Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns

Just Call Me “Chef”

MBS-featured-button-2014I’ve been cooking up a couple of patterns using Moda fabric Layer Cakes® recently. The first pattern, pictured above,  is called “Big Sky”, and it is available now at the Moda Bake Shop blog.

The quilt uses a simple block, made of sixteen half-square-triangles (HSTs). When I learned that the block is called “Anna’s Choice”, I had to add it to my repertoire.

The blocks in the “Big Sky” quilt are 16″ square. Just for kicks, I decided to play around with it a bit, using 2.5″ HSTs made from 6.5″ squares.

img_1629-e1502076732376.jpgInstead of using just two colors in the block, as I did in “Big Sky”, I used one dark square, one medium square, and two light squares. I won’t go through the process of making the HSTs here, since I’ve done that in a previous post.

Pairing the dark and medium squares with the light squares gave me eight 2.5″ light/medium HSTS and eight 2.5″ light/dark HSTs.

Ready to play? Here are a dozen possible combinations of these squares. Each block would be 8″ x 8″ finished:

So there are at least twelve possible variations for the parts and pieces of the “Anna’s Choice” block. Now, the choice is yours. Enjoy!

 

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Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Moda Bake Shop, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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 fourteen 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 | 2 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

Little Spring Blossoms

Many years ago, while vacationing with my family at Cascade, Idaho, I took myself for a little walk along the lake shore, and discovered a sweet little white wildflower. It was so unassuming….just tiny white blossoms that grew low to the ground. In fact, if you didn’t stop and stoop down to look closely, you wouldn’t notice the little purple pinstripes at the base of each petal. I honestly don’t know why that little flower has stuck with me all these years, but it inspired this flower block:

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“Little Wildflower” by Anne Wiens – 2016

I’m going to give you two options for this block. The first is a two-leaf version that finishes 10″ square, and the second is a 12″, four-leaf version like the photo above.

For the two-leaf flower you will need:

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“Little Wildflower” by Anne Wiens – 2016

Four 4.5″ squares (pink) for blossom

Eight 2.5″ squares green for leaves

Four 2″ squares yellow for flower center

Seven 2.5″ squares (white) for background

Three 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles (white) for background

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Step 1a

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Step 1b

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 1 – Use the stitch-and-flip method to put small triangle corners the 4.5″ blossom squares. To do this, lay a 2.5″ square on the corner of the larger square and draw a diagonal line as shown in photo 1a. Sew on the line and trim off the corner 1/4″ from the seam as in photo 1b above.

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Step 1c

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Step 1d

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press the corner open, and repeat on the opposite corner (photo 1c).

Make one “petal unit” with two white corners.

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Step 1e

Make one petal unit with two green corners.

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Step 1f

Make two petal units with one white corner and one green corner.

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Step 1g

Use the same stitch-and-flip technique to put one yellow corner on each petal unit. Note that on the green and white petal units, the yellow corners need to be on opposite ends, as shown above.

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Step 1h

Now you can sew the four petal units together as shown to make the blossom.

Set aside while we make the leaf units.

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Step 2a

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Step 2b

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2 – Use 2.5″ x 4.5″ background rectangles and 2.5″ green squares to make two flying geese units with the stitch-and-flip technique.

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Step 2c

Sew 2.5″ background squares to both end of of one flying geese unit.

Sew a square to the right end of the other unit, and a 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle to the left end.

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Step 2d

Sew the shorter leave unit to the left side of the blossom unit.

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10″ Little Wildflower by Anne Wiens

Sew the longer leaf unit to the bottom of your blossom to complete the 10″ Little Wildflower block.

I also made a 12″ version, with four leaves.

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12″ Little Wildflower pieces

Four 4.5″ squares (purple) for blossom

Sixteen 2.5″ squares green for leaves

Four 2″ squares yellow for flower center

Four 2.5″ squares (white) for background

Eight 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles (white) for background

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12″ block Petal Units

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12″ Block Blossom Unit

For the larger block, all of the petal units have two green corners and one yellow.

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12″ block Leaf Units

For the 12″ block, make four green and white flying geese units. Sew background squares to the end of two geese, and background rectangles to the ends of the other two flying geese.

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Sew the shorter leaf units to opposite sides of the blossom unit.

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Sew the longer leaf units to the top and bottom to complete the 12″ Little Wildflowers block.

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Little Wildflowers – by Anne Wiens (2016)

Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, 12" TQ Blocks, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 8 Comments

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!

—————

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.

—————

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

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

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.

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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

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

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