# Back to the Billie Bag

The first week of October already! September came and went in a flash. It was a very busy month, just not one devoted to much sewing. I’m finally back at work on that wonderful quilter’s tote designed by Billie Mahorney known as the Junior Billie Bag. I’m teaching an upcoming class at the Pine Needle so I need to get a move on.

Here’s the second of two panels in my JBB-in-progress:

The block you see above was inspired by a block in a quilt called Christmas in July designed by Thelma Childers of Cupcakes’n’Daisies:

Click here to read Thelma’s post about the making of this quilt. In July Carrie Nelson of Moda wrote about Thelma’s quilt on the Moda Cutting Table blog and created a pattern for it called Hometown Stars, available as a free download.

Thelma’s quilt is very scrappy. Working with far fewer fabrics, I simplified the block somewhat and made one change that made a big difference in the outcome. Here is my block as it was first laid out . . .

. . . and here it is ready to be sewn:

Do you see the difference? Turning that center square on point reinforced the angles in the Friendship Star blocks in the four corners. Had I made an entire quilt, I would have followed Thelma’s design to a T because the square in the center of the block is central to her overall design:

To minimize the seam lines I opted to construct the center section like a classic bow-tie block using Y-seams:

Thelma’s original finished block size is 17½” square. Carrie resized it to finish at 14″ square, although she included directions for both sizes in the pattern. I had to resize the block to 12¾” square to get it to fit my panel size. That means the half-square triangles finish at 1¾” square and the center bow-tie block finishes at 5¼” square. Good thing I like the challenge of quilt math!

Here are the front and back panels side by side:

Since this Junior Billie Bag is being made for a friend, incorporating the Friendship Star block is a meaningful addition. Thank you, Thelma and Carrie, for the inspiration!

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### 4 Responses to Back to the Billie Bag

1. Vickie says:

Quilt math! Three cheers for quilt math! This is going to be another stunning bag.

2. Kristi says:

I love your color combo. What a beautiful Billie Bag this will be!

3. Colleen Coffman says:

I agree! Another beautiful Billie Bag!! I think what you did in the center of your second panel really makes it. Great idea :).

4. Diane says:

Wow, I think Thelma would be so pleased to know her design was your inspiration for a Billie Bag and, like the rest of us, I bet she would also be very impressed with how you used quilt math to make it work. You shouldn’t have divulged the quilt math though because I thought it was magic!!