Monthly Archives: May 2017

Twinkle, Twinkle, Scrappy Star….

My, how colorful you are!

      Recently I was cutting some fabric leftovers and discovered I was winding up with a lot of 4.5″ and 2.5″ squares. a few months ago, I finished a quilt with Sawtooth Star blocks made with fabrics from each of the projects I’ve made over the past couple of years.

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“My Colorful Life” 2016 by Anne Wiens

      After I finish a project, I cut up any leftover strips of fabric less than a quarter-yard into Thrifty Quilter pieces for use later in scrap quilts. I decided to go ahead and make up an 8″ Sawtooth Star or two, and set them aside, adding to the stack until I had enough for a quilt. All the rest of the pieces went into my TQ bins. I was surprised at how quickly I collected the 35 blocks I needed for this 44″ x 60″ quilt!

     I like this little quilt. It’s really a material diary of my projects for 2015 and 2016!

     I decided to do another star quilt “diary” for this year’s projects, which will include class samples, demo samples, a challenge project, and charity quilts.

     Looking at my growing collection of 2.5″ squares and 4.5″ squares, I decided on a variation of the classic “Ohio Star” block. I’m thinking this quilt will become a class for the Tucker Trimmer® rotary cutting tool, because I’ll be making a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs).

For each block you will need:IMG_1356

Two 4.5″ sq for background (White-not shown)

Two 4.5″ sq for star points (Dk Teal)

Three 4.5″ sq for star background (Lt Teal)

One  4.5″ sq for accent diamond (Lt Orange)

One 3.5″ sq for star center (Red)

Four 2.5″ sq for optional corner accent (Dk Orange)

Let’s begin construction by making the HST. For this, you need the two 4.5″ background (white) squares, and two of the 4.5″ star background (light teal) squares. Cut each square diagonally and sew into two HSTs.

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Step 1. Lay the Tucker Trimmer® on the HST, aligning the diagonal line with the seam line. Be sure the HST extends beyond the 3.5″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines on the tool.

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Step 2. Trim the right and top edges.

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Step 3. Rotate the HST, line the diagonal line up on the seam again. This time the cut edges snug right up to the 3.5″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines. Trim the right and top edges.

You now have four perfect 3.5″ HSTs. To be honest, you can do this with any small ruler that has a diagonal line in the corner.

IMG_1360The Tucker Trimmer® earns its keep when we make QSTs, and we’ll do that now. Cut the remaining 4.5″ star background (light teal) square, the 4.5″ accent diamond (light orange) square, and two star point (dark teal) squares diagonally twice, and sew into four QSTs as shown.

When you look at the tucker trimmer, you’ll notice that in addition to the solid diagonal line from corner to corner, there are dashed diagonal lines running in the opposite direction.

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When making QSTs, you line the solid diagonal line with one diagonal seam, and the appropriate (3.5″ in our case) dashed diagonal line with the other seam. Trim two sides, rotate and trim the other two sides, as you did before.

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Ohio Star – Variation 1

Lay out your center square, star point units and corner units as shown at right. This would be one variation of this block, and you may decide this is the look you want.

I’m going to set my blocks side-by-side, which will leave large white diamonds in the corners where the blocks come together. If I were going to send this quilt to a certain longarm artist I know, I’d leave that as a canvas for her to show off her mad skills. Instead, I’m going to add accent triangles to those white corners.

We’ll use the stitch-and-flip method for these accent triangles.

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Step 1. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2.5″ accent (dark orange) squares. Align the square with the white corner on the HST, and sew on the drawn line.

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Step 2. Trim 1/4″ outside the seam line.

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Step 3. Press the corner into place.

Now you can lay out the center square, corner units and star point units. Sew into rows and sew the rows together to complete your Ohio Star block.

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Ohio Star Variation 2 – 2016 by Anne Wiens

My plan is to make and collect these Ohio Star blocks until I have about twenty. I have a pretty interesting border treatment in mind that would be kind of traditional, but kind of modern. In my mind, it’s a great quilt. Time will tell if it translates to fabric!

 

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Categories: 9" TQ Blocks, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | 4 Comments

Plays Well With Others

Quiltmaker Magazine has released it’s latest 100 Blocks special edition!

My contribution to Volume 15 is #1498 – “Showcase”.

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“Showcase” by Anne Wiens – 2016

I designed this simple-looking block to show off those medium and large-scale prints that you just hate to cut into little bits. I think the secret to this block’s success is to make sure the background – the dark red in the sample – is a quiet, non-directional tone-on-tone print, because there are some little seams that you want to camouflage.

In the magazine, the editors show a mock-up of a small square quilt, with thirteen Showcase blocks, set on point, three blocks across and three blocks down. When I saw that, I thought this block is not a contender for the title of “Best Block in a Leading Role.” I actually felt a little sad and sorry for the poor block.

Then I began to play around with my QuiltPro software, combining “Showcase” with other blocks from the issue, and WOW- it’s a shoe-in for “Best Supporting Block!”

Here are a few examples:

QM100-JOHNSON

#1469 “Coronation” by Deborah Johnson

# 1469

This is the same 13-block on-point layout shown in the magazine. I replaced the eight outside “Showcase” with “Coronation” blocks (#1469). Four of the “Showcase” blocks now have a light background, while the center block keeps its dark pink background. If I started playing with colors, I think this would become a real Southwestern-style wallhanging!

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QM100-MARTIN

#1477 “Boxed Star” by Debbie Martin

# 1477 - Boxed Star

This traditional alternating blocks layout features block #1477. I did change the colors in “Boxed Star”. Neither block is that intricate on its own, but as co-stars, they have a certain “chemistry”, don’t you think? I loved that secondary design where the corners come together, so I pulled that element out into the black border for emphasis.

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QM100-BAILEY

#1450 “Star Power” by Emily Bailey

Star Power 1

Oh, did I have fun with block  “Star Power”! This is a scrap block in the magazine, but when you’re making the quilt, you get to pick the colors. Again, this is a traditional alternating block setting. I love the Irish Chain vibe!

Star Power 2

I just couldn’t leave this pairing of “Showcase” and “Star Power” alone, and came up with these possibilities.

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QM100-WEBER

 #1444 “Two Lips” by Ann Weber

Victory Lane

You’re probably wondering where “Two Lips” went. I wanted to do a layout that would tie into this week’s “Road Rally” blog tour theme. I imagine this quilt starring a race car print in the center of the “Showcase” blocks, with a theme coordinate in the light gray strips between the blocks.  Let’s say the “Two Lips” block makes a cameo appearance here. It gave me the border idea for this layout!

It’s a good thing I had a deadline for posting this blog, because honestly, I’d still be playing with possibilities!

But now, it’s time to give away a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 15.

Vol15-Cover-200px

Leave a comment below and tell me:

How far do you have to drive to visit your favorite local quilt shop?

(Give them a shout-out if you’d like!)

One winner will be chosen at random on Saturday (May 6, 2017)

Thanks for stopping by “Seams Like a Plan”. Click the “follow” button at the top of the page, and you’ll be notified when there is a new post.

Click HERE to return to the “Quilty Pleasures” blog and continue today’s blog tour.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quiltmaker Magazine | 112 Comments

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