Monday, March 31, 2008

Scrappy 16-Patch

16-Patch blockFor April, we will be making scrappy 16-patch blocks.

The directions for making the blocks and fabric/color guidelines can be found on the Quilting on, Scrappy Sixteen Patch Quilt Block Pattern.

The April block lotto discussion on the forum begins here.

You may make up to 8 blocks to enter in the block lotto.

To enter your blocks into the lotto:
  1. Share a photo of your block(s) by attaching it to a forum message, posting it on a blog or photo site and linking to it from a forum message or post a message on the forum letting me know that you are sending it to me via email so I can share it with everyone.
  2. Send me your name and mailing address via email (if I don't already have it from a precious month). I need your email address so that I can send you the sneek peek (if your blocks are made at least one week before the end of the month). I need your name and address so that if you win the drawing, I can let everyone know where to send your blocks.
Several of the sneek peekers have already made their 16-patch blocks–you can see them here: April Photos.

Last month we made a record number 284 lotto blocks. Thanks to everyone for continuing to make the monthly Beginner Block Lotto a huge success.

Here are the 9 blocks I made for the lotto this month.

Scrappy 16-Patch blocks

Michelle's String Block Top

Look what Michelle (momof11) made from her January winnings.

I love her arrangement of the dark and light squares. You can read more about it on Pat's Lotto Block Challenge discussion on the forum, here.

March Winners

The Winners for the March Lotto are:

Ellena (ripstitcher) *** newbie ***

Anna (1kwlter)

Vivian (vivplum) *** newbie ***

Deborah (little deb) *** newbie ***

Cathy (cathysews)

Randi (randigirl)

Congratulations, ladies!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Annette's Shoo Flies

Annette (annettejeavons) is back from a trip to Egypt . . . just in time to make these 6 blocks for the lotto.

Our new total for the month so far is 284 Shoo Fly blocks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Three more blocks from Laurie

Laurie (laurielt) made these three more blocks, making a total of 7 for her and 278 for the group.

One more block from Randi

Randi made the block we needed for a total of 275--enough for 6 winners !!!

Extra Blocks from Sara

Sara (sassywoodchuck) made these 6 extra Shoo Fly blocks . . .

. . . for a total of 274–one more to go until we have enough for 6 winners this month.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Extra blocks from Randi

Everyone seems determined to push us to 275 blocks for the month so we will have 6 winners.

Randi made these 4 extra blocks . . . we're at 268 now, only 7 more to go with 4 days left.

More Shoo Flies from Sara

These additional 7 blocks from Sara (sassywoodchuck) make a total of 8 for her and 264 lotto blocks so far this month.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Extra Blocks from Wanda

Another generous newbie has made extra blocks for the lotto this month.

Wanda (pandnstarr) made these 16 extra blocks giving us a new all-time-high number of blocks in a month of 257.

Woo hoo! Thanks, Wanda.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Extras from Ellena

Ellena must have a lot of florals in her stash and a generous spirit. She made 12 extra blocks to push us to a total of 241.

Thank you, Ellena.

241 blocks means at least 60 each for 4 winners.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shoo Fly Setting Idea

My friend, Diane, recently told me about this quilt, in the current issue of Quick Quilts. Although this quilt is made from churn dash blocks (from floral and coordinating bright fabrics), I immediately thought of our floral Shoo Fly blocks.

web bonus
Directions for making a queen-size version of this quilt are provided by Quick Quilts as a web extra here.

To make alternate quarter square triangle squares to finish at 6 inches, start with two squares cut at 7-1/4 inches. See Janet Wickell's article, Intro to Quarter Square Triangle Units on for more information on sewing these.

For an even easier setting, consider plain squares (in white or more floral fabrics). Plain white squares would be a perfect canvas for a pretty quilting design; using floral fabrics would add to the overall scrappiness of the quilt.

Other pieced blocks based on a 9-patch grid would combine in interesting ways with this block. Consider 9-patch, snowball or Ohio star.

More Blocks from Judy

Judy (possumtownquilter) made these 4 blocks, making a total of 8 for her and a new total of 229 Shoo Fly blocks for March.

We are officially in 5-winner territory now and 16 blocks away from a block lotto record high number of blocks in a single month.

Laurie T's Shoo Flies

Laurie (laurielt) joined the block lotto--our 9th newbie this month. Here are her first 4 blocks.

Total blocks for March: 225

Extras from Kate

Kate (katelnorth) made these four extra blocks, bringing our official total so far to 221 blocks.

I know there are more blocks made or in the works . . . this could become a record-breaking month ;-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

More blocks from Vivian

Vivian (vivplum) made these two blocks--making 8 for her and a new March total of 217.

Laura's blocks

We are racing toward the 5-winner mark this month. These 8 beautiful blocks from Laura (ljrandolph) bring our total to 215.

(We're 12 blocks to go to 5 winners; 30 blocks away from the record high.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sara's First Block

Sara (sassywoodchuck) completed her first block in her first block lotto on the forum. She plans to make more when some ordered fabric arrives.

It's a great start, Sara.

New total for march: 207 blocks.

Pamela's Blocks

Pamela (fabric_fiend) made these blocks: 8 chances for her and 5 for the boost to push us to a 5-winner month. Thanks Pamela!

March 2008 blocks

Deb (Little Deb) also contributed an extra 4 blocks for the boost, bringing us to a March total so far of 206 blocks. (21 blocks to go to reach the 5-winner mark)

Anna's blocks

Anna (1kwltr) said she couldn't resist and made these 5 blocks.

Floral shoo fly blocks

Welcome to the lotto, Anna!

Our new total so far this month is 189 blocks.

More Blocks from Sandy

Sandy (centergranny) wanted to help push us past the 4-winner mark and made these extra 8 blocks. (There are some repeated fabrics, but they will go to different winners).

Thank you, Sandy.

Our new total so far this month is 184 blocks, enough for four winners. The first three names drawn will win a set of 48 blocks; the last name drawn will win at least 40 blocks.

March has become the highest month in 2008 so far and the third highest month ever. Before this month, the top three months have been:
  1. January 2007 - 244 double 4-patches
  2. March 2007 - 210 I-spy snowballs
  3. February 2008 - 174 scrappy hearts

Did you know . . . before last year, we never made it to 100 blocks in a single month?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ellena's Shoo Flies

Ellena's not a newcomer to the forum, but these are her first blocks for the lotto.

The total for March so far is 176, bypassing last month's 174. The next milestone, the second most popular month was a year ago, March 2007, with 210 blocks.

Randi's Blocks

Here are Randi's 8 blocks for this month.

We now have a total 168 blocks - almost to the 4 winner mark.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Little Deb's Little Shoo Fly Blocks

Deb (LittleDeb) said she loved this size block. I agree, they are so cute. Deb is another first-timer (AKA newbie) for the lotto this month; she made these 8 blocks.

Our new total for the month is 160 blocks.

*** Updated to add that deb made 4 extras to add to the pot ***

Sylvia's Shoo Fly Blocks

Sylvia (imjin53) made these 6 blocks.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Michelle's blocks

Michelle (momof11) made these blocks for the lotto, bring us to a total so far of 146 blocks

Mary Jane's Blocks

Today is National Quilting Day. If you haven't done anything quilt-y yet, there's still time to make floral Shoo Fly blocks for the March Block Lotto.

Mary Jane (mjontebeau) did. Here are her 8 blocks:

This is Mary Jane's first entry into the lotto. Good luck!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sue/Foo's Shoo Flies

(Try to say that 10 times fast ;-)

These are the 8 blocks made by Sue (foofinster), aka sue/foo.

And our new total so far for March is 130 blocks.

Vivan's Shoo Flies

Vivian (vivplum) is another first-timer in the lotto this month . . . the lotto loves newbies ;-)

She made these beautiful 6 Shoo Fly blocks.

These blocks bring our total so far this month to 122 blocks. We are well on our way to another three-winner month!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blocks from Janice

This is Janice's (searchfamilies) first time making lotto blocks. Aren't they great?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cathy's Shoo Fly Block

Cathy (cathysews) made these 4 blocks.

I love these floral fabrics an I don't think I've seen any of them before.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cindi's Shoo Flies

Cindi (zoopme) made these 8 blocks . . . and pushed our total so far over the 100 mark to 02.

I LOVE the white-on-white paisley background fabric she used.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blocks from Patty & Faye

Patty (VT_Patty) and her daughter, Faye, made these 8 blocks.

Our total so far this month is 94. Wow.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Australian Shoo Flies from Maz

Marilyn (marilynml) made these 8 blocks,

Shoo Flies from Lisa and Wanda

Lisa (spoiledrottenmama) and Wanda (Pandnstarr) are block lotto first-timers this month. Check out their beautiful blocks.

8 from Lisa (spoiledrottenmama)

8 blocks from Wanda (Pandnstarr)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

An Illustrated History of the Block Lotto

(Updated January 2010)

I pulled out some of the golden oldie block lotto photos recently and looking back was a lot of fun. For the curious, here's a brief, illustrated history of the Block Lotto.

2001 one was a year full of change and loss for me. In early February, I put everything I have into storage in California and drove across the country through snow and sleet and ice (and closed highways) to Michigan. My dad survived a round of heavy-duty chemo that no one expected him to be able to endure and, later in the year, died the same day that his doctor told him that everything was looking great. I was establishing myself in Michigan with a new job, a new home and making new friends. I don't remember my motivation for starting the block lotto, but, looking back, I suspect it was a way to reach out to old and new friends on the forum on

In 2002, the blocks for the lotto were all 12 inch (finished size) traditional blocks, made from Marcia Hohn's patterns on the Quilter's Cache site. There were no colorways specified, only indications of where to use the light, medium and dark fabrics.

You can see more of the snowballs, anvils, monkey wrenches, Annie's choice, stamp baskets, Ohio stars, bow ties, grandmother's fans, churn dashes, grandmother's favorites, sawtooth squares and Union Squares blocks and links to the block pattern pages in the 2002 Block Lotto Index. All the photos are also available in my 2002 Block Lotto collection on Flickr.

The two most popular months that first year were when we made star blocks: Annie's Choice blocks in April and Ohio Star blocks in June, so I concluded that a year of star blocks was a good idea.

In 2003, we made these star blocks from patterns on the Quilters Cache site.

I'm missing some photos from a few months and have no photos at all for the October blocks. I never really thought to hang onto my photos; I wish I had. Those first two years, I took photos of all the blocks, cropped and resized them and emailed them to Marcia, who created pages like this one, from January, each of which were linked to the corresponding pattern. Later, Marcia would quietly remove all those links. You can links to all the photos I have of these starflowers, laced stars, army stars, oddfellow's chain, Amish dahlia, hope of Hartford, Christmas quilt blocks, prizes, arrowheads, whirling star and heavenly star blocks, as well as links to the block patterns in the 2003 Lotto Block Index. All the photos can also be found in my 2003 Lotto block collection on Flickr.

The 2003 block lotto started strong, with a new high of 80 blocks entered in January, but participation waned as the months passed until November, when I found out what happens if you hold the block lotto and nobody plays. In hindsight, I think that many (most?) of the star blocks I chose that year were just too complex, but, back then, I figured that the lotto had run it's course and the time had come to end the monthly lotto.

I asked the other swap hostesses if anyone had any interest in picking it up and Vicki jumped at the chance. She picked up the lotto in January 2004 with a lot of enthusiasm and fresh ideas, but it seemed to have ran out of steam by August and dropped the lotto. I don't have photos of those blocks and only remember that they were almost all made exclusively from novelty fabrics.

A year later, in the summer of 2005, a lot of members of the quilting forum were discussing the need for more beginner-friendly swaps. That discussion prompted me to resurrect the lotto as the BEGINNER Block Lotto in August, 2005. For the rest of 2005 and all of 2006, we made beginner-friendly 10 inch (finished size) blocks in designated colorways or themes.

Tracy Amy Vicki Marsha
Tracy Mara Vicki Michelle
Nancy sophie4 Sophie Sophie
Kristen Laura Sue Julie

Names of the blocks and links to the photos of blocks made by everyone during 2005-2006, as well as links to the patterns can be found in the 2005 Lotto Block Index and 2006 Lotto Block Index. You can also find them all the block photos in the 2005-2006 Block Lotto collection on Flickr.

Initially, I set up web pages of the photos, as Marcia had done in the past. Early in the year, I discovered Flickr and switched to posting the photos to Flickr sets. When Delphiforums offered blogs, I set up the first Beginner Block Lotto Blog, then later jumped to another blog on blogger.

In 2006, there was a changing of the guard on and Janet Wickell became the guide for Quilting. She was very open to working with me to create block patterns and publish the patterns that I created for the lotto which opened the door to new possibilities in 2007. She also promoted the block lotto in her newsletter and on the site. The emphasis continued to be on beginner-friendly blocks, with tutorials for possibly new techniques. We continued to grow and stretch and try new things and make lots (and lots) of beautiful blocks.

The block names and links to all the photos and block patterns for these blocks are here: 2007 Lotto Block Index. You can also find them all in the 2007 Block Lotto collection on Flickr.

In 2008, the logistics of the lotto changed, to make it a little easier to deal with the hundreds of blocks that were frequently being made and entered and, until 2008, being mailed to me. I also created this group blog, so that lotto regulars can become authors and create blog posts for photos of their blocks.

In 2008 we made 6 inch blocks--easier to mail around and versatile to use in totes, table runners and, of course, quilts.

Sophie's String Block Example #2 Heart #7 Shoofly #2 16-Patch #1
Buckeye Beauty Block #1 Stamp Basket block with bias applique handle Amy's Anvil Block Terri_August4
Kate' s #2 Block for September Wilma's Darting Birds Block #2 Bea's Amish House Block #3 Michelle's Yankee Puzzle Block #2

You can find the illustrated list of the 2008 lotto blocks with block names and links to all the photos and the block patterns, here: 2008 Lotto Block Index.

In 2009, we embarked on a year of traditional blocks, sticking with the easy-to-mail 6 inch finished size.

Bow Tie Block #3 Rho's Heart Blocks #2 Sophie's Jeweled Geese Block #7 Thrifty block #5
Cactus Block #7 "Boomerette" Oklahoma Boomer Laura' Log Cabin Block
Kate's Asian Star #6 Milky Way Block #2 Kate's Spool Block #1 Michelle_Polka_Dot_1

The illustrated list of the 2009 lotto blocks with block names and links to all the photos and the block patterns is found here: 2009 Lotto Block Index.

Sadly, by March, the problems with Janet's lack of interest in quilting and responsiveness in posting the block patterns that I was creating for her and site on time for the monthly Block Lotto had grown to the point that I made the decision in March to move entirely to blogland.

By the end of the year, I realized that our list of past blocks in the sidebar had also grown to be too long and unmanageable . . . and so on New Year's Eve, I started to move those lists into Block Index blog posts, one for each year. At this point in time, our first year and the last five years are completed . . . and the last year (2003) is in progress. I'm almost done.

For 2010, we're leaving the traditional patterns behind and beginning an adventure in free-style or liberated quilting. So many people asked for bigger blocks, so we won't stick with one size for the year and will be playing with blocks, large and small.