Author: Carolyn Gibbs

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Hexagons are the easiest shape to use for patchwork using the English Paper Piecing (or mosaic patchwork) method. There are many ways hexagons can be combined into different patterns, but the most common is the double rosette set into a background path, known as “Grandmother’s Flower Garden”. As shown here, one hexagon at the centre…

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Wholecloth quilts have no patchwork – they just rely on the beauty of their elaborate quilting patterns. There are several included in the current exhibition of North Country Quilts at the Bowes Museum in County Durham, which I would thoroughly recommend if you can arrange to go in the remaining months of 2021. The quilt…

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The North Country Quilts exhibition at the Bowes Museum on until January 2022 contains some wonderful examples of typical British styles. In the last post, I wrote about the Strippy Quilts. Today the topic is the Patchwork Quilts. I’m going to start with a coverlet made by a 14 year old girl, Isabella Peacock in…

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Currently, there is a wonderful exhibition of Heritage quilts on display at the Bowes Museum, which is near Barnard Castle. These are all British quilts made in the North East of England from the mid nineteenth century onwards. If you think that all traditional quilts are made from blocks, you may be in for a…

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Square-in-a-Square are nice little units, which can add some variety to the blocks that you can make. This is the fourth instalment of my Skilful Skyful series, and will share with you all the tips and tricks to make and use Square in a Square units. Its easy to see how these little units got…

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I’m going to share all the tips and tricks for making and using Flying Geese units in this, the third instalment of my Skilful Skyful series. Finished Flying Geese unit These little units crop up in lots of blocks, and also in borders. They have a large triangle flanked by two smaller triangles, and always…

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Tilly took one last look around the cottage from the doorway. Almost all the possessions and furniture that she had grown up with had been sold to pay the debts which had built up during her mother’s last illness, leaving only bare floors and a cold fireplace. Picking up the bundle and the basket containing…

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Do you like to decorate your home for Christmas?  Each year we look for something different to decorate. How about making an unusual project which also has a practical use – it holds Christmas cards! This short video shows how it is used (give it a few seconds to get started – this was one…

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Historically, much of what we think of as “traditional patchwork” has its origins in the USA. Their “block” style is not really found in British patchwork quilts apart from a few designs such as the basket, which became popular in late Victorian times. This example comes from Cumbria. It was only with the American inspired…

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After learning how to make and use half-square triangles in the first instalment of this series, in this blogpost, we will move onwards, discovering how to make quarter square triangles. As usual, this will be illustrated by two traditional blocks: Ohio Star (an easy one well known to many of you already) and Silent Star,…

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This is the first of a series of eight blogs which will teach you different techniques used in traditional American block patchwork. Each section will include full, free instructions for two Star blocks using the technique; one easy and one more difficult, so that you can practice and develop the skills. You could use these…

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I collect antique quilts, mostly from EBay, and some of them arrive showing plenty of evidence of a hard life. If they are in good condition structurally, but very dirty, I usually wash them. People often ask me how I do this, so I though that I would share the process with you. Basically, I…