Friday, January 31, 2020


This pattern is the 2020 Block of the Month pattern offered FREE to Star members of The Quilt Show--join today to receive the entire year of patterns free. This is in addition to all the great content provided by The Quilt Show, 26 shows, a new one every two weeks, and so much more. If you want to know more about why I am such a fan, here is why.


This month we will make 2 more Shoo Fly Blocks, using the same instructions as last month. See my blog post for more information:

Month 1--Part 1

Let's talk about PRESSING these blocks.

All 9 of the Shoo Fly blocks will be sewn to a Double Nine Patch block--we start making those in June. To allow the seams to "nest", it is best to press the Shoo Fly seams AWAY from the center, toward the outside edges:

You have to be assertive in pressing sometimes. Using starch or sizing or a product such as Best Press, can help get those seams to lay flat. I also found I like to "twirl" the intersection seams just as we did with the little four patches. The block on the left has been pressed with twirled seams, the one on the right has not been pressed:


I have decided to use raw edge applique for my applique blocks. The speed of preparation, compared to turned edge or needle turn hand applique is the reason. Review both the pattern instructions from Month 1 and my Month 1 blog instructions for more information:

Month 1--Part 2

TIP: Before cutting out the pattern, use a light mark with a pencil or other marker you know will not bleed, to give a few "positioning marks" on the background. This white fabric is easy. With a darker fabric, you may need a lightbox or window to trace a few simple lines:

First, I rough cut the printed patterns. I do save all the remaining fusible sheet, these pieces are large enough to use for other small projects. I simply store them in a ziploc bag:

Blocks 5 and 6 from my Sample Quilt:

Block 5
Block 6

Let's look at Block 5. The large shapes, P1 and P2, bump right up against each other. This is true for many of the blocks. With raw edge applique, if I cut all those pieces exactly on the black lines, I will have to be certain I position the pieces exactly next to each other, so none of the background fabric shows through.

NOTE: Had I followed Sue’s directions, making a pieced four-patch to cut the appliqué, this block would have been easier. Always READ the directions, she said to herself...

Instead, I cut the shapes from the lighter fabric, P1 here, with 1/4" extra sticking out on the two sides that will touch shape P2:

Yellow pencil line drawn 1/4" beyond edge of shape

Both sets of shapes cut

This allows the darker shape to be attached to the lighter shape as all four shapes are glued to the background, with no chance of white background fabric showing. Notice the extra fabric goes beyond the center lines:

I did the same thing with the P1 piece in the center:

Here is the block, stitched, soaked, trimmed and done:

For Block 6, I used Sue's directions in Month 1 to make the stems--they are straight so they don't need to be made from bias.

The tulips, leaves and center circle can be cut exactly on the black lines for raw edge. Make a few reference lines on the background, add the leaves, then the stems, then the tulips, and the center circle.

There are a LOT of circles in this quilt and if you prefer a turned edge, Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circle method is a winner. Perfect Circles, Show 2007. There is no reason you can't use turned edge circles along with raw edge shapes in the same block--I call it the "hybrid" method.

Let's look back to Month 1 for a moment:

Block 1 from last month has a lot of pieces that touch edges. Here is how I cut those flowers out. The edges cut right on the line, the lower edge of pieces 5, 4, 3, and 2, will have the fabric extended so the piece below it sits on fabric, just as if I were doing these with traditional hand needle turn.

The center of Block 1 has a double circle--there are several of those in this quilt, too. Feel free to only add one circle, the larger one--that's a great place to fussy cut a fabric if one is perfect for that size--here I only cut 1 circle, not 2:

I liked having the extra fabric under each small piece and it wasn't hard to stitch. The finished block. Notice I changed my mind and did both circles in the center:

Post photos of your blocks on the Forum Show and Tell page. The Forum is a great place to get the latest information and ask questions. If something comes up that I think lots of you will want to know I post it on the Forum.

Also, the Newsletter which you sign up for  comes out every couple days--another way to know what is  happening in the quilt world--not just about this quilt or our shows. Personally, I love the puzzles!

Here are the other two applique blocks from my sample quilt. Remember, if using the Kit, you get to choose which fabrics you want to use for each block:

Block 7  

Block 8
Let's quilt.



  1. Barbara, I am a star member this year. I do not get The Quilt Show's newsletter. I have looked all over on their site and see no way to sign up for it. Can you help me to get it? Thanks

    1. I am researching this for you. I can’t find it either. Will let you know when I get an answer.