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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dear Flickr Friends,

First of all I want to thank all of the ladies in my online Flickr bees that are volunteering their time to make blocks for me.  When I first signed up for the Orange You Glad Bee last summer, I happened to be in California.  My mom took me to a quilt shop in her town, which was awesome.  I had an idea of the quilt I wanted to make, but was guessing on how much fabric I would need.  I new I wanted to make a Chinese Coins quilt but had no idea that was what it was called.  I had seen photos on the Flickr site and so I was making up the pattern in my head.  I am fairly new to quilting and all of the history and terminology so I still did not really learn the name of the quilt until it was Bingo tome and I was looking up all of the blocks that were on our Bingo list.  So now, even though it seems like ages ago that I bought the fabric I get to cut into it.  Well there is a little more to the store.  As I am obsessed with Flickr and bees, I also joined the Block Party Bee and therefore bought the book Block Party the modern quilting bee.  To my luck the quilt I want to make is featured in the book!  Last month one of our bee members had to drop and so I was asked if I would change months from October to May.  I was so excited to change since I am also hosting May for the Orange You Glad Bee.  So what does all this rambling mean?  It means that I get to make one quilt out of two different bee groups!  Therefore instead of 12 blocks I will have 24.  Last month we put in new windows at our house, and one of the windows is a sliding glass door.  Winters are cold in Sun Valley so I am making quilted curtains for our new windows.  How perfect right!  I went on line and bought black out quilting fabric for the backing and I am so excited!  Now it is time to make some sample blocks and cut into all the beautiful fabric.

I am asking each member to make one 12.5” by 15.5” block.

If I am doing the math correctly, I will need 30 blocks to make the quilt approximately 72X80 this will make 6 columns of coins stacked 5 high.  If I get 22 blocks back, I will need to make 8 blocks. 

If any of the ladies would be willing to make two blocks this would be awesome! 

I am using Essex linen in the natural color for the background.  I am sending one fat quarter of the linen.  I am also sending various scraps of fabric from 3” to 8” in length and 1”to 3” wide.  

I am hoping the ladies will also pull at little bit of their own favorite scraps into the quilt.    

I am going to send some paint chips with the fabric that shows the colors of our house.  I want the quilt to look like books stacked in a pile.  I teach kindergarten and I like wonkiness and color.  I hope that personality comes out in these blocks.  Most of the scraps (books) will be coordinating with a bit of uniqueness added in. 
Top fabrics are chosen from your stash.

What I am sending:

One fat quarter of Essex Linen in Natural
Several scraps in various lengths and widths feel free to add scraps from your own fabric that go with the color scheme.  You can also cut the fabric into small or thinner widths if you want.
Paint chips (you pick out a few MODERN scraps 1 to 3, from your own stash that go with the paint chips to put into the mix)
My preferences:

·      Please use white or light grey thread

·      You do not need to use all the fabric I send.  I would like scraps back if you will not use them.  If you will use them keep them.  I would especially like the linen scraps back if they will not be put to use.  I cut the linen as I needed it and ended up with quite a bit overage.

·      You can press seems toward the scrap fabric and open between coins (books) see photo

·      You can square it up or leave it for me… you decide.

Step one:  From your stash pick one to three scraps that you will include in your block.  Use the paint chip as a guide for picking the fabrics.  If you are doing two blocks please pick different scraps for each block so that there or no repeats.  Of course there could be a chance that someone else in the group adds the same fabrics… but that is unlikely.

Step two:  Cut the linen fat quarter into strips 18” long and in widths varying form 1” to 3”.  Cut strips in half to make strips which are 9” long.  I ended up cutting the linen as I went instead of all at once.  It is up to you.

Step three: Sew scrap strips between background fabric.  Choose background strips similar in width to the scraps. 

Step four: Press towards the scrap fabric.                               

Step five: Trim the fabric so the log edges are even.  This is where you can get wonky.  If you trim at a slight angle it will add character to your coin/book stack.
I trimmed a straight line sewed two together, pressed and then trimmed again to give it some wonk.

Step six: Sew the strips together along the long edges to create the stacks.  Please vary how you line up the coins/books to create a fun stack of books. 

Step seven: As you go press seams open between each long edge.

Step eight:  Continue to sew the books/coins together and press until you have enough coins/books in the stack so the block is 16” tall.

Step nine: Trim to 12.5X15.5

Step ten: Using a piece of scrap fabric use a permanent marker to sign the fabric.

Your name
Your flickr name
Where you live

Place the strip in between two background linen pieces.  This coin will be a part of a stack of books I will put on the back of the curtains. 



  1. How exciting! I can't believe it's almost May!!!

  2. Awesome choice Shawn! This is going to be seriously gorgeous!! I am in June and have just started to think about what I want, major props for being already to go!

  3. This tutorial is great - I had some questions about pulling from my stash with respect to the paint chips, but your pic answered my questions. This is going to be SO fun. This is one of my favorite blocks from the book!