My Thrifty Valentine – The Quilt

In my last post, I showed you a couple of ways to make a “Candy Heart” quilt block.

"Candy Hearts" Blocks by Anne Wiens - 2015

“Candy Heart” blocks by Anne Wiens – 2015

Then I left you with a little cliff-hanger. My plan was to sash them with white-on-white, but would I set them straight or on point? Okay, so that’s not so much a “cliff hanger” as a “standing on the top of the cliff and peering over the edge.”

In the end, I did neither.

Candy Hearts Quilt - by Anne Wiens, 2015

Candy Hearts Quilt – by Anne Wiens, 2015

I made 20 Candy Heart blocks, and sewed them into four rows of five blocks each.

The sashing strips (5 of them) are 3″ wide.

The top and bottom border rows are made of fifteen 3″ Squares.

Here’s what you would need to make this 45″ x 57″ quilt:

I made my blocks using Option 2 in the Candy Hearts Blocks post.

I started with twenty 10″ squares of assorted brights, plus ten more 3.5″ print squares.

I needed 1.5 yards of white-on-white.

Cut three 3.5″ x WOF (Width of Fabric) strips and cut into thirty 3.5″ squares. You will need twenty of these squares for the blocks.

Cut five 3.5″ x WOF strips and trim to 39.5″ long. Sew a 3.5″ square to both ends of each strip. These are your sashing strips.

Cut three 2.5″ x WOF strips and cut into forty 2.5″ squares for the blocks.

Cut two 2″ x WOF strips and cut into forty 2″ squares for the blocks.

Sew the blocks into four rows with five blocks in each row. Separate the rows with the sashing strips. Sew two sets of 3.5″ squares with fifteen squares in each row. Add these to the top and bottom of the quilt top.

Cut six 2.25″ x WOF strips for binding. If you prefer a 2.5″ binding strip, you will need 1-5/8 yards of white instead of 1-1/2 yards.

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To make a little larger (54″ x 69″) quilt, you would need:

Thirty 10″ print squares plus six 3.5″ print squares

2-1/4 yards white.

Cut three 3.5″ x WOF squares and cut into thirty 3.5″ squares for blocks.

Cut four 2.5″ x WOF strips and cut into sixty 2.5″ squares for blocks.

Cut three 2″ x WOF strips and cut into sixty 2″ squares for blocks.

Cut six 3.5″ x WOF strips and trim to 39.5″ long.

Cut three 3.5″ x WOF strips. Cut two 15.5″ strips from each, and sew one to each of the 39.5″ strips. These are your sashing strips.

Sew the blocks into five rows with six blocks in each row. Separate the rows with the sashing strips. Sew two sets of 3.5″ squares with eighteen squares in each row. Add these to the top and bottom of the quilt top.

Cut eight 2.25 (or 2.5″) x WOF strips of white for binding.

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Enjoy your Candy Hearts.

I have a very special project coming up for you in April. I’m dying to tell you about it, but sworn to secrecy for a little while longer. Meanwhile, I’m dreaming of spring and working on a little “Crocus” block for you next.

Categories: 9" TQ Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quilts, Scrap Quilts | 1 Comment

My Thrifty Valentine

f44d9305d7c3efbf_4558559-480x720.previewHappy Valentine’s Day! This post is a day late because the computer ate it last evening. It’s probably my fault for including the photo of the candy hearts. ;0)  I read that they have been around for more than a century!

In lieu of candy cards or flowers, my Valentine to you is a quick and easy Candy Heart block. There are two options for making this 9″ (finished) quilt block.

 

Candy Hearts- Option 1

Candy Hearts- Option 1

Option 1 is the Thrifty Quilter scrap block. For each block you will need:

Print- One 6.5″ square and two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles

White: One 3.5″ square and four 2.5″ squares

Candy Hearts - Option 1, Step 1

Candy Hearts – Option 1, Step 1

Step 1 – Use the Stitch & Flip method to put the 2.5″ white squares on opposite corners of the 3.5″ x 6.5″ print rectangles.

Candy Hearts - Option 1, Step 2

Candy Hearts – Option 1, Step 2

Step 2 – Lay out your rectangles, the 6.5″ print and 3.5″ white squares and sew together to complete your Candy Heart block. How simple is that?

Candy Hearts - Option 2

Candy Hearts – Option 2

Option 2 is perfect for Layer Cake leftovers. For each block you will need:

Print – One 10″ square

White – One 3.5″ square, two 2.5″ squares and two 2″ squares.

Candy Hearts - Option 2, Step 1

Candy Hearts – Option 2, Step 1

Step 1 is to cut the 10″ square. Trim 3.5″ from the left edge of the square, and 3.5″ from the bottom. This lives you one 6.5″ square, two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles, and a 3.5″ leftover.

Candy Hearts - Option 2 Step 2

Candy Hearts – Option 2 Step 2

Step 2 – Use the Stitch & Flip method to put the 2.5″ squares on the top left corner of one print rectangle, and the top right of the other rectangle.

Candy Hearts - Option 2, Step 3

Candy Hearts – Option 2, Step 3

Step 3 – The 2″ white squares go on the opposite corners of the rectangles.

Candy Hearts - Option 2, Step 4

Candy Hearts – Option 2, Step 4

Step 4 is to lay out the rectangles, the 6.5″ print square and 3.5″ white square and sew the Candy Heart block together.

Candy Hearts

Candy Hearts – Anne Wiens 2015

I made a mess of these blocks in various candy colors. You could applique, embroider or print a little note on each one, if you want to.

I think I will probably put my blocks together with 3″ (finished) white sashing and use those leftover 3.5″ print squares as the cornerstones. I’m not sure if I’ll set it straight or on-point. Suggestions?

Categories: Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 1 Comment

If At First You Don’t Succeed

In my Facebook group, Thrifty Quilters, I like to post photos that have interesting color combinations, and then make quilt blocks using those colors. Last month, I has a winter scene with a little gray and white bird on a branch with red berries. Then I got into my bins of Thrifty Quilter scraps and came up with this block:

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Diamond & Pinwheel – Anne Wiens (2014)

I like the pattern, but decided there needs to be more contrast between the gray in the diamond and the gray in the corner triangles. Because you can’t see the print in the grays, you really can’t tell they are two different fabrics.

This month I posted a photo of a colorful little bird with  purple wings, yellow neck and tail feathers, and a bright orange head and then I took another run at this block, which I call “Diamond & Pinwheel”.

Here’s the recipe:

Materials

Materials

For each 12″ (finished size) block you will need:

Yellow: Four 3.5″ squares

Orange: Four 4.5″ squares

Purple: Four 3.5″squares and three 4.5″ squares

White: One 4.5″ square and four 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles.

Step 1a

Step 1a

Step 1 – Use two 4.5″ orange squares and two 4.5″ purple squares to make four orange/purple half-square triangles (HSTs). Trim to 3.5″. You can do this with any ruler that has a 45° line in a corner. The photo shows a Tucker Trimmer®. Lay the ruler on your HST with the diagonal line on the seam and trim the top and right sides.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Rotate the piece, align the diagonal line with the seam and trim the top and right sides. Set these HSTs aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2 – Now we need to make four units that I call “triple triangle squares” (TTSs), because they have three triangles in them…two small and one large.

Start by cutting one 4.5″ white square and one 4.5″ purple square diagonally twice. Cut two 4.5″ orange triangles diagonally once. You should now have four small white triangles, four small purple triangles and four large orange triangles.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Sew the triangles into four units that look like the one in the photo above. Be sure your white and purple triangles are in the correct positions. Trim unit to 3.5″. If you’re using the Tucker Trimmer®, notice that the solid diagonal line is on the long seam, and the broken diagonal line marked “3-1/2″ is on the short seam. Trim the top and right sides.

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Step 2c

Rotate the piece, align the diagonal lines with the seams, and trim the top and right sides again.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3: Sew the HSTs to the TTSs as shown, and set these four units aside.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Step 4 – Now we need to make four “blade” units, using the stitch-and-flip method. Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of the 3.5″ purple squares and 3.5″ yellow squares. The dark lines in the photo are for illustration only. To mark my squares for sewing, I use a drafting pencil with a #4 hard lead. Your lines should be just dark enough that you can see them.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Align the yellow squares with the right edge of the white rectangles as shown above. Sew on the drawn line, trim 1/4″ away from the seam*, and press open.

Step 4c

Step 4c

Rotate the units and align the purple squares with the end of the white rectangle, sew on the drawn line, trim 1/4″ from the seam* and press open.

*Note: If you don’t want to waste those cut-away triangles, sew the bias edges and trim them to 2.5″ squares for use in other projects. You’ll find several ideas in previous posts on this blog.

Step 5

Step 5

We’re nearly finished. Step 5 is to sew the units you’ve made into four quarter-units as shown above.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6 – Sew the four quarter-units together as shown, to complete your Diamond & Pinwheel block.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | Leave a comment

Season’s Greetings

Christmas is coming on like a bobsled, and I still have gifts to finish, but I stopped today to whip up a little something for you.

Surprise…it’s a quilt block! :0)  It’s a 10″ (finished) block, and I called it “A Christmas Wreath”.

Here’s the recipe:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAFor each block you will need:

One 6-1/2″ square novelty print

Three 3.5″ red squares

Three 3.5″ light green squares

Four 3.5″ dark green squares

Six 3.5″ white squares

Four 2.5″ white squares

I used a Tucker Trimmer® to make the half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). If you’re not familiar with this tool, CLICK HERE for a previous post that goes into more detail on its use.

Step 1a

Step 1a

The first step is to put white corners on the novelty print square.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of your 2.5″ white squares. Lay a square on a corner of the 6.5″ novelty print square and sew on the line, then trim 1/4″ outside the line. Repeat with all four corners.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Press the corners open. Set this center section aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2 is to make four red and white HSTs. Cut two of the red 3.5″ squares and two 3.5″ white squares in half diagonally, and sew the red and white halves together. I press my seams open, but you can press to the dark side if you prefer. Use the Tucker Trimmer® to trim the HSTs to 2.5″ as illustrated. above.

Step 3a

Step 3a

For Step 3, we need to make QSTs. Cut all of the remaining 3.5″ squares diagonally twice.

Step 3b

Step 3c

Step 3b

Step 3b

Sew eight QSTs, each with two dark green triangles, one light green triangle and one white triangle, then use the Tucker Trimmer® to square them to 2.5″ as illustrated above.

You will also need four QSTs, each with two white triangles, one red triangle and one light green triangle. Square them to 2.5″ as well.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Sew the QSTs into four units as pictured above.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Sew two of the QST strips to the sides of the center unit.

Step 4c

Step 4c

To finish your block, sew the HSTs to the remaining QST strips as shown, and sew to the top and bottom of the center unit.

Of course, just because I called it a wreath and used red and green fabrics, that doesn’t mean you have to.

Merry Christmas!

Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, TQ Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Morning Star

I love autumn. Someday I hope to see a New England autumn in person, but if that never happens, I’ll be content with ours here in Montana… as brief as they can be.

I recall one fall day several years ago, driving on U.S. 2 along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. The leaves (aspens, I think) were so golden they were glowing…and the sky was cloudy!

This block – which I call “Morning Star” reminds me of that moment.

To make your own 12″ (finished) Morning Star, here’s what you will need:

Materials for a 12" Morning Star block.

Materials for a 12″ Morning Star block.

We start with sixteen 4.5″ squares

3 yellow, 3 orange, 4 gray, 4 white, 2 green

Tucker Trimmer (tm)

Tucker Trimmer ™

If you don’t have a Tucker Trimmer ™ , consider adding it to your Christmas wish list. It is the handiest tool out there for making accurate half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). I’ll use it for all three units in this block.

Step 1a

Step 1a

First, we’ll make the HSTs. Cut the two green squares and two of the white squares in half diagonally. Sew together as shown. You will have four HSTs that are larger than they need to be. We use the Tucker Trimmer to trim them to size.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the HST, lining up the diagonal line with the seam line. Notice that the left and bottom edges of the HST extend beyond the 3-1/2″ lines on the trimmer. Trim the top and right edges.

Step 1c

Step 1c

Rotate the HST (if you’ve been really good, ask Santa for a rotating mat, too), and line up the diagonal line on the trimmer with the seam line again. This time the edges you trimmed should align with the 3-1/2″ dashed lines. Trim the top and right edges. Set these four HSTs aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Now we need to make eight QSTs. To do this, cut two gray squares, two white squares, one yellow and one orange square diagonally twice, as shown above.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Sew all of these triangles into eight QSTs. Notice the QSTs pictured here: both have a white triangle on top and gray on the bottom. In one, the orange triangle is on the left and the yellow on the right. In the other, the yellow is on the left and the orange on the right. Make four of each.

Step 2c

Step 2c

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so that the solid diagonal line is on the seam line. The dashed 3-1/2″ line should line up with the other seam. Just like we did with the HSTs, trim the right and top edges.

2d

2d

Then rotate the QST, re-align the diagonal lines with the seams, and trim the top and right edges. Set the QSTs aside.

Step 3a

Step 3a

To make the final unit, cut the remaining yellow and orange squares diagonally twice, and the last two gray squares diagonally once. Sew together into four units that look exactly like the one in the photo. Notice that the lower left corner does not match up. That’s okay.

3b

3b

Back to the Tucker Trimmer. Line up the solid diagonal line with the long seam, and the dashed 3-1/2″ diagonal line with the short seam. Trim the right and top edges.

3c

3c

You know the drill by now…flip the unit around, realign the trimmer and trim the top and right edges.

4a

4a

You now have 16 units – four of each shown above – and each one should be a perfect 3.5″ square. Lay them out as shown, and sew together into four quarter units.

4b

4b

Sew the quarter units together to complete your “Morning Star” block!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs), Tutorials | 3 Comments

The Veterans’ Star

Way back in the 1960s, when I was growing up in Boulder Creek, California, our next door neighbor, Mr. Umbarger, was a philatelist. We’re talking serious stamp collecting.  His granddaughter Debbie, and I spent hours sorting through boxes and tins of stamps that he had clipped from letters over the years, then carefully soaked them off their papers, dried them and placed them in our little H.E. Harris stamp albums. Because Mr. Umbarger had been in the service during WWII, most of our overseas stamps were from Germany and France, and of course, we had a hearty selection of USA stamps, including one honoring Gold Star Mothers.

US Postage Stamp honoring Gold Star MothersWhen I was in high school, I began researching the stories behind some of my stamps. During World War I,  families of service members would sometimes hang a small red and white banner in a window, with a blue star for each family member away at war. If that son was killed, the blue star was replaced with a gold star.

The star banners became more popular during World War II, and led to the founding of an organization called the Blue Star Mothers of America. The organization is still around, and some 6000 mothers strong, according to their website.

Since we celebrate Veteran’s Day this month, I’d like to honor my father, brother, nephew, uncles and several cousins who have served, or are currently serving in the military, with this “Veterans’ Star” block.

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The Veterans’ Star – Anne Wiens 2014

My block has a blue star because, thankfully, all of my family’s soldiers and sailors have returned safely from overseas deployments.

Pieces for the Veterans' Star block

Pieces for the Veterans’ Star block

For each 12″ (finished) block, you will need:

Blue (or Gold): one 4.5″ square and eight 2.5″ squares

Red: four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and four 2.5″ squares

White: four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and eight 2.5″ squares

Navy: four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and twelve 2.5″ squares.

I use the “sew and flip” method to make the units- half square triangles, flying geese and wedges- we’ll need for this block. If you’re not familiar with the technique, you can click HERE to go to a previous post with a similar block.

Side units

Side units

First, we’ll need to make four side units. Each one has two flying geese.

Make four flying geese using the white rectangles and eight of the navy squares.

Make four flying geese using the red rectangles and small blue squares.

Sew the flying geese together in pairs as shown, and set them aside.

Corner units

Corner units

Next we need to make four corner units.

Make four wedge units using the navy rectangles and four white squares. Be sure the white corners are in the upper right as shown.

Use the remaining white squares and the red squares to make four half-square triangles (HSTs). Sew the HSTs to the navy squares exactly as shown.

Now sew the wedges to the HST segments as shown.

Complete the block.

Complete the block.

Now you can lay out the units as shown, sew them into rows and sew the rows together to complete your Veterans’ Star block.

I have made several blocks now with that star border around an inner block.

"Bailey's Cross" By Anne Wiens 2013

“Bailey’s Cross” By Anne Wiens 2013

 

Step 6

“Double Framed Double Dutch” by Anne Wiens (2014)

I may eventually wind up with enough blocks to make a calendar quilt!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | Leave a comment

Bon Bon, Anyone?

It’s probably a good thing that the Montana Chocolate Factory is 4-hours and a mountain pass away, because I’m not certain I could be trusted to set foot in the place. Look what they posted on their Facebook page the other day:

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The Montana Chocolate Company – 2014

It just so happens that blue, brown and white is one of my favorite color combinations, and I just happen to have some scraps left over from a quilt block swap among members of Quiltmaker Magazine’s 2013 Scrap Squad, so I made a Bon Bon of my own. Here’s the “recipe”:

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Ingredients for one 12″ (finished) Bon Bon block

For a 12″ (finished) Bon Bon block, you need:

One 6.5″ square of a novelty print.

Two 4.5″ squares background (off-white)

Four 4.5″ squares brown

Two 4.5″ squares accent color #1 (light blue)

Four 3.5″ square background (off-white)

Four 2.5″ squares accent color #2 (navy)

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Step 1a

Step 1: We’ll use the stitch-and-flip method to put a navy corner on the 3.5″ off-white squares. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2.5″ navy squares. Lay a navy square on the corner of an off-white square, right-sides-together and align the edges. Sew along the drawn line and trim the corner away 1/4″ from the seam line.

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Step 1b

I like to press my seams open, but you can press toward the dark triangle if you prefer. Set these squares aside.

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Step 2a

Step 2: We need to make eight quarter-square triangles (QSTs). I use a Tucker Trimmer ™ for this step. Cut the 4.5″ brown, light blue and off-white squares diagonally twice. Use the triangles to sew eight squares that look like the one pictured above. These will be a little larger than we need them to be, so we use the Tucker Trimmer to trim them down to size.

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Step 2b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so that the solid diagonal line is on the SW-NE seam line. the 3-1/2″ dotted diagonal line should be on the NW-SE seam line. Notice that the left and bottom edges of the QST extend slightly beyond the 3-1/2″ vertical and horizontal dotted lines. Trim the right and top edges

Step 2c

Step 2c

Now rotate the QST and line up the solid diagonal and 3-1/2″ dotted diagonal lines. This time the left and bottom edges should line up with the 3-1/2″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines. Trim the right and top edges. Do this with all eight QSTs.

Step 3a

Step 3a

Step 3: Sew the QSTs into four pairs as shown above.

Step 3b

Step 3b

Sew one pair of QSTs to each side of the 6.5″ center square as shown above.

Step 3c

Step 3c

Sew the corner squares from step 1 to the ends of the other two QST pairs.

Step 3d

Step 3d

Sew these strips to the top and bottom of the center square unit to complete your Bon Bon block.

Enjoy!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | 3 Comments

A Little Halloween Treat

In the Thrifty Quilter’s Facebook group the other day, I shared a color inspiration photo that generated a bit of conversation. It was a Jack-o-Lantern. The pumpkin was painted orchid purple, Pantone’s Color of the Year. The orchid paired with the bright orange of the pumpkin’s insides made my color sensor jump and cry “eek!” After my initial shock, however, it occurred to me that we see orange and purple a lot in sunrises and sunsets, so it’s not as outlandish as it seemed.

I wasn’t sure I could commit to an entire purple and orange quilt, but I happened to have a block in my sketchbook that I was willing to try it on.

I call it “Double-Framed Double Dutch.”

Here’s how to make this totally TQable 12″ (finished) block:

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For each block, you will need:

Dark Purple: Four 2.5″ squares

Light Purple: Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and twelve 2.5″ squares

Light Orange: Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

Dark Orange: Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and four 2.5″ squares

White: Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and eight 2.5″ squares

Construction:

Step 1a - Sew and Flip

Step 1a – Sew and Flip

For this block, we’re going to use the “stitch and flip” technique to trim corners on the rectangles.

To do this, you will draw a diagonal line on the back of your squares, align the square with the end of your rectangle, sew on the line and trim away the corner 1/4″ from the seam. When you press the seam open, you will have a rectangle with a contrasting corner.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Make two light purple rectangles with white corners on the upper left and two with white corners on the upper right. In the Thrifty Quilter system, we call these “wedge” units.

Step 1c

Step 1c

Make four white rectangles with dark orange corners on the upper right.

Step 1d

Step 1d

Make 4 light orange rectangles, with a white corner on the upper left and a dark purple corner on the lower right. This is a “blade” unit in Thrifty Quilter terms.

Step 1e

Step 1e

Make four dark orange rectangles with light purple corners on the upper left and upper right, a.k.a. flying geese units.

Step 2

Step 2

Sew the white & dark orange wedge units to the blade units as shown to make one quarter unit. Make four of these.

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Step 3

Now sew the four quarter-units together to make the Double Dutch pinwheel. Set aside.

Step 4

Step 4

Sew the light purple and white wedge units to the ends of two flying geese units.

Sew the remaining 2.5″ light purple squares to the ends of the other two flying geese units.

Step 5

Step 5

Sew the shorter strips to the sides of the Double Dutch unit.

Step 6

Step 6

Sew the longer flying geese strips to the top and bottom of the Double Dutch unit to complete your Double-Framed Double Dutch block.

I have to admit, by the time I finished this block, I was thinking  that an orange and purple quilt wouldn’t be bad at all. I don’t think I’d even use sashing…just set the blocks together side by side, so the Double Dutch pinwheels and their dark orange frames “float” on a light purple field. I’d probably add a 4″ white border and bind it in the dark purple. 12 blocks would make a 44″ x 56″ crib quilt, and 20 blocks would make a cozy 56″ x 68″ lap quilt.

I can also see this block in Christmas reds and greens. Or, a scrappy quilt with the pinwheel and inner border in different colors from block to block, tied together with a black and multi-colored print in place of the light purple border.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, The Thrifty Quilter System | 4 Comments

Two for Teal and Teal for Two

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and each September, Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs  hosts a fund-raising mug-rug swap she calls “Two for Teal”.

In return for a donation to Ovarian Cancer research, Beth sends each participant a swatch of fabric. This year it was a hand-dyed teal provided by Cherrywood Fabrics. The challenge is to make a mug rug, which will be traded with another participant.

Here’s the rug I made:

2014 by Anne Wiens

Mug Rug 1 – 2014 by Anne Wiens

Here’s how I did it:

Materials

Materials

One 2.5″ square for the star center (light blue)

One 3.5″ square for the accent diamond (pink)

Two 3.5″ squares for star points (lime green)

One 3.5″ square and four 2.5″ squares for star background (teal)

Four 2.5″ squares and one 2.5″ x 6.5″ strip for border (orange)

One 2.25″ x 42″ strip for binding (orange)

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Materials

For the backing and batting, I had a couple of pieces of fabric backed with fusible fleece left over from another project. These are about 8″ x 10″. The mug rugs finished at 6.5″ x 8.5″.

Construction - Step 1

Construction – 1a

Step one is to make the four quarter-square triangles (QSTs)  for the star-point units.

I like to use my Tucker Trimmer(tm) for this step. Since our finished QST will be 2″ square, we add 1.5″ and begin with 3.5″ squares. Use your favorite method to make the QSTs as shown above. These QSTs are larger than they need to be, so we will trim them down.

Construction - Step 1b

Construction – 1b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so the solid diagonal line is on the SW-NE seam, and the dashed 2.5″ diagonal line is on the NW-SE seam. Notice that the lower and left edges of the QST extend beyond the 2.5″ vertical and horizontal lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges.

Construction - Step 1c

Construction – 1c

Now rotate the QST and line up the Tucker Trimmer again. This time, the two edges you just cut should align with the 2.5″ vertical and horizontal lines, and the diagonal lines on the ruler should line up with your seams. Trim the right and top edges. Make four of these units.

Construction - Step 2

Construction – 2

Step 2: Lay out the star point units with the 2.5″ teal and light blue squares as shown above, and sew together to make your 6.5″ Variable Star block.

Construction - Step 3a

Construction – 3a

Step 3: We make the curved corners on the star block with a technique called Dimensional Curved Piecing, which I learned from patterns by Annette Ornelas of Southwind Designs.

Fold the four orange squares in half diagonally and press. Lay one triangle on the NE corner of the star block and another on the SE corner, aligning the raw edges. Sew the 2.5″ x 6.5″ orange strip to the right edge of the star block, catching the right edges of the folded squares in the seam. Press the seam toward the orange strip.

Construction - Step 4a

Construction – 4a

 Step 4: At this point, I pinned the piece to the backing and quilted it. Because this is such a small piece, I used the inside edge of the “toe” of my 1/4″ foot as a stitching guide, running it just along the seam lines. I quilted around the green star points, inside the center square and inside the pink diamond.

If you look at the upper-left corner of the photo, you’ll notice that I folded the loose orange triangles back onto the orange strip to keep them out of my way while I quilted.

Construction - 4b

Construction – 4b

When I do straight-line stitching like this, there will be times I can’t carry the line off the edge of the piece. When I have to start and/or stop “in the field”, I leave myself 3-4″ of thread, which I thread into an embroidery needle (the larger eye is easier on my eyes)  and bury inside the quilt. No knots, no back-stitching, just a nice, clean finish.

Construction - Step 5a

Construction – 5

 Step 5: I hope I don’t confuse you here. I missed photographing this step, so imagine that in this photo, the piece is quilted. You now trim the backing and batting to match the outside edges of your piece. Fold the  NE and SE triangles back over the block corners and pin in place, then pin the last two folded orange squares to the NW and SW corners of the star block.

Construction - Step 6

Construction – 6

Step 6: Press your 2.25″ x 42″ orange strip in half lengthwise, and sew this binding strip to the front side of your piece, to secure all of the raw edges of the orange triangles.

Because the diagonal fold of the orange triangles is on the bias, you can fold this edge back to form a gentle curve. Carefully hand-stitch this edge. You can do it by machine, but personally, I think it’s actually easier and looks nicer sewn by hand.

Now you can finish the back-side of the binding to complete your mug rug.

This quick project took me approximately four hours to complete.

You can use any 6″ (finished size) quilt block to make these mats…

Mug Rug 2 - 2014 by Anne Wiens

Mug Rug 2 – 2014 by Anne Wiens

or substitute a 6.5″ fussy-cut of a favorite print!

Categories: 6" TQ Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, The Thrifty Quilter System | 2 Comments

But I Digress…..

One reason I have a lot of unfinished projects cluttering up my studio is that I suffer from ADDD…Attention Deficit Designing Disorder. Too often a project in progress is interrupted by an idea that just flutters into my brain. Most dash off before I can grab a paper and pencil, but now and again one settles in and makes itself at home. This is one of those ideas.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a tutorial for my “Quarter Star” block.

Since then, I have been working on a blog series that should begin next Month. Well, sir, the two ideas collided and formed a new block. I had to stop and whip one up.

I don’t even have a name for it yet, but I like it…a lot…so I’m going to go ahead and share it:

(Put Title Here)

I used 2.5″ and 4.5″ squares and made an 8″ (finished size) block.

For a 12″ block, use 3.5″  and 6.5″ squares.

GE DIGITAL CAMERATo make this block, you will need:

One large square

Eight small white squares

Four sets of three matching small squares

GE DIGITAL CAMERADraw a diagonal line on the back of each of the small white squares. Pair each with a small print square and make four pairs of  half-square triangles (HST’s), using the “stitch and flip” method.

You will have one small square of each color remaining, plus your large square.

GE DIGITAL CAMERALay out all of the parts as shown, so that your HST’s form star points around the large center square.

GE DIGITAL CAMERASew the HST’s into pairs.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow you can sew the remaining small squares to the ends of the top and bottom star point pairs. Sew the other star point pairs to the large center square.

GE DIGITAL CAMERASew the rows together to complete the block.

Now, what shall I call it?

Please give me your best idea in a comment, below.

 

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 2 Comments

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