Other Blocks & Patterns

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:

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#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.

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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 | 111 Comments

Spring is Busting Out All Over

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“Star Route” by Anne Wiens – 2016

The Spring 2017 issue of Quiltmaker’s Quilts from 100 Blocks should be on your newsstand today, and one of the fourteen patterns is mine! You can read about the new issue by clicking on the link.

Remember my “Star Route” block from last fall’s Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 14?

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“Budding Blossoms” by Anne Wiens 60″x60″ (Photo: Quiltmaker)

Well, it’s grown into “Budding Blossoms”, a 60″ x 60″ wallhanging/lap quilt!

This project was a bit of a Scrap Squad ’13 reunion. I designed it and sewed the top, it was quilted by Nicole Brouillette, and we used a flange binding technique we learned from Marti Dyer-Allison. The magazine includes a quick photo tutorial on how to make the binding. Marti did a video tutorial, which you can watch HERE.

I loved working with Kathy Deggendorfer’s “Wild by Nature” collection from Maywood Studio. I even had enough fabric leftover to make a second lap quilt, which I’d like to share with you. The design for this quilt was driven by the fabrics I had on hand, with the addition of a black tone-on-tone for the block background.

The first thing I did was to deconstruct the Star Route block. I took the “Hole in the Barn Door” block from the center, and the “Sawtooth Star” that surrounded it. I had enough pink, green, orange and yellow fabrics to make 12 “Hole in the Barn Door” and a dozen “Sawtooth Star” blocks. These blocks are 9″ finished.

I also had just over 1/2 yard each of three of the floral prints. Not enough to make alternating 9″ squares, so I had to get a little clever. I sewed the pieced blocks into pairs, and eked out four 9.5″ x 18.5″ rectangles of each of the three florals.  Each pair of blocks was sewn to the long side of a floral rectangle. Knowing that it would not be fun to unsew 18″ seams on a black fabric, I decided to draw and label the layout. (I still wound up unsewing one seam.)

And here she is….”Country Girl” is 54″ x 72″ as is, which would be a nice lap-size quilt.

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“Country Girl” 2017 by Anne Wiens

It’s finished, according to the pattern. But I just may add a 3″ black border to it, which would make it 60″ x 78″. I haven’t decided yet. The binding will be that green from the center of the “Hole in the Barn Door” blocks.We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’m on to my next project…a “guy quilt” for Quiltmaker Magazine.

qf100-cover-500If you don’t find a copy of the new Quilts from 100 Blocks issue, click HERE to order it directly from Quiltmaker in print or digital format.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Quiltmaker Magazine, Quilts from 100 Blocks, Uncategorized, Wallhangings | Leave a comment

Another “Special Delivery” from Quiltmaker!

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 14 debuts today, and not quite smack dab in the center of the cover is my block, “Star Route”.

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Here’s a better photo:

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“Star Route” by Anne Wiens 2016

This block is a combination and slight adaptation of two of my favorite traditional quilt blocks. A “Hole in the Barn Door”block, surrounded by a Sawtooth Star. I live in farming and ranching country in north-central Montana. Many rural residents get their mail by “star route” carriers.

I wondered where the term “star route” originated, so I consulted the USPS website. Long story short, instead of writing out “celerity, certainty and security” on the bid paperwork, postal clerks took to using three asterisks (***), and the contracts came to be called “star routes.” Follow the link for the long version of the story.

There are a lot of pieces in this block, but it isn’t difficult to make. It’s mostly half-square triangles with stitch-and-flip tips. It is a little time-consuming.

Here’s what the block might look like in a quilt:

crib-lap

Left: Crib size quilt is 42″ x 54″ and uses 12 blocks, with pieced border units.                Right: Lap-size quilt is 54″ x 66″ and uses 20 blocks with pieced border units.

You may notice that I added an orange triangle to the pink triangles of the original block. That’s because when I started setting the blocks together, I found that I had large pink diamonds forming, and they distracted the eye from the block centers. Those orange pieces are cut the same size as the blue pieces in the block.

border-units

Border Square 1         Border Square 2

These are actually square units, though they may not look like it on your screen.

Square #1 – The “green” square is the same as the star-point units in the block, substituting black for white in the half-square triangle.

Square #2 – The “pink square starts with a 3.5” black square. The stitch and flip pink corner is the same size as the one in the corner square of the block. The orange stitch and flip corner is the same size square as the blue square in Square #1.

border-unit-construction

You need two of Square #1 and two of Square #2 for each border unit.

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You will need one border unit each block in the top and bottom row of your quilt, one for each block along the sides of your quilt, and two border units plus one more Square #2 for each corner block.

So that’s one way to use the Star Route block.

My Quilt Pro design software and I had a lot of fun playing with this block, and you will be amazed at when I came up with for the next Quiltmaker special issue Quilts from 100 Blocks. However, you’ll have to wait until the magazine comes out next spring.

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I have a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 14 to give away. To be entered in the random drawing, just leave a comment on this blog, and tell me what town would we be sending your prize to?

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Click HERE to check out my Facebook page

Click HERE to return to the Quilty Pleasures blog tour.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quiltmaker Magazine, Quilts | 160 Comments

Swap Meet

I came home from Quilt Market last Spring with a fun little bundle of nine fat quarters from Cotton + Steel, a division of RJR Fabrics:

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“Porch Picnic” FQ bundle by Cotton + Steel, RJR Fabrics

These are prints I would not normally choose for myself, which I think is one reason I bought the bundle. The real reason is that they were on sale. I’m shameless that way.

Now what to do with them?

I wanted a quick project that would use as much of each FQ as possible, and  the project I came up with is something I call the “Swap Meet”.

The math worked out beautifully – each FQ will yield enough pieces for one block, so you need only to figure out how many blocks you need and buy that number of FQs!

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I had nine FQs, and needed twelve for a 42″ x 54″ quilt, so I added three more FQs.

I bought enough of that teal solid to add a 3″ (finished) border.

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 I divided my bundle into pairs. Each pair needs contrast in value and scale.

I opened and pressed each pair of FQs.

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Oops! C+S sneaked a regular quarter-yard cut into the bundle…and it’s a border print to boot. That will not work with this pattern, so I swapped it out for another pink print.

Now it’s time to cut, swap and sew. I decided to work with just one pair of FQs at a time, to avoid confusion. I cut one pair, sewed the blocks, then cut the next pair of FQs. If you prefer to do all your cutting at once, cut a pair, put all the pieces in a zip-bag, then cut the next pair and repeat.

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From each FQ, cut one 6.5″ x 20.5″ strip and two 3.5″ x 21″ strips.

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Cut the 6.5″ strip into one 6.5″ square and four 6.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles.

Cut each 3.5″ strip into six 3.5″ squares.

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Now swap the 6.5″ squares and eight of the 3.5″ squares.

You now have the makings of two blocks. One will have a light star on a dark background, and the other will be a dark star on a light background.

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Use the “stitch and flip” method to make four 3.5″ x 6.5″ flying geese units for each block.

If you are not familiar with this method, click HERE for a very good tutorial from Quiltmaker. You’ll notice that Diane folds her squares to find her diagonal sewing line. I prefer to mark mine lightly with a mechanical pencil. Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to. You’ll get the same results with both methods.

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Sew one flying geese unit to opposite sides of the 6.5″ square.

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Sew the remaining 3.5″ squares to the ends of the other two flying geese.

Sew these strips to the top and bottom of the center strip.

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Each pair of FQs will give you two blocks.

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When all of your blocks are complete, lay them out in a pleasing arrangement, and sew together. I added a 3.5″ (unfinished) border for a 42″ x 54″ quilt top.

For a 54″ x 66″ lap quilt, make twenty blocks, set four across and five down. A 66″ x 90″ twin-size quilt would need 35 blocks, set in seven rows of five blocks. In this case, you would need 36 FQs, and would have one block left over. The dimensions listed also include a 3.5″ (unfinished) border.

Who among us doesn’t have a bunch of FQs that don’t seem to match anything in our stash, whether they are leftovers from project bundles, spoils from the last guild raffle, or FQs purchased in a weak moment when they were on sale. Pair ’em up and the next time you feel like sewing, but don’t want to start a new project, cut a pair or two up and make a few Sawtooth Swap blocks. Set them aside, adding a few to the pile now and again. You’ll be amazed how quickly these blocks multiply! You’ll have a quilt’s worth in no time.

Categories: FQ Projects, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quilts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Sun Rises on Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 12

And guess who’s block is right there on the cover. 🙂

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That’s “Rising Sun”, front and slightly left of center!

"Rising Sun" block by Anne Wiens

“Rising Sun” block by Anne Wiens

This block was named for one of my favorite spots in Glacier National Park. It’s just a few miles up Going-to-the-Sun Road from the St. Mary’s entrance to the park.

The “Sun” isn’t in the center of this block. It “rises” when you put four blocks together, as I did in this 32″ x 32″ wallhanging:

Rising Sun Wallhanging © 2015 by Anne Wiens

Rising Sun Wallhanging © 2015 by Anne Wiens

In making this piece, I made one change to the block as shown in 100 Blocks.

1

1

In each of the four blocks, I substituted a 2.5″ white square for one of the 2.5″ medium green squares.

2

2

This made a twelve-point white star surrounding my “sun” in the center of the piece. Sew the four blocks together.

The border is made in sections.

Border unit pieces

Border unit pieces

There are eight 4.5″ x 12.5″ border sections- two per block.

For each border section you need two 2.5″ dark blue squares and two 2.5″ light blue squares, plus two 4.4″ x 6.5″ white rectangles.

You will also need four 4.5″ white squares for the corners.

 

3

3

Use the Stitch-and-Flip method to put blue corners on the white rectangles. Eight units should have light blue on the left and dark blue on the right (upper unit shown above), and eight should have dark blue on the left and light blue on the right (lower unit shown above.)

4

4

Sew the units into four pairs, matching the dark blue corners. You should have eight pairs. Sew two pairs together to make a border strip…you will have four.

Sew a border strip to two opposite sides of the blocks.

Sew 4.5″ white squares to the each end of the two remaining border strips and sew to the other two sides of the blocks.

Layer your batting, backing and top and quilt as desired. I quilted around my center “sun” and then concentric diamonds following the lines of my piecing.

I used my gold fabric for the binding.

Rising Sun Wallhanging  © 2015 by Anne Wiens

Rising Sun Wallhanging © 2015 by Anne Wiens

Since I was a member of the 2013 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad, I have been hooked on “scrapping” patterns, including my own. I will be giving this block a good scrapping soon, so bookmark this blog and check back often!

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Time to give away a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol 12.

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Leave a comment below and tell me…what colors will you use for your Rising Sun block? The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday morning, Nov 22, 2015.

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PS: Did you see the Bitty Block I designed for the Quiltmaker blog today?

Check it out HERE!

Click HERE to continue the 100 Blocks Vol 12 Blog Tour.

Categories: 100 Blocks, 12" TQ Blocks, Quiltmaker Magazine, Wallhangings | 111 Comments

Scrap Quilt Challenge

10502479_1113162472031784_6161606727607688505_nOne of my favorite Facebook groups is Scrap Quilt Challenge, run by Shannon, whose day job is running a quilt shop – Fabrics N Quilts in Jamestown, Tennessee. The 5th annual Scrap Quilt Challenge is underway, and Shannon has asked several of her designer friends to help provide inspiration to the challenged by posting a scrap quilt pattern on our blogs. No problem. After all, scrap quilt patterns are what I do!

If this is your first visit to “Seams Like a Plan”, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look back over my previous posts. My first post explains the basics of my Thrifty Quilter scrap management system and how I came to write my book, The Thrifty Quilter:Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric Another post from this January goes into a little more detail. In between, you’ll find a few block and project patterns and tutorials.

Now, on to the Scrap Challenge block you were promised.

"Showcase A" by Anne Wiens - 2015

“Showcase A”
by Anne Wiens – 2015

Yes, there is a “Showcase B” block, which I posted a few weeks ago. Click HERE to go to that blog. I know…I know…logically, “A” should have been posted before “B”. I don’t even have a logical excuse, if I need an excuse at all. I guess I was just in a contrary mood. 😉

I called these blocks “Showcase” because they’re perfect for showing off print scraps that you don’t really want to chop up into smaller pieces.

Showcase A - Parts & Pieces

Showcase A – Parts & Pieces

For each block you will need:

Main Print – One 8.5″ square

Dark – Eight 2.5″ squares

Medium – Twelve 2.5″ squares

Light – Four 2.5″ squares and Eight 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

Step 1a: Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of the dark and medium squares.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Step 1b – Lay a medium square on each corner of your 8.5″ main print square. Sew on the drawn lines and trim 1/4″ outside the seam line. Press the corners open. Set this unit aside.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 2 – Use the rest of your dark and medium squares and the light rectangles to make eight flying geese units. Four geese should have the dark on the right side and four should have the dark on the left side, as shown. Sew the geese into pairs so you have a large dark triangle between two smaller medium triangles (just as they’re laid out above.)

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3 – Sew one flying geese pair to the left side of your center unit, and another flying geese pair to the right side.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4 – Sew 2.5″ light squares to the ends of the two remaining flying geese pairs. Sew one strip to the top of your center unit and the other to the bottom, to complete your Showcase A block.

My plan is to use a “solid” setting with no sashing between the blocks, and alternate Showcase A and Showcase B blocks. Twelve blocks (six of each) with a 4″ border would make a 44″ x 56″ crib-size quilt. For a lap-size quilt, I would need twenty blocks (ten of each). Thirty-five blocks (17 of one, 18 of the other) would make a generous twin-size quilt, and you would need 56 (28 each) for a queen-size quilt.

Ready to accept the Scrap Quilt Challenge?

Click on the icon below for details.

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Happy Scrapping!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Scrap Quilts, Special Events | 4 Comments

A Mini Block for a Maxi Cause

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Each September my friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs hosts a swap based on a pretty teal fabric to raise money to fund research to find a cure for this ugly disease.

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Blank Quilting, which produces a line of teal prints each year for Ovarian Cancer awareness, has generously donated a bolt of a beautiful teal print to the swap. Each participant will receive a piece of this print, which must be used to make a mug rug or mini quilt to swap with another member of the group. Click HERE for more details on the Teal Mini Swap.

You’re probably wondering what the photo at the top of the page has to do with this topic. True, there is no teal in it, but it is a miniature quilt, and gives me a chance to show off a neat little tool I picked up at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon a couple of years ago. It’s called the Mini Maple Leaf template, and was designed by Patricia Nowak of Cutting Edge Quilts.

The "Mini Maple Leaf" tool, designed by Patricia Nowak, Cutting Edge LLC

The “Mini Maple Leaf” tool, designed by Patricia Nowak, Cutting Edge LLC

This tool is designed to make 2″ or 4″ (finished size) Maple Leaf quilt blocks.

To make one block, you need one dark square and one light square.

For a 4″ finished block, start with 5″ squares. For a 2″ block, start with 4″ squares.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1 – Place the two squares right-sides-together and draw a diagonal line. Sew a 1/4″ seam on both sides of the line. Cut on the drawn line and press open for two half-square triangles (HSTs). Trim to 4-1/2″ squares.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2a – Note: There are two sets of markings on the tool. For demonstration purposes, I’m using the markings for the 4″ finished block in these photos.

Lay one HST on your cutting mat as shown. Lay the tool on your HST as shown, aligning the full-length black line with the left side of the HST, and cut this strip from the HST. Set aside.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2b – Rotate the remaining piece as shown and align the tool with the solid line on the left edge and the dotted line “C” on the bottom edge. Cut this square from the piece and set aside.

Step 2c

Step 2c

Step 2c – Cut a “C” square from the remaining white scrap. Set aside.

Step 3a

Step 3a

Step 3a – Lay the second HST on your mat as shown and align the tool with the solid line on the left edge of the HST and the “B” dotted line on the bottom edge. Cut the strip from the HST and set aside.

Steps 3b and 3c – Repeat Steps 2b and 2c.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAYou should have the pieces shown above.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4 – Sew the pieces into rows.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5 – Sew the rows together to complete your Mini Maple Leaf block.

Mini Maple Leaf blocks

Mini Maple Leaf blocks

If you start with a 4″ square (you can get by with 3-1/2″ squares) and use the other set of markings, you can make a 2″ finished block. You can embroider stems on your leaves, but I just drew them in with a Pigma® Micron pen.

Mini Maple Leaf Quilt - by Anne Wiens - 2015 (14" x 14")

Mini Maple Leaf Quilt – by Anne Wiens – 2015
(14″ x 14″)

I used 12 2″ Mini Maple Leaf blocks (2-1/2″ unfinished) and alternated them with 13 2-1/2″ print squares for this mini quilt. The borders are cut 2″ wide, and I used a faux piped binding technique to finish it with a little flair.

teal miniFor more information about the Teal Mini Swap Beth is organizing, click HERE.

Registration closes August 29th, and we are halfway to our goal of 200 participants, so there’s room for you and a friend or two!

Categories: Miniatures, Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, Special Events, Tutorials | Leave a comment

Question: What Do You Give a Quilter Who Has an Overflowing Scrap Stash?

Answer: More scraps, of course!

A while ago my friend Elaine shared with me a stack of fabric samples a shop down the Hi-Line (that’s U.S. Highway 2 in Montana-speak) had given her. There were some great tone-on-tones and small prints perfect for cutting into Thrifty Quilter pieces. Several of them were fun novelty prints that were just too cute to chop up, so I chose a baker’s dozen of them and decided this would be a perfect chance to try out my newest tool from Studio 180 Designs – The Corner Pop® trim tool.

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This tool is designed to help you put triangular corners on right-angle corners, and do so more accurately than with the standard stitch-and-flip method.

The block I had in mind is one I called “Showcase B”. Yes, there is a “Showcase A”, but I think I’m going to save that one for a special block in September.

Parts & Pieces for the Showcase B block.

Parts & Pieces for the Showcase B block.

For each block, you will need:

Novelty Print: one 8.5″ square

Dark: eight 2.5″ squares

Accent Color: six 3.5″ squares

White: two 3.5″ squares, four 2.5″ squares and four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

Note: Perhaps you have noticed that the novelty print shown in the photo above does not match the one in the finished block at the top of this post. I can explain.

WARNING: Do NOT lose the chart that comes with your Corner Pop tool!

WARNING: Do NOT lose the chart that comes with your Corner Pop tool!

There is a chart in the instruction sheet that comes with the Corner Pop® tool, and I had marked it for use on another project…with larger corners. Don’t do that.

Okay, back to business:

Step 1a

Step 1a

Step 1a- I pressed diagonal creases in my 8.5″ novelty print square.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Step 1b- Use the chart to determine the size of the triangle you need to trim from the  corners of the novelty print square. For this block, I needed a 2″ cut on all four corners. Double-check the chart. You only get one chance make this cut!

Step 1c-

Step 1c

Cut two of the 3.5″ squares diagonally to make four triangles. Center a triangle on the cut edge of the novelty square. I folded the triangle in half, then aligned the crease with the crease on my large square. Sew a 1/4″ seam and press.

Step 1d

Step 1d

Step 1d- Now you can use the Corner Pop® tool to trim the corner to its finished size.

That’s it. By the time you get to the 4th corner on this block, you’ll be an expert!

Click HERE for Deb Tucker’s tutorial on this handy tool.

Back to the block:

Step 2- Cut the four 3.5″ white squares and four 3.5″ accent color squares diagonally. Sew into eight half-square triangles (HSTs) and trim each one to 2.5″ squares.  I illustrated this in the July 5th blog.

Step 3- Use the eight 2.5″ dark squares and the 2.5″ x 4.5″ white rectangles to make four flying geese units. This post from last fall will explain the stitch-and-flip method.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Step 4a- Sew the HSTs to the flying geese units as shown. Make four of these strips.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Step 4b- Sew two of the strips to the sides of the novelty square.

Step 3

Step 5a

Step 5a- Sew the 2.5″ white squares to the ends of the remaining strips.

Showcase 2 - Anne Wiens 2015

Showcase 2 – Anne Wiens 2015

Step 5b- Sew these strips to the top and bottom to complete your Showcase B block.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Corner Pop (Studio 180 Designs), Other Blocks & Patterns, Scrap Quilts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

3…2…1…Launching Another “Quiltmaker 100 Blocks”

We’re Up to Volume 11, and my contribution to this collection is “Telstar”.

“Telstar” block by Anne Wiens – 2015

In 100 Blocks the editors gave you templates for paper-piecing this block. I pieced mine, using two of my favorite rotary cutting tools – the Tucker Trimmer® and Center Beam® tools from Studio 180 Design.

If I had named the block before I made it, I probably would have used a space-themed fabric in the center square. The truth is, I have an awful time coming up with titles for my designs. It just happened that I was reading an article about the early days of the US-USSR space race the day before I absolutely had to get this block in the mail.  There was a photo of the Soviets’ Sputnik satellite and the American satellite Telstar. Honestly, the block looks more like Sputnik, but I liked the Telstar name, so it stuck.

So, off Telstar went to Quiltmaker, and I began playing with projects built around the block. I did make a cute little quilt with an astronaut print, which I will save for another blog post next week.

For now, here are a couple of tablerunners made with the Telstar block:

Telstar Tablerunners by Anne Wiens - 2015

Telstar Tablerunners by Anne Wiens – 2015

Both tablerunners have 3 Telstar blocks set on point, with pieced triangle units.

I made a little change in the block in the “pink” tablerunner. More about that later.

The tablerunners measure about 18″ x 52″.

Telstar Tablerunner #1 - fabrics

Telstar Tablerunner #1 – fabrics

1/4 yard Floral Print

1/2 yard red

1/2 yard green

1/8 yard light blue (not shown)

1-1/8 yards dark blue (Not shown)

1 yard white

1/4 yard gold

Pieces for setting triangles.

Pieces for setting triangles.

You will need to make three Telstar blocks, according to the instructions in the magazine. For the setting triangles you will also need to make twenty of the corner (red & gold) units, and eight 3.5″ blue/white half-square triangles. Cut eight 5.5″ white squares, and cut each diagonally twice for 32 quarter-square triangles. You also need four 3.5″ squares of your main print. You may notice my green squares are missing one corner. I was determined to use this print in my tablerunner and I was down to my very last bits of it. I was not at all sure I was going to make it!

Pieced setting triangles

Pieced setting triangles

Make 4 setting triangles.

Corner units

Corner units

Sew white triangles to the remaining red and gold units and sew into 4 pairs.

End units

End units

Sew corner units to two of the Telstar blocks…

End units 2

End units 2

Sew a setting triangle to the right side of each of the end units.

Center unit & finishing

Center unit & finishing

Sew the other two setting triangles to opposite sides of the remaining Telstar block. Lay the center and end units out as shown and sew together to complete your Telstar top.

Use the dark blue fabric for backing and binding. Cut five 2.25″ (2.5″ if you prefer) x Width of Fabric strips, sew end-to-end and press in half lengthwise for your binding. Set aside. Cut the remaining 3/4 yard piece in half along the center fold and sew the two halves together end-to end. Your backing piece should measure approx 21″ x 56″.

Layer the top, batting and backing, quilt as desired and bind.

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Because I wasn’t certain I had enough of the green main print to make my first tablerunner, I bought fabric for a second. When I was sure I was “safe” with the first one, I tweaked the pattern a little for the second one.

Telstar Tablerunner #2- fabrics

Telstar Tablerunner #2- fabrics

In the second tablerunner, I substituted a medium pink for the light blue HSTs, and used the green from the “point” units in the block for the binding and backing as well.

Optional Points

Optional Points

I also put a light pink in place of some of the white pieces in the point units. In half the pink was on the left side of the green and in half it was on the right side.

Telstar Block - Option 2

Telstar Block – Option 2

It’s amazing what a difference the one little change makes in the finished block!

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Thank you for visiting “Seams Like a Plan”.

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Giveaway time!

Click on the magazine to return to Quiltmaker's  blog and continue the tour.

Click on the magazine to return to Quiltmaker’s blog and continue the tour.

Leave a comment below to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Quiltmaker 100 Blocks, Vol 11. It’s a random drawing, so gushing flattery won’t get you extra points…but it will make me smile.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, Quiltmaker Magazine, Tablerunners | 103 Comments

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

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