Elizabeth Beese | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog

Elizabeth Beese

3 posts.

Mystery Quilt: Block 1

Materials for Block 1 of APQ 2012 Mystery Quilt  (What is the Mystery Quilt? Click here to find out!)

1—9×22″ piece (fat eighth) each of light print, medium print, and dark print

Measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Finished block: 9″ square


Cut Fabrics
From light print, cut:

  • one 4-1/4″ square
  • ten 2-3/8″ squares
  • four 2″ squares

From medium print, cut:

  • four 2×3-1/2″ rectangles
  • eight 2-3/8″ squares

From dark print, cut:

  • one 4-1/4″ square
  • two 2-3/8″ squares
  • eight 2″ squares
Assemble Block
1. Use a pencil to draw a diagonal line on wrong side of light print 4-1/4″ and 2-3/8″ squares and dark print 2″ squares.

2. Place a marked light print 4-1/4″ square atop dark print 4-1/4″ square. Sew 1/4″ from each side of drawn line (Diagram 1). Cut pair apart on drawn line to make two triangle units. Press each triangle unit open, pressing seam toward darker print, to make two large triangle-squares. Each should be 3-7/8″ square including seam allowances.

3. Mark a diagonal line perpendicular to seam line on wrong side of one large triangle-square.

4. Layer marked triangle-square atop unmarked large triangle-square; each light triangle should be opposite a dark triangle (Diagram 2). Sew pair together 1/4″ from each side of drawn line. Cut pair apart on drawn line. Press each unit open to make two hourglass units. Each should be 3-1/2″ square including seam allowances. Set one hourglass unit aside for another project.

5. Using two marked light print 2-3/8″ squares and two dark print 2-3/8″ squares, repeat Step 2 to make four small A triangle-squares. Each should be 2″ square including seam allowances. In same manner, use remaining marked light print 2-3/8″ squares and medium print 2-3/8″ squares to make 16 small B triangle-squares.

6. Position a marked dark print 2″ square on one end of a medium print 2×3-1/2″ rectangle (Diagram 3; note direction of marked line). Sew on marked line, then trim, leaving 1/4″ seam allowances. Press open attached triangle. In same manner, add a second marked dark print 2″ square to remaining end of medium print rectangle to make a Flying Geese unit. The unit should be 3-1/2×2″ including seam allowances. Repeat to make four Flying Geese units total.

7. Referring to Diagram 4, sew together four small A triangle-squares, four Flying Geese units, and one hourglass unit in three horizontal rows. Press seams away from Flying Geese units. Join rows to make a block center. Press seams away from center row. The block center should be 6-1/2″ square including seam allowances.

8. Join four small B triangle-squares to make a triangle-square row. Press seams as shown in Diagram 5. Repeat to make four triangle-square rows total.

9. Referring to Diagram 6, join triangle-square rows, light print 2″ squares, and block center in three rows. Press seams away from triangle-square rows. Join rows to make a block. Press seams away from center row. The block should be 9-1/2″ square including seam allowances.

APQ 2012 Mystery Quilt

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Here’s the scoop on the 2012 Mystery Quilt created exclusively for you by designer Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts. Throughout the year, you’ll get instructions for eight blocks (one in each 2012 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and two additional blocks online). Make one of each block in the fabrics of your choice and set it aside for the end of the year. In the December issue, we’ll give you a mystery quilt setting joining all the single blocks together.

Clue #1: Pick Your Background Fabrics: First choose a light color, which will be the background fabric in the blocks, setting pieces, pieced inner border, and middle border. (For her quilt, Monique used assorted cream and tan prints.) Here are the amounts you will need:

  • For blocks: Four 18×22″ pieces (fat quarters) of assorted light prints
  • For setting pieces and pieced inner border: two 5/8-yard pieces and two 1/3-yard pieces of assorted light prints
  • For middle border: 1/2 yard light print


Clue #2: Choose Your Medium Fabrics: Select one or more medium colors, which will be used in the blocks, setting pieces, and pieced inner border. (For her quilt, Monique used assorted red prints.) Here are the amounts you will need:

  • For blocks: Five 9×22″ pieces (fat eighths) of assorted medium prints
  • For setting pieces and pieced inner border: Five 3/8-yard pieces of assorted medium prints


Clue #3: Gather Your Dark Fabrics: Choose one or more dark colors, which will be used in the blocks, outer border, and binding. (For her quilt, Monique used assorted black prints.) Here are the amounts you will need:

  • For blocks: Three 18×22″ pieces (fat quarters) of assorted dark prints
  • For outer border: 1-1/4 yards of dark print
  • For binding: 5/8 yard of dark print

Clue #4: Make Your First Block: Using the instructions in “Start Today, Finish Tomorrow” in the February 2012 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, make one pieced block. (Or click here for instructions for making the first block.)

Having trouble choosing a palette of fabrics? Consider the following sample blocks. This block of batiks is an extra Monique pieced while making the “Start Today, Finish Tomorrow” table runner.


A variety of 1930s prints and solids will make a cheerful quilt.

These are the fabrics Monique’s quilt is made from–they’re from her Memories of Provence collection for Maywood Studios.

Reproduction prints and small florals come together for a traditional look.

Try solids in a variety of colors paired with a light gray background.


I hope you join us for the fun!

Elizabeth Tisinger Beese, Senior Editor

Classic Red-and-White Quilts

One collector, 651 red-and-white quilts, six days, nearly 25,000 visitors. Ponder these mind-boggling numbers and you’ll understand why last spring’s Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts exhibit has left a lasting impression on the quilting community even almost a year later. The American Folk Art Museum’s amazing exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City celebrated the decades-long passion of quilt collector Joanna S. Rose, who, for her 80th birthday, wanted to share her collection with others. The jaw-dropping, 360-degree installation was conceptualized by Thinc Design (click here to see a quick video showing the quilts being installed). If you didn’t get a chance to see Infinite Variety in person, you can still get a glimpse of all 651 quilts by downloading the free app for iPad and smartphone (available through iTunes and Android Market; search for Infinite Variety). Plus, click here for a video about the exhibit from the American Folk Art Museum.

There are TONS of sites showing fabulous photos of this exhibit. Just search for Infinite Variety or Red and White Quilts and you’ll come up with oodles of sites showing inspiring photos. Here are just a couple: multiple posts from Karen Griska’s Selvage Blog (be sure to click through to “Older Posts” to see the multiple posts on this topic), a slideshow from the Park Avenue Armory, and Leni Wiener’s blog. Pat Sloan also has a good roundup of blogs, videos, and news articles on her blog.

Quilts inspired by Infinite Variety: Quiltmaker Thelma Childers was so inspired by the Infinite Variety show that she spent the summer of 2011 crafting a quilt, Red-and-White Tribute, that simulates the experience of walking into the exhibit hall. Thelma planned her 4,054-piece, 67½x83″ quilt so it appears that 10 mini red-and-white quilts are overlapping. “I was a maniac about the layering of each mini quilt,” says Thelma, who first sketched the project on graph paper. “The center tree quilt is the only piece where you can view an entire mini quilt. The others show at most two borders, because each one “hangs” in front of or behind another.” Visit Thelma’s blog to see each of the mini quilts and how Thelma determined the final arrangement. To emphasize each of the 10 mini quilts, machine-quilter Connie Lancaster used a variety of both traditional and modern quilting motifs.

Details of Red-and-White Tribute: 

One of our favorite designers for American Patchwork & Quilting, Kathie Holland shared her first quilt inspired by the show on her blog. (Be sure to browse around and see what else Kathie is working on!)

Fabrics inspired by Infinite Variety For the Jo Morton enthusiasts among us, check out the Jo’s Variety collection of quilting fabric for Andover Fabrics. Look for this group of thirteen red-and-white fabrics at your local quilt shop now.

Events/galleries inspired by Infinite VarietyIn April 2011, the staff of Temecula Quilt Company in Temecula, California, challenged customers (and readers of their blog) to participate in a red-and-white quilt challenge. They displayed the exhibit during October 2011. Visit their blog and scroll to the October 5th and 11th posts to see photos (check out some of the fun ways quilts were displayed) and to purchase quilt patterns of some of the displayed quilts.

Taryn at the Reproduction and Antique Quilt Lover blog hosted a virtual quilt show; see it here.

On her Material Culture blog, quilt historian Barbara Brackman posted some red-and-white antique quilts and snippets of information about this type of quilts.

Let me know how the Infinite Variety show inspired you!

Elizabeth Tisinger Beese, Senior Editor