Tag Archives: Quilt Block Mania

A Nanaimo bar by any other name…

3 Jan My Banyan Batik Ketan version with a plate of butter dominoes

1 - Dessert Quilt Blocks Pinnable imageFellow Quilters,

Happy New Year!  I’m excited to have a fresh new year full of opportunities opening up in front of my eyes.  Tomorrow I embark on the first of 2 quilting cruises this month – talk about adventure!  I’m teaching 4 fun classes on an 11-day Panama cruise with K&A Quilt Studio of Ingersoll, ON.  And at the end of the month, I set sail to Hawaii with World of Quilts Travel, teaching 8 tip-filled classes.  I was in Hawaii briefly in October and can’t wait to get back – the quilt shops are soooo deliciously inspiring!  I’ll post photos on my Facebook page.

Speaking of delicious, the theme for this month’s Quilt Block Mania is dessert – yum!  It’s my favorite course.  So many options!  I pondered the possibilities – pie was already taken (an obvious choice for a dessert quilt block), so I asked Hubby for some suggestions.  He looked at the stacks of containers filled with Christmas baking and said, “How about butter dominoes?”  Perfect!

I know, you’re thinking “What are butter dominoes?”  I’m glad you asked!  They’re a super yummy, always-requested, no-bake layered square that my mom (and her mom before her) has been making for 60 years.

Classic butter dominoes

Classic butter dominoes

I googled butter dominoes – nothing, other than pizza references, came up.  Apparently, my family is the only one that refers to these tasty Canadian-born treats as butter dominoes.  The more common name is Nanaimo bars.  Interestingly, they have also been called prayer bar, London Fog bar and New York slice.

mint nanaimo bars

Mint Nanaimo bars

What’s more, they now come in a variety of flavours such as mint, cappuccino, peanut butter, and more in addition to the original vanilla.

Butter Dominoes quilt block by Patti Carey

Butter Dominoes block by Patti Carey

Here’s my Butter Dominoes block, with 4 butter dominoes on it – ‘cause you can’t have just one!  I used Northcott’s Toscana suede-look texture for the pattern (download it here), but I was fresh out of it in my sewing room so I used some fab Ketan colors from Banyan Batiks.


My Banyan Batik Ketan version with a plate of butter dominoes

I especially like the lighter brown fabric that makes up the base of the squares – you can almost see the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut in the fabric – haha.

You can find the other 20 participating bloggers’ blocks at the links below:

Jelly Roll Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Birthday Layer Cake by Crafty Staci
Ice Cream by Inquiring Quilter
Thumbprint Cookie at Inflorescence
Cupcake Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Cakestand by Scrapdash
Rocket Pop at Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Banana Split by QuiltFabrication
Guava Empanadas by Paleofish Designs
Butter Dominoes at Patti’s Patchwork
Cupcake by Penny Spool Quilts
Macarons at Lovingly, Lissa
Ice Cream Cone at The (not so) Dramatic Life
Rainbow Gelatin by Patchwork Breeze
Sherbet Pop by The Quilting Room with Mel
Peppermint by Katie Mae Quilts
Smarties By Sally’s Sewing Circle
Rainbow Sprinkles
Cake on Stand
Cherry Pie by Flowerdog Designs
Raspberry Cheesecake block by Blue Bear Quilts

Now, I usually share a baking recipe around Christmas time, so this month’s theme is the perfect chance to share my mom’s butter domino recipe with you (the recipe looks lengthy but it whips up in 15-20 minutes.  Feel free to leave out the nuts if you have allergies to them.

Butter Dominoes

Combine… ½ cup melted butter or margarine
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or vanilla wafer crumbs)
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts
Press into a 9” x 9” pan that has been lined with waxed or parchment paper (for easy removal)
Cream… ¼ cup butter
Blend in…  2 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix or custard powder (I used Bird’s custard)
3 tbsp milk
2 cups icing or powdered sugar
Spread over crumb mixture and chill.
Melt…   3oz. (3 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter
Spread quickly on chilled mixture.  Chill and cut into bars or squares. (I score the chocolate layer before it gets too firm)

I hope your 2023 is off to a sweet start!

Chat soon,


Spring Migration

8 Mar Me and my gal pals at the ski hill

Fellow Quilters,

Me and my gal pals at the ski hill

Me and my gal pals at the ski hill

Last Friday I got together with my gal pals for a fabulous day of skiing, skating and snowshoeing.  It is still very much winter where I live, with enough snow on the ground to (hopefully) snowboard for another 5 weeks.  We’ve had 3 days of 6-10” of fresh powder in the last 15, with more snow coming this week.  Despite that, I can see that Spring is just around the corner – the days are longer and sunnier.Bird Quilt Blocks - Quilt Block Mania  What’s more, the birds are chirping in the trees as I ride up the chair lift.  What an uplifting sound!  I’ve even spotted some robins in the bush on our hikes up the hill – nothing says Spring like the sight of a robin.

Speaking of birds, that’s the theme for this month’s Quilt Block Mania, in a rainbow of bright “toucan” colors.  Like several other blogger participants, I immediately thought of flying geese, probably the most well-known bird block in quilting.  I chose the graphite color for the background since birds start their morning song while it’s still dark.  I combined large as small flying geese since Springtime brings a new batch of young’uns.  And I arranged them in rows, depicting the annual Spring migration.  Here is my Migration block.

My Migration block for QBM March '22

My Migration block for QBM March ’22

The block looks quite ordinary on its own but look what happens when you combine lots of them in a quilt – fun!

Combine 16 Migration blocks for a cool lap quilt

Combine 16 Migration blocks for a cool lap quilt

You can download the free pattern here.  And you can find the links to the other 15 designer’s blocks here:

Birds on a Wire by Carolina Moore
Signs of Spring by Inquiring Quilter
Cute Bird by Powered By Quilting
Flamboyance by Becca Fenstermaker
Migration by Patti’s Patchwork
Peacock Quilt Block by Appliques Quilts and More
Blue Bird by by Mom and Me Quilting Co.
Chubby Chicken Block by Kaye Collins
Hummingbird Quilt Block by Julia of Inflorescence
Flying in Formation by QuiltFabrication
Birds Circling by Nancy Myers
Lorikeets by Sue Griffiths
Fly Away Home by Scrapdash
Puffin Head by Penny Spool Quilts
Birds in the Air by Perkins Dry Goods
There is always one
Budgie on a Branch by Blue Bear Quilts

Last Fall while in Dolphin World in Dominican Republic Hubby snapped this photo of me feeding some colorful parakeets – their claws are sharp on the scalp!

Feeding parakeets in Dominican Republic

Feeding parakeets in Dominican Republic

Speaking of fun, it’s also the first month of the

Two special Quilt-alongs supporting Quilts of Valor

Two special Quilt-alongs supporting Quilts of Valor

For the Brave Quilt-along and With Glowing Hearts Quilt-along – it’s not too late to sign up!  I’ve partnered with Northcott for this fabulous event that runs monthly until December, is free to join and has some terrific prizes.  In my dedicated QAL newsletter I’ll be sharing extra tips to help you piece each of the unique pieced blocks and easily assemble this stunning quilt.  Find all the details here, sign up for the For the Brave QAL newsletter here or the With Glowing Hearts QAL newsletter here.  Wont’ you join me for this special QAL event?

Also check out last week’s post here to see lots of other fun creative things that I’ve been working on lately.  You just might find a new favorite!



A Flask from my Past

5 Oct Alchemy (Erlenmeyer flask) block by Patti Carey

Fellow Quilters,1 pinnable image October Quilt Block Mania

Oh what fun I had designing my block for this month’s Quilt Block Mania blog tour!  It took me back to my university days, working in the chemistry and pharmacy labs, conducting experiments to prove/disprove theories, and creating tinctures and creams for a variety of ailments.  During one lab session I even made Pepto-Bismol liquid from scratch, complete with strawberry flavoring, and it worked!

This month’s theme for QBM, organized by Carolina at Always Expect Moore, is “science”, and the color palette is acid green and yellow with smoke and hemlock – sounds like a true witch’s brew, ideal for Halloween.

True confession time here – I am a science geek.  Science & Nature is my go-to category in the Trivial Pursuit board game.  When I make homemade salad dressing I S-L-O-W-L-Y add the oil to the other liquid ingredients to create the perfect creamy emulsion instead of a layer of oil sitting atop

an Erlenmeyer flask

an Erlenmeyer flask

the layer of vinegar.  How, you ask, do you easily create this creamy deliciousness?  By swirling the liquids in an Erlenmeyer flask of course!  Its narrow neck, conical shape and wide base are perfect for incorporating and combining liquids.  Now, if you are fresh out of Erlenmeyer flasks, you can also use a blender or a whisk.

This flask was designed by German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer in 1860, whose work focussed on theoretical chemistry including early atomic theory.  You could say that he was ahead of his time, perhaps rather modern.  I like to think he would have enjoyed and appreciated having a quilt based on one of his inventions.  Without further ado, I present Alchemy, my Erlenmeyer flask quilt block 😊.

Alchemy (Erlenmeyer flask) block by Patti Carey

Alchemy (Erlenmeyer flask) block by Patti Carey

Don’t you just love those flasks half-filled with acid potions?

You can download the pattern here.

For fun, I popped this block into the table runner setting I used for July’s Kebab block.  How cool is this?!?  Uber modern!

Alchemy 4-block 12" x 48" runner

Alchemy 4-block 12″ x 48″ runner

And here’s how it looks in a 48” x 60” lap quilt – just perfect for all the modern chemistry geeks out there 😊 😊

Alchemy 48" x 60" lap quilt

Alchemy 48″ x 60″ lap quilt

Or combine my Alchemy block with one or more of the other 11 blocks included in this months QBM blog tour.  Here are the links to the other participating bloggers’ posts and blocks.

Rocket Ship Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Using Fibonacci in Quilts at Scrapdash
Microscope & Test Tubes by Appliques Quilts and More
Test Tubes FPP Block at Penny Spool Quilts
Benzene Ring from QuiltFabrication
Erlenmeyer flask at Patti’s Patchwork
Fall Prism at Blue Bear Quilts
Atomic at Pretty Piney Quilts
Test Tubes by Mom and Me Quilting Co
Discovery by Inquiring Quilter
Molecules at Perkins Dry Goods
Gravity at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting

Last month I had 2 giveaways in blog posts:  Congrats to Lisa England for winning a copy of Quilter’s World magazine and some Winter Frost fat ⅛’s by FIGO to get you started on your own Ski Village quilt.

Congrats also to Cathy B for winning a bundle of Northcott’s Dublin linen-look fabric in the Seaside Adventures Row-along.  This fun free event continues until October 25, with 2-3 free row patterns each week.  Find the details at The Quilting Room with Mel.

Lastly, stay tuned for information on the sign-up for my Cottage Sampler Quilt-along, running from December 29 – March 16.  The sign-up starts October 15 – woo-hoo!



Coming Up Roses

2 Mar Rosebud Wreath by Patti's Patchwork
Valentines roses

Valentines roses

Fellow Quilters,

Flower Blocks bannerAs I sit at my kitchen island writing this blog post my gaze shifts to the vase of roses just beyond my laptop, a little something from Hubby for Valentine’s Day.  They are starting to fade but I hope to enjoy their gorgeous varied shades of salmon and coral for another day or two.  Red roses are lovely too but I’ll take a bouquet of peach or pink roses over red any day!

The roses remind me of the color palette and theme for this month’s Quilt Block Mania, organized by Carolina over at Always Expect Moore.  In her usual fashion Carolina has enlisted 25 other quilt designers to create a unique 12” block pattern around a floral theme using shades of blush, peachy-pink, rose, red and deep burgundy.  The links to each designer’s blog post and free-for-now pattern can be found below.

Orchid Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Rose Garden by Slice of Pi Quilts
Happy Flowers by Carolyn Burgess
Double Flower by Devoted Quilter
Faux Flowers by Blockofthemodotcom
Mod Tulip
Enchanting Echinacea
Rosebud Wreath at Patti’s Patchwork
Flower Power – Cotton Street Commons
Dottie’s Garden by Heidi Pridemore
Poppies by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Pretty Posies at Perkins Dry Goods
Mittens Smells the Roses at Puppy Girl Designs
Wildflowers by Studio R Quilts
Sweetheart Rose by QuiltFabrication
Flower Patch at Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
Scattered Petals by Snowy Days Quilting
Scrappy Tulip by Katie Mae Quilts
Happy Bloom Block by Oh Kaye Quilting
Buzz along
Everything’s Coming Up Roses by Inquiring Quilter
Spring Posies by Blue Bear Quilts
Four Roses
Pieceful Crocus Focus
Improv Bloom by Love to Color My World
Sue’s Field of Flowers by The Quilted Diary

I think I take the prize this month for the smallest pieces in a block – some of them finish at ½” – and also the most pieces in a block (185 – what?!?!?!).  My colleague Susanne is likely laughing and rolling her eyes at me right now, because several years ago she was my piecer for a quilt made for McCall’s Quilting and that quilt had rather small blocks containing many rather small pieces.  She informed me more than once that those pieces were rather tiny.  When I designed Rosebud Wreath for this month’s Quilt Block Mania the pieces didn’t look that small in my Electric Quilt program.

Rosebud Wreath by Patti's Patchwork

Rosebud Wreath by Patti’s Patchwork

After testing the block, I have decided that it will make a spectacular center block for a medallion or round robin quilt.  Alternatively, I could frame it or simply quilt it and hang it up as a miniature for a door that needs a little something.  Or it could be a lovely table topper for a small coffee table.  So many options!  What will you do with yours?  Please leave a comment below – I am curious to hear your ideas and suggestions.  You can download Rosebud Wreath here.

In addition to my complimentary Rosebud Wreath block pattern I have one more fun giveaway for you today.  I have had a few quilts published in magazines recently, including my Howl quilt in the February/March issue of Fons & Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts.

Howl, made with Northcott's Naturescapes - Silver Moon and featured in F&P Quick + Easy Quilts

Howl, made with Northcott’s Naturescapes – Silver Moon and featured in F&P Quick + Easy Quilts

This terrific lap-sized quilt features a panel from Northcott’s Naturescapes – Silver Moon collection (in shops now) and takes just slightly more time to cut and piece than the Rosebud Wreath block – it really is that quick!  To celebrate, I am giving away a copy of the magazine to one lucky reader.  For a chance to win it please leave a comment below by midnight March 8, telling me how you would use your Rosebud Wreath block(s).

And please mark April 14th on your calendar.  It is the start date of the Hexie Crush Quilt-along – woop! woop!

PC263 Hexie Crush throw-size (coming soon!)

PC263 Hexie Crush pattern coming soon!

I’m doing the final proofing for the pattern and it will be up on my Pattispatchwork.com website very shortly.  There might even be a special price for newsletter subscribers so if you’re not one already, please head over to the website and scroll down to the bottom of the page to subscribe.  The quilt-along sign-up form will also go up next week – I’m so excited!  FIGO Fabrics has donated some cool prizes and I’m adding a couple as well.  We’ll crush it!!

Chat soon,


Stellar Quilt Blocks

1 Dec Starlight throw quilt 42" x 60"

Fellow Quilters,banner

It’s time for another great edition of Quilt Block Mania, brought to you by Carolina Moore and Friends!  Have you enjoyed the past editions?  If you’re a subscriber, they’ll pop into your Inbox the first Tuesday of each month.  They are free for the taking so be sure to grab yours while they’re still free.

This is the 5th installment and it’s guaranteed to add some sparkle to the end of 2020 – goodness knows we could all use some extra sparkle this year!  Yes, the theme is “stars” and 21 pattern designers have gathered to put their slant on what that means to them.  Here’s the list of all 21 designers and the links to their blocks.

Stargazing Sue
Starburst at Slice of Pi Quilts
Massachusetts Star with blockofthmo.com
Nova Star at Always Expect Moore
Nativity Star
Star Bright – Cotton Street Commons
Five Pointed Star at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
New Year Star at Stash Bandit
Poinsettia Star
Wish Upon a Satar by Heidi Pridemore
Falling Star at Pretty Piney Quilts
Star Splash at QuiltFabrication
Seward Star at Blue Bear Quilts
Moon Star at Perkins Dry Goods
Starburst at Patti’s Patchwork
Cherokee Star
Christmas Tree Star
Christmas Star by Oh Kaye Quilting
Starfish by Appliques Quilts and More
Snowy Star by Seams To Be Sew
Combination Star by Devoted Quilter
Ablaze by True Blue Quilts

For me, of course a star block means a Lone Star!  They are my favorite stars, followed closely by split stars.  For this particular Lone Star, I dressed it up a bit for New Year’s and added some simple piecing in the corner setting squares.  Here is my Starlight block – you can find the pattern here.

This “design element” makes the star look like it’s bursting, or perhaps reaching out to other stars.  These corner squares are simple enough to piece with templates, so that’s what I did – 2 seams and it’s done 😊.

The Lone Star is strip-pieced to make it fairly straight-forward, however the size of the strips is not a number found on my rotary cutting ruler (5” ¸ 6 = .8333 – yuck!).  How do we cut these strips then?!?  I borrowed a technique from quilting icon Marti Michell of From Marti Michell – I used the width of the diamond template to cut my strips.  Bingo!  Now, the diamond itself is somewhat small so instead of including a tiny diamond template in the pattern I put a long strip.  To cut my strips I first taped my long template to the underside of my ruler, abutting it with the edge of the ruler.  Then I simply positioned my ruler so that the inside edge of the template was aligned with the edge of my fabric.  Easy-peasy!

I taped my cutting template to the underside of my ruler

I taped my cutting template to the underside of my ruler

And no accidentally trimming my template.  I also used the template to cut the strip sets into segments.

I used the template to cut my strip sets into segments

I used the template to cut my strip sets into segments

And here is a sample throw-size quilt made with 8 blocks linked by the sashing – cool!

Starlight throw quilt 42" x 60"

Starlight throw quilt 42″ x 60″

To assemble the star I used my oh-so-handy E-Z Miter/Lone Star tool to precisely mark where to align the various block components.  In no time at all my block was done.  PS. This makes a terrific Secret Santa/stocking stuffer gift for your quilting friends (hint, hint).

Speaking of Christmas, I’m starting my holiday baking this week, making 2 types of fruit cake (traditional dark with brandy, and a light version sans alcohol that was my dad’s favorite).  I haven’t made cakes for a few years so I’m overdue.  These cakes are NOT the same thing that is sold in grocery stores – no no no!  They are very moist and chock full of nuts and candied fruit.

The fruit and nuts for my Christmas cakes - yum!

The fruit and nuts for my Christmas cakes – yum!

They are so good that my sons gobble them up – they always have, even as kids!  So I may be posting a couple more times this month as I share some recipes.  And if you’re not a subscriber to my newsletter (you can sign up at Patti’s Patchwork), you might want to because I think there might be a Christmas gift for my newsletter subscribers soon.

Coming up in January I’ll be teaching three half-day classes at Road to California’s virtual conference.  Road@Home promotional 1Road@Home runs January 20-23 and you can find my classes as well as my trunk show by searching my name on the Classes tab.  This is a fantastic opportunity for quilters everywhere to take classes from the comfort and convenience of their own sewing space.

Enjoy today’s blog tour and stay tuned for lots of new stuff and exciting news for 2021 and beyond, coming soon.  And some recipes too!