2022 Diamonds & Drama Queens
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January 2022: The Hope Diamond Quilt Block

Pattern Release Video

Hi, everyone! Here’s the edited version of our Wednesday morning pattern release Zoom meeting (January 12th). I had such a great time meeting all of you that day. For those who couldn’t join us, I hope you enjoy the presentation. Be well and shine on!

Evelyn Walsh McLean & the Hope Diamond

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for January is inspired by the Hope Diamond, arguably the most famous diamond in the world. The Hope is celebrated for its color and weight. At 45.52 carats, it’s the world’s largest deep blue diamond found so far. It measures 1” wide, slightly more than 3/4” long, and about 1/2” deep.

Discovered in a mine in India is the 18th century, it was originally a much larger stone weighing 115 carats. It was cut down twice to its current size and barely survived the French Revolution.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

It passed through the hands of multiple owners until landing with Pierre Cartier, the head of the New York house of Cartier. Pierre, being a much better marketer than salesman, he concocted a story of a “curse” in an attempt to attract attention to a stone that no one seemed interested in. His favorite customer (and one of my favorite Drama Queens of all time), Evelyn Walsh McLean, bought it and decided it would bring her good fortune.

I’ll admit that this month’s pattern may be challenging. There are a good number of pieces and curves to manage. If you are new to this style of piecing, don’t worry! I’ll walk you through it, but I’d encourage all our new members to consider making one of the larger sized blocks.  Enjoy!

Hope Collage White

The Pattern

I tried very hard to keep the pattern as true to the shape and spirit of the Hope Diamond as possible.

This is a great example of how asymmetrical gems can be, especially ancient gems. And that’s what I love about the most interesting gems. They invite your eye to travel around and through their color and light.

This pattern is also an example of using highly saturated colors surrounded by grayish colors to create glow. The Hope has a lovely bright blue twinkle to it and I tried to capture that in the colorway. I also used that same idea in the other 3 colorways as well.

This month’s pattern has nearly 100 pieces in it. While I did create a 6″ pattern for those of you who like to try the itty-bitty pretties, I strongly suggest that those of you who are new to this process work with the 18″ pattern.

Hope Diamond January 2022 JPG

Colorway Document

While I’ve provided a colorway for the beautiful blue color of the actual Hope Diamond, I thought it would be fun to turn it into a canary diamond, an emerald and a ruby, as well. However, YOU can create this gem in any colorway you wish. Remember: gems come in an infinite number of colors. There is no WRONG answer when it comes to colored gemstones!

Click the DOWNLOAD Button below the image to download the document.

Hope Collage black

Below are the 4 sizes for the Hope Diamond pattern. Click the button below the image to download the size pattern you desire.

Demo Video: Cutting Curves with the “Rock & Roll” Method

Here’s a quick video I created during another class showing how I like to cut curves. Check it out!

Welcome to the 2022 Diamonds & Drama Queens page!

It’s wonderful to have you join me on this adventure.

To get started, I’ve uploaded a series of tutorials for those of you who haven’t made gem patterns before using the technique I like to call “traditional piecing using freezer paper as your templates”. I’ve also listed a few places below to source freezer paper.

Sources of Freezer Paper

This technique uses a product called freezer paper. Freezer paper is the amazing product that has a regular paper surface on one side that allows you to write or print on. However, the back side of freezer paper is coated with a wax-like substance (it’s really a plastic material) that adheres to fabric when you hit it with a hot iron but won’t leave a residue when you remove it.

Please keep in mind that freezer paper is NOT the same as wax paper or parchment paper. Wax paper has the waxy coating on BOTH sides, so you can’t write on it and if you iron it, you’ll really mess up your iron. And parchment paper doesn’t have the waxy substance on the back. So please be sure to purchase “freezer paper”!

How much freezer paper will you need? Well, it depends on which size block you’re going to make. I will offer the blocks in 4 sizes: 6″, 9″, 12″ and 18″. (Most participants during the current year have made the 12″ and 18″ blocks, because the pieces are larger and easier to handle.) Here’s how much you’ll need for each block size:

— 6″ blocks require 12 sheets (1 sheet per month x 12 months)

— 9″ blocks require 24 sheets (2 sheets per month x 12 months)

— 12″ blocks require 48 sheets (4 sheets per month x 12 months)

— 18″ blocks require up to 96 sheets (8 sheets per month x 12 months). Note: sometimes the 18″ blocks may only need 6 sheets per month, so 96 is a high estimate.

Pre-cut sheets of freezer paper (8 1/2″ x 11″): Check with your local independent quilt shop to find out if they carry pre-cut sheets of freezer paper such as C&T Publishing’s “Quilter’s Freezer Paper Sheets”.

If your quilt shop doesn’t carry it, you can order from eQuilter.com. (Note: eQuilter.com ships internationally.) EQuilter offers 2 brands: C&T Publishing’s Quilters Freezer Paper in 30-sheet packs. They also offer a product by C. Jenkins in 50-sheet packs.

And if you live in the United States, you can order 50-count packs from my online shop. I’ve also found freezer paper packs on Amazon, so you might try checking there to see if a vendor in your country has some available to ship to you.


Freezer Paper Pack
C&T Publishing’s Quilter’s Freezer Paper Sheets
Freezer Paper Packs
Freezer Paper Packs from My Online Shop

Make your own freezer paper sheets! I’ve made my own freezer paper sheets by using Reynolds Freezer Paper for years. It’s getting harder to find in grocery stores these days, but it’s still out there. (Note: I heard recently from one of my students that Canada has recently banned freezer paper for food usage, but others say it’s still available on some shelves.) If you aren’t able to find it in your local grocery store, you can also search for it online on sites such as Amazon.


reynolds fp 2

Special options for international members unable to find freezer paper: If you live in a country outside the United States and are having trouble finding freezer paper, please let me know by emailing me at [email protected] There are several options we can discuss. First, I could ship you packs of my freezer paper packs, but please know the cost to ship internationally right now is crazy high. The second option is that we can talk about another method of piecing these blocks that doesn’t include freezer paper, but uses other products instead. The directions will be a bit different, buy you’ll still be able to make gorgeous gem blocks

Tutorials Demonstrating Freezer Paper Piecing

For those of you who haven’t made one of my patterns before, I want to be sure to give you as much support as you need. To that end, here are several videos I made all about the various aspects of freezer paper piecing.

The videos below are tutorials that I created the summer of 2020 for my Elizabeth Sew-Along project. The pattern is different, but the technique is the SAME — just on a slightly smaller scale! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected] or at 502-287-3034 (Eastern Standard Time).

The 6 videos below are about 5 – 7 minutes each in length. You’ll learn how to read the codes on the pattern, cut up your freezer paper pattern, organize your fabric and facets, cutting your fabric around the freezer paper facets, get an introduction to the step-by-step strategy for piecing the facets together that I call the “Piece Plan”, and finally how to sew your facets together by matching up the hashmarks. The last video shows you some trouble-shooting tips if you have gaps or tucks in your seams.

Enjoy the adventure…we’re just getting started!

Introduction to the Pattern & Its Codes

Cutting Out Your Paper Pieces

Preparing Your Fabric & Managing all the Pieces

Cutting Pieces From Your Fabric

Part I – Introduction to the “Piece Plan”

Part II – Piecing Your Facets