2013 Craftsy BOM: A Year in Designing (+ 3 FREE Book Offers)

craftsy quiltThis post is for all of you Craftsy students who have been waiting patiently for a final post on the 2013 BOM class. For those of you not participating in the class, I hope you will bear with us and perhaps find some inspiration and helpful hints to use in your own quiltmaking.

When I was asked to teach the Craftsy class, my goal was to include a variety of beginning to intermediate techniques while demonstrating the monthly blocks. In doing so, I selected some of my favorites. I initially liked the fact that the finished sizes varied, which could provide a potentially interesting and random setting. I make no excuses, but the time constraints in pulling off this class in such a short time frame became quite a challenge! When all was said and done, I felt great about the lessons, but was never quite pleased with the quilt’s final setting. One of my favorite sayings comes from the movie Little Big Man, when the actor, Chief Dan George, says “Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.” My students, though, did have great success with their projects.  If you would like to photos of the student projects, you can view them here.

This past year, I have made a second set of blocks and decided this time to keep the setting simple. My first step is to put the blocks up on the design wall, in no particular order, just to view what exactly I will be working with.

All of the blocks from the 2013 Craftsy BOM.

All of the blocks from the 2013 Craftsy BOM.

The original setting I presented in my Craftsy class was a bit disjointed due to the variety in block sizes. With these new blocks, I have decided on a traditional 3 x 3 setting. Note that I have made an extra Spring Blooms block and grouped all of the half-square triangles together. Since the Star block in the upper-right corner is the largest block, I will use its size as a guide for making the remaining eight blocks. I don’t want to talk specific measurements because the reality is that we each can have our own personal finished sizes. Please don’t worry if yours measures differently from the “desired finished size.” Now is the time to level the playing field by making them all measure the same.

Let’s play around a bit with the blocks and see how they might be combined or enlarged to work into this setting. The Log Cabin blocks (bottom row, center) definitely need some work. I combined them with an extra Strippy Spool block (bottom row, left) to see the effect. I like the look and decided to insert a floral fabric into the alternate spaces to complete the block.

One Strippy Spool block combined with the Log Cabin blocks.

One Strippy Spool block combined with the Log Cabin blocks.

Floral fabric added to empty spaces to complete the block.

Floral fabric added to empty spaces to complete the block.

Next, I enlarged the Basket block. Since the half-square triangles didn’t fit evenly along the sides, I simply added a small strip of fabric to match the end triangle to the end of each row. This doesn’t bother me, but if it does you, consider adding a strip of the background or other fabric to the edges of the block before attaching the half-square triangles. There are always multiple options available, so I encourage you to take some time to experiment. Taking photos along the way can also be very helpful. During the design process, I am constantly asking myself “what if?” and then I try something else. It may take multiple tries before it feels just right.

BasketI joined five of the Strippy Spools blocks (lower-left corner) together on point with setting triangles. I first trimmed my blocks to measure 7-1/4″ square and oversized the setting triangles, giving me some play room with the finished size. I always like having a little extra to trim away if needed.

Five Strippy Spool blocks set on point with setting triangles.

Five Strippy Spool blocks set on point with setting triangles.

The Spring Bloom blocks are easy to join together. They are still a bit too small for the overall setting, so I plan to add a narrow frame around the sewn block to bring it to size.

Four Spring Bloom Blocks.

Four Spring Bloom Blocks.

Finally, I have an abundance of half-square triangles and flying-geese units to play with. There are many, many wonderful designs you can make with these. Here is one I have selected for this quilt.


At this point, I have nine larger blocks, all relatively the same size. I will make any necessary adjustments by adding frames and strips to size them consistently.

I recently found this beautiful ombre fabric by Daiwabo for E.E. Schenck Company and just love how it plays with the blocks. My plan is to join the blocks together with sashing strips using this fabric.


Any leftover flying-geese and/or half-square-triangle units can be used as borders.

I hope this has been helpful for those of you waiting to put your blocks together.

On another note, we here at SHWS have a special offer for three interested readers.

Book Review Announcement

The winner of Chris Porter’s book, Quilts Beneath Your Feet, from Darra’s Friday post is Mrs. Plum. Congratulations!

Until next time, happy creating everyone.


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28 Responses to 2013 Craftsy BOM: A Year in Designing (+ 3 FREE Book Offers)

  1. Katina says:

    I have had the blocks done for sometime, but didn’t like the layout. So glad I found your blog. This is much more pleasing to me. Since I chose to use Moda scraps I will have to see what is left to change the blocks around. Thanks Laura, great class.

  2. Karin says:

    Dear Laura,

    now I am back from holliday. In November/December I had no time to work.
    I love your lessons, but I work some other things in last year. I was very happy to see your last lesson: binding. But I forget the lesson about the binding – how I should put the ends of it together, bevor ich sew it with hand? (I hope, you understand me. My englisch is not so good. Sorry.) Now I will finish a quilt for a child … and I cant remember and find your last lesson in the internet. Could you please help me with my binding?

    Thank your very much.
    Regards Karin

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Hi Karin, I am happy to hear you have enjoyed the Craftsy BOM courses. Since you are enrolled in the course, you have access to all of the lessons forever. You should be able to simply click on the last lesson in binding to watch the video. If you have any difficulty, please feel free to contact craftsy directly. They will be able to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further help.

  3. Robin Olvera says:

    Hi Laura,
    Its Robin Olvera. I would love to review your latest book if you still need people to do so. Let me know. I will try and be there on Sunday for your wonderful launch. Can’t wait to see the book.

    Robin Olvera

  4. Marilyn Simcoe says:

    Laura, I started the BOM 2013 in Jan, I completed two blocks and they were coming out smaller than they should, after ripping out and re sewing several times trying a scant 1/4 inch and still not coming out the correct size, I decided to put it off. I found fabric I liked and restarted the course again last week.
    I read through the directions several times and they were not clear to me, so I watched the video, over and over until it was clear. I just need to finish the between strips and the HST for the edges.
    I increased the size by 1/8 inch all around and all the blocks came out great, I was able to square them up to the correct size. I am looking forward to completing the BOM, I learned several new blocks. Thank You for taking your time to teach this course.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      Thank you so much for taking time to share your experience. I’m happy to know that you stuck with the course and will soon have a completed quilt that you can enjoy.

  5. Pingback: Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! Third Edition Has Finally Arrived! |

  6. Julie says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your class and you are a wonderful instructor. I still need to finish September and October. This is my first quilt by the way. I appreciate you talking about the possible variations of the quilt in this post.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Thank you JUlie. So glad you enjoyed the course. It certainly was a fun experience for me. Just can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. Please keep me posted if you have any questions while working through the blocks.

  7. Sobana Sundar says:

    Oh Love this one better than the one you put up in craftsy. I agree the different sizes did not work in that one. May I ask if there is a simple way of reducing the size as you have done. Your craftsy project is on my must-do list and I would prefer this size.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Thanks Sobana. Yes, I agree with you. I did not reduce the size of the blocks in this version. You can simply follow along with my class and then refer to this setting when putting them all together. Feel free to let me know if ever you have questions. I am here to help.

  8. Sandy A in St. Louis says:

    Thank you for this post! I like the original lay out, but enjoy seeing all the different ideas that you came up with. I have my blocks all done, just haven’t put them together. I think I will be using the original lay out, but may change my mind now! :)

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Don’t you just love the many options we have available in quiltmaking? My students never cease to amaze me with their creativity. Enjoy playing with the blocks; that’s the fun part.

  9. Barbara Lafaver says:

    Hi Caroline,

    I returned to Joann’s after school to buy the plain navy blue cotton as backing to the quilt. It is 108 inches wide, and I got it on sale, 30% off, plus my 15% teacher discount. I like the fact that it is wide, special for quilting. I saw a lighter blue with navy colored small flowers. At first, I was going to buy it, but then the clerk pointed out it was only 43 inches wide, so I bought the solid piece, and it goes with all the fabrics.

    More later, Barbara

  10. Molly Mendenhall says:

    Hi Laura! I’ve certainly enjoyed being a student in your Craftsy class this year ~ cannot believe that it was FREE! I’d really like to review the Doll Quilts book as I mostly make small quilts. In fact, I’m using the 2013 BOM blocks to make small quilts or placemats for gifts and do like how you added onto them with the floral fabric. Thanks for all you do to share your skill and love of quilting :) Molly

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Molly. Great idea making the blocks into small quilts. We’ll put your name in the hat for book reviews and keep you posted.

  11. elaine says:

    i signed up for your BOM class knowing i would have to put off doing the classes until a later time. but then, that’s why i love the craftsy classes–i can always go back which i have done on other classes i have purchased. the first real quilting class i took with you and katie gave me the basics to create any block by looking at it. (oh, and taught me how to do borders!) i consider your craftsy BOM class the same type of class–now i can go back to it at any time as a refresher. you are the best teacher and make even the difficult seem easy. thanks for all you do. elaine

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Thanks Elaine. Yes, that is a wonderful feature in taking classes on Craftsy. They are yours forever and whenever. I have signed up for way too many myself and perhaps someday will find time to watch them. Thanks too for the kind words although I must give a big shout out to you for ALL you do for the quilters in our community. You’re the best! Take care.

  12. Barbara S says:

    Laura, I actually like the layout for the original BOM. Thank-you for the inspiration to play around with the blocks, though. The fabrics I chose were from a FQ bundle that is pretty busy so I needed to ad some solids. I’ve gotten through September and hope to finish this year. Thank-you for the class. I admire your creativity.

  13. Jill Collins says:

    I had ordered the kit from craftsy, and tried to stay with the original colors. I wasn’t in love with the quilt, but I loved learning from Laura. When I finally laid all the blocks together, I couldn’t believe how nice it looked. Even got a compliment from hubby–which is rare! Thanks, Laura for your great teaching and for this post. It opens up a world of possibilities.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Happy to hear this Jill. It was challenging for me also when I first received the box of fabrics. Guess I like a challenge and decided to just stay positive, have fun and in the words of Tim Gunn from Project Runway “carry on”! Take care.

  14. Mary Reed says:

    I’d review Patchwork, Please!

    Mary Reed

  15. Anne says:

    Although I enjoyed the BOM2013 class immensely, and as a new patchworker/quilter really found all the tips useful I just didn’t like the material/colours or the layout of the original design. Being British (well Welsh really!) it just wasn’t my cup of tea! This new design quilt top, and the new fabrics really make me love it. It appeals more to my ‘attention to detail’ and ‘organised’ personality and I now have plans to go through the class again and make it all. Thank you Laura for showing us this alternative.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      You are so welcome Anne. Yes, ditto on the organized personality. How wonderful that there can be something for everyone. Hope you enjoy the second go round of the course.

  16. zenthea says:

    I started the BOM 2013 with the idea to work out of stash with near solids. I used a grey background with pink, purple and yellow. You know I didn’t care much for the whole thing while doing it but I put it together as was stated in the handouts and I am really loving it now! When I finally get the whole thing together, I will post it in the classroom. Thanks for a fun class!

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