 1/8 inch but a bit of fudging may be required to get everything to fit.

To piece the block the instructions are again similar to last month’s. Piece the centre star first. (oops – a triangle seems to have wandered off in the penultimate picture – I’ll probably find it on the virtual floor later!)

Boxed Star centre construction

Piece the block corners and then add them to the centre star – opposite corners first is easier.

Boxed Star corner construction

Boxed Star centre plus corner

Boxed Star

You can download the colouring sheet on the chrisandbarbara blog post here.



EQ Doodles

Over on our sister site – chrisandbarbara – we try to publish a series of EQ doodles each month together with a brief blogpost and a colouring sheet to download. We had the sudden bright idea that you might actually want to know how to make some of these blocks – what sizes to cut, or templates provided. So . . . we’re going to try to do it each month here on the Meadowside blog.

The March doodles are based on a block called Birds and Star – essentially an 8-pointed star on point with half-square triangles (HSTs) around it (like Birds in the Air – hence its name, probably).

March block c

We’ve done instructions for a 12 inch block and if you would like templates then you can download them here.

For rotary cutting you need:-

2 and 7/8 inch squares for the corner HSTs – cut each in half to give two triangles, or quick-piece using your preferred method (see the Tutorials page for guidance).

2 and 1/4 inch strips for the diamonds – cut light ones from left to right; dark ones from right to left (or place the fabrics right sides together and cut both at once) using the 45 degree line on your ruler. Cut at 2 and 1/4 inch intervals.


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The corner squares for the 8-pointed star are cut at 3 inches.

The set-in triangles are cut from 3 and 3/8 inch squares – cut each square in half diagonally to give two triangles.

Make the 8-pointed star block first, taking care with those Y seams when setting in the corner squares and setting triangles.

star astar bstar cstar d

Stitch the corner HST units according to your colourings (which will probably be very different from ours). Stitch these smaller units into the larger triangles.

corner units

Stitch these larger triangles to the sides of the 8-pointed star. Stitch opposite sides first, press and then stitch the other two sides.

star corners

star corners b

Hannah Hauxwell’s quilts

Hannah Hauxwell was an amazing woman who lived on a remote farm in Yorkshire almost entirely cut off from the outside world until a TV documentary was made about her in 1972. She died in February last year and next month Tennants will be auctioning the quilts from her house. You can find out a little more about them (and Hannah) in this blogpost from UK Quilters United.

I was really taken with the six-pointed star quilt in one of the photos I found on the auctioneers website and wondered about making something similar. At first I thought the blocks were the standard square, but when I tried to draw the star I realised that the blocks had to be rectangles – the star is based on a hexagon and won’t fit into a square. Back to the drawing board (or EQ anyway!).

hannah hauxwell's six-pointed star

The original quilt has a lot of blocks and a bright pink binding. I have just drawn a quilt with a few blocks, but have tried to keep those blocks fairly small – 4.5 x 5.25 inches as I think they would need to be (whisper it quietly!) hand-pieced. At which point I decided that no way was I going to be making this quilt except in the virtual world. So I thought I would give you the chance to do a bit of hand-piecing and you can download the templates and a quilt to colour here. Have fun!

hh batik2


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’ ends  . . . ?

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

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.