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.
Fabric 5 Dark 1 (purple):
*(4) Template A or (4) 2" squares.
*(8) Template B or (4) 3-3/8" 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

Sunday, October 2, 2016


I hope that everyone is having fun! I am enjoying the challenge myself! Not only is it a challenge for me to design and chose fabrics for each block but also a challenge to keep up with you! I know you all look forward to Sunday, so I work my hardest to get them done for you. 

I do these along with designing quilts for various fabric companies, making quilts for publication and making samples for other quilters. It keeps me very busy. I remember when raising my kids hearing them say "I'm bored!" I can't say that I have ever been bored. I have been crafting since I was eight and sewing clothes since I was 11 so I have always had something to do in my spare time.

This weeks winners of the Alaska Blocks A and B are:

Beth Caldwell. Congratulations Beth! She won last weeks block A too. Way to go Beth!

Block 2B's winner is Mary Steimle. She also won last week's block B! I didn't get a chance to post information about Mary in the last post, so here is what she sent me. 

"My quilting journey began in 2003. In 2011 a quilt called "Mardi Gras" appeared in the "Love of Quilting" magazine as a "challenging" quilt pattern.  I had to make the quilt! Toby Lischko was that pattern's designer. In 2015 the Sandhills Quilting Guild hosted Toby's "Glorified Nine Patch with a Twist" workshop and I had to get into that class.  Toby taught all of us such wonderful techniques. The "State Block Challenge" appeals to me for a couple of reasons.  On my quilting to do list are a state block sampler and a quilt that utilizes her fussy cutting and mirror techniques. The variety of challenging block designs keeps this project fresh and exciting. I think that my quilting is improving because my best efforts are put forth each week to make as perfect of a block as I can - just two blocks - no boring repetition. Toby, thank you so much for this challenge.  We all look forward to new designs each week."

Here is her block.

I am so excited that everyone is really getting into this!

On to Arizona blocks A and B. Both blocks have lots of pieces but block B is a challenge.

Block 4A

I chose a light background, medium light contrast, dark center and the light fabric for fussy cutting.

Here is what you need to cut: (If using the templates pay attention to the grainline arrow.)
Theme fabric: (Template C) Fussy cut (4) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2".
Background: (4) 2-1/2" squares or Template A.
     (10) 3" squares or (20) Template B
Medium Light: (10) 3" squares or (20) Template B.
Dark: (1) 4-1/2" square or Template D.

Making half-square triangles. You can either use Template B and cut them out and sew them together or do the following.
Step 1: Place the 3" background squares and 3" medium light squares right sides together. You can either draw a line on the back of one of the pairs and sew 1/4" on each side, then cut them apart. Or cut each pair in half diagonally and sew them together. Press to medium fabric. I like to trim the corners of the triangles with one of my templates. Make (20) half-square triangle sets. Trim each pair to equal 2-1/2" square.

Step 2: Sew two of the half-square triangles, light sides together as illustrated. Press to the side. Make (4).

Step 3: Layout all of the pieces as illustrated. the sewn pairs are in the center on all sides. Sew patches together across. Then sew rows together. Press in the direction of the arrows.

Block 4B

For this block I chose the dark theme fabric, a light background, and two dark contrast fabrics. This block I had the hardest time figuring out which fabrics to use with the theme fabric! I suggest you use the templates for all of the pieces in this block. Because the triangles are pieced to odd shapes, the triangle templates with the trimmed corners make piecing it so much easier. No guesswork as to where to put the patches when sewing. (All of those little triangles were a little daunting to me!)

Here is what you need to cut: (Pay attention to the grainline placement arrows.)
Theme fabric: Fussy cut (4) Template D and (4) Template C.
Background: (12) Template A, (16) Template B and (8) Template G. (I just realized I only have four showing).
Contrast dark 1 (purple): (1) Template J.
     Place the fabric wrong sides together and cut (4)Template E(H) left and E(H)
     right. You will get a right and left section at the same time. 
Contrast dark 2 (black): (4) Template I and (4) Template F.

This block is sewn in sections and then the sections are sewn together. You need to measure each section when they are done to make sure that they are the correct size. Otherwise they will not fit together accurately.

Center section
Step 1. Make (4) Flying geese sections with (2) Template G triangles and (1) Template I triangle. You can see that the small and large triangles fit together perfectly. Press to smaller triangle.

Step 2. Lay out the (4) Flying geese sections, (4) Template F squares, and (1) Template J square. Sew together across. Press to F and J.

Corner units. Make (4)
Step 3. Lay out (2) Template B, (1) Template A and (1) Template C as illustrated.

Step 4. Sew the Template B triangles to each short side of Template C. Press to small triangles.

Step 5. Sew the Template A triangle to the top. Press to triangle.

Flying Geese pieced section. Make (4)
Step 6. Layout (2) Template B triangles, (2) Template A triangles, a left and right Template E(H) and (1) Template D triangle as illustrated.

Step 7. Sew a Template A to the left and right Template E. Press to A.

Step 8.  Sew a Template B to the other side of Template E(H). Make (4) left and (4) right sections. Press to E(H).

Step 9. Sew a left and right pieced section from step 8 to both sides of a Template D triangle.

Putting the pieces together.
Step 10. Layout the center section, (4) corner sections and (4) pieced flying geese sections as illustrated.

Step 11. Sew across and press to pieced Flying Geese sections. Sew rows together and press to pieced Flying Geese sections.

Download template sets here: Open the links and click on the download icon. You need to save them (make a folder for your templates) then open with Adobe reader. Please contact me if you have problems opening them. You do not need any special account to do this.

Arizona Template A
Arizona Template B

I know that I am getting this out late. Sorry. I do have to let you all know that I will be a week late on the next blocks. I have 2 deadlines to meet for finishing quilts and I don't think I will have time to work on new blocks. I promise I will post Week 5 on October 9. Maybe this will help some of you who have started late to catch up.

I do have a request. I would love to know where those who are participating, come from and something about yourself. Please post it in the comment section below so others will know too. Thanks!

As always; do what you love and love what you do. I will be posting the voting sites for Block 3 on my social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) so look for those.

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