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Friday, October 2, 2020

Quilt Archaeology ~ October Treat ~ Part One

 Welcome to my October Treat sew along.  I always enjoy sewing with friends!  In case you are just joining us, my Quilt Archaeology sew alongs are about old, antique quilts I've 'dug up' and want to  replicate.  Here's the old quilt we will be making.

I made a Double Sawtooth Star for the center of the quilt instead of a single Sawtooth Star because it just felt right.  So, we will begin with the smaller Sawtooth Star.  

I am assuming everyone has cut their fabrics ahead of time.  If you still need the October Treat pattern, it's a FREE digital download here.  

Gather the following pieces to make your small Sawtooth Star block: C, D, I and J.  I make my Sawtooth Star blocks with Flying Geese using the Connector Corner method.  A simple unit, but things often don't work out.  Here are my tips for perfect Connector Corners every time!
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of all (8) J squares.  Hint: be sure your drawn line is what goes from point to point diagonally, not the ruler.   Position the Connector Corner square perfectly on its base.  Hint: very important!  Between positioning and drawing the line, this is where many mistakes are made.  Take your time as you will like the results.
When marking on black or dark fabric, I love the white marking pen by Clover.  This notion is awesome and works very well on wool, too.  It disappears when ironed.  Available at your LQS.
The pattern directions often say 'sew on the diagonal line', and while it's sorta true, what I recommend is sewing (scant) on the diagonal line.  

Let me explain....in the photo above, note that my stitches are sewn right next to the drawn line, and inside the seam allowance.  That is what I mean by (scant), just the same way you would sew a scant 1/4 inch.  

The idea of this is to allow for the few threads lost in the fold when pressing, and gives more accuracy.  Try it....it works!  Hint: if you're confused about which side of the drawn line is inside the seam allowance, it's always on the side of the drawn line toward the corner of the unit.
The next step in this process often instructs you to trim then press.  NEVER trim first!  Trimming removes the base and middle fabrics which means you have nothing left to compare your triangle to, to see if you're triangle has been sew accurately.  Not to mention, it's much, much harder to rip it out and sew again trying to correct inaccuracies.  

Looking at the top unit in the photo above, fold and finger press the Connector Corner, then check for accuracy.  You are looking to make sure the two raw edges of the triangle are completely even with the base fabric.  If the triangle doesn't quite make it to the corner of the base, or....if it extends beyond the base, rip it out and do it again.  By leaving it that way, or just trimming off the excess fabric, you are robbing yourself of beautiful points.  It's a very small seam....no big deal to rip out.  You'll be glad you did in the end.  In my patterns, I instruct you to press, then trim.  Only trim once you're sure your Connector Corner is sewn precisely.

Following the two units at the bottom of the photo, you will be repeating the first steps on the other side of the Flying Geese unit.  Make (4) Flying Geese units and be sure to measure them.  They should be 2" x 3 1/2" unfinished.  

I would have liked to have had a photo of the block assembly steps for you, but do I....no.  Why....because Pam was watching TV while making this, and didn't pay attention when she should have.  I plum forgot.  I'm sorry....but hoping you know what to do from the steps in the pattern.  

Arrange your (4) Flying Geese units, I center square, and (4) D squares into a Sawtooth Star block.  Sew the units into rows; press.  Sew the rows together; press.  Make (1) center Sawtooth Star block measuring 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" unfinished.  

I sincerely hope the hints above will help you with any and all Connector Corners you may encounter in your piecing journey.  

That's all for this week.  Stay tuned for another installment of Quilt Archaeology next Friday for Part Two!  

Don't forget!!!  Our Monday's With Marcus event begins Monday, October 5th with Vicky McCarty of Calico Patch Designs.  Watch the slide show and take a look at everyone's projects.  The patterns will be FREE on their spotlight day.  Order any and all kits now and sew along with each designer on their day.  

My day will be Monday, October 19th.  Here's my Star Maker Mini Runner.  Order your kit here.

Have some fun stitchin', my friends.  Stay safe and be well.....


  1. Thank you! I still need to gather my fabrics. I enjoy your SALs.

  2. Thank you so much for the free pattern. I haven’t made a Halloween quilt before. This is perfect for that or autumn.

  3. Thanks for the really cute pattern, and thanks, too, for the great hint about the white Clover pen. I’m definitely going to get one of those!
    Happy Autumn!

  4. Thanks for this darling pattern, and thanks too, for the great tip about the white Clover pen. I’ve never seen one of those, but I know I need it. (It would have been handy yesterday, when I was sewing on a dark blue fabric).
    Happy Autumn!

  5. Pam, I love it that you were watching TV and forgot. Makes me feel better about myself. Thanks for the comment on sewing the scant seam so the bottom lines up -- I found out the hard way in the last Quilt Archaeology. I do have your wonderful book of tips, but I didn't commit that to memory. Thanks for the block and the tutorial!