6″ TQ Blocks

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

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

Two for Teal and Teal for Two

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and each September, Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs  hosts a fund-raising mug-rug swap she calls “Two for Teal”.

In return for a donation to Ovarian Cancer research, Beth sends each participant a swatch of fabric. This year it was a hand-dyed teal provided by Cherrywood Fabrics. The challenge is to make a mug rug, which will be traded with another participant.

Here’s the rug I made:

2014 by Anne Wiens

Mug Rug 1 – 2014 by Anne Wiens

Here’s how I did it:



One 2.5″ square for the star center (light blue)

One 3.5″ square for the accent diamond (pink)

Two 3.5″ squares for star points (lime green)

One 3.5″ square and four 2.5″ squares for star background (teal)

Four 2.5″ squares and one 2.5″ x 6.5″ strip for border (orange)

One 2.25″ x 42″ strip for binding (orange)



For the backing and batting, I had a couple of pieces of fabric backed with fusible fleece left over from another project. These are about 8″ x 10″. The mug rugs finished at 6.5″ x 8.5″.

Construction - Step 1

Construction – 1a

Step one is to make the four quarter-square triangles (QSTs)  for the star-point units.

I like to use my Tucker Trimmer(tm) for this step. Since our finished QST will be 2″ square, we add 1.5″ and begin with 3.5″ squares. Use your favorite method to make the QSTs as shown above. These QSTs are larger than they need to be, so we will trim them down.

Construction - Step 1b

Construction – 1b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so the solid diagonal line is on the SW-NE seam, and the dashed 2.5″ diagonal line is on the NW-SE seam. Notice that the lower and left edges of the QST extend beyond the 2.5″ vertical and horizontal lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges.

Construction - Step 1c

Construction – 1c

Now rotate the QST and line up the Tucker Trimmer again. This time, the two edges you just cut should align with the 2.5″ vertical and horizontal lines, and the diagonal lines on the ruler should line up with your seams. Trim the right and top edges. Make four of these units.

Construction - Step 2

Construction – 2

Step 2: Lay out the star point units with the 2.5″ teal and light blue squares as shown above, and sew together to make your 6.5″ Variable Star block.

Construction - Step 3a

Construction – 3a

Step 3: We make the curved corners on the star block with a technique called Dimensional Curved Piecing, which I learned from patterns by Annette Ornelas of Southwind Designs.

Fold the four orange squares in half diagonally and press. Lay one triangle on the NE corner of the star block and another on the SE corner, aligning the raw edges. Sew the 2.5″ x 6.5″ orange strip to the right edge of the star block, catching the right edges of the folded squares in the seam. Press the seam toward the orange strip.

Construction - Step 4a

Construction – 4a

 Step 4: At this point, I pinned the piece to the backing and quilted it. Because this is such a small piece, I used the inside edge of the “toe” of my 1/4″ foot as a stitching guide, running it just along the seam lines. I quilted around the green star points, inside the center square and inside the pink diamond.

If you look at the upper-left corner of the photo, you’ll notice that I folded the loose orange triangles back onto the orange strip to keep them out of my way while I quilted.

Construction - 4b

Construction – 4b

When I do straight-line stitching like this, there will be times I can’t carry the line off the edge of the piece. When I have to start and/or stop “in the field”, I leave myself 3-4″ of thread, which I thread into an embroidery needle (the larger eye is easier on my eyes)  and bury inside the quilt. No knots, no back-stitching, just a nice, clean finish.

Construction - Step 5a

Construction – 5

 Step 5: I hope I don’t confuse you here. I missed photographing this step, so imagine that in this photo, the piece is quilted. You now trim the backing and batting to match the outside edges of your piece. Fold the  NE and SE triangles back over the block corners and pin in place, then pin the last two folded orange squares to the NW and SW corners of the star block.

Construction - Step 6

Construction – 6

Step 6: Press your 2.25″ x 42″ orange strip in half lengthwise, and sew this binding strip to the front side of your piece, to secure all of the raw edges of the orange triangles.

Because the diagonal fold of the orange triangles is on the bias, you can fold this edge back to form a gentle curve. Carefully hand-stitch this edge. You can do it by machine, but personally, I think it’s actually easier and looks nicer sewn by hand.

Now you can finish the back-side of the binding to complete your mug rug.

This quick project took me approximately four hours to complete.

You can use any 6″ (finished size) quilt block to make these mats…

Mug Rug 2 - 2014 by Anne Wiens

Mug Rug 2 – 2014 by Anne Wiens

or substitute a 6.5″ fussy-cut of a favorite print!

Categories: 6" TQ Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, The Thrifty Quilter System | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: