Tag Archives: Downton Abbey
Last night, I held my first weekday evening live event, and it was all about selecting winners for the fabulous prizes!
Downton Day AND the Superbowl on the same day? Did I die and someone forgot to tell me? Not to mention the 12-hour Law and Order Marathon on TNT. This, my friends, is epic television.
Can you believe that the 4th series of Downton is more than half finished tonight? I can’t believe we are already in Episode 4.
I’m going to be talking about backing and batting in today’s Live Quilt Along Chat.
The mystery is over, but the fun is not! We still have lots to talk about, share, and do before the party ends.
Do you guys remember that episode of Downton Abbey, where the Spanish flu hit, and characters started dropping out left and right?
Let’s pretend I’m Lady Cora for a minute, shall we?
Well here we are, at the next to the last week before Series 4 of Downton Abbey begins. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the time this fall and winter has been pleasantly spent, and I hardly noticed the time passing. It seemed to fly, to be perfectly honest! We started with 9 weeks to go, and here we are, with only a week left.
Oh joy! The news on the street in the last week is that many quilt shops have gotten their next shipment of fabric, so if you’ve been waiting to order, now is the time!
It was so good to see so many of you enjoyed Castle Garden as much as I did! It’s the favorite block of many, and it’s a good thing you liked it because that puppy had a lot of pieces, didn’t it? For many of you it was the very first time you’d done a block that large. I don’t make large blocks often (I’m more of a 12″ block gal myself) but those giant blocks can come in handy. I would love to have Castle Garden as a pillow, wouldn’t you? Last Week’s Prize Winner Congratulations Daphne from South Carolina! She’s also a fan of the library, and even though she praised me to the skies in her comment, I assure you it had no influence on the outcome. Didn’t hurt though! Block Story First, can I just say how proud I am of all the newer quilters and folks who have never done a mystery before just coming here and jumping in with both feet? I’ve seen so many great blocks posted to Facebook and to the Flickr group. I’m proud of you all of course, but our newbies are really stepping out of their comfort zone and maybe attempting some of the most challenging blocks they’ve ever done. How wonderful to be part of that! How wonderful for our love of Downton Abbey and quilting to bring us all together. British Wedding is my own block design that has its roots in a traditional block called Old English Wedding Ring. I wanted a block to represent the weddings that didn’t quite go off for the Crawley clan. Lady Sybil, who is our progressive girl in the bunch, opted to elope in Ireland, so we didn’t get to see her wedding at all. Miss Lavinia Swire, who was all set to get married to Matthew at Downton Abbey, succumbed to the Spanish Flu within days of her wedding. And Lady Edith – poor Lady Edith! – made it to the altar, but was abandoned there by her fiancé. Lady Mary didn’t come out completely unscathed either; her wedding was marred by the threat of it being the last gasp of the estate’s ability to support an opulent lifestyle after Lord Grantham lost the bulk of Cora’s fortune on investing schemes. She called off the wedding when Matthew wouldn’t commit his inheritance from Lavinia’s father to saving the estate. Whenever I think of the weddings, I see images in my head of the carpets being rolled back as they erase any trace of a wedding reception (twice!); Lady Edith’s veil floating sadly over the staircase, and her gorgeous tiara on the floor (which Anna picks up); Lavinia’s last moments with Matthew in her bedroom; and the time that Sybil ran away with Branson and got caught by Mary and Edith and brought back home. So many beautiful, sad, poignant moments in the show. I hope British Wedding brings back memories for you too. What We’re Watching While you are stitching away, consider watching Series 3, Episode 5 (US) or Series 3, Episode 6 (UK) while you work on this block. If you’re in the Grayslake, IL area, come visit Quilt Play for some tea and crumpets at our regularly scheduled 1pm. Bring your machine and a project to work on! Block Instructions If you registered for the Quilt Along, you’ve already received the cutting and assembly instructions via email, but if you need some additional assembly and pressing tips, here are some photos to help you along. As usual, lay out the block so you can see what goes where. Because the pieces aren’t stitched together yet, it looks a little funky, but trust me – they all fit! First up, let’s take care of all these HSTs. There are quite a few of them, so I opt to chain piece them and then put them back where they belong. Press all the seams open. Now it’s looking a little more manageable, eh? From this point, you could just assemble in rows, but you know by now that I do not take the conventional piecing route, right? The center of this block is a nine-patch, so let’s assemble this one into rows first. With right sides together, stitch the center and right hand units together. Press the top and bottom row seams toward the left, and the center row seams to the right. Then stitch the left hand units to the center. Press the top and bottom row seams to the right, and the center row seams to the left. Now it’s time to stitch these rows together. Because of the way you pressed the seams, you should be able to wiggle the seam allowances so they lock together. Pins are handy if you need them. Once you get the first two rows assembled, you can swirl the seams on the back like we have done for other blocks. I haven’t clipped into these seams to accommodate the HSTs at this point; because we pressed the seams open, the bulk is evenly distributed for now. Let’s finish up the nine-patch by attaching the remaining row. You can still swirl the seams here as well. Okay, now let’s build out from the center, and work on the top and bottom rows next to the center nine-patch. Right unit on top of center! Press the seams toward the HST. Left on top of center! Press the seams toward the HST. Top and bottom rows now on top of the snowball, nesting the seams and using pins if you need them. Swirl away! Now it’s time to work on the sides. Stitch two HSTs together, on either side of the center squares. Press the seams away from the center. Now stitch the upper HSTs to the center square, and repeat for the lower HSTs. Press these seams toward the center squares. Matching your seams, lay the right side over the center block unit and stitch; repeat for the left side. Swirl away! Isn’t this fun? I just love seeing all those little pinwheels on the back. Ok, we’re in the home stretch here… So you have two sides with long rectangles at the corners, and two sides with short rectangles. Stitch those up, one rectangle on each side! Press the seams on the short rectangles toward them, and the seams on the long rectangles away from them. Stitch the two short rectangle sides to the top and bottom of your block, matching seams. Swirl away! Lastly, stitch the sides with the long rectangles to either side of your block. Aha! You thought I was going to tell you to swirl away, didn’t you? Well, we were fine right up until this point, but in order to swirl, you actually need to do a little seam clipping here. You’re only clipping the seams on the HST units on these two sides, and then you can swirl away! Finished! Isn’t that a big beauty? Don’t forget to make the number of blocks listed in the pattern for your chosen character! Please upload your photos to our Flickr group, or tag your photos on Instagram with #damqa and @lovebugstudios so I can see the beauties you turn out! Trivia & Giveaway I have a new book out! It’s called Cut It, Sew It, Stow It, and it’s filled with projects for organizing your home. I love so many projects in this book, but one of my favorite projects is this Playroom Toy Basket: Now, I don’t have any kids, so I use this as a room to room organizer, to collect stuff from one place that belongs in another. For example, I always end up with 8 pairs of shoes by the door, when they should really go in my upstairs closet. Basket to the rescue! I think this basket would look great made up in Downton Abbey fabric, and since I won’t get around to doing that for a while, I thought I’d give away a copy of the book plus some Downton fabric to make this basket. To enter to win, tell me what 3 fabrics you would love to use for this basket (there’s an exterior, lining & straps, and binding), and what you’d use your basket for. Scroll allllllll the way to the bottom of this post to leave your comment! Entries must be received no later than 11:59pm CST on Friday December 20th, and the winner will be announced when Block 6 is posted on Sunday. As always, please refer to my Official Sweepstakes Rules for eligibility and entry requirements. Also, you must be officially registered for the quilt along because I will already have your mailing address. If you would like to buy a copy of this book, you can get signed copies from me directly. The book retails for $12.95. Did you forget to register for the Quilt Along? Do it now so you don’t miss a thing! Downton Abbey Related Posts
Today’s post marks the halfway point of the quilt along, at least as far as revealing blocks is concerned!