Bear Paw : Project : Supersize Block!

Supersize Bear Paw



I knew the moment I picked this block for the month that I wanted to Supersize it. You could easily go larger with this block but I gave myself the limit of still being able to pull from my stash of FQs.

Still…at 42.5″ unfinished, this block could be a quilt all in its own. As soon as I pick a FMQ design to practice, I’ll quilt and bind this up as a nice scrappy baby quilt.

Bear Paw SS

The construction method is the same as I outlined in my Bear Paw Starter Block post.

Here are the fabric requirements for your own Supersize Bear Paw:

  • Eight 7″ squares of print fabric for the Claws (HSTs)
  • Four 12.5″ squares of print fabric for the Paws
  • One 6.5″ square of print fabric for the Block Center
  • Eight 7″ squares of background fabric for the Claws (HSTs)
  • Four 6.5″ squares of background fabric for Block Corners
  • Four 6.5″ x 18.5″ strips of background fabric for the connectors

I used my standard method of making HSTs again. Your HSTs are trimmed down to 6.5″ square to create this size block.


This full top came together in just over an hour which was quicker than I expected. I love the look of these single block quilts and I’m sure this won’t be my last.

Comments { 1 }

Dates for 318 Patchwork Patterns Quilt Along!

318 Patchwork Patterns Quilt Along @ A Thousand Needles

I’m so excited to have the full dates ready for the 318 Patchwork Patterns Quilt-along!

I know that I was one of those constantly searching Amazon/ebay/etsy and more to maybe snag a copy of the original for under $100. Thankfully, the wonderful folks at World Book Media have brought an English translation of the book.

My copy to use to get a head-start on the QAL arrived a couple of weeks ago and it’s beautiful. I’ve already started designing the quilt for this event as well as a second quilt just for me. I’m sure these patterns will work their way into a number of my projects.

Here’s the dates for the upcoming Quilt-along:

  • Oct 16th – Kickoff Post (with Book Giveaway!)
  • Oct 30th - Week One Blocks
  • Nov 6th - Week Two Blocks
  • Nov 13th - Week Three Blocks
  • Nov 20th - Week Four Blocks with Final Link Up
  • Dec 1st – Link-Up Closes and Giveaway Winners are drawn


We’ll be making sixteen 6″ blocks from the book to put together in a mini-quilt. Each week I’ll pick two blocks to feature. I’ve got some of my blogging friends each picking one block a week and the last block is a wildcard! The wildcard blocks are there for y’all to pull in inspiration from the blog hop that’ll be occurring as well as being able to work in blocks from the book that you love.

I’m still rounding up a list of sponsors for the event and will have details out about that soon. I’ll have small prizes for Weeks One-Three and I’m putting together a prize pack giveaway for anyone who links-up on Week Four.

Leading up to the event I’ll be putting together some posts with tips for Foundation Piecing and Applique.

Pink Castle Fabrics has the book available for Pre-order! I hope you’ll grab a copy and join me for the QAL! Feel free to grab a button with the code above and spread the word.


Comments { 0 }

Off to Chattanooga Quilt Week!

By the time this posts, I’ll technically already be in Chattanooga (and given my first demo)! Oh technology.

If you’re in the area, I’d love for you to stop by! There’s still a couple of spaces left in each of my classes and tickets for those will be sold at the registration desk.

You can find out more information about Quilt Week here!

I’ll be back home (and on the blog) on Monday with some news about the Patchwork Patterns 318 Quilt-a-long (it’s almost here!!).

Comments { 0 }

Bear Paw : Starter Block

Bear Paw

September is the first month that I feel like it’s socially acceptable to make anything and everything related to Fall. Really, I feel like the world should be pumpkin-themed year-round but I suppose the other seasons have their perks too.

This month’s block is the first one that I think of if you mention Fall quilts. I’m not sure how the association formed in my mind but when I realized that it was September I knew I had to feature the Bear Paw.



Block Size: 14.5″

Let’s Make One: 

Materials Needed:

  • Eight 3″ squares of feature print fabric (for HSTs)
  • Four 4.5″ squares of feature print fabric for paw centers
  • One 2.5″ square of print fabric for block center
  • Eight 3″ squares of background fabric (for HSTs)
  • Four 2.5″ squares of background fabric
  • Four 2.5″ x 6.5″ strips of background fabric



All seams are 1/4″ and pressed open.

  • Using my preferred method of creating Half-Square Triangles (or a method of your own choosing), pair up your 3″ squares and turn them into 2.5″ HSTs.
  • Refer to the block diagram below for HST orientation, arrange your HSTs in rows and columns with the 2.5″ squares of background fabric as your block corner stones. I like to work in rows of three (background square – HST – HST) and columns of two (HST – HST).
  • Sew these pieces together (keeping the rows and columns separated).
  • Join one 4.5″ square of print fabric with your column of two HSTs (taking care to keep your HSTs on the outside edge of the block).
  • Press open and add your row of background square + HSTs.
  • Repeat for the other three paw sections.

Bear Paw Diagram

  • This will give you four individual paws (as seen in photo below). Layout your paws (paying attention to the orientation of any directional fabric you might have) like shown below.



  • I like to work in rows when sewing blocks. Add one 2.5″ x 6.5″ background strip between your top two paw sections. Add a second 2.5″ x 6.5″ strip between your bottom paws.
  • Your final pieces to join will be the last two 2.5″ x 6.5″ strips with the 2.5″ center square.
  • Add the long center strip to the bottom of your top row of paws.
  • Press this open and join with your bottom row of paws to complete the block.



I’m wishing now that I had gone ahead and used Fall colors for this block but my low volume and white-on-black stash was getting a bit out of control.

I’ll be back next week with the Feature Project that will include an additional set of cutting measurements for a larger version of this block.

This block’s construction makes it great for scaling up or down to whatever size might suit your needs! I think I might add a mini bear paw to my list of things to make and write up as well.

Y’all know how much I love tiny blocks.

Comments { 1 }

Flowering Snowball |EPP Quilt|

I knew exactly what my Summer project would be when I saw that Mary @ Molly Flanders was hosting a Flowering Snowball Quilt Along. It has long been one of those quilts that I’ve wanted to make but never set aside the time.

Knowing that I also needed a project to take with me for a lecture at Chattanooga Quilt Week, I decided to approach my quilt as an English Paper Piecing project.

It took a little longer to put together than I expected, but I am more than pleased with the finished quilt.



I used my (long hoarded) FQ bundle of Briar Rose paired with an Essex Linen. I love how squishy and scrunchy the linen became in the wash. Almost makes me wish I had made this one a little bigger to use as a bed quilt. Almost.



Since my Flowering Snowball was destined to be a wall hanging, I used a canvas weight print from IKEA on the back. I try to put canvas or home-dec on the back of my wall hangings since it gives just enough weight to make the piece hang perfectly against the wall. (Oh look…you can see where I was spray painting on the deck too…)

My original plan was to hand quilt this one, but my deadline creeped up on me a bit too quickly so I resorted to a decorative stitch on my machine. This is the second time I’ve used this stitch for a quilt and I don’t think it’ll be my last.


I realized the other day that I’ve never shown y’all my favorite way to bind. If a quilt is going to stay here in the house with me, it will almost certainly have this stitch around the edges. I don’t often take close ups of my binding which is rather silly because (I think) it’s rather gorgeous.

FSB Binding

It’s another decorative stitch on my machine (Janome Horizon stitch: Mode 3 #26 for those that are curious) and I don’t think I could possibly love it any more. It’s a bit slower going than just running a straight or zigzag stitch, but entirely worth the time.

FSB Binding2


The X’s are echoed on the back side of the binding.

I’ve been tempted to try loops or stars or something else that my machine offers but at the end of the day I always pick these X’s.

This quilt is heading off with me this week to Chattanooga Quilt Week. I’m giving a brief talk on Curved Shapes in English Paper Piecing. While I’m always glad to get to travel with my projects, I can’t say I won’t be glad when I can come back home and hang this one up.

Comments { 4 }

How I Make Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) |Tutorial|

When prepping pictures and directions for this month’s Traditional block, I noticed yet again that I was writing up instructions for Half-Square Triangles (HSTs). I figured it might just be a bit more helpful to have a post that lays out the ways in which I make these blocks (for any size that you might need) so that I can just reference to it in the future.

I think HSTs are the most common building block for a wide range of block design. Personally, I don’t like to cut out triangles and then sew them together to form my HSTs. There’s too much of a possibility for fabric shifting.

Here’s the technique that I use to make all my HSTs:

  • Determine the size of HST that you need. 

Normally this is a quite simple process, patterns will lay out the size blocks you are working with. (Note: sometimes I like to substitute in HSTs for solid squares that I’m using in a pattern which gives it a nice twist. If the pattern calls for 2.5″ squares to be sewn together then you’d need a 2.5″ HST to substitute.)

  • If you are uncomfortable with making HSTs, add 1″ to the size you need. This will give you enough room to trim down and straighten. Otherwise, add 0.5″ (half inch) to your size.  This is the size you will cut your squares at. 

For today I’m looking to finish with 6.5″ HSTs so I’m cutting all my squares to 7″. There will be some slight trimming of my blocks but not a lot so I do recommend adding a full 1″ to your starter squares if this process is new to you.

  • Place your two squares right sides together and using chalk (or a marking pen) and a long ruler, draw a line on the back of one block down the diagonal center. 

I don’t use the 45 degree guidelines on my mat. I just make sure that my ruler is going from point to point and draw a line. This is also the point at which you’ll want to check fabric orientation if you have a directional fabric. I like to pin the blocks together along the drawn line and then fold the top square back to see how my finished HST will look.


  • Using a 1/4″ guide on your machine, line up the edge of your 1/4″ foot with the marked line on your squares. Sew across your squares, following that line. Repeat this step for the opposite side of the line. You will finish with two seam lines that are each 1/4″ away from your marked line. 

If you don’t have a 1/4″ foot or guideline on your machine, you could instead draw in the seam lines during the previous step.



  • Using your rotary cutter (or a pair of scissors), cut along your marked line. You’ll have two HST blocks. Press each one open. 



  • Trim your blocks down to the size you need to use. 

Mine are trimmed down to 6.5″ square. I left the trimmings in the picture so you could see how little there is to trim away when using starting squares that are only 1/2″ larger. If I have a square ruler with the 45 degree line on it, I like to use it to trim as I can line up my diagonal on the 45° and trim off any stray edges.


I like this method of HSTs because I can stack up a lot of squares on my desk and chain them all together. Even if I only need one HST for a design (which is rare), I will still make it this way to ensure that it ends up straight. The extra goes into a bucket of HSTs that I keep under my desk.


Comments { 1 }

Snowball : Twist

Pocket Full of Posies



This month’s twist focuses on fabric selection! Sometimes all it takes to change the look of a block is to adjust the fabric used to make it. The Pocket Full of Posies block is a standard four-patch of Snowball blocks with one corner section changed in each block.

Let’s Make One: 

All Seams are 1/4″ and pressed open

Materials Needed (per block): 

  • Four 5″ squares  of one print
  • Four 2″ squares of a second print (flower center)
  • Twelve 2″ squares of background fabric

Using the Starter Block Tutorial , create a standard Snowball block. The difference from the standard block is that you’ll use three 2″ background squares and one 2″ print square for your corners. Your block will look like this:


Sew four Snowball blocks, each with one of the corner squares replaces with your second print. Sew these blocks together, making sure to match up the print corners so that they join in the middle.


That is your Posy block! The Pocket Full comes when you start making multiples and joining together. Here’s a group of four I made:


I love that by just changing one piece of this block it becomes less obvious that it’s a Snowball. I’m not sure if I’ll make that section above into (yet another) cushion or perhaps keep making more to join them together into a larger piece.

That wraps up our Traditional Block for this month. While I do still have a whole list to choose from, are there any requests for blocks I haven’t done yet? Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see!

Comments { 2 }

|Wordless Wed| Awesome Mix Vol 1

Part One Complete! Awesome Mix Vol 1


Cassette Foundation Pattern from Sewing Under Rainbow (Here)

Comments { 2 }

Snowball : Project


After spending a week at my desk focusing on design, I wanted to take this week just to appreciate some patchwork. Lucky for me, this month’s block speaks well for a repeating layout.

Plus I got to destroy another Charm Pack in the process. It seems no matter how often I design projects to purposely get rid of them my basket never empties out.

Charm Square Leftovers
This pack of Paint! from Such Designs had the (almost) perfect amount of squares to make a Snowball block pillow. I ended up with one square extra that I dumped in my scrap bucket. The rest got turned into nine Snowball blocks. For those wondering about measurements to work with charm squares I used the following for each block:

  • One 5″ charm for each center
  • One 5″ charm cut into (4) 2″ squares for the corners

Paint Charm Pack Pillow

The pillow comes out on the smaller side at  13″ square but I’ve made a lot of pillows on the larger end lately and a smaller one fits in nicely with the collection I’m amassing.

Quilting Detail


Simple quilting always shines for me when working with a repeating block design so I echoed my seam lines at 1/2″ to either side.

This project might have made me a little itchy to do a full quilt of Snowball blocks. I’ve definitely written it down in my studio notebook. Maybe if I can pull a stack of fabrics for it I can make it my leader/ender project right now during deadline season.

What fabrics would you use for a full Snowball quilt?

Comments { 1 }

Snowball : Starter Block

August is here and with it comes another new traditional block!

I was slightly undecided on what block to feature this month. I think I picked the Snowball block because I’m currently melting in the Georgia heat and dreaming of winter.


Block Size: 12.5″

Let’s Make One: 

Materials Needed:

  • One 12.5″ square
  • Four 4.5″ squares (you can use a single color here, I’m trying to burn through my solid scraps so I’ve got four different colors)
  • Marking Pen or Chalk



  • Start by using a ruler and your marking pen/chalk to draw a line down the diagonal center of each of your 4.5″ squares


  • Align your 4.5″ square with the corner of your 12.5″ square and sew down your marked line.


  • I like to sew an additional line 1/4″ away from the marked line (towards the outside corner) to make Half-Square Triangles. This step is completely optional, you can just trim away the excess.


  • Repeat the above steps to sew all four 4.5″ squares to your 12.5″ block. It will look like this:


  • Trim away the excess corners (in my case, I trim between the two sewn lines).


  • Press corners open and your block is finished! (Trim edges if necessary.)


The Snowball is one of the simpler traditional block but packs a punch when it is paired with other blocks or specific fabric choices for the corners are made.

My favorite combination is to pair this block with a Nine Patch (the scrappier the better).

Because the block has a simple construction, that means it’s easy to make in a variety of sizes!

Here’s what you’d need to start with in order to create smaller blocks:

  • 6.5″ unfinished = (1) 6.5″ square and (4) 2.5″ squares
  • 8.5″ unfinished = (1) 8.5″ square and (4) 3.25″ squares
  • 9.5″ unfinished = (1) 9.5″ square and (4) 3.5″ squares


Comments { 2 }