Category Archives: Patchwork

Sampler Quilt – Hour Glass Block Completed

Hour Glass Block

Hour Glass Block

This project has been languishing – it is fiddly and I no longer like the fabrics I have selected, but I am determined to get it finished. I have been working on it for so long (I started in January last year) and I still have a long way to go. It has got to the point where I am trying to do a little bit every day.



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Sampler Quilt – Courthouse Steps

Sewwitty's Courthouse Steps

Sewwitty’s Courthouse Steps

Well, true to my last post, I have been working on the sampler quilt. The above is my second courthouse steps sub-block – each block requires 4 and sometimes 8 sub-blocks. The blocks with rectangular pieces, like above, a much quicker to sew (not like the Bachelor’s Puzzle block). It is much easier to cut the right shape when it is a rectangle particularly when you stitch it down and then flip it into place. The number of times I flip it into place only to find the finished piece is too small!


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And so it Begins …

Altar Steps Block

Altar Steps Block

So I have finally started the sampler quilt. The above is an Altar Steps block, which consists of four smaller blocks (see here). There will be five of these blocks in the quilt.

I’ve discovered it is quicker to cut all of the fabric for one smaller block before beginning the block. If in doubt the piece of fabric is going to be too small!

The final quilt consists of five of each of my sampler blocks (there are 12) and an extra 3 blocks ( I haven’t decided on the extras I suspect it will be the easier to make blocks!), so that makes a total of 63 blocks (5 × 12 + 3). Only 62 blocks to go …

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Bear’s Paw Block Finished

Bear's Paw Block Finished

Bear’s Paw Block Finished

I stitched this out yesterday and it worked the first time so rare!

This is the last block I wanted to digitise for my sampler quilt. Now it is simply a matter of getting on with it.

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Bear’s Paws Block Being Digitised as a Foundation Block

Today is the last day of school holidays. I like school holidays – not having to be anywhere by a particular time, much more relaxed mornings, but it is a bit more difficult to get any jobs done that require concentration.

I want to digitise one more block for my foundation block quilt. I’ve spent a bit of time considering different traditional blocks – Arkansas Star, Attic Windows, Birds in the Air, Fox and Geese, Jacob’s Ladder – and rejecting them as too hard or requiring too many stitch outs.

In the end I decided on Bear’s Paw, which requires two stitch outs.

Bear's Paw Block

Bear’s Paw Block

The above image is four bear’s paw blocks – with some extra bits in the middle.

My block is more like this …

Bear's Paw -  One Block

Although it is all straight lines and you would think easy to digitise, I did need to think about how to split it and then what dimensions to use to get this block to be the same size as my other blocks – I knew that maths degree would come in handy some time!

I split into two sections …

Bear's Paw Split

Bear’s Paw Split

And then used Embird Studio to digitise each stitch out (I did this separately).

BearPaw_01 BearPaw_02

And then joined them using the merge feature in Embird Manager. Once I had the numbers sorted, it was all relatively easy. Now I just need to test it out!

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Digitised Bachelor’s Puzzle Quilt Block

SewWitty's Bachelor's Puzzle

SewWitty’s Bachelor’s Puzzle

This is 1/4 of my Bachelor’s Puzzle block.  I did this in two pieces and then joined them, which means the finished block will have 8 pieces – I might be getting a bit carried away.

I have one more block to go to make 12, but I haven’t got one in mind yet.

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Pinwheel Quilt Block Digitised

SewWitty's Pinwheel block

SewWitty’s Pinwheel block

What it looks like when there is four of them.

What it looks like when there is four of them.

This is my latest digitised block, a Pinwheel. I used paint to show you what it would like if there was four of them.

I need two more blocks to make 12 – I’m considering a Bachelor’s Puzzle, Water Wheel and New York Star – although I might think of another block before the end.

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Quilts 1700 – 2010 Redux

Quilts 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories

Quilts 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories

I know I have written about this book before, but I have finally finished reading it. This book is a textile lover’s dream – the illustrations are beautiful and it is full of fascinating information. It is not the type of book to read all at once, but just dip into every now and then (even to just look at the pictures and be awed by the skill, patience and dedication of the maker).

The book consists of four chapters; Making and using quilts in eighteenth century Britain, Complexity and context:nineteenth century British quilts, Maintaining the craft:British quilt-making 1900-45 and Negotiating space:fabric and the feminine 1945-2010.

Here are some of my favourites …

Unfinished Patchwork of Silks, c1860-70

Unfinished Patchwork of Silks, c 1860-70


Pieced Wool, c 1863-77


‘Sanderson Star’ quilt in cotton sateens,            c 1910-1920


Sara Impey, ‘Punctuation’. Machine stitched Silk,     c 2009


Janey Forgan, ‘Liberty Jack’, c 2008


Coverlet, patchwork of printed cottons,                c 1803-1805

As I love liberty fabrics, Liberty Jack is probably my favourite, but Sara Impey’s Punctuation is brilliant to, and then the amount of work involved in the earlier quilts is mind-boggling.

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Filed under Book Review, Patchwork, Quilting

Iowa Star Foundation Block Made with Embroidery Machine

Iowa Star

Iowa Star

The above block is 1/4 of an Iowa Star.  You need to imagine 4 of them exactly the same, but rotated to make a square in the middle – like this

iowa Star from Quilters Cache

Iowa Star from Quilters Cache

I digitised the block using Embird Studio and it came together quickly. I did cut some of the fabric pieces a little too small, but this block was just a test to see how well I had digitised the design.


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Pineapple Block

Sewwitty's Pineapple Block

Sewwitty’s Pineapple Block

I have been working away on the Pineapple block – this is the 7th iteration.

It didn’t stitch out perfectly (so there will be an 8th version) I had to do a couple of dodgy things, but I am happy with the final result. I just need to change the order of a few bits and add a few bits.

This time around I used Embird Studio’s hide/show feature and it made things a lot clearer – much easier to keep track of things.

I’ve also moved my embroidery sewing machine to a better spot – I am much more likely to use it now, such a simple thing.

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