Do you find inspiration sometimes happens when you’re least expecting it? Like when ironing or washing up – yes me also 🙂 …. Doing the washing up, the other lunchtime I noticed this lovely, kind of twinkly motif, on one of Mum’s Pyrex serving dishes – a wedding present from the early 1960’s.
It really got me thinking of picking up needle and thread again, now that Mum’s condition is improving and chemotherapy is going smoothly.
Over the past few months I’ve been following the lovely Quilt and Shine quilt-along over on Michelle’s CreativeBlonde blog and Instagram – it’s been really lovely seeing blocks being made. I’m ever so behind schedule though, making both Michelle’s blocks and the Bonus blocks I promised for the quilt-along – so this little motif seemed a good place to begin again.
The little motif can be made either by hand (Freezer paper applique), shown above or machine (Fusible machine applique), which gives a lovely quick and easy finish.
Use together with the corners settings for either the 8 triangle corner setting (shown left), that Michelle’s using in her beautiful quilt, over on CreativeBlonde blog. Or the “Low cal” 4 triangle corner version (shown right).
On the sea-shore, there are many precious things, just waiting to be found – sea-glass in pretty blues and greens, pearly shells, and shimmering rock-pools offering a glimpse into places where seahorses swim. Let’s go explore x
Block 4 – Beachcomber combines sea-glass colours, fussy cut limpets, and fusible applique shells. Other templates include seahorse and starfish.
Use a couple or all the templates to make your rock-pool. To complete sew a few sea-horse spines, dot a few French knots for sand grains, and a scattering of pearly buttons.
Block 4 works equally well, with the gorgeous 8 corner triangle pattern Michelle is using over on CreativeBlonde blog. Pictures of the block made in the 8 triangle format are also included in the PDF instructions, as well as the “Low cal” version pictured here.
The materials used to make the block really remind me of the little limpet shells you find in rockpools or barnacles on sea shells. There’s some really pretty shell pink and sea-glass coloured prints in Brigitte Heitland’s Day in Paris quilting cottons…
Tutorial includes option of both fusible machine applique and needleturn to make the seahorse, starfish and limpets…
Or if you prefer needleturn …
There’s also an option to try, an interfacing applique technique for the clam shell, it’s very quick and easy, and ideal for rounded shapes.
To complete your shells, use the shell stencil together with Bondaweb, to make an overlay stitched onto the clam shell….
We’d love to see the things you make from our free patterns, so please share on social media using hashtag #Quiltandshine, so we pick up on them.
So let’s reach for the rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat….
If using a Layer cake or Fat Eighth bundle:
Cut 32 rectangles measuring 8″ x 4″ from some of the colourful fabrics.
Then with right side up, slice each rectangle diagonally from bottom left, to top right (see pic).It’s really important to slice all the rectangles this way, so they make the star shape, when joined up.
Repeat until you have 64 triangles. You’ll need just 4 pieces per block, reserve the remaining pieces to make your “low cal” block as you go, throughout the year.
From your background fabric, cut 16 – 12″ x 12″ squares
Place background square right side up, with the four corner triangles next to the corners of your 12″ square, (see pic below), this really helped in the next step….
At each corner measure 6″ along the edge to the right, and mark a dot.
At each corner measure 3″ along the edge to the left, and mark another dot.
Next, using an erasable pen, draw a line to join the dots as shown (see pic above)
Now you have a guide as to where to position your triangles 🙂
Place triangles right side down, so the longest edge just touches the diagonal line marked in pen.
Pin each triangle in position, there should be an even amount of point, either end.
Using a 1/4 ” inch seam allowance, sew the triangles along the longest edge.
Flip triangles over, your’re almost there!
Press lightly – It’s a good idea to use a pressing cloth with a hot iron, to protect the little metallic touches.
To complete, trim to 12″ square – remember to save trimmings, they will come in useful in future block 😉
It’s very nearly complete, just quilting on the border, the binding and label to sew on 🙂 – I have really loved making this quilt, so many lovely stories bound up in it, both in terms of the things which inspired it, and the lovely friendships formed throughout the course of our year long quilt-along. I’ve especially loved seeing your Sweetest Things Sampler quilts grow 💛 and how sweet this past year has been! So many stories come to mind – where to begin?
Key to this quilts story is the lovely sewing community which has grown round it, as without you, and you’re being part of it, there would’t be a quilt-along.
Over the past year my heart has skipped several beats seeing the stunning Sweetest Things Sampler blocks and quilts online friends have been making in places I can only dream of visiting one day – Australia to Alaska, and lots of places in between!
Our shared #SweetestThingsSampler page fetches together the beautiful quilts we’ve been busy making – it’s a real pleasure to see your quilts growing, and friendships forming on the way – doesn’t the internet make the whole wide world a much more reachable place!
As well as our lovely online friends, four legged and feathered friends are very much part of our Samplers too. Block 4 – Nest is inspired by our little feathered friends’ who put so much care and effort into nest building, weaving twigs, moss, and feathers together, just like the loving care which goes into making our quilts….
One of the most precious parts of the Samplers story is how much makers have helped, inspired and encouraged each other. It’s been a very strong thread running throughout our year long quilt-along.
Both myself and Michelle at CreativeBlonde designed six Sampler blocks each, for the Sweetest Things Sampler. Having Michelle along to co-host, as well as design and prepare tutorials for six beautiful blocks made the world of difference to me, and our quilt-along – a huge, huge thanks to Michelle from CreativeBlonde blog 💛
I thoroughly enjoyed each of the blocks and Michelle’s January block, the 12th Sampler in our sew-along with it’s lovely little sewing machine, and cotton reels (that seem to me, to be doing a joyful jig) really is the essence of “sewing a little happiness.” 🙂
And how, even in the depths of winter, you can still find those little moments of wonder. It might be the bright winter sunshine, shimmering snow, the shy doe in the woods, or perhaps the little snow globe which shimmers when shaken….
Going back to the very beginning, when the quilt-along was just a twinkle in the eye – a certain day in the height of summer, sitting quietly and listening to the little bees busily buzzing and thinking how lovely it would be to make a quilt, have a quilt-along.
It’s over a year and a half since that light-bulb moment – seeing the quilts makers have made, is for me the sweetest thing, seeing them pop up online is an absolute joy, brightening up the days. Thank you so much for following, it’s really truly lovely to have you along.