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Thursday, August 3, 2017


Just a quick note. My Craftsy class is live! For a limited time (until Friday August 4) you can get 50% off the original price of $39.99. 
(50% off the full retail price of select Craftsy classes taught by Toby Lischko. Cannot be combined with any other coupons.) Use this link to sign up. Clever Curves: Piecing Techniques.

You get these 3 patterns and lots of wonderful tips!

I received this testimonial from a student after signing up for the class.   

"I've paper pieced for many years. I have tried this technique before but the teacher made it seem so complicated that I went back to regular paper piecing ...with that said, you are making it so easy to understand with your demo that yes I will try it again and think I already have this template set!! Also your camera man is getting great shots showing what you are doing!!" 

I hope you consider taking my class. I promise that after taking it you will never be afraid to do curves again!

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

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Sometimes life just takes a leap! This year I started that state block challenge hoping to keep up with the weekly blocks. I am so sorry for those who were following it that I have dropped the ball. I do plan to start that up again after the first of the new year. 

Now you are probably asking why am I waiting that long to start it up again. Well, a lot has happened in the last 3 months! In March I found out that Craftsy had accepted my proposal for an online class so the next 3 months were consumed with phone conferences, writing patterns, making samples (sometimes two of the same quilt), writing script, and rehearsals! I filmed the class in June.

The class is called "Clever Curves: Piecing Techniques". It goes on line tomorrow! It features 3 very different quilt designs starting with a very simple hourglass block that I designed. I demonstrate how to get that perfect 1/4" seam allowance, a no nonsense way to make your own templates, how to use those templates, and my special pinning method for no pleat curves.

The second quilt, my pattern Glorified Nine-patch with a Twist, continues with the theme of using templates and sewing curves. I demonstrate how to make a fast nine patch with seams guaranteed to match, more curve piecing and how to make setting blocks and corner blocks to turn the quilt into an on-point setting. Along with that I show you my special binding technique where the binding matches the outside blocks. This technique won me a first place ribbon in a local quilt show.

The third and final quilt is the one that I made for my "Unfoundation 101" piecing class. I called the pattern Crowned Jewel. The fabrics in this block are to die for! In this class I show my no tearing (taking paper off, but it is a method you won't cry about either) paper method using freezer paper, how to sew tighter curves and how to fussy-cut the center to really make the block pop!

I promise you after taking this class you will never be afraid of curves anymore.
This class goes on line tomorrow. I am very excited about it! I will be sending out a code for a special discount and talking about some give-a-ways tomorrow after it is "live". All of the fabrics in these quilts are available on Craftsy's website.

But that is not all I have been doing. I was also asked by Craftsy to design some exclusive designs that they will kit. I have to make 2 large quilts in 6 weeks! I can't reveal those yet, but they will be on their website in November. The fabrics are very home deco.

While this is all going on I have also been traveling and teaching. In May, I lectured and taught at a quilt guild in Marshall, MO. What a wonderful group of quilters! Then I went to Columbia, MO and lectured in June. At the end of June I flew to Denver and filmed the Craftsy class. In July I traveled to Kansas City, MO and lectured. 

Also in June I decided to update my website so I have a new and shiny website (still the same url) Gateway Quilts & Stuff. For my new website I am having a special launch starting today. All purchases will receive a 10% off  and that includes my already reduced prices on my fabrics. I just got two wonderful fabrics from Quilting Treasures called Imperial Paisley. It is a symmetrical print perfect for my fussy-cutting classes! You can find them here: Navy version and white version. I can't wait to start playing with them!

The first 10 orders over $25 will receive my special seam guide free and all orders over $100 will get free shipping.

One new wonderful thing about my new website is that I now offer PDF downloadable patterns. I no longer have to take orders, email the patterns and refund the shipping. Whoopee!!!! This is my newest pattern; Moon Over New York. I also have lots of free web patterns that I have been designing over the last 15 or so years that are no longer on the fabric company's websites. I hope you get a chance to look at my new site and please feel free to send comments on what you think about it. I have a new feature that you can search for anything on it by using color, manufacture, design, theme, etc.

Well, I have to finish packing for a guild lecture and workshop in Fort Wayne, IN tomorrow so I'd better close this out. I think I've packed today's blog with lots of new and fun information. Stay tuned for more information on how to sign up for my Craftsy class.

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


Friday, May 5, 2017

RJR What Shade am I

I have been designing quilts for RJR for a long time using their current fabric collections. I enjoy taking a traditional type fabrics and creating a quilt design that really shows off many of the different types of prints within the collection. I found it easy to choose blocks to compliment the various types of fabric themes.

When they asked me to design a quilt with their solids collection, I thought, this shouldn't be too hard. How wrong was I! I knew I wanted to use a traditional block just because I am a traditional quilter and I always refer back to those types of blocks, but I needed to change it to make it more "modern". The hardest part was picking the fabrics!

I really like playing with log cabin blocks. I have made quite a few log cabin quilts over the years, mostly scrappy with traditional fabrics.

With this log cabin block I wanted to do gradations of two colors. The difficult part was finding the exact gradation that I liked the look of. I could find 4 tones but then the 5th one didn't look right. Or I could find 5 tones and the 6th didn't look right. I'm just way too picky when it comes to putting colors together. If I have a large or main print in a fabric collection, it is easy to see what fabrics would go well with it. When I have solid colors, the challenge was, how do I choose which colors I like best together. I finally ended up with peach and aqua.

These are the colors I picked:

235 Paris, 278 Just Peachy, 338 Flamingo, 277 Elephantastic Pink, 339 Tropicana, 257 Amaryllis, 294 Cove, 274 Riviera, 292 Turks & Caicos, 354 Horizon, and 289 Proud as a Peacock. 

I work up all of my quilts on Electric Quilt 7. I can play with all types of shapes, layouts, and colors. This is the block I started with. It has one side of the logs larger than the other side which creates a curved effect.

Instead of having it as a square block, I decided it should be a rectangle. So it became this.

One of the challenges in making it a rectangle was if the small logs were consistently the same size, I couldn't make them fit together as they do in the square block so I had to put two logs that end at the same place towards the outer edge. (It's a math thing!)

I still wasn't quite done. So in the center to help make the transition from one side to the other I added a triangle.

Now I was ready to design the quilt. I could have just gone with a traditional setting so on my Electric Quilt 7 I started playing with different layouts. Some traditional....

And one sort of traditional but not completely balanced. This is the one I finally ended up with. I did discover something I didn't know about rectangular blocks like this. The block can't just simply be turned to create the layout. I had to make a left and right version of the block.

Now for the hard part, the quilting. I always stress about the quilting. I work so hard at getting all of the pieces just right, I think I am going to ruin it with the quilting! I was able to work with some motifs in EQ so I played with 3 different designs.

To make things easier on myself, I chose the last option. I'm not very good at grids, but even if they weren't perfect, it wouldn't be that noticeable. You know that sign that says "Plan ahead" and someone paints themselves into a corner? I did not use any tools other than a ruler to make the lines, all of which are not perfectly even. Well, I'm quilting along and realize that the lines have to match up in the center of the design. What if I didn't have the same number of lines on the left side of the quilt as the right side. I breathed a sigh of relief when it worked out okay, but realized that there was another area where they come together. Guess what? I had seven lines on the right side and eight lines on the left side. What to do? Take out a whole line (or lines) of quilting? Luckily one side I only had some short stitching lines that I could take out and divide the space into 3 instead of 2 lines. I used Wonderfil’s Invisafil thread so that the quilting was just an accent and not the focus of the quilt.
As an afterthought, whenever I make log cabin blocks, I like to double (or triple) the size of the front blocks to make the backing. For this one I made the original front block 10" x 12" so the back blocks are 20" x 24" which made 4 fit perfectly with some off center borders.

The last think I thought about was whether to put a border or binding on it. I decided with neither and made a faced binding (folded to the back) for the first time ever. 

I call the quilt Sorbet. It just makes me think of cool iced deserts. I didn't have any fancy places to take photos like I have seen in previous blogs (like the beach) but I did have a nice sunny day to take these photos.

Thank you RJR for giving me this challenge. I loved working with the fabrics. They have a wonderful body and sew up so nice. 
If you haven’t seen all the stunning projects that have been featured in the #whatshadeareyou series, hop on over to Instagram to check out the hashtag. While you’re there, visit and follow me (@tlischko) and follow RJR (@rjrfabrics) for two chances to win a FQ bundle of the solids I chose for my quilt!

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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I'm baaaaack! I apologize for the long delay in posting the next state blocks. If you saw my last post (in December) I showed you a photo of my newest family members. Two Belgian Malinois puppies. Well after that post, my husband and I were getting very little sleep! If you know anything about that breed, they are very high maintenance. Super intelligent and super hyper. They weren't difficult to train, but trying to keep up with all of that energy was exhausting. Even though some people thought we were crazy to get two of them, we found that to be a blessing, because they entertain each other to get rid of some of that energy. If we had gotten only one puppy we can't imagine how much crazier our lives would have been. Here is the most recent photo of them. They are now 6 months old.

We got them at 8 weeks. The largest one (Burke) back then weighed 11 pounds. He now weighs over 50! Hare was 9 pounds and he now weighs about 45. They still act like puppies, but they certainly don't look like puppies! We are enjoying them so much. Even though we still miss Lucy (our other Malinois) they do fill a big void that losing her left.

Now to get back to business. I had taken a break after that last block, because of the holiday and after the first of the year I fell into a quilting funk. I really had no interest in doing any quilting at all. I kept telling myself that I needed to get back to these blocks but I started watching the "Outlander" series with my new DVR with Direct TV and I couldn't stop. So I watched 26 shows in about 3 weeks! 

I'm not a big TV addict, but because now that I could tape whole series of programs I had never had a chance to watch, I started watching TV more. It almost became an addiction. It was just like when I start playing a new game on my iPhone or iPad, I can't put it down. It's a good thing that I'm not addicted to gambling or something that costs a lot of money. (I'm not including collecting fabric!)

It was really hard to find 2 Florida blocks that were doable. Block A has 69 pieces but they are all triangles and squares. Block B is a little more complicated but still not a hard block to make.


I chose both light and dark focus fabrics, a light background, and a medium purple and medium green coordinating prints. 

Here is what you need to cut. Instead of making my own templates, I chose to use  Marti Michell Template set B and my Cutting Corners template set to cut out most of the pieces. Her template sets are available for purchase on my website. Sets A and B should cover most of the blocks that I have made and will be making because they are 3" and 4" sets which go with any 12" block. Some of the more odd shapes I still have to make my own. 

Fabric 1 - Light focus fabric cut:
* Either 16 similar repeats with Template A or two sets of 8 similar repeats with Template A. (I used Marti Michell's B13, from template set B.) You can get it here:

Fabric 2 - Dark focus fabric cut:
* Fussy cut one using template F. (I used Marti Michell's B10, from template set B.)

Fabric 3 - Light background cut:
* Four Template A. (I could use my triangle template from my Cutting Corners template set.)
 * Four Template C. (I used my square template from my Cutting Corners template set.)
* Sixteen Template E.

Fabric 4 - Purple cut:
* Four Template C.
* Eight Template A.

Fabric 5 - Green cut:
* Eight Template B. (Marti Michell B12 template set B.)
* Eight Template D.


1. Make four half square triangle squares with the Fabric 1 template A sets. I have two different repeats. It is really hard to see the seams but they are there. Press to one side.

2. Make four half square triangle squares with the four of the matching sets of Fabric 1 template A and four of Fabric 3 Template A. Press to the Fabric 1.

3. Center square. Sew a matching set of the remaining four Fabric 1 Template A sets to a Fabric 2 Template F. Press to A.

4. Make four Flying Geese with the four Fabric 3 Template C and eight Fabric 4 Template A. Press to A. 

5. Sew a Fabric 5 Template D square to each side of a Fabric 3 Template E. Press to E. Make eight.

 6. Sew a unit from step 5 to each side of a Fabric 4 Template A. Make four. Press to Template A. 

7. Sew the unit from step 6 to the step 4 Flying Geese unit. Press to unit step 6. Make four.

8. Make a four patch with two Fabric 5 Template B squares, one pieced triangle from step 1 and one pieced triangle from step 2. Make four.

9.  Layout the sections as illustrated. Sew sections together across then sew rows together. Press to the side of the least number of seams.

When I started Block 9B I had picked out different fabrics and a different center for it. I wasn't happy with the color selection or the way the center looked so I changed it. Here is what it looked like before I changed it. It really changes the whole look of the block. What do you think?


For this block I chose just the dark focus fabric, a medium pink, medium green and dark green.

Here is what you need to cut. If you kept the templates from previous blocks you will not have to make another Template D. Check through your templates and lay them on the paper images to find the right one.

Main Fabric 1 cut:
* Eight similar repeats with Template B.
* Four similar repeats with Template D.

Medium Pink Fabric 2 cut:
* Fold the fabric wrong sides together and cut out four left and four right Template A/C.

Medium Green Fabric 3 cut:
* Four Template E. 

Dark Green Fabric 4 cut:
* Four template F.


1. Sew a left and right Template A/C to a Template D. Press to A/C. Make four.

 2. Sew two Fabric 1 Template B triangles together as illustrated. Make four. Press seams open.

 3. Sew the Fabric 1 pieced B triangles to the step 1 unit. Press to Template B.

4. Sew a Fabric 3 Template F to a Fabric 4 Template E. Make four. Press to E.

5. Sew two sections together from step 4. Press in same direction as the other seams. Then sew the halves together. Split the center seam and press in the same direction as the other seams (either clockwise or counter clockwise).

6. Sew the center section to each large end of the remaining two units from step 1. Press to center.

7. Sew the two units from step 3 to the sides of the step 6 section. Press seams out. (If the image looks funny, I started with a different center so I had to replace it but didn't take the whole thing apart.)

Here are the links to the templates. Remember to save them to your folder first then open them with Acrobat Reader. Let me know if you have any problems opening them.

Please feel free to leave a comment at the end. I would love to hear from some of you even if you do not participate. It is never too late to join in. You don't have to start with block 1. You can choose to make as many or few as you want. Also send me the images of the blocks when you get them done. Send them to my email at Be sure to take the photos as a "flat" shot. Tape it to a wall to get it straight on.

As always, Do what you love and love what you do.