Tiny Treasures Club

February 2021: “Snowball” Gem Block

This month’s “Snowball” gem block was inspired by a tiny octagon Citrine that I found on the GIA’s website. If you haven’t already discovered the Gemological Institute of America’s site, I highly recommend it. (www.gia.edu) They are the preeminent source of gemological education in the world and having a certification from GIA brings a level of respect and credibility.


It’s tiny, but I loved its shape, color, and contrast of light across its surface. I hope you have fun making one or more of the 3 sizes I’ve created for you. I’ve also created about half a dozen different colorways to inspire you: citrine, ruby, sapphire, emerald, diamond, and pink tourmaline. And whose to say you can’t mix up those colorways and make something fabulous all your own!

To access the downloadable PDF file for the patterns, instructions, and piece plan, click the DOWNLOAD button of the pattern size you want below

Click the button below to download the 6″ template.

Click the button below to download the 9″ template.

Click the button below to download the 12″ template.

Click the button below to download the REVISED colorway document that now includes 2 Watermelon Tourmaline styles (See image of both new styles below. You can see that I brightened the “D” color in Style #2 just a bit.):

Below is an edited recording of our visit on Friday evening, Feb. 19. My chat with Dye Goddess, Cindy Lohbeck, will hopefully be posted on Monday!! Technical problems today have prevented me from bringing it to you!

January 2021: Welcome!

Welcome, Friends! It’s great to have you here!

I’ve been working toward this moment for many months and am so pleased that the time to get started is finally here. My goal in bringing us together us to build a community of quiltmakers who love gems as much as I do. This is a place we can learn from each other and celebrate creativity while playing with new gem patterns every month.

On the 3rd Friday of every month, I’ll send you an email at 8 PM that includes the link to this web page where you’ll find the following information::

  • Mini-Gem Pattern & Instructions — You’ll be able to click a link in the email to download a PDF file of the new mini-gem that will also include instructions and its “Piece Plan” — a step-by-step guide to putting the pieces together. This is your pattern to do with as you please. Some of you may want to customize your gemstone block by adding or subtracting pieces. Perhaps you want to change the way the facet lines are drawn. And some of you may want to enlarge the block. That’s perfectly fine! I can’t wait to see what variations will result from our collaboration.
  • Colorway Examples — To help get your creative juices flowing, I’ll create and share images of that month’s gem block in various colorways. These will vary from month to month, but will always include a Diamond colorway with the same 5 colors.
  • Zoom Meeting Information — The email will also include all the information you need to join our monthly live Zoom chats at 9 PM Eastern time. These meetings will run for about an hour and include a presentation by me about the block and the gem that inspired it. I’ll also do a demo of any techniques that might be new to you. And we’ll have a chance to do a round of show-and-tell when you can show off the block you made the previous month and tell us about it.
  • Interview With Industry Friends — The monthly email will also include a link to a private YouTube video of a pre-recorded conversation with one of my friends in the jewelry or quilting industry. I’m excited to have you meet these wonderful people!

So let’s get started!

January Mini-Gem Block: “Lisa’s Snowflake”

This month’s block was inspired by our first guest, artist and gem cutter Lisa Elser (www.lisaelser.com). I was introduced to Lisa by one of our fellow Tiny Treasures Club members. When I saw Lisa’s fabulous gems, I was stunned by their beauty. The intricacy and sculptural aspect of her gems were astounding. I knew I wanted to meet Lisa and to hopefully introduce her to you, too. You can watch my interview with her by clicking the link a little farther down in this post.

This is the gorgeous pink tourmaline in Lisa’s collection that inspired this month’s block. The hexagon faceting pattern, “Glitter Snowflake”, was designed by C. Thomas Schlegel (Lisa’s husband) and cut by Lisa herself. In our conversation, she explained that the combination of intricate faceting on both the top (crown) and bottom (pavilion) of the gem creates the starburst effect at the edges and center of the stone.

Pink Tourmaline cut by Lisa Elser. Faceting pattern designed by C. Thomas Schlegel (“Glitter Snowflake”)

I wanted to highlight the step cuts deep inside each facet, as well a the star bursts at the outer edges. To keep the pieces from becoming to extraordinarily tiny, I simplified it down to its basic shapes. I then decided to experiment with a few colorways to see how she might sparkle as a light-color sapphire, ametrine, and diamond.

To access the downloadable PDF file for the pattern, instructions, and piece plan, click the DOWNLOAD button below By the way, this is the revised version I uploaded on 1/16/2021. This version has the PIECE PLAN listed at the end of the document.

Below is the 6″ template:

Below is the 9″ template:

Below is the 12″ template:

To access the downloadable PDF file of the various colorways, click the DOWNLOAD button below.

To watch my interview with Lisa, click on the video player button in the box below. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy making “Lisa’s Snowflake”! Be sure to post progress pictures on our private Facebook Page, too!

Chat with Artist & Gem Cutter, Lisa Elser

Recording of Member Zoom Chat (1/15/2021)

Out of the 40+ people who have joined the Tiny Treasures Club, we had about 15 people join us on our very first Zoom chat on 1/15/2021. A great turn out! Watch our conversation by clicking the video play button below.

MJ Tutorials Demonstrating Freezer Paper Piecing

For those of you who haven’t made one of my patterns, I want to be sure to give you as much support as you need. We covered a little snippet of how to get started last evening at our Zoom chat, so I wanted to provide additional tutorial videos.

The videos below are tutorials that I created last summer 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.

Elizabeth Sew-Along (Week #1): Intro to the Pattern

Elizabeth Sew-Along (Week #1): Cutting Out Your Facets

Elizabeth Sew-Along (Week #2): Fabric & Facets

Elizabeth Sew-Along (Week #2): Cutting Pieces From Your Fabric

Elizabeth Sew-Along (Week #3): Part I – Intro to the “Piece Plan”

Elizabeth Sew-Along (Week #3): Part II – Piecing Your Facets

Video: Mid-Month Meet-Up (Feb. 12, 2021)