Wednesday, March 7, 2012


March 7, 2012  
Quilters Newsletter published a lesson, Anita's Unbiased Block, in the April/May 2012 issue  The image below is of their online web extra
I met the the editor, Joli Hines Sayasane, and Susan Geddes, the art director, in Houston last fall. Eventually I collaborated with the then managing editor, Dana Jones. I learned that Dana and I almost crossed paths many times over when she lived in New York. I own just about every issue of QN that has been published and I cherish them. I used to think the last quilting renaissance began with the Whitney Museum of American Art's 1971 exhibition "Abstract Design in American Quilts" curated by Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof. Now I'm thinking it began with the publication by Bonnie Leman of her Quilter's Newsletter in 1969.
I'm also thinking about the time my husband walked past me while I was watching a video interview from the University of Nebraska featuring Jonathan Holstein. My husband paused to remark about the Chinese chair that Holstein was sitting in. A moment later he turned back as he recognized Holstein. Oh he said, "Roy Lichtenstein took me to this man's apartment to look at quilts, but at the time, I didn't get it."  That's another story...

I received a photograph today from the Berks Quilters Guild of Berks County, PA. from their recent meeting. Apparently they received a record number forty-eight BOMS. I'm thrilled to see the effects of so many varieties of stripe fabrics and to see that 48 blocks by different makers all turn out to be 10 ½ inch unfinished squares in part because of  a ½ inch of interfacing.  You can be sure that I am smiling.  I'm biased but the blocks aren't.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anita's Unbiased Block

On a roll
Hooray! Make It Simpler® Fusible Interfacing, my convenient NEW Interfacing product from C&T Publishing, is available. I've been using it to make Anita's Unbiased Blocks and you may download the directions, below.

I think this Unbiased Technique is as cool as my Arrowhead technique which I teach in my Craftsy class Traditional Blocks Made Simple

This interfacing product will not stretch so it can stabilize fabric and batting for quiltmaking and garment construction.
 Anita's Unbiased Block was not made
by cutting triangles from yardage.

This Unbiased Block calls for
TWO  Interfaced squares
TWO  Sewn seams
ONE  Rotary cut
Just Make It Simpler, in minutes

The Candy Striper
Anita's Unbiased Block Sampler Quilt

You may download my pattern. Feel free to print out my pattern, distribute my pattern and teach my pattern.  You may make quilts, donate quilts and/or sell quilts using blocks made from my pattern. You may link to my pattern. However, you may not sell this free pattern nor republish it in any print or electronic form, without my written permission. Please don't break my designing spirit.

This webpage will frequently update; please feel free to add your comments and questions to it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Supplies needed

  • 8½" square cut 8½" fabric squares
  • 10½" square true-up purposely oversize blocks into 10½" blocks
  • Optional 8½" rectangular ruler (8½" x a minimum of 18") to efficiently cut two identical squares at a time from 1/2 yard of fabric. As pictured above, center a long 8½"-wide ruler on a particular stripe after marking the centering line on the ruler. Cut on both long edges of the ruler. Cross cut 2 squares. Even a fabric of jumbled stripes will work with spectacular results.
  • Permanent marker such as a medium point Sharpie to mark the unprinted side of a ruler (removable with alcohol or nail polish remover; test first)
  • Sewing machine, spray starch, steam iron for fusing, rotary cutter and mat
  • Directional fabric: unwashed and unstarched (yay) to preserve alignment of stripes

Monday, October 17, 2011

Questions and Tips

Asked and Answered

Should fabric be pre-washed?
No, that might distort stripes

May fabric be starched?
Yes, once it's been fused and sewn.

Make sure the interfacing is fused diagonally from lower left-to-upper right. If not, try to lift it off, reposition and refuse. It's a common goof.

Why fuse diagonally from lower left-to-upper right?
To create blocks that appear to rotate counterclockwise:
                        Counterclockwise                                    Clockwise                               
What happens if the Interfacing is fused diagonally from upper left to lower right?
The blocks will appear to rotate clockwise

Counterclockwise and clockwise blocks
The diagonal position of the interfacing determines whether a block appears counterclockwise or clockwise. When fusing a pair of fabric squares, whichever diagonal you prefer, fuse both squares consistently.

Why cut 8½" squares of fabric?
To not waste ¼ yard cuts, whether fat quarter or long quarters or half  yards.

Because of size appropriate rulers. Omnigrid manufactures 8½" square and 8½ x 24" rulers which I use to cut pairs of fabric squares as well as a 10½ square that I use to true up the unfinished blocks.

Because I like blocks that finish at 10" square.

Incidentally, for the same above reasons, I use identical 8½" squares of stripe fabric to make my Xcentric blocks
My Red Xcentric Sampler Quilt is the frontispiece of Rotary Cutting Revolution
Does it really take two  8½" squares of fabric to make one 10½" Anita's Unbiased quilt block?
Yes. According to my PiGuy
  • Two 8½" squares, a total of 144½ square inches of fabric, result in an unfinished 10½" square block of 110¼ sq. inches of fabric. The two seam lines account for losing 34¼ sq. inches, 23.7% of the original amount. PiGuy reasoned "Now, if you just did this process in reverse, you would never get to buy fabric again..." 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quilt Out Loud

Jodie Davis and Mark Lipinski visited the City Quilter and my studio in August 2011. Watch Quilt Out Loud (subscribe!) for an Unbiased Blocks demo. Episode notes here.