Monthly Archives: January 2018

A Wing and a Plan

A while back I scored a leftover piece of a pretty holiday bird print, and was able to fussy-cut several 6.5″ squares from them. There aren’t nearly enough for a quilt, so I tossed them into my bin of 6.5″ squares to await an appropriate pattern. One evening I was playing with ideas for simple blocks that would appear to interlock. I came up with these two. One is not quite a Square-in-a-Square, and the other is not quite a Sawtooth Star. Here’s how I made them:

BLOCK 1 – Not Quite a Sawtooth Star

IMG_1965For a 10″ (finished size) block, you will need:

Center: One 6.5″ Focus Print

Starpoints: Eight 2.5″ squares

Background: Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles, four 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles, four 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles.



Step 1: Use the Stitch-and-Flip method to make four Flying Geese units from the 2.5″x 4.5″ background rectangles and 2.5″ squares.

TIP: When making Flying Geese, always stitch from the center of the rectangle toward the outer corner. This prevents your machine from “eating” the tips of your corners.

Step 2: Sew the 1.5″ x 2.5″ background rectangles to the ends of two of the Flying Geese units, and sew theseĀ  to the sides of the center square. Sew the 2.5″ x 3.5″ background rectangles to the ends of the two remaining Flying Geese units. Sew these units to the top and bottom of the center square.


BLOCK 2 – Not Quite Square-in-a-Square

IMG_1971For a 10″ (finished size) block, you will need:

Center: One 6.5″ fussy-cut square

Triangles: Eight 2.5″ squares

Background: Four 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles, and four 2.5″ x 5.5″ rectangles.


IMG_1972Step 1: Use the Stitch-and-Flip method to put colored corners on lower right corner of half of your background rectangles, and on the lower left corner of the rest.





Step 2: Sew the rectangles into pairs. Sew the shorter pairs to the sides of the center square, and the longer pairs to the top and bottom.

So now I have two blocks without proper names…though, I’ll admit that “Not Quite Sawtooth Star” and “Not Quite Square-in-a-Square” are kind of growing on me.

Where am I going from here? The plan is to make 10 star blocks and 10 diamond blocks, all with a bird print in the center and put them together in a solid alternating pattern, add a 2″ border, bind it in a woodgrain fabric and add it to my Thrifty Quilter trunk show. Unfortunately, I only have one more 6.5″ square with realistic looking birds on hand, so it will take a while to collect enough blocks for this one.

Someone asked how many Thrifty Quilter quilts I am working on at any one time. Right now, I am actively working on five. Here’s how I keep them straight:

IMG_1979I have a large zip-lock plastic bag for each project. On it, I write the title of the quilt, and the number of blocks I need to make the quilt. I also keep a running tally of how many blocks I have completed for that quilt.

Inside, I put a copy of my pattern sketches, any completed blocks, and any background fabric I have for that quilt. Then, each time I add a block or two to the bag, I add a mark to the tally line on the front of the bag, so I can tell at a glance how close I am to having enough.

My quilty resolution for 2018 is to finish one UFO for each new project I start…and to finish the new project as well. I know I will fail on the UFO pledge, but we’ll see how close I can come. This year, I already have another Moda Bake Shop project, two magazine quilts, my National Quilters Day pattern sample on the to-do list. It helps that they all havd dealines. I have also signed up for TWO block-of-the-month programs. (What was I thinking?)

Oh wait, it gets better: I have been named an Island Batiks Ambassador for 2018.


That’s 13 more projects! Thankfully, most will be smaller projects. I’m waiting for my first package of Island Batik fabrics now, and my first two projects will be posted here next month.

It’s going to be a busy year here on the blog, so if you haven’t already, click the “follow” button, so you don’t miss any of the fun!



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