Block Lotto · Block of the Month

June Block Lotto – Arrow Block

This is NOT an original design; I used several online sources for inspiration. I changed and combined them to come up with something a bit more modern. I’m not a great quilt mathematician, but I made several of these and they worked well for me. I have ALL kinds of respect for those bloggers who make video and picture tutorials. I thought I’d taken photos of each step of the process, but alas, these are all I have.

This is a really fun and easy block that looks much more complex than it is. It only took me about 45 minutes to cut, press and assemble.

Cutting Requirements – ALL STRIPS ARE CUT FROM THE LONG SIDE OF FAT QUARTERS – approximately 22”
Three [3] 1 ½” strips
Two [2] 1” strips One [1] 1” strip for shaft (Dark)
One [1] 1” X 5” rectangle (I used low volume red text prints for my shafts (I thought blood should go with arrows) – it seems more defined than a solid, but it’s a personal preference)
Three [3] 4 ½” squares – cut on diagonal
Two [2] 4” X 15 ¼” improv strips 1.

1. Cut three 1’ strips and two 1 ½” strips from 5 coordinating fat quarters. The fabrics and colors are completely up to you – brights, solids, prints, pastels, anything goes. Arrange to your liking, sew and press seams in one direction.

2. Fold the finished strata in half and align edges

3. Make a 450 cut at the end, then another 450 cut – 4” out. Since you’ve folded right sides together this gives you mirrored feathers.


4. From the leftover central portion of the strip cut the center triangle by using the opposite 450 angle on your ruler.

5. Here is what your “leftovers” should look like.

6. Make two [2] 4” X 15 ¼” improv strips – the fabrics should be low volume or solid neutrals. I forgot to take a separate picture of my improv strips, but you know what to do.

7. Cut three [3] 5” squares from low volume neutrals and slice diagonally.

8. Complete your feathers by sewing one triangle on each end. Finished feather unit is 9 ¾” X 4”.

9. Add the improve strip to the top of the feather. Your piece should now measure about 24”(+/-) depending on your trimming. I prefer not to trim the bottom of my feathers or the top of my arrowhead.

10. Assemble the other side of the feather.

11.  Sew together the arrow shaft and the shaft end, and then assemble the arrow base. The finished base/shaft unit should measure 24 ¼” X 8”

12.  Center the remaining triangle and using the arrowhead, make a simple flying geese unit. Don’t match the bottoms!! You need the additional width from the triangles to make everything match. The finished flying geese unit should measure 4 ½” x 8”.

13.  Sew the arrowhead onto your shaft unit and yippie ki-yay! The finished block is 8” X 28 ¼”. It won’t take too many to make a fun quilt.

For a print-friendly version of the pattern instructions above, click here.

Block Lotto · Block of the Month

May Block Lotto – Magic 8 HST

Magic 8 HST Method – Not my original idea

Use a 12” square of one bright/bold solid and one neutral solid to create EIGHT 5 ½” Half Square Triangle Blocks.

Each 12” finished square = 8 blocks = 8 entries for End of Year Grand Prize!

  1. Place 2 squares right sides together and mark diagonally (green line.) Stitch scant ¼” on both sides of both lines.

  1. Lightly press stitched square.
  2. Cut (blue lines.)
  3. Press then trim each HST to finished size.

Voila! 8 HST’s with 4 stitching lines!!!

To obtain a PDF version of this pattern, click: May 2018 Block Lotto Challenge

Block Lotto · Block of the Month

Block Lotto 2018 – General Information from Shelley Wardrop

Block lotto is fun!  I’m challenged to attempt a block outside my skill set, to stretch my design imagination and combine colors that aren’t my favorite. Often the block is fun and  I’m inspired to make a entire quilt of my own.

For those new to Block Lotto in our Guild, we receive a block pattern, idea and size specifications  each month, then you do the rest. When you return your completed block the following month, your name is entered into a drawing to win all the completed blocks. Making a quilt using the competed blocks is another opportunity for expanding your skills and imagination.  This year you will have 9 monthly opportunities to participate! Block Lotto will be “dark” during April for our Negative Space Challenge, September for the Song Title Challenge, and in December.

I’d like to “kick it up” a notch this year. I love raffles and opportunities to win something! Anticipating the drawing and dreaming of what I’ll do when I win the prize excites me.  That’s one of reasons I love Block Lotto. I’ve never won, but I might!

For each entry block you compete throughout 2018 you’ll be entered into a year long raffle. Compete 1 block, you’ll get one raffle entry; compete 5, you’ll be entered 5 times. There are no monthly or annual limits to the number of entries you can accumulate.  And there are no raffle tickets to save.  The drawing will be held at our December holiday party. Two lucky winners will each receive a basket of ‘quilty goodness’.  What could be better than that?

So let’s get going! Your first opportunity to enter is this Saturday at our February 3, 2018 Guild meeting. Create a 6.5″ improv block for your entry for our February Block Lotto.  In the event you have questions, feel free to let me know either at our meeting or by posting a comment here, on our website!

Block Lotto · Block of the Month

February/March Block Lotto – Paper Pieced Kite

We’re offering a head start on the February/March Block Lotto. Windy March days inspired this block. We’re “borrowing” the paper-pieced pattern from The Quilting Company website. We’ve requested and received permission and Gayle has printed copies of the pattern for us on paper-piecing paper for those that feel a bit tech-challenged downloading the kite pattern themselves. However, we encourage everyone to follow this link to download the entire {and adorable} baby quilt pattern and print your own.  While you’re there, you can check out the other wonderful patterns available on the Quilting Company’s website!

There are two different kites in mirror image – you can do one of each or choose the right or left flying kite. Remember, each block is an entry for the monthly and annual raffle. Plan to use a light blue for the sky and your choice of solids and/or prints for the kite. If you want, use the downloaded pattern to add a tail to your kite(s).

If you’ve never tried paper-piecing, I think you’ll discover that it is both challenging and allows precision points.  You can find numerous tutorials on YouTube to get you started . We’ll also be offering in person assistance at the February 11th Sit and Sew (make sure to RSVP if you haven’t already to Trish on the post found on our website here).

The raffle winner gets all the kites at the March 3rd meeting.  Happy quilting!

Block Lotto · Block of the Month

January 2018 Block Lotto – Stash Buster Improv


Did you make a New Year’s resolution to whittle down your stash?
Go on a fabric diet?
Complete more projects?

This project is perfect to help keep your resolutions.  Make a 6 ½” improv block using ONLY what you have in your stash.  You can’t buy anything new.  Use leftovers, re-cut rejects, re-design bloopers. Pull out your UFO’s and PIGS. Use solids, prints, fussy-cuts, pastels, florals, civil war or modern – mix them all up and do something new.  Add embellishment it if you want, but again, only use supplies from your stash. You can even make more than one!

Blocks are due on February 3, 2018. Winner to be announced at the IEMQG meeting!


Block of the Month

March Block Lotto

March Block Lotto is due April 1st. Bring as many blocks as you want. You will get an entry in the drawing for as many blocks as you make.

Improv Block Swap
Bring to April meeting 3 solid color (or read as solid)
fabrics in a ziplock bag. Pieces can be 3″ to 9″, so you have small, medium and large.
We will swap these at meeting, at home make a block with the
packet fabric
Adding 1 more color of your own (Optional) after all this is improv,
Blocks are due at May meeting, winner takes all.
Quilt Ideas are found online or pinterest by looking up
Improv Quilters.

November Block Lotto: Funky Baskets


How to make the baskets:

(Download PDF)

1) Select fabrics for baskets, cut strips 4-1/2″ wide. Lay strips on top of each other, right sides up. Cut basket shapes freehand (with straight edge, optional) changing angle shapes.


2) Select background Fabrics, cut those 4 -1/2″ x 7 -1/2″, this will be slightly longer than needed but will allow For squaring up later.

3) Place basket shape in middle of background fabric (both right sides up) now cut along both sides of basket shape ( dotted line)


4) Sew side pieces to basket. Press and trim uneven edges, set aside.

How to make handles:

1) Cut background rectangles to 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

2) Slice and add handless (I cut “my handle strips 1″ to 1-1/2”) figure3






3) Press and trim uneven edges.



4) Join. the 2 units and square to size, 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ or whatever size you like.figure4

Have fun, once you learn the process, you can make many shapes and sizes. Let’s make these in mostly solids with a few small prints from your scrap basket.

Block Lotto

October Block Lotto: Autumn Pick-Up Sticks

October’s Block Lotto is Autumn Pick-Up Sticks, a quick and easy fun modern quilt block. You can find the tutorial on the Empire Quilt Guild of NYC’s blog. Our color palette is bright red, orange, and yellow sticks on a white or off-white background.

Here’s how the Block Lotto works:

  1. Each block you make and bring to the October meeting gets you one entry in the lotto. If you aren’t able to be there, you can send your blocks to the meeting with a friend. You also have the option to donate one or more blocks for charity quilts.
  2. We’ll hold a drawing for those who entered and the winner gets all the blocks. If there are enough entries, IEMQG reserves the right to split the blocks between more than one winner. Donated blocks get you an entry for special prize drawings that we will hold randomly.
  3. You do not need to be present to win.
  4. Winners must bring a completed quilt (or other project) to Sew & Tell in order to be eligible to win again, but may still contribute to the block pool each month.

Have fun and good luck!