28 Oct 2015

Did you know the source of these quotes?

Cain and Abel quilt block
The Cain and Abel quilt block is a five patch block, so named because it is built on a 5 x 5 grid. However, I find it much easier to construct the block as an uneven nine patch, but that is simply my preference. Many people sew five patch blocks in five rows, so this is really a choice. The block is simple because it uses only the two most common patches in quiltmaking -- the square and the half square triangle. Colour choices are what will make your quilt a different work of art.

Not Shakespeare and not clichés,

  • "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
    [Ecclesiastes 3:1]

  • "The truth shall make you free.
    [John 8:32]"

  • "Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
    [1 John 3:18]"

  • "The ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.
    [Job 34:3]"


'Cain and Abel' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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24 Oct 2015

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea ....

This song was in my head recently, so I had to create a pattern.

By the Sea quilt block © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
By the Sea quilt block
The last gasp of beautiful weather is upon many of us, as autumn tries to hold off from the first flakes of snow. So, I thought this would be a good time to have you reflect on those hot summer days ... By the Sea. I chose colours for this quilt block with blue skies, sand, surf and sunset in mind. This block is a perfect choice for a beginner quilter as it uses only the simplest of shapes in quiltmaking - the square and half square triangle.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Thoughts of summer and seas

  • For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.
    ~ Aristotle

  • Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
    ~ John Lubbock

  • The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
    ~ Jacques Cousteau

  • All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full.
    ~ King Solomon

  • I once sang "Summer Nights" from Grease at a bar in Melbourne with John Travolta, who's a good friend of mine. He looked cool singing the part of Danny - sitting in an armchair, smoking a cigar - while I got stuck playing Sandy.
    ~ Hugh Jackman

'By the Sea' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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13 Oct 2015

Geometry and Algebra and Quilts ... oh my!

Chevron Stripes quilt block c© W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Chevron Stripes quilt block
I have always been one of those nerdy types who love math. So, drawing, scaling and making quilt blocks has never been a problem for me. Go figure  ... (okay that is my little stab at humour).

I am always more intrigued by patchwork blocks rather than applique blocks simply because I like all those shapes working together. (I must add though, that I really admire those quilters who have mastered applique, since it is such an art form in itself, and one I just don't have the patience to master.)

Chevron Stripes quilt
The Chevron Stripes quilt block is one of those interesting blocks that utilizes only one geometric shape -- the half square triangle. At first glance it looks rather boring -- but that is where the fun begins. By making a bunch of these blocks and then playing with rotations of the block, you can come up with all sorts of interesting quilts. I have shown you one here and a second in the quilt block pattern to get your imagination working.

And speaking of imagination ...

  • "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
    ~ Thomas Edison

  • "Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
    ~ Oscar Wilde

  • "When forced to work within a strict framework, the imagination is taxed to its utmost and will produce its richest ideas."
    T. S. Eliot


Images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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3 Oct 2015

"Get your kicks on Route 66 ..."

My brother and his wife are currently on a once in a lifetime adventure trip in and about Arizona checking out all sorts of desert areas. Driving along a desert highway (Route 66 perhaps?) to travel around the state takes you to many fantastic sights. The most famous site in Arizona is the Grand Canyon.

Desert Highway quilt block © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Desert Highway quilt block
I was at the Grand Canyon many years ago, and remember how glorious the colours of the stone were. Depending on what time of the day you were witnessing this splendour, there are all sorts of variations of oranges and purples that just took your breath away. I think you can guess why I chose these colours for my version of the Desert Highway quilt block.

The circular focus in the centre of this block reminded me of a blazing sun looking down on the colourful rock formations. However, don't let my choice of colour scheme hinder your creativity. Whatever colours you choose will be stunning in your own version of this quilt block.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Thoughts on Deserts and Adventures

  • One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.
    ~ William Feather

  • A desert is a place without expectation.
    ~ Nadine Gordimer

  • Anytime I feel lost, I pull out a map and stare. I stare until I have reminded myself that life is a giant adventure, so much to do, to see.
    ~ Angelina Jolie

  • Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest.
    ~ James Lovelock

  • The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
    ~ Oprah Winfrey

  • Life is either a great adventure or nothing.
    ~ Helen Keller

  • Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring... How to Build a Boat.
    ~ Steven Wright

'Desert Highway' image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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