It’s (almost) the end of the year and we finished our marathon journey through six-inch blocks on Christmas Eve. You can now download the links to all the blog posts and to all the block instructions.
But we couldn’t leave without wishing you all a very Happy New Year and – as we couldn’t find a block called New Year – we leave you with a block called Year’s Favorite.
As a 4-patch block it is not really suited to being a six-inch one so why not go bold and make it 12 inches (each unit will finish at 3 inches). This is what it could look like made up into a quilt in wintery blues for January.
And now Meadowside Designs is going to lie down in a darkened room for a few weeks! We will be back with more makes and ideas before long – once they’ve occurred to us.
Like all New Year Resolutions this one could well fade, if not disappear but the ground work has been done, we just have to see it through and hopefully you will come along too. Trawling through cupboards and bags of half-made things Chris came across a heap of 6 inch blocks made many, many years ago for the Little Books (Stars and Log Cabin) published by David and Charles. Over the last few weeks they have been made into a couple of little quilts (almost . . .!)
Further rummaging in the archives found some Block of the Month worksheets based on six-inch blocks that had (amazingly) actually been made into quilts.
Barbara too has a few six-inch blocks waiting to be turned into a runner or added to to make a small quilt, as has Ann. Which got us thinking . . . .
So this year we have decided upon a Six-Inch Saturday Sampler. Every Saturday a new six-inch block (or two, or . . ) with a few colour ideas perhaps plus the rotary cutting measurements and the templates as well as foundations where foundation piecing seems like a ‘good idea’. No full-instructions though, sorry, although most should be self-explanatory and there are always the tutorials to refer to.
We will start this Saturday (Jan 8th) and as we couldn’t decide how to order the blocks we have gone for alphabetical – starting unsurprisingly with A. Each time we start a new letter we will also give you an applique pattern for that letter too.
This gives you lots of opportunities for a variety of little (or big) quilts. You could just make an alphabet quilt with all the applique designs. You could save all the star patterns, or there are quite a few new blocks with names of cakes, biscuits and other delicious things, or . . . you could just pick a few blocks you like the look of. Nothing to stop you downloading all the blocks each week either and just filing them away for ‘another day’ – we won’t know and we won’t tell! Whatever you decide we can look forward to a whole year of Saturdays filled with six-inch block patterns.
Once more we link through to our sister site and another Tile Tuesday. This time is a rather lovely (if overgrown) path in Eastbourne.
We’ve turned this into a runner pattern which is available from our Payhip shop – although we have simplified the border design otherwise it overwhelmed the centre. Hopefully a full-size quilt pattern including the original border will be available soon (Chris is working on it!)
I feel we all probably need something to sew – keep our minds and fingers occupied while locked down, in a high tier or whatever, wherever we happen to be at the moment. To which end I have dug out the worksheets for the Puzzle Quilt class I should have been teaching at The Corner patch during 2020-21 as a Block of the Month.
A Puzzle Quilt is like a sampler (and/or a BoM) in that I give you a block pattern each month, but for a puzzle quilt you make each block twice (or more if you wish) and re-arrange the colours so the two blocks look completely different – the ‘puzzle’ being to find the pairs of blocks once they are in the quilt. Clear as mud!
We’ll start in a couple of weeks – say Saturday 16th – with the first block. In the meantime you can decide on your colours and download a needs list. The shops may be shut but you can still order online from most places- and many of them have sales on at the moment. The quilt also lends itself to being scrappy – it makes it even more of a puzzle if you have used different fabrics for each block as well. I used blues and yellows in my quilt as you can see, but I used lots of different ones.
A couple of new patterns (for quite old quilts) have been added to the Meadowside Christmas shop this month in time for December – just go to the Christmas category once you find the shop. If you are in need of table toppers or small wall-hangings we have several ideas including the two just added.
First is a small quilt (just 23 inches) called Sirius – this uses fat quarters and is really quick and easy. The pattern includes some other ideas to play with as well.
The other ‘new’ quilt just added is a Log Cabin variation called Stars and Wreaths. You can fussy-cut the centres as I did, or – if you don’t want to drive yourself mad unpicking things – just choose a pretty and contrasting print.
Also in the shop you will find a star made using diamond Log Cabin (we do like Log Cabin!)
We seem to be more than halfway through October already. How and when did that happen? This seriously weird year seems to be passing even quicker than a normal one – which is possibly a good thing. Anyway, halfway through October means it is time to hunt out those seasonal fabrics to make ‘stuff’ to decorate the home with. (Notice we are avoiding the C word!)
Over in the Meadowside shop we have a number of seasonal items that are quick to make so we’ll have a review of some of them in the next few weeks, starting with table runners today. Click on the runner name to go to the pattern page in the shop. None of the patterns are expensive and all have step-by-step illustrations.
One that has proved popular over the years is the Tangled Star runner. The pattern provided has lots of ideas and it can be made with templates or rotary cut and machine pieced.
This next runner is called Aunt Dinah – after the name of the block. Although this one is made in non-seasonal colours we have added a mock-up of a red/green/white colourway on the pattern page to give you an idea of what you could make at this time of year.
The next few runners are really quick and easy – they all started life as one-day workshops. This first one we called the Fat Quarter Runner as it originally used a bundle of five fat quarters, but you could use fewer – this one illustrated used four plus the background.
Christmas Stars is just one block but the colours are switched in alternate blocks
The Zig-zag Stars runner is a similar concept – one block, different colouring
Another runner in the collection is the Poinsettia. This uses the blocks from the Poinsettia wall-hanging pattern but puts them together in a line instead of a square.
All the runners shown can be made bigger by adding further borders or pointed ends – as the Aunt Dinah runner has. Or you can go the other way and turn the blocks into table toppers by joining four blocks in a 2 x 2 setting.
Lots of patterns can be made into seasonal items simply by changing the colouring, or these Christmas ones (oh – we said it, sorry) can be made for any time of the year by using colours to suit your decor. There are a lot of patterns in our shop but if you look at the top you will find ‘category’ tabs so you can look for runners, or for Christmas, or whatever else you need, which will narrow things down a bit!
As some of you may know over on our sister site (chrisandbarbaraquilts) we have a regular ‘Scrappy Sunday’ post running at the moment. Coming soon is one on Cathedral Window featuring Chris’s class samples from down the years. We’ve done a ‘revamped from class worksheets’ tutorial and put that on our tutorials page but thought it might be helpful to augment it with a few photos.
To start with we need two big squares and a little square (or two). Then we can start folding the big squares – its a bit like making those fortune tellers when we were little (remember?). Start by cutting two large squares of background. Here it is being cut at 8 1/2 inches. If you are sewing by hand, turn under a 1/4 inch seam all the way around. Fold the corners to the centre and press then fold the corners to the centre again, press and stitch the centre ‘corners’ together.
If you are sewing by machine then cut out your squares, fold them in half (right sides together) and stitch the short sides. Press these seams open. Fold the stitched square so the seams meet and you have the raw edges together – look at the photos – then stitch this raw edge, remembering to leave a gap so you can turn it right sides out. Press.
This is the first fold completed, now fold the corners to the centre.
The next step is to join those two squares together. By hand you would simply oversew – as you do with EPP – by machine you can choose to zig-zag them together or open out the flaps of that second fold and stitch down the crease – having carefully matched them first – then stitch the centre ‘corners’ together.
You now have a ‘square’ in the centre of your piece which is where your smaller coloured square goes. Cut it so it is the size of that ‘square’ – too small and the edges will not will be caught and stitched, too large and it will stick out. Put it in place (glue or pin if you wish) then roll the edges of the background over the coloured square and stitch down – with a hand hemming stitch or by machine with a straight stitch or a fancy stitch.
To make a small pincushion you can turn the two short edges to the ‘back’ and stitch them together, stitch the sides together, leaving a gap to put the stuffing in. Roll all the other curves if you wish before adding the stuffing.
Cathedral Window has a sister technique called Secret Garden. When you have done the first fold cut a coloured square of the size formed by the creases of the second fold. Place this coloured square on the background and complete the second fold. Now when you roll the edges back this ‘hidden’ square will be revealed. You can use it on its own or combine it with Cathedral Window.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Although maybe not as many? Separate them out a bit with some random plain squares or rectangles?
I quite like this version – I might just have to make it. Sometime.