Fresh Quilting: What's old is new again

I've heard zillions of quilters say there isn't anything new in quilting, and loads of times, I agree with them. But that's not to say that we can't make little tweaks or twists on tradition that sometimes make something fresh appear - and when I filmed last fall for the new PBS show Fresh Quilting, that's one of the things I did.

I love trying to put blocks together, mashing up two different classic blocks that I love, and two blocks that I love very much are the classic Carpenter's Star and the Patchwork Wheel, or Cheyenne, block. I fooled around over and over again with the components of these two blocks, and came up with a mashup that I presented on last week's new episode of Fresh Quilting, which if you're an MQG member you can watch online for free anytime on the MQG Community site. I'd like to introduce you to the Carpenter's Wheel!

in Liberty - ooh, la, la!

all solids, so fancy!

all Carolyn! love!

You can get your very own copy of the Carpenter's Wheel PDF pattern, from my Pattern Shop, and Craftsy, on sale this week for $3. It includes two different block sizes, 20" finished and 30" finished. This block is built with simple squares and half-square triangles and makes a great start for a medallion quilt, or a mini quilt of its' own! The pattern features tips and tricks on making eight half-square triangles at once, as well as loads of full-color illustrations to walk you through making the quilt block.

Carpenter's Wheel PDF download from my Pattern Shop
Carpenter's Wheel PDF download on Craftsy

I hope you enjoy it, and I can't wait to see what you stitch up!

Boxed In - 12" Block Free Pattern!

Good morning! It's the next-to-last day of school this morning at the Not Betsy household, and that means that summer is nearly upon us already. The idea that my baby is going to be a first-grader come the end of this summer would typically make me fret, but this morning I'm feeling excited - or perhaps distracted is a better word choice - because I'm sharing a new, free pattern with you this morning!

a Boxed In block sewn up in MoMo's Wonderland

Last week, I shared about a recent finish that I misplaced, my modern traditionalist take on a nine-patch, called Boxed In. And as promised, I've written up how you can make your very own Boxed In blocks in my new, free Boxed In pattern.

The six page pattern includes full color diagrams to walk you through making your own Boxed In block(s) as well as some basic quilt math to help you plan out your Boxed In quilt. You'll also find six different Boxed In layouts to inspire you to create a beautiful quilt of your own!

You can download the Boxed In pattern for free at both Craftsy or right here. If you make something with this pattern, I'd love to see it! You can share it in my Flickr group, Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy, or by tagging me via your favorite social media site @dontcallmebetsy or #dontcallmebetsy

Boxed In - a quilt finish!

Happy Memorial Day to you! I hope you're having a great weekend so far, celebrating family and those who've served our country. I'm stealing a few minutes of quiet independent reading time to put together a quickie, long-overdue blog post for a recent finish - Boxed In!


Boxed In is a twist on a traditional nine-patch block applying a change in scale as well as playing around with the symmetry of the nine-patch. There's two layers of nine-patches going on here, as well - a giant nine-patch block, which is built of asymmetrical nine-patch blocks. I will be writing a pattern for the asymmetrical nine-patch block itself as well as some ways to utilize it coming up soon, so stay tuned for that.

Free motioned L's on the Boxed In quilt

I dug into my scrap box for this quilt, not only with the prints, but with the whites as well. I used four different shades of white, log-cabin style, around the giant nine-patch block. I so often ignore my scraps of white because it's tough to match them up, but I actually like the subtle tonal changes of white throughout the quilt, so I will definitely try that again on another quilt in the future. My favorite of the nine-patch blocks is positively the center one, with the yellows and golds. It brings a nice spot of sunshine, and attention, to the center.

Boxed In quilt finish - a twist on a traditional 9 patch

I got a little crazy with the quilting on this one - with my trusty favorite shade of Aurifil white #2024, I used a different quilting style in each of the four white logs. There's some wavy lines, some zigzag, some Ls, and some boxes. In the nine-patch area, though, I went super simple, with some random straight lines. I think it gives some really interesting texture to the finished quilt. I kept the binding really minimal as well, using one of the white fabrics I used for the logs. I like the blended look that it gives to the finished quilt. I often choose a binding that's got a lot of contrast, but I'm really digging how soft a matchy-matchy binding looks. I might just do this kind of binding a bit more often :)

Free motioned boxes on the Boxed In quilt

Quilt Stats


: Boxed In


: 50" square


: Asymmetrical 9 Patch, coming soon


: assorted whites, assorted scraps in purple, aqua, gray, and gold


: wavy lines, zigzags, L's, boxes and straight-lines, all free-motioned on my Juki with 50 wt Aurifil #2024

Free motioned zig-zags on the Boxed In quilt

Now, I have to confess something: I lost this quilt for a bit of a while. About two weeks, to be exact. It traveled safely to a few lectures with me, and then when packing up for my last trunk show, I couldn't find it. If you've read my blog before, you probably know that I am really good at "putting things away" and by that I mean, putting things in places that make zero sense. I inherited that lovely trait from my dad, who we called the "Mad Mover." At first, I fretted that I left it behind at one of my lectures, but that wasn't the case. I tore my sewing room apart looking for it, as well as my guest room, where I store many of my quilts. All with no luck. It wasn't until this past weekend that I decided to unfold quilts as I looked through them to search for this quilt that I found the darned thing. It was folded with the backing side out, and I didn't remember using that particular print for the backing, so I looked right past it before. Thank goodness I found it, because I was seriously thinking I might have to remake it - which wouldn't be a tragedy, but gosh, it sure would be frustrating to have to remake something I misplaced!

Free motioned wavy lines on the Boxed In quilt