Quilted Diamonds – Quilt-Along 001 – Introduction

Quilted Diamonds # 144

The Diamond of the Week challenges were founded by Sandy Arbuthnot in the summer of 2002 when my first Quilted Diamonds book was new—17 years ago already! It ran for several years until Inklingo took the spotlight.

We’re excited to be sewing diamonds again. I made this red one yesterday.

My Quilted Diamonds books were the inspiration for Inklingo, and freezer paper templates are still the very best solution in situations when you cannot print a shape with Inklingo. That means it is right and proper to share diamonds on the “All About Inklingo” blog now.

I will showcase two diamonds approximately once a week (so it’s not a DOW, Diamond of the Week), one from each book, so you don’t have to have both books to get in on the fun. (Both books are available in the Shop.)

All you need is freezer paper, a mechanical pencil, a thin flexible ruler (to use marking sewing lines), a rotary cutter and mat, an acrylic ruler, a strip of paper 0.5 inches wide, needle, thread, an iron and ironing surface, and scraps of fabric. These are all things most quilters have already.

Let’s get started!

Quilted Diamonds Quilt-Along 001

There are two “official” diamonds this time but you can choose to make different ones—or the simpler variations featured below.

I chose these diamonds for a few reasons:

  1. It had been a long time since I sewed a basket.
  2. Both diamonds have curves.
  3. I could provide a simplified version of each diamond.
  4. They can be appliquéed. (You know who you are!)
  5. I was able to find the original files! A miracle! (The original DOW was before blogs, so it was mostly email and Webshots—which is long gone.)

Quilted Diamonds books by Linda Franz

The diamonds in the two books are different but the freezer paper method is the same.

Obviously, if you are following along, you probably have at least one of the books, so I won’t be repeating all of the instructions here. You have my best tips for curves in the books and on the QD2 DVD too.

If you don’t have the books, you can draw diamonds like these on freezer paper. Draw a rectangle that is 4 x 7 inches and find the midpoint on each side to start with a plain diamond. Divide it up any way you like.

QD1 # 144 A Tour of the Lakes

QD1 # 144 “A Tour of the Lakes” in three fabrics. All of my diamonds are named with quotations from Jane Austen’s novels.

As usual, start by tracing the design on freezer paper.

You can print on freezer paper instead, if you have Electric Quilt 4 or newer and an optional QD CD.

How to use freezer paper templates

Before you cut the freezer paper pattern apart, mark several matches on the curves, as described in the books.

Notice that the curves on opposite sides of the leaf are not the same. Numbering the pieces on your master and on the freezer paper helps you keep everything turned the correct way.

How to use freezer paper templates

As usual, add the seam allowances when you cut the fabric.

Templates without seam allowances allow us to make anything we can draw!

Hand piecing a diamond with curves

Sew the two small shapes together before you add them to the large shape.

Hand piecing curves

Just take one or two stitches at a time on curves. (It is still faster than appliqué!)

On curves, I just pin one match at a time (with a needle) and use my smallest stitches. Backstitch every half inch or so.

Quilted Diamonds # 144 from the back

QD1 # 144 from the back. The white shapes press beautifully. If they had been appliquéed, all of the seam allowances would be tucked under the white (lumpy) and the seam allowances would shadow through on the front.

If you have Quilted Diamonds 2, you know that I show my diamonds from the front AND from the back and include detailed pressing instructions.

Quilted Diamonds 2 # 27 basket

QD2 # 27 “I could not help making a treasure of it.”
The design in the bottom half of this diamond allows continuous stitching, turning a corner at the end of every seam.

Continuous stitching makes the sewing go faster and might even allow you to get in a zen-like, relaxed state when you sew. See QD2, page 122, bottom row. (Several Inklingo videos feature continuous stitching too, of course.)

This might surprise you:— I prefer to hand piece the handles.

When I made my first diamond quilt, Love & Friendship, I appliquéed the basket handles but now I find them easier to hand piece.

Hand piecing the handles is BETTER than appliqué.

  1. The prep is easier because I don’t have to worry about how to center the handle.
  2. The seams press beautifully with no bulky or lumpy places.
  3. I can have different fabrics under and above the handle, so the basket can look as if it is full of flowers.
  4. It is easier to piece a smooth curve “on the go.” (I need great lighting and perfect conditions to hide my appliqué stitches.

Quilted Diamonds 2 # 27 with simplified variation

QD2 # 27  Simplified
This diamond is easy to simplify just by eliminating lines in the bottom half. It gave me a good space for fussy cutting. Since the handle is hand pieced, I was able to use one fabric below the handle and another fabric above. This basket is full of roses!

Simplify Quilted Diamonds

You can simplify any design just by not cutting on some of the lines. This design is only 5 pieces instead of 9.

Freezer paper templates in the FINISHED size give us unlimited options.

QD1 # 144 with simplified

If you are just learning to sew curves like these by hand, start with the simplified version.

If you have a tip or a photo or a story to share, please write to the Inklingo IO Group. (previously on Yahoo).

Please post photos of your diamonds! We can share on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest—anywhere.

You don’t have to be a hand piecer to participate. All variations of appliqué, paper piecing, machine piecing and foundation piecing are welcome.

Quilted Diamonds 2 Sampler Quilt

This is one example of what you can do with scrappy diamonds. It is a very special quilt.

For the whole story, see page 142 of Quilted Diamonds 2. We can use the Inklingo for QD shape collection to assemble our scrappy DOW diamonds with sashing later.

Introduction to Inklingo

The method of using freezer paper templates in the Quilted Diamonds books is fabulous but my first choice is always Inklingo, of course.

Printing on fabric with Inklingo eliminates the need to mark the sewing lines manually and the shapes have precision corners. There are so many advantages of printing!

If you are new to Inklingo, the videos on the Main Beginner’s Page on the website make it easy to get started—FREE. Diamond Triangle Square shape collection.

The best way to learn about printing on fabric is to print! The free shape collection includes the first chapter of The Inklingo Handbook too, and it will probably answer your questions.

The Patchworks of Lucy Boston

Diana Boston’s wonderful book is now only $25.95 for a limited time. I can fit two books in the flat rate Priority envelope (USA) for $6.95, so it is something to keep in mind if you are ordering one of the Quilted Diamonds books. You can make the most of the postage when you order two books.


Q. Would you like to have a separate Quilted Diamonds Quilt-Along group on Facebook? If you have suggestions, please let me know.

I can hardly wait to see your diamonds! Thank you for visiting.

Linda & Monkey

30 thoughts on “Quilted Diamonds – Quilt-Along 001 – Introduction”

  1. Would love to join! I have some fabrics that I can use from my stash for practicing! I also have your quilted diamonds book! I look forward to starting!

  2. Hi Linda, I have ordered one of your quilt diamonds books and the DVD, so looking forwards to them arriving. I’m joining in with this project as soon as it arrives. Have stalled with E.P.P. on patchwork of the crosses and have just started to hand piece without the papers, it’s great and gentler on my arthritis which I have in one hand than E.P.P.

    • Hi Gillian, Thank you very much for your order. I am happy that you are finding hand piecing with a running stitch easier on your hands than EPP. It is the same for many quilters. We need to take care of our hands and joints, so we can still be sewing in our 90s, like Lucy Boston!

  3. Hi Linda,I am one of the originals and have picked it up again.I started before the re birth of Diamonds,but love the new fresh look.Jane would be seriously pleased.

    • Welcome back, Barb! Today is Jane Sticke’s birthday too. I hope she would be pleased with all of us. We all love small blocks and making up our own designs!

  4. Looks like fun. I have a book ? will have to check which one. Something I can do by hand when sitting in evening etc. Will follow and see what moves me. another project to add to my other ?13 ones hahah

  5. Oh wonderful! I have the first Diamonds book, and over the past several years, have looked at it from time to time, but never taken action. You have now spurred me to action!!

  6. I’m going to join in as well. I have both books. My problem will be picking a colour. I can’t wait to begin. Not that I need another project. LOL

  7. “Avoid buying the books” ?? You could, but these are the most beautiful quilt books you’ll ever own! So excited to see Quilted Diamonds back!

  8. Hi Linda,
    I’m joining in also. So excited to get back to diamonds!
    Can you believe it!?! It’s been 15 years since you signed my “Quilted Diamonds 2” book.

  9. So thrilled to see the blog back; I like it so much better than Facebook.
    Would love to join, but all my tools, fabric, and books are in storage. I haven’t pieced a diamond in years, but remember how much fun they are! Maybe I can catch up when I get my things, and finish enough for a quilt.

  10. I bought the book from you when it was new. You even autographed it for me. I’ve made a few diamonds over the years but never completed anything. I’m excited about participating. Will we be making all of the blocks in the book? How many weeks will the sew along last?

    • Hi Kathy, I’m pleased that you are interested! I have not decided how many weeks it will last but it will keep going as long as there is interest. There are 180 diamonds in the first book, so if we do one a week, it would take about 3.5 years. 🙂

  11. Hello Linda,

    I am joining, it’s going to be a great ride to make the diamonds with all the ladies and yourself of course. Can’t leave you out I would not make it otherwise lol!

    So I am starting today, and I will post photos if it’s o.k. ?
    Thank you again for this.
    Best regards,

    • Hi Antoinette,

      I tried to answer this in the article:

      Obviously, if you are following along, you probably have at least one of the books, so I won’t be repeating all of the instructions here. You have my best tips for curves in the books and on the QD2 DVD too.


      If you don’t have the books, you can draw diamonds like these on freezer paper. Draw a rectangle that is 4 x 7 inches and find the midpoint on each side to start with a plain diamond. Divide it up any way you like.

      If you don’t need the hand piecing instructions and draw diamonds yourself, you can avoid buying the books.


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