Scrap Quilts

“What I Did On My Summer Vacation”

Was anyone really given that first-day-of-school writing assignment? I don’t recall ever doing it, but I recall the phrase being a meme long before anyone had ever heard the term meme. I digress.

MBS-seashore_800x800Part of my summer was spent helping the Moda Bake Shop  cook up a quilt-along (QAL) sampler project called “At the Seashore.” If you weren’t a part of the fun, on the title and you can find all of the blocks offered and a few layout options. Some of the blocks contributed by my fellow Moda Bake Shop “Chefs” are absolutely awesome. My own contributions were a paper-pieced block, the Sailor’s Star, and a simple setting option I called “Calm Sea.”

There’s nothing I enjoy more than designing quilts and quilt projects, but a close second would be seeing photo after photo of my design in every color combination imaginable. Several of the quilters – we call them Moda Bake Shop “Bakers” – who took part in the quilt-along gave me permission to share photos of their Sailor’s Star blocks:

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The Sailor’s Star was the only paper-pieced block in this year’s QAL.  Of course, any time you’re sharing a pattern with templates – whether they’re individual pieces or paper-pieced units – you have to be very careful that the printout from your computer printer or photocopier is accurate. So it’s a good idea to print a test page, measure the templates and adjust your printing size to get the result you need. In the case of this block, even through my publishing software showed my template illustration was the correct size, I had to set my printer for 104% to get the printout right.


A couple of MBS Bakers had to deal with blocks that were just not quite perfect, and came up with successful solutions.

B-Marcy Heglund Henri

Marcy Heglund Henri’s block was a little shy of 12.5″ square, so she added a narrow border to it.

B-Linda Peimann Miller

Linda Peimann Miller wound up with corners that were just a little too rounded, so she added the triangles to the corners to sharpen them up, and between you and me, I think it really improved the block overall.

The “Calm Sea” setting was the simplest of the three setting options offered up by the MBS Chefs this summer. That’s not to say it was without its challenges. Because the blocks were set in vertical rows, the sashing strips between the offset rows were cut lengthwise, which meant the fabric had to be folded twice to cut it. Those folds had to be perfectly parallel to each other to avoid “doglegs” at the folds.

Here are photos of some of the “Calm Seas” quilts that Bakers have shared with me:

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Again, Bakers found a way to add their own touches to the setting. Frankie added seashore-themed prints to the ends of the rows, and Raylene appliqued starfish in the larger areas of the background. The pattern as written was 60″ x 82″, which is just shy of twin-size. Paula added two more rows to make her quilt wider.

I don’t know how many quilters took part in the “At the Seashore” QAL, but I know they all had fun. And I also know that the Moda Bake Shop Chefs are back in the “kitchen”  working on our next QAL, the 2019 Countdown to Christmas. We’ll offer up one block per day, and each will be offered in two or three sizes. The Countdown to Christmas begins on December 1st. Stop by the Moda Bake Shop blog each day for a downloadable pattern!

Categories: Moda Bake Shop, Scrap Quilts, Special Events | 1 Comment

O, Scrap!

Try It!For the Island Batik Ambassadors “Try It” Challenge, I’m pleased to share a technique for making half-square triangles (HSTs).  I wish I had thought of it, but all of the credit goes to Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs. I honestly cannot recall how our quilting paths first crossed, but we are both former members of the Quiltmaker Magazine “Scrap Squad” and both of us have more or less built our design careers around scrap quilts.


The blue star block is in the book. The gold block is not.

The most common way of making HST units is to begin with two squares, draw a diagonal line on one, sew 1/4″ on both sides of the line then cut on the drawn line. This gives you a pair of identical HSTs. But Beth wanted each HST in her project to be unique. She could have just cut all of the squares diagonally and mixed them up, but then she’d be dealing with all of those bias edges. Her solution is nothing short of genius. She calls it Accordion-Sewn HSTs. She even wrote a book about it!

Because this is Beth’s technique, and because it’s one that’s easier to understand if you see it done, I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch her tutorial videos:




I was intrigued, so I ordered the book and whipped up a quick star block. That’s all it took, and I was hooked…and looking for other scrap blocks I could use the accordion technique on. The first one I came up with was the “O, Scrap!” block.


I should note that all of the scrap fabrics used in this post are Island Batik prints.

I really like that blue star block from Beth’s book, but I don’t like the big “blank” space you get when you set the blocks side-by-side.  I decided to try to add dark triangles in the corners. The challenge with this block, which I called “O, My Stars”, was figuring out how to stack my squares so I’d wind up with the specific combinations I needed.


I have big plans for that block, so I cut a mess of my Island Batik scraps into 4.5″ squares with my AccuQuilt Go! die cutter. It’s going to be an ongoing scrap project for a while, though, because I got another bright idea.

I had most of a 10″ stack of the Island Batik “Lavendula” collection left over from my February miniature quilt project, so I cut all of those squares into 5″ squares and made a modern-style lap-size quilt .


I made three 16″ “Oh, Scrap!” blocks. I considered renaming the larger block “The Big O”, but chickened out. Beth would’ve done it. I also made two extra side strips.  I sewed the blocks and extra strips into one long row, then added a 16.5″ wide strip across the top and a 40.5″ wide strip on the bottom. The result will be a 56″ x 72″ scrap quilt.  The binding will be either teal (more likely) or purple.

O Scrap - Title

All fabrics in this post were supplied by Island Batik Ambassador sponsors. The project is sewn with Aurifil thread, and the batting is Hobbs Heirloom Cotton blendAccuQuilt has GO! dies for both the 4.5″ and 5″ squares I used in this  project.

Have I convinced you to try the Accordion HST technique? You’ll want to order your very own copy of Oompah! or the technique sheet from EvaPage Quilt Designs. You may want to check out her Facebook page as well. Do me a favor and tell Beth you heard about it here on Seams Like a Plan. Pretty please?


Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Oversize Blocks, Quilts, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Under the Big Sky

Blog HopBack in February, a big box arrived on my front porch. Inside was a wonderful collection of Island Batik fabrics, Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil threads. There were two wrapped packages of fabric I had to promise to keep under wraps until now. It’s been killing me, because the fancy package contained half-yard cuts of each of the fabrics in one of Island Batik’s Spring/Summer 2019 collections. The plain brown wrapper held two two-yard lengths of a light and dark fabric from the collection. That’s right, 14 yards of fabric! It’s okay to be jealous.

Behold, the Graphic Gems collection, designed by Kathy Engle!

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There are twenty fabrics in this collection, and my challenge was to try to use all of them, which meant a scrappy quilt was in order. I  knew I wanted large pieces to show off the tjaps used in making these batiks.

IMG_3415I had been toying with a simple quilt pattern for a basic class on the Sidekick® rotary cutting tool, and decided this was the fabric collection for the sample quilt.

IMG_3402My quilt required two 4.5″ strips  of each of the twenty fabrics. I paired the prints up. Each set of four strips would make two blocks in the finished quilt. One block would have a dark star on a light background, and the other block would have a light star on a dark background.

Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts invented the Sidekick® tool, and has a tutorial video on her website. The instructions that come with the tool are very well written, and the tool is easy to use.

IMG_3408To make each set of blocks, I began by cutting six 4.5″ diamonds from a dark strip and six from a light strip.

IMG_3405I cut twelve 4.5″ triangles from the other dark strip, and twelve from the light strip.

IMG_3409The light triangles will go with the dark diamonds, and the dark triangles go with the light diamonds.

I made sixteen full hexagonal blocks and four half-blocks.

Once I decided on a layout, I chose to use the darker of the two coordinating fabrics Island Batik had sent to make the half-triangles needed to straighten off the sides of the quilt. IMG_3410

Only then did I realize I needed those half-triangles to be twice as tall as the triangles in the blocks. Fortunately, Jaybird Quilts also makes the Super Sidekick®, which makes triangles up to 8″ tall. I needed two 8.5″ strips to cut a total of eighteen half-triangles. (I forgot to take a photo until I was down to the last triangle.)

I will use this fabric for binding as well, and I have plenty left over to piece a backing.  This quilt was pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt cotton thread, I’ll use a Hobbs batting. All materials were supplied by the companies.

Blanket of Stars - Title

My fellow Island Batik Ambassador Gene Black also received the Graphic Gems collection. Visit his blog to see what he made with it!

To see all of the Spring and Summer Island Batik collections, follow the “Beat the Heat” blog hop:

Monday, August 5th – Blueberry Patch

Leanne @ Devoted Quilter

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Tuesday, August 6th – Clockworks

Bill @ Studio Bill Locke

Lisa @ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Wednesday, August 7th – Electric Desert

Sandra @ mmm Quilts

Terri @ Lizard Creek Quilting

Thursday, August 8th – Enchanted Forest

Pamela @ Pamela Quilts

Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

Friday, August 9th – Blog Round Up Week 1 and Giveaway Winner Announcement!

Monday, August 12th – Garden Party

Anne @ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Gene @ Gene Black

Thursday, August 15th – Kaleidoscope

Tina @ Quilting Affection Designs

Bea @ Bea Quilter

Friday, August 16th – Blog Round Up Week 2 and Giveaway Winner Announcement!

Be sure to come back for this special post.

Monday, August 19th – Petal Pushers

Joanne @ Unicornharts

Carla @ Creatin’ in the Sticks

Tuesday, August 20th – Quiet Shades

Connie @ Kauffman Designs

Vasudha @ Storied Quilts

Wednesday, August 21st – Seedlings

Vicki @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Mania @ Mania for Quilts

Thursday, August 22nd – Soil & Seeds

Gail @ Quilting Gail

Friday, August 23rd – Blog Round Up Week 3 and Giveaway Winner Announcement!

Be sure to come back for this special post.

Monday, August 26th – Steam Engine

Maryellen @ Mary Mack’s Blog

Jennifer @ Dizzy Quilter

Tuesday, August 27th – Sunny Side Up

Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Scrap Quilts, Sidekick® Tools, Tools | 20 Comments

Snow Day!

getaway blog hopThis is the time of year when folks here in north central Montana dream of getting away to warmer places, but not me…not today, anyway. Today I will wrap winter up in a cozy warm quilt made with Island Batik’s new “Icicle” collection, which should be arriving at your local quilt shop right about now.

icicle flatlayIsland Batik supplied me with a half-yard of each of the twenty pieces in this collection, and for the challenge, I had to use some of each of the fabrics. As it turned out,  I only used about half of each piece, so I have written the pattern calling for a “Stack”…a 42-piece collection of 10″ squares…which will give you more than enough 4.5” squares to make this quilt.

The blues and whites, pine trees, deer, and snowflakes, reminded me of Glacier National Park, so I called it “Many Glacier” after an area in the northeast portion of the park.

I built my “Many Glacier” quilt in nine sections:


The main block is a traditional block called “Rocky Mountains”. I enlarged the 12″ block to 16″ (finished sizes).  Sections 2 and 3 have an 8″ version of the Rocky Mountains block, with 4-patches and half-square triangles added.


Next, I constructed the upper left and upper right corner sections. These were made four squares wide, so they match the width of the center block. My goal was to wind up with just a few long seams running diagonally across the quilt. The purpose of the navy and light blue 4-patches is to spread the navy blue from the center block out a little bit. On paper, it seemed to make a “black hole” in the center of my quilt because it’s so much darker than the other blues. It  held my attention too long, so I needed a “squirrel” element to draw my eye out to the blue fields.


The next step was to fill in that center triangle at the top. I had the whole collection of 20-plus fabrics to work with in this quilt, but because I had used the darkest blues in the blocks and “ribbon”, I only wanted to use the lighter blues and just a few of the white prints in the field. I had maybe a dozen fabrics to work with, then, and it was a real challenge to keep the individual prints from winding up side-by-side at some point.


Once the top sections were complete, I started on the lower sections. First the sides, and then that big center triangle. You can see now where the sections can be sewn into three diagonal units, and the units sewn together to complete the quilt top.


I wasn’t planning to originally, but I did wind up adding a 2″ (finished) border all around, because I was sending the top out to be machine quilted, and I was not certain I had remembered to back-stitch all of the seams on the outer edge. I do like how the border allows the “glaciers” to float on the background.

manyglaciertitleMany Glacier is my final quilt for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors program, and it just may be my favorite. In addition to the fabulous (and generous) “Icicle” collection of fabrics provided by Island Batik, this quilt was sewn with 50wt 100% cotton thread provided by Aurifil, and is quilted with Hobbs’ Heirloom® white cotton batting, also supplied by the company.

It’s been my honor to serve as a 2018 Island Batik Ambassador, and I am thrilled to announce that they’re keeping me on for the 2019 program!

Ambassador Terri Vanden Bosch also had the Icicle collection. Visit her blog, Meanderings along Lizard Creek, to see what she did with it.

Click HERE to return to the Island Batik blog to make sure you haven’t missed an exciting stop on our “Getaway” blog hop. And remember to sign up for the prize drawing…two of you will win a stack of Island Batik fat quarters!




Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Scrap Quilts, Uncategorized | 39 Comments

What’s in a Name?

Looking Back Vintage QuiltIn the case of this 45″x 54″ quilt/wallhanging I designed for Island Batik’s “Looking Back” challenge, the title is sadly ironic.

You see, I began designing this fun little quilt a few months ago. The challenge was to take a vintage quilt pattern and use it as inspiration for a modern style quilt. I chose the traditional “Hourglass” block, also commonly called a quarter-square triangle. This pattern features 3″, 6″ and 9″ Hourglass blocks, and I titled the pattern “Plenty of Time.”

In mid March, my life was turned upside down, when my mother was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. My weekends, usually my quilting time, were suddenly spent sitting by Mom’s hospital bed, and the top for this quilt was sewn during the few evenings I had to myself in a hotel room. The doctors had told us we might have up to six months. As it turned out, we had just six weeks. We said our goodbyes on May 15th.

Portrait_1For the last week of her earthly life, I slept in a recliner next to Mom’s bed at Peace Hospice in Great Falls. One night I dreamt of her passing from this world into the next, and into the welcoming arms of my grandparents and a host of friends and family members who have gone before.

I have tried several times to change the title for this quilt, but it won’t let me. “Plenty of Time” just seems right.

Thanks to Island Batiks for providing the fabrics. I used a package of 5″ squares, and the “Stash Builder” bundle of 5″ x 21″ strips, cut into 5″ squares, plus a few larger scraps and yardage.

The quilt was sewn with thread provided by Aurifil, and quilted by Kathy Brown at the Creative Needle in Shelby MT.

Batting provided by Hobbs.

Want to see more great quilts inspired by vintage quilts? Check out the blogs of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors:

Den Syende Himmel

Busy Hands Quilts


Ark Angel Creations

Desert Bloom Quilting

Freemotion by the River

Yellow Cat Quilt Designs

Quilting Affection Designs

Inquiring Quilter

Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer Quilts

Mania for Quilts

Steph Jacobson

Inchworm Fabrics

Kauffman Designs

Moosestash Quilting 


Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Carole Lyles Shaw

Sally Manke

Mary Mack Made Mine

Kathleen McMusing

heARTs Creations

Sew Karen-ly Created

If These Threads Could Talk

The Quilt Rambler

Devoted Quilter

Slice of Pi Quilts

Creative Blonde

Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Masterpiece Quilting

Patterns by Jen

Powered by Quilting

Quilt in a not-Shell

Dizzy Quilter

Curlicue Creations

Lizard Creek Quilts

Little Bunny Quilts

MMM Quilts

Sew Increadibly Crazy

Adventerous Applique and Quilting

Sweetgrass Designs

Living Water Quilter

Whispers of Yo


Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Uncategorized, Wallhangings | 8 Comments

Making the Case for “Quilt Bibs”

My second Layer Cake® quilt pattern for Moda Fabrics has posted on the Moda Bake Shop blog. It’s called “Stargazer“, and I made the sample quilt with 10” squares from the new 30’s Playtime 2017 collection, paired with a royal blue Bella Solid, also by Moda Fabrics.

Title Photo

The Stargazer quilt is 64″ x 84″ as shown, which includes a 4″ solid blue border across the top of the quilt to give it the length I prefer for a twin bed quilt. That border also gave me an opportunity to include a practical feature that I have only seen once, on a vintage quilt in an antique shop.

It was a strip of muslin folded over the top edge of the quilt and basted in place. There was a row of daisies embroidered  along the bottom edge. I wish I could have purchased the quilt, or at least taken a photo of it. When I described it to her, my Grandma Wiens explained that the muslin strip was a “bib” or a “whisker guard”.

If your quilts are used as blankets, as mine are meant to be, they are most likely to become soiled along the top edge by body oils and/or worn through by whisker stubble as they get tucked up under chins on chilly nights. Can you imagine trying to launder a quilt by hand, or even in a wringer washing machine? So, Grandma explained, she would baste a strip of muslin over the top edge of the quilt. Instead of washing the whole quilt, she only had to snip the basting thread, pull the “bib” off, launder it, and baste it back into place!

I did a little online research and found another form of quilt bib. This one was a sort of long, narrow casing that slips over the top edge of the quilt.

To make mine, I purchased 5/8 yard of one of the fabrics in the 30’s Playtime 2017 collection. I cut one 8.5″ x 40.5″ strip and two 8.5″ x 13″ strips, then sewed the shorter strips to the ends of the longer strip.


Hem the two long edges. I used my rolled-hem foot. Going over the seams was a little tricky, but if you go slowly and use a stiletto, it is a nice finish. If you don’t have a rolled hem foot…or aren’t on speaking terms with it…you can cut your strips 9″ wide and turn under a quarter-inch and a quarter-inch again, press and sew with a straight seam.

Next, I sewed the lace along one long edge on the right side of the piece to hide the basting stitches that would fasten it to the quilt, and keep them from snagging little fingers.


Then I folded the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and  sewed the ends. Be sure to backstitch the ends of the seam. I added a second seam for strength, but it really isn’t necessary. Trim the  top corner and turn the piece right-side-out.


Slip the casing over the top edge of the quilt, and baste in place. I used approx 1″ basting stitches, tucked under the edge of the lace. Be sure you baste through both sides of the casing, the entire length of the quilt.

Of course, there are other options for attaching the bib to the quilt. You could sew several buttons at intervals along the border of the quilt, and button holes on the casing. Remember you will need them on both sides of the quilt. A row of snap tape front and back would also work.

I don’t expect quilt bibs to come back into vogue anytime soon, but it was fun to take a step into history for this project.



Categories: Moda Bake Shop, Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, Quilts, Scrap Quilts | 5 Comments

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.


“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.


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.


Step 2. Trim the right and top edges.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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


Happy Scrapping!

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

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.


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

Here’s to the Kids Next Door

Once again, the folks across the street and a couple doors down put on quite a fireworks show last evening. It was interrupted by a pretty serious thunderstorm, but eventually Mother Nature conceded. Her lightning show, though pretty impressive, couldn’t beat the neighborhood pyrotechnics.

The block pictured at the top of this blog reminds me of fireworks, so I will call it:

“4th of July”

Here’s the recipe:

Fabric for "4th of July"

Fabric for “4th of July”

For each block you will need:

Dark Blue – one 2.5″ square and two 4.5″ squares

Light Blue – two 3.5″ squares and four 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles

Red – two 3.5″ squares

White #1 – four 3.5″ squares

White #2 – eight 3.5″ squares and two 4.5″ squares

Step 1a

Step 1a

Step 1a – Cut the 3.5″ light blue and two of the white#1 squares diagonally, and sew into 4 half-square triangles (HSTs).

Use a Tucker Trimmer® or another ruler with a 45° line in the corner to trim the HSTs to 2.5″. Lay the trimmer on the HST with the diagonal line on the seam, and the piece extending beyond the 2.5″ dotted lines. Trim the right and top edges.


Step 1b

Step 1b – Rotate the HST and lay the trimmer on it again, aligning the diagonal line with the seam. This time the piece should line up with the 2.5″ dotted lines. Again, trim the right side and top.

Make 4 light blue and white HSTs.

Step 2

Step 2a

Step 2a – Cut the 3.5″ red squares and 3.5″ white#1 squares diagonally twice and sew into four quarter-square triangles (QSTs).

Trim the QSTs to 2.5″. Notice that the Tucker Trimmer® gives you a dashed 2.5″ line so you can align the ruler with both seams. This is an incredibly handy tool to have in your collection.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2b – Rotate the QST, re-align the trimmer and trim the right and top edges.

Make 4 red and white#1 QSTs.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3 – Now you can lay out the HSTs, QSTs and the 2.5″ dark blue square and sew into a star. This is the center of your block. Set it aside.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4 – Cut the 4.5″ dark blue and white#2 squares diagonally once. Make four HSTs and trim each one to 3.5″ square. Set these aside.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5 – “Use the Stitch and Flip” method to make four flying geese units from the 3.5″ x 6.5″ light blue rectangles, and the 3.5″ white#2 squares.

a- Draw a diagonal line on the back of each white square. Align the first square with the right edge of the rectangle so the line runs from top center to lower right. Sew on the line, trim 1/4″ to the right and press open.

b (illustrated here) – align the second square with the left edge of the rectangle with the line running from top center to lower left. Sew on the line, trim 1/4″ to the left and press open.

Note: Do not throw those “waste” triangles away. I have a block coming in September that will use them!

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6 – To finish, lay out the center star, the flying geese units and dark blue HSTs and sew together, completing your “4th of July” block.

Next time – a block to show off those larger novelty print scraps.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 6" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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