Tag Archives: OBW’s

I’m Repeating Myself Again – OBW #80

What is a One Block Wonder (OBW)? I bought Maxine Rosenthal’s book “One Block Wonders” in 2006 and was totally awestruck! So much so, that I have made 79 hexagon OBW’s since. Whether you are making hexagons or octagons your are creating kaleidoscope blocks – each one unique by using one fabric, one shape for one of kind quilts! With hexagon OBW’s you cut 6 identical repeats and with octagon OBW’s you cut 8 identical repeats.

Octagons are used in the cover photo.

In 2007 I bought Alexander Henry’s fabulous fabric “Lion Eyes”. I always buy at least 6 yards. This time I had 12 yards in my stash.

I made my 27th hexagon OBW and named it “Just Lion Around” It was included in Maxine Rosenthal’s 4th book One Block Wonders of World.

Just Lion Around 2007, OBW #27

I made my first OBW in 2006. That year I made 16 OBW’s. It only took me 14 years to finally make my first octagon One Block Wonder!

Cutting the Repeats: I cut my 8 identical repeats and aligned them just as I would for a hexagon OBW. Now it is time to cut octagon and corner triangle strips. You can make octagon OBW’s in any size. Following Maxine’s suggestion I cut my octagon strips 4″ wide. Maxine said to cut the strips for the corner triangles 2 3/4″ wide. I am a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor. You may be able to take the girl out of the studio…but you will never take the studio (180) out of the girl!

Instead of 2 3/4″ strips, I cut my corner triangle strips 3″ wide, that would give me a little more to trim off the completed octagon blocks. After I aligned and trimmed one long edge of the repeats, I re-measure the width of my repeat to verify how may strips I can cut. My trimmed, aligned repeat measured 23″. For every two strips used to make octagons, cut one strip for the “Sensational Squares” (corner triangles). If I cut four 4″ strips and two 3″ strips it equals 22″. Now I know I have enough fabric in my repeat without cutting myself short.

First cut

As I said earlier: You may be able to take the girl out of the studio…but you will never take the studio (180) out of the girl! I am using Studio 180 Design’s Wedge Star Tool to cut my wedges for the octagon blocks.

The beauty of the Wedge Star tool is you can make octagons in sizes 3″ to 24″.

I found it easier to cut both left and right wedges by placing the octagon strip vertically on my cutting table and pull the strip toward me as I cut. The Wedge Star tool instructions show how to cut the units horizontally also:

Continue cutting your wedge units. I got 23 wedges per strip.

From the 3″ strips cut your 3″ squares using your Tucker Trimmer I.

Cut you squares diagonally once and set aside.

Because hexagons are made with equilateral triangles you have 3 choices as how to design your block. With Octagons you only have one choice, the narrow end of the wedge is always the center.

Align two wedges and chain stitch the four pair.

As with hexagons, press all seams open. I love my Strip Sticks for that.

Remove “dog ear” and sliver trim the wedge pair. Righties orient the wedge pair so the 90 degree corner is in the upper right (lefties orient the wedge pair so the 90 degree corner is in the upper left). Align the common diagonal line on the Tucker Trimmer with the seam and slide it toward the corner just until the sides of the tool touch the very edge of the wedge pair and trim. Note there may be just a few whiskers trimmed here. This is called Trueing up your 90 degree angles and will create a much more square unit.

Match up two wedge pairs, stitch them together and press seams open.

Find the center of the two wedge halves by placing a pin where the two seams meet in both units and align the halves. Pin close to both sides of the first pin, then remove the pin in the center. This will help to center you octagon wedge halves.

Stitch your wedge halves together.

Press your seams open.

I placed my octagons on the design wall as I made them. This helped me to see what I had.

Here I am looking at life through rose colored glasses. again Time to sort the octagons. Looking at the octagons through red plastic helps me to sort the octagons by value. If you didn’t know, I have been battling breast cancer. I am responding well to treatment, but as my hair grows back, I’m noting a resemblance to the Old Man Dancing for the Six Flags commercials.

Sorting the octagons by predominate color or value was more difficult than I thought it would be. I think because the octagons don’t nest with each other as the hexagons do, you don’t get the same flow and movement. I’m saying this because after I added the corner triangles i wasn’t as happy with the design. Take your designing!

Tip: This is most important tip! Place a flower pin in the top wedge of each octagon! By doing this you will be able to easily orient the octagons as you remove and place them back on the design wall. It will keep your brains from falling out!

Adding the “Sensational Squares” (corner triangles).

One set of corner triangles is laid out as shown above making a kaleidoscope square.

Those squares will fit into the space between 4 octagons.

When you step back from the design wall, the square will appear to be gone as the 4 octagons blend together.

I worked with one row at time, deciding which set of corners to add. Remove one octagon at a time and stitch the triangle to the appropriate octagon wedge. In affect, you will be adding corners that effect two rows at a time. In the end, each octagon will have a different triangle on each corner.

Center the octagon wedge over the corner triangle and stitch. Press toward the corner triangle. Remember Deb Tucker’s tip when pressing: “whatever you are pressing toward, always goes on top”!

Above shows the corner triangles added to the inner octagons.

Once the inner octagons have the corners added, continue adding the final corner triangles to the outside edges of the octagons.

Trimming the Octagon Blocks: The octagon units need to be squared up to 6 1/2″.

If you don’t know the beauty of using the Tucker Trimmer you will love this. The Tucker Trimmer is marked with a “Common Diagonal line and Size Lines to help you perfectly center each unit or block for trimming. For righties the Common diagonal line is placed on the center seam going from the bottom left to the upper right. The 6 1/2″ size line is positioned from the upper left to the lower right going through the center of the block. The size line and common diagonal line should intersect in the center of the block centering it perfectly for squaring up. Trim up the right side and across the top. Rotate the block place the 6” clean up lines of the Tucker Trimmer on just trimmed lines of the block. Trim up the right side and across the top.

When all the octagons are trimmed it’s time to stitch your blocks into rows and then join your rows to complete your quilt. My layout was 9 X 10 = 90 – 6″ finished blocks measuring 57″ X 63″ unquilted. I learned a lot in this process. I think my layout would have been more satisfying if I had left it more random. I was trying to create an oval shape with the lighter blocks in the center. But there wasn’t enough contrast between the medium and light blocks. I’ve always been a little contrast challenged.

Check out my post Hallucinating With My Spirit Animal for more ways to use your Wedge Star Tool.

Hallucinations

The Spiderweb Quilt Below can also be made using the Wedge Star tool.

Spiderweb Quilt

Reflection – OBW #79

I don’t know about your fabric stash, but sometimes mine has years to mellow. Some of you may know that I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Before chemo started I went to my One Block Wonder Stash to choose fabrics to cut. I thought even if I don’t feel well most of the time, surely if I have my equilateral triangles cut out I should be able to do some sewing.

English Countryside

In 2008 I purchased English Countryside by Sue Beevers in two color ways, green and purple.

I made this One Block Wonder for my dear friend Debi who was undergoing breast cancer treatment in 2009.

When I chose to work on the green English Countryside for me I forgot for a minute that the purple version was also in honor of those of battling breast cancer 11 years earlier.

Reflection OBW #79, 57″ x 63″

This is such a large print I tried to use a big enough piece to showcase the beauty of the fabric. It may not be pink, but this quilt is made in honor of all us Pink Warriors. Thank you Sue Beevers for making such beautiful fabric.

The Road to OZ – OBW #78

I love the Wizard of Oz! I know it is a very controversial movie, either you love it or hate it! In 2008 Quilting Treasures came out with the Wizard of Oz fabric line. The first fabrics were in sepia tones. I have made many, many Wizard of Oz quilts from my extensive Wizard of Oz fabric stash. This Road to Oz is for me!

I used Studio 180 Design’s Star 60 Tool to enhance my One Block Wonder. Aside from cutting the equilateral triangles I will share how to cut Whole Hexagons, Half Hexagons and make a Half Hexie Braid for borders with the Star 60 tool.

This fabric by Quilting Treasures came out in 2009 and has a 23″ repeat. I’ve decided to use it as a panel on the quilt top. The width is a little over 43″. I need to determine what size finished hexie will fit evenly across the bottom & top of the panel. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide they will produce 6″ finished hexies. If I trim my panel to 42″, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom and top of the panel. Note: I NEVER trim the panel until I have my hexies designed and verify they fit the way I want them to.

Strips are cut.

I used my Star 60 Tool from Studio Design to cut my equilateral triangles. Be sure the tool point just touches the cut edge of the strips. we want dogears to help lining up blocks and rows.

TIP: You know those pieces you have left at the of the strips that are too small for a full size hexie? One side is already cut at a 60 degree angle, if you place the tool edge on the straight side of the pieces, adjusting the edge of the tool to not include the selvedge and cut, you will have small hexie that can be appliqued onto your top.

My triangles are cut, stitched and sorted by predominate color.

Placing the panel on the design wall takes some thought and planning. My design wall consists of 4 closet doors 24″ wide, that are covered with flannel over insulation, so I have plenty of room. My goal was to create a path that would connect the yellow brick road on the right side with the yellow brick road on the top of the panel. I placed the panel so there would be more room on the right side and the top of the panel.

Remember, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom of the panel. The hexies are not finished yet, so they don’t fit well. They extend further than the panel. Keep this in mind to keep track of where your rows are so you don’t get confused. If 7 finished hexies will fit across the bottom, that means 14 half hexies will establish the width of the bottom section and the top section. I started at the bottom of the panel and then worked my way up the sides. You may start at either the top or the Bottom, it doesn’t matter.

First attempt at my design was close, but I didn’t feel the yellow hexies I had were creating a vibrant connecting path. I tried again surrounding my path with darker hexies & decided to create some Star 60 Units instead.

Cutting the Diamonds: To create a Star 60 Unit that contains a diamond with side triangles that would create a 6″ finished hexie I went to the Basic Shape Cutting Chart in the Star 60 instructions. I followed the cutting instructions for 2 1/2″ finished units. For my diamonds, I cut a 2″ WOF strip. Trim the first edge at a 60 degree angle as shown above. Locate the Diamond Sub-cut Guideline in the next column for 2 1/2″ finished unit which is 3 1/2″. Align those guidelines with the raw edges of the strip and the angled cut just made as shown above. Each hexie will need 6 diamonds.

Cutting the Side Triangles.: Checking the chart for Side Triangle Strip size, I cut my 2 1/4″ WOF strips. Align the mark near the top of the tool with the top of the strip and the horizontal line on the tool that corresponds to the width if the strip (2 1/4″). Cut the side triangles then rotate the tool and cut again. Each diamond will need two side triangles. Follow the Star 60 tool instructions for Piecing the side triangles to the diamond.

Trimming Star 60 Units: We will be trimming the flat end of the unit only! Align the Flat Edge trim lines with the seams of the diamond. For lefty’s, rotate the unit so the flat side is on left side. Six of these trimmed Star 60 units are the same size as a stack of 6 equilateral triangles cut from a 3 3/4″ strip. These Star 60 units can be made in 17 sizes.

I loved the way the Star 60 units created a vibrant path to connect to the Yellow Brick Road. You notice a very light block near center of the top. That is Glinda the Good Witch. She wasn’t on the panel but I had to add her!

Cutting Whole Hexagons: I wanted a block that contained the Emerald City. I forgot to take a picture while I cut it, so the instructions below use a different fabric.

The Hexagon Cutting Chart allows you to cut whole hexagons in 15 sizes. For a 6″ finished (6 1/2″ Unfinished) hexie, cut a strip 6 1/2″ wide. Fold the strip in half. Our Horizontal Guideline Placement is 6 1/4″. Place the 6 1/4″ line on the fold and cut both sides. You now have a 6 1/2″ unfinished whole hexagon.

Once I was happy with the block placement, I number my rows across the top and under the bottom section. I stitched the rows into four sections, left, right, top & bottom..

I decided to add the bottom section to panel first. I didn’t want to leave the points because they would cover up Toto, and I couldn’t have that, so I trimmed the top points only. I don’t trim the outside edges until the top is all stitched together.

Adding the bottom section allows me to line up and match the dogears of the rows on the right side.

Lining up the dogears

Pin and stitch the right side rows to the center section using a partial seam. I left a good 8 inches open to leave room for adjusting placement of the top section.

I decided to applique the top section to the panel by leaving the points on the bottom of the top section. I took stitches out about 1/4″ down between the valley of the blocks and pressed the edges under 1/4″.

Lay out the center and the partially stitched right side rows. Lay the top section next to right side rows, matching up the dogears. This will show you how far down the top section will overlap onto the panel.

Pin it well, assuring it is straight and top stitch the center to the panel. Now I’m able to finish the partial seam for the right side.

Adding the left is very easy now. Just match up the dogears and stitch together.

Once the rows are all joined, I trim the points off the top and the bottom of the quilt top. I added a border to the top. I’m thinking about adding a small black border.

Above is a closeup of the showing Glinda & the Emerald City whole Hexie. One more technique I wanted to share is making Half Hexagons. The Star 60 tool instructions have a chart for cutting Half Hexagons in 8 sizes. I thought about making a Half Hexie Braid for a border but my top was too busy.

Half Hexies Braid: I followed the cutting instructions for 1 1/2″ finished half hexies. I cut 3 different 2 1/4″ strips. In the chart locate the “Bottom Horizontal Line” for 1 1/2″ finished half hexie, which is the 4″ line. Place it on the bottom of the strip and cut both sides. Rotate the tool placing the 4″ line on the top and aligning the edge just cut.

Above, I laid out my half hexies alternating the 3 colors.

Pick up the first two right sides together, nudging the top half hexie 1/4″ from the point and stitch together. Press toward the first half hexie.

Add a third half hexie by centering it over the two stitched hexies.

Keep adding half hexies until you have the length you want. After the first two half hexies are stitched and pressed, the remaining half hexies are pressed toward the unit just added. I think this a cool inner or outer border that I will be using on another quilt.

Above are “Inside the Twister” and “Yellow Brick Road with a Twist”.

Ruca the Technicolor Cat – OBW #77

Last January I had the great joy of meeting my half sister Marti for the first time. I also acquired many new family members.

When I saw this panel by Chong-A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, I knew I had to make a One Block Wonder for my Great Niece Alexa. Alexa has a wonderful cat named “Ruca”, whom she has had since she was in college. I met Ruca, a very special cat.

Even though this panel states it measures 24″ by 44″, by the time I cut apart the panels and squared it up, it was more like 23 1/2″ wide. For my finished hexies to fit evenly across the bottom of the panel I would have to make some adjustments. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexies would be 6″ wide, which is not evenly divisible by 23 1/2″. I could just add fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and then hide the extra fabric with appliqued hexagons as I have done before.

But I decided to trim the panel to fit the bottom rows of hexagons instead. If I cut my strips 3 1/2″, my finished hexies would be 5 1/2″ wide which would be evenly divisible into 22″. I don’t trim the panel until I’m ready to add the hexies. You can see that four finished hexagons (or 8 half hexies) will fit across the bottom of the panel. Here are my tips for Using Panels for a OBW:

Ruca the Technicolor Cat, OBW #77 measures 62″ X 62″

I am so pleased with how this OBW came out. It was wonderful meeting you Alexa, thank you for your hospitality.

A Prickly Situation – OBW #76

Yes, I’m at it again! Actually I’ve had this panel cut out since last Fall. I love One Block Wonders (OBWs). Sometimes I add cubes to create design interest or just for fun. It occurred to me that Studio 180 Design has a new Star 60 tool.

You can use this tool to cut equilateral triangles easily, along with 60 degree diamonds and side triangles in 17 sizes to create a multitude of 60 degree designs.

I played with Star 60 and created kaleidoscope stars and this 48″ star. Light Bulb moment!!!! Instead of inserting cubes in my OBW, why not a star?

I usually have left over triangles when designing my OBW’s. I had equilateral triangles cut that had a dark edge that was larger than a 1/4″. I was thought it might not make a pretty hexie. These triangles had been cut from 3 3/4″ strips. I laid my Star 60 tool on the triangles and discovered I could cut 3″ diamonds from it. This allowed me to use these left over triangles in a different way.

Way cool! Now I needed side triangles for the star points. I checked the size chart for 3″ diamonds and cut the appropriate size strip,

I cut the side triangles for my diamond star points.

Lay out your units. Stitch the first side triangle to the diamond and press toward the diamond.

Stitch the opposite side triangle, press toward the side triangle. LOOK what you have! An equilateral triangle.

Stitch 3 triangles together, and then the other 3 together, press seams open as you would a regular hexagon.

I began designing around my panel. I had great fabric “Canvas” from Northcott. This rich colors worked so well with panel.

I have stitched my hexie’s into four sections to add to my panel. My hexies were cut from 3 3/4″ strips, which means they will finish as a 6″ hexagon. For 6″ hexies to fit evenly across the width this panel should measure 18″ or 24″ wide. This panel is less than 24″ wide.

I did not want to trim my panel to 18″ so I added enough fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and would be evenly divisible by 6″. Now to hide the strip.

There are 9 & a 1/2 Star 60 hexie’s in this quilt. The Star 60 tool also made it easy to cut half & whole hexagons. I’ve just barley scratched the surface of cool 60 degree design’s that can be added to a One Block Wonder. You can download my hints for using panels in a OBW below:

UPS Angel – Judy Jackson Update

I’m so happy, Judy Jackson called this morning to say she received the OBW quilt I made her. She is absolutely thrilled and loves the quilt. Included in our thank you to Judy were hats made by my sister and chocolates!

I am so grateful to you for caring and doing a wonderful job. Thank you for finding my quilts!

Join Me for a One Block Wonder Workshop

Make your reservation now at the Strong House Inn May 14 – 17, 2020 for a One Block Wonder Workshop.

Strong House Inn – 94 West Main Street – Vergennes, VT 05491 – Amy Djordjevic, Innkeeper – Phone:  (802) 877-3337 – StrongHouseInn@Gmail.comwww.StrongHouseInn.com

Join me (Jackie O’Brien, aka Quilt Ninja) for a creative journey learning to making a kaleidoscope/hexagon block using one fabric or pre-cut panels.  I have made 71 One Block Wonders.  Two of my quilts are featured in Maxine Rosenthal’s book “One Block Wonders of the World”.

In this class I will guide you to: Identify & cut 6 fabric repeats – Align the repeats – Cut equilateral triangles – Sew the hexagon blocks – Sort the blocks by predominate color – Design with the hexagons

The blocks are made from one fabric with very little waste!  You cut and sew equilateral triangles forming hexagons and then design with these kaleidoscopic blocks.  There are NO “Y” seams.

Because this quilt features one repeated block, design involves playing with the colors and shapes in any way you choose.  The quilt you produce will have more energy and movement than the original fabric.

There’re Back!!!!!!

Holy Moly, thank you Judy Jackson! My OBW quilts were delivered safe and sound 9:00 AM this morning after being lost for 13 days. Funny thing, they were in TWO boxes as I wanted. The UPS store in Lake Havasu put all 15 quilts in one box even though I didn’t want it that way.

Needless to say, there is a One Block Wonder in Judy Jackson’s future!

My OBW Quilts Have Been Found

Thank God and Judy Jackson of UPS – they found my quilts in Georgia. The UPS office in Lake Havasu, AZ didn’t package them correctly. The box was severely damage and the label came off. Luckily they found my list of quilts and my address inside the box. They are at the corporate office in Georgia and will be packed correctly and be on their to me in several days. Thank You all for your concern. I was overwhelmed with the your responses. God bless you all & Judy Jackson!

UPS Lost My Quilts

UPDATE: my quilts have found! Thank you all for your prayers and kind words!

I’m completely devastated! After my One Block Wonder Trunk Show for Quilting by the Lake in Lake Havasu, Arizona I shipped my quilts home by UPS only to have them disappear at the Chicago Area Consolidation Hub (CACH) Facility in Hodgkins, Illinois. I have no idea how long their investigation will take. These Quilts are irreplaceable. I can not just remake them. I am writing this because I feel helpless and frustrated!