Good tips from Pat Speth

Pat Speth was the speaker at our guild meeting last week and we spent about an hour enthralled with the 30+ quilts that she showed and the tips that she gave.


Her newest book is about making pieced borders and she had a wonderful demonstration where she showed over 30 different border ideas for one quilt.  Here are a few of my favorites….



DSC02385  DSC02393  DSC02396 DSC02399

The absolute best tip that she gave was to not worry if the inner borders were different sizes.  She suggested that it was more important to make the border pieces easy to work with… 7/8ths of an inch measurements!!!

I had always stayed away from different sized borders because I was afraid that it would make the quilt look weird. 


But, does THIS quilt really look strange??  I found that I never noticed the quilts where the borders were different sizes until Pat pointed them out to us!!!

Here are a few other quilts that are made with 5 inch units….

DSC02329 DSC02403  DSC02410 DSC02419 DSC02335

I left the meeting quietly planning borders in my head!!!!

A few stitches on a Saturday…

Yesterday I was able to find a few minutes to do some sewing, so I pulled out the “Tillie’s Treasures” quilt top that I started with Pat Speth this past week.

Here is where we are so far…..


I am not too sure about the pink blocks…they may end up on the back instead of  the front.


Last night I was restless and wanted to do something else in the creative vein so grabbed my sketchbook and had a little fun….


Pat Speth Workshop…

Today I had the privilege of spending the day with Pat Speth of “Nickel Quilt” fame. 

 DSC02460 She is a wonderful teacher, with the perfect mix of organization and improvisation!!  She gave us lots of excellent ideas, advice  and techniques and then set us lose to work on our own quilts.

Her “Nickel” method is this…..

Start with two 5 inch squares, one light and one dark..

Draw a diagonal line on one of the fabrics and then sew a scant 1/4 inch seam on each side of the diagonal….


Cut along the diagonal…..DSC02459

Press open to form 2 half-square triangle blocks and trim them to 4-1/2 inchesDSC02461 Now for the important part…..slice this block in half from top to bottom at the 2-1/4 inch mark….


And, without moving the two cut pieces, cut horizontally  at 2-1/4 inches…..DSC02463

And look what you get…..DSC02464 …..two PERFECT 1/2 square triangles, one dark square and one light square.

The VERY best part about this method is that you only square-up ONE square and yet end up with four perfectly sized patches.

These can be used for any block that uses this combination of squares.

My first block came out looking like this…..

DSC02457  and Pat sweetly pointed out that I had a rogue patch facing the wrong direction.  Oh well, I know how to un-sew!!

At the end of the day, I had put together 10 blocks and am happy with this start to my next project…..DSC02493 Pat also showed us how to use her 5 inch squares to make picket fence blocks, hourglass blocks and combination blocks with half square and quarter square blocks.


In looking at this technique, I really like the idea, but think that I might prefer to start with 5-1/2 inch squares, trim to 5 inch and make the sub-cuts at 2-1/2.  This seems to be a format  and size that fits me better.


Now for this next photo, we couldn’t decide if this was cute or just creepy.   Sherry had a stuffed bear that her Mother had made many years ago.   Not really knowing what to do with it, she turned it into a pincushion……