Bordered 9 patch from a jelly roll for the LBL

Bordered 9 patch from a jelly roll for the LBL

Once again, I needed a break from the quilt I am working on, and I watched one of Jenny’s Videos.

Bordered 9 Patch

Jenny  shows us to make this block with nine 2.5″ square pcs cut from strips, and I wondered if I could strip it. The answer is “sort of” So once again, I found some ugly fabric [it’s embassassing that I didn’t have to look that hard] and played around.

Bordered 9 patch from a jelly roll for the LBL aka “Little Bit Lazy”


The result is a 10.5″ block which will be 10″ when sewn into a quilt.
Since each strip makes one block, if you do all 42 strips, you can make a 6 row, 7 column quilt which will be at 60″x70″ before borders.
The background requires only 20.5″ per block, so you only need half that amount or 21 strips from 1.5 yards of fabric.
Add 8 more background strips [2 1/4 yards total including background] if you want an inner border with background color, making the quilt now 64″x74″ before the outer border.
There is very little waste – just one pc that can be trimmed to 2.5″ and put aside for a scrappy project. It’s like getting a mini charm pack for free!

*Instructions are per block*

From one print [or jelly roll] strip:
Cut four 6.5″ long pcs, one 2.5″ pc and one 10.5″ long pc [I cut my 6.5″ pieces with it folded so you see 2, but there are 4]

From one of the background strips:
Cut four 2.5″ pcs, and one 10.5″ long pc


Sew the 10.5″ print and background pieces together, and press to the print.
Then trim the end, and subcut into four 2.5″ 2-patch pcs.


Arrange into 9 patch using the lonely print 2.5″ square

Then take 2 of the 2-patch pieces and sew them so the opposites match, making a 4 patch.
Take one of the 2-patch pcs and sew the 2.5″ print square to the side with the background, making a 3 patch that oriented like “print-background-print”.


Take the remaining 2 patch and sew it so the opposites match, making a 6 patch.


Sew the 3 patch to the 6 patch making sure the prints are on all 4 of the outside corners.

The back now looks like this. I supose you could do the swirly thing at the intersections, but I am a little bit lazy, so . . .


Next you want to arrange the two 6.5″ prints on each the side of your 9 patch, and the 4 background squares in the corners.


Then begin sewing the 6.5″ strip to one side of the 9patch
I always try to press to the side with the least number of seams, so that would be toward the 6.5″ strip.

Then sew the squares to one end of the other two 6.5″ prints.
Press these two towards the print to nest when you sew them on to the block.


Repeat for the other sides.

Then sew the 3 rows together to finish the block.


I cringed and made two of these blocks to show you the backs. Yes, that means I had 2 of these ugly strips!


Since the pattern is symetrical, when you sew these into a quilt, you should make your odd numbered rows [1,3,5 ect] with the seams pressed out at the top and bottom, then arrange the blocks in the even numbered rows [2,4,6 ect] by turning them 90 degrees [one corner turn] so that those seams will be pressed in at the top and bottom. Then when you sew your rows together, they will nest.


What does one do with 2 Bordered 9 patch blocks made with ugly fabric?


I don’t know yet, but when there’s a call for ugly, I will have the answer.


#LittleBitLazy #Bordered9Patch



What can you do with 2 Charms?

What can you do with 2 Charms?

What can you do with 2 charms, or 5″ squares of fabric?

In my Feb sew sampler box, I got 2 cute charm packs and a pattern that instructed me to cut one charm into four 2″ squares and use them to snoball all four corners of a 2nd charm, then press open. Basically they are telling me to use 2 charms to make one 5″ block.


This seemed wasteful to me, since I know a 2.5″ snoball done with 2 seams can give me a 1.5″ bonus HST and I am not ready to mess with anything smaller than that.

Sew, while waiting impatiently for the delivery service to bring my fabric for the quilt I am suposed to be doing, I had to experiment. As usual, no pretty fabric was in peril at any time during this event.

RST= Right Sides Together [not that it matters here, but for when you use pretty fabric]

What the pattern wants:
Cut Background charm into four 2″ squares, place RST on each of the four corners of the 2nd charm, sew all four corners diagonally, then trim 1/4″ away and press open.



– Result is one 5″ block called a snoball with a bit of fuss and a lot of waste.

Since I don’t like wasting either my charm or my pretty fabric, let’s play!

Option 1
Cut Background charm into four 2.5″ squares, place RST on each of the four corners of the 2nd charm, sew all four corners diagonally, then trim 1/4″ away and press open. Before trimming the corners off, you can sew 1/2″ away from the 1st seam, and get four bonus tiny HST’s that will trim to 1.5″.


– Result is one 5″ block simular to a snoball plus four 1.5″ HST’s – a bit less fuss since the pieces are bigger, and a lot less waste. The “points” on the 5″ block will be sewn into a seam, and therefore lost, making it look more simular to the block that the pattern features.

Option 2
RST – sew around all four sides, then cut ONLY the background 2x diagonally, and press open. Trick: You will want to draw your 2 diagonal lines before sewing, and place a bit of batting in the middle to make it easier to pull apart and cut the background layer.




– Result is a 6″ block called “Exploding” that looks like a square in a square, but without the points, and virtually no waste. I actually made a Exploding Block [Head] quilt using this techique.

Granted the pattern is for a table runner, but if you were making a quilt, you’d probably want that extra inch per block. 2 charm packs done this way, would get you 42 6″ pices making a 6 row, 7 column quilt that is 33″ by 38.5″ as opposed to the 27″ by 31.5″ you’d get with the 5″ blocks.


Above is the waste without making the tiny HST’s in option 1.

Now, armed with a little bit of knowledge, a rotary cutter and some more unquiltworthy fabric . . .

I’m going to title this next segment “Just because we wanna know what else 2 charms can do”

Option 3 – just because
RST – sew around all four sides, then cut 2x diagonally.


– Result is four 3″ [trimmed] blocks that can be sewn into a 5.5″ block.



Option 4 – just because
RST – sew down two opposite sides, then cut once diagonally.


– Result is two Quarter Square Triangles exactly the same that can be turned and sewn into a 6″ hour glass block.


You can also use this to make A Quarter Square Triangle Block.

Option 5 – just because
RST – sew on both sides of one diagonal line, then cut on the diagonal line.

– Result is two 4.5″ HST’s

Do it twice, and sew four together to get 8.5″ block from 4 charms.
By the way, I pinned my notes to my samples so I don’t have to do this again.

Option 6 – just because
RST – sew down two opposite sides, then cut once down the center, between the seams.


– Result is two 4.5″x5″ blocks that could be trimmed to 4.5″ square and used for rail fence.



Option 7 – just because
RST – sew down two opposite sides, cut once down the center, like above.

Then turn each piece, cut down the center again.


Arrange opposite colors, and sew it back together.
– Result is two 4.5″ 4 patch blocks



Option 8 – just because
Draw 2 diagonal lines in each direction on the back of the lighter piece, then sew 1/4″ away from the lines on each side. Then cut between the lines Plus in the center in both directions – called Magic 8


– Result is eight 2″ HST’s that can be sewn into two 3.5″ blocks.




Option 9 – just because
Draw 1 diagonal line on the back of the lighter piece, then sew on this line and then sew another line 1/2″ away.


– Result is one 5″ HST block and one 4″ HST block.

Not sure why you’d want two different sized blocks, but this does show that when you snoball a corner, you can get a bonus HST that is one inch smaller than the snoball square you used.

So there ya go. You can now rest easy having some clue of just how far a charm pack or two will get you.

Have a charming day~!

#TheyDontCallMePrettyCuriousForNothing #CharmPackHack #TooCharming

New Bed Mate

New Bed Mate

It’s not what you think!!!!!

I love my husband dearly.

It’s about my new diagonal stitch guide set up!

How many HSTs do you supose you make in a year?
When you consider every snoballball [aka “stitch and flip”], plus every binding you do is the same corner to corner technique, it adds up to alot.

Now, I realise many people have only one [gasp] sewing machine, but I have been blessed to find quite a few. Which is great because having a Butterfly brain, I often flit from project to project. Mostly because some projects get moved up into the que due to some event – like babies. Yeah, lets blame other people!

With my last project, I decided I needed a better diagonal seam sewing set up.


I tried to “finger press” a fold to follow, [unsucessfully] but I ended up just drawing the line corner to corner. Then I decided I didn’t want to waste all those corners, so I sewed a 1/2″ away. You can see where I had to draw another line 1/2″ away from the first line of stitches. I use dissapearing ink, so I have to sew quickly. This is probably why so many people toss these corners after clipping them.

Since my Rocketeer was handy, and I’d been doing my binding on it for awhile now, I decided to use that.  It’s really too awesome of a machine to completely dedicate it to such a menial task, plus having a top loading bobbin, I needed a way to make it removable, that wouldn’t take a bunch of time to set back up.
I already had “The Angler II” but it hangs over the bed of the machine, and you need to use the “key” to align the needle every time you place it on the bed. The bobbin lies under it, so we know what’s going to happen, right?
If I had the kind of patience required to line up the needle every time I changed the bobbin, I could just draw lines on every single piece I wanted to sew like everybody else.
but I am not like everybody else. When I get bored, I start thinking about ways to make my tasks simpler, or at least easier.

I got some cardboard, and traced around the bed. I included the back for more space for the pieces to land, and to make it a tight fit, so I wouldn’t have to line the needle up each time I used it. I then placed The Angler on the bed, and measured how far I wanted my Bed-Mate to extend, and gave that template to my wonderful husband. I can make stuff with wood, and have for years, but in my experience, men like to feel useful and loved, so I “let” him make me stuff.


After he made it, I used the key to line up the needle, and taped The Angler down with painters tape.


and you know what?

It’s as wonderful as I thought it would be!


Even sewing binding is easier.


When I ran out of bobbin thread, I simply removed the Bed-Mate by sliding it out, filled the bobbin, slid the Bed-Mate back into place, and alakazam! Back to sewing! Just like magic!


Not only does The Angler have diagonal stitch lines, it has 1/4 stitch lines on each side of the needle!
I added pink glo tape to get a half inch mark, for sewing the other side of Snoballs, and get some FREE HST’s.


The first project, and inspiration for this, was a lot of snoballs, and even though these were only made from 2.5 squares, I had to test it, I stitched another line a half inch away, and made tiny HST’s!


Really tiny HST’s


So tiny that I bought the 1.5 Bloc-Loc for them.

Cuz if you think I’m gonna try to line up the seams to trim all those tiny squares, . . . then it’s like you don’t know me at all!


Now what am I gonna do with all those tiny HST’s?

Well . . . another problem I seam to have is that I go to these all-day-sew events every couple of months. I love looking at other peoples projects, machines, fabrics, all of it.
but . . . I never know what to bring with me to sew. I often think as I go, sewing a bit, standing back and looking at it, stopping to do some figuring, having a look-see at my stash, check out my quilty friends on facebook, ect. All of which, I secretly fear would make me look like a lunatic to the other ladies at the sew-in. I need a project that is portable, and planned out, or at least that doesn’t require thinking.

I may have just the thing!


#Bedmate #TinyHSTs #WhatToDoWithTinyTriangles

Bag Of Kisses

Bag Of Kisses

What do you do with 2 left over blocks?


Make a bag full of kisses of course!

This bag will hold the Baby Kisses Quilt when I gift it. Yeah, some people buy gift bags.


You will need 2 blocks, of course, some batting, backing, and some left over strips to make it bigger.
The poka dot sashing will actually be the sides when I stitch the bottom corners of the bag to make it square-ish.
3 strips for handles and trim for the top of the bag.
Scraps for a pocket.

I also used some HeatnBond, and some of that sticky stuff for applique since I bought a bolt of it before I discovered I don’t like it.

To start, I sashed the blocks, then quilted them with some extra orange fabric.

I squared the blocks to 19″x19″ and made a large pocket 19″ wide and 15″ tall, but I recommend only 14″ tall after having sewn it.


For the pocket, I used 2 more 10″ pieces of the fabric line that I didn’t use in the quilt, and added sashing to bring it out to the width of the bag pieces.

There are many ways to make a pocket, and for this one, I used heavy interfacing [to help the bag stand up] and made both sides pretty. Then I quilted it, and finish trimed both top and bottom eges.
Turns out I made mine about 1/2 inch too tall. 5 inches shorter than your bag blocks is best.
* If your machine can’t sew through the pocket, bag, and trim, then you want to sew the top and bottom of the two pieces right sides together, [like a tube] turn them wrong side in, press at the seams, insert your interfacing into the tube, then quilt it. This will eliminate the added finish trim pieces, and lessen the bulk.
*You could also make the pocket less wide, finish all 4 edges, and stitch it on the sides and bottom to the inside of the bag. Then you won’t have to stitch through both sides of the bag pieces and the pocket as well.


After adding trim to the bottom of the pocket,  I placed it 2″ above the bottom of the bag piece, on the inside sewed along the bottom of the pocket. The sides of the pocket get sewn along with the sides of the bag.  Then I zig zag the edges.  I could have trimmed the inside of the bag seams with binding after, but I didn’t. It’s just a simple bag, right?


After sewing the sides and bottom of the bag, I flattened out the corners, pinned and stitched across them to make the bottom square.


Handles – two 2.5″ strips cut 27″ long each.
I used a 1 inch strip of 2 sided sticky stuff [for applique] to stick down a 1″ strip of cotton quilt batting right down the middle. I hate that stuff, and am trying to use it up. I just don’t have the patience to peel the paper backing  that often.

Then I ironed over one side, and before ironing the other side, I turned the edge under about a quarter inch. Then I stitched down the middle with a decorative stitch plus once down each side with a straight stitch.

Trim piece for the top of the bag is also a 2 1/2″ strip.


With the bag right sides out, wrap the top trim around the bag, and mark where it meets. Then do a diagonal [or straight] seam to make a ring. Make it a tight fit because it will stretch when you sew it.

Press a 1/4 down on one side, and use a strip of HeatnBond [3/8 size] sliced in half [make it skinnier] tucked under, then press to make it stay.


Center and pin the handles on leaving an inch sticking up. Then place your trim ring on and pin it. Sew around the trim ring at 1/2 inch. Then zig zag around it to make the handles more secure.


With the bag inside out, turn the ring to outside, pin or clip it, and sew it around the top and then around the bottom edge, and if you do it right, the bottom stitch line should catch the bottom of the handles.



There’s a few things I would change when I make another one, but I like that I can quilt the outside to the lining and have a nice invisable handle attatchment.

I hated the thought of sewing the handles to the bag, and having those stitches visable. and if I made the pocket smaller, I could french seam the sides of the bag, too. but this one’s done, and I’ve moved on!

So that’s my tip on sewing a simple quilted bag without having the handles messing up the look of the quilted blocks.


Baby Kisses Quilt

Baby Kisses Quilt

I started out with a quilt that looks like flowers in my mind and made a drawing in EQ.

I am sure this isn’t completely unique, but I called it Baby kisses, cuz it’s sweet, and has that X design often referred to as Kisses. Who doesn’t love kissing a baby?

MSQC fueled my imagination with a Daily Deal for a lovely 10″square pack with large florals by Snow Leopard Designs aka Philip Jacobs, who is one of the Kaffe Fasset Collective designers. There are colorways of both pinks and blues, and this was to be for twins. I planned on using Kona’s color of the year [Flamingo Pink] strip roll for the sashing. Easy, peasey.

When it arrived, the Flamingo just didn’t work. I continued on with the plan for the time being, and selected 12 pieces of each of the colorways I was to use.


I sliced them into four 5″ squares, and began snoballing them in 2 oposite corners.

I would think about the sashings later.

When the idea of different quilts occurred to me, I put this project aside to bring with me when I had an all day sew event to go to, and began making the twins very different quilts. I finished those last summer.

Oh well. Life goes on.

and new life begins. Another lady at work was due in Jan, so after my return from the Christmas party crashing at my Sisters, I got out the blocks I had started, and began some serious testing of my newly manufactured Bed-Mate.

My minds eye wanted poka dots with big floral prints. I love poka dots! They are just so bright and happy looking.

After all the snoballs were done, I sewed 24 of the poka dot pieces to pair up all the units.


There seemed to be too much pink, so I auditioned some other fabrics for the cornerstones and borders. I wanted lots of color, so I chose orange.



I sewed the remaining 24 poka dot pieces to each side of 2.5″ square orange pieces.

I sewed the pairs together to finish the blocks, and arranged them on my portable design wall.


I will use some more pink in with the sashing, and use up some FQ’s. I don’t know why I have so many. I rarely use them. I guess I liked this color when I bought 4 of them.


The quilting was a bit of stitch in the ditch, and a lot of serpentine. The serpentine stitch works well with the poka dots.


I don’t know what the baby’s room looks like, but I think I nailed every color!



The result was 41.5 wide by 52″ long.

The backing was a 1 1/2 yard cut of fabric. No seams, but no huge overhang either. That’s why I used only 2.5″ for the top and bottom borders.

The recipie:
12 Floral Layer Cake Pieces [or 10″ squares] cut into 4 – 5″ square pieces each [48 – 5″ squares total]
1/2 yard White background sliced into 6 -2.5″ WOF strips, then subcut into 96 – 2.5″ square pieces
1/2 yard Poka Dot sliced into 6 – 2.5″ WOF strips then subcut into 48 – 5″ long pieces
1 yard pink floral for sashing and binding. I used 4 FQ’s sliced into 2.5″ strips and pieced them diagonally end to end. Yes, even for the binding. I don’t use a lot of FQ’s [yet] and it was a way to get rid of them.
1/2 yard* of Orange sliced into:
3 – 3.5″ WOF strips for side borders.
2 – 2.5″ WOF strips for top and bottom border.
1 – 2.5″ WOF Strip subcut into 12 – 2.5″ square pieces
* The orange must be EXACTLY 18″ wide after squaring it up. If you’re a bit short, you can make your borders all 2.5″ or buy 5/8 yard.

One baby gets a kiss, and one UFO has moved on!

There is [if you’re counting] another colorway to be stitched up yet, and the units are all snoballed, just waiting on another amorous couple.




Pre-Cut Yardage – How Charming!

Pre-Cut Yardage – How Charming!

Many people know that a jelly roll or strip pack contains about 3 yards of fabric. Even I know that I can cut 14 strips per yard, and that’s about it.

What if they don’t make a pre-cut in the collection you like? Or the collection you like is  sold out, or you only like some of the fabrics in the pre-cut collection? What if you are trying to reduce your stash, have a fabric you love already, and just want to cut your own to make that really cute pre-cut pattern? How much yardage do you need?

I have many, many precuts [all bought on sale of course] and many of them need background fabic. I know they make almost every Moda solid color in a layer Cake pack, but I happen to like my backgrounds to have a little bit of pattern to them. So because I hate doing that math more than once, here it is for everyone.

Pre-Cut Yardage Chart

Note: My calculations are based on 40″ of usable width.  Yardage inches are in [parentheses] so you can see how close you are – add more for uneven edges, mistakes and the occasional “clean up” edge cutting after several cuts.


Layer Cake pieces – 10″ Squares

4 pieces = 10″
8 pieces = 20″
12 pieces = 30″ – 1 yard [36″]
16 pieces = 40″
20 pieces = 50″
24 pieces = 60″
28 pieces = 70″ – 2 yards [72″]
32 pieces = 80″
36 pieces = 90″
40 pieces = 100″ – 3 yards [108″]
44 pieces = 110″
48 pieces = 120″
52 pieces = 130″
56 pieces = 140″ – 4 yards [144″]
60 pieces = 150″


Charm pieces – 5″ Squares

8 pieces = 5″
16 pieces = 10″
24 pieces = 15″
32 pieces = 20″
40 pieces = 25″
48 pieces = 30″
56 pieces = 35″ – 1 yard [36″]
64 pieces = 40″
72 pieces = 45″
80 pieces = 50″
88 pieces = 55″
96 pieces = 60″
104 pieces = 65″
112 pieces = 70″ – 2 yards [72″]
120 pieces = 75″
128 pieces = 80″
136 pieces = 85″
144 pieces = 90″
152 pieces = 95″
160 pieces = 100″
168 pieces = 105″ – 3 yards [108″]
176 pieces = 110″


Mini Charms or 2.5″ squares

17 pieces from 1 strip = 2.5″
34 pieces from 2 strips = 5″
51 pieces from 3 strips = 7.5″
68 pieces from 4 strips – 10″
85 pieces from 5 strips = 12.5″
102 pieces from 6 strips = 15″
119 pieces from 7 strips = 17.5″ – 1/2 yard [18″]
136 pieces from 8 strips – 20″
153 pieces from 9 strips = 22.5″
170 pieces from 10 strips = 25″
187 pieces from 11 strips = 27.5″
204 pieces from 12 strips – 30″
221 pieces from 13 strips = 32.5″
238 pieces from 14 strips = 35″ – 1 yard [36″]
I hope you never need more than 238 pieces, but if you do, you can use the Jelly roll chart below, and just know that you’ll get 17 pieces from each strip.



Jelly roll pieces or 2.5″ strips

1 strip = 2.5″
2 strips = 5″
3 strips = 7.5″
4 strips – 10″
5 strips = 12.5″
6 strips = 15″
7 strips = 17.5″ – 1/2 yard [18″]
8 strips – 20″
9 strips = 22.5″
10 strips = 25″
11 strips = 27.5″
12 strips – 30″
13 strips = 32.5″
14 strips = 35″ – 1 yard [36″]
15 strips = 37.5″
16 strips = 40″
17 strips = 42.5″
18 strips – 45″
19 strips = 47.5″
20 strips = 50″
21 strips = 52.5″ – 1 1/2 yards [54″]
22 strips – 55″
23 strips = 57.5″
24 strips = 60″
25 strips = 62.5″
26 strips – 65″
27 strips = 67.5″
28 strips = 70″ – 2 yards [72″]
29 strips = 72.5″
30 strips = 75″
31 strips = 77.5″
32 strips – 80″
33 strips = 82.5″
34 strips = 85″
35 strips = 87.5″
36 strips – 90″ – 2 1/2 yards [90″]
37 strips = 92.5″
38 strips = 95″
39 strips = 97.5″
40 strips – 100″
41 strips = 102.5″
42 strips = 105″ – 3 yards [108″]


Now, again I want to emphasize to buy a bit more than you need because you will have to clean up your edges first, and then again every so often, and we all make mistakes.

Yes, I dug out some of my stash for a photo op cuz it’s pretty, and after doing all that math, I needed something pretty to look at.

#PreCutYardageChart #HowManyYardsDoINeed?



Starburst Unsquared

Starburst Unsquared

A few things got me excited this week.

Not because it was -15  degrees on one day, 55 degrees the next, and 20 degrees with brisk winds and snow today. Nope, not that kind of excitement. Something about harsh weather that relieves you of responsability, and frees you up to play. Work was slow and I only had to work my 4 ten hour days, then off to stay in my jammies for the next 3.

I got to play with my new Tula Pink Rotary Cutter. I like it, and it’s pretty!


I got yet another 36×60 cutting mat. I now have 3 of them lined up under my bedroom rug to make a 60×108 cutting surface. I normally used two of them together to square up quilts after quilting and before binding, but I’ve been wanting to add another, and of course I had a coupon.

My local Quilt shop got in some Kaffe! It’s not a HUGE selection BUT they had the very one I needed 3 more yards of, for my OBW!

There has been a sudden intrest in my Jenny’s Starburst Quilt Enlarged layout post, and a request for directions make a rectangular one.  For a little added fun,  I did 3 Starburst Unsquared layouts in Kaffe! I updated the page, so they’d all be in one spot.