Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Happy New Patchiqué Year - Blocks 15 and 75

With twelve blocks made already we start the New Year with two more blocks - one patched and one appliquéd.  Firstly the patched Block 15 – ‘Kasuri nijū kaku’ (translated as Kasuri double square).
Block 15 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
I followed the instructions in the block exactly – no Patchsmith shortcuts this week as none were needed.    This block is rated as a medium difficulty in the book which I am guessing is due to the matching of the corners but I found it went together really well with no need for the seam ripper.
Block 15 - Patchiqué Style
And although this block looks quite ordinary - once made it will become a firm favourite.  It would be the perfect block to repeat throughout a bed quilt, alternating it with a plain square or applique panel.  It would also be an ideal block for new patchers due to the limited number of matched seams. 

So onto this week's appliqué block – Block 75 – ‘Hoya no hana’ (Hoya flower). 
Block 75 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
Again this is rated medium difficulty because Susan Briscoe (the author of Japanese Taupe Quilts) is a saint and hand-turned all her appliqué.  I, on the other hand, would rate this block as easy if using quick-fuse appliqué.
Block 75 - Patchiqué Style
I have been machine-stitching the appliqué blocks to date but this week I found myself with an opportunity to add a little hand stitching to this block - not as much as in the book but a nice touch nonetheless.  Saturday morning found me sitting with my father whilst my mother went shopping (my father has dementia and cannot be left alone).  With a couple of hours away from my busy life, I pulled out Block 75 and added a few lines of running stitch to each petal.  That simple act has created a happy memory – sat in the warm stitching away whilst my father watched a program about spitfires in the war.  The program reminded my Dad how, in his childhood, he would watch the spitfires fighting in the skies above his home - a memory he was able to share with me. 

Sewing Tip:  If you are intending to add some hand-stitching then I would recommend that you cut the background block to 10" instead of the normal 9.5" as the stitching may pull your block slightly smaller.  You can then trim the finished block to 9.5" square.

And talking about memories – I blogged last week about the Wishes Quilt Along in support of the ‘Make a Wish’ foundation.  The first block was released this week (click here for a link to the free download).  I am using Wallflowers fat quarter bundles – both the Poppy and the Primrose collections - by Cluck-Cluck-Sew with Kona 'snow' background.
Wishes Quilt-Along - Block 1 Flying Kites
Well this block brought back a memory of Christmas many years ago spent in Southampton Neurological wing as my little four-year-old son underwent brain surgery for a large tumour in the middle of his brain.  He was so in awe of Superman and wore his Superman costume all around the hospital.  Had I known about the ‘Make a Wish’ foundation then I would’ve asked them to arrange for Superman to pop in to see him.  As it was, the hospital had Father Christmas make a personal appearance two days after surgery - another happy memory.
My son underwent further surgery eleven years later when the tumour grew back
but he is coping well today with life's challenges.
So if you get the chance I would urge you all not to miss the opportunity to slow down this week – it may just be the perfect moment to create or remember some happy memories.

Sew until next time on the Patchiqué trail when we will be making Blocks 26 and 77..................


  1. I can picture you doing your hand stitching while sitting with your father.
    All three of your blocks are delightfully perfect , in fabrics used and in their execution.
    Thank you for your post , filled with heart and beauty.

  2. This post reminds me of how therapeutic stitching can be, especially hand-stitching. Women through the ages have turned to sewing to cope with problems or to create wonderful memories. Your blocks are each lovely ways to remember events.

  3. Such a sweet heart felt posting. Love all your blocks and hearing of your memories. It's amazing how stitching can capture memories like that. hugs Ellyx

  4. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy each moment and to appreciate those we love! Your blocks are beautiful and I have been so in love with the Wallflowers fabric. I'm wishing I had some, but I've got plenty of other stash to keep me out of trouble!
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  5. Your blocks are beautiful! Thanks for the reminder to enjoy each moment. I can't wait to work on my Wishes Along block.