Moda Sampler Block Shuffle Blocks 10 – 12

t’s week four and we have three new blocks to offer you from designers Deb Strain, Brenda Riddle Designs and Zen Chic.


Blocks 10 - 12 375

ShoFly Quilt Block –  Download Sampler-shuffle-block10

The Shofly quilt block is perhaps one of the easiest blocks to make, using only five squares and four half-square triangles.

Carolyn Firedlander – Very Modern looking.

CF Block 10 375_2

CF Block 10 375

Bonnie and Camille very vintage!

BC Block 10 375

I love my creams and reds in this block.

RC Blocks 10 375


Try using the same fabric for the outside squares and using the same fabric for the inside half/square triangles.  It turns into a circle inside the square.


CD 175

Cat’s Cradle – Block 11 – Download Sampler-shuffle-block11

Even though this block looks complicated, once we break it down you will see how easy it is to piece.  Here are some tips for making those Cat’s Cradle Units.

Stitch a 1½” square to a 1½” x 2½” rectangle.   You will need to make a total of two of these units.   Sew long sides together.  Make one more set.



Align the 1/4″ seam line of a rotary ruler with the inside point of the square and the outside of the lower left rectangle.  Cut with a rotary cutter leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Repeat on the opposite corner., two units now complete.  Repeat to make a second set.

Sample 2


Cat's Cradle

Follow the Easy Corner Method learned in Block 3 using a square to add the corner triangles and to finish your units.

Cat’s Cradle Tool

There is also a great new ruler from Creative Grid – The Cat’s Cradle Tool.  Click on the ruler to view the tutorial from Creative Grid Rulers.   I think you will really like this method, especially if you find yourself making lots of these little units / blocks.

Cats N Cradle Tool 375

Refer back to Block 6 or our Flying Geese Tutorial on our Blog to make the flying geese.

Wasn’t that easy?

Reds and Creams – Notice how the block takes on entirely different perspective when I change the center square to match the corner squares.  Looks like four spools.

RC Block 11 375


Carolyn Firedlander Fabrics – I like this block.  These look like little baskets sitting in the corners.CF Block 11 375

Bonnie and Camille fabrics.

BC Block 11 375

Block 12 – Download Sampler-shuffle-block12

By strip piecing, you can make the four corner units in no time.  Sew together two strips one dark and one light, each 1 1/2″ x 7″ then cut into 1 1/2″ segments.  Sew a 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangle to the long side to make the corner squares.

Sample 3a

Refer back to block 6 or to our Flying Geese tutorial to make the eight flying geese units.  Don’t forget to always set your seams with an iron and then press towards the dark sides.


Carolyn Friedlander  FabricsCF Block 12 375

Reds and Creams – I reversed the blocks in this block.

RC Block 12 375

Bonnie and Camille Fabrics


BC Block 12 375











Moda Block Shuffle – Blocks 7 – 9

And now…we will Moda-shuffle up to Oklahoma, blowing in the wind; literally, yesterday was one of the windiest days we have had in a long time.  The leaves are turning gold, the Pecans falling to the ground and the last days of the Indian Summer are upon us.

I “sew” hope you are having fun with the Shuffle and the tips we are providing.  We have three more blocks to share with you this week.

The blocks this week are from Primitive Gatherings, Little Miss Shabby and Jen Kingwell.

Blks 7-9

Download Block 7 – Sampler-shuffle-block07

With smaller pieces thread quality can make a difference in the accuracy of your piecing – a good reason to always use high quality thread.

Precencia and Aurifil are always my “Go to Threads” for machine piecing.

TIP:  The higher the weight number the thinner (finer) the thread.   When stitching smaller pieces you should use smaller stitches and a finer weight of thread.  Stitch length 2.0 or 14 stitches per inch vs 3.0 or 9 stitches per inch.

Precencia is a 60 wt., 3-ply Egyptian Cotton.  This is probably the highest quality 100{4c76eb18d79af857ad50431e036d68d339032b328c3fd93e488edbb45135e17f} cotton thread available for your piecing and machine quilting and is both fine and strong and ideal for precision piecing where you want the most accurate seam allowance.  I recommend using a 70 / 10 sewing machine needle with the 60 weight thread.

Aurifil is a 50 wt. 2 ply thread and great for machine and hand piecing, machine and hand applique and machine quilting. “It is also a wonderful silky/like thread. ” I recommend using an 80 / 12 sewing machine needle with the 50 weight threads.

Improve your sewing skills with focus on Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangles and a Square n a Square.

Reds and Creams

double flying geese 375

Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe Collection

CF Double Flying Geese 375

Bonnie and Camille Fabrics

BC Double Flying Geese 375


Download Block 8 – Sampler-shuffle-block08

These blocks combine several different elements which have been mentioned before, Flying Geese, Color placement and Fussy Cutting.

Try cutting strips on the diagonal for a fun look.

To steam, starch or leave dry?  Using steam or spray starch on small shapes can sometimes distort the piece, giving you a wonky looking block.  I recommend using a dry iron throughout the piecing process and then use steam or starch to spray the block once it is completed.

You can have so much fun with this block.  Don’t let the center square confine you to a 4-patch.  Continue working on making those flying geese units.

Add a 3 1/2″ square in place of the 4-patch or…

CF Square in a Square 375


maybe a pinwheel or

Square n a Square Reds and Creams 375


just go scrappy.

BC Square n a Square 375


Download Block 9 – Sampler-shuffle-block09

Refer back to Block one for tips on Half Square Triangles.

Lots of pinwheels (easy half-square triangles) combined in different patterns, make for an interesting block.


CF Pinwheel 375



BC Pinwheels 375



Reds and Creams Pinwheel 375


see you next week!




Moda Sampler Block Shuffle Blocks 4 – 6

This week we have some fun new blocks, which include Strips and Squares by V & Co., a Churn Dash by Kathy Schmitz Studios (my favorite),  and a variation of the Sawtooth Star by American Jane.

Blocks 4 - 6 375

Block 4 Download –Sampler-shuffle-block04

Block 4 demonstrates how different a block can look when you change the values or placement of the fabrics such as positive / negative or just scrappy.

Block 4 in Creams and Reds – Creams as the background and reds as the secondary print.

Block 5 RW 375
Block 4 in Blues and Creams – Notice how the block takes on a completely different look by using the blues as the background and the creams as the secondary prints.


Block 5 CF 375

Block 4  Scrappy –  Creams as the background and scrapping up the secondary prints.

Block 5 BC 375


Block 5 Download –Sampler-shuffle-block05

Fussy cutting is always a fun way to add character to your block.  To audition your fabric for this block,  try using a 2 1/2″ square ruler to center over the area you want to cut out.

2 1/2″ square Block_Loc Ruler

Block Lock 2 1_2 375

  2″ square cut from card stock.

Fussy Cut 375_R

I like the Precision Trimmer.  The ruler is great for squaring up half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles and fussy cutting any square from 1 1/2″ up to 6 1/2″.

PT6Precision Trimmer L
Churn Dash in Creams and Reds.  The center was fussy cut.

Churn Dash RW 375

Churn Dash in Bonnie and Camille Fabrics.

Churn dash BC 375

Churn Dash in Carolyn Friedlander Doe Fabrics.

Churn Dash CF 375

Watch those corners…or you might find yourself un-sewing.

Debbie's Boo Boo 375

Block 6 Download – Sampler-shuffle-block06

Flying Geese units are another one of those blocks where you can find a multitude of ways to make one.  We are going to review several, but maybe you have a method you like.

The Corner Triangle – Not my favorite.  I really struggle with this method of making flying geese.  For one thing, I hate wasting the other half of the triangle.

You will cut 4 rectangles 2″ x 3 1/2″.  I like to refer to these pieces as the bird.  Cut eight 2″ squares and draw a diagonal from corner to corner.  These are the wings.  Sew on the diagonal line and trim 1/4″ on the outside.  Press towards the small square.  Repeat on the opposite side.  You will make four of these units.TD Flying Geese 2


TD Flying Geese


Make 4 at once – I love this method – Refer to our tutorial – Flying Geese for detailed instructions.

For this block,  from the background fabric cut one square 4″ (bird).  From the secondary fabric, cut one square 6 1/2″ (wings).  Draw a diagonal line across the 4-inch square.  Center the background on top of the wings right sides together.  Sew a quarter inch on both sides of the line.  Cut on the diagonal.  Press towards the dark, or try pressing the seams open.

Lay the two squares right sides together, you will notice the squares now match up in size.  Draw a diagonal line, this time the opposite direction and sew 1/4′ on both sides.  Cut on the diagonal line.  Press the seams open.  Use Eleanor Burns 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ Flying Geese ruler or the Block-loc 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ Flying Geese ruler to cut 4 flying geese from the squares.

Flying Geese bloc lock 375

Block Loc Flying Geese Ruler

 quilt in a day Elanor Burns Flying Geese Ruler


Block 6 Bonnie and Camille Fabrics

Sawtooth BC 375

Block 6 Carolyn Friedlander Fabrics

  Sawtooth CF 375


Block 6 Reds and Creams

Sawtooth RW 375

Moda Sampler Block Shuffle – Block 1, 2 and 3

Fabric Requirements:

Fat-Eighths,  Layer Cakes, Jelly rolls, charm squares or make it scrappy.  We love our little Farm Sticks 5″ x 10″ strips of our favorite fabrics.

Farm Sticks 375

Finishing Instructions
Download How to finish the Sampler-shuffle_pattern

All the blocks in the Sampler Block Shuffle will finish at 6″ .

Note:  Finished is the block size after it has been sewn into a quilt. Unfinished is the size of the block / unit before it is sewn into a quilt /block.

Start with the Basics

Straightening your fabric

Iron the fold out of the fabric.  Hold the fabric up with the selvages together and adjust back and forth with your fingers until the fold hangs straight.  Note:  the ends will not necessarily line up and that is okay.  Carefully place the fabric on cutting mat with the fold closest to you.  Use two rulers, one  24 inches long and the second  12 inches long.  Place the 24 inch ruler on the left edge of the fabric.  Using the shorter ruler, line up a horizontal line on the fold and butt the two rulers up together.  Move the shorter ruler out of the way and with your rotary cutter, straighten the left edge.  You are now ready to start cutting your strips / pieces for blocks, sashing or borders.  Always cut strips across the grain of your fabric from selvage to selvage.  If you are cutting multiple strips, you may need to re-straighten the left edge of your fabric from time to time.  Use a ruler to measure and cut with.  Be sure you have a sharp rotary blade in your rotary cutter.     If you are left handed, you will reverse and straighten from the right side of your fabric.

The Quarter-Inch Seam

Having problems with the 1/4″ seam?

How to test your quarter-inch seam.  Start by cutting three rectangles, each 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.  Sew the long sides together.  Press your block, it should measure 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.   If it isn’t…here are some tips.

When cutting check to see if the fabric edge is inside, outside or on the line of the ruler.   Your fabric should be lined up with the line of the ruler.  Be consistent with the brand of rulers as marking lines do differ from brand to brand.

Seam allowance. Check placement of needle with the foot and mark the ¼” to the right of your sewing machine foot to use as a guide.  Use the Sew Straight, painters tape, mole skin or stack notecards to mark the seam allowance.

Pressing verses Ironing

Don’t iron your patchwork pieces with the same vim and vigor you use for pressing a shirt.  Incorrect pressing can stretch, distort and heat set the pieces into a real mess.  When you take two pieces to the ironing board, consider the direction your seam will be pressed.  Normally we press to the darker side of the fabric, so the darker piece will be facing up.  There can be exceptions to this rule, so when in doubt refer to your pattern.

Start by pressing your seam closed.  This helps to set the seam by bonding the thread  into the fabric, which makes it so much easier to get that nice crisp, flat seam and eliminates puckers and pleats.  Open up the two pieces of fabric and remember to always press from the right side to the left side of the fabric.

The Strip Stick is a great tool for the quilter who likes to press their seams open.  It keeps the other seams out of the way and comes in four different sizes.

strip stick 3 Rotated 375

Choosing your fabric – –

Grab your stash, choose your colors, or your favorite designer’s line.

Reds, Creams, Marshmallow and light beige’s make up my pallet.  Debbie is making two sets, one using a selection of Carolyn Friedlander’s , “Architecture”, “Botanics” , “Doe” and soon, “Carkai”.  They work so well together.  Her second set is made using a selection of Bonnie and Camille.

Red Cream Pallete

CF Pallet


Blocks 1 – 3

Block 1 focuses on learning the proper methods for making half-square triangles.  Half-square triangles are the result of sewing two triangles right sides together on the bias edge (long side).  There are so many ways to make this simple block.

 Half-Square Triangles:

I recommend always cutting your squares 1″ larger than the finished size.  IE. if your half-square triangle unit finishes at 1 1/2″, you would cut your squares 2 1/2″.  This allows for just a little room to straighten or square up your half-square triangle before sewing it into the block.  The half-square triangle in block one finishes
at 1 1/2″.

Traditional method, my grandmother might have taught me:

Starting with two squares of equal sizes, cut both on the diagonal.  Take one from each color, place them right sides together, pin, pin, pin and sew on the long bias edge 1/4″ from the raw edge.  Press to the darker side.  This method does come in handy when you are working with lots of scraps and want that scrappy look.

 Half Square Cut

A more modern method:

Starting with two squares of equal size, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Half Square Draw Line 1

Sew 1/4″ on both sides of the drawn line.

Half Square 1


Cut on the solid line and press to the dark side.   Square up to 1 1/2″.

To square up your half square triangle, use your favorite square up ruler.  I like the Precision Trimmer, however a 6″ square ruler with a 45 degree also works nicely.

Lay the 45 degree across the diagonal line, leaving a small amount of fabric around the square.  Right hand – rotary cut up the right side and across the top.   Left hand will cut up the left side and across the top.

Square Up Half-Square Triangle 2

Rotate the unit so that the right side and top now sit in the 90 degree angle on the bottom left edge.  Once more, rotary cut up the right side and across the top.  Your half-square triangle will now be squared up and ready to sew into your block.  Left hand will cut up the left side and across the top, rotating to the right bottom corner.

Square Up Half_Square Triangle 1


Using Triangle Paper:

Quilters love the Finished Triangle Paper, which comes in many sizes, is simple to sew, accurate to cut, and effortless paper removal.

Cut your squares to the appropriate size based on the directions that comes with the Triangle Paper.  Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together and lay the Triangle Paper on one of the wrong sides.

Sew on the dotted lines, Cut on the Solid lines.   You will need to adjust your stitch length to 1.0 or 1.5 when using Triangle Paper.  This makes it so much easier to tear away the paper after cutting.  Press to the darker side.

triangle paper 1

The not so proper way to do a half square triangle.

 Oh, no, please don’t put those bias edges on the outside of your blocks.  We have seen a “quick” method of placing two squares together, sewing around the outside edges and then cutting both directions on the diagonal.  This places those bias edges on the outside of your block, making it a challenge for sewing into a quilt.  This method is not for a beginner.

 Sampler Block 1 Download Sampler-shuffle-block01

Block 1 – Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe and Botanics

Block 1 CF

 Block 1 – Reds and Creams

Block 1 Red_Cream

Block 1 –  Creams and Reds.  By reversing the reds and creams, you will notice how the negative space adds a more modern look to the block.  Lots of opportunities for some beautiful quilting.


Block 1  White_Red


Block 1 – Bonnie and Camille Fabrics

Block 1 Camille X 375


Sampler Block 2 Download Sampler-shuffle-block02

Block 2 is a good block to test your 1/4″ seam.

Block 2  Carolyn Friedlander’s Pallet

 Block 2 CF

Block 2 Creams and Reds Pallet

Block 2 sewn 375

Block 2 Bonnie and Camille Pallet

Block 2 CFX 375

Sampler Block 3 Download Sampler-shuffle-block03

Block 3 teaches the proper method for sewing on the diagonal line to make easy Corner Triangles.  Be sure to draw the line line from corner to corner.   Sew slightly to the right of the diagonal line helps, it gives you more fabric to press back and makes up for the thread width.

To cut away the back fabric or not; sometimes keeping the back fabric intact helps keep the unit square or to size.

Great tools for marking that diagonal line; try the Frixion Pen, the ink disappears when you press over the line.  The White Gel Pen works great on darker fabrics also comes in black and of course, there is always the mechanical pencil.   

 Frixion Pens

Block 3 – Carolyn Friedlander’s Pallet

Block 3 CF

Block 3 – Bonnie and Camille Pallet

 Block 3 Camille 375