Quiltmaker Block #477


Well behaved women seldom make history.



I found this block much easier to make than the first three.  I have been seriously quilting for 25 years but I have never used small pieces unless they were strip pieced into a block.  Since I am one of the “designers” I am working ahead.  My piecing has definitely improved.  Being a few threads off in large blocks is not a problem.  With these 6″ blocks a few threads can make a huge difference.

I must confess the photo of the block above was edited.  Those very straight edges are not due to my advanced piecing skills.

I love the very scrappy original block but with the solids I am using I decided to go with only three colors.

Texas Two-Step with Diagonal Set


Growing old is mandatory.  Growing up is optional.  Laughing at yourself is therapeutic.

Carolyn Lopez took the Texas Two-Step lap quilt class the very first time I taught it at a Quilt Guild of Greater Houston retreat. The block has a diagonal line which makes many different settings possible. Carolyn managed to come up with a set I had not seen. I was delighted.  This quilt is an example of what I call “related fabrics” which in this case is Civil War reproductions with a common background.


Texas Two-Step Block

Texas Two-Step block with reproduction fabrics and a common background.

Texas Two-Step Scrappy King


The key to happiness is to love who you are not who others want you to be.  Dilbert


One of the great things about scrap quilts is that you don’t run out of fabric. This means the size of the quilt can be determined after the project is started. Karen Guerra began this quilt in my Texas Two-Step lap quilt class at Festival in 2008. She just kept making blocks until she had this wonderful king size quilt.


Scrappy Texas Two-Step Block

Spinning Snails / Happy Trails


A good friend is cheaper than therapy!!!



Over forty years ago when I first became interested in quilting I tore a picture of a snail trail quilt from a magazine.  Last fall at Festival in Houston I purchased Creative Grids ruler CGRJAW8.  This wonderful ruler made it possible for me to accurately piece snail trail blocks.   I finally have my quilt!!!

I have been making scrap quilts for over 25 years.  An easy way to make a successful scrap quilt is to choose a common background and a group of what I call “related fabrics”.   I picked a light tan for the background and an assortment of reproduction fabrics (the “related fabrics”) from my stash.  For a clear pattern to appear the reproduction fabrics must be dark enough to contrast with the backgound.

This pattern, Cut Loose Press CLPLRB001, is designed to use fat quarters but will also work well with scraps.



Quiltmaker Block #261




                                    QUILTMAKER BLOCK  #261 Spinning Star



Around 1993, I spent a year in a study group based on Roberta Horton’s book An Amish Adventure.  At that time, for me the color gray was just gray.  After working with solid fabrics I realized that gray could appear slightly blue, green, purple or pink.  I learned that the Pennsylvania Amish used a palette of green to red with the neutral black.  Books on color call this an analogous color scheme meaning all of the colors are together on the color wheel.  Eliminating orange, yellow and yellow-green seems to make everything else go together.

When making quilt blocks, especially scrap blocks, the outline of the shapes is determined by value.  Value is the relative darkness or lightness of the fabrics.  I have found that using a wide range of values creates a clearer pattern.  If you want the star points to stand out use a very dark fabric with a very light.

For this project I have decided to use solid fabrics from the Pennsylvania Amish palette.  For such small pieces solids, tone-on-tones or very small prints work best for me.  This block requires four different fabrics.  I have chosen one very light green, a medium light green, a medium dark pink and a very dark burgundy.  This gives me four different values from two different color families.




When possible I like to cut pieces larger than they need to be, sew,  and then trim the units to the exact size required.  This block uses 16 units with a finished size of 1 1/2″ (unfinished 2″).  I call these units Three-in-a-Square triangle units.

Three-in-a-Square Triangle

If you would like to use my method, all of the squares need to be cut 3″.  For instructions go to my webpage LynnRoddyBrown.com.  The opening page has two Quiltmaker magazine covers.  Click on the first (the one with green).  At the bottom of the left column click on “Making Triangle Units”.

Texas Two-Step — Brights for Lillian

When I was driving from Houston to Atlanta for the birth of my first grandchild, Lillian, I stopped at quilt stores along the way.  I bought fat quarters of what I call “children’s brights”.  It is so much more fun to shop if you have a project in mind.

DSCF0272 (3)

With this quilt I used a common background that was darker than the “children’s brights.”  I had an adorable dark blue airplane fabric that was not used  because there was not enough contrast between it and the background.

The blocks are 8″.  The squares in the blocks have a finished size of 2″.  To make a pieced border fit I find it best to base the border math on the math used in the  quilt.  I made a 2″ black inner border, a pieced border of 2″ squares and then an outer black border.  The fabric does not show in the photo but it is a polka dot with many bright colors on the black.

The Texas Two-Step block is shown below.  The block has a diagonal line which makes many sets possible.

Texas Two-Step Brights