Once Around the Block


“Starshine” by Anne Wiens – 2017

Welcome to my stop on the Road Rally celebrating the latest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks! My contribution to volume 16 is “Starshine”.

If you wander through some of my previous blog posts, you’ll see that I am a big fan of scrap quilts. One reason is that I have a very low tolerance for tedium, and I find making the same block in the same colors over and over very tedious. Even when it’s my block, and even when I know the quilt would be fabulous. Given my druthers, I’ll make it a scrap quilt almost every time.

I built the color scheme for “Starshine”on the colors in the center square. As much as I love the original block, I couldn’t resist moving the colors around. If my math serves, there should be 720 possible combinations of the six colors in this block. Here are six, starting with the color placement in the sample block and simply rotating them through the positions:

Color Rotation

The rotation is top row, left to right, then bottom row, right to left.

When I show someone a new block design, the inevitable question is, “Now, what are you going to do with it?” Well, to stay with the Road Rally theme, that puts me at a crossroad. I decided on making placemats, and came up with three designs:


If you see one (or more) you like, follow the instructions in the magazine to construct the block. The instructions below are for two 3″ wide borders to turn the 12″ (finished) block into a 12″ x 18″ placemat.


Pmat 1


Pmat 2


Pmat 3

Vol16-Cover-200pxNow, who wants a free copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 16? Leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing, which will take place Sunday evening, Nov. 19.

If you enjoy scrap quilts, click the FOLLOW button at the bottom of this blog, and you’ll be notified anytime there’s a new post. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but there is usually a block pattern involved.

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Return to Quilty Pleasures to continue the Road Rally.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Quiltmaker Magazine, Uncategorized | 90 Comments

BBQ Season is Here…Picnic Placemats

Have you ever been taunted by a fabric?

It happens to me occasionally at my local quilt shop. I walk in and a fabric calls my name. Now, usually I know immediately what I would make with that fabric. You could call it a gift, I suppose, but it’s also a bit of a curse because it’s exactly how I became the keeper of a Fuji-esque mountain of unfinished projects. Now and again, however, a fabric stumps me. It may not be the first bolt I see on subsequent visits, but I know it’s there, and sooner or later it catches my eye, daring me to take it home and make something of it.

This is my latest antagonist:

"Big Stripe" by Michael Miller Fabrics

“Big Stripe” by Michael Miller Fabrics

It looks like your Grandma’s a patio awning, doesn’t it? (Not that that’s a bad thing.)

It’s taunted me long enough. I have turned it into a summery set of picnic placemats!

This pattern will work with any striped fabric, provided the stripes run lengthwise.

1-3/4 yards of the striped fabric will yield 8 placemats and a tablerunner, or 10 placemats.You will also need 3-1/2 yards of a coordinating fabric (I used solid white) for the backs and bindings. You will need a 60° triangle ruler. I used the Marti Michel ruler, but any brand will work as long as you can cut an 8″ tall triangle.

Step 1: Cut five 8″ strips lengthwise (parallel to the selvedge).

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 2: Line up the 8-1/2″ baseline of the triangle ruler with the bottom edge of a fabric strip and cut the triangle from the strip.

 GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 3: Rotate the ruler and line up the 8-1/2″ baseline with the top edge of the strip. Cut the triangle from the strip.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3, working your way down the strip until you have two sets of six triangles. Note: Right-handed cutters start at the left end of the strip and work to the right. Left-handed cutters start at the right end of the strip and work to the left.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 5: Sew two matching triangles together, and add a third triangle to make a half-hexagon. Make another one just like it.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 6: Sew the two hexagon halves together to complete your placemat top. How easy was that?

Each strip of fabric will yield two placemats.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 7: Cut one fat quarter (18″ x 22″) from your coordinating fabric for each placemat. Cut a piece of batting the same size. I prefer a flat batting for placemats and tablerunners…I like Fusible Fleece, Quilter’s Dream or Cotton Theory.

Step 8: Quilt as desired. I just machine quilted along the stripes.

Step 9: Cut two 2-1/4″ x width of fabric strips of coordinating fabric for binding each placemat. (obviously, I still have some work to do!)

GE DIGITAL CAMERADo I smell Barbeque?

Categories: Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Tutorials | 4 Comments

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