The Thrifty Quilter System

Well, That’s a Switch….

Designing quilts is my dream job, but for 40 years now, I’ve made my living as a radio announcer. So, when I’m involved in an interview, I’m usually the one asking the questions. Last week, the table turned (little deejay pun there), and I was interviewed by Pat Sloan for the American Patchwork and Quilting podcast. Mine will be the third interview.

Tune in HERE.

I rarely get starstruck, but I’ll admit I was a little giddy, and I believe I may have forgotten a couple of times who was the interviewer, and who was being interviewed.  Occupational hazard.  Anyway, it was a good time, and I hope you enjoy listening to it.

Here is a list of blog posts and other links dealing with some of the things we talked about:

The Thrifty Quilter Scrap System

Blog Post: “It Started So Innocently…”

Blog Post: “It’s Only Math”

Blog Post: “Born to Be (Not Quite) Wild”

Blog Post: “Controlling the Chaos”

The Thrifty Quilter – Link to purchase the book (or e-book)

Being a Moda Bake Shop “Chef”

Blog Post: “Big Sky” Quilt Pattern

Blog Post: “Stargazer” Quilt Pattern

Blog Post: “Snowbirds” Quilt Pattern

Blog Post: “Windy Day” Quilt Pattern

Being an Island Batik Ambassador

Blog Post: “Snow Day”

Blog Post: “Touchdown!”

Blog Post: “Am I There Yet?”

Blog Post: “A Bonnie Wee Modern Quilt”

 

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Categories: AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Moda Bake Shop, The Thrifty Quilter System | Leave a comment

Here We Go Again!

2019 IB Round-Ambassador-GraphicMy first year as an Ambassador for Island Batik fabrics wrapped last Friday with the posting of my “Many Glacier” quilt, made for the “Icicle” collection, which should be in your local quilt shop about now. When I signed up for the program, I had no idea what to expect, but wave the promise of two shipments of Island Batik fabrics, and a selection of Hobbs battings, and spools and spools of Aurifil threads at me, and I’m IN! What’s more, I’m staying in for 2019. Color me HAPPY.

There are more than 4 dozen Ambassadors this year, and our 2019 “tour of duty” began a couple of weeks ago, when we each received TWO big boxes via FedEx.

The first box, I had expected. It was 24lbs of wonderful fabrics and supplies from Island Batik, Hobbs and Aurifil:

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A variety of Aurifil threads

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These packages contain a brand new collection of Island Batik Fabrics that will be introduced that will be introduced to shop owners at Quilt Market this spring.

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This is a beautiful Rayon batik scarf!

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Island Batik’s popular Batik Sold – 3 yards each of white, gray and black.

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5 yards of a lovely pastel pink neutral. This is from Island Batik’s Basic collection.

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This will be my biggest challenge. It’s 2 yards of a tiger stripe rayon batik. Ideas welcome!

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A Stack (42 10″ squares) of Twilight Chic, plus two coordinates. Watch for this collection in my March project.

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Hobbs Thermore batting. It’s a super-thin bonded and fusible batting made for use in quilted clothing. It works nicely in table runners and placemats, too.

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I’m a scrap quilter, so I L-O-V-E these. Island Batik calls them Stash Builders. each package has twenty 5″ x 22″ strips.

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More Hobbs batting. This one is Tuscany – a silk blend. 60″ x 60″.

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Hobbs Heirloom Premium Cotton Batting – Crib Size

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Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Black Batting – Queen Size

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Hobbs Heirloom Natural Cotton Batting – Queen Size

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8 cuts from Island Batik’s “Blenders” collection. We can use these in any project.

Between you and me, this would have made me perfectly happy for the better part of the year. But wait…I said there were TWO boxes. I can’t tell you how excited the 2019 Ambassadors were to learn that we have a new sponsor – AccuQuilt.

Yes, they did

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AccuQuilt sent each of us a Ready. Set. GO! die cutting system! (Photo: AccuQuilt)

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The 8″ Qube die set includes eight dies that cut shapes you can mix and match to make dozens of 8″ blocks. There are also Qube sets available for 6″, 9″, 10″ and 12″ blocks. (Photo: AccuQuilt)

I’ll admit, a did a little schoolgirl hopping and squealing. I’ve been a fan of AccuQuilt from the beginning. In fact, I used the first royalty check from my book, The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric (2010 Quiltwoman.com) to buy my first AccuQuilt GO!.

50568I didn’t even know about AccuQuilt when I wrote the book, which describes my simple system for cutting up the scraps (anything smaller than a quarter-yard) from my quilting projects into custom pre-cuts, and 80 blocks that can be made in two sizes each from those pre-cuts.

As it happened, my publisher heard about AccuQuilt as we were going to press, so she contacted the company, and it turned out they have dies that match the six shapes in my system. So, they added a “GO! Compatible” label to the cover, and have offered it on their website ever since.

We have one AccuQuilt-themed challenge on our schedule for this year, but I can promise you’ll see a lot more GO!-compatible projects.

Dust off a quilt book blog hopMy fellow Ambassadors are opening their boxes now, too. Visit their blogs to see the goodies they got. We’ll be posting our first projects for 2019 soon, too. Our theme is “Magnificent Mini Quilts”. Mine will be up on February 18, the first day of the Dust Off an Old Book Blog Hop, being organized by one of the Island Batik Ambassadors. Mine is one of the first quilt books I ever bought. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

2019 Island Batik Ambassadors

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen

Gene Black ~ Gene Black

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts

Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River

Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts

Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs

Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney

Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts

Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts

Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II

Joanne Hart ~

Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts

Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks

Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting

Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter

Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter

Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Bill Locke ~

Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog

Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing

Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs

Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created

Lisa Nielsen ~ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk

Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts

Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting

Anita Skjellanger , Quilt in a not-Shell

Laticia “Tish” Stemple ~ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts

Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts

Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts

Suzy Webster ~ Adventerous Applique and Quilting

Anne Wiens ~ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter

Janet Yamamoto ~

 

 

Categories: AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, The Thrifty Quilter System, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Controlling the Chaos

“I can’t do it!”

I’ve heard it before, and not just from my quilting buddy, Vina.

In fact, I’ve said it myself, right here on this very blog.  While many…maybe most…quilters can sew two random pieces of fabric together, and come up with a perfectly wonderful scrap quilt,  many of us struggle to overcome an inner drive to make it somehow match.

In this case, Vina and I were making scrap blocks for a raffle quilt our guild is making for the local senior citizen’s center where we hold our meetings. The quilt we are making is on the cover of the Oct/Nov 2017 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. For the record, I did manage to make my blocks really random, as called for in the pattern.

My poor friend loved the quilt, but couldn’t bring herself to slap scraps together, so we came up with a compromise block. I like to keep stacks of 2.5″ squares by my machine and sew them into 4-patches as “leaders and enders,” so I always have a batch of 4.5″ 4-patches waiting to grow into a quilt.

IMG_2165To make a 4 by 4-Patch block, you will need:

Eight pairs of medium 2.5″ print squares

Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles of a dark tone-on-tone print,

Twenty 2.5″ squares of a light print for the background. (I used two background prints, so I cut ten squares from each.)

 

IMG_2166First, sew the medium print squares into 4-Patches and sew the 4-Patches into a Double 4-Patch.

 

 

 

 

 

Use the light squares and dark rectangles to IMG_2168make four flying geese, using the Stitch-and-Flip method.

Notice that because I was using two different light prints, two of my geese have print A on the right and print B on the left, and the other two have print B on the right and print A on the left.

 

 

IMG_2170Sew a light square to both sides of two of the geese. Sew these to the sides of your double 4-patch.

Sew pairs of light squares to the other two geese. Sew these to the top and bottom of the double 4-patch.

Notice that, because I was using two light prints, I made sure that they alternated clear around the block.

 

So now we’ve turned a devil-may-care scrap block into one that is still scrappy, but a little more reserved about it.

I spotted this same block on Pinterest the other day, and that quiltmaker had taken the control one step farther.  In each block in the quilt, medium and dark pieces were all one color…yellow in one block, orange in another. Red, blue, green, each assigned to their own blocks.

Ready to play, Thrifty Quilters? Grab your scraps and see what variation(s) you can come up with. Send your photos to: anne@sweetgrassdesigns.com .

 

 

 

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Wild Geese Christmas

It’s been my pleasure this month to contribute two 6″ quilt block patterns to the Moda Bake Shop’s “Countdown to Christmas” – Wrapped Up on December 17th, and today’s Christmas Eve post, Christmas Geese.

This is one of those blocks that looks a lot more complicated than it is, and the 12″ (finished size) version is totally TQable, which means it can be made entirely with self-made precut scraps from my Thrifty Quilter scrap system.

WGC PiecesFor each Wild Goose Chase block, you will need:

16  2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles. I used four sets of four matching rectangles.

32  2.5″ x 2.5″ white squares

1  4.5″ x 4.5″ print square. This may be a fussy-cut

 

WGC Step 1Step 1 is to make sixteen Flying Geese units, using the white squares and print rectangles. I used the same Stitch-n-Flip method as in the Moda Bake Shop post.

 

 

 FG PairsStep 2 is to sew the Flying Geese units together. I sewed my green geese into pairs, and sewed the red geese into strips of four.

 

 

RowsStep 3 is to sew three rows.

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Goose ChaseStep 4 is to sew the three rows together to complete your Wild Goose Chase block.

So you now have a 6″ version of this block, and a 12″ version.

If you want an even quicker quilt, use 3.5″ squares of white and 3.5″ x 6.5″ print rectangles to make your Flying Geese, and a 6.5″ center square, and you’ll have 18″ finished blocks!

 

So far, I have contributed two quilt “recipes” to the Moda Bake Shop: Big Sky and Stargazer . There are two more coming in January. Be watching for Snowbirds on January 4th, and Anne’s Windy Day Quilt, scheduled for January 20th.

Merry Christmas from Sweetgrass Creative Designs!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Moda Bake Shop, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

It’s only mid-November and we’ve already had our first bout of sub-zero nights here in northern Montana. There will be more of those nights to come over the next few months, and many colder still. Winter weather puts me in a mood to bake cookies and play with plaid scraps. No cookies today, but I did whip up a Bear Paw quilt block I call “Bear Footin’.”

For each 12″ (finished) block, you will need: Pieces

  • Two 4.5″ squares each of two novelty prints.
  • Four 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a light-medium coordinate
  • Four 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a dark-medium coordinate
  • Eight 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a light tone-on-tone
  • Four 2.5″ squares of light tone-on-tone

 

Sewn HSTsStep 1: Cut all of the 3.5″ squares in half diagonally, and sew the medium triangles to the light triangles. you will have a total of eight half-square triangles (HSTs) in light and light-medium, and eight in light and dark-medium.

 

Trim 1Step 2a: Trim the HSTs to 2.5″ squares. Use a square ruler. Lay the diagonal line on the ruler on the diagonal seam. Notice the HST extends beyond the 2.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges.

 

 

 

Trim 2Step 2b: Rotate the HST and lay the ruler on the diagonal line again. This time the edges you just cut should line up with the 2.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges again.

 

 

 

HST PairsStep 3: Sew the HSTs into pairs. Make two pairs of each color that “point” to the left, and two pairs of each color that “point” right.

 

 

 

PawsStep 4: Sew a 2.5″ light square to the right end of each of the “point left” HST pairs. Sew the “point right” HST pairs to the right side of the 4.5″ novelty print squares. Sew the HST strips to the novelty print squares to make four “paws”.

 

You have three options for setting these Bear Paw units into a 12″ block:

Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

Option 3

Option 3

Bear Footin

“Bear Footin'” – 2017 by Anne Wiens

I made these blocks 12″ (12.5″ as shown). If I start with 6.5″ novelty prints, 4.5″ coordinates, and 4.5″ and 3.5″ squares for the background pieces, I would have 18″ blocks, and it would only take a dozen of those larger blocks to make a toasty warm 54″ x 72″ afghan-size quilt. That, a cup of hot chocolate (perhaps with a bit of Irish Cream), a good book and a snugly cat would be a perfect solution to a chilly evening, don’t you think?

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 6" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Born to Be (Not Quite) Wild

A few weeks ago, my friend Diane Harris (a.k.a. “The Stash Bandit“) posted a blog, then asked her Facebook followers, “Are you brave enough to combine fabrics with wild abandon?” This was the quilt she showed as an example:

“Wild Abandon” by Diane Harris – Photo used by permission

“Pffft” sez I, “I can do that!” Turns out it isn’t as easy to be random as you’d think it would be. Don’t get me wrong…I make scrap quilts all the time, and I have no problem combining fabrics within the quilt that just “don’t go together.” However, the fabrics almost always coordinate with in the individual blocks.

So, I can do “wild.” It’s the “abandon” I will have to work on.

While I was playing, I came up with a block to show you. It finishes 10″ square.

I’m calling it “Happy Scraps”

For each 10″ (finished) block you will need four 4.5″ squares. Mine match, but yours do not have to. You will need a total of seventeen 2.5″ squares. I have eight lavender, four deep red, four splattered, and one orange. If you want to throw caution to the wind, just make sure you have one medium value square, four dark squares, and the remaining twelve squares should be light.

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Use the stitch-n-flip method to put light triangles on two opposite corners of each of the 4.5″ squares. Set these squares aside.

Sew four light 2.5″ squares to four dark 2.5″ squares.

Before we sew these units together, let’s consider our options:

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

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“Happy Scraps” by Anne Wiens – 2017

In the end, I chose Option 2, though I’m pretty fond of Options 1 and 4.

This is why I am never bored, for every quilt I make, I come up with several more ideas. Fortunately, my scrap bin overfloweth!

Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 4 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.

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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!

 

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

Starflowers for the 4th of July

I spent part of my holiday weekend designing and making these 12″ blocks that I’m calling “Starflowers”.

Here is the recipe:

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Pieces for 1 Starflower block

For each block you will need:

  • Two 4.5″ brown squares
  • Four 3.5″ x 6.5″ brown rectangles
  • Two 4.5″ green squares
  • Four 3.5″ gray squares
  • Four 3.5″ x 6.5″ blue rectangles
  • Four 2.5″ yellow squares

Note – The “blue” rectangles are for the flower petals, so they can be any color you’d like. I used brown for my background color because the quilt i”m planning for these blocks will be a flower bed. You can use white or another color for your background. Likewise, I chose gray for the corners, to make stepping stones in my flower bed. Feel free to use another color here, too.

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Step 1

Step 1 – Cut the brown and green squares in half diagonally and sew into four half-square triangles (HSTs). Trim them to 3.5″.  (If needed, you can read how to do this HERE.) Then draw a diagonal line on the back of each HST from the brown corner to the green corner.

Step 2a                                                Step 2b

Step 2 – Align a HST to the left end of a 3.5″ x 6.5″ blue rectangle (Photo 2a). Notice that the green is to the upper right and the brown is to the lower left. Repeat with the other HSTs and blue rectangles.

Sew on the drawn line (Photo 2b). If you start in the center of the rectangle, you won’t have an issue with your machine trying to “eat” that brown corner.

Step 3                                                    Option

Step 3 – Trim 1/4″ outside the seam and press open.

Option – If you don’t want to discard those cutaway triangles, go ahead and draw a second seam line 1/2″ outside the first. Sew on this line, then cut between the seam lines. We can make use of those “waste triangles” later, so set them aside.

Step 4a                                             Step 4b

Step 4 – Draw a diagonal line on the 2.5″ yellow squares and align with the upper right corner of the blue pieces. Sew on the line, trim away 1/4″ from the seam and press open.

Your “petal” units are finished, so set them aside.

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Step 5

Step 5 – Draw a diagonal line on the back of each gray square, align with the right end of a brown rectangle, with the line running from the upper left to lower right corner as shown. Sew on the line and trim 1/4″ from the seam and press open. Again,  you may want to sew a second seam and save the resulting cutaway HSTs for later use.

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Step 6

Step 6 – Almost done. Sew the petal and background units into quarter units as shown. Make four quarter units.

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“Starflower” – by Anne Wiens (2016)

Lay the four quarter units out as shown, so the yellow corners meet in the middle, as sew together to complete your Starflower block.

I am working on a very simple setting idea for these blocks. It should take 12 blocks to make a crib-size quilt, 20 for a lap-size. A twin size quilt generally takes 35 12″ blocks, and a full/queen would need 49. I hope to have that for you in the next few weeks.

Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Now I KNOW It’s Spring…

My sinuses tell me that the weather around here has finally caught up with the calendar. It is indeed spring, and of course, in the end, the beauty of it outweighs a stuffy head and sore throat. So enough with feeling sorry for myself.

Let’s “plant” some Morning Glory blocks!

This block uses the same “split rectangle” units we used in last week’s Crocus block. However, this time we’re going to use the Split Recs® tool from Studio 180 Design to make the units. Let’s get started.

TQ pieces for the Morning Glory block

TQ pieces for the Morning Glory block

For one Morning Glory block you will need:

Print for flower petals (orange): two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles

Print for flower center: one 2.5″ square

Green for leaves: two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles and one 3.5″ square

Background (off-white): Two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles, one 3.5″ square and five 2.5″ squares.

Step 1a

Step 1a

Step 1a- We need to cut the half-rectangle triangles we need for the petal and leaf units. Layer the two background rectangles wrong-sides-together. Use the markings for a 2″ x 4″ finished unit to cut a triangle from one end of the rectangles.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Rotate what’s left of the rectangles and cut another pair of triangles from the  opposite corner. Because you had your rectangles layered wrong-sides together, you now have two pairs of mirror-image triangles.

Step 2- Repeat steps 1a and 1b with the green rectangles. You will only need one pair of mirror-image triangles for this block. Set the other pair aside for another block.

Step 3a

Step 3a

Step 3a- Sew a background triangle to a green triangle. They are a little larger than they need to be, so we use the other end of the Split Recs® tool to trim them down.

Lay the tool on the unit so that the line that reads 2″ x 4″ finished unit lines up with the diagonal seam. trim the right and top edges.

Step 3b

Step 3b

Rotate the unit, re-align the diagonal line and trim the right and top edges. Your unit is now a perfect 2.5″ x 4.5″.

Step 3c

Step 3c

The diagonal seam on the other unit will slant in the opposite direction.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Step 4- Layer the two print rectangles wrong-sides together and cut a pair of triangles from one end. Cut a 2.5″ square from the other end of the rectangles. You will only need one of these 2.5″ squares for this block. You can use the other for the flower center in another block, or toss it in your bin of 2.5″ TQ squares.

Use the print triangles and the two remaining background triangles to make a pair of split rectangle units, as in step 3.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5- It’s time to make the Morning Glory “blossom”. Sew the 2.5″ print square and three of the 2.5″ background squares into a 4-patch, then lay out with the split rectangles and print square as shown, and sew the blossom unit together.

Step 6- Oops. I forgot to photograph this one. Use the 3.5″ green and background squares to make two 2.5″ half-square triangles (HSTs). If you don’t know how to do this, click HERE for another blog post that shows you how. It’s Step 1 in that block.

Step 7a

Step 7a

Step 7- Lay out the green split rectangle units, the HST and the remaining two 2.5″ background squares as shown. Sew the background squares to the ends of the split rectangles, and sew the HST to the green end of one of the split rectangles. Sew the leaf units to the blossom unit to complete your Morning Glory block.

Vol11-blog-tour-coming-socialmedia_66016My next planned blog post will be on day 1 of the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 11 blog tour. I’m proud to be a part of this latest edition. I think you’ll enjoy my “Telstar” block and what I’ve been able to do with it. You’ll also have a chance to win a free copy of the publication!

Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, Split Rects (Studio 180 Designs), The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | Leave a comment

It’s Spring!

I’ve yet to see a robin, but the grass is greening up and while they haven’t bloomed, my tulips have broken ground. My rancher friends are up at all hours dealing with newborn calves and lambs. Best of all, the days are warm enough that you don’t mind being outside for more than a few minutes. It’s SPRING in northern Montana!

To celebrate, I have a fun little crocus block for you.

To make this 8″ block, you will need the following Thrifty Quilter pieces:

Pieces for one crocus block

Pieces for one crocus block

Green: two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

Light Purple: two 2.5″ squares and two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

White: six 2.5″ squares and four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

To construct this block, we need to make 2.5″ x 4.5″ “split rectangles”. Because we are starting with our pre-cut 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles, this is going to be a little tricky, and you will find that the diagonal seam line will not go into the corner of the finished piece. If you’re compulsive about accuracy, this may drive you a little crazy, but it’s okay. Trust me.

Step 1a

Step 1a

Layer your two print rectangles wrong sides together, so you will be cutting mirror-image pieces. Lay your ruler diagonally on the fabric so that the 1/4″ line is on the upper left and lower right corners as shown.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Make your cut. Discard the cutaway triangle. Repeat with the green and white rectangles.

Step 1c

Step 1c

Pair a white piece with each print piece and place them right sides together as shown. matching the original corners and aligning the bias edges. Your seam line should run from corner to corner.

Step 1d

Step 1d

Press open and you should have 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles again.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Make a 4-patch with one 2.5″ print square and three 2.5″ white squares.

Now you can lay out all of the pieces for the crocus “blossom” as shown and sew them together.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Once the blossom portion is finished, it’s time to add the leaves. Lay out the green split rectangles and the three remaining white 2.5″ squares as shown.

Sew a white square to the narrow green end of one leaf and sew that unit to the side of the blossom unit.

Then sew white squares to both ends of the other leaf and sew that unit on to complete your crocus block.

finished Crocus block

finished Crocus block

Perhaps you can see in the photo that the diagonal purple seam lines wind up about 1/4″ away from the corner of that rectangle. Also, the tips of the green triangles that touch the purple blossom unit are just a bit “flat”. Because it doesn’t affect the outline of the flower, and because it happens consistently in this block, it doesn’t bother me like I was sure it would. If you’re uncomfortable with it, I have another way to make those split rectangles that will solve the problem. Meet me here next week, when we’ll “plant” some morning glories!

joinforblogtour11_200

Oh, and mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 5th when “Seams Like a Plan” will be a stop on Quiltmaker magazine’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 11 blog tour.

Categories: 100 Blocks, 8" TQ Blocks, Quiltmaker Magazine, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | Leave a comment

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