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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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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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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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

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Festival of Quilts

We have arrived home tired and visual exhausted.  My son was ‘parked’ for a while in the cafe area and enjoyed himself quietly playing his Nintendo, even though he got cold.  I spent too much money with Oliver Twists receiving much more than I had intended.  I hope the cupcakes I took for the team on the Kemshall stand, stood up to the bus trips and weren’t too battered when we finally got there this morning.  Take a look at their chair they have been working on for some little while, it is brilliant.

I purchased a daylight light that I have been much in need of for a long time, I rejoined the Computer Textile Design Group, bought textile paints from Ario, and a variety of threads from a Canadian company called Wonderfil whose products I hope will soon be in the Cotton Patch.  Sadly I didn’t buy any fabric again this year nothing grabbed me enough to want it nor could I find the fabric I need for a new quilt.  Beads where sadly missing too.

Having my son with me prevented me looking too hard at the quilts on display and we seem to have missed a fair few, he did enjoy looking at the young quilters display, he kept saying he could do that, well I wonder if he will take up the challenge?  He also wanted to know why his school hadn’t entered a quilt too, perhaps one of his teaches will be prepared to answer that one, I doubt it somehow.

As we walked round he kept asking why I hadn’t got a quilt up hanging, well perhaps it is time I did, I feel one coming along for next year.

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Festival of Quilts – Anticipation

After being less than inspired by the Festival of Quilts last year, I hope this years event again being held at the NEC just outside Birmingham, will be a feast of delights.  The event run by Twisted Thread runs from Thursday 19th August to Sunday 22nd August. 

I will be looking for beads and more beads to embellish both my quilts and my embroideries, I also want a daylight strip light along with threads, unusual fibres in lots of bright colours.

This year I am taking my 10 year old son as I do not have anyone I can leave him with, he is SO not looking forward to it.  Perhaps I can park him with his Nintendo and call in on him occasionally to see if he is ok, I am sure this will go down well with nosey parkers/do gooders who think children can’t cope on their own, I would rather he was sat somewhere minding his own business than annoying not only me but others whilst we are trying to enjoy the show.  He will be armed with a mobile phone and my number and a drink – who is going to try to ‘steal’ him from a quilt show?  He has assured me that he likes this idea and as long as he is left alone he will be quite happy, will my guilt allow me to leave him?

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Black Country Living Museum Update

We all really enjoyed our visit yesterday, plenty on offer to amuse and educate.  If you do decide to enjoy a trip to the museum buy your tickets online they are cheaper and get there much, much earlier than we did, or go outside school holiday time to be in with a chance of the mine tour, a ride on the trolley bus or tram and be prepared to wait in long queues for both the Chip shops, although if you do go outside the holidays you may not meet the inhabitants of the town, with all their knowledge of the area, buildings and the hardships of life;- living history.

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Twycross Zoo

We have been to Twycross Zoo today as the little one has wanted to go for a while.  Sadly I have to rant again!  Queues were very long; the prices were not displayed so they could be seen easily; gift aid isn’t explained clearly, it appears that the price is £13 per adult this was explained as the gift aid price but in fact is the price if you include the voluntary 10%  conservation charge, there is another charge of £11 something if you don’t want to include this contribution but it is being sold as gift aid which is actually what the zoo can claim back from the tax man as they are a charity, – several people within my ear shot where feeling cheated and to top it off rude kiosk staff.

As it was nearing lunch time when we arrived we decided to have something to eat before looking round the zoo – well what a let down!  Badly organised, lacking choice, very over priced, rude staff, incompetent staff or perhaps a politer term would be badly trained staff.  We had a choice of three different pre-packed sandwiches ok if you liked bacon, prawns or ham with mustard.  There were other food kiosks, no menu, no that’s not quite true a menu was so discreetly placed as to be hidden, no staff in sight to man these kiosks other than the poor woman on the hot food counter and she had run out of certain foods.  I understand they have customers over a barrel and a captive audience and yes we could have taken a picnic lunch but my 10 year old son was promised a day out with lunch.  He isn’t a big eater but his £3.95 plate of food was very much smaller than the same priced plate a 5 year old had, oh he got a ‘free’ drink as did the other child.  To make my husband feel so much better the person who took the money for our very over priced purchases referred to him as ‘sweetie’ several times during the transaction, I don’t think she was being sarcastic but where is professionalism – oh sorry we hadn’t encountered it yet so why was I surprised by this, during our ‘meal’ we were harassed by the staff employed to clear the tables, wanting to clear the table when it was very obvious that we had by no means finished.

After the disappointment we had over lunch we set off for our trip around the zoo.  My son wanted to see the Hyenas, the reptile house, pets corner and the monkeys.  There isn’t a reptile house any more it is now something called the Tropical House but the signs don’t say this, we were told when we were on our way out it was well worth seeing but was a guided tour and there probably wasn’t any spaces left and we would have had to wait another 45 minutes.  The hyenas were in the lion enclosure.  We went to pets corner to find a family of degus, an iguana and a pond full of very large koi carp ok where were the rabbits, guinea pigs, goats that you would expect to find in pets corner?  Apparently there was a new pets corner we didn’t find it.

The monkeys, chimps and other apes are brilliant as always, as was the elephant enclosure with its delightful baby elephant.

Perhaps the zoo will become an excellent place to visit again but if our visit is anything to go by don’t bother this year, we won’t be back for many years or certainly until they have improved staff training – both in the hospitality area and the welcome kiosks, replaced the sign posts with the correct information on  and final considered the cost of food.  This is very sad as the zoo has been a favourite day trip with our immediate and distant family for many years, I first visited when I was small many years ago. 

My son was very upset at his much anticipated day out.  Thank you very much Twycross Zoo.