Category Archives: free pattern

Mom’s Block of the Month #3: Arkansas Crossroad

Welcome to the third block of the month in Mom’s BOM!

This month we are making an Arkansas Crossroad block based on C & T Publishing’s Quick & Easy Block Tool.  My version was copyrighted in 2003, so it looks a little different than current editions.

Again, I am cutting pieces using an accu-quilt go cutting system.  You could easily cut these with a rotary cutter. (You need to adjust the cutting sizes to rotary cut…Please e-mail me if you have questions about this. The Easy Block tool is set up for rotary cutting, so I had to adapt my block.)

Arkansas Crossroad block

Arkansas Crossroads block


I love the diagonal optical illusion of this block.  I would love to make an entire scrap quilt of this someday.  This block is quick and easy to assembly.  Please keep in mind that all blocks finish at 12 inches for the main body of this sampler quilt.

To download these directions as a PDF, click here: Mom BOM 2017 Arkansas Crossroad block

Here are the shapes and quantities for a 12 inch block:

The Accu-quilt die numbers are included in parenthesis.

Here are the pieces to cut:

  • 4-  3 1/2″ blue blocks (55701)
  • 4-  3 1/2″  red blocks (55701)
  • 4-  3 1/2″ background blocks (55701)
  • 4-  3 1/2″ half square triangles of background fabric (55703)
  • 4-  3 1/2″ half square triangles of fabric that contrasts with the red fabric (I used an orange/pink batik) (55703)

Directions for assembling the block:

First of all, arrange your pieces in the following manner.  This is just to make sure you have all of your pieces.  The background is difficult to see since it is cream on white and matches my counter top.  Oops!

block layout..checking for pieces

Beautiful layout, eh?  So simple.  Now we are changing the piles to get them ready to go through the sewing machine.

triangle pieces  squares

Set the red blocks aside for the moment.  Next, make a pile of triangles as shown above and a pile of blue and background squares.  Sew these units to make 4 of each.  Press towards the dark fabric.

red units

Now join the half square triangle blocks to the red squares as shown above.  Press towards the red block.

red four patch

Now join two of the units you created above to create this six in block.  Do this twice.  Press to one side.

blue four patch

Now create two four patch blocks using your blue and background units from above.  Press towards the dark fabric.

You now have 4 units to piece together to finish this fantastically simple block.

Assembling the block:

half block units

Sew block units together as shown in the picture above.  Make 2 of these units.  Press towards the blue block units.  You now have 2 block halves.

Sew the halves together.  Press.  


completed block

You now have a completed Arkansas Crossroads block!

This concludes part three of Mom’s BOM series.  Only 9 more blocks to go!

Mom’s Block of the Month #2: Ohio Star

Welcome to the second block of the month in Mom’s BOM!

This month we are making an Ohio Star block based on C & T Publishing’s Quick & Easy Block Tool.  My version was copyrighted in 2003, so it looks a little different than current editions.

Again, I am cutting pieces using an accu-quilt go cutting system.  You could easily cut these with a rotary cutter. (You need to adjust the cutting sizes to rotary cut…Please e-mail me if you have questions about this.)

Ohio Star

To download these directions as a PDF, click here.

card # 60

from C & T publishing

Last month I did not list the shapes and sizes that I cut.  Sorry!  This month I remembered to include them!

Here are the shapes and quantities for a 12 inch block:

  • 1- 4 1/2″ center block
  • 4- 4 1/2″ quarter square triangles that will surround the center
  • 8- 4 1/2″ quarter square triangles that will be the star points
  • 4- 4 1/2″ quarter square triangles of background fabric
  • 4- 4 1/2″ squares of background fabric

Directions for assembling the block:

First of all, arrange the triangles in the following manner.  Consequently, half of the star points are on the left and half are on the right.

star point lay out

Now that you see how the block looks when it is arranged, we are changing the piles to get them ready to go through the sewing machine.

Next separate the block into two halves like shown in the pictures below.

black and white 1/2 block green and black 1/2 block

Combine the four triangle piles into two piles.  All of the star points are on the left with a short flat side facing the sewing machine.  Also, the background and center surround color are on the right with a short flat side facing the sewing machine.

halves arranged to be sewn

As you sew these pieces, handle them gently.  They have bias edges that will stretch if you pull or tug on them.

Now put the triangle pairs right sides together and sew using an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Lay all sewn triangles with the dark triangle up.   sewn 1/2 blocks

Press towards the dark triangle.  Lay the halves out to make it easier to sew them correctly.   pressed 1/2 blocks

Carefully flip one half onto the other half.  Line up the seams that have been pressed to either side.  Pin if you wish to make it easier to get the parts to match up in the center.

lined up seams pin here

Sew the halves together.  Press.  You now have four quarter square triangle blocks.  The hard part is complete!

Assembling the block:

Lay out your block pieces to assemble the nine patch as follows:

block lay out

Lay the center row of pieces, face down, on the pieces on the left.  Sew the pieces together on the right hand side.

center layed on the left

After sewing all three sets of pieces together, lay the units on the ironing boards with the solid 4 1/2″ piece on the top.  Press towards the solid piece.  This is much easier than trying to get the points on the triangles to all press the same way.

solid block on top

Once the unit is pressed, add the final quarter square block to the center.  Be careful with the color placement.  Press with the solid square on top.  It will be a little awkward, but only for a moment.

center block row

Almost done!  Now add the remaining background squares to the top and bottom row units.  Press towards the solid block.

top and bottom rows

Sew the top row to the center row.  Pin if that makes you happy.  Press with the top row on top.  It is easier to press towards two solid 4 1/2″ blocks.  You are now 2/3 of the way to a finish!

2/3 of the way

Finally, add the bottom row unit.  Press towards the bottom row.  What a beautiful Ohio star!

finished Ohio star block

This concludes part two of Mom’s BOM series.  Only 10 more blocks to go!



publish on July 15ish

BOM participants…What are you doing?

BOM aka Block of the month….block of the week….Here is

What I want in a BOM

The first word that comes to mind is….wait for it….ummmmm…..FREE!  I mean truly FREE, not FREE like I have to buy your book, your special rulers, your templates.  I will participate if I have those but I will not, just on the principal of the thing, go out and buy them.  I have enough projects half started that I don’t need to pay more for that priviledge.  There are several “free” BOM’s out there that say they’re free, but not really.  Cute, too, but count me out.

Sample pictures appear above the related text.  (I am tired of messing with formatting and just want to publish this post!)

Here are a couple that fit into the category of what I want:

6 twinkler blocks

RSC twinkler block 2016

twinkler sample block

twinkler sample block

twinkler with scrappy center

twinkler with scrappy center

twinkler with calico star points

twinkler with calico points






Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 I usually make it through the first 3 colors and then I fizzle.  So I have three years worth of those.  I am getting very close to a quilt with those blocks.  I do think I will go back and work on the 2015 version with the stars.  All of these blue fabrics came from my 4 1/2 inch bin of scraps.  (I seem to gravitate towards blues and cool colors in my scrap bins.)



BOM at

Craftsy BOM 2016

Craftsy 2016 BOM  I have already completed the January center block for this quilt.  I noticed when I went back to look at the site that I had added the 2015 summer BOM to my classes list.  Hmmmm.  I don’t remember doing that.  I will have to go review that.  This site has freebies and ones that you can purchase.  It doesn’t cost anything to sign up.  The classes that are for sale are clearly marked.  Eventually, I will probably buy a class from them.  They have an excellent variety of crafts, cooking, etc.  They do understand free.

100_6308Pat Sloan BOM This year her theme is “Secret Garden”.  I do love her blocks.  These blocks finish at 16 1/2 inches.  They are very graphic and in beautiful colors.  Her patterns are truly free.  She is a fantastic designer of patterns and fabrics.  I wish the pattern had a coloring page.  There are MANY pictures posted on her site by people who have made the first block.  What great eye candy and inspiration. These fabrics also came from my 4 1/2 inch bin.  I had to piece some of the pieces.  (That is what my Grandma would have done to make due.)

The Splendid Sampler  I found this one in a link from another blog.  It starts on February 14th.  There are 100 free blocks in this mystery sampler.  I think I will join in just to practice machine applique.  I hope they do a good job with the e-mail notifications.  Two blocks a week are to be posted…one on Saturday and one on Thursday, I think it said.  February 14th is not that far away!  This is sponsored by Pat Sloan and a bunch of her designer friends.

EQ mystery series  I regularly receive e-mail from the “Do You EQ?” blog.  As I was glancing through their free items, I came across their two mystery quilt series….not just one , but TWO!  These can be found under the lesson tab.  There is a mystery story and quilt patterns.  If I need more trouble to get into this will be where I find it. (I noticed that these mysteries are set up for EQ 5 and EQ6…most of the features are similar.  I will have to do some further exploring before I commit to much emotional energy to these.)

Not for me…

Ages ago I participated in a row by row done by Lori Holt.  Her designs are cute and country.  That  was free.  It took me 2 1/2 years to finish, but I did it!  Now to participate in her BOM you have to have her book or templates, or….or…or.  I don’t have those things.  I am snowed in and haven’t had mail for six days, so I am not going to order anything at the moment either.  USPS might just throw my package into the snowdrift closest to the main road!  The flowers in Lori’s Bloom Along are adorable, but not truly free…not for me.  (Not this week anyway!)

On someone else’s blog I ran across the Fat Quarter Shop’s Crossroads Quilt Along.  It took me a while to find it on their site.  It was easily able to find the kits for sale to make it, but the free pattern was a bit more elusive. It is a beautiful “free” pattern.  If you look it up, you will see why “free” is in quotation marks.

What BOM’s are you participating in?

I hope you enjoy looking at some of the BOM’s I listed above.  I would love to know what you are up to also.  What projects are you finding out there?  Please share!  I am always looking for more trouble to get into with my quilty friends!

Have a great sewing day!



Recycling bags…now is your chance to recycle

My husband says that “we” recycle at our house….and by “we”, I mean him.  Most of the time that is true.  I put the “recycling”… cans, bottles, and plastics into sorted bins.  He has to deal with taking them out and storing them until it is time to load them into the truck for the ride to the recycling center.  I am the queen of recycling birdseed, etc. bags.  I love this project.  It is so much easier than you can imagine.

This bird seed bag is exclusive to Tractor Supply

birdseed bag

I have seen many of these cool bags out there for sale.  Many of them cost $10 or more each each!  (That’s quite a profit from garbage!) I decided that I would give them a try.  Here is the “raw” material.

empty bag ready for recycling

Bird seed back from Tractor Supply

I trimmed the bottom off of the bag.   I used an old rotary cutting blade, the same one I use for paper, etc.  This bag is made from a woven plastic of some sort.  The seed picture will actually become part of the bag bottom.

bottomless bag

bag with bottom removed for handles

I used my favorite quilt ruler to trim the handle pieces to 5 inches.  (On later bags, I learned that 4 1/4 inches was better.)  You could use other strap material if you want, but this step is not difficult either.

marking for handles

marking for handles

I did not take a picture of the next step.  I used a closed sharpie marker to crease the parts before I sewed them.  The handles were folded in half and them folded in on themselves.  This resulted in a very durable 4 layer thick handle.  It only takes one row to make both handles.



I used a soda box to form a “solid” bottom since this bag was made into a square on the bottom.

recycle bag bottom

sturdy bag bottom

Here is a slightly angled version picture of the bag at the top of this post. How artful!

finished bag

finished bag

Here is another bag made from a 40 pound chicken feed bag.  I do like the colors and the “pretty chicken” on this bag.  Forty pounds of chicken crumbles is smaller than forty pounds of black oil sunflower seeds.  The sunflower seeds make a very large bag.  The chicken feed bags are closer to the size of the reusable bags that you can purchase in the store.

pretty chicken feed bag

pretty chicken feed bag

I did learn a few things during my little recycling experiment.

 Let me share:

  1. These bags take about 1/2 hour or less to make each.
  2. You do not have to play nice with these.  They can take rough handling when turning them inside out, etc.
  3. The longest stitch length on the sewing machine works best.
  4. They sew up quickly, but they also dull your needle quicker than a regular fabric project.
  5. You can’t pin this material, but you can tape it with clear tape to hold it in place.

I think that our little after school sewing group will be making some of these next week…if there is no snow! (At the moment, the forecast is for the 60’s….that will be fantastic!)

If you enjoyed these pictures and would like more details on how to make these bags, just let me know.  The construction is very basic.  Easy for a beginner!

Have a great weekend!  I am going to go enjoy my unexpected snow day!