Saturday, August 27, 2016


Moose Jr. and Ginger

Now that I have your attention (everyone loves pictures of cats) ... I know I have been extremely negligent about writing my blog. I keep making promises to myself that I will post at least once and week and life just seems to get in the way. So..... I have decided to do something that will force me to write in it once a week. A FREE STATE BLOCK OF THE WEEK CHALLENGE!

Most of you know that I love to fussy cut ANYTHING! I have seen many weekly and monthly challenges with different themes. So I was brainstorming and thought about state quilt blocks. I looked on a variety of blogs and websites and saw that there were some that had free state blocks listed. My thought is, I will do a weekly free state block pattern once a week for 50 weeks. But there is a twist (you know how twisted I am). I want to challenge you to fussy cut some part of the block. What I will do, is once a week post two different blocks of a state. (I found these in some of my block books and on line.) One will be fairly easy and the other a little more challenging. You will get step by step photo and written directions to piece them together and my wonderful quilting tips and tools that I will use with many of them. I will even start out by showing you how to get that "perfect" 1/4" seam allowance and the tool that I had made to do it with.

Here are the fabrics that I chose to make my state blocks. I picked an overall fabric design that comes in two different color ways (one black background and one cream). Then I chose 2 to 3 coordinating prints (mostly tone on tones or small prints) in each color that I found in the fabrics plus a very dark (black) and very light (cream). I wanted a print to fussy cut that had lots of colors in it so I could have a large variety of fabrics to pick from. I tried to find a dark, medium, and light of each colorway. The main print also has to have some large and smaller designs in it so I can cut a variety of sizes to fit the blocks. You will want to have at least 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 yards of one print to fussy cut or 1 to 1-1/2 yards of two different coordinating prints. I carry lots of prints for fussy cutting on my website if you are having trouble finding something. Then choose 1/2 to 3/4 yards of the coordinating prints. I also carry a wide variety of blenders. You can find them by color on the website. Since this is somewhat of a scrappy quilt, if you run out of a fabric you can always pick another coordinating print.

I don't know how big my project will, be but the blocks will be 12" finished. So if I make it 6 x 8 blocks (I know it only equals 48 blocks) the minimum it would be is 72" x 96" without borders. I could choose just some of the blocks that I like to put in the quilt or use all 48 and then the extra two to make into pillows. I am leaving the creative choices up to you. I will simply give you the directions, show you my samples, and you have the option to do what you want with them and how many you want to make. The more creative the better! There are no requirements to complete all of the blocks so if you miss one that is not a problem.

Now here is the great thing about this challenge. Anyone who participates (and I hope we get a lot of people to join the fun) will be eligible to be in a drawing for a weekly prize. Even those who live overseas can be eligible (there will be no postage involved). I will not be picking the winner. It will be your fellow quilters who will be voting. They do not have to be participating in the challenge to vote. So get your friends to follow along to vote for your block. The quilters' names will not be listed with the blocks (but you are free to tell them which one is yours).

To get your juices flowing here are my first two blocks. I will be doing the states alphabetically so these are blocks of Alabama. (The second one I modified slightly to make it easier to piece.)

I will begin this challenge on September 4 and each Sunday I will post two new blocks. You have a week to make the block and send me images to post on my blog, along with my other social media (Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram). People will have a week to vote and I will announce the winner on the following Sunday when I post the next set of blocks. So if I post the first 2 blocks on September 4, then you have until the 11th to get me the image(s) of your block(s). Voting will take place that week and I will announce a winner on the 18th. The whole process will take 2 weeks.

Please, please, please share this with your quilting friends! The more that participate the more interesting the blocks will be. If you have any questions about how to send your images or don't understand the directions feel free to email me or post a message on my blog. I know we all have busy lives, especially before the holidays, but I hope you will find a few minutes a day in your schedule to make a block.

Since this is a new endeavor for me there may be some glitches, so be patient with me while I work through this process and figure out the best way to vote that doesn't involve too much confusion.

As always, do what you love and love what you do!!! Gather your fabrics for this challenge and come back next Sunday, September 4 for directions on these first two blocks. Thanks for reading, Toby.

Friday, April 8, 2016


First I want to thank all of those people who took the time to check out the Electric Quilt blog and leave a comment about my new book Kaleiodstars. All of the comments were so nice both on my blog and Electric Quilt's blog.

I have three winners to announce today. The first winner is from Electric Quilt's blog. Congratulations to Mary Furber! She wins a signed copy of my book. I will email Mary to give her the good news!

I also had a drawing for a fat quarter bundle of Paula Nadelstern's newest fabric collection called Chromazone. The response was overwhelming on my blog, and I hope that even if you didn't win, you will take a look at the wonderful fabrics on my website and consider purchasing my book. Congratulations to PJB (she didn't leave name). She said, "My favorite is Northern Lights. Congratulations on your birthday. It seems young to me as I have passed 75. I didn't start quilting until I was almost your age! I love star patterns and made a King sized quilt with a huge 8 pointed star." She won 7 fat quarters from the collection! I hope she has fun playing with these fabrics. I certainly do!

 Also on Wednesday I posted a blog about Quiltmaker's 100 Block Sampler Sew along. They posted my Ladder's Up block as the fifth, in a series of 100 blocks, that they will be sharing to make a sampler quilt. 

Congratulations to Stephanie Woodward. She won my Jacob's Ladder quilt pattern that uses that block.

Now for some wonderfully exciting news! Some of you may know that I recently filmed a class with iQuilt

In it I demonstrate how to make a quilt based on my Kaleidostars block, featured in my new book. Well, the opening date is fast approaching and I have 3 videos on Youtube that describe my class and some wonderful tips you will get from taking it.

Here is the opening introduction just to whet your whistle.

That is my teaser! I will show you other Youtube videos giving you tips on what you will learn in my class in the next blog. Please send this introduction of my iQuilt class to all of your quilting friends. This link will take you to the website, but my class is not available quite yet so be patient, and I will let you know when it is available.

As always, do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading, Toby Lischko

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

100 Block Sampler Sew Along

I have been lucky enough to be published in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks for quite a few issues. One of my earlier blocks is called Ladder Up from Volume 6. They are having a sew along so you will find lots of other blocks to make.

It is a variation of the Jacob's Ladder block. It is made up of half-square triangles and squares. Not a difficult block to make. The only difference is, I added triangles to the corners of the block. It is made with a traditional fabric collection by RJR, but can easily be made with batiks or more modern fabrics.

With the triangles on the corners, when you put the blocks together they create a star where they connect.

Those visiting my blog today can be in the drawing for this pattern. Just leave a comment on the bottom of the blog telling me what kinds of fabrics you would use in this block.

Continue to follow the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks to enter the 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading. Toby 

Thursday, March 31, 2016


First I want to thank those who left a comment about my book and wished me a happy birthday. Today is the official day and I've reached a milestone! 65 years. I can't believe I am that old! Not that it is old to me, but to someone who is under 40 they would think it was!

Anyway, the winner of my book drawing is Michele T. Congratulations Michele! You will be getting an email from me so I can get your address and put your signed copy of my book in the mail.

Starting today, Electric Quilt is having another drawing for my book. If you are here for the first time after reading Electric Quilt's blog, then welcome. I hope you will come back again and consider following me. If you are a loyal blog friend and reading this before going to Electric Quilt then you need to go to Electric Quilt's blog and leave your comment on their blog (not mine) for a chance to win a copy of my book. The reason that Electric quilt is featuring me in their blog today, is because I am one of their EQ designers and I designed every quilt in the book with EQ7. Maybe after seeing all of the wonderful things I can do with EQ7 you might want a copy of your own! They are also have a huge drawing for unbelievable prizes! You can see how to enter other drawings, including the grand prize, on their blog.

So far I have been giving you peeks of some of the quilts in the book. Today I decided to show you all of the quilts and explain a little about each one. Kaleidostars is a book about how to use symmetrical fabrics. Those are fabrics that, if you drew an imaginary line down the center of the design, it would be the same on both sides. A butterfly is symmetrical for example. Here is a sample of Paula Nadelstern's newest fabric collection called ChromaZone.

You can see many more symmetrical fabrics like this on my website.

In my book I tell you what to look for in symmetrical fabrics, how to cut perfect repeats every time, choosing coordinating prints, and how to sew the block together that has no "y" seams. 

Here is a sample of a block that one of my students made in my Northern Lights workshop. She used two symmetrical fabrics by Jinny Beyer called Carnival. You can see that there are two versions of the print, one with a dark background and one with a light. You can get this fabric on my website also.

I also used that collection for a quilt in my book and called it Carnival. Here is the EQ7 version and my version. I like how I can manipulate the fabrics in the program to create the symmetrical design, so I can see what they are going to look like when I sew them together, before I even cut one piece out.


Some quilts I only used one symmetrical fabric. Again, I'm showing the EQ7 version and the finished quilt. This quilt is called Parfait and since it only has four blocks in it, I suggest that if you haven't made a block like this, to start with this quilt. It has a 17" block.

Here is another quilt, that I used only one symmetrical fabric in it, called Royal Garden. It is really hard to tell the real version from the EQ7 version! This is probably the hardest quilt in the book because you have to match everything that comes together in the diamonds.

The next quilt is called Caribbean Blues. Again, it is hard to tell the difference between the real quilt and EQ7 image. That is how good the program is! This one uses two fabrics, one is symmetrical and one is not, but both are fussy cut.

The cover quilt, Mardi Gras also uses two fabrics, both symmetrical. Can you tell which one is the EQ7 image?

This next quilt uses one fabric. Instead of cutting the same repeat, I cut the mirror image (a right and left section of the fabric repeat), to create Fun House Mirrors. I didn't have a fabric that looked like this one in my EQ7 program so the image of it doesn't look like this one.

The quilt I really had fun designing is Electrifying! In EQ7 you can design all kinds of border treatments. It also has borders that are already made that you can pick from. Again, I didn't have the actual fabric in EQ that I used in my quilt but I was able to get the general idea of what the layout and border were going to look like. It uses one symmetrical fabric and I cut two different repeats in the same block. I think the title really fits the quilt!

In the final quilt called Northern Lights, I used three different coordinating symmetrical fabrics. 

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual trunk show and given you a good idea of what is in my book. I do have to add that most of these quilts are not as hard as they look. Just ask anyone who has taken my workshop. If you don't win the book you can always purchase a copy of it here: Kaleidostars

So for today's drawing, on my blog, I will be giving away a fat quarter bundle of Paula Nadelstern's newest collection called ChromaZone. All you have to do to be in the drawing is to leave a comment at the end of this blog telling me which quilt you think you would like to make. Be sure to LEAVE ME SOME WAY OF CONTACTING YOU IF YOU WIN. I can't tell you how many times I have drawn a name from the list only to find out I have no way of letting them know they won. If you do not want to leave your email in the message or you have difficulty leaving a comment, then use the contact me form on the right side of the blog and send me your email address. No one will see it but me.

Got to get quilting. I'm working on a new sample for one of my workshops (along with so many other projects). I'll post it as I make it on my FB page.

As always, do what you love and love what you do. Good luck and thanks for reading. Toby

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