Monday, 13 August 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 24 - Patchwork Heart

Block 24 - Patchwork Heart

This week’s block will capture your heart – it is Block 24 ‘Patchwork Heart’.  Not only does it nest a heart within a heart but it indulges every quilter’s passion for using up every last scrap of fabric.
Scraps glorious scraps!

I created the block using a single-fabric heart in the middle but you could patch this heart by cutting an extra four A pieces and stitching them together into two columns of two.
Scraps coming together.

What I particularly love about using scraps in this way is that it really doesn’t matter if your seams don’t match because of the scrappiness of the block – great if you are short of time or you can’t find your glasses!
Almost there.

Wouldn't this make a great addition to a Valentine project?
Block 24 complete.

Next week we will be using more scraps (rectangles instead of squares) as we make the Night and Day log cabin block. 
Rectangle scraps for Block 25

Until then I look forward to seeing your versions of the Patchwork Heart (#block24patchworkheart) over on Instagram or in the Flickr Group.  Just tag me (@thepatchsmith).

Monday, 6 August 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 23 - Stained Glass Cross

Block 23 - Stained Glass Cross

This week’s block in the Patchsmith Sampler sew-along is a little bit of heave – Block 23 ‘Stained Glass Cross'.   All that is needed is a little bit of reflection on quick corners which we first met when making the Watermelon block back in week 3.
Quick corners for Block 3

To create a Stained Glass Cross you will need to lay quick corners upon quick corners – which is quite simple to do and clearly explained in the book. If you choose your fabrics from within the same colour spectrum you will be sure to create a very pretty Stained Glass Cross.
Choose fabric from the same colour group

However, you can create a 'Snowflake' version of this block by cutting your fabrics for pieces A, D and E from the same fabric and cutting pieces B from background fabric (there is no need for piece C). 
Block 23 - Snowflake version!

So another relatively simple block this week and one that I hope to see over on Instagram (#block23stainedglasscross) and in the Flickr Group.

Next week it is back to using up some scraps as we make a Patchwork Heart.  
Block 24 - Patchwork Heart
Until then .....

Monday, 30 July 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 22 - Spinning Churn Dash

Block 22 - Spinning Churn Dash

If you have been following along with the sew-along then this week's block introduces nothing new.  It is Block 22 - the Spinning Churn Dash.  The four-square units are created using a quick slice and dice method whilst the four corners make quick work of half-square-triangles (HSTs).
A scrappier version of Block 22

Check out the tutorial for Block 2 'Guiding Star'  which shows how to make and trim HSTs.   
Block 2 - Guiding Star and the HST

If you would like to spin a larger version of this week's block you can grab a copy of my free 12" block pattern by clicking on the photo below.

I look forward to seeing your blocks over on Instagram (#block22spinningchurndash) or in the Flickr Group 

If you have any queries you can leave a comment or email me and, if you want to see all the blocks from The Patchsmith's Sampler Blocks pattern book, just click on the tab above.  

Until next time .......

Monday, 23 July 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 21 - Acorn

Block 21 - Acorn

We are staying with an autumnal feel this week with Block 21 – the Acorn block.  

This is one of several scrap-happy blocks from the Patchsmith's Sampler Blocks pattern book.  It is also one of a few blocks from the book that is available as a FREE block pattern.

The Acorn block is a simple design constructed using 1½” squares from you scrap box.  It doesn’t even matter if your seams don’t match exactly – the block still looks good.

But you can make it even simpler by cutting piece E as one 4½” square of fabric.  From there it is a simple case of adding two quick corners onto the bottom corners of the 4½” square. 
Block 21 - Really Simple Acorn

So how about joining me as I squirrel away an Acorn Block or two.

I look forward to seeing your versions over on Instagram (#block21acorn) or in the Flickr Group Until then .......

Monday, 16 July 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 20 - Orange Pumpkin

Block 20 - Orange Pumpkin

It may be summer outside but in the Patchsmith Sampler Blockssew-along we are turning towards Autumn with the next two blocks.  And we start with Block 20 – Orange Pumpkin.

This week’s block is a beginner block with just one seam to match (and I have a tip to help you match it perfectly).  It is a great block for using up scrappy strips of fabric. 

However, if you want it quicker and simpler then use just one fabric for the pumpkin. 
A simpler version of Block 20

To do this replace the six (A) rectangles with two 3½” x 5½” rectangles in your chosen pumpkin fabric.  
Replace the A stips with two same-fabric rectangles

Then, instead of creating quick corners at the top of two strips of fabric for the stalk core (Step 2 of the pattern), create quick corners on the top inside corners of your two pumpkin rectangles as shown.
Create the stalk core using two quick corners on the inside corners

Next join the two rectangles together to create your main pumpkin rectangle.  And here is the tip for getting the seam to nest perfectly – press one of your quick corners towards the pumpkin fabric and press the other quick corner away from the pumpkin fabric.  This will help you nest those diagonal seams. (This also works if using scrappy strips.)
Press your quick corners in opposite directions

Look how well those points match up. 
Perfect points

Once you have your main pumpkin piece, whether from one fabric or strips, the next step is to turn the rectangle into a pumpkin shape using four background quick corners.
From rectanbgle to pumpkin oval

Create the top leaves and stalk at steps 5 and 6 of the pattern and there you have it - a glorious Orange Pumpkin block.
You can add detailing when you come to quilt the finished project

So I hope this week’s block provides a quick respite from the hot summer sun.  I would love to see your versions over on Instagram (#block20orangepumpkin) or in the Flickr Group.  Next week we will continue with the Autumn theme as we make a scrap-happy Acorn Block.   Until then .......

Monday, 9 July 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 19 - Everyway

Block 19 - Everyway

This week’s block design dates back to the 1930s.  It is a great sampler block as it can be created using four fabrics used elsewhere in the quilt adding cohesion to any project.  

It can also be created using just two fabrics ....  
Block 19 using two fabrics

If you want to make the block using just two fabrics you will need to cut four B, C and D pieces from each fabric.

Then it is simply a case of following the pattern to create four quick corner squares, and four half-bordered squares from each fabric.
Block 19 - Quick Corner Squares

I recommend laying out the sections on your worktable in the order you will stitch them. 
Lay them out prior to stitching

I love traditional patchwork patterns which can be brought bang up-to-date with modern fabrics.  Block 19 ‘Everyway’ is one such block and I hope you enjoy it too.

I look forward to seeing your blocks over on Instagram (#block19everyway) or in the Flickr Group Until then .......

Monday, 2 July 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 18 - Fruit Bowl

Block 18 - Fruit Bowl
This week’s block – Fruit Bowl - builds upon the quick corners we learned earlier in the sew-along although the quick corners in this block are quite small. 

Although there is no real matching of seams in this block do take your time when stitching the pear together as you want the top and bottom sections to meet neatly.   I didn’t take care with my ¼” seam allowance and my pear didn’t meet up exactly ......
The top and bottom sections of my pear didn't meet neatly

..... so I restitched it. 
Summer Fruit Bowl

But this is just me being fussy so don’t worry if your pear is a little wonky. The most important thing in this sew-along is to have fun and to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

And just because I used two apples and one pear doesn't mean you have to. You could use purple fabric for the apples and turn them into plums or have a bowl of three pears, or two pears and one apple. This is your fruit bowl - you get to choose.  

I look forward to seeing your fruit bowls over on the Instagram (#block18fruitbowl) or in the Flickr Group Until then .......

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Quilt Blocks in Paperback

The Patchsmith’s Sampler Quilt Blocks pattern book is now available in paperback 

To see all the blocks included in the book click on the 'Patchsmith Sampler Blocks' tab above.  You will find links to the sew-along tutorials that accompany the blocks.

I hope you can join me as we create a life of fabric, fun and friends.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 17 - London Roads

Block 17 - London Roads 

Nearly every town in England has a road called London Road. It was along these roads that the suffragettes marched towards London a century ago.  Hence the four arrows leading in the same direction around a central square in the London Roads block.

This block is my favourite block from the book.  It is so pretty and once you have got the hang of Skinny Triangles it goes together quite easily as I have designed it so that it doesn’t need matching seams. 
Two-tone London Roads Block

So how to do those SkinnyTriangles. I was first introduce to Skinny Triangles a long time ago by Karen Hellaby and a great little book called ‘Sew a Row Quilts’. Skinny Triangles are perfect for this block and I have a little tip to help you get them just right.  

For each arrowhead you will need two (C) background rectangles with marked diagonals which are a mirror image of each other. 
Follow steps 2 and 4 to create these rectangles

You will also need to mark the (D) arrowhead rectangles as detailed in step 2 of the pattern. Once done you are ready to sharpen the arrowhead.

Firstly, with right sides together, lay the background rectangle with the mark running from the top right-hand corner to the bottom left onto the (D) rectangle so that the diagonal line runs from the mark at the top of the (D) rectangle down to the bottom right-hand corner as shown.

Pin to keep the pieces in place to stop them slipping whilst stitching.

Then stitch along the marked line.

You are now ready to trim and press the triangle open and here is my tip:  finger press the corner open BEFORE trimming the corner. This is to ensure that the skinny corner covers the corner of the (D) rectangle completely before you trim the fabric.   If your stitching is not accurate you may find the (C) corner does not completely cover the corner and you will be able to unpick and restitch the skinny triangle if you have not trimmed it.
You can see that the Skinny Corner covers the background rectangle completely.

Once you are happy with your corner, trim it .....

and press it open .... 
One Skinny Triangle complete

Now you can make a mark along the top edge as detailed in step 4. 

With right sides together, lay the background rectangle with the mark running from the top left-hand corner down to the bottom right corner onto the arrowhead unit so that the diagonal line runs from the mark on the top edge down towards the bottom left-hand corner.  

Pin and stitch before trimming and pressing (remember the tip – it works this side as well).

The arrowhead unit should measure approximately 2½” x 3”.   You can now trim the bottom of the arrowhead unit to create an arrowhead that measures 2½” square.
Trim the bottom of the arrowhead to size (I have turned it on its side in the photo)

Once you have made all four arrowheads it is a simple case of stitching the block together.  And there you have it – a London Roads block.
Join the blocks into rows and the rows into one London Roads block

And remember - three arrows make a great sidebar to turn any of the blocks from the book into a fun mug rug.
Three Arrows Sidebar turns block 9 'Bullseye' into a fun mug rug

As this is my most favourite block from the book I thought it might be a nice treat for me to share the cutting sizes/instructions  to make a 12” London Roads block (finished size).
12" London Roads Block

To create a 12” (finished size) London Roads block cut:
A – One 4½” center square
B – Eight 1¾” x 4½” background rectangles
C – Eight 2½” x 5” background rectangles
D – Four 4½” x 5” rectangles (arrowheads)
E – Four 2” x 4½” rectangles (arrow tails)

Follow the pattern.  At step 2 make a mark on the D rectangle 2½” in from the right-hand side and at step 4 make the mark 2½” in from the left-hand side.  At step 6 trim the bottom of the arrowhead so that the finished arrowhead is 4½” square. 
Red, white and blue London Roads
I hope you'll have a go at Skinny Triangles as we use them again for Block 34 - Birdhouse.  Until then share your London Road blocks over on the Instagram (#block17londonroads) or in the Flickr Group Until next time .....