Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Jersey Beauty Block - a quick and dirty tutorial

Have you ever seen a New York Beauty quilt Block or quilt for that matter? Totally on my bucket list. They blow my mind. I even made a tiny New York Beauty quilt once......and then I gave it away as a quilt swap. I have always wanted to make my own New York Beauty quilt though...but not quite as rigid as the paper pieces make them. I love and I have loved taking classes from them. one of my very favorite classes was one by Sarah Fielke. In the class she showed how to make a New York Beauty quilt block ( a Not Quite a Beauty) whack I thought was so much more beautiful than the standard New York Beauty Blocks.

Well, I tried and tired to get it right and finally settled on the New Jersey Beauty Block (or at least that is what I am calling it).  I have been to New Jersey once. And New York Never. Crazy I know...well I may have flown through a couple times while doing meddevacs, but those times don't really count as I never left the airport and was just looking for a soft chair to curl up in and try to sleep in or trying to get my patients comfortable enough so they could rest.

I have ben playing with my New Jersey blocks trying to decide what orientation I like the best...There are too many great ways to make the block so none is better than another. I took some pictures while making the blocks and even made a video. I am not sure if the video will come out. My fingers are crossed. I fiddled with my camera and can't get it to return to the previous great quality pictures it was taking. Now everything looks blurry...or I am drunk?

I didn't do the spike parts for this block...just the curves. I love it and can invision it a hundred different ways!

As I was making the blocks I decided it was easiest to start with 5 long triangles or wedges and 4 background pieces.

Sew with a quarter inch seam the first two blocks. No sweat right? It gets harder...

For the second wedge you will really have to make a dramatic angle. It feels wrong, but just do it!

Make sure you trim off the background leftover bit each time.

This was the first block I made where half the spikes didn't ignore that...just focus on the nice curve I am trying to make here. Lay your spiky block part on top of the inner curve bit

Make a gentle curve with your rotary cutter. Be careful not to cut off your finger tips. You can do this. You are an Adult.

Do the same thing with another inner curve.

If you feel wild make even one more curve! See if the video helps. I hope it loads. I will try to fix it if is doesn't. I don't want you to miss any of the drama.


  1. cool blocks Tia.
    no video.....

    1. yep. Bummer. It was really exciting. I will try to figure it out.

  2. Tia - I remember the New York Beauty you made for that swap. I loved that quilt. it had some applique as well.
    Love that you named this block for NJ since I grew up there. I want to try your technique. It looks like fun.

    1. Let me know how it goes for you Karen! I loved that other little new york beauty I made but paper piecing and I don't get on terribly well. This method was fun, but it took me several tries to get it right. I like the blocked off blocks too though, so I can't really complain.


Thanks for commenting! I read each one. I will either respond via email or here in the comments. xo - Tia