One quilt block, endless possibilities! Join fabric designer and quilter Leesa Chandler as she shows you the many creative options available from using the simple banner block by playing around with size, fabrics and placement.
In the video you’ll learn how to draft your banner block at any size and create a cross block with machine piecing or English paper piecing
Leesa will show you the many possibilities for creating quilts, bags and bunting with the banner block
You’ll receive quilt patterns to create two of the quilts that Leesa shows you
Chapter 1: Meet Leesa Chandler (2 mins)
Meet Leesa Chandler, international fabric designer, as she introduces you to the versatility of the Banner block.
Chapter 2: Drafting the banner block (3 mins)
Leesa demonstrates how to draft the banner block using graph paper, how to create the block at any size, and then how to create your template.
Chapter 3: Piece the banner blocks into a cross block (7 mins)
After creating your Banner blocks, Leesa shows you how to turn them into Cross blocks using either machine piecing or English paper piecing.
Chapter 4: Making quilts with the banner block (10 mins)
Leesa shows you five different examples of how you can use the Banner block and Cross block to create different effects for your quilts by varying fabrics, size and layout.
Chapter 5: Purses and Handbags made with the banner block (10 mins)
Not only can the Banner block and Cross block be used to create quilts, but Leesa shows you how this simple block can be used to create bags and purses, including some easy gift bags.
Chapter 6: Bunting made with the banner block (10 mins)
Leesa shows you how you can create some fun bunting with the Banner block, and you can even create some festive bunting with pockets, which are ideal for Christmas decorations.
Chapter 7: Show and Tell with Leesa (4 mins)
Leesa shows you a gallery of some of her other projects, with some created from her own fabric collections.
Leesa began quilting at 18 by chance, when a quilter stopped at her farm and asked for directions on her way to class. “Like many quilters, my first quilt was a classic 12-block sampler. A really good one, actually, with many techniques and tricks I still use today,” she says.
Leesa describes her quilts as fitting into two distinct categories: “There are two styles of quilts I make,” Leesa explains. “The first are designed to display large print fabrics, such as oriental prints and my fabric designs. These are quick and fun to make and it’s all about the fabric. The second is all about technique and they may include 3D appliqué, foundation work etc.
“I do a lot of fabric folding, 3D work, machine appliqué, quilt as you go, paper piecing, whatever I need to get the right look,” she adds. “There are many cool techniques I still need to add to my collection, and that means there’s so much more fun to be had. It’s so hard to choose just one technique which is my favourite. I love needleturn appliqué. It’s a skill I relish because it challenges at every stitch, and there is always room to improve with each project.
“I am also into pre-pieced appliqué at the moment — well, I think that’s what we will call it! Piecing lots of small pieces together and treating it as a printed piece of fabric to cut leaves and 3D petals from — I’m working on it. I prefer hand-work, but as a tutor and shop owner I love the fun, results and time-saving benefits of piecing by machine. There are also so many cool techniques and threads that can only be used on a machine.”
For Leesa, inspiration comes from all over the place. “I find it anywhere and everywhere,” she exclaims. “I love designing with authentic influence from different cultures and have a real obsession and appreciation for botanical art. I find colour combinations everywhere. I got the inspiration for my new Russian collection’s colour story from an eye shadow pack while shopping for makeup! I will often be inspired to create a quilt design for a specific print, rather than the other way around. Having said that, I love using large prints and then taking particular sections and elements of the design for complementary appliqué and piecing.”
Leesa’s “free” time is spent teaching fellow quilters. “I love teaching,” Leesa states. “It’s so rewarding spending time with like-minded people and helping them create something special with their own colours and style. I teach everywhere, sometimes in country towns, guilds, retreats and around the occasional kitchen table. Styles and techniques change from year to year, but it’s always about having a go, having fun and taking home something that looks gorgeous at the end is a bonus.”
Leesa, husband Rob and their boys live in the Melbourne Bayside suburb of Beaumaris. The Chandler household is a busy one. Leesa and her husband run their business, Chandler’s Cottage, while raising their two boys, Philip and Steve.