Andes Quilt with Mary Fons

Andes Quilt

In this quilting tutorial, Jenny Doan teams up with Mary Fons to make the Andes Quilt out of yardage from Mary’s own Small Wonders fabric line, World Piece: South America. This block is based on the traditional Fifty-Four Forty or Fight pattern and is made up of four patch,  and spikey and peak blocks (aka triangle in a square).

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Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Jenny: Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I am here today with the amazing Mary Fons.

Mary: Well I’m here with the amazing Jenny Doan. Actually you had it backwards but.

Jenny: Oh I’m so glad you’re here.

Mary: It’s a dream come true.

Jenny: You guys I love Mary. She’s amazing. She’s, she’s talented and she’s amazing and for me, she’s a whole lot of fun.

Mary: Oh we do have fun. Too much almost

Jenny: We do have fun. We do. So you have some big things happening in your life.

Mary: It’s very exciting. I have been working for two years, most concentrated the past year, with Spring’s Creative. And, and we’ve been working on a fabric line together. And it’s been a dream of mine a long time. To do that.

Jenny: It’s so awesome.

Mary: I asked myself, why does the world need another fabric line. I mean, why? There’s a lot of fabric.

Jenny: Oh they’ve got to have a bit more fabric. We’ve got to have more fabric. Everybody needs more fabric.

Mary: So do I so that’s really why I did it so I can have more fabric.

Jenny: There you go.

Mary: But there was something I saw that was kind of a need. When you cut up really big prints, big scale prints, you get a lot of, you know, one part of your

Jenny: Parts is parts

Mary: Yeah parts and part, and you know that’s kind of hard to work with sometimes. So Small Wonders is the name of the line. And all my prints will be small scale. So when you cut up a four inch square, it’s going to look the same as a 2 ½ inch strip. So I really like, I really like using those fabrics so I made them.

Jenny: That is very cool. So the name of your whole line is?

Mary: Small Wonders. And then the first debut line is World Piece.

Jenny: I love this. World Piece. So, so I think that’s really cool. So what you did actually was chose some countries.

Mary:  That’s right. South America, China, USA, France, and the Netherlands and India. So they’re all different and they’re all small scale.

Jenny: So each country has like seven fabrics in it. And I happen to, I mean I, I absolutely love it. Now it didn’t get in a pre-cut.

Mary: Not yet.

Jenny: So I was like a little, you know

Mary: I know.

Jenny: I’m a pre-cut girl

Mary: Me too.

Jenny: But you what, every once in awhile you just need some fabric. And this fabric was adorable. And so we are going to show you how to make this quilt that’s behind us.  We’re going to use yardage. I know, it’s a big step out for me. But I just, I can hardly wait to show you. So let’s talk about this quilt behind me.

Jenny: So this is actually a traditional old block called 54-40 or Fight.

Mary: And I like traditional blocks. I just do.

Jenny: Well and I, I love this, this quilt block. And it’s, it’s basically made of this unit here. And a four-patch. And Mary’s going to take us through that. This is the block we’re looking at making right here. And, I mean it’s just beautiful. So I have this thing about 54-40 and Fight. And it is

Mary: You do.

Jenny: And every time I see a quilt I love, I send a picture of it to Natalie. And Natalie we’ve got to make this quilt. And she’s like, Mom it’s the same quilt. It’s 54-40 or Fight. I like it. I’ve actually never made one. So you’re going to

Mary: Today’s the day.

Jenny: Today’s the day. So what you’re going to need to make this quilt is you’re going to need some of Mary’s fabric.

Mary:  It’s true. It’s true. And a little solid black too. I use Moda solids and I really like those

Jenny: That’s great.That’s great. So the quilt, the quilt we’re talking about is 60 by 75. You’re going to need a yard of two colors to make your four patches. You’re going to need a yard and a quarter of two colors to make your little

Mary: Peaky and spike.That just came to me that that’s what that’s called. I forgot.

Jenny: Peaky and spike or Star Legs backwards or whatever it is.

Mary: There you go.

Jenny: So you’re going to need a yard and a quarter of those. And she doesn’t have a border on here which is really fun too. So no border yardage. But for that little binding you’re going to need about ¾ of a yard. So it will be real easy, you know. It’s real easy to put this together.

Mary: And you know you need that patch in the middle which is a 5 ½ inch strip as well. So it’s all cut from the 5 ½ inch strips.

Jenny: Oh that’s very cool

Mary: Which is good

Jenny: Alright so why don’t we, why don’t we tackle that four patch first because that’s pretty easy.

Mary: There you go, that’s your little four patch. Ah, there’s one thing about this and you’ve got these guys. What I did with the block is I made all the horses stand up straight. We don’t want, you know, horses that have been out on a Saturday night.

Jenny: You don’t want horses with vertigo.

Mary: Exactly. That’s right. So it takes a little thinking. You don’t have to do it that way but I like it.

Jenny: You really did it that way. She did. Look at them all going the right direction. I mean that’s impressive.

Mary: It hurt my brain but it’s true. So yes, I was mindful about that and which way they were going into the block so if you look at the quilt you’ll see.

Jenny: So these are three inch pieces. So you’re going to cut a strip that’s three inches wide and then sub-cut that strip into little three inch blocks. Then you’re going to put them so that your horses are standing right. And we’re going to, put you know, opposing colors next to each other. Sew these two. Sew these two. Put them together and you get this. Now we’ve done quite a few four patches on here.

Mary: Just a few.

Jenny: And, and so I think that the four patch you can handle. We want to take you through the, the spiky and what is his name.

Mary: Peak. It sounds like a Disney movie. Peaky and Spike.

Jenny: Peaky and spike. We’re going to take you through this block so that this becomes familiar to you because we’re using a ruler I’ve never used.

Mary: Yes, yes. Ok it’s the tri, tri-rex tool or the tri-tool. And it allows you to cut these pieces from, from strips which is so easy. Much better than trying to do it, well with a template or something. You can. But this is easier for me. And there’s two parts to the ruler there’s the peaky and the spike or maybe that’s the spike. I’m thinking, I don’t know. So, so we’ll cut, we’ll cut 5 ½ inch strips and then cut our pieces.

Jenny: So we have actually already cut these into 5 ½ inch strips. So let’s cut our center one first. And what I think is kind of cool about this ruler is this is a great yardage ruler. Because it has all of these measurements on it right here. So, wait, I’m trying to find a fabric you can see it on. Maybe that one. So you can see like if you want a 4 ½ inch one you know, you’re going to move it down and up. Am I right on that?

Mary: That’s right, that’s right. And to cut a 5 ½ inch strip means you’ll yield the five inch finished piece.

Jenny: Oh ok.

Mary: It puts that in which is really nice.

Jenny: So, I mean do I need to know anything special about this or am I just going to

Mary: The, the spike or the peaky, the big piece, that’s just straightforward, I mean the blunted end goes up there. The 5 ½ inch mark goes there.

Jenny: So you just line it up until it comes up on there. So you’re going to go ahead

Mary: What did you do to your finger? Did you do that sewing?

Jenny: No I didn’t. I have a little arthritic bump on there and it hurts.

Mary: And I have to talk about it. I’m sorry.

Jenny: I like have my, it’s my layer of protection

Mary: That’s good. I actually like those pencils with the little thing around them because I write so much that I get a little bump. I do. I do and it hurts.

Jenny: And I think that’s where it comes from. So then actually you don’t have to keep doing this, you can flip this over, which is going to give you a lot more.

Mary: Yeah. It’s good.

Jenny: So we’re making 20 blocks. You’re going to need four of these for each block. So there’s our four just like that.

Mary: Cool, cool.

Jenny: And then the other piece which is going to be the, the outside legs of this. We’re going to do the same thing, we line it up on the 5 ½ and. Oh this has a straight edge on it. LIke this, doesn’t it. So do you always do it straight edge like that.

Mary: I usually do. I mean I like to get the most out of the fabric so I do. And what’s important or what’s nice is if you fold your fabric in two layers then you get your reverses. And what I mean by that is

Jenny: Oh yeah.

Mary: You know you need one side that looks like this and you need one side that looks like this. So if you cut them all sort of

Jenny: So as long as your fabric is folded

Mary: Exactly, you’re going to get that size.

Jenny: Ok perfect. Alright so we have some of those what

Mary: One more thing Jenny, I  want to say there’s this little blunted edge, there’s this little blunted edge on this, on your, this part, and it’s important to get that little blunted edge punched off. Just give it a punch. You don’t have to but it helps you line it up.

Jenny: So when you cut them like this, you just going to like

Mary: Punch it

Jenny: Do that little. There we go.

Mary: See that little

Jenny: There’s that little thing. There we go. Alrighty. So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew these together.

Mary: Um huh

Jenny: And because we had them folded they’re going to go in the right place

Mary: There

Jenny: Let me do this.

Mary: Yep

Jenny: And when we lay them on here, like Mary said, because you have that little blunted edge, it will just snuggle up there and you’ll be able to see exactly where it fits. And we’re going to do a quarter of an inch on these. Now do we have to be pretty particular about our quarter of an inch?

Mary: Well you know. It’s always what you can live with. If I sew something and I’m like, I can’t live with that, then I usually do it over because the more patchwork you sew accurately the more fun it is I think.

Jenny: I have like the three rule. If it bothers me three times, it’s coming out.

Mary: Exactly. One is ok. Two is ok. The third time you’ve got to do it. So and then make sure to fold that back before you sew on your other one, otherwise you’ll get a little bubble.

Jenny: Sew right over the top. So I’m, I’m just finger pressing this back.

Mary: I’m a fan of the finger press.

Jenny: And then we’re going to lay this over here. And again we get to line up that little cut right there. That is very helpful.

Mary: It’s good. It’s good. And you’ve got little dog ears up at the top and on the corners. And you know we were talking earlier about how we get asked, or I get asked when do you cut off your dog ears? When should you do it? And I just think you should do it before you sew something, sew to something else that has a dog ear to reduce bulk.

Jenny: Yeah, it just reduces bulk.

Mary: Yep, yep.

Jenny: I mean if you like dog ears, I guess

Mary: Yeah, I mean, I like dogs.

Jenny: Alright, so then we’re just going to iron this back. And we’re going to make four of these for each block.

Mary: That’s right.

Jenny: We have some done

Mary: We do.

Jenny: We have four of these and four of these so let me show you how we lay this out.

Mary: Here are your four and here are your four. Get this one, are we doing to toward camera or are we doing it toward us? Doesn’t matter?

Jenny: Well they’re the ones who are watching so, we know how to do this.

Mary: We know how to do it, that’s true.

Jenny: Actually I don’t, I’ve never done it.

Mary: I did so many. So I know how. And you know one of the things I did was I put the little horses going in too. Again, you don’t have to do it. I liked the way it looked so I put, you know, these four patches have the horses going one way

Jenny: You know it’s so fascinating to me. We all have different brains and we all do things differently

Mary: It’s true

Jenny: And I, I that would have never even, I would have never even thought about it and yet I love the look. It’s very orderly. It gives it an orderly look.

Mary: It’s orderly and I’m not that orderly. You know what, when it’s your fabric, it’s like a little baby. I don’t know, I don’t have babies. You have had babies but it seems like I’ve got to do this right.

Jenny: Alright so what we’re doing here is you’re just going to put these together. She’s got her browns coming into the middle and these guys go dark color to the center. Now I know, probably this is a little more but you turn these around and it has that star look to it.

Mary: That’s so cool. You’re so right.

Jenny: You know but, and that’s why when you showed me this I didn’t recognize it as the 54-40 and Fight because it was so you know, it was the other way around. And I thought that is so cool. So this is a completely different look.

Mary: Oh I love it. See the things. Oh.

Jenny: But that’s not what we’re doing today. Today we’re doing this. So we’re going to turn these around. Turn all of our little horses so they’re standing back up.

Mary: Can’t be sleeping, not on the Jenny Doan show

Jenny: Nope, no sleeping. Alright so then you can see with this quilt behind me there’s no sashing or anything. Really what we’re doing is just putting blocks right next to blocks like this. So this makes it really fun to layout. So this big block here, we’ve got four across and five down. And again that’s going to make a quilt that is 60 by 75.

Mary: And you

Jenny: It’s a great little quilt

Mary: The secondary blocks just form, you know.

Jenny: You do, you do.

Mary: With the brown in the middle.

Jenny: It’s awesome.So this, this is actually just the South American line.

Mary: That’s right.

Jenny: So there are seven fabrics from each country in the line.

Mary: Um huh.

Jenny: And she brought some more to show us.

Mary: I did. Making little baby quilts is so fun. And this one is done out of the French line.

Jenny: This is the French part. Now this is a little tiny, oh what is this called. A little tiny cabin

Mary: Log cabin. Paper pieced by the way.

Jenny: Yeah that’s pretty amazing. I don’t do a lot of paper piecing.

Mary: I love it. I love it.

Jenny: But little tiny log cabin that she’s made here and she has the Paris one and

Mary: China. China you know the Chinese coin quilt that’s so fun and easy. I was thinking about doing that one and then I did this. And I put, put green in the middle sort of like auspicious, you’re baby will be like

Jenny: It’s beautiful

Mary: Super success, you know

Jenny: It’s just beautiful. So I, I love all the different, I love the idea of the countries, I love that they’re you know, seven different fabrics in each one. Now you guys can go on the website to see the rest of the fabric. They’re, all the different countries are going to be represented

Mary: Yes.

Jenny: That’s just so fun. Thank you so much for coming

Mary: Jenny, I’m a huge fan. Being a guest on your show is like, Ah! I can’t believe. I was nervous, I was nervous.

Jenny: You’re not nervous

Mary: I am. I was. I was.

Jenny: We’re just such good friends. We just enjoy this so much

Mary: I value you a lot.

Jenny: So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Andes Quilt from MSQC

Mary: Thanks!

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  • Robin Trickett Goehren

    Great tutorial! Would love to see you do more tutorials together.

  • Lisa

    I would construct this using center square and do a sew around of the the square with a strip set to avoid having all like fabrics chopped up. Then construct horizontally.

  • Caroline Whitney

    Surely wish I’d had this tool when I made a quilt that I resewed and resewed and resewed. I still haven’t had the courage to put the blocks together. Sigh. Is the tool available thru MSQC?