Author: Chris Franses

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I’m trying not to write a book here, but it is difficult as my head is buzzing with ideas. So, this time we’ll look at using blocks – traditional blocks, altered blocks and your own designs. Using traditional blocks is where we all start when designing a quilt and, having chosen our block we then…

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Oct 4

Mug Rug

A what? A mug rug is another name for a coaster – although I keep getting muddled and calling them rug mugs. Whatever . . . this one is really easy to make, involves minimal sewing and can be turned into a  tree decoration if you don’t fancy the idea of a mug rug. Or…

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Having looked at designing our own blocks it is time to design our own quilts. Before you even start your design you need the answers to a few questions. Where is the quilt going? Who is the quilt for? Are there any time constraints? Do I enjoy making something intricate or do I get bored…

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Earlier this year my brother, a widower, announced he had ‘met someone’. Not only that but they were getting married the next month. Cue much family panic – insufficient time to buy an ‘outfit’; how grand a wedding, do we need a hat? Most of this panic was from our little sister and the more…

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Last time I muttered in passing about designing ‘blocks’ using hexagons and diamonds and decided to leave them to one side as I am not a hand-piecer. However, my good friend and partner in quilting crime, Barbara Chainey (the other half of ChrisandBarbaraquilts) is a hand-piecer and has often asked me to use EQ to…

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. . . . Stunning Quilts – the title of Stuart Hillards’s new book says it all. The five main chapters each take a simple shape (or combination of those shapes) to make twenty very different blocks and quilts. Whether you are a beginner or just looking for new ideas and inspiration you will find…

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Strippy quilts have been around for a long time and are essentially wide(ish) long strips of fabric joined lengthwise to make a quilt top, in other words they were quick and easy to make. They could also be quilted easily in a quilt frame – just start at one end of the strip nearest to…

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Last month we looked at designing your own blocks by taking a traditional block and adding or subtracting a few lines. This month we will look at drawing what you might call ‘skewed’ blocks using graph paper with a different (not square) grid as well as just drawing a few random lines across a square,…

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Actually I did kind of know I possessed it, I just hadn’t seen it since I moved some years ago and couldn’t think what I might have done with it. Several of my old quilts went to Barbara Chainey for safekeeping but I knew I hadn’t handed this one over. During the Christmas holidays my…

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The simplest way to design your own block is to take a traditional block and add or subtract a few lines. The Ohio Star block for instance can be changed into Swamp Angel by turning the corner squares into half-square triangles. But you could turn those triangles around. Or put a small simple block in…

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Sampler quilts are a great way to learn a lot of different techniques and still end up with something useful rather than a random collection of blocks stuffed in a drawer (or a folder with notes if you are truly organised). Over the years a great many books have been published about making sampler quilts…

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That moment when you are pressing a quilt top – from the back – removing stray threads and preparing to layer it up for quilting . . . and you find a seam that is hanging on by a few threads. What to do? There’s no way you can re-stitch it without distorting that part…