Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Ernie Express Quilt #2

It’s been almost four months since I posted the first Ernie Express Quilt at the end of April but it seems like it was just last month. I’ve been dropping my buzz phrase for this summer’s posts of “Freakishly Fast” or “Jiffy” and thats what August has been. There are several reasons why I wanted to finish EE#2 (Ernie Express #2); 1.) these fabrics sing Summer and it wouldn’t have the same impact if I were to post this in the Fall or early Winter), 2.) joining the Linky Party for Kathleen McMusings” Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd which my first tip for this post is to be careful what you post because it may taunt you in the future, and 3.) I’ll explain later in this post and is the best reason why EE#2 needed to be a Finally Finish.
In my Ernie Express (EE#1) post, I mentioned that I wasn’t loving this quilt at first which may have been due to using four different fabrics on one of the blocks. I also mentioned that if I were to make another one of these quilts, I would only use two fabrics for each block and I would use my collection of Allison Glass fabrics purchased this year. Also, I mentioned that if I did make another quilt, I would write instructions on how to make these blocks faster and easier than the way I made them for EE#1. In another post afterwards, I posted a set of the two blocks which were going to be used for the EE#2 quilt and I said I would do a “sort of tutorial” which is how Kathleen hooked me into joining her Linky Party this month. Tip #2-always use the word “instructions” and not “tutorial”—way less pressure. I apologize if my tutorial is not as detailed as other tutorials you may have seen and may seem short and quick like a member of a younger generation explaining to you on how to use a TV remote or showing you something on the computer.
Before I give you the instructions for Blocks A & B, the layout for EE#2 is different than EE#1 which I alternated Blocks A & B for each horizontal row. I did this because I didn’t like the look of the four patches or checkerboards in Block A running up and down the quilt which is the reason why I came up with Block B as an alternate block. Well, surprise, surprise, after seeing something similar on Pinterest, I decided I did like this look after all. However, I did alternate vertical rows of Blocks A & B as you can see above.
The decision to use the Allison Glass fabrics for EE#2 was perfect because I had just the right amount and variety for the blocks. I have a bundle of fat eights of 16 prints each of the wovens and cross stitch to make the sixteen Blocks A and twelve fat quarters of Sun Print 2021 to make the twelve Block B. Both of these blocks use only two different fabrics and contrast can be made either by color or the type of print, ie., geometric, floral, etc.
It is important to note these following points:
  • After choosing your two fabrics for each block, decide and remember which fabrics are going to be your #1 and #2
    • For Block A, Fabric #1 was a woven and #2 was a cross stitch print
    • For Block B in which prints were used, Fabric #1 was the darker of the two prints
  • Press all seams according to the direction of the arrows and be sure Fabric #1 in both blocks is always on the top, left corner. If the blocks are pressed correctly, all the seams will nestle, whether the blocks are arranged like EE#2 or like EE#1
  • Instructions are for either fat quarters or fat eights with 21” of useable fabric (no selvedge)
  • All seams are 1/4”
  • I am not affiliated with any of the products mentioned or featured in this post
  • These blocks really are fun to make
Block A (these directions make only one block)
From each fat eighth or fat quarter combination, cut:
  • (1) 4.5” x wofe/fq strip
  • (1) 2.5” x wofe/fq strip
Arrange and sew according to the above photo and press seams up or towards Fabric #1
After the strip set is sewn, cut (8) 2.5” segments and arrange them by flipping the even rows as shown in the photo above.
After all the segments have been sewn together, first two segments together, then four and then the final two segments, press all row seams going up. This block should measure 12.5” x 16.5”.

(If  you want to make two of the same blocks, then you will need a fat quarter and cut twice the number of strips)

Block B (This will make two blocks)

From each fat quarter (fat eighths are not enough) combination, cut:
  • (1) 4.5” x wofq strip
  • (4) 2.5” x wofq strips

Sew two strip sets as shown above and pressed according to the direction of the arrows. Cut  (8) 2.5” segments from each strip set.

Arrange segments as shown, to make two blocks and  remembering Fabric #1 on the left corner should be the first row.

After all the segments for each blocks are sewn together, like Block A, press all row seams down.
BTW, cutting the 2.5”segments using my Creative Grid Stripology XL ruler was very helpful especially placing arrows at the 2.5” marks. It helped making these blocks go/sew fast.

And this is where the instructions or sort-of tutorial ends because depending on the layout you want will reflect the number of Block A and Block B are needed. For EE#2, I made fifteen Block A and ten Block B to make a 60”x80” quilt which is a generous lap size quilt. For EE#1, with alternating blocks on each row, I made thirteen Block A and twelve Block B, also the same size as EE#2.

These blocks sew fast-Freakishly Fast. As mentioned before, the seams will nestle no matter which layout you chose, even if you just make Block A or B-just be sure to follow the pressing arrows. I started cutting and sewing the blocks on Friday evening, all twenty-five blocks were sewn on Saturday, quilted on Sunday and bound and finish this past Monday. When I first started sewing the blocks, I would cut and sew only one at a time and gradually as I got into a rhythm, I would make cut and sew three or four at a time.
Another Tip, it never hurts to make extra blocks. I made sixteen Block A and only needed fifteen and made twelve Block B and only needed ten. It turned out these blocks were going to be rejects because the yellow Block A looked faded compared to the other blocks and the two Block B also looked wrong with the other blocks. Plus, these two blocks were the only ones that I had problems with the seams matching which I think Quilt Karma was making sure they didn’t make it in EE#2 because they would have stuck out like a sore thumb. 
And here are some deets on the finishing of EE#2:
  • I did not follow my tip of buying yardage for binding whenever precut bundles are purchased. I feel sort of bad or being unfaithful by using yardage of a multi-color Timeless Treasure print called Day Dreaming which had the same colors as the Alison Glass fabrics. I thought of ordering yardage of one of the Woven print but then again I needed this quilt to be finished now and not later.
  • As a way of justifying the binding used, I did use another fabric line, Whistler Studio 108” backing print called Medallion for the back.
  • I machine quilted straight horizontal and vertical lines with two different #50wt Aurifil threads; #2105 Light Yellow for the top which blended well with all of the different colors and glad I didn’t used the variegated which would have added more color which EE#2 didn’t need and a Dark Gray for the bottom which I also liked how it blended with the colorful backing.
  • My quilting stitches looked more nice and even than usual and I attributed it to quilting slower and not as quick as when I piece. You may already know this but this is the first time I should have realized this.
My last tip for this post is after sewing the binding down the first time, I had a lot of threads to trim before finally sewing the binding down the second time. I used a Clover Clip to mark where I started the clean up because there have been times I may have gone around one and a half times doing this.
And now for the final and best reason as to why Ernie Express #2 needed to be a Finally Finish before leaving for our road trip at the end of the week. It’s because we’re going to be stopping by to see Ernie, the American Farm Tiger who resides at the house where Mary Etherington, Country Threads also happens to live for a quick visit. I wanted Ernie, the Quilt Muse for all of the Ernie Quilts made in his name to bless my EE#2 quilt. As long as I bring him treats, he will bless anything. I wanted to include a photo of him sitting on EE#2 in this post but since we’re traveling and sometimes the WiFi is iffy, I rather post now than later. I’ll be sure to post a photo on Instagram and maybe a sort of sneak peek of my secret sewing project which would look good hanging in Mary’s garden.
I think Ernie Express #2 is a fitting quilt to end the month of August. I apologize for some of the graphics/photos in this post, I’ve just become reacquainted with PicMonkey and it’s a little different using it on an IPad versus my Mac computer. And if you’re reading this post from Kathleen’s Linky Party, I hope my instructions/sort-of tutorial was understandable and enough tips were shared so you don’t think I’m being a party crasher.


  1. Great Finland tutorial Rose. I had to smile when I read that you went slower quilting than you do with piecing. It reminds me that Jacquie Gering always says that’s why it’s called a walking (not running) foot!

  2. Of course I meant “finish” not Finland!!!

  3. Thanks for the tute. I love your Ernie quilts and the beautiful cat.

  4. I think your "sort-of" tutorial was great, easy to follow, and the tips are good for any quilt. And oh what a pretty, pretty quilt - vibrant blocks and the backing is GORGEOUS! I'm in love with Ernie. Hope you have a wonderful visit.

  5. Wow, Rose! Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. That's a lovely quilt you just finished!

  6. I love this tutorial Rose, it is perfect. Thank you for doing and thanks for linking up. Maybe we should all do a group of Ernies!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial. I doubt I can finish one as fast as you but I may just have to give it a try. Love the geometric design. Great job!

  8. Such a colorful, fun quilt, Rose!!! Great analogy, on the younger generation showing the olders how to use technology!?! LOL! Thanks for writing out the instructions. Hope you're trip is going great!


I appreciate your comments but due to traveling and my ineptitude with typing on either my iPhone or iPad, my response may be somewhat delayed. Thank You for your understanding.