Category Archives: machine piecing

Autumn’s here

Much interest was expressed in a quilt I showed at a talk the other night and I realised that I had never got around to publishing the pattern.

Autumnal Stars

So today I have done so and you will be able to find Autumnal Stars on my Payhip page if you are in the EU, and on my Craftsy page otherwise.

This is a large wall-hanging (about 49 inches square) and is not too difficult to make – I have provided templates if you prefer to cut those pointy star shapes without a rotary cutter (it does make it easier to fit them together).

You can make this for any season and have fun playing with the colour placements to alter the curved effects.


Simple blocks – Mary’s Triangles

Jewel Box blockThis little unit crops up in a number of blocks but is also a block in its own right. It has a variety of names including Jewel Box (or Block), Squared Triangles, Square and Triangles and the one I’ve picked – Mary’s Triangles.

You can make these units one at a time by cutting the individual squares and triangles or you can make two at a time with a very nifty method I read about so long ago I can no longer where, or when, but it has become an accepted method – it involves no triangles! You can download the Tutorial sheet for the unit here.

As with all units based on Half-Square Triangles you can have great fun with colour placement, scrappy looks and turning those units round. Here’s just a few ideas to get you started.

Start off by just putting the units together in a straight set, then change the lights and darks around, turn the blocks around, add in another colour for a bit of contrast . . .

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And here’s one I made earlier

jewel quilt

What will you make? Download the instructions for Mary’s Triangles here – it has a few quilt ideas and a blank quilt for you to colour in or play with.

Simple Blocks – Square in a Square

Sometimes called Diamond in a Square this unit/block is worth learning how to make as it crops everywhere from a unit in assorted bocks to a simple block used as a ‘spacer’ between more complicated blocks where, as you will see further down the page, it can create the illusion of a star within the quilt design.

The basic block is, as it says, a square within a square and you can find the instructions to make it on the Tutorials page or download them here.

square-in-a-square-blockBut suppose we keep adding squares around our square?

square-in-a-square-block-aand again

square-in-a-square-block-band again

square-in-a-square-block-cThe basic block on its own doesn’t make much of a quilt –

square-in-a-square-quiltBut if you alternate the colours it starts to look a little more interesting

square-in-a-square-quilt-aOr suppose you alternate the different variations of the block?





square-in-a-square-quilt-dand then change the colours completely and emphasise the star in the centre –


Simple blocks – Star and Pinwheels

Like the last few blocks this first one of the New Year contains the Three-triangle unit. Star and Pinwheels has Half-square triangles in its four corners and, like Martha Washington’s Star has the 3-triangle units forming the centre. You can download the instructions for the block here.

star-and-pinwheels-blockThis is what the block looks like when nine are set together to make a quilt –

star-and-pinwheels-quiltThe block is symmetrical so turning it around makes no difference but you can always play with the colour.



star-and-pinwheels-quilt-astar-and-pinwheels-quilt-bThere are more quilt ideas in the instructions.


Simple Blocks – Card Trick

Time for another few in the Simple Blocks series now that the summer holidays are over. Today its that old favourite, Card Trick. The colouring of this block is key to making it look as if four squares are interlocking.Download the instructions for the block here. The block has Three-Triangle, HST and QST units. One key tip our students use is to always lay all the pieces out first before you start stitching – that way you can be sure you have got those colours in the right place. It helps to make one block first before you start on a quilt – that way you can be sure the measurements are correct and your colours are right.

Card Trick blueYou can make it in monochrome as above, or in rainbow colours or . . .

Card trick green

card trick rainbow

card trick purple

card trick floral

Card trick

card trick darkAnd the quilts you can make with this block? There’s a lot (as usual) and again, colouring and colour placement is key – so first a pastel colouring on a white background and straight-set

Card trick quilt pastel achange the background –

Card trick quilt pastel bor add sashing to separate the blocks –

Card trick quilt pastelSet on point the blocks look completely different –

Card trick quilt pastel dor with the dark background –

Card trick quilt pastel cAnd there are more ideas in the instruction sheet.

Card Trick.

Trip around the World

Here’s a cheaper trip around the world than that one you’ve promised yourself when you win the lottery. The pattern is available from both our Payhip and Craftsy pages.

A quick and easy (honest!) design with 2 and 1/2 inch wide strips to make a 44 inch square wall hanging or lapquilt. It looks great placed diagonally over a plain bedcover too.

Trip around world 1

Make it with different width strips (these were cut at 1 inch) to make a tiny quilt

Trip around world

Make it in just one colour family (and these strips were cut at 1 1/2 inches)

Trip around the world green

All sorts of colours will work. Here’s a few ‘works in progress’ from a recent class

File 19-04-2016, 09 52 02

File 19-04-2016, 09 52 34

File 19-04-2016, 09 52 58

File 19-04-2016, 09 53 23

File 19-04-2016, 09 53 46

Why not set out on your Trip around the World today?

New pattern for St David’s Day

A new pattern has been added to the website – Daffodils and Daisies – just in time for March 1st which is the first day of Spring (according to the Met Office) and also St David’s Day.

Daffodils and Daisies

Springtime florals in a Garden Maze setting make a pretty quilt for any time of year. My fabrics were daffodils and daisies – yours could be tulips, roses, larkspur . . . see which Springtime floral fabrics are in store. You don’t have to use two prints, you could just use one you really love. This one shows ‘Dogwood Trail II’ from Moda Fabrics –

Daffs n daisies Dogwood trail

0r how about roses? Red ones?

Daffs n daisies red roses

or pink ones?

daffs n daisies pink roses

or tulips and daisies on a dark background looking very dramatic –

daffs n daisies tulips n daisies

The finished quilt measures 67 inches square – make it larger with more blocks or borders.

The pattern is available via Meadowside Designs’  Payhip page (for those based in the EU) or from Craftsy.


Christmas runner

This Christmas runner is really quick and easy. We’ve made it at workshops at The Corner Patch for a few years now and each time our beginner quilters have completed the top in the day. You can find the pattern on the Craftsy page here, but in the meantime here’s some photos of the results from this year’s students (not all of them wanted to do ‘Christmas’) –

easy runner a

We love the richness of the gold in this one.

Not so Christmas are the following two –

easy runner b

easy runner d

and back to Christmas again –

easy runner c

easy runner f

and finally the one made as this year’s shop sample

easy runner e

We just love the way this runner looks good no matter what fabrics you use, or where you place the emphasis.

Simple blocks – Chain and Hourglass

Another block with Quarter-Square Triangles (QSTs) today but this time with squares from three strips. Instructions for making these units are on the tutorials page.

chain and hourglass block a

‘Hourglass’ is the name of the QST unit and when the blocks are put together into a quilt the stripped units form a chain –

chain and hourglass quilt

If you turn alternate blocks around –

chain and hourglass quilt b

you could then add sashing strips between the blocks –

chain and hourglass quiltc

Or you can recolour the blocks and combine colours in the quilt –

chain and hourglass block c

chain and hourglass block d

chain and hourglass quilt a

Or you can put the blocks on point –

chain and hourglass quiltd

There are more ideas in the instruction sheet for the block.

Chain and Hourglass

Simple Blocks – Big Dipper

This block has a great many names, including Yankee Puzzle, Hourglass, Electric Fan, and Envelope Quilt. I rather liked Big Dipper – so that’s what I’ve called it here.

Big Dipper block a

This is simplest colouring of the block – which as you can see is just four Quarter Square Triangle units. But you can play with the colours within the block, by adding one more for instance –

Big Dipper block b

or even a third –

Big Dipper block c

And these different colourings will make very different looking quilts.

Big Dipper quilt a

Big Dipper quilt b

Big Dipper quilt c

You can download the instructions for the Big Dipper block here, which include lots more ideas for colours and quilts.

Don’t forget to download the tutorial for Quarter Square Triangle (QST) units from the Tutorial page.

Big Dipper