Snowball Flower Block tutorial and a Peanuts Finish

You might like to sit down and take a few deep breaths as I am announcing another finished project :-O I know! That’s three in three weeks! But don’t worry, normal slow progress will be resumed very shortly!

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished front by Allison Reid

The finish I’m sharing is this very cute cot quilt commissioned by a friend for her Granddaughter’s first birthday. My friend found the cotton pillow cover with the Snoopy picture on the front and the saying, ‘Sleeping is an art’ printed on the back. The rest was up to me πŸ™‚ I just happened to have some scraps of the text print ‘Friendship’ backing fabric lying around. It looked so good with the Peanuts cartoon style and as friendship is a key theme running through Schulz’s little world the fabric seemed the perfect choice for the background of the patchwork blocks. Fortunately the bolt was still available at Purple Stitches so I bought another metre to use for the backing of the cot quilt too πŸ™‚

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished back by Allison Reid

Snoopy Baby Quilt flower fabrics by Allison ReidIt took me a little while to plan the quilt. Obviously the Snoopy picture needed to be the centre panel. I thought bright cartoon-like flowers would make a good border for a girls quilt. I hope the blocks look like flowers? With the help of my daughter we chose fabrics with bold colours that worked well with the bright red of Snoopy’s dog house roof. These are mainly 1930’s repro fabrics with ditsy patterns.

I spent some time with squared paper, pencil and eraser figuring out block design and size. It was a bit tricky trying to stretch the design into a rectangle (I guess it’s no surprise that patchwork blocks readily create square quilt tops but often need a bit of persuading to arrange themselves into a bed sized rectangle?). The most suitable finished block size was six inches. I cut the Snoopy panel down to 22″ by 18″ and spaced the two styles of flower blocks (Snowball and Eight-Point Star) around it using 2″ borders and either 1″ or 2″ sashing strips.

Snoopy Baby Quilt test snowball block by Allison ReidThe ‘Snowball Flower’ blocks are each made of four Snowball units. I made a test block as I have a history of issues with distorting Snowball corners. The test block is by no means perfect but it did help me to develop strategies to improve accuracy:

  1. Draw the diagonal stitching lines on the little corner squares with a very fine marker pen rather than an ordinary pencil.
  2. Switch from a general needle plate on my machine to a single-hole needle plate. I found the machine needle was pushing the fabrics down into the machine at the start of the stitching line causing them to get a bit ‘chewed’ and the stitching line to shift away from the central diagonal I was aiming for. This didn’t happen when the single-hole needle plate was used. Single hole needle plate by Allison Reid
  3. I could have starched the fabrics to further reduce distortion but I was reluctant to do this as I wasn’t planning to wash the quilt before handing it on to my friend.

Having figured out these strategies to improve accuracy I thought I’d share them with you and also write a Snowball Flower Block pattern that you are welcome to download and use.

Here is the link to the Snowball Flower block instructions: Snowball Flower Block instructions pdf – Sept 2019

To complete the quilt I pieced the back and used Quilters Dream Green wadding (I really like the smooth texture of this polyester wadding made from recycled plastic bottles). I machine quilted in the ditch around the Snowball Flower blocks, echoed quilted the Star Flowers and then used black thread to follow the outline of Snoopy and his roof. I finished with a bit of free-motion meandering in the white background surrounding Snoopy. Finally I machine stitched a double binding around the quilt.

Snoopy Baby Quilt Snowball Flower, binding and Backing by Allison Reid

I really enjoyed designing and making this bold and bright quilt. I hope it proves a long-term winner with it’s young recipient and her family.

Linking with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and with Sarah for Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Michelle is swooning and Sarah is making a waddle of penguins πŸ™‚

Allison

NOT Saturday but Tuesday Quilting Bring and Share (69)

After a very enjoyable weekend with family I’ve been in two minds about publishing this post as a ‘Quilting Bring & Share’ or just starting over with a blank screen. But here we are…. It’s Tuesday, it’s very hot and I will be basing this post on the links I collected last week πŸ™‚ So, welcome to Saturday Tuesday Quilting Bring & Share! Do bring along your projects and share in quilty conversations using the links in the second half of this post.

Read moreNOT Saturday but Tuesday Quilting Bring and Share (69)

Touring Quilter – Beverley, AND a New Quilt Along

First of all the Quilt Along: I’m signed up to do the Jelly Roll Waves QAL with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts. This week we have the opportunity to share our fabric choices in the link up. I’m hoping to achieve an ombreΒ΄ effect across my version of the quilt. I bought these Moda solid fat quarters at the Sandown quilt show hoping the range of colour value is broad enough to create the effect I have in mind. I’m having doubts about the coral contrast fabric though…

Jelly Roll Waves fabrics by Allison Reid

Now, stepping back a few weeks: During our holiday in Yorkshire we visited the Minster town of Beverley. Inside Beverley Minister itself and the parish Church, St Mary’s, there was plenty to grab the attention of a patchwork quilter both in the patterns of the floor tiles and in the needlework on display. The skies were very grey that day so I struggled to take many photos worthy of posting but I hope you will bear with the rather grainy images and maybe find some patchwork inspiration πŸ™‚

Beverley Minster nave by Allison Reid
The vaulted nave of Beverley Minster.

(Followers of the TV series ‘Victoria’ might recognise this view as filming of the coronation scene took place here rather than in Westminster Abbey).

Beverley Minster Victoria by Allison Reid

Beverley Minster floor tiles (2) by Allison Reid

An interesting patchwork pattern πŸ˜‰

The founder of the original church on the site of the present day Minster was Bishop John. He died in the year 721 (that really is the year seven hundred and twenty one AD) and his remains are buried beneath the Minster. Miracles were attributed to him and gained him the status of a Saint. Recently embroiderers at a local College set about recording episodes from St John’s life in a 90ft long series of hand stitched pictures.

Beverley Minster embroidery notice by Allison Reid

Beverley Minster St John embroidery by Allison Reid

Beverley Minster St John embroidery close up by Allison ReidAfter an enjoyable walk around Beverley Minister we moved on through the town to the large and ancient parish church of St Mary’s Beverley… Floor tiles much in evidence here too…

Beverley St Mary's floor tiles by Allison Reid

Nearby was a modern felt applique wall hanging that had obviously used the floor tiles as inspiration.

Beverley St Mary's wall hanging by Allison Reid

The Church has many Medieval stone and wooden carvings. I was particularly struck by this carving of an elephant in the choir stalls. To most people of those times an elephant must have been a fantastical, mythical beast.

Beverley St Mary's carved elephant by Allison Reid

And finally a Medieval stone carving of a rabbit.

Beverley St Mary's White Rabbit by Allison Reid

Lewis Carroll (author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) visited St Mary’s, saw the carving and Bob’s-Your-Uncle the White Rabbit began running around in his imagination!

I wonder what has inspired your creativity recently?

Linking with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts for Week 1 of the Jelly Roll Waves QAL. It will be very interesting to see the fabric choices made by the other patchwork quilters taking part (and it’s not too late to join in with the QAL).

Allison

 

 

 

 

Blue Monday and the latest Just A Card campaign

The countdown to my ‘Into the Woods’ foundation paper piecing and crazy patchwork workshop is well underway. The 12th July really isn’t too far distant now so I have a build-up of nervous energy to tap into as I prepare for the big day! I’ve made a start on a monochromatic version of the Into the Woods runner. Raiding my colour sorted STASH (stash = pieces of fabric larger than a fat quarter) and my colour sorted SCRAPS (you won’t be surprised to read: scraps = pieces of fabric smaller than a fat quarter) made me realise that I have a LOT of blue fabric pieces so the colour choice was already shouting at me!

Read moreBlue Monday and the latest Just A Card campaign