Monday, December 10, 2012

Kansas Troubles Quilt

In my previous 3 posts I showed different versions of a Kansas Troubles quilt block. Here I've put them together in a quilt. The original Kansas Troubles block in the middle with the other 2 variations around it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Kansas Troubles III

Here is yet another variation of the Kansas Troubles quilt block. In this version you'll again use squares, half square triangles and quarter square triangles to make this block. To calculate what size the finished pieces should be choose a quilt block size that is easily divisible by 8 and follow the formulas below. All triangle seam allowances are for triangles cut from strips using triangle rulers or templates.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kansas Troubles II

In my previous post, I described the Kansas Troubles quilt block. Today is the same named block in a different variation. In this block there are squares, half square triangles and quarter square triangles. Choose a finished block size that is again easily divisible by 8.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kansas Troubles I

The Kansas Troubles quilt block was first seen in about the 1850's but it wasn't seen in print until 1890 with the name. See for more details about this quilt block.

Different sized half square triangles and squares make up the pieces of this quilt block. To make this version, decide how large you want the block to be choosing sizes that are easily divisible by 8.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kings Crown

The King's Crown is a fairly simple quilt block using half square triangles, flying geese and squares set in a 2 by 2 square grid layout. There are several ways to use pieces in this block and as you can see at least 2 ways to select fabric.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Double Stars

Double Star #2
Double Star #1
In quilting sometimes blocks have more than 1 name and sometimes more than 1 block has the same name. I was able to find 5 different Double Star quilt blocks. There are likely more out there that are a little harder to find.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Grandpa's Delight

A while ago we were asked to paint a barn quilt. The block used is called Grandpa's Delight in honor of a recently passed grandfather. In the past I thought that painting quilts might be easier and faster than with fabric, however, now I know differently.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

54-40 or Fight Big Block Quilt

I love big block quilts to make a child or baby sized quilt quick or to use as picnic blanket or even to hang on the wall. This big block quilt uses the 54-40 or Fight block 36 inches square finished with 4 inch borders. It will measure about 44 inches square when finished.
  1. Choose at least 3 fabrics, or more if you like.
  2. Set the 54-40 or Fight calculator settings as follows and sew the big quilt block:
    Method = Traditional piecing
    Size = 36"
    Columns = 1
    Rows = 1
    Fabric Width = whatever you're working with.
  3. Attach cornerstones of 4½ inches square with border of 4½ inches wide.
  4. Sandwich and quilt your quilt.
  5. Finish with double mitered binding using 6 strips 2½ inches wide.
Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jewel Box Watercolor Style

I usually like my Jewel Box quilt in vivid jewel tones, however, I've seen some beautiful versions using subtle differences between background and jewel fabrics as well as using very earthy fabrics. They were stunning too.

Lately I've been experimenting with mixing traditional quilt blocks with watercolor style. In this example, I divided the block into a 16 X 16 piece block. Within each color group, there are 4 different shades from light to dark which makes 20 fabrics total.


  • light - 57 half square triangles
  • medium light - 40 squares
  • medium - 48 squares
  • medium dark - 24 squares
From each of 4 color groups
  • light - 12 half square triangles
  • medium light - 10 squares
  • medium - 8 squares
  • medium dark - 6 squares
Happy Quilting, 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tic Tac Toe block

Tic Tac Toe block is two blocks each of the Shoo Fly and the Nine Patch. This is another example of using blocks with the same grid layout together to make a new block.

To calculate how large to cut strips for squares and half square triangles, divide the finished block size you want by 6 and add seam allowances. For each block, you'll need 16 background squares, 8 background half square triangles, 8 green half square triangles, 2 green squares and 10 purple squares.
Here is how you could do a simple baby quilt or picnic blanket: Sew 4 blocks 18" square with a 3" finished border. Finished size is approximately 42" square.

Try using your scraps and making it using 2 or 3 fabric groups like light & dark, greens & purples & yellows, or warm & cool.
You could also add sashing between the blocks and extend the cornerstones from the Nine Patch units. As always, lots of things to try

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hunters Star Watercolor Quilt

Here's another way you can have fun with the Hunter's Star block. Each quarter is 16 squares by 16 squares with 8 different fabrics in 2 color or shade groups. If you use 2 inch finished squares (perfect for jelly rolls), you'll have a beautiful watercolor quilt for a table top or as a wall hanging in no time.

I've done a similar quilt in Christmas fabrics - reds and greens - and it was great and very festive.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Scrappy Hunters Star Quilt

In this design, there are 4 fabrics chosen from each of 2 color groups to make each block. To use the Hunter's Star fabric calculator, choose the special ruler method and you'll have to divide all the fabric and pieces instructions by 4.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quick Hunters Star Throw - Part 4


  1. If the number of binding strips are greater than 1, sew strips together by laying ends right sides together forming an L.
  2. Sew on diagonal where fabrics cross from upper left to lower right.
  3. Trim excess to ¼ inch.
  4. Repeat to make a continuous strip; press seams open.
  5. Fold and press strip lengthwise in half wrong sides together.
  6. Leaving a 5 inch tail, sew binding to quilt top matching raw edges with a  ¼  inch seam allowance.
  7. Stop  ¼  inch before corner with needle down.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quick Hunters Star Throw - Part 3

Sandwiching Quilt

You will need a backing fabric of at least 88 by 64 inches, but a bit larger would be better.
  1. Place pressed backing right side down on a flat surface large enough to lay flat; tape in place at sides, then corners.
  2. Lay batting on top of backing and smooth wrinkles; tape in place at sides, then corners. (If using slippery batting, spray baste to baking and top.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quick Hunters Star Throw - Part 2


  1. Cut and/or piece 2 strips of border fabric the length of quilt top measuring from middle.
  2. Sew borders to sides using ¼ inch seam.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quick Hunters Star Throw - Part 1

This Hunter's Star throw measures about 84 by 60 inches finished and used 2 fabrics for blocks and borders. Use the Hunter's Star fabric calculator with the following settings for fabric requirements and instructions to make the blocks:
24 inch block
2 columns
3 rows
The other settings can be set to your preferences.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hunters Star Fabric Calculator

Just added at a new fabric calculator and layout previewer for the Hunter's Star quilt block. You can choose from 4 different methods of making half square triangles, from 1 to 100 blocks with sizes from 4 to 36 inches and 5 different fabric sizes.

Hunter's Star quilt block fabric calculator

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fractured Broken Pinwheel quilt

This fractured Broken Pinwheel block split each unit 4 by 4 then uses four color gradients each within three fabric groups. If you use jelly roll 2½ inch strips, you get a block that measures 16 inches finished. Put together more blocks and you'll have a good sized quilt in no time.

For each block...

Color group 1 (yellow): 4 light half square triangles, 4 medium light squares, 4 medium half square triangles and 4 medium squares, 8 dark half square triangles.

Color group 2 (blue): 4 light half square triangles, 4 medium light squares, 4 medium half square triangles and 4 medium squares, 8 dark half square triangles.

Color group 3 (brown): 4 light squares, 8 medium light squares, 12 medium squares, 16 dark half square triangles.

In this example, make 4 blocks using 2½ inch strips, cutting half square triangles from strips using a half square triangle ruler. Add a 1 inch finished border and a 3 inch finished border to make a 40 inch quilt.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Broken Pinwheel Big Block Quilt

The big block quilt for today is the Broken Pinwheel. Use the block calculator from with the following settings...

Method: Traditional or Special Ruler
Size: 34 inch square
Columns: 1
Rows: 1

When you choose the "special ruler" setting, you'll be able to easily use fat quarters to make this quilt. Sew the block as instructed, add 1 inch and 4 inch finished borders and you'll have a quick 44 inch quilt for yourself or as a gift.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quilt as Desired

The book "Quilt as Desired" by Charlene Frable is great book for the beginning quilter as well as the veteran quilter who wants to up their quilting skills. She shows the how, why and when to use different quilting styles and how making potholders and other projects can help you perfect your technique.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Fractured Quilt Block

Ribbon Star block is a great 3 by 3 square grid layout block that has "ribbons" that are formed when multiple blocks are grouped together. It's a very simple block that uses half square triangle units and squares.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fracture A Quilt Block

I absolutely love to start with a basic quilt block, fracture it into smaller pieces and then either make it scrappy, watercolor or gradient. At first I was intimidated by how they were done, but it can be easy and fun.
Take this "Corn and Beans" block with only 2 color or value groups. Divide the 2 squares into half square triangles, then each unit into thirds. You will have a fractured corn and beans block.
Next you choose lots of different fabrics within each color or value group and you get a great new quilt block. You can make it scrappy, or watercolor style or color gradient. Use jelly rolls (2½ inch strips) and this block measures 18 inches square or nickels (5 inch squares) and you'll have a 37½ inch block.
Make 9 of the 18 inch blocks. Lay them out and turn the blocks to even more fun effect. Add a border and you have a 60 inch or so quilt in no time.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Make It Scrappy

When I first started quilting I choose the least variety of fabric to make the quilt look good and spent a long time agonizing over whether this fabric went with this other fabric. It sometimes took days and several trips to the fabric store to even start my masterpiece. Then I started making scrappy quilts. It boggled my mind that other quilters could get so many pieces of fabric to coordinate so well together. In my mind they must have spent months picking out each individual fabric to go so well together.

Now I know that it can be easier to use alot of different fabric rather than picking out those 3 or 4 perfectly blended fabrics. My first scrappy quilt came about by accident. I wanted to make a scrappy "Morning Star" quilt. I started picking out fabric and tried to make sure each fabric I picked went well with every other fabric I had already picked. My head was spinning.

Finally I decided to just start sewing, because even if it looked hideous (and some of those fabrics absolutely look hideous right next to each other), that was okay. I just wanted to sew the quilt!

When it was all finally done, I stepped back and looked and it was NOT hideous. In fact it became one of my favorite quilts. Since then when I intend to make a very scrappy quilt I just reach into the scraps and sew without thinking. Other times I try to use scrappy color groups or values to keep the design visible while adding a bit of sparkle to the quilt.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Broken Diamonds quilt pattern

A new quilt pattern is available for $0.99 in multiple electronic formats from online versions to Kindle & Nook versions.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Big Block Baby Quilt

This quilt uses 1 block 36 inches square with 4 inch cornerstone borders. When finished you'll have a quick 44 inch square quilt using the Aunt Eliza's Star block, perfect for a baby.

Aunt Eliza's Star Block

Use the Aunt Eliza's Star block calculator with the settings as follows...
Block Size = 36 inches
Columns = 1
Rows = 1
Sew the block as directed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rectangle Fabric Calculator Widget

A new fabric calculator widget is now available for rectangles. You can place this widget on your website or blog and it will calculate the amount of fabric you'll need for your quilting project. Choose from many sizes, quantities and fabric sizes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Square Fabric Calculator Widget

Just finished, a calculator widget you can use on your own website or blog to calculate how much fabric you need for square pieces in your quilting project.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nine on Point Block Fabric Calculator

A new fabric calculator is now available for the Nine on Point quilt block. Choose from multiple sizes, methods and quantities of blocks as well as see a preview of a quilt.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Diamond Nine Patch Quilt - Part 3

Sandwiching, quilting, binding, oh my!

You'll need backing and batting at least 21 inches square. For the binding, you'll need about 3 strips 2¼ inches wide.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Diamond Nine Patch Quilt - Part 2

Time for the borders. All 3 borders are attached as straight borders. First you sew both sides on with a ¼ inch seam and press seams toward borders. Then you sew on the top and bottom with a ¼ inch seam and again press seams toward the borders. The difference is that the 2nd border is pieced with lots of colorful squares. All strips and squares are 1½ inches wide.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Diamond Nine Patch Quilt - Part 1

Scrappy colorful diamonds make this quilt pop. To make your own you'll need several 1½ inch strips (honey buns), plus background and dark binding of 2¼ inches wide strips.
Diamonds - Choose 9 fabrics in each of 4 color groups. Cut a 1½ inch wide strip that is at least 6½ inches long from all 36 fabrics. For the star background you'll need 8 rectangles 4 inches by 7 inches. Print the set-in template at 100% and cut 4 pairs of mirrored pieces. Mirrored is very important.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Forest Path Quilt Calculator

Just added, the Forest Path quilt block fabric calculator with layout viewer at You can choose from 4 different cutting/sewing methods, block sizes from 3 inches to 36 inches and figure out how many fat quarters or fat eighths you'll need for your project. Enjoy!

Happy Quilting,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Card Tricks Potholders

A new calculator to make Card Tricks Potholders is available at Make 1 or as many as 100 for your closest friends, with different cutting and sewing methods available as well as sizes.

Happy Quilting,