Block Lotto

Jan/Feb Block Lotto: Tri-Ball

The Block Lotto blocks for January/February are now up on Simone Designs (Simone’s blog). This block is called Tri Ball, and is a clever raw-edge applique design that can be laid out in multiple ways:

The instructions to make Tri Ball are up on her blog, but read on for some tips. There are also more layouts on her blog, where they can be seen in full size. As per her usual, Simone has created another stunning design for us. Gather together your fabrics:

  • Low volume for the background
  • Warm colored fabric for the half-circle, such as reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows
  • Cool colored fabric for the triangles, such as blacks, blues, greens and purple

I tried out her pattern and really had fun with it. (NOTE: I added a 1/4″ on the flat side of the half-ball to keep that shape once it’s sewn into the seam.)

[Bonus: by sewing an extra line 1/2″ away from the snowball-block line, I was able to cut in between the two stitching lines, gaining me a stack of half-square triangles.]

I decided to make some for myself, but wanted to have turned-edge appliqué, so I added 1/4″ all the way around, and used the freezer-paper method to shape that curve. You can see them pinned to the background with small appliqué pins on the right.
A REMINDER: We are asking you to make raw-edge appliqué for the blocks that you turn into for the Block Lotto drawing.

Please head over to Simone Designs for info on how to make these blocks. Make blocks during January and February, and bring them in to the March meeting for our Block Lotto drawing. The more blocks you make, the better your chances at winning!

Block Lotto

September/October Block Lotto – Tipsy Twofer

Tipsy Twofer is a combination of two blocks in one; the Drunkard’s Path & Drunkard’s Trail. I combined them into one block so you get a twofer. See the sample & tutorial below.

Please make your IEMQG Block Lotto blocks in September & October and bring them to our IEMQG meeting in November. You can make them in any combination of white low volume background and black patterned template pieces, or you can reverse them, and have a black background patterned fabric with white low volume template pieces. You’ll need the templates for your Tipsy Twofer block and you can download the Tipsy Twofer PDF instructions here.

PREPARATION: Starch all fabric, cut out templates A & B from the PDF download.

STEP 1: Cut a 7.5” x 7.5” square of low volume fabric. Fold in half and finger press, open and fold in half in the other direction and finger press again.

STEP 2: Using templates A & B cut out contrasting fabric.

STEP 3: Line up A & B on the 7.5” x 7.5” low volume square using finger pressed lines as guides.

Pin in place.

STEP 4: Raw edge appliqué ⅛” from edge on A & B as show in PDF download.

Here’s a close up of how I used the creases to line up one of the appliqué pieces.

Done! It’s that easy!!!

Here’s a sample of how I’m laying out my blocks.


Block Lotto

July/August 2019 Block Lotto – Fibo’s Sister

Fibo’s Sister Block is designed using the Rule of Thirds, which some may say is a sister to the Fibonacci Sequence Rule. Using math to help create & design is always a plus. (No pun intended.)

Please make your IEMQG Block Lotto blocks in July & August and bring them to our IEMQG meeting in September.

Fibo’s Sister is a mix between improv made fabric and the Rule of Thirds. The rule of thirds is a “general guideline” for creating a composition. It’s applied by aligning a subject with the guide lines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. It looks something like the following photograph


When following the instructions, you can make 4 blocks at once. You will need at least 5 warm colored strips of fabric and low volume fabric.


~ 16, 2”x15” strips from the warm colored fabric. This will be used to make the improv made fabric which will be but into 4, 6.5”x6.5” squares.

~ 4, 6.5”x3.5” rectangles from your low volume fabric

~ 4, 9.5”x3.5 rectangles from the same low volume fabric used for the 6.5”x3.5” rectangles.

In the photo above I used a variety of strips cut at 2”, 1.5” and 1.25”. DON’T DO THIS!!!
Keep it simple and just cut all your strips to 2”x15”. (I have a hard time doing simple.)

To make your improv made fabric lay one strip face down on another strip of a different color at a wonky angle. Sew along the right edge of the top fabric as in the photo below.

Trim off the excess seam allowance. I like to press my seam to one side before I sew the next strip on.

Repeat this process of placing the new strip at a wonky angle, sewing, trimming the excess seam allowance, and pressing. Soon you’ll have your improv made fabric.

Make sure your improv made fabric ends up at least 15”x15”.

Next trim your improv made fabric into 4 squares that measure 6.5”x6.5”.

Next sew the shorter rectangle, 6.5”x3.5”, to the top of one of the improv made squares and press to the darker fabric.

Next sew the 3.5”x9.5” rectangle onto the left side of the Fibo’s Block and press the seam to the darker fabric.

For our IEMQG Block Lotto leave your Fibo’s Sister blocks as individual blocks. Here is one what you can sew them together.

Happy Sewing!
Block Lotto

May/June 2019 Block Lotto – The I.E. (The Improv Effect)

After last month’s foundation paper piecing (FPP) project, I thought it would be good to do something REALLY SIMPLE!

The block for the Inland Empire Modern Quilt Guild’s May BLOCK LOTTO is called The I.E. (The Improv Effect.) It’s an easy and quick improv block. This is a great block for using scraps that you’ve been collecting.

STEP ONE: Gather your fabric. To simplify things for the IEMQG BLOCK LOTTO use any low volume fabric for your block and any cool colored fabric for the improv triangle from your stash. I used cool colors such as greens, teals, turquoise, and blues . Here’s a sampling of what I gathered from my stash.

STEP TWO: Cut all your low volume fabric into 6 1/2” squares. I like using a 6 1/2” square ruler for this part. I’m into the no-brainer thing.

STEP THREE: Start with a cool colored scrap of fabric, this will be your improv scrap, and lay it over a corner of your 6.5” block. Make sure the corners of your improv scrap overlap the 6 1/2” block by at least 1/4” inch. Now is a good time to also make sure the improv scrap is big enough to cover the corner. The beauty of this block is that no two blocks need to be the same. With each imrpov scrap you can change the angle and size of the improv triangle. Sew a 1/4” seam along the straight edge of your improv scrap.

STEP FOUR: From the low volume fabric trim off the excess low volume corner fabric that will be covered by the improv scrap. Flip the improv scrap over and press the seam away from the low volume fabric.

STEP FIVE: Using a ruler trim away the excess improv fabric and square up your block keeping it at 6 1/2” square.

There are numerous ways to use The I.E. block in your projects. To keep things simple I organized the blocks by color from lightest in the upper left corner to darkest in the lower right corner.

If you are a member of the IEMQG bring your blocks to our July Monthly Meeting and you can enter our raffle.

Additional pictures and information can be found on my blog.


Block Lotto

January/February 2019 Block Lotto – Skipping Rocks

Our 2019 Block Lotto program promises to be fun and creative – encouraging you to try new techniques using a modern aesthetic!  We are fortunate to have the talents of our own Simone Bradford for our 2019 Block Lotto program!  For the new year, we’ve decided to do this program bi-monthly so you’ll have plenty of time to put together your Skipping Rocks blocks and submit them at our March meeting.  As with our 2018 Block Lotto program – the more blocks you make, the more entries you’ll earn!  We’ve attached a printable/view-able PDF print out of the pattern here.  Additional instructions, photos and details are available on Simone’s blog here.

Have fun and be creative!