Monday, March 25, 2013

Broken Lone Star Quilt Top

This may be one of those quilter-bucket list items, saying you’ve made a lone star quilt.

Lone Star Top

This quilt had it’s challenges,  first of all fetching my time!  I began this quilt in late October.  It kept getting pushed aside for other projects, but finally this past week, it made it’s way to the top of the pile of UFO’s again. 

I used the QuiltSmart fusible interfacing Bitty Broken Star kit to make this quilt.  So when you look at those lovely points, I can tell you, it was the interfacing, not my skill, that made those work out. 

Lone Star Top-001

I will tell you why QuiltSmart is the only type of lone star I would attempt…all those star points are made with rectangles.  No diamonds to cut, no bias to stretch.  JOY!

I’ve blogged about the great products QuiltSmart makes before.  They really do provide a superior result on patterns too scary to try on their own.  This is the 5th different pattern/kit I‘ve made from the vast array of patterns they offer.  It was indeed the most challenging, but those points are worth it to me.  Check out my posts on the Mondo & Midi bags, Hunter’s Star.  It appears I never blogged my Tumbling Blocks table runner (so here’s a pic), and  I still have a Carolina Lily quilt in that same UFO pile, so more on that one later.  We carry a big assortment of QuiltSmart products & I hope to find time to try them all!  We have customers who have made the Mariner’s Compass and the Double Wedding Ring with great success!

TUmbling blocks

I knew when I saw the 3 Sisters/Moda fabric line Double Chocolat, that it was a perfect line for the Lone Star of my dreams.  It did not disappoint!

Lone Star Top-002

Now, to gaze at it & let it tell me how it would like to be quilted.  Yeah, it gets to decide that part Winking smile  (What, your quilts don’t talk to you?  You need to listen more carefully!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Fabrication Jelly Rolls

A great way to get lots of variety in one color way!

These new Fabrication rolls are perfect!

Blank Fabrications 0000BW-Black & WhiteBlank Fabrications 0000SB-Singing the BluesBlank Fabrications-Red Hot

Here’s a recent project we made with Black & White jelly strips (though ours were from our black & white yardage (here)):

Pleated Log Cabin Blocks

Pleated Log Cabin Runner

It’s called Pleated Log Cabin.  Great pattern, easy to follow & if you are familiar with Quilt as you Go, this pattern would easily convert to a QAYGo project!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tutorial-Broken Pinwheels

Welcome to my block in the “My Favorite Block Quilt along”!


Kim’s hosting a great QAL & I am really enjoying the bio’s on the designers.  Pop over to to read up on me & the rest of the  group.

I am so lucky to share the design-week with Kim herself.  Did you see her awesome String Spool block on Tuesday?

First, my disclaimer.  I believe this to be an original design, but I can not research the width of the internet, magazines, books & patterns to be 100% sure no one else has ever conceived of this pattern before.  I did design it on my own, through trial & error.  If I thought of it, it is in the realm of possibility that God could also put it in someone else’s mind too.  (yes, I’ve read some nastiness of idea ownership lately.) 

Now, on to the fun & sharing!

I have named our block today Broken Pinwheels.  The interior borders in the block break up the triangles in the pinwheel.  I have to admit that I am a big fan of 1 block quilts.  Though this tute was put together for you to use in your QAL quilt, you may want to tuck these directions away and one day try a whole quilt!

Here are some different color layouts of the block & corresponding 1 block quilts.  You’ll see in the quilt that a secondary pattern emerges.

Broken Pinwheel Q1.bmpBroken Pinwheel b1.bmp

Broken Pinwheel Q2.bmpBroken Pinwheel b2.bmp

Broken Pinwheel Q3.bmpBroken Pinwheel b3

(note I used 6” blocks in the corners of the borders)

Now, on to the fabrics I used, my blocks & the tute!


I am on a kick of using fabric that’s been in the stash the longest.  That journey led me to the blue roses & (now discontinued) pink moda marble.  Love them both, and now it’s time to use them up!


Broken pinwheel block.bmp



# of pieces




Dark Pinwheel


2" square

3" square


Light Pinwheel


2" square

3" square


Dark Pinwheel


1.5" x 2.5"

2.5" X 4.5"


Light Pinwheel


1.5" x 2.5"

2.5" X 4.5"


1st Border


1" x 2.5"

1.5" x 4.5"


1st Border


1" x 3.5"

1.5" x 6.5"


2nd Border


1" x 3.5"

1.5" x 6.5"


2nd Border


1" x 4.5"

1.5" x 8.5"

~to clarify the grid above, if you are making the 12” block, you’ll cut (4) 3” squares of the light green and (4) 3” squares of the red~

Mark light squares by drawing a diagonal line  on the wrong side of each block.  I use a regular ink pen.  We are going to cut on this line later, so I think it’s ok.


With fabrics right sides together (RST):


Stitch 1/4” on each side of the drawn line.  Chain stitching is great here.  Also, the pieces are small; be sure your stitch length is too.




Set your seams by pressing (no steam).  Pressing is just laying your iron on the fabrics without moving it around (that’s ironing & it’s your quilting enemy).


Cut each square on the drawn line.


I like to finger press these pieces,  toward the darker fabric.  They are small & it’s really easy to iron instead of press as you are trying to keep your hands from getting burned.


I am big on squaring up during block making.  I know there are others out there that say if you just do it right the first time, you don’t need to….well that doesn’t work for me as well as squaring up….and since I like good points as much as the next gal, AND since this is MY tute…here we go.

Here’s how I square up blocks:

Everyone has favorite rulers.  Me too.  I love the EZ rulers for squaring up.  The 45 degree line comes right to the corner of the ruler (other brands have it at the 1” mark).  With the line right at the corner, I can square off 2 sides at once and only have to move my piece 1 time.

Place your finger pressed square under the corner of the ruler & line up the 45 diagonal line right on your stitched seam.  Now check the 1.5” (2.5” for the 12” block) lines.  Make sure that there is still fabric overhanging the 1.5” lines on the ruler (right & bottom), as well as the ruler edges.  If there is not excess, your block will be short.


Trim the top & left of the ruler


Turn block around & match the 45 degree line to your stitched seam & your freshly cut edges on the 1.5” lines  (under the ruler).  Trim off top & left again.


You have a perfectly square 1/2 square triangle block.  The points of your stitched line are exactly in the corners.

(Back to our regularly scheduled tutorial)

Now lets make the pinwheels.

I am also a fan of laying out my block on the table before I stitch.


Stitch top left to top right (RST), 1/4” seams (as always).  Stitch bottom left & bottom right too.


I do not press until the block is done,

RST the top & bottom row & butt the seams, then match the ends.  I look at it like the point is the important part.  Get that set first & if the ends are a thread or 2 off in the seam allowance, who cares (or will know), however, if you match your ends & your point in the center is off, everyone will know.

I press the last seam in the pinwheel open so there is less bulk in the center of the block.


Your 6” block pinwheels should measure 2.5”.  Your 12” block pinwheel should measure 4.5”

Time for chocolate-seriously, you just made a 2” pinwheel!!

Now let’s stitch up those rectangles (part B from the key)

Easy peasy-RST, 1/4” seam on the short side.  4 sets of those.  Press toward the darker fabric.  I finger press everything on the 6” block.  Just too hard to get no distortion with the iron on these little pieces.  A stick craft iron would be ok if you have one.


Now, it’s time to lay out pieces again


Yup, looks like everything is headed in the right direction!  Lets add those frames.

It’s what you think-just like a courthouse steps block.  Short green on either side of the pinwheel first.  Press toward the border.


Then the other side.  Press toward the border.

Repeat with the red/second border. Press toward the outer border.



6” block should measure 4.5” & 12” block should measure 8.5”


Add the remaining 1/2 square triangles to each side of TWO of the rectangle pieces we made.  This is the trickiest part of the block.  Getting your angles right.  Laying out the block really pays off here!  I do not iron this strip.  It makes getting your points to match easier.


Sew last 2 remaining rectangle units to the right & left sides of your bordered pinwheel.  Again, I don’t iron.


Add top & bottom units to complete your block.  Again, match & butt your points first, then match your ends.  A nice gut check when you are stitching  is the center seam from the rectangle unit you are adding should fall in line with the seam of your interior pinwheel.


Remember to upload a pic of your block to the flickr group!

Just to be an over achiever, I made the quilt:

Broken Pinwheel Rosesbroken pinwheel roses back


Use the print friendly button at the bottom of this post or go to our Free Patterns page for a downloadable *.pdf file (it’s a long one with lots of pictures, so be patient while it downloads).  We’ve also put our EQ7 file as a free download on Free Patterns Page.  Happy Stitching!