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Thursday, March 15, 2018


Island Batik supplied me with the fabric for this project and Hobbs supplied the batting. This blog contains affiliate links that I may receive compensation for when used.

The first month of my responsibility as an Island Batik Ambassador is under my belt! I realized that the reason they are called challenges is because they are asking us to stretch our skills and imagination and create things that we would not normally create.

First I want to announce the winner of my last Island Batik challenge. Her label is VWoman87. She did not leave me her email so I am unable to contact her. If she is reading this blog, please fill out my contact form with your address and email. If she does not respond, then I will choose a different name. This is why I STRESS that you need to leave me some way to contact you in your comment so you don't lose out on winning a prize!

March's challenge is to do something that we have never done before. I have to admit after crafting for over 50 years and quilting for over 30 there are very few things that I have not tried! When I started quilting in 1985 I wanted to learn everything there was about quilting. That included, traditional piecing, paper piecing, foundation piecing (sometimes the two are interchangeable), English paper piecing, machine appliqué. hand appliqué including needle turn, rouching, raw edge appliqué, curved piecing, hand piecing, machine quilting, hand quilting, seminole piecing, and freezer paper appliqué. Not sure if I left anything out, but the point is I had a lot of difficulty finding something I have not done or tried!

Wracking my brain, I finally realized that I have never made a Dresden Plate quilt! Aha!!!! I have to admit I had to look on the internet on how to make a Dresden plate block and found quite a few videos and blogs that showed a couple different ways to make one. I went to my computer and my EQ8 program, found the block and decided on a layout and size. I then printed out the templates and made them with heavy template plastic. 

So now that I figured out what to do, I had to pick my fabrics. Normally I don't have any problems picking fabrics when I am doing a quilt because I always start with a focus piece and pick colors from that. This time I had to pick a color way that I wanted to do this quilt in and had to use the fabrics that I was given. I didn't realize how hard that would be. I'd put 2 or 3 fabrics together and then look for others and I didn't like all of them together, so I would pick another 2 or 3 fabrics and again, not happy with the results. What I decided was I was trying too hard to find matching fabrics. I had to just make a decision and live with it. So here are the fabrics I chose with the blades cut out. Not my normal color palate.
Then I had to make the pointy ends of the blades. That was a piece of cake! All I had to do was fold the blade in half lengthwise right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam across the wide end. I did realize that in order for it to remain sewn together I had to use a shorter stitch (with a 2.4 being average, I used a 1.9).

I decided to trim where it will turn so that there is very little bulk at the corner tip.
Fold the tip down matching the center of the seam to the center crease and finger pressed it.
Turn it inside out, using my stylus to poke the corner out, and to get the point sharp, again lining up the center seam on the center crease and pressed it with my iron.
Here it what it looks like from the front.
Now sew the sections together. To get the tops to match perfectly I made sure that when I put them right sides together, I can not see any of the bottom petal peeking outside of the top petal.
Press seams open.
Sew quarters together, then halves.
The completed petals.
View of the back.
Baste the center at 1/8" with a longer stitch.

Now it is ready to attach to a larger square. Be sure to read my blog next week, where I will show how I chose threads, the stitches I used to attach it to the background fabric, what kind of layout I used, and how I quilted it. I will have another drawing then so be sure to come back.

As always; do what you love and love what you do. Feel free to share my blog and leave a comment if you like. Thank you for reading. Toby

Want to follow other Island Batik Ambassadors? Use the links below.

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw
Connie at Kauffman Designs
Dione at Clever Chameleon
Geraldine at Living Water Quilter
Janet at Whispers of Yore
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Joyce at heARTs Creations
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Sherry at Powered by Quilting  
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

Save 33% On A Full Price Craftsy Class with code INSTRUCTORENROLL at through 3/31/18.
Exp 3/31/18 11:59pm MST. Save 33% off the full retail price of any Craftsy class. Not valid for classes from our our partner, The Great Courses. Limit one item per customer and cannot be combined with other coupons.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018


It snowed today. Beautiful fluffy snow that stuck to the trees and grass. Didn't last long and only accumulated about 1". Good day to stay in and sew. (I started this on Sunday.)

Sometimes when I design a block I don't always think ahead about how easy or difficult it is to piece. This was one of those blocks. After cutting out all of the pieces I realized that it couldn't be pieced in the traditional way. I studied and studied the block trying to figure out how I could piece it without having to redraw and recut my fabrics. I then realized that I could use partial seams. A partial seam is when you only sew part of the seam so you can attach another section of a block and when that is done you can complete the rest of the seam. If you have never done them, they aren't really that hard. I just takes some planning. In piecing this block, I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do partial seams. I also realized I did not give measurements for cutting the previous blocks in case you do not want to make or use templates. This block uses Marti Michell's Template set B. I still have one set for sale.

Here are the fabrics I picked for this block.
Here is the block from Electric Quilt 8. Remember, you can fussy-cut any part of the block.
Here are the cut patches.
Fabric requirements:
Fabric 1: Dark symmetrical print
Fabric 2: Light symmetrical print
Fabric 3: Dark (red)
Fabric 4: Bright (yellow)
Fabric 5. Light background print

Be sure to draw the straight of grain line arrows on your templates so that you cut them correctly.

Cutting instructions:
Fabric 1
* Cut four similar repeat with Template A. (Marti Michell template B9.)
OR Cut two 4-7/8" squares and sub-cut into four HST.
Fabric 2
* Cut four similar repeat with Template A.
OR Cut two 4-7/8" squares and sub-cut into four HST.
Fabric 3
* Cut eight triangles with Template B. (Marti Michell template B13.)
OR Cut four 2-7/8" squares and sub-cut into eight HST.
Fabric 4
* Cut eight triangles with Template B.
OR Cut four 2-7/8" squares and sub-cut into eight HST.
Fabric 5
* Cut four triangles with Template C (Marti Michell template B11). Line up the long edge of the template along the edge of the fabric.
 OR Cut one 5-1-/4"square and sub-cut twice into four QST.
* Cut four triangles with Template A
OR Cut two 4-7/8" squares and sub-cut into four HST.

1. Sew the center four Fabric 1 Template A patches together.
2. Make the four Flying Geese Units (FGU). Sew the Template B Fabric 3 HST to the Template C Fabric 5 QST. Press to Fabric 3.
3. Sew the Template A Fabric 1 HST to the Template A Fabric 5 HST. Make four. Press to darker fabric.
4. Draw a mark on the backs of the Fabric 4 HST approximately 1" from the bottom. (I used 
1-1/4" but realized I needed to make it a little smaller.) 
5. Sew two Template B Fabric 4 HST to the corner of the Fabric 2 HST stopping at the drawn line on both patches. Press to Fabric 4. (You could put the Fabric 2 on the outside if you want.) Make four of these units.
6. Sew the unit from step 5 to the center pieced square.  You can see that the seam on the Fabric 4 HST is open at the top. Press to center square. Repeat with the other four sides.
This is what it will look like when all four corners are sewn on.
7. Sew the FGU to the HSTs that are loose. I have them on top to show what is pieced together. You will pull the section back so that the FGU lines up with the corners of the center unit. Be sure to open the press seams to match the ends of the FGU. Press to FGU.
Here they are sewn on.
Here is a close-up of what the block looks like so far with the partial seams. I have purposely laid the seams on top so you can see they are loose.
8. Fold back the edges of the FGU and the corner unit. Pin one side of the partial seams to the corner unit. Sew starting on the stitches and sew to the end of the patch. Press to the FGU.
9. Repeat with the other side. Press to the FGU. You can see you sewed these on without using "y" seams!
10. Repeat with the other four corners and you have a finished block!
If you have never done partial seams, I hope I have made the directions clear enough. If not, don't hesitate to email me a let me know what you don't understand or had problems with. Comments are appreciated. I hope some of you are doing these blocks. Please share them with me by emailing them to

Here are the templates you need for this block.

If you are not on my newsletter mailing list, you have not heard about my sales this month. Since my birthday is this month, I am having weekly and some daily specials. This week's special is all of my template sets are 40% off. All you have to do is write "templatesale" in the coupon box when you check out. If you want to receive my newsletter you can sign up on my website. If you are taking my Craftsy class this would be a great time to get the templates. If you aren't taking it I hope you think about signing up.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading and feel free to forward this blog to your quilting friends.

This blog contains affiliate links. 

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Today the sun is shining!!! I think the rain in the last 5 days made up for the drought we had over the last 6 months!

Today's block is a piece of cake compared to the previous blocks so far! It only has 20 pieces! It does involve curved piecing so, if you haven't done curves before, I did do a very crude Youtube video. It just takes some practice. These inside (or concave) curves do need to be clipped. See the photo in the step by step instructions. Click on the link to see it.
Here are the fabrics I picked.
Here are the templates ready to use.
Patches are cut and ready to sew (oops forgot to take a photo). Here is what the block looks like.

Fabric 1 Symmetrical light
* Fussy cut four (4) like repeats with Template A.
Fabric 2 Pink
* Cut four (4) with Template B.
Fabric 3 Green
* Cut four (4) with Template B.
Fabric 4 Light
* Cut eight (8) with Template C.

Step 1. Sew a Fabric 4 C patch to each end of two Fabric 2 and two Fabric 3 B patches. Press to Fabric 4 on one set (the fabric 2 set) and Fabric 3 on the other set.
Step 2. Clip the concave edge of all of the B patches. Clip a little less than 1/4" and about 3/8" apart.
Lay out the A patches and remaining B patches as shown. Make sure you keep the center of the fussy cut piece going in the correct direction. 
Step 3. To match the centers of the B patch and A patch, fold one in half with wrong sides together and one with wrong sides together. Place creases together and pin with the concave piece on top. Pin the center and ends of the patches as shown. You can see I use a "weaving" effect when I pin to hold the edges together. Be sure to line up the 90 degree angle with the edge of the crescent shape. Sew slowly with a narrow stitch (2.0 or 1.9). Start with the needle down in the beginning, take a couple stitches and then remove first pin. Pull section to the left slightly and the two edges will start to line up. Keeping the edges together and a slight tug on the center of the patch to keep from getting a pleat, sew to the center pin. Stop with the needle down and pull slightly to the left again, lining up the edges. Sew slowly to the end with that slight tug and when the machine needle gets close to the pin that is pointing towards the needle, hold down the head of the pin and start sewing to the end. The pin will slowly come out as you are sewing. Use the pin at the end to make sure that your edge remains at 1/4" from the needle. Press towards Fabric 2 and Fabric 1 on the Fabric 3 section.
If you have never sewn curves, Craftsy is having a FREE weekend March 2-4. That means you can watch any video class free for the entire time. You can watch the videos in my class "Clever Curves" and if you really like it and decide to purchase it you can use this link to get it.

Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at
Here is what the section should look like. If it does not lay flat, use a little spray of water and press flat.
Step 4.
Lay out the sections from steps 1 and 3 as shown. Matching centers, seams, and ends, place the concave piece on top, pin and sew as in step 3. Make all four sections. Hold off pressing until you lay out the four sections together. Then press seams in opposite directions. Square off section if needed. They should equal 6-1/2" square. Square edges evenly, don't trim more off on one side than the other or the center squares will not match.
Step 5. Lay out the four sections as shown. Sew across each row, pressing one to the left and one to the right. Sew rows together. Press in one direction or twist center seam and press all in the same direction.
The finished block looks like this!

Here are the downloadable templates.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Please feel free to share this with your quilting friends. Thanks for reading.

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