Category Archives: One Block Wonder

Charlie the Unicorn – OBW #70

The Unicorn is all about opening up to infinite possibilities and that the infinite possibilities surround you and are available to you at all times.

I made this One Block Wonder for my son Jason’s birthday in a few weeks. Spiritually the Unicorn symbolizes success. If you summon the power of the Unicorn, the Unicorn will give you the blessings to be a success in whatever you choose to pursue. I love you Jason, Happy Birthday!

Here are my tips for using panels to make a One Block Wonder:

The Tree – OBW #69

You may have realized I love history and cemeteries. As my sister and I were visiting family in Forest Hills Cemetery (Utica, NY) we were drawn to this tree.

When I saw this panel I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have been taking photo’s of this tree since 2010. It is very near the grave of John Adams Great Granddaughter Mary Louisa Adams. Johnson and not far from our family. I love trees, I think I was a Druid in another life! Needless to say I just had to make a One Block Wonder using this panel from Quilting Treasures.

First attempt at designing.

When I stitched the rows together, I discovered I needed to add some fabric so the hexies would line up as I wanted them to. Then I had to disguise the added fabric and soften the edges.

I’m pretty happy with it. Below is a downloadable description of how I design a OBW with panels.

Size Matters

At least when it comes to One Block Wonders (OBW) it does. There are so many “Size” questions when it comes to choosing our fabrics. What size repeat should I choose? What size panel? What size strip width should I cut? What size design elements. The first thing I do when choosing OBW fabric is check the size of the repeat. Then I decide what size to cut the strips based on the size of the design elements. If I want to cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide then I want the design in the fabric to be larger than 4″ or I will not be taking the fabric apart.

I was going through my OBW stash and this found fabric I had started to cut up. I don’t know how long I’ve had it. It was The Saturday Evening Post line by Quilting Treasures. I had 4 yards of this striped pattern and another 4 yards of a different layout. I separated the strips and then found the repeat which was 8″ x 23″. I decided it was large enough to align the repeats and cut into 3 3/4″ strips. I could have cut the strips narrower for small blocks but I decided the design elements were large enough for 3 3/4″ strips which make 6″ finished hexagons. I used the ripping method to separate the strips to be sure they were straight. I have to say I don’t like this method. It made the edges wavy and was rough on the fabric. It may have easier to rip but next time I will use ruler rotary cutter,

It is not quilted yet but I do like the design. I used strips from the original fabric for the inner border. The outer border is from fabric number 2. It was also a striped with these small 5″ squares and larger 10″ squares below:

I have eight 10″ blocks of each, that leaves 6 panels for the blocks and 1 for the top with one leftover. Repeats can be from yardage or 6 panels can be used for our hexagon blocks. If I cut the strips 2 3/4″ I will get 3 strips will a little wiggle room left over. If I cut the strips 2 1/2″ wide I will get 4 strips with very little margin for error.

I made this 12″ block from hexagons cut from 1 1/2″ strips.

The photo of the tree is from Forest Hills Cemetery in Utica, NY. It is just above the grave of Mary Louisa Johnson, Daughter of John Adams, granddaughter of John Quincy Adams (6th President of the United States) & Great Granddaughter of John Adams 2nd President of the United States. The panel was 36″ 44″. It was so large it took 12 flowers pins to align it instead of the usual 6. I can’t wait to design it.

I spent last weekend cutting these panels into equilateral triangles. Now I’m ready to stitch away to my hearts content.

Northern Lights

The more you practice the better you get at something.  The same is true with quilting.  This quilt was supposed to be for my son Josh for Christmas (last Christmas).  Oh well, better late than never.  This panel is called Northern Lights by Abraham Hunter for Elizabeth’s Studio.  It claimed to be 36″ x 44″ but is was closer to 39″ wide.

I aligned my 6 panels, cut my hexagons and began designing around the panel.  I do not trim the panels before I align them.  Once they are aligned I can decide whether to use any of the borders or not.  I decided not to use the border in the blocks so when I guesstimated how much to trim off to even the edges , I included the borders.

I start by trying to get an idea of how many hexies will fit across the top and/or bottom of the panel. It is just like making a pieced border to fit around the center of a quilt. The width of the panel should be divisible by the finished size of my hexagon block.

You have two ways to make sure your hexagons will fit across the top and bottom of your panel. You can trim or add fabric to your panel and/or you can also adjust the size of your finished hexagon so it is divisible by the width of the panel.

Strip Width Yeilds Finished Hexie Size
3.75” 6.0”
3.50” 5.5
3.25” 5.0
3.00” 4.5
2.75” 4.0
2.50” 3.5
2.25” 3.0
2.0″ 2.5

I decided to cut my strips 3.75″ for 6″ finished hexagons and trim my panel to 36″ wide.  Six hexagons will fit across the bottom and/or top of the panel.

I kept playing with the design.

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Once I was satisfied with the design, I stitched the hexagons into four sections.

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I laid the top portion of hexies on the panel to help give me an accurate width to trim off.  I felt I would not lose an important part of the panel by cutting off the tree.

I trimmed the panel, Trimmed the portion of the hexies so it could be stitched to the panel.

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I discovered when the bottom set hexies were aligned with side hexies – I needed to add about 1 1/2″ of fabric.

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Now it all fit together wonderfully.  I just needed to hide the fabric I added and trim the top and bottom points.

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You can’t even tell where I added the fabric or hid it with smaller hexagons.  Next I will get quilted!

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No moose were hurt in the making of this quilt as Tucker was on duty supervising me the entire time.

Using Panels for a OBW V2

 

 

OBW Fabulousity

Wowza, I just got home from teaching a One Block Wonder workshop to a great group of quilters whom I think of as friends!  We gathered at the Strong House Inn in Vergennes, Vermont, where Innkeepers Mary, Hugh & Betsy spoil us with care.

 

We hit the road running on Thursday afternoon, almost as soon as I got in the room the cutting of the repeats began.

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Carol had started hers hexies at home so she designed first, and what an awesome job she did!

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I did not get a picture of Sally’s original fabric.  It was motorcycles, racing flags and flowers on a bright clear blue fabric.  Her design is so very cool.  Ride Sally Ride!

 

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Joan’s panel is in deep golds and rich colors.  It seems one of her favorite blocks was very plain that she called “the Tortilla”!  Can you find it?

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Joan’s sister Sharon had a small aboriginal print from an 8″ repeat that she cut 2 1/2″ strips for a smaller hexie.  Somehow I missed getting a picture of her final design which was totally awesome.

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Deb’s panel is awesome and her hexie design is totally awesomeness!

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Gladys’ fabric is so bright and cheerful.  Her design is a true celebration of color!

 

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Our very own Kathy Gannon had a fabulous large aboriginal fabric. The light in this photo does not shown how wonderful this design is.  Kathy took the darker greens and fashioned a caterpillar crawling across the design.  She also made great use of her left over fabric by making several size hexies to add a unique creative flair to her quilt.  I can’t wait to see it finished.

 

Wonderful Jane found her fabric strips needed to be cut smaller to make best use of the design.  She thought she would never get to the end of sewing her Mardi Gras hexies together.

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Martha started with a great panel and came up with a very creative design.  She loving calls some of her blocks “desert plates” that surround the center of light hexies.

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Anne was not too sure about a One Block Wonder Retreat, but she went along with her sister Martha’s choice.  What a completely awesome job she did.  She is calling this quilt “Moon over Kyoto”!

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Me at the end of the day laying in my bed exhausted!

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What a great group of quilting friends.  I miss you guys already!

I hope you ladies will share your completed quilts on our Vergennes OBW Class 2019.

And don’t forget to join the One Block Wonder Quilt Forum for inspiration.

I’ll be back at the Strong House Inn October 24, 25, 26 & 27, 2019 for “Everything You Wanted to Know about the Tucker Trimmer, But were afraid to Ask” workshop.  We will make at least 4 blocks showcasing what units you can make, a table runner and a wall hanging, so make your reservations soon!  Happy Quilting everyone.

Plume – OBW #66

I am very goal oriented. Today is December 23rd and is One Block Wonder Day for me. Tomorrow I bake!

I used Plume for my example in my post “Using Panels in a One Block Wonder”. I also used it this fall in several OBW workshops. I wanted to get it finished so it wouldn’t get too beat up.

I also cut out two more OBW projects.

I’m going to use this panel in workshops to show how I integrate the blocks and the panel. It measures about 13″ x 20″ and will be much easier to work with in class than Plume. It is called Dreamscapes by Ira Kennedy for Northcott. I actually bought 14 panels, 7 panels for the class example and another 7 panels so I can finish one for me.

I also cut 6 of these spectacular panels that measure 34″ by 40″. I got 8 strips from these panels which yielded about 144 blocks. This is called Abraham Hunter for Elizabeth’s Studio’s.

Not a bad days work finishing Plume and cutting out two more OBW’s.

Of course I was supervised by Tucker, as always! Happy Holidays everyone!

OBW #65 Paisley Cats

I just finished my 65th One Block Wonder “Paisley Cats” by Quilting Treasures.  It measures 77″ x 82″.

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I feel this fabric design was borderline acceptable size for 3.75″ strips.

The original fabric design is not that big…..but

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If the print was larger the overall design would have been more dramatic. But the individual blocks are just beautiful. 

This is a gift I finished just in time!