Free Patterns & Instruction

Free Patterns

Autumn Leaves quilt

Designed by Jan Krentz (2003) for the Viewpoint Collection

by Timeless Treasures Fabrics — Pattern - PDF file


Quick Lemoyne Star, Broken Star & Snow Crystal Quilt Patterns – using the Fast 2 Cut Fussy Cutter 45 rulers

The diamond size (in the PDF) is 6-1/2" across the diamond (parallel edge to parallel edge – NOT the measurement along the side of the diamond shape.) These diamonds are easily cut with an acrylic ruler specifically for that purpose. When "fussy cutting" fabrics with printed designs, you can center the ruler over the design, trace the key elements onto the ruler, and cut as many diamonds of that repeat as you need.

Pattern - PDF file

Free Lesson – Drafting 101

Focus: Cutting Specific Shapes

Many quilters find they have difficulty moving from commercial patterns to designing their own blocks, borders and appliqué patterns.

Some of the challenge for pieced designs, in particular, is figuring the exact dimensions you'll need to cut, allowing for proper seam allowance, to have an accurate finished project.

I use the following method for drafting blocks or designs for my own work. Working with squares and rectangles (which have 90° corners) is relatively straight-forward by adding seam allowance and figuring the strip widths to cut.

However, when sewing shapes with any angles other than 90°, such as you'd find with diamonds, triangles, hexagons, polygons, etc, the cutting dimensions get a bit more challenging.

Illustration #1

#1 – Draft the block in its exact size on a piece of graph paper. Use a good quality ruler with fine marks imprinted on the ruler. You may use the rotary ruler that you'll use to measure & cut your fabric. (If the lines have worn away, or are difficult to read, it's time to buy a replacement.)

Illustration #2

#2 – Insert additional seamlines for ease of construction. The overall appearance of the block remains the same. Draw short, straight lines within the key pieces (largest and edge pieces) to represent the grainline for that piece. The grainline will be parallel to the block's outer edges (see illustration 2-A).

Illustration #3

#3 – Identify the different shapes in your design. Some blocks have several identical shapes that are repeated more than once. You only need to measure one time for these. However, if you are making a complex design, you may have numerous individual shapes that differ slightly from one another. Take your time and label each one.

Illustration #4

#4 – Place a piece of tracing paper over your block. Select one shape; mark a small dot at each corner of the piece you are measuring. Leave space between the individual shapes. Connect the dots with a ruler and pencil, representing the stitching lines.

Illustration #5

#5 – Using the ruler, add 1/4" seam allowances on all sides of the shape.

For cutting purposes, measure the outer dimensions, which include the seam allowances. Your template is the accurate size, and the cut shapes will fit when sewn to the corresponding pieces in the block.


Cutting Specific shapes

Half-Square Triangles:

6 – Cut full squares, the same size as the short sides

of the triangle (be sure you are including the seam

allowance in this measurement). Cut once more, diagonally, to yield 2 half-square triangles. The straight grainline will be on the outer 2 sides, and the long edge will be bias.

Quarter-Square Triangles:


7 – Cut a large square, the same size as the longest side of the triangle (including seam allowances). Cut diagonally, corner to corner, both ways to yield 4 quarter-square triangles.

The straight grain will be on the triangle's long edge, and the 2 shorter sides will be on the bias.



8 – Usually cut as long strips for strip-piecing (as for a Lone Star design), diamonds begin as a strip, cut the width of the diamond, plus seam allowance.

Illustration # 9

9 – Next, line up a 45° mark on your rotary ruler with the straight edge of the strip. Cut off the strip ends, creating an angled edge.

Illustration # 10

10 – Line up the ruler's guidelines from this new angle, measuring the same width as you originally cut (ie: 2" strip, then cut 2" slices at 45º). Cut slices off the strip, taking care that the 45° line remains accurate.

11 – This will yield several diamonds per strip. Two sides will be 'straight-grained' and two will be on the bias.

 Return to top of page


Lone Star Border Shapes:

For those who have taken a Lone Star class and struggle with the final, outer border area, try this!


1 – Measure the straight-grain sides of several of the Lone Star diamond units. Measure ONLY from the point where the 1/4" seamline is at each end of the unit. (see illustration 1a).

1b – Take the average of these measurements. This becomes the seam length for the inset square or triangle that surrounds the Lone Star units. (illustration 1b).

square 1c triangle 1c

1c – Using the same "dot + 1/4" seam allowance" method described above, figure the size of the inset squares & triangles, including their seam allowances. Measure twice, cut once! (illustration 1c)


2 – Next, draw the outer border shapes. Record the seamline measurement from the diamond unit's straight edge ( X ) also the same measurement as the square or triangle inset, 1b, above. Draw a seamline between these two dots, and extend this line beyond the dots about 8" on either side.


3 – With your ruler, line up the 45° mark on the long line, so the ruler extends away from the first line, (see illustration #3a). Draw this new seam line. Create a third line, opposite #3a, creating the shape in illustration #3b.


4 – Draw the longest side of this border shape. It will be the outside edge of the quilt. (this side appears at the bottom of the shapes in 3a & 3b).

Add seam allowances on all sides

5 – Add 1/4" seam allowances to the top, bottom & 2 sides. You may want to add 1/2" - 1" additional width to allow for binding the quilt's edge without cutting off your points. (shaded area represents where binding will be on finished quilt)

6 Set-in corners (represented by dark dots)

6 – Further construction note: the intersections where the diamond units meet the inset corners, and then again when the borders are sewn on will be a set-in corner. (see illustration 6) Be sure to pin the seamline carefully, sew up to the 1/4" dot, and backstitch, leaving the seam allowance free. Insert all pieces in this manner.


All illustrations generated with Quilt Pro software

----------------------- End of Free Lesson -----------------------

Do you have Questions, Comments, or Requests for future lessons you'd like to see here?
Send me a note, and I'll work with requests first!


Teacher of the year 1998