Monday, July 22, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorials -- Block 7 OHIO STAR

Hello Again, Dear Friends!

I hope everyone is having fun with these quilt block tutorials.  In case I didn't mention it before, I plan to do 12 block tutorials and then I will do a tutorial on putting the 12 blocks together into a throw-sized Sampler Quilt!  So stick with me and you'll have a pretty nifty quilt when we're all done.

Here are the links for the first 6 blocks if you're just joining us:

1.  Shoofly

2.  Courthouse Steps

3.  Flying Geese

4.  Rail Fence

5.  Electric Fan

6.  Eccentric Star

Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's jump right into our next block: 


  Did you know the Ohio Star Quilt Block is connected to John Brown, the abolitionist??????  

Hop over to Suzy Quilts to read more.


Here's what you need for one 12" (finished) block.

Dark Fabric:  1 square 5 1/4" x 5 1/4", cut on both diagonals to yield 4 triangles

Medium Fabric:  2 squares 5 1/5" x 5 1/4", cut on both diagonals to yield 8 triangles

Light Fabric:  1 square 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Background Fabric (white):  4 squares 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" and 1 square 5 1/4" x 5 1/4", cut on both diagonals to yield 4 triangles

Let's Sew it Together! 

1.  Sew a light triangle to a dark triangle.  Make 4.

2.  Sew a background triangle to a medium triangle.  Make 4.

3.  Sew the units from steps 1 and 2 together to make an Hourglass unit.  Make 4.

4.  Sew a unit from step 3 together between 2 white squares.  Make 2. 

5.  Sew a light square between 2 units from step 3.  Make 1. 

6.  Sew the rows together into an Ohio Star block.  SEW SIMPLE!

That wasn't too hard, was it????

Stay tuned for our next Block Tutorial in a couple weeks.

Know a friend who might enjoy this tutorial?  Please share.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Playing Hooky -- Going Antiquing!

Yesterday, my family and I played hooky on a Friday and went antiquing.  We didn't go too far -- about an hour's drive -- but it was enough to be considered "away."

We headed to an antique mall called Whistle Stop in Corry, PA.  We had seen the commercial on television and our interest was piqued.  So yesterday was our day to check it out.

Honestly, I haven't been to an antique mall for several years so I was excited to see what treasures the mall contained.

At first, all I saw was glassware.  Miles and miles of sparkling shiny pretty glassware.  Nice, but not really my thing.  I wove through booths and up and down aisles until I finally came across a booth with lots of textiles.

There were aprons, tablecloths, handkerchiefs, and other textiles.  There were a couple quilts and I was tempted by the unique Dresden Plate summer quilt (no batting), but I passed.

Then I spied a booth across the aisle with some stacks of haphazardly folded textiles.  Hmmm.  I just love poking around in piles of old textiles -- you never know what you'll find.

The first thing I pulled out of the stack was an adorable 1930's/40's doll quilt.  It was machine-quilted, but it spoke to me and of course it went home with me.

There were some other vintage pieces and although I was tempted by the vibrant yellow 30's top, it had enough damage that I wasn't sure it was worth the price.

I continued looking and found some other quilty items.  BUTTONS!  A cute sewing box (I actually saw several sewing boxes and baskets).  Doll pin cushions.  A pair of adorable Sunbonnet Sues in frames.

 A few booths later I scored a set of 8 signature blocks -- SUNBONNET BABY blocks.  Of course, I had to have them.  I have several different sets of Sunbonnet Sue blocks (even Colonial ladies and Sunbonnet Sam) but I've never had the Sunbonnet Babies before.

Aren't they just the cutest?????????

I added a Blue Willow platter at an unbelievable price.  I paid for my treasures and I headed across the street to another antique shop.

I didn't see any quilty stuff until I was about ready to leave and I spied some quilts hiding at the back of a booth.

I was really drawn to the indigo and blue Sawtooth quilt because I have never seen this design before, but it was in such poor condition.  What a shame.

There were a few other quilts, too.  I bought a Nine Patch quilt (on the higher shelf in the photo above) from the 1930's/40's teeming with tons of feed sack fabrics.  I thought that I could use this one in the presentation I'm putting together on feed sack fabric for my quilt guild.  (Yeah, yeah, I know ......that was just an excuse to buy another quilt.  LOL!)  The quilt is a bit worn and ragged with some pretty bad  repairs with sparkly butterfly fabric, but the feed sack fabrics are really wonderful.

Sigh.....Yes, I know I'm supposed to be trying to downsize my studio, but there's always room for something special or interesting.

Until my next antiquing adventure.........

Monday, July 15, 2019

More Fun Quilt Block Finds in My Stash

Wait to you see the blocks I unearthed yesterday!  I finished up the last crate and started another one.  I think I must have a bajillion more to go.  Who collected (hoarded) all of this stuff?????  Oh, yeah ...... me.  LOL.

Anyway, check out these awesome String Star blocks.

At first glance, they look kind of like a hot mess.  Then you start to notice the individual fabrics.  I have found fabrics from before 1900 all the way up to the 1930's in these 9 star blocks.  What a wonderful slice of textile history.

But wait -- it gets even better!  8 of these 9 blocks STILL HAVE THEIR NEWSPAPER FOUNDATIONS ON THE BACK OF THE BLOCKS!  What a fascinating bonus.  Here are the back of 3 of the blocks looks like (seriously, from a distance they all look pretty much the same).

Then I started looking a little closer at the newspaper pieces.  I discovered that the pieces seem to be from The Record Argus, which is the newspaper in the Sharon/Greenville PA area, which really isn't all that far from where I am located.

Next I went looking for dates.  I found months and days, but no years until the last Star block I looked at.  I found the date 1933. 

Most of the articles were local and society news articles, but I did find a few interesting national pieces -- one of them about boxer Jack Dempsey and his fight with Sharkey and another article about an assassination attempt on President Roosevelt!

But my absolute favorite local news piece was about a man who was drunk and had a car accident. I can't believe the color of his skin is noted in the article -- I know, it was the 1930's, but still.....  I do love that the man's pet cat was his passenger, though.

These quilt blocks are an absolute treasure.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorials -- Block 6 ECCENTRIC STAR

Here we are on Block 6 already. 

Just so you know, I am planning 12 blocks in my "Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorials" series.  After the 12 tutorials, I will post a fun sampler quilt featuring the 12 blocks along with the instructions.  So let's keep moving!

In case you've missed them, here are the first 5 blocks:

Block 1 -- Shoo Fly

Block 2 -- Courthouse Steps

Block 3 -- Flying Geese

Block 4 -- Rail Fence

Block 5 -- Electric Fan

Block 6 is



Isn't it a fun block?

The Eccentric Star block is a Nine Patch variation.  I looked around for some historical information about this block but came up empty-handed.  Does anyone know the origin of this block?

Here's what you need:

4 dark squares 4 7/8" x 4 7/8"

1 dark square 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

4 light squares 4 7/8" x 4 7/8"

Let's get started:

1.  Layer a 4 7/8" dark square right sides together with a light 4 7/8" square.  Draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner diagonally.

2.  Sew 1/4" away from both sides of the drawn line.

3.  Cut apart on the line.   Voila!  You have 2 half square triangle blocks (HSTs).

4.  Repeat steps 1-3 to make a total of 8 HSTs.

5.  Sew 3 HST's together, turning blocks as shown.  Make 2 rows.

6.  Sew a dark 4 1/2" square between 2 HST's.  Make 1 row.

7.  Sew the rows together to make an Eccentric Star block.

And you are done!  Stay tuned for Block #7 coming soon.

Monday, July 1, 2019

In a Cleaning Mood -- Destashing Vintage Fabric

As part of my Studio Overhaul, I knew I'd have to address my overabundance of fabric sometime.   Of course, my electricity isn't finished yet and I don't have my new sewing table constructed, but I am still limping along on my project.  I started in January if you'll remember, and now it's the end of June, but hey, who's counting?  As long as I keep moving forward, I feel successful.

So anyway, I decided to tackle some of my accumulation of fabric.  I am going to try to downsize my fabric collection by 33%.   Part of the reason I decided to start now is because I am on the lookout for feedsack fabric for a presentation for my guild sometime in the future.

This time I chose a big heavy crate filled with vintage fabrics and maybe some blocks and who knows what else I hid in there.  I have several such crates in different locations, so it's kind of hard to know exactly what I've got.  Yes, I guess I am a bit of a hoarder, but I do come by it quite naturally.

It was fun opening up the crate to find out what was in there.  I found tons of vintage fabrics and scraps as well as a few aprons and some assorted blocks.   Here's a couple stacks of fabrics out of my crate:

Fun, huh?  There are a lot of different prints and patterns and the fabrics seem to range form the 1930's -- 1970's.

After three or so days, I am still going through the crate.  I have a bag of yardage and scraps that I will be parting with as well as a big bag of precut 2" squares from the 1960's/1970's which I am not that excited about -- I like larger pieces that I can use to repair quilts from the same era.

Today I was sorting through a gallon-sized baggie I had in the crate and was amazed to find a giant stack of arcs which were both hand and machine-pieced.  I'd guess them to be from the 1940's, but there are a lot of 1930's fabrics mixed in.  These arcs are really tiny, see the quarter in the photo.  There must be like 100 of them!  I think they are arcs from a Double Wedding Ring that was started and never finished or else some kind of Fan design.  What are your thoughts on these blocks?

In the bag, there were wedges for Dresden Plate blocks and even some butterfly wings and bodies.  What a fun collection!

A cool thing I discovered was that there were several fabrics in that bag that were the same design, but different colorways.

 I plan to play in my fabrics again tonight. I wonder what I'll find next........

Monday, June 17, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorials -- Block 5 ELECTRIC FAN

Here are the links to the first 4 blocks in this series if you missed them:

Block 1 -- Shoo Fly

Block 2 -- Courthouse Steps

Block 3 -- Flying Geese

Block 4 -- Rail Fence


Our next block is the Electric Fan!

I think this block looks complicated, but it really isn't.  If you look closely, you can see that it is a 4 patch block in disguise -- 4 Hour Glass blocks turned this way and that.

This quilt block was included in a booklet called Practical Needlework:  Quilt Patterns in 1906.  The design was contributed by Clara Stone. (This information from The Electric Quilt Company BlockBase.)

What You Need:

2 white squares 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"

1 dark blue square 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"

1 medium blue square 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"

Here's What to Do:

(Please note that there are several ways to make Hour Glass units.  You can find many different tutorials online.)

1.  Cut all 4 squares on both diagonals. 

2.  Sew a dark blue triangle to a white triangle.  Make 4.

3.  Sew a medium blue triangle to a white triangle.  Make 4.

4.  Sew a dark blue unit to a medium blue unit to make an Hour Glass unit.  Make 4 units.

5.  Sew the 4 Hour Glass units together, turning as shown.

 And that's it!


Here's a quilt made with 20 Electric Fan blocks.  Isn't it great?  I love how crisp it looks with just 3 fabrics.  Wouldn't it be fun to scrap it up, though?  This would be an awesome scrap-buster!


 Go forth and make Electric Fan Blocks!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

More Mini Quilts!

Are you sick of Minis yet?  I hope not -- they seem to be really hot right now.  Have you looked in any quilt magazines lately?  You're sure to find at least one mini quilt featured, but often more.  Pin cushions are also hot and you can find them everywhere.  Of course, a pin cushion is really just a tiny quilt, isn't it?

So, have you jumped on the mini bandwagon yet? 

Oops!  I just realized that I never did a blog post about our previous class in May.  Well, let me get you up to date!

Last month we explored different ways to make half square triangles.  What's your favorite technique for making HSTs?  Before this month, I would have said the usual using two squares RST and sewing 1/4" on both sides of a diagonal lone then cutting them apart on the diagonal line.  But now I must say that I'm liking the 4 at a time method.  You can find the tutorial here at Blossom Heart Quilts.  

Our project in May was a tiny little Bear Paw quilt about the size of a coaster with 1/2" finished HSTs.

At this month's meeting, everyone showed off their projects so far.  A few people are already behind (this was our 4th class).  But luckily, we do not meet in July so they will have an extra month to get caught up.  Tehehe!  Yeah, right, I know.

Here are some of the Little Log Cabin quilts from April as well as tiny Bear Paw quilts from May.  Aren't they wonderful?

Of course, they'll need the extra month when they get started on this month's project which requires 100 tiny HSTs!

If you like our mini quilts, you can find them in Pam Buda's book, Vintage Patchwork.  You, too, can make your own Mini Masterpieces!