MatchMaker Challenge (part 2)

Last week’s post started the show & tell for the Deep Valley Quilter’s MatchMaker Challenge.  Today is the rest of the show.

This design seemed to be the most popular, probably because it is the easiest.  It works well with fun prints:


17This collection of prints is bandanas!

27Isn’t this a great checkerboard border?

22So many beautiful color combinations, both subtle and bold:

19 23 24 25 29Fun, bright colors:26Two more quilters took on the more challenging block:

20 28This collection of holiday fabrics will make a favorite family tradition.  What a great idea!


Many thanks to the very talented Deep Valley Quilters Guild for sharing their MatchMaker Challenge with me.  Great job, ladies!


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MatchMaker Challenge

In August of last year, I spoke at the Deep Valley Quilters Guild in Mankato, MN.  What a great group of talented quilters!  Rather than offer a gift as a door prize for one lucky quilter, I decided to give each member a MatchMaker Book.

MatchMaker covertemp.inddThe group made this gift into a Guild Challenge, and one year later, invited me back to see their show & tell.  What a turnout –  they had 28 quilts!  It’s so fun to see all the different fabric combinations.  I got pictures of all of them, but there’s so many, I’ll have to show some next week.

This book is a collection of 4 quilt designs, each offered in 5 sizes.  The quilts are great scrap-busters, since you don’t need much of any single fabric.  Use 2 fabrics to make a pair of blocks, but they’re not identical blocks.  The fabrics are place in positive/negative positions in the blocks, and the game is to find the matched pairs of blocks.  Pick fabrics for fun kids’ colors or prints, or make it in something to match your bedroom decor.  When the kids visit, you have a fun game that requires no mess and no clean-up, and it’s guaranteed to keep the kids busy!

So let’s get started with the show & tell!  I don’t know most of the quilters’ names, but I do know that these are Julie and Donna, and they modified the design to sew the blocks together using the Fun&Done! technique.  Very smart!

18This prolific quilter made 3 quilts!


43These fun prints are perfect for a kid’s quilt:

5This one has a nice pieced border, and she put the “Lonely Only” block on the back.  (There is one block left over who doesn’t have a mate):


6aSome used black and whites collected on a recent shop hop:

710Some modified the pattern for a smaller quiilt:

9Here’s another design from the book in elegant browns and greens:

11This talented quilter added applique to the border.  Beautiful!

1213This block is the most challenging, but still easy to achieve:

14I love the fun, bright colors!

15Next week I’ll share the rest of the show & tell.  Please join me!





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Mitered Corner Tutorial

Another use for the Folded Corner Clipper would be to make a mitered corner, for example, in a border.  Begin by placing your strips right sides together:

miter 1aThe corners will be cut off with the Folded Corner Clipper:

miter 2If you need to determine the length of these pieces, pay attention to 2 measurements.  First, the top arrow on the outer edge will be the outer dimension plus the 1/4″ seam allowance (the unfinished length of the border).  The lower arrow points to the finished length of the inside of the border.  This might be an inner border size, or for a single border, the quilt top size.

miter 2aCut off the corners:

miter 3Before stitching the seamline, be aware that it will need to stop at the finished corner.  You can confirm that spot with the ruler, as marked here with a pin:

miter 4aStitch the seamline, backstitching in the lower corner.  A shorter stitch length is recommended for seams that will be pressed open:

miter 5Press seam open:

miter 6There’s one more tool for your bag of tricks!

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Folded Corner Clipper Idea

I had another inquiry from a friend regarding a use for the Folded Corner Clipper.  She wondered if she could make a Snowball Block, and on the corners, use triangles instead of squares.  I thought that was an interesting question, and looked into it.

My first thought was would there be an advantage to doing it this way?  Perhaps one could save fabric by having less to trim away.  Or, if they already know that they have limited fabric for a project, this would be one way to minimize waste.

The first step would be to cut the triangles to be used in place of small squares on the corners.  Of course, the Folded Corner Clipper makes this easy, and uses less fabric than other methods.  For 2″ corners, cut 2.5″ strips and begin cutting the triangles:

tri 2Continue cutting by rotating the Folded Corner Clipper:

tri 3Notice that the first triangle has both points trimmed, and the remaining triangles have one untrimmed point:

tri 4This example has a 6.5″ square cut to make a 6″ finished snowball, and shows how the pieces will be placed on 2 corners.  Note that  the untrimmed triangle might make placement more challenging:

tri 6.5Flip those triangles wrong side up and use the Folded Corner Clipper to trim the other point:

tri 5 I found that placing the corners by visually lining it up wasn’t accurate enough for me.  I used the Folded Corner Clipper to confirm that the seamline would be centered on the corner of the large square:

tri 7Here’s a closeup to show how the edges and lines on the template line up with the raw edges of both pieces:

tri 8Sew the seams 1/4″ from the edge of the corner piece.  (I should have chosen a darker thread here!)

tri 9  Trim off the corners of the large square and press open.  Repeat for other corners.

tri 10Now you have your snowball block finished!

tri 11 This would be an option that would help you when you’re running low on fabric.

Do you have any questions on using the Folded Corner Clipper?  If so, please let me know!

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Seamed Borders Tutorial

A quilter who loves the Folded Corner Clipper has inquired about using it to put a 45 degree angle seam in a wide border.  Sometimes when cutting borders, there isn’t enough fabric to cut the border in one piece, and we need to join multiple pieces with a seam.

This is a great use for the Folded Corner Clipper!  But if your border piece is wider than 5 inches, you need to make a few adjustments.  Basically, this begins with the same method used for making a binding.  Place two strips right sides up:

border 1a

Place the Folded Corner Clipper in the lower right corner, matching the right edges of the fabric with the right edge of the template:

border 2Begin to cut off the corner triangle, stopping before the end of the FCC:

border 3Now, to finish cutting off the corner, there are two options.  First, place a ruler along the bottom edge of the strip, and move the FCC up to the full width of the strip.  In this example, the strip is 6.5″, so the ruler is placed at the 1.5″ line:

border 4An alternative would be to align a regular ruler with the partially cut edge, and continue cutting to the upper edge.  The 45 degree line on the ruler could be aligned with the top or bottom edges of the strip (not pictured in this photo):

border 5Complete the cut and it will look like this:

border 6Since you have cut off the dog ears from the ends, it’s much easier to place the pieces so the raw edges will be aligned when finished.  Place your pieces right sides together and stitch the 1/4″ seamline:

border 7Press open.  A smaller stitch length may be preferred for seams that are pressed open.

border 8And now you have seamed a border strip that is wider than 5″.  There’s another tool for your bag of tricks!

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Diamond-in-a-Square Tutorial

My friend Donna inquired about using the Folded Corner Clipper to make a Diamond-in-a-Square (or Square-in-a-Square) block.  So Donna, this tutorial is for you!


One of the advantages to using the Folded Corner Clipper for many blocks is that the math is much easier.  I’ll have more on that at the end of this post.  For this example, I’m making a 4″ finished block, 4 1/2″ unfinished.  These are the pieces that I will need:


Since my unfinished block is 4 1/2″, the large square is cut to that size.  The finished corners will be half the length of each side, or 2″.  Add seam allowances to the finished size, and they will be cut 2 1/2″.

Next, start doing the folded corners (as seen before in the Snowball Block tutorial ). Trim the first corner and stitch:

SIAS 2SIAS 3Press that corner open and repeat for the opposite corner:

SIAS 4Continue to make a folded corner in the remaining two corners:

SIAS 5SIAS 6And here is the finished block:

SIAS 8Now, back to my statement above about easier math.  If, instead of folded corners, I chose to make this 4″ finished block with triangles, I would need these pieces:


As you can see, it would take some calculations to get to these numbers, and they don’t fall into our traditional 1/8″ proportions.  I could try to explain those calculations, but I’d rather not!  We would just round up or down to the nearest 1/8″, and then wonder why the blocks don’t come out just right.  But when doing folded corners, the only math is:

finished size + 1/2″ = cut size

As you can see, the Folded Corner Clipper is much easier for calculating sizes!


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Border Print Stars #2

On my Border Print Stars project, I mentioned that I ran into some problems.  Here is an EQ image of the quilt:

quiltI constructed the first block, and had problems with the triangles fitting into the star points.  The arrow below shows where I had to ease in fullness on the triangle piece.

block diagramBut after I steamed the block, it seemed to be OK, and I worked to improve my methods on future blocks.  Sometimes, my block could be steamed into place, but other times, it looked like this side view, very wavy:

bad blockNot good!  I kept checking my measurements, and confirmed that the triangle was 4″ on each of the short sides, so I had cut a 4″ square in half:

HSTNow I’ve made 6 blocks, and my accuracy has not improved.  I looked at the templates, as printed from EQ, for the umpteenth time, and finally found my mistake.  I presumed that the triangle was a 90 degree angle, allowing it to be cut from a square.  However, the template showed that the angle was actually less than 90.  Here is a picture of the wrong triangle in black, compared to the correct one in tan:

corrected triangleIt never occurred to me that this was not a 90 degree corner.  Now what?!  Do I hope that the distorted blocks will be tamed into submission during quilting?  Do I salvage the pieces in the 6 completed blocks by ripping out the stars to re-use, risking distorting the bias edges?  Or do I fussy-cut new stars, a very time consuming process?

One consideration has become apparent as I prepared this post.  The secondary stars that are formed in the corners do not have much contrast with the medium fabric:

blocksSo if I do salvage some pieces, it would be a good time to find a new light fabric for the corners.  I always photograph test blocks when preparing quilts for pattern covers – I often find that things don’t contrast as much as I want them to.  Now I see that I should be using “camera auditions” on all of my quilts.  Another lesson learned the hard way!

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