Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 23, 24 and 25/121

Plodding along with the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini.

First up, an easy one called Cornerstone. This is the first block on the third row.

C-1 Cornerstone

Next is Cotton Boll (funny name). Another quick one to make. I think it has lots of secondary pattern possibilities for a one block quilt with different colour placements. Must try it some time.

C-2 Cotton Boll

The last one was a bit more tricky but very enjoyable to make. I quite like two colour blacks. This is called Crosses and Losses. Again, loads of pattern possibilities for using lots of these in one quilt.

C-3 Crosses and Losses

Here’s the virtual quilt so far. The other blocks are shown in previous posts.

LUS 25 BlocksWe’re snowed in here. The main road near us is closed to traffic and there are several abandoned cars along the route. British weather, eh? Oh well, I’ll just have to sew 😉


Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 20, 21 and 22/121

Hurray! That’s the first two rows finished.

This one is called Combination Star.

B-9 Combination Star

Next up is Connecticut.

B-10 Connecticut (My version)This is actually my own adaptation of the original block design in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini which shows all 12 pieces meeting at the centre. I suspect the Moda fabric I’m using is just too thick to work with this block. I had several attempts which seemed to be getting progressively worse in appearance. All went well every time until the final seam and then there was nowhere for all the bulk to go. I tried spiralling the seams, opening them and also pressing to one side but that final seam just didn’t want to play and knocked everything gonky. I even trimmed the seams with no luck. If I’d been working with prints it would have probably been OK but these solids are so unforgiving. Hence, the final solution after discussion with Claire was to piece the centre in 4 instead of 12 and it’s worked really well.

I was initially approaching this project as a purist. I’m usually more than happy to change designs and patterns to my liking but I’d set out to follow this one to the letter and I found it so hard to “give in”. Anyway, after looking at several of the other blocks that are still left to do, I found a couple with appliqué and I definitely have no intention of doing appliqué blocks for this quilt. Once I’d made that decision it was easy to change Connecticut.

Finally, to complete the second row, is a block called Constance’s Pride. You can see the virtual quilt so far to the right of the screen.
B-11 Constance's Pride

Do you ever change designs? Maybe use patterns just as inspiration and then go off on a tangent? I suppose if we do change things it means our projects will be unique.

Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 18 and 19/121.

I’ve been away from the land of blogs for quite a while, except for my three weekly posts at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m not going to make any excuses because I don’t have any, other than that my spare time was precious and I chose to craft rather than blog. That doesn’t mean I’ve been a crafting Ninja while I’ve been absent but I have made a few things during the last year which I’ll show you now and again if I don’t decide to disappear back into my crafting cave. Yes, it’s over a year since I posted here. My friend Claire has been going on and on at me encouraging me to write some posts so I promised to dip my toes back in again and see how it goes. Claire has been sending me lists of things I’ve made that I could show and write about here, some of which I’d forgotten and others that I hadn’t even bothered to take photos of before they were gifted. She’s even sent me some photos that I’d originally sent her via email in case I needed to use them here. Where would I be without her?

During the last couple of weeks I’ve put on a bit of a spurt with The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. The last time I worked on these dinky 6 inch blocks was in November 2016 so this project was well overdue some of my attention (notice a theme here?).

Anyway, here’s Christmas Star which has a white background in real life and not pale blue. Electric light does my photography no favours. I gave up counting how many pieces it has. Too many for a tiny block but I enjoyed making it.

B-7 Christmas Star

This is Coffee Mill. I like how it rotates but that isn’t what caused the blurring!

B-8 Coffee Mill I’ve updated the virtual quilt and I’m pretty determined to make some headway on this project now so watch this space. It would be nice to get the second row completed wouldn’t it?

LUS 19 Blocks I hope you’re enjoying a crafting weekend.


Loyal Union Sampler Block 17/121

Just one block to show today. This one is called Charlie Stokey’s Star and I really enjoyed making it. Charlie Stokey's StarHere’s what the virtual quilt looks like so far.LUS 17 blocksThe blocks all finish at six inches square and details can be found in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini. I hope you’ve had time to craft today.


Loyal Union Sampler Block 16/121

Good afternoon everyone,

Not a lot of progress to share on the sampler this week. I made the nine square in a square blocks the other day and then just looked at the pieces on my mat and walked away several times. Sometimes I just know it isn’t going to be successful so I go off and do something else. Today, the bits went together like a dream. It was worth waiting until I could give it my best shot.

Anyway, this one is called Chambersburg from the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini. It’s got forty five dinky pieces and finishes at six inches square. I’ll definitely make this block again in a larger format. There’s so much that could be done with colour placement to make secondary patterns.

Chambersburg Here’s where I’m at now.

LUS 16 Blocks

It’s back to Y-seams for the next two blocks. I promise not to whinge!


The Loyal Union Sampler Block 12/121 (Part 1)

Good evening everyone,

Can you believe it’s eight months today since I last worked on the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini? In my last post about this quilt on 29th February, showing block 11, there were 56 teeny weeny pieces of fabric sewn together to make a six inch finished block. You can see it by clicking here. Today, I set myself a different kind of challenge. Three hours later…

California (part)

I can hear you giggling! This might not look like much progress in three hours to you but it was a huge challenge for me. I now know why this project got put to one side for so long. The next few blocks all have Y-seams which have tested my patience almost to the limit in the past. I had to sew the white patch on several times and take it back off again but I’m now very happy with it. I know Y-seams are so much easier to do by hand and, I suspect this sampler is supposed to be sewn that way, but that’s part of the challenge isn’t it? I will not be beaten!! If it’s virtually impossible to do a three quarter inch long Y-seam on a machine, why not give it a go? Success is so much sweeter when the challenge is tougher 😉

If I can muster more patience tomorrow, I might be able to show block 12 at the left hand end of the second row. There’s still such a long way to go. What tries your patience the most?

LUS 11 Blocks


An Unbirthday Finish

You may remember, way back in August last year, that I began making some green saw tooth star blocks with an unbirthday present from my lovely friend Claire. She sent me some fabric pieces, all slightly larger than 10 inches square as a surprise gift. I chopped each of them into four 5 inch squares and set to work.

IMG_20150726_122402028I had enough to make 25 stars.

IMG_20150727_113114115They looked lovely all laid out together and I rearranged them over and over again to get the best distribution of colours. The next photos were taken in very poor light.

IMG_20151127_183020850Then I had a brainwave… What if I added some Irish chain blocks? I had some coordinating solids that would look nice and then I’d have a much bigger quilt.

IMG_20160426_154551256When sewing them together, it’s a good idea to pay attention or you might make a mistake like I did. OOPS!

IMG_20160430_143806881Thankfully it wasn’t too difficult to put right. Now, after quilting and binding, I have a lovely happy dance to share 🙂IMG_20160625_162659I was quite shocked to look back through my posts and find that I’d originally received these fabrics last August. It’s taken almost a year to get them all sewn up. Better late than never.

IMG_20160625_162317955Thank you so much again Claire. I couldn’t have made this without your very kind unbirthday gift. I hope you like what I made 🙂


A lovely surprise!

Isn’t it wonderful when a surprise package drops through the letterbox? It’s even better when that package contains something as gorgeous as this.


It’s a mini quilt, sent to me by my great friend Jule from Germany. Jule writes a fantastic blog called Beyond the Boudoir. I can’t thank her enough for taking the time to make something so beautiful for me.

IMG_20160625_163310360 I love moving it around and looking at it from different angles.

IMG_20160625_163329414 The fabric is folded and sewn along the raw edges, giving a 3D effect. Piecing perfection! I must try it myself. Thank you so much Jule 🙂


Doctor Who’s Tardis

Hello everyone,

I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’m not able to spend much time at the sewing machine or the laptop at the moment so I’ve been concentrating on hand sewing which you can see on my other blog. It’s so much easier to pick up and put down a hand stitched project when you only have a few odd minutes to spare here and there.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was browsing the internet for inspiration for future projects, as you do, and I found this free pattern. I’m not a particular fan of Doctor Who but one of my friends enjoys the programme and I was looking for a small project to keep me out of trouble. So, I made my own version of the pattern and this is how it turned out.


I had wanted to make a mug rug initially but it sort of grew into a mini quilt, suitable for a wall-hanging or table topper or whatever my friend decides to do with it. I added some personal touches by embroidering the white text onto black evenweave and also printed the door notice and the St. John Ambulance logo onto fabric before the final piecing took place. Here’s a close up.

IMG_20160407_132135903 I finished off with some blue metallic thread window panes and door details. You may notice the mistake in the text on the door. Well, technically it isn’t a mistake. I found out all sorts of information about the various versions of the tardis from here. You will see that the words I’ve used did actually appear on one version of the tardis prop.

Anyway, I had lots of fun making this and my friend is really happy with it too. That makes me smile 🙂



Another Happy Dance

Hi everyone,

Ta-daaaaa! Here are some photos of my finished quilt which I promised to share with you the other day. I hope you like it.

f2f Finished

If you visit and read this blog regularly you will know that I’ve been participating in a block swap with eleven other ladies who live all over the world. The swap, called Foot Square Freestyle, was organised by Kate and Sue. We were asked to choose a colour scheme for the blocks we’d like to receive and I chose bright blues and purples.

My original plan was to set the blocks on point but the quilt would have been way too big. My finished quilt has turned out to be a very usable 82 inches square. I tried to achieve a stained glass window appearance by adding the thin black sashing and broad frame. I’m really happy with the overall effect.

The backing is a rich purple print and the quilting is simple, so as not to obliterate the strong lines of the blocks. I wanted this quilt to be squishy and snuggly because it is going to be used.

Backing f2f

Here are a few photos showing each quadrant.

Quadrant 1 f2f

Quadrant 2 f2f

Quadrant 3 f2f

Quadrant 4 f2f

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers, Kate and Sue, and all of the other ladies who sent me these beautiful blocks. I couldn’t have made this without you. It has been so much fun to be part of this group. I’ve already made my final blocks to send all the way to Australia, so apart from tidying up a few loose ends on my own quilt, that’s me done. I look forward to seeing all of the other F2F quilts as they appear in the gallery during the coming months.

Come on ladies, if you’ve received all of your blocks, make a run for the finish line. It feels so good to be Happy Dancing again 🙂

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