Serpentine Quilt by True Blue Quilts
[ Finished Quilts ][ Island Batik Ambassadors 2022 ]

Serpentine – New York Beauty Block

In all my years of quilting, I had never made a New York Beauty block.  Now I can check that off my sewing bucket list, thanks to the Island Batik June Challenge!

New York Beauty blog hop

Serpentine Quilt by True Blue Quilts


New Fabric

I started with a half-yard bundle of the new fabric collection, Jewel Carvings. The rich purples and greens are highlighted with creamy yellow accents. Motifs include florals and multi-color graphics with many tone on tone prints. 

jewel carving fabric bundle from island batikjewel carving island batik fabrics


EQ8 software comes in handy when I am exploring new designs. I searched for the New York Beauty block and auditioned a variety of sizes. I may come back to this bullseye layout, but ultimately I chose to alternate the blocks in a serpentine path.

serpentine quilt with new york beauty blocksbullseye with new york beauty blocks


I wanted to incorporate a wide selection of fabrics from the Jewel Carvings collection so I split the quilt into two halves and mixed the colors in each arc. Let’s take a closer look at how the New York Beauty block comes together.

Serpentine New York Beauty closeup


New York Beauty Quilt Blocks

FIrst, I printed the templates from the EQ8 program. It took several sheets to get the 12” block pieces from 8-½” by 11” paper! Then, I simply traced the shapes on vinyl template plastic, remembering to include the quarter inch seam allowance.

Templates for New York Beauty blocks

As I sit down to sew, I make sure my machine has a fresh Schmetz needle and some neutral Aurifil thread.

The spiked arc features paper piecing. The half yards from my bundle weren’t quite enough to complete all the arcs in a single color, so I mixed it up a bit. After sewing the paper pieced sections, it was time to tackle the curves.

New York Beauty progress

Curved Piecing

There are several methods for successfully sewing curves. The goal is to finish with a flat block, so try the different techniques and do what works for you. I found that a combination of pins and glue gave me good results. Place the outer piece on top of the smaller arc. Start with a pin in the center and at each end. Glue the entire seam down with SewFine Fabric Glue. Stitch slowly, moving the fabric to follow the curve. Such a feeling of accomplishment when you finish with no puckers!

New York Beauty sewn arc

Free Motion Quilting

When it is time to load the quilt on the longarm, Hobbs 80/20 is my first choice for batting. It gives beautiful stitch definition and wonderful drape to the finished quilt. I wanted to use up some leftovers, so I tried the heat-press batting tape. What a great solution! It was fast an easy to position two batting pieces side-by-side, place the tape on top, and press for 10 seconds on low heat.

batting tape

Thinking about quilting designs for the New York Beauty block, the arcs give you plenty of space to play with free motion fillers. I echoed a pebble design in the one of the smaller sections, and kept thing ssimple with wavy lines in the background. A figure eight/wishbone pattern accented the larger arc. Filling the spikes with flames gave the design an intersing point of contrast. Choosing a light fabric for the backing really lets the quilting shine!

Quilting for New York Beauty blocks


More New York Beauty blocks

Take a look at the amazing work of the other Island Batik Ambassadors. Here is the full blog hop schedule:

June 6:

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail
Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio

June 7:

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

June 8:

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

June 9:

Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter
Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

June 10:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway

June 13:

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

June 14:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

June 15:

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde Gifts
Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

June 16:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

June 17:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

June 20:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

June 21:

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

June 22:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

June 23:

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt
Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

June 24:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

June 27:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

June 28:

End of Blog Hop and Final Round-Up

Don’t forget to enter the giveaways on the Island Batik blog! This week, you could win a bundle of either Jewel Carving or Nightshade

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About Author


Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher



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