Category Archives: One Block Wonder

I Love New York OBW #62

I had a really busy Fall teaching schedule this year.  I am so looking forward to 2018.  I got a jump start by making a quilt for Granddaughter Bailey’s 19th birthday.  She absolutely loves New York City.  We have visited there several times and walked from one end of the city to the other.  I had this fabric from Timeless Treasures for several years.  It just occurred to me that I must have been saving it for Bailey.


It is about 9 degrees in Central NY today.  This is my 62nd One Block Wonder.


The back also has a New York City themed fabric.  Happy Birthday Bailey!

I Love NY

Deb Tucker had a busy year also, Studio 180 has many new patterns out.  I’m working on one now called Whirling Dervish that is so fun.  I will be posting about it soon.  There are also new Studio 180 Design Technique Sheets to expand our skills.

Stacked Squares

“Stacked Squares” is a technique that will allow you to make the “Economy” block perfectly every time without using paper foundation piecing. Like all Studio 180 Design processes, you’ll be constructing oversized units and then trimming them down.  Above I made a block using the “Stacked Squares” technique sheet and the required Large Square/Squared Tool to make a square in a square, in a square in a square, in a square in a square, in a square in a square, in a square in a square, in a square in a square, in a square! Whew!


You have heard of the “Shaded Four Patch”, well here is a sample of what you can do with the “Shaded Nine Patch” units.  The Shaded Nine Patch is an amazing unit that has endless possibilities all by itself or it can be combined with other fundamental units to create even more designs. With the Shaded Nine Patch Technique Sheet you can make this unit in 7 sizes.


I made this block using  the Bird of Paradise Technique Sheet.  This techniques requires the Large Square/Squared tool, it is so very cool.  You can make this unit in 6 sizes from 1″x 2″ to 6″ x 12″.


I love this new “Eight at Once” technique sheet!  With the Tucker Trimmer I you can make Half Square Triangles (HST) 2 at a time.  With this technique you can make 8 HST’s at a time in 11 different sizes! Wowza!

Deb also gave us a new tool, the Four Patch Square Up.  Four Patches are basic units that seem so simple to make. Just stitch 4 squares together and you’re good to go.  But anyone who attempted these units knows they are notoriously difficult to make.  The Four Patch Square Up tool is the solution.  The tool’s perfectly engineered lines are designed to quickly locate and align with the unit center and sewn seams, allowing for easy trimming on all four sides.  You will be able to make Four Patch Units in 12 sizes!


I played with the Four Patch Square up using Deb Tucker’s BlockBuster #24 Compounding Four block pattern. I love the design it makes when you put 4 blocks together.

I wish you all a Happy & Healthy New Year!  Let’s go quilt something!

One Block Wonders of the World

Early in 2006 I was looking through the Hancock’s of Paducah catalog I had received that day.  I poured over every page not wanting to miss a thing.  I got to section where the new books were being offered…and there it was “One Block Wonders, One Fabric, One Shape, One-Of-A-Kind Quilts”!  I was intrigued and ordered it right away.  I couldn’t  wait for it to arrive.  When I got it I immediately went shopping for fabric.  I attacked the online fabric sources and ordered several fabrics.  I read the instructions over & over.  I must admit I struggled with section on “Aligning the Fabrics”.  But I didn’t give up until I figured it out.  When I designed the first block I literally jumped for joy!  I will admit, I was so excited I sewed three hexagon’s together and then sewed the other three hexagon’s together, and the proceeded to sew the halves together.  I learn everything the hard way!  A little “un-sewing” and I was on my way.  When I got all my hexies on my design wall I almost hyperventilated.  I was so excited I took pictures and emailed them to every quilter I knew (this was before Facebook).

2006 Schwarzys Garden

This was my first One Block Wonder (OBW), “Schwarzy”s Garden made April 2006.  I cut my first strip set the wrong size.  But I didn’t let that deter me.  I cut the next five strips sets correctly and used the first strip to make small hexies for the border.   I entered 2 OBW’s in my local quilt show and have been teaching how to make them for 11 years now!

I have had a love affair with this process ever since.  Sixty-two One Block Wonders later and I have the privilege and great honor to have two of my OBW’s included in Maxine Rosenthal’s & Linda Bardes newly released book  “One Block Wonders of the World”!

One Block Wonders of the World

I am so proud to be included in this collection of outstanding OBW’S!  This book is awsome!  In case you dont know, there is a group on Facebook called “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum”.  We are fast approaching 10,000 members.  Linda Bardes is one of the group’s organizer’s with a great deal of help from Kathy Gannon.  The people in this group are off the chain creative.  I am always amazed with what they come up with.

If you have not picked up your copy of One Block Wonders of the World, dont delay!  It is available on Amazon at CT Publishing and your local quilt shops.

If you don’t have Mazine’s other books, you need them!


The first book introduces you to the process. The second still covers the process but introduces you to cubes.  The third, gives you the best recipes for cubes.  All 3 book give fabulous design ideas.

I have 3 OBW’s cut out and another 19 waiting to be born!


One Block Wonders at Strong House Inn

I had the most wonderful weekend!  I was privileged to teach a One Block Wonder (OBW) workshop at The Strong House Inn in Vergennes, Vermont.  The women that attended this workshop were nothing less than amazing!  I referred to them as The League of Extraordinary Women!  They arrived late afternoon on Friday and by noon Sunday each and every one of them had their OBW quilt blocks cut, sewn and tops designed!  Wow, were they committed!  We had so much fun!  The Strong House Inn was a great venue.  It is a beautiful historic Inn in Vergennes, VT.  You can see by the pictures how pleasant it was.  The staff is very attentive, it is a wonderful place for a quilt retreat.

Mary B and Jackie

Thank you Mary Bargiel & Strong House Inn for a great OBW Workshop/Retreat!

Tina and PatIMG_4562

This is Tina and her beautiful OBW, everyone was coveting it!  Tina owns Vermont Quilter’s Schoolhouse Quilt Shop in Troy, VT.

April 02IMG_4563April Tina AnitaApril and Tina

April’s OBW was another hit!

PatIMG_4566Pat 01

Pat’s was just lovely!

LindaLindas blocksLinda and Carol

Linda’s was so much fun!

Jane and CarolJane 01IMG_4561

Jane’s OBW was awesome. Her fabric has birds on it. We tried to fashion a tree from the dark blue blocks, but it has been interpreted as a large bird!


Anita’s fabric had colorful butterfly’s, it was like lightning in a bottle.


Carol made a stunningly beautiful OBW.


Great Group of Ladies

From left to right: Carol, Jane, Pat, Mary Bargiel (Innkeeper) Jackie (Teacher), Linda, April, Tina, and Anita.  Thank you ladies for a memorable weekend.

Enchantment Under the Sea OBW

Enchantment Under the Sea, come learn to make a One Block Wonder (OBW) with me!  I found this fabric last summer.  I started to make my 61st OBW and once again was overcome by events.  I just finished it the first week in January 2017. What a great way to start the year.


I  got ahead of myself and aligned the repeats and cut them into strips when I realized I hadn’t taken a photo of the original fabric.  But you get the idea.  The fabric is by Robert Kaufman and is called Animal Spirit.  I love the colors in it.


The blocks were fun to design.

The blocks are fabulous, but they were very challenging to sort by predominate color.  I must have had 20 piles.  I just started putting them up on my design wall and went at it!


Enchantment Under the Sea

It is pretty to look at though.  It measures about 72″ by 82″.

I will be teaching a One Block Wonder workshop April 21st – April 23rd 2017 at Strong House Inn , 94 West Main Street, Vergennes, VT 05491, Local: (802) 877-3337, Email:

Whether you like novelty, Asian or floral fabrics, choose a design that is at least 4.5″ or larger, with colors that you like and join me to learn how to make a One Block Wonder.  You will learn the process of deconstructing and redistributing your fabric by color.  I will teach you the One Block Wonder Process.

If you are interested please contact Strong House Inn soon by clicking on the link above.



OBW #60 and so much more…..

It’s December 15, 2016.  I haven’t blogged in 3 months as there was an illness in my family that took precedence.  My family has received quilts from me for Christmas for many years.  I hadn’t done that in a while, but this year I wanted to show my love for them.   I made my son Josh a One Block Wonder (OBW).  Josh is my very own Grizzly Adams.  This is my 60th One Block Wonder and is named “Camping with Friends”.  Camping with Friends was made with Alexander Henry Fabric with a 12″repeat .

Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends

Josh called me last night.  He loves the quilt.  It has grizzly bears on the back.

I finally completed a King size “Yellow Brick Road” or my oldest son Jason.  He was thrilled. He waited a long time for this quilt.


Jason’s King Size Quilt.

As you can see, Tuck is always near by.  I made my youngest Granddaughter Samantha, a Minnie Mouse Quilt.  That prompted my sister Mary to get her a Minnie Mouse.  So, I made Minnie  a smaller scale quilt like Sam’s.  The label says “This quilt made for Minnie Mouse, By Sam’s Grandmother Jackie O’Brien”.  Of course everything fit into a tote with Minnie Mouse embroidered on it.


Sam & Minnie’s Quilt

I had the great pleasure to spend a few days with several Studio 180 Design Certified Instructors at Bridle Creek Bed & Breakfast in Hamilton, NY.  We were hosted by Barb Hipsley, proprietor extraordinaire.  What a wonderful time we had.  the photo below shows us all in our Minion pants.


The “Minionettes” from right to left: Barb Hipsley, Connie Farland, Debbie Thomas, Diane Marvin, Donna Hanley, ending with myself.

This time was totally devoted to quilting.  I was able to make some small quilts for my sister Mary.  She loves to put them on tables.

This quilt measure 39″ by 49″.  It is from Deb Tucker’s book Hidden Treasures.  I made 5″ blocks using the Hunter Star Petite tool.  This size hunter star makes a great baby quilt.




Looks great on this old trunk.

I named this “Mary’s Stars. It is my original design. I’m very pleased with it.  I used Studio 180 Design V Block & Corner Pop  tools.  The 6″ finished star blocks are the same block, I just reversed the colors.  It measures 39′ by 45”.



Looks great on this coffee table.

This one is called “Game Board” from a book of antique doll quilts.  It is only 22″ square.  Of course I Tuckerized it and used my Wing Clipper 1 to make all those Flying Geese.



Game Board



Happy Holidays to you all from Tucker and me.

My OBW Stash

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…fabric stash that is!  There is a great group on Facebook called “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum” that has over 5000 worldwide members.  The group feeds the souls of us that are somewhat obsessed with One Block Wonders (OBW).  This process was created by Maxine Rosenthal.  She has produced 3 books: One Blocks Wonders, One Block Wonders Encore! & One Block Wonders Cubed.  All 3 are essential! (Rumor has it there is a 4th in the works!)

I was on Facebook a little while ago and we were talking about our OBW Stashes, how much was too much, etc.  Ann B. stated she would love a peak at mine. I proudly stated  I had at least 40 six yard pieces of fabric set aside for OBW’s.  Well, it’s a good thing we talked.,because my stash is dwindling…I only have 35 six yard pieces set aside!  Lord have mercy, I need to go shopping!


Lotus Leaf in 3 colorways by Kaffe Fassett



From left to right: Flowers of the Sun by Windsor, English Countryside by Sue Beavers & Martha Negley by Rowan & Westminster


Memoirs from China by Robert Kaufman, Atlantis by Moda & Golden Jungle by Alexander Henry


I love Cutting up People: Delivery by Timeless Treasures, Heavy Equipment by Alexander Henry & Au Natural also by Alexander Henry


City Scapes by Benartex, Paris by Timeless Treasures & Fantasia also by Timeless Treasures


California Fiesta by Alexander Henry, Holiday Flourish by Robert Kaufman & Historic Highway by Alexander Henry


North by Timeless Treasures, Tigers by Exclusively Quilters & Nature Scapes by Hoffman


Zebras by Exclusively Quilters, Bear Mountain by Exclusively Quilters & Lion Eyes by Alexander Henry


Bewitched by  & Misty Jungle both by Alexander Henry


Saturday Evening Post by Quilting Treasures.  I’m not sure what I’m doing with this one yet, but I have ideas.


5 six yard pieces of The Wizard of Oz in sepia tones, I have a slight obsession with The Wizard of Oz!


I only have 2 six yard pieces of this Wizard of Oz fabric left!!! Did I mention I have a slight obsession with the Wizard of Oz?  But I still have several tubs of The Wizard of Oz fabric.

Well, there you have it.  I’m willing to bet there is someone out there that can beat my stash!

Have you ever been to Vermont?

I have an unusual question for you.  I have been approached by “Quilting in Vermont” about teaching a One Block Wonder weekend retreat at the Strong House Inn in Vermont in April 2017. I need to know if any of my One Block Wonder devotees would be interested in attending.

The dates are April 21, 22 & 23, 2017.  The cost per person for double occupancy is $395. Single occupancy is $470.  This price is all-inclusive including food & the teachers fee.  Please think about it and visit the links above to see how beautiful the Strong House Inn is.  I’m posting this to see if there would be any interest.  This is just a fact-finding expedition, no commitment yet.  I need to let them know in the next two weeks.  Thanks for your input.


My 12 Inch OBW