Category Archives: scraps

May EQ Doodles

It’s Spring and our EQ Doodle block this month is Bird’s Nest.

We had a bit of fun with the random recolour tool as usual

You can download the colouring pages and cutting instructions for a 10 inch block.


March EQ Doodles

Over on our sister site our March EQ Doodle block is Four Times Nine – four on-point nine-patch blocks.

EQ gives this greyscale and default colouring of the block

And we have had fun with the random recolour tool – here’s just two

But why not go for a scrappy look instead?

Download the colouring pages and cutting instructions for 6 inch, 8 inch and 12 inch blocks!

Saturday Six-inch Sampler 34

Our final two blocks beginning with P are Proof Through the Night and Puss in the Corner; both of them are ideal for using up your small scraps.

Proof Through the Night is a simple 9-patch block, mainly half-square triangles (HSTs) plus one plain square. The block was designed and named by Jeffrey Gutcheon and we featured it as our block in our last Chris & Barbara Pop-Up workshop which you can read about on our sister blog.

EQ has this colouring as its default

but you can colour it however you wish; switching the lights and darks around gives a very different feel to the block for instance as does limiting your colour palette. Download the cutting instructions and a block to colour.

Puss in the Corner (or this version – there are several other blocks with this name) is made with Flying Geese units and triangles-and-a-square units in the corners; both of these can be foundation pieced if you prefer. Download all the patterns here.

E’s original default colourings uses just two colours – a light and a dark

but just moving these around can make the block look very different

As can using different colours

Next week (next month even – where have the weeks gone?) we leave P behind and see if we can find a block beginning with Q.

Saturday Six-inch Sampler 28

Two more blocks beginning with N today – Nine-patch Straight Furrow and a Nosegay (or Nose Gay) otherwise known as a posy.

Nine-Patch Straight Furrow is a lovely easy block – just squares and half-square triangles – which can create some interesting patterns when several blocks are put together, rather like Log Cabin.

Download the instructions and the block to colour – you can have a lot of fun with this block and it is ideal for using up scraps

Nose-Gay also includes a nine-patch – this is the posy of flowers which is encased in its holder, or paper wrapping.

Download the instructions and the colouring sheet

I’ve just used plain colours in these blocks, but how about using floral prints in the nine-patch squares?

Next week we start a new letter – O.

Cathedral Window

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.

Free Pattern Friday 4

Another scrappy project for you today – Tessellating leaves. The blocks are only 3 inches square so an ideal opportunity to find and use those smaller bits.

This piece was made sometime in the ’90s and is the front of a jacket/waistcoat made when Jazzy Jackets were all the rage.

2020-04-05 09.56.07

I misread the measurements for the jacket and then managed to add another seam allowance as well so it ended up far too big for me. But it did fit my dad and he very nobly wore it (indoors) for some time before the weather became ‘too warm for an extra layer’. I found it in the back of his wardrobe when I was helping mum after he died so I have kept it.

For the pattern I have done for you this week I have simplified the one I used so the piecing is much easier for machine stitching – no Y seams!


Barbara (Chainey) and I taught a variation of this at one of our Chris & Barbara workshops back in 2007 as well and I have used a couple of the pieces that were made then as illustrations too. This first one is Val’s –

leaves Val

and then to show you don’t have to use leafy colours, here’s Maureen’s

Maureen's leaves2

You can download your free pattern here and we leave you with a few of the alternative colourings that Electric Quilt’s magic wand came up with


Free Pattern Friday

A 9-patch quilt today – make it as simple or complicated as you wish. I made this one a very long time ago with a limited colour palette and your pattern download is the class worksheet I drew up after I made it.

Amish 9-patch

However, you can put your own stamp on it – change the colours, change the layout, use scraps, make more blocks (or fewer blocks). Here’s a few limited palette ideas that Electic Quilt came up with.


Recently I have been mindlessly sewing scrap squares into 9-patches and as you can see you could make this quilt with those.

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Or you can just set them in a straight grid with sashing between.

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Or you could offset alternate rows.


Or you could . . . ? Download a colouring/design sheet here to play with instead!

And as an added bonus – from today all the patterns in the Meadowside Shop have been reduced – most are £1, some are 50p and some are free!

Dresden Plate

Over the years I’ve made a lot of Dresden Plate blocks. I haven’t actually finished many of them into something, I’ve just made blocks. Often they’ve been made as demonstrations at shows or as samples for workshops and sometimes when I’ve had one of those ‘what if?’ moments. I thought that over the coming weeks / months I would share some of those designs and ideas with you – together with templates – so you can build up your own collection of Dresden Plate blocks.

They are usually divided into categories by the shape of the ends – blades (pointy) or petals (rounded) – and by the number of those blades or petals. The centre circle is usually round and can be large, medium or small.

But there’s no law that says you can’t make a square centre or a pieced centre. Likewise they are usually shown appliqued to a plain background but you could use a pieced background – a simple 4-patch block or Quarter-Square Triangle block for instance.

Or perhaps use plain fabrics for the plate and a riotous print for the background?

The design is great for using up scraps and even better for fussy cutting that really cheap fabric that would perhaps be useful as backing for wall-hangings (no one would ever see it, would they??).  So here’s a really ugly print that I bought for 50p a metre – quite a while ago – and used as the backing for a couple of small wall-hangings before I had the bright idea of fussy cutting it.

In close up the blocks look like this –

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So much better than the original fabric. Note also that the centre circle is reverse applique, rather than stitched over the top as I didn’t want to lose the patterns in the centres of the plates. (And I’m sure there was a seventh block – wonder where it has gone to?)

If you want to have a play with the simple basic 16-petal Dresden Plate you can download the templates here. These will make a 12 inch block.

If you would like some reminders, hints and tips about making Dresden Plate blocks then you can download the tutorial here. Its also worth checking online to find video tutorials if you are a visual learner.

Next time I’ll show you a few more ideas for using with the basic Dresden Plate design.


Do you have an overflowing scrap bag? Do you need a few different ideas?

For lots of ideas on using up (and organising) those scraps pop over to the Chris and Barbara blog where every Sunday is ‘Scrappy Sunday’.

You could go from this  . . .

CF scrap eruption

. . .to this

jellyroll leftoversor this

IMG_8052 honeycomb

or . . .