Monday, November 7, 2016


I love when the air gets cooler and I get to get my sweaters out! I especially like those new type fabrics that have a very soft feel against my skin. As I get older I can't stand anything scratchy on my skin. I have to cut off the tags on the inside of the neckline on anything because it drives me crazy!

I have been getting very little sleep lately. The puppies are keeping my husband and I very busy! I forgot what it is like training a puppy and we have double the trouble. The great thing is they are very smart and learn quickly. We almost have house training done. They still have an occasional accident but that is more due to us not paying attention to the signs. (This is a short video. Please let me know if it works.)


So on to the next blocks. But first the winners of Blocks 5A and 5B.

Block 5A was won by Rosemary Krupski again! Congratulations Rosemary!

Block 5B was a tie! Jeannie Schultz and Rosemary Krupski both got the same number of votes. So they both get a pattern. Congratulations ladies.

To encourage more people to send me images of their blocks I am going to do a random drawing instead of voting. That way more people have an opportunity to win one of my patterns and increases the odds of other people winning.

This week's block represent the state of Connecticut. Neither of the blocks are difficult to piece but block A has more fussy cutting in it.


For this block I chose just two fabrics. The focus fabric and a contrast. I fussy cut all of the light sections of the block, the half-square triangles, flying geese and diamond in a square. You can use some of the templates that you made for some of the previous blocks.


Focus fabric:
*Fussy cut (4) template A from one design, (4) template A from another design, and (4) template B.
You can always cut more or less of a design than I did.
Contrast fabric:
*Cut (16) template A OR (8) 3-7/8" squares cut once diagonally into (16) HST.


Center section
1. Sew the (4) fussy cut template A pieces. Press seams in a clockwise manner.

2. Sew a contrast fabric HST to each side. Sew opposite sides first. Press to contrast fabric. Section should equal 6-1/2" square.


Flying Geese Units
3. Sew a contrast fabric HST to the short sides of the focus fabric template B. Press to contrast fabric. Make (4). Sections should equal 3-1/2" x 6-1/2".

Half-Square triangle units.
4. Sew a contrast fabric HST to a focus fabric template A. Press to contrast fabric. Make (4). HST should equal 3-1/2" square.

5. Layout the (4) HST units, (4) Flying Geese units, and center units as illustrated. Sew across. Press to Flying Geese units. Sew rows together. Press to Flying Geese units.


For this block I chose a dark and light focus fabric and then a dark and light contrast fabric. You can use the same template A from block 7A for this block.

Focus fabric light
*Cut (2) template D.
Focus fabric dark
*Cut (2) template D.
Contrast light
*Fold fabric wrong sides together and cut (2) B and (2) C. (B and C will be cut at the same time.)
*Cut (2) template A. 

Contrast dark
 *Fold fabric wrong sides together and cut (2) B and (2) C. (B and C will be cut at the same time.)
*Cut (2) template A. 

1. Sew a light contrast B and C to a dark D and a dark contrast B and C to a light D. Press seams in the same direction. (Both left or right.) Make (2) of each.

2. Sew a light template A to the light matching sections and a dark template A to the dark matching sections. Press to HST. Section should equal 6-1/2" square.

3. Sew the four squares together. pressing seams in the same direction as the sections. All seams should go either clockwise or counter clockwise.

Here are the links to the template PDFs. Don't forget to save it and then open with Acrobat Reader.

Template 7A

Template 7B

Remember; Always do what you love and love what you do. Please share your finished blocks with me. No matter what they look like, I love to see what everyone is doing. Plus you will be eligible for a drawing for one of my patterns so the more you do and send me, the better your chances.

Monday, October 31, 2016


First I want to thank everyone for their patience with my postings. I did not realize how time consuming doing this challenge would be! It is good though because it does force me to write my blog more often. Also thank you to those who sympathized with my loss. Every pet owner knows what that is like and how it affects us.

First to the winners of the Arizona blocks. 

Mary Steimle won again with her wonderful Block 4A. Her use of fabrics is amazing!

Block 4B was won by Rosemary Krupski. She is using a Tula Pink fabric collection and really knows how to use them.

The state this week is Colorado. I had quite a time looking for blocks for this state! I found one but that second one was more difficult to find. Neither of the blocks were very difficult so if you don't do both blocks each week, either block should not be a problem to do. The more blocks you make the more you will be using some of the same size templates. So check with your previous templates to see if you already have one the same size as in the new blocks.

I hope more of you send me your finished blocks. I started getting quite a few at first and now it is down to only 3 per block. Remember you will get a chance to win one of my pattern downloads if yours is picked. Don't ever think that it is not good enough. You never know if your block will be picked. If you would prefer that I randomly pick a winner instead of a vote, I will be happy to do that in case you are too intimidated to enter yours. I will hold off picking a winner for Blocks 5A and 5B until Wednesday so I can get more entries.


For this block I chose only the focus fabric and a light background. The whole block is made up of only half-square triangles. I cut two different areas in my focus fabric for the opposite sides of the block. It is difficult to see but if you look close you will see an orange flower and a blue flower. You can cut them all the same or two different areas. The inside pinwheel had to be cut in a different way in order for them to match the other triangles and I will show how to do that in the following illustrations. You do not have to be this fussy if you do not want to.


Fabric 1 Focus fabric with Template A:
*Fussy cut either (16) of the same designs  OR
*Fussy cut (8) each of two different designs OR
*Fussy cut (6) each of two different designs and (2) each of coordinating designs.
Fabric 2 light background:
*Cut (16) Template A OR (8) 3-7/8" squares cut once diagonally into (16) HST.

To figure out how to cut the inside pinwheel pieces I laid the original cut piece on top of the template as illustrated:

Here is what the original cut looks like:

Here is what I did with that piece to determine how to cut the pinwheel section:
Can you see how I put the original triangle on the template sideways to match the fabric design underneath? You have to look really close.

Here is the resulting placement for the cut:

Background fabric with Template A:
*Cut (16) triangles.


1. Make (16) Half-square triangle squares. You will press (6) of the regular cut squares to the background fabric and the remaining squares to the focus fabric.

2. Layout the half-square triangle squares following the illustration paying attention to the pressing of the triangles.

3. Sew sections together. Press rows in opposite directions.
4. Sew rows together. Press the top and bottom seams to the center and the center seam in either direction.


For this block I chose two different colors of the focus fabric flowers, a light background, and two different dark fabrics. You could use the same dark fabric for the center as you did for the strips sets and you can cut the same area for all of the quarter-square triangles.

You will only need to make a template for the quarter-square triangles, but of course you can make them for all the patches. I include cutting with or without the templates. 

Fabric 1 Focus fabric:
*With template A fussy cut (8) each of two different designs or (16) of one design.
Fabric 2 light: 
*Cut (8) template B OR (8) 4-1/2" x 1-3/4" rectangles.
Fabric 3 dark #1:
*Cut (4) template C OR (4) 4-1/2" x 2" rectangles.
Fabric 4 dark #2
*Cut (1) template D OR (4) 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" square.


1. Sew the quarter-square triangles together. Make (4).

2. Sew a 4-1/2" x 1-3/4" Fabric 2 to each side of a 4-1/2" x 2" Fabric 3 strip. Press to dark fabric. Make (4).

3. Layout the four quarter-square triangle sections, four strip sections, and the 4-1/2" Fabric 4 square as illustrated.

4. Sew sections across. Press to strip sets.
5. Sew rows together. Press to center.

Here are the templates for the two blocks. Click on the links. Then save the files to your folder and open with Acrobat Reader. Check the 1" box to make sure that the scale is correct after printing with "no scale" or at 100%. The lines on the templates are fairly thick so check to see if you need to cut them out on or in the lines.

Block 6A
Block 6B

Monday, October 24, 2016


Sometimes life just gets in the way of quilting!

On Sunday, October 16 last week our dog Lucy threw up her breakfast and was lethargic all day. If you know anything about Belgian Malinois, they are never lethargic. I had taken her for a walk on Friday and she was feeling fine. So my husband Mike called the vet and said he wanted to take her in to have her looked at. Monday morning he took her and when he came back home there was no Lucy. I thought well maybe they had to keep her overnight for observation. Boy was I wrong. Mike looked at me and chokingly said she was gone. I couldn't believe it! She was only 7 years old. (Here she is at the window visiting her favorite outdoor cat Oscar.)

The vet had taken x-rays and found a large tumor on her spleen. It was inoperable, so the vet said (and we have a wonderful vet who would do what ever he could for our pets if he thought he could) the best option was to put her down. She wouldn't be able to eat anything without throwing up. We have been beside ourselves all week. In the over 45 years my husband and I have been together we have always had dogs (and cats). There was a short 2 day period after we lost our first dog that we were without when the kids were little, but I took the kids to the mall (when they had pet stores in the malls) and we came home with a Husky puppy.

The week was a rough one for both of us. Everything we did reminded us of her. Only pet owners understand what it is like. They are part of the family.  She was like our child. By Wednesday I was on the computer looking for Belgian Malinois breeders. Of all the dogs we have owned, from 3 St. Bernards, 2 German Shepards, the Husky, a shepard/collie mix (our first dog named Luv), and a miniature Schnauzer, her breed is the one we have liked the most. They are extremely smart and loyal dogs. We called her my shadow because she was always with me no matter where I was in the house.

I found one breeder in Kansas City who had a dog that was due any day. The only problem was he had 400 applications to adopt one litter! I found another breeder in Morrisville, MO, who had 4 puppies left. It was only about a three hour drive from our house. Both breeders required an extensive questionnaire to be filled out. I wonder if someone wanting to adopt a child had to fill out as much information! We did not want to wait so we told the breeder in Morrisville we would be there on Sunday to get a puppy (or 2). You know that my husband really wants something if he is willing to drive 6 hours round trip to get it! He hates to travel further than Walmart to do the shopping!

Well, we are now the proud owners of two 8 week old Malinois puppies! 

It has been a long time since we have had dogs that young. Lucy we got at 7 months old and the German Shepard before her we got at 1 year old from my daughter. We have raised puppies before (but were younger then) so we knew what was in store. I tried to wear them out so they would sleep well (which also wore me out)! They did go to sleep without any problems (and so did my husband and I) and only woke us up 2 times during the night. At 2:00 and 4:00.

The point of all of this is I did not get a chance to finish Blocks 6A and 6B, Colorado. I had them cut out but not pieced. So.... I will post those blocks by Monday next week. I am moving the posting days from Sunday to Monday because I seem to always be one day behind! I know I will be busy this week house training puppies but while they are sleeping I will work on the blocks. (Will post more photos later.)

There is one problem with last week's blocks. A quilter emailed me to say that her block only finished at 10" instead of 12". She said that the template page said they were for a 10" block. That's what I get for rushing and not checking what I send out. The cutting instructions were correct, but the template sizes were not. So here are the links to the proper size blocks. If you did already cut out the pieces but not piece them, hold on to them. I'm sure you will be able to use them in a different block in the series. If you have pieced them, I apologize. You can make them into a small pillow to go with your quilt.

Here are the corrected templates:



I hope despite all of the delays and changes, corrections and mistakes, you continue to stay with me. All of this is relatively new to me so I am learning as I go. Thanks for your patience and understanding. All of the blocks that I have seen so far have been outstanding! 

You still have an opportunity to vote for blocks 4A and 4B.

Here are the links: 

Block 4A Arizona 

Block 4B Arizona 

As always: Love what you do and do what you love.  Toby 

Feel free to forward or share with your friends.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Thank you all for your patience. I was able to get my quilt off to the editor last week which freed me to work on this week's blocks.

Giving the extra week was good for some of the participants in that they were able to catch up with all of the blocks. As I have said, you do not have to do all of the blocks. It is perfectly fine to only pick some of them if you want. I have seen some wonderful blocks! Everyone is so creative.

I have a winner of Block 3A is (drum roll please) Mary Steimle again!!! Mary, everyone loves the fabrics you picked! She gets another free pattern from my website. I'm going to run out of patterns to send her if she keeps this up!
The winner of Block 3B is Brenda Barnhart. She had a lovely block. Her fabrics blend together so well you can't see the seams! Congratulations ladies.

Here are the links to vote for Blocks 4A and 4B. I did not get as many entries this time. If you want to send me an image of your block I can still add it. If you sent it to me and it is not included please send it again and I will add it. I will hold off sending the links to my social media sites.

Arizona Block A

Arizona Block B

I have realized that Marti Michell makes template sets that are perfect for my blocks. Her A set for 3" sections and B sets for 4" sections have many of the shapes that I use in my blocks (both work with 12" blocks). I am considering purchasing them for my shop. If you are interested in either set, let me know. These templates will save you from having to make your own and will last a lot longer! Also some of the templates you made for previous blocks will work with these blocks so save yourself from making them again by checking on the ones you have.

This week's block is California. I had a challenge finding a challenging block. Finding an easy one was easy. I finally did find one and did some revisions so it wouldn't be too difficult to piece. (No "y" seams.) It does have a lot of pieces though! Both blocks only need templates for the fussy cut pieces but feel free to use templates for all the pieces if you want.


Here are the fabrics I chose: Focus fabric, light background, medium print, and medium light print.

You will need to cut (with or without templates):
Fabric 1 Focus Fabric: 
*Fussy cut (4) template A.
Fabric 2 Light background: 
*(4) template A or (2) 4-7/8" squares cut once diagonally into (4) HST. 
*(10) template B or (10) 2-1/2" squares.
Fabric 3 Medium light print: 
*(6) template B or (6) 2-1/2" squares.
Fabric 4 Medium print: 
*(4) template B or (4) 2-1/2" squares.


1. Sew a Fabric 1 A triangle to a Fabric 2 A triangle. Make (4). Press two to Fabric 1 and two to Fabric 2.

 2. Make a four patch with two 2-1/2" Fabric 1 squares and two 2-1/2" Fabric 3 squares. Press first seams to the darker fabric. Then either press them all in a clockwise direction seam or to one side. Make (4).

3. Repeat step 2 with two 2-1/2" Fabric 1 squares and two 2-1/2" Fabric 4 squares. Make (2).

4. Layout the four patch squares and half-square triangle squares as illustrated. Be sure to place the triangle seams going in opposite directions where they come together. Sew across. Press seams to the four patches. Then sew the rows together. Press seams towards the outside of the block.


For this block I chose both the light and dark focus fabrics, a medium light, medium dark, and two dark fabrics.

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS (Ignore the gold triangles in the larger image. I started piecing it and realized I needed to make two small triangles in place of the larger ones. Thus the extra fabric image.)

Fabric 1 Dark focus fabric:
*Fussy cut (4) Template C.
Fabric 2 Light focus fabric.
*Fussy cut (4) Template D. 
Fabric 3 Medium light (gold):
*(4) Template A or (4) 2" squares.
*(16) Template B or (8) 2-3/8" squares cut once diagonally into (16) HST.
Fabric 4 Medium dark (green):
*(4) Template D or (2) 3-7/8" squares cut once diagonally into (4) HST.
*(8) Templates B or (4) 2-3/8" squares cut once diagonally into (8) HST.
Fabric 5 Dark 1 (purple):
*(4) Template A or (4) 2" squares.
*(8) Template B or (4) 2-3/8" squares cut once diagonally into (8) HST.
Fabric 6 Dark 2 (black):
*(16) Template B or (8) 2-3/8" squares cut once diagonally into (16) HST.


Center section

1. Sew the four Fabric 1 Template D patches together. Press seams in a clockwise manner.

2. Sew the four Fabric 4 Template D triangles to each side of the center diamond. Sew opposite sides first. Press to Fabric 4.

Left Section 2
3. Sew (1) Fabric 3 Template B, (2) Fabric 5 Template B, and (1) Fabric 4 triangles together. Press towards the last triangle sewn on. Make (4) Left section 2.

Right Section 2
4. Repeat step 3 facing the triangles in the opposite directions as illustrated. Make (4) Right section 2.

Section 3
5. Sew a left and right section 2 to a Fabric 2 Template C. Press to square. Make (4) section 3. 

Corner section
6. Sew (1) Fabric 3 Template A,  (2) Fabric 5 Template B, and (1) Fabric 5 A patches together as illustrated. Press first seams to the squares. Press the center seam to the dark fabric.

7. Sew a Fabric 3 Template A to each side as illustrated. Press to Fabric 3. Make (4) corner sections.

8. Layout the (4) corner sections, (4) section 3 and center section as illustrated. Sew sections together across. Press top and bottom row seams to section 3 and center seams to section 3. Sew rows together pressing seams to top and bottom rows.

Here are the links to the pdfs of the templates. You need to click download and then save it to a separate folder. Then you can open it with Acrobat Reader. Remember when you print it out be sure there is no scaling. Print at 100%. If you have problems opening any of the links in this blog just let me know.

Templates for Block 5A

Templates for Block 5B

Well it is almost 2:00 A.M. so I think I need to go to sleep! Luckily I don't have to get up early tomorrow!  Have fun and please share your blocks with me so I can share them.  Also some of you had left comments about yourselves in my last blog. I would love to hear from more of you and I'm sure others would too.

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

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