Monday 27 May 2024

May Block of the Month

 Celebration Sparklers

Let’s end our tenth anniversary celebration year with some fireworks - made of fabric of course!  This month’s block is inspired by the Iceland Ice block in the book “Zen Chic Inspired” by Brigitte Heitland.  Her blocks made me think of sparklers, those hand-held fireworks that produce bright, coloured sparks. I’ve changed up the colour scheme to mimic colourful sparklers against a dark night sky.  The block finishes at 12” square.

Fabric requirements

Black solid for the background

A bright solid, tone on tone, or small scale print that reads one colour for the sparkler strips


From the black solid:

4 - 6”x6” squares; cut each black square in half along the diagonal to yield 8 triangles

From the bright fabric:

1 - 1.5” x 12.5” strip

2 - 1.5” x 6” strips

4 - 1.5” x 9” strips


  1. On each black triangle, mark the centre of the diagonal edge.  Mark the lengthwise centre of each 1.5”x 9” strip.  Place a 1.5”x 9” strip on the diagonal edge of one triangle with right sides together, matching the centres.  Sew the strip to the triangle.

  1. Repeat to sew a second triangle to the opposite side of the strip, matching the centres.  Press seams towards the diagonal.

Trim the unit to 6” square, keeping the strip centred on the diagonal.  

Repeat to make a total of four square units. 

  1. Sew a 1.5”x6” strip between two square units.  Press seams towards the centre strip.

The unit should measure 6”x 12.5”. 

Make another unit with the remaining two squares.

  1. Sew the 1.5” x12.5” strip between the two rectangle units, as shown, to form a star or sparkler shape.  Press seams towards the centre strip.

You are done!  The block should measure 12.5” square.

Monday 22 April 2024

April Block of the Month

 Tulip Time!

This month’s block has nothing to do with the number 10.  To celebrate spring, we’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled Tenth Anniversary Block of the Month programming to celebrate an iconic spring bulb here in Ottawa, the tulip! Based on the Amsterdam Quilt, a free project from Cloud Nine Fabrics, we’ll make super sized, scrappy blooms.


For the tulips - two different main fabrics (prints or solids) in the same warm colour (yellow, orange, red, peach or pink)

For the leaves - green print or solid

For the stem - a different green print or solid

For the background - white solid

Cutting instructions 

Tulip Top

2 - 4.5” squares from one main fabric

2 - 2.5” squares white

Tulip Bottom

1 - 4.5” x 8.5” rectangle in second main fabric

2 - 2” squares white


2 - 5” squares green print or solid

2 - 5” squares white


1 - 1” x 8” rectangle in a different green print or solid than the leaves

Assembly instructions


Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on each white background square. Place in one corner of each 4.5” square.

Stitch along diagonal lines. Trim seam allowance to ¼" and press towards corner. 

Sew Tulip Top blocks together and press. 


Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on each white background square. Place in bottom corners of the rectangle.

Stitch along diagonal lines. Trim seam allowance to ¼" and press towards corners. 

3. Sew Tulip Bottom to Tulip Top and press. 


To make Half Square Triangles (HSTs) - 

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on each white background square. 

With right sides together, make pairs of green and white squares. Sew ¼" from each side of marked line. 

Cut each block in two along marked line to yield four units.

Press to make four HST blocks. 

Trim blocks to 4.25" square. 

5. Arrange HSTs to form a Left Leaf and a Right Leaf.

Sew and press.

Sew Left and Right Leaf blocks to Stem and press. 

6. Sew Leaf & Stem Block to Tulip block and press. 

Your giant tulip block is done!  It should measure 8.5”x16”.

Monday 25 March 2024

March Block of the Month

 Little Houses

This month we continue our 10th anniversary festivities by sewing house blocks - because it takes a village to sustain a quilt guild for a decade.  

My inspiration is the Global Village Quilt from Gwen Marston’s book “A Common Thread”.  Made up of house blocks sewn in a riot of different colours and prints, they come together to create an eye-catching quilt. 

Fabric requirements

You will need four different prints for the house block.  No solids please.  Bold, colourful prints are encouraged!

From house print cut:  

1 - 6.5” square

From the roof print cut:  

1- 3.5”x 6.5” rectangle

From the background/sky print cut: 

2 - 3.5” squares

2 - 2.5”x 9.5” rectangles

From the ground print cut:

1 - 1.5”x 10.5” strip

Assembly (use a ¼” seam throughout unless otherwise noted)

  1. On the wrong side of each 3.5” square, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner.

  1. Place a 3.5” square on the 3.5” x 6.5” rectangle right sides together, as shown below. 

  1. Sew on the diagonal line. Trim the corner leaving 1/4”, and press the seam towards the corner. 

Repeat on the opposite side of the rectangle with the remaining 3.5” square as shown below. 

Roof unit is now complete.

  1. Sew the roof to the 6.5” square.  Press seam.  

House unit is complete.

  1. Sew a 2.5”x 9.5” background piece to each side of house unit.  Press seams.

  1. Sew 1.5”x 10.5” ground strip to bottom of unit.  Press seam.

The Little House Block is now complete!  Unfinished, it should measure 10.5”x 10.5”.