Monday, 21 May 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 12 - Schoolhouse

Block 12 - Schoolhouse
We are going back to school for this week’s sew-along block – the Schoolhouse.

This block is available as an individual block pattern providing both instructions for the 6” block found in the book and a larger 12” block. 
The Schoolhouse Block Pattern
Just $1.99

The Schoolhouse block looks difficult but it really isn’t – the only tricky bits are the flying geese ‘pitched’ roofs above the bell tower and above the door. But a flying geese unit is just two quick corners which we  first met with the Watermelon block.

Geometric prints make up the Math Schoolhouse

Making the flying geese isn’t hard but you need to pay attention when stitching the roof onto the house so that you don’t lose the point of the pitched roof.  
Pitching the roof
The best way to do this is to place the two sections right sides together with the the bottom part of the house on top.  This will help you see where the point of the pitched roof is. (Try it and you’ll see what I mean).

So pull out those fun fabrics and have a play around - you can use any building materials you like - from checks to florals to plains. 
And don’t forget to share your blocks with us on Instagram (#block12schoolhouse) and in the Flickr Group. 

Until next time .....

Monday, 14 May 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 11 - Buttons and Spools

This week’s block from the Patchsmith’s Sampler pattern book is the Block 11 – “Buttons and Spools”.  It looks a little unbalanced when made due to the seam allowances but don't worry - once it is stitched into a project or quilt it will look perfect.

I would rate this block as 'difficult' and suitable for experienced patchers as you are dealing with small pieces of fabric.  However, if you are new to patchwork I have two larger blocks to share with you - either of which can be used in place of the trickier Block 11.

If  ‘Spools’ are your thing then you can substitute a Large Spool Block for Block 11.
Large Spools are easier and you can have fun with the thread section

To make a Large Spool block you will need to cut the pattern pieces as follows:
A – Two 6½” x 2” rectangles (spool fabric)
B – One 3½” square (thread fabric)
C – Two 2 x 3½” background rectangles
D – Four 2” background squares.

You can add an extra touch by constructing the thread square (piece B) from three 3½” x 1½” strips of fabric as I did for the large yellow spool.
Create a fun three-thread middle for the Large Spool Block

Or you could go one step further and stitch six 3½” x 1” strips together to create a more detailed thread square (piece B).
It really is quite simple to add interest to the Large Spool block.

Whichever thread option you choose, just follow the ‘Spool Block’ instructions for Block 11 and you should end up with a Large Spool block measuring 6½” square. 

When it comes to the ‘Buttons’ for Block 11 you will find that the construction is made a tad easier using my stitch-and-slice method for making the buttonholes.  Even so, the small buttonholes finish at just ¼” each.  
Those small buttonholes measure just ¼” each!

So if you are new to patchwork or your ¼” seams are not quite there yet I would recommend making a Large Button Block instead. 

To make the Large Button Block you will need to cut your pieces as follows:
E – Two 1¼” x 2½” black (buttonhole) rectangles
F – Two 1” x 2½” rectangles (button fabric)
G – Two 2½” squares (button fabric)
H – Two 6½” x 2½” rectangles (button fabric)
J –  Four 2¼” background squares.   

Follow step 4 of the pattern to create a buttonhole unit measuring 2½” square.  Cut this unit in half to create two buttonhole units each measuring 1¼” x 2½”.  Follow step 5 to create the middle buttonhole section measuring 2½” square.  
The 'large' buttonhole unit should measure 2½" square
Continue with the pattern to make a Large Button Block which measures 6½" square once step 8 is completed.

And as an extra bonus if you make two Large Spool and two Large Button blocks.....
Four Large Blocks come together can stitch them together to create one big 12" (finished size) Buttons and Spools block.  Now that really is an awful lot of fun to be had from one little block pattern.
A 12" Buttons and Spools Block.
You can find all the blocks from the book HERE or by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.  

UntiI next time I look forward to seeing your blocks on Instagram (block11buttonsandspools) or in the Flickr Group.  

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Adding to The Patchsmith's Sampler Pattern Book

Block 49 - Tea Time

I have updated the PDF version of The Patchsmith's Sampler Pattern book to include a template for adding steam spirals to Block 49 – Tea-time.  Adding steam is optional but  you can find the template on page 67 of the pattern book. 
A template has been added for Steam Spirals

I have also made a few small amendments to the PDF version of the pattern book.  You can find full details of the amendments HERE or download a printable PDF copy.  These changes only apply to purchases made before 14th May 2018 and there is no need to reprint the book as the changes are very small and can be noted on the relevant patterns. 

Thank you for your encouragement and enthusiasm for this book and the sew-along - it is a lot of fun.  If you want to see all the blocks included in the book just click on the 'Patchsmith Sampler Blocks' tab above.