Basket of Flowers quilt block revisited

basket of flowers quilt block

It’s been a very long time since I sewed a quilt block! Almost a year to be precise! But hey, I’m not going to beat myself up about it!

This is the 24th block I’ve created to date and it’s another version of the Basket of Flowers design, which I make first time round here.

I much prefer the pretty fabrics in this block but I wasn’t so hot on those points!

It doesn’t pay to have a long break from quilting. I am so out of practice and I could easily have made another pair of pj’s in the time it took me to put this little fella together.

I’ve acquired some extra tools in the meantime… a quilting ruler, a new rotary cutter and a larger self-healing cutting mat. Can’t imagine how much longer still, it would have taken without those!

Incidentally, do not ever place your cutting mat on your ironing board, lest you forget that rubber and hot irons aren’t the best of friends! I came to my senses at the crucial moment!

Block Facts:

Name: ‘Basket of Flowers’ or ‘Lily Basket’ or ‘Flower Basket’
History: This design was ideally suited to the dress and feedsack prints of 1930s America, where it was a particular favourite
Level: Set in seams require experience.
No. of pieces: 13

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel
Block 20: Whirligig
Block 21: Old Maid’s Puzzle
Block 22: Whirlwind Square
Block 23: Windblown Square
Block 24: Basket of Flowers block revisited

Advertisements

My lovely secret Santa

It takes a special ornament, outside of the colour scheme of ‘no colour at all’ to earn a place on my tree. Yes I hands up to being a total control freak. Especially where my tree is concerned! They know the rules: No toilet roll decorations, no horrid coloured ornaments, and abolutely no tinsel! They respond by ceremoniously gaffa-taping Teddy Crap-Crap to the top of the tree. Teddy Crap-Crap is a rubbish, moth-eaten, hand-knitted teddy in all the rubbish colours of a wrong rainbow. He is as far removed from a fashionista fairy that you can get. They put him at the top where I can’t reach and for all my neighbours to see and point and laugh. I am mostly not amused!

But. Despite my rules of white and glass and glitter and feathers only, this year my Secret Santa gifted me the most thoughtful decoration ever.

secret santa pompom

On first inspection a lovingly hand made red pompom. On a closer second look, a lovely red pompom adorned with buttons and on asking all the right questions I get to find out that all the buttons have been lovingly hand-picked from Taylors, a 100 year old button shop in the heart of the West End of London. They are mostly vintage, 1940’s and 50s glass buttons with a couple of gilt filagree ones thrown in for good measure.

Secret Santa was amazed that I’d never heard of Taylors. I have to say, I actually, really don’t get out much. But now I know about them, They will be hearing from me, I can tell you!

If you can’t make it to the shop, you can order online, but if you just want some virtual shop therapy check out this slide show of photos from the shop. I don’t know how but it takes me there in a real floaty wannabe way!

Now I’d like to ask Secret Santa if she perhaps wove some catnip into this pompom, because Pants the cat is seriously in love with it too!

Pants the cat with pompomHe even did that funny face that boy cats (big cats included) do when they pick up on scent! What’s all that about?!

pants the cat picking up scent

Well, I have to say, its hugely unlikely that I will get a mo to post between now and the big day, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the most wonderful of Christmas wishes and of course the biggest thanks for being part of my ever growing family of fellow sewers and supporters. I love you all xxxxx

Windblown Square quilt block

Windblown Square quilt block

Now we are getting interesting… if you like this sort of thing! Meet the Windblown Square block. Number 23 from issue 25, The Art of Quilting.

It required all of the techniques that have been employed in the previous blocks. Diamonds were sewn along each edge of the Brighton Pavilion square, then the small green gingham triangles were inset in between the red diamonds to make a square. The remaining large triangles were joined in pairs and then sewn to the outside edges of the block to make a larger square… simples! Or not… if you try and rush it.

I completely forgot that I had previously cut these pieces out, so all I had to do was whip them up. But as the old saying goes, more haste, less speed. Indeed! I sewed the outer pairs the wrong way round which resulted in the gingham pieces sitting together. I thought I might get away with it but it would have been a forever niggle. So I unpicked, albeit sulkily!

windblown square quilt block wrong

Apart from concentrating to make sure all the right pieces are sewn on the right way, you also need to be so accurate and consistent with those seams. One wayward line of stitching and it all goes belly up!

Block Facts:

Name: Windblown Square or Star.
History: Also known as Balkan Puzzle. Nancy Cabot recorded this name in the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s. Thought to reflect the complex politics of Eastern Europe in the early 20th century.
Level: Straightforward to assemble but accuracy with set in seams is a must.
No. of pieces: 17

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel
Block 20: Whirligig
Block 21: Old Maid’s Puzzle
Block 22: Whirlwind Square
Block 23: Windblown Square

Whirlwind Square quilt block

whirlwind square quilt block

Happy new year all! And boy am I glad to be back. Not that I’ve actually been anywhere. Just glad to be back in my sewing seat after a whole week of being struck down by a virus. All those sewing plans… all that time off… I really didn’t account for being totally useless for all that time. I have to say, my mojo is still not motoring as normal but I’m getting there. And this was the perfect little project to ease me back in gently.

This quilt block is called the Whirlwind Square, a variation of the whirlwind block I did here. It is block number 22 from issue 24 ‘Art of Quilting’

In a nutshell: The small white triangles are paired with the tapered rectangles to make 4 triangles. All four of those triangles are seamed to make the central pinwheel (the final seam being pressed open). Then the blue polka dot triangles are sewn to each edge to frame the central block.

No major issues in making this little fellow up. A simple operation but great practice for making sure those points line up.

Block Facts:

Name: Whirlwind Square
History: Traditionally found on mid-19th century quilts
Level: Some experience needed to ensure that seams and points meet accurately.
No. of pieces: 12

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel
Block 20: Whirligig
Block 21: Old Maid’s Puzzle
Block 22: Whirlwind Square

Old Maid’s Puzzle quilt block

Old Maids Puzzle Quilt Block

This quilt block is called Old Maid’s Puzzle, though also more recently known as the Bachelorette. It is block number 21 from issue 23 ‘Art of Quilting’

This is the first of my blocks, so far that incorporate a classic ‘bow’ effect, formed by the points of paired triangles touching centrally.

Though there are lots of pieces, there are no inset seams and so it was pretty straightforward. The only problem I encountered was the triangle points being drawn down into the feed dog a couple of times. I have had this issue before. Not sure how to stop it happening but it seems to happen most if I reinforce the stitch at the beginning. It kind of gets chewed up.

In a nutshell: the pink dotty and white triangles are joined along their diagonals, as are the pomegranate and lime gingham triangles. They are ‘chained’ to make 6  squares. After clipping apart they are given a good pressing. The white squares are seamed alongside the pink dotty sides of the made up squares. Then the rectangles are paired to make ‘bows’. The remaining white triangle pieces are sewn to the pomegranate and lime gingham squares to form a larger triangle and then this triangle is seamed to the larger green paisley triangle. Finally the 4 larger blocks are joined together and the final central seam pressed open.

As with most of the blocks, I’m sure they will work much better when they are in position but I do think this one is one of the more interesting ones. A bit wonky on the edges but I’m sure I can cheat that when I come to do the edging!

Block Facts:

Name: Old Maid’s Puzzle or Bachelorette
History: This block features in 19th century Amish quilts
Level: Some experience needed to create neat joins where the triangles meet
No. of pieces: 22

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel
Block 20: Whirligig
Block 21: Old Maid’s Puzzle

Whirligig quilt block

whirligig quilt block

I have been seriously neglecting my quilt blocks of late. Am more behind than ever but heyho… I will have a lovely quilt on my bed one day. Just not some day soon!

Introducing the Whirligig block, number 20 from issue 22 ‘Art of Quilting’. Though issue 21 supplies the batting and instructions on how to join the first 6 blocks, I feel the need to get a few more blocks underway first.

Inset seams are second nature now. Not so daunting any more. Which is lucky because there are a few involved here!

The ‘orange blossom’ triangles are first sewn to the gingham pieces. Important to mark the 6mm seam allowance on the triangles before making the first seam. Then you know at what point to stop, where the seams meet. The ‘red daisy’ pieces are then joined to the triangles and then the final seam to the blue gingham completes a quarter of the main block. Once they have been arranged in position, the bottom two quarters are seamed together and then the top two. They can be chained and then snipped apart. Finally the two halves are joined together and the centre seam pressed open with the ‘toe’ of the iron.

I have to say this is my least favourite block so far. I think its the fabric colours. They create such a clumsy shape. I did consider selecting different fabrics but I wanted it to be consistent with the rest. The design is meant to be characteristic of the propeller look but it is very interesting how the design changes with use of pretty vintage pastels with more contrasting triangles, which seem to draw the eye more to the centre pinwheel.

whirligig block in pastel colours

Block Facts:

Name: Whirligig
History: The combination of printed fabric and gingham is very typical of the feedsack quilts of the 1930s.
Level: Some experience needed to create neat set-in seams
No. of pieces: 16

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel
Block 20: Whirligig

Diamond Pinwheel quilt block

diamond pinwheel quilt block

Ooo… get me with my two posts in a day! I didn’t actually make them both this morning, I hasten to add! 

This is the Diamond Pinwheel block, number 19 from issue 20 ‘Art of Quilting’. Joining triangles to make a square is one of the first lessons in patchwork and a great way to use up tiny scraps. The central pinwheel is best achieved with contrasting colours such as the red and the white used here, and if you swap the position of dark and light pieces, the pinwheel will appear to rotate in the opposite direction.

Again, not particularly complicated but perhaps a little more time consuming owing to more pieces and pressing in between. Oh and of course the dreaded matching of all those points! The central seam is pressed open to help it to lie flat.

Block Facts:

Name: Diamond Pinwheel
History: This design has been seen on quilts dating back to the late 1700s, though it would not have been named until much later.
Level: Some experience needed to match the triangle points neatly
No. of pieces: 24

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel