Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative


Creative Week 39

This week little son has been off school for half term, so we have been out and about or watching films wrapped up in the warm, when the weather has been horrible.

On Tuesday we had a trip into Solihull to buy some Christmas presents – yes I know it’s a bit early but it is the only time we have to buy his fathers present without his dad being around.

On Wednesday we had a trip to Baddesley Clinton, which we have not visited before even though it is only down the road from where we live.

Photo from

Baddelsey Clinton is a moated manor house and well worth a visit.

The Great Hall at Baddesley Clinton

Photo from

We also visited Hatton Country World before coming back to Baddesley Clinton.  Little son has grown out of wanting to visit the farm so just enjoyed the shops, especially the old fashioned sweet shop.  He also got some more ideas for Christmas presents for his brother and sister!  We will be going back in a couple of weeks for their Christmas craft fair.

So to this weeks quilt idea;- One Block, Secondary Patterns I know not a very good name but that describes what it is.

The Block

one block secondary patterns block

The Quilt

one block secondary patterns 6

The above measures 54″ by 72″, obviously this can be made larger or smaller as required, with or without borders.  The block size is 18″ so only 12 blocks are needed for this layout.

Follow this link for the fabric requirements;-  one block secondary patterns fabric yardage for No 6

The rotary cutting info;- one block secondary patterns rotary cutting info for No 6

I played with this block (and could continue to play around with it)

one block secondary patterns 5

one block secondary patterns OP 4

The above quilt measures approximately 73″ square, this time the 18″ block is set on point.

The fabric requirements are here;-

one block secondary patterns Fabric requirements for OP 4.JPG

The rotary cutting info is here;-

one block secondary patterns Rotary cutting info for OP 4.JPG

one block secondary patterns Rotary cutting info for setting triangles OP 4.JPG

The borders are as follows

Border 1 Top and bottom cut 2 1.5″ wide by 53 7/16″.  Left and right cut 2 1.5″ wide by 51 7/16″

Border 2 Top and bottom cut 2 2.5″ wide by 57 7/16″.  Left and right cut 2 2.5″ wide by 53 7/16″

Border 3 Top and bottom cut 2 1.5″ wide by 59 7/16″.  Left and right cut 2 1.5″ wide by 57 7/16″

Border 4 Top and bottom cut 2 2.5″ wide by 63 7/16″.  Left and right cut 2 2.5″ wide by 59 7/16″

Border 5 Top and bottom cut 2 1.5″ wide by 65 7/16″.  Left and right cut 2 1.5″ wide by 63 7/16″

Border 6 Top and bottom cut 2 4.5″ wide by 73 7/16″.  Left and right cut 2 4.5″ wide by 65 7/16″

one block secondary patterns OP 3

one block secondary patterns 2

one block secondary patterns 1

one block secondary patterns OP 8

one block secondary patterns OP 9

one block secondary patterns OP 7

And now before I return to playing with this block a show reminder.

7th – 10th November

Crafts for Christmas

NEC Birmingham

Until next week, thanks for visiting. x


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Quilt and Craft Show Calendar


7th – 10th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft


8th – 10th

Spring Quilt Show


14th – 17th

Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

Olympia London

21st – 24th

Sewing for Pleasure: Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch/Hobbycraft

NEC Birmingham


4th – 6th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft

Excel London

5th – 7th

Spring Quilt Festival


12th – 14th

Spring Quilt Festival


26th – 28th

British Quilt and Stitch



16th – 19th

Quilts UK



7th – 8th

Springfields Quilt Show

Spalding Lincs

21st – 23rd

National Quilt Championships

Sandown, Esher


8th – 11th

Festival of Quilts

NEC Birmingham


30th August – 1 September

Great Northern Quilt Show



12th – 14th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft


20th – 22nd

Scottish Quilt Championships


26th – 29th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft



10th – 13th

Knitting and Stitching Show

Alexandra Palace, London

24th – 27th

Crafts for Christmas


25th – 27th

Autumn Quilt Festival



31st October – 3rd November

Knitting and Stitching Show



1st – 3rd

Autumn Quilt Festival


7th – 10th November

Crafts for Christmas

NEC Birmingham

21st – 24th

Knitting and Stitching Show


28th – 30th

West Country Quilt Show

Shepton Mallet

I am lucky (not that my husband thinks so), to live very close to one of the best quilt shops in the UK – The Cotton Patch they have one of the best selections of products I have ever seen, (browse their website to see for yourself) if they haven’t got it is it worth having? Denise and Nadine are always very patient with my sons when they do their annual Christmas shopping trip. They attend many of the shows including the Festival of Quilts in August, last year they seemed to transport the entire shop to the NEC.

This year Liz at the Cotton Patch has let me know they will be demonstrating a number of patchwork and quilting tools including the True Cut Rulers, Sizzix Cutting Machines and Dies, Antex Mini Iron, Gem master and Fabric Master, Rowan Fabrics, Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and HQ18 Avante as well as Grace Frames at Sewing for Pleasure (March, NEC), Quilts UK (May, Malvern), Knitting and Stitching (October, Alexandra Palace), West Country Quilt Show (Shepton Mallet, November) and the Festival of Quilts (August, NEC) where Marti Mitchell will also be on the stand demonstrating her templates.

Creative Grids are also in attendance at the shows in Duxford (March and November), Malvern, and of course the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, offering a vast array of ‘I didn’t think of that’ tools, rotary cutters, mats, basic rulers and their specialist rulers.

I hope my calendar of events is helpful, if I have forgotten any shows please let me know so I can update my list. Oh don’t forget the website links give all the info on competition deadlines, ticket prices, locations and workshops etc., some give trader info too.


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Witley Court Worcestershire

Sunday 21st October dawned with clinging fog but with a small promise of becoming brighter.  Regardless of the weather we had decided as our trip to Germany had been postponed due to circumstances beyond our control we would have a day out.

Witley Court and Gardens are only 45 minutes from our home so are quick and relatively easy to get to, via a number of motorways and a variety of minor roads.  I had intended we set off early but as usually it didn’t happen, I suppose I should have learnt by now, but I suppose if we had gone early the fog would have still lingered.  As it was we found numerous trees draped in clouds of cobwebs encrusted with diamond-like water droplets just waiting to sparkle when the fog lifted.

I managed to take some really quite good photos, some of which are above taken with my small compact Nikon digital camera as big son was using my Fuji and little son my Panasonic Lumix.  Husband was using his new Olympus, which is able to take panoramic and 3D shots without the help of Photoshop to create the magic.

The photo with the spiders shows the fog just starting to lift. 

We had a great day out which was enhanced by enjoying a light lunch at the tea room just outside the gardens.  It was so nice we didn’t need our Sunday dinner when we got home.

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Great American Adventure Part 4

Sadly, I have returned home now, leaving my amazing American family 7000 miles away – I’m coming back in August be warned!

The following photo’s where taken on the return from my cousin Kate’s home in Blanding in the south east of Utah.  Again the rock formations are astounding and the resident of Wilson’s Arch did enjoy the Doritos we fed to him.  Oh don’t miss the horses face that appears  naturally in a tree formation on the side of the hill.

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We’re Back

Having booked a very last minute holiday to see our daughter who is working out in the Vendee in France I didn’t have time to post  a note nor did I take my computer with me so no means of keeping in touch, which was great!

It was lovely to see Nicola.  She had been going a bit stir crazy as she hasn’t any transport so is unable to go any further than the local town centre which is literally 500 metres from the site she is working on.  La Rochelle takes over an hour and a half to get to by bus which is a pain when she doesn’t finish until 2 ish on her half days.  So whilst she had us around to ferry her to places we went to La Rochelle to the aquarium on the harbour front.  It is brilliant, we have one of the National Sea Life Centres in Birmingham but it had nothing on this aquarium.

We also ventured on to the Ile De Re going to the little town of Saint Martin, very picturesque but it rained.

Another evening we travelled north to Les Sables D’Olonne.

France is a strange place.  There are really lovely little villages which we travel through but it’s a bit like the twilight zone.  As there is never anyone about in these villages or small towns they all look deserted.  But on Bastille night the town of La Tranche was heaving, people where appearing like ants, thousands appearing on the sea front to watch the fireworks then all just disappearing again.  Where do they all go.  It was just the same in Les Sables D’olonne, no one in the suburbs, looks just like an American town seen in the Western films with tumbleweed rolling down the streets but get to the sea front/ town centre and there are thousands.

Well we had a lovely time, if you ever go to La Tranche Sur Mer be sure to seek out Matt from Bradford in his bar/restaurant, the food is fantastic and the drinks flow.

The trip home was horrid, the rain pelted down the sea was rocking and rolling delaying our return by an hour and lengthening the voyage by an hour and a half.  We are home now safe and well, the washing is done just the ironing to go.

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Cotton Patch Studio Day

I had an enjoyable morning yesterday at The Cotton Patch Studio in Hall Green Birmingham.  On show were the various quilting frames and sewing machines plus the associated paraphernalia they offer.

To see more visit their website at  The shop is only down the road from home so I enjoyed the walk in the sunshine, this also means the I visit often, spending far too much money each time.

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Sewing Box

Whilst in Primrose Hill we had a look around several other shops.  Plenty of places to eat and interior shops a deli, a sweet /chocolate shop, a shoe shop but only one food shop other than the deli.  I had hoped for more independent  food type places.  We did visit one interior shop which enticed us in with the display of textiles.  I came away with a little sewing box which I am going to use for my drawing pens and other drawing equipment, not sewing at all but hey thats me.

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Mary’s Living and Giving Shop, Primrose Hill, London

Mary Portas has two living and giving shops in London one in Nottinghill the other over the road from the Museum of Everything; so on our visit to the museum yesterday we enjoyed a trip to Mary’s shop.  My daughter bought 2 glasses and a bracelet and I purchased a tea set.  The quality in the shop was far superior to any other charity shop I have ever been into.  The fitting room was a step into Narnia as it is made from a wardrobe, all added to the enjoyment.

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Museum of Everything, Primrose Hill, London

Yesterday was our usual February sojourn to London.  This trip saw us in Primrose Hill to visit, primarily, the Museum of Everything; which up until 11th February is hosting their 3rd exhibition which includes items from Potters taxidermy tableaus, not really my cup of tea as I find them very creepy to the point where they would give me nightmares.  Needless to say we didn’t stay long but the art space was interesting and it was surprisingly busy.  Many people seemed to be just enjoying the atmosphere along with a cup of tea in the cafe.  Would I go to another exhibition here?  Yes I would and it was worth the trek down from Birmingham. It is a shame we don’t have a space like this that doesn’t cost an earth and could attract a major name like Sir Peter Blake.

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City & Guilds Patchwork and Quilting

Abstraction.  From a starting point of a photograph taken of Packwood House in Warwickshire I have abstracted to a point where I can interpret the image in ‘stained glass’ appliqué.

abstraction 1 

I have reflected the abstraction.

abstraction 2