Make a Pony Express Quilt with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star! (Video Tutorial)


Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC.
And I’ve got a fun project for you today. This quilt is made using squares we’re familiar
with but put together in a fun way. Sometimes it’s fun to know how a quilt gets its name.
This is the block we’re talking about right here. And we are calling it the Pony Express
Block. Now how this quilt got its name is that we have a shop hop that runs along our
highway. We’re on Highway 36 and we have all kinds of amazing things that have happened
on Highway 36, like JC Penney was born here, Walt Disney was born here and the Pony Express
began here. They asked us to put together a block for the Pony Express shop hop so we
called this the Pony Express block. Now it’s probably got another name but it works for
us. So let’s take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this fun? This is a fabric line
by Alex Anderson. And it is as happy as she is. It looks just her to me. It’s bubbly
and bright and happy. And let’s talk about how to make this. So what you need to make this quilt is one
package of ten inch squares. And again we’ve used a line called Mirage by Alex Anderson
for RJR Fabrics. And it’s beautiful. I just love this line. It’s just very, very happy.
And whenever you see Alex she’s always got this bright, happy smile on her face. And
it just reminds me of her so much. So you’re also going to need some background fabric.
Now you can use ten inch squares for this. We have opted to use yardage. So you’re
going to need 4 ½ yards of your solid color. We used this, this color right here for our
background. And then you’re also going to need 1 ½ yards for your outer border. It’s
just, I mean look at this beautiful little floral outer border. It’s so fun. But wait
til you see the back. The back is so pretty. It’s, it’s 2 ¾ yards because it’s 108
inch wide back. Look at this back. Isn’t that beautiful? It’s just fibrant. It just
shouts. It’s fun. I mean I just love it. I love it. So that’s what you’re going
to need to make the quilt. So let me show you how to do this. Again it’s two blocks.
We have our half square triangles and our flying geese blocks that we’re going to
make. So to make our half square triangles when
you want to put, when you want to put several blocks together in one to make one quilt block
they all have to end up the same size. So math becomes a little important. So our corner
half square triangle blocks are going to need to be 4 ½ inches. So to do that, the method
we’re going to use for that is we’re going to take one ten inch square and our printed
ten inch square. So one of background, one of print. We’re going to lay those right
sides together and we’re going to draw a line diagonally on both sides. You can see
that I’ve done that. Then we’re going to sew a quarter of an inch from that line
on both sides. Now I have that over here. And it’s a little hard to see that sew line.
But I’ve actually sewn a quarter of an inch on both sides of my drawn line here. And then
we’re going to cut it. So when you’re ready to cut this you’ve got to find your
rotary cutter. Here’s mine. You’ve got to find your rotary cutter and then we’re
going to cut on the line that we’ve sewn a quarter of an inch from. We’re going to
cut this way and we’re going to cut this way. And lay your ruler up so it goes point
to point. And then we’re going to cut it this way and this way. So we make four cuts
total and that gives us eight half square triangles and we call that the easy eight.
So now each one of these is a half square triangle, you’ll see. See there. So now
we’re going to take these to the ironing board and we’re going to press them open.
And I’m just going to do that by setting my seam. And keeping the dark side to this
top and just rolling it back. And you’re going to do that to all of yours. Now you’re
going to get eight when you do that this way and you only need four for each block. So
four goes to this block and four will go on another block. So then you just want to make
sure that they are 4 ½ inches. And so you’re going to lay your ruler on there and make
sure that if you need to square anything up or trim any little bits off. You know if you
trim anything, it’s just going to be tiny bits. So I’m just going to turn this. And
you can use, there’s lots of things you can use to square up a block. You can just
use a ruler to make sure that it’s 4 ½ on both sides. I keep laying it over here
watching my 4 ½ line. See it’s perfect, so nothing there. And I’m going to turn
it one more time. And look at that. See it’s just a hair. These come out so close that,
see look at that waste. These come out so close. You almost don’t need to trim them
up but if you want it to be perfect you’ve got to trim them up. So you’re going to
use four of those for the corners of your block. And we have those right there. Next you’re going to need to do your flying
geese blocks and these are ours right here. And to do that what you’re going do is you
need white background rectangles that are 2 ½ by 4 ½. And I’ve got some strips here.
So there’s two ways to do this with your background fabric. You can cut your strip
4 ½ and then cut it in 2 ½ inch chunks or you can cut it 2 ½ and then cut it this way
into 4 ½. So I’m just going to do that for this one right here. So I have a couple.
And then you have these little, these little rectangles right there. We need to put corner
squares on them. Our corner squares are going to be 2 ½. So you’re going to take your
ten inch square, and again there’s lots of ways to do this. But I’m just going to
come over here and cut a 2 ½ inch strip off the edge of this. You’re going to do this
to your whole square like this and cut your 2 ½ inch squares. So you need one of these
for each of your blocks, all cut up, cut four of these. And if I, when I’m cutting them
for the big quilt I’m going to stack them. I’m going to get my best use of time out
of this. And I’m going to stack those so I don’t, I’m not making little tiny cuts.
Now on these right here, what we’re going to do is we’re going to find our center
line. So we’re going to press these. And you want to, when you press the line you want
to press it so that the wrong sides come together like this because then when you sew you’re
sewing in the valley, you know in that V of your press line. It’s a lot easier to sew
in the valley than it is on top of the mountain. So you can always know you’re doing that
if you press it wrong sides together. So let’s go ahead and do that to ours. So we’re just
going to match point to point and run the iron over. And we’re going to do that to
all four. It takes two for each rectangle. And you’re going to need 16 of these for
your block because you’re going to have, you have eight flying geese that you’re
going to put together. And you have eight flying geese you’re going to put together.
Right here you can see, two, four, six, eight of these. So there’s 16 but it goes pretty
fast. Alright so lay your 2 ½ inch square on the edge of your rectangle like this. Sew
right on the line. So let’s go to the sewing machine and do
that. We’re going to sew right on that line. Make sure it’s lined up along the edge.
We’re going to sew on the line. Then we’re going to trim this off right here. And iron
that back, just press it back. And then we’re going to attach another square on this other
side over here. I always make sure I’m going the right way by putting mine across the middle,
making sure they cross over. We’re going to sew on this line. And it takes two of these,
it takes two of these little blocks to make your, your flying geese unit. So then again
we’re just going to trim off. And I just lay my ruler a quarter of an inch away, trim
it. So it catches those threads as well and then we’re going to iron this back. Just
press that back. And you’re going to need two of these for each block. I mean two for
each unit. And I’ve got some made here because you’re just going to sew them together.
So see how this one is right here. You just lay this one on top, sew it on. And they just
stack up like that. So you just need two of those sewn together. And you’re going to
need four of those for each block. So a total of eight of these flying geese units. So let
me show you how this goes together because this is just fun. So your corner blocks are going to, going
to face out like this. So let’s put those out. And these flying geese blocks are going
to come in right in the center of your corner blocks. So everything is snug right in there
just like this. You want to make sure that your geese are flying toward your center block
on all four sides. So we’ve got that. And then our little center square is going to
match up and it’s going to be a 4 ½ inch background square as well. And it goes in
there just like that to make that block. Isn’t that so cute? It’s such a fun little block.
I love when you combine different elements and see what’s going to happen. So this
just makes a really fun little block. So let me show you how to set this together. Because you’re going to make all your blocks
and they’re going to look like this. Now let’s take a look at the quilt right here.
We’ve got one, two, three, four, five by five I think. One, two, three, four, five,
yep, five by five blocks on here. And we have sashed them. So this sashing, this piece right
here is going to end up being the same size as your block. And you’re going to put a
piece in between every time you sew your blocks together. So here’s your blocks right here.
And you’re going to put a sashing strip in between every one like this. Just like
this. And sew your row together, of five, you’re going to do that. Then you’re going
to put a sashing row in there. So that sashing row has a little tiny cornerstone. And that’s
one of your 2 ½ inch squares. So when you’re cutting out your 2 ½ inch squares you’ll
want to set aside 36 of those for this quilt. Because they’re all popping, you know, every
time those little junctions come together you’ve got a little cornerstone. And that
actually makes it really easy to set your blocks together. So let me grab my, my strips
right here. Oh here they are. Alright so then right over here, I’ve got
to make me some room. Alright we’ve got another strip right here and this one right
here. So then what we’re going to do is take this sashing piece. We’re going to
start it with a block and we’re going to sew it right in here. Can you see how this
is all going to work together? And you’re going to have that long strip. Let’s look
again, here it is right here, right through the middle of the quilt underneath all the
blocks. And then your next row that is sewn together with the sash striping is going to
go right underneath it and finish it up to make the quilt. It’s going to make a quilt
that is, let’s see how big this is, 83 by 83 so that’s a good size quilt. It makes
a, it just makes a beautiful quilt. These blocks when they end up finished it should
be about 12 inches. So that’s what we’re going for. But you know we’re, don’t stress
too much over that because what we’re going for is consistency more than perfection. Enjoy
the process. We hope you love making this block. Again it’s called the Pony Express
block. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the MSQC.


96 Responses

  1. Kathleen Goggins

    June 14, 2017 7:24 am

    I love the pattern so colorful and busy! Lots of movement. But I have a question. I have noticed white is used a lot as a background color. Is this a personal preference? Or does it look better in the videos?

  2. e2cmmm

    June 16, 2017 4:05 am


  3. Bonnie Fogg

    June 16, 2017 4:13 am

    Just started this tutorial.. and I already fell in love with the block…. Thanks for teaching us. Blessings and Prayers

  4. Debbie Horton

    June 16, 2017 4:29 am

    I live off of Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines/Camino CA. So I LOVE this pattern and look forward to making it one day. Thank you so much for another great pattern and tutorial

  5. Cynthia Stark

    June 16, 2017 4:33 am

    Love the quilt. I had to laugh when you were hunting your rotary cutter because I'm always doing that too.

  6. Joyce Anglin Miller

    June 16, 2017 4:40 am

    I love everything about this quilt! The size, the fabric line, and especially the outer border fabric. I hope I will be able to get all the fabrics I need for it soon. I felt so bad for you having to hunt for your rotary cutter. I almost handed you mine, lol!

  7. Janice Ideus

    June 16, 2017 4:47 am

    I love it. Can't wait until I get caught up with my current projects so I can make this one. Your tutorials are always awesome.

  8. June1708

    June 16, 2017 5:36 am

    I can only imagine back when the Pony Express began in Hamilton what the women back in those days would have thought if they could have been taught to quilt by our AWESOME Jenny Doan !
    Jenny & MSQC ….this is another awesome quilt.

  9. Sandra Therese Heavey

    June 16, 2017 5:47 am

    Brilliant! Love your tutorials Jenny :-)you come highly recommended by the ladies in our regional Patchwork Society…and I can see why! I could follow every step as I watched you piece the block together. I definitely want to try this (I am at novice quilter stage)I have tried the pinwheel block but it came out a bit wonky 😀 look forward to watching more of your tutorials. Your enthusiasm is infectious 🙂 love it!

    South Kilkenny
    Ireland's Sunny South East 🙂

  10. Fazila Butt

    June 16, 2017 5:59 am

    Salaam…'s really beautiful & colourful quilt…jenny aanti u r really an intelligent woman….

  11. Rebecca Conn

    June 16, 2017 6:23 am

    I ordered a layer cake for a different project, and they just did not work with the other colors. They are beautiful indigo blues, though, and I knew you would come up with a beautiful pattern for them. This is it! Imagine how different things were during the Pony Express. At that time, New Mexico was an interesting amalgam of Indian tribes, Mexicans, and American settlers, not to mention soldiers. I love Americans!

  12. RV Hobo

    June 16, 2017 6:45 am

    Ya Jenny is human after all, I am always looking for my rotor cutter too. I love your quilts and blocks as you use normal measurements and not weird ones like some quilters on Youtube. This will make a great QAYG quilt.

  13. Brain Freeze

    June 16, 2017 6:59 am

    I love this one. It is a little more complicated. I think the shoo fly unit in all the same colors too would look awesome.

  14. Denise Pineda

    June 16, 2017 7:23 am

    Yea I love this block. It looks so complicated until you break it down. I have to say, Jenny, that you make my week. I love your down-to-earth style. Keep the videos coming and many thanks!

  15. Mrs_Badger At_Home

    June 16, 2017 9:18 am

    I almost laughed when you started patting down the fabric while hunting for your cutter. I'm always doing the exact same thing. (I'm convinced that they move while we aren't looking!) Thanks for another happy start to my Friday!!

  16. Erika Kenzig

    June 16, 2017 10:42 am

    So did we not do the 4 at a time flying geese just because precuts were used? I would think time-wise, that method would be more efficient with so many flying geese units.

  17. chris shaffer

    June 16, 2017 10:46 am

    Hi Jenny, this is Chris from Essex England, I love it and because of your videos to inspire me I am a quilter. Thank you

  18. Little Quiltsong

    June 16, 2017 11:33 am

    Beautiful block!! Love how the corners make a Shoofly block when the sashes are added! So neat!

  19. diane motley

    June 16, 2017 11:39 am

    This is one of my very favorites…hats off to the designer…Natalie? Love the fabric line, too, and it works nicely with this design. I think I'd like to make this into a queen size.

  20. Donna Diskin

    June 16, 2017 12:57 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial … your instructions put any level quilter at ease – and, love the the history lesson as well, very interesting.

  21. Julia Medina

    June 16, 2017 3:51 pm

    Hi. I just want to say that Alex Anderson got me hooked on quilting. Jenny keeps me into the art with her easy blocks and great shortcuts. Just love that these two are together somehow.

  22. Loris Mills

    June 16, 2017 4:10 pm

    Such a beautiful quilt! Thank you , Jenny for another dose of inspiration and instruction. You make Fridays wonderful 🙂

  23. virginia7191

    June 16, 2017 4:14 pm

    How cute! As usual, you take something that looks complicated and show us the easy way to make it. Love the colors! Thanks Jenny!

  24. Lalie Mode

    June 16, 2017 4:23 pm

    Jenny, the quilt has 25 blocks, two 10" squares each (50) needed for a block. Will I need addl fabric for 10" squares when the usual layer cake has 42? or am I figuring this incorrectly? Thanks

  25. Amber Nixon

    June 16, 2017 4:37 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this! This will be a great quilt to use those fabrics that I've been collecting for a rainy day. This design really pops and I just love it!!

  26. Mom Grandma

    June 16, 2017 5:33 pm

    Hi Jenny! Alex Anderson's fabric makes those quilt blocks rock! You show quilters that Flying Geese are not that scary. I don't know where that fear originated from, but they're really easy. Thanks!

  27. Gunnel Christersson

    June 16, 2017 6:07 pm

    Hi Jenny
    One more of your lovely quilts!
    I just want to ask why you don't use the fast and not-wasty way to make the flying geese?
    Every friday when I get home from work I look to your latest video and I want to make them all!😊
    Best wishes from Gunnel in Sweden

  28. Celeste Whipple

    June 16, 2017 10:34 pm

    Very new to quilting just want to do this just don't know how I would quilt it on my regular machine

  29. newbeequilter

    June 16, 2017 11:46 pm

    As I'm looking at the construction here, it seems one could make this same block using two charm squares with contrast fabric for the HSTs and one jelly roll strip with contrast for the flying geese. But then you'd have a HUGE quilt with 40 blocks (plus sashing and borders). Nope, I guess I'll save that idea for a REALLY scrappy quilt using a smaller quantity of leftover JR strips and charms from other projects. By your using the one layer cake with contrast it makes this an efficient use of fabric all from the same line — nice and neatly 🙂

  30. Laura Mac

    June 17, 2017 12:09 am

    Love, love, love this quilt! Can't wait to try it. And I completely agree about the Alex Anderson fabrics. They are so cheerful! Just like you, Jenny! Is the 108" backing fabric also from the Mirage line?

  31. Nanna Liz

    June 17, 2017 1:03 am

    I love the quilt but it looks like A WHOLE LOTTA WORK QUILT. I need some quilting elves who can come in the night and help me out.

  32. Trish Loves Dogs

    June 17, 2017 2:07 am

    I'm not a fan of the snowball but…… this quilt is so pretty it may be high time I learn to embrace it! Thanks Jenny!

  33. Celeste Brown

    June 17, 2017 2:17 am

    HI jenny!

    I love your quilts so much! I am in the process of making your 'Ohio Star' quilt. But i find when i square up all 'hour glass' blocks(right before sewing them into rows) a lot of them are smaller then the 4 in that i need.

    My question: at what point should i be squaring them up to avoid this? I can sew them together, the seam allowances just catch it but if i'm not paying attention and i line one of the sides up with the white 4 in square it come out skewed.

  34. Sandi Zepp

    June 17, 2017 4:10 am

    What size would this project be if you used a charm pack in place of the layer cake ? Such a cute pattern 🙂

  35. Cheryl Pearson

    June 17, 2017 8:47 am

    Wow, it looked complicated but you made it look easy! I must try this! Happy belated birthday!

  36. Angelica Jones

    June 17, 2017 4:28 pm

    When you say 12 in finished do you mean in the quilt or when the single block is done?

  37. carylanne rosten

    June 17, 2017 7:15 pm

    I am thrilled to see that the squaring up or trimming of the blocks is finally being shown on your tutorials. that factor makes such a huge difference when putting different units together to make a block. For all these years I have cringed out loud when you have just pieced, pressed from the top without setting the seam ( another very important part of unit construction), and then just pieced them nilly willy. Thanks for showing the correct way for all your beginner piecers.

  38. Marsha Houk

    June 17, 2017 8:13 pm

    I just love the enthusiasm and sense of joy, it's always there and it is so contagious, thank you Jenny, you are such a ray of sunshine

  39. Sandra Kleiser Black

    June 17, 2017 10:37 pm

    OMGsh, I LOVE this!!! The fabric is awesome, and as I watched the video, I noticed all of the other blocks that were sneaking into it, like a white churn dash and a smaller colorful churn dash, the white diamonds in between, etc. One question…could all of the half square triangles come from 5" precuts (because I have a collection of those!) or would that throw off the measurements of the block?

  40. grantairezee

    June 17, 2017 11:52 pm

    THANK YOU MRS. JENNY!! I was working on a pattern with this block and the flying geese were giving me fits. I was using that "no waste" four at a time technique, but I always ended up drunk-looking geese. Your way is much easier!

  41. Susan

    June 18, 2017 2:44 am

    I do have a complaint. I love every single tutorial and pattern and want to make all of them. Every week that pattern is my favorite and then the next week that one is and pretty soon, I have a list of ten or more patterns that I want to try. I wish there was a tutorial on either making more time, or slowing it down so I can get it all in. Those late night until 2am quilting jams are beginning to make me dream of quilting. I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you .

  42. Sandra Therese Heavey

    June 18, 2017 9:44 am

    Linda R and Mary Ellen, you ladies are a riot!:-D i have been reading your 'spat' and it has cheered me up no end! Thank you 🙂

    Good morning Jenny, I am now subscribed to your channel because I love your tutorials as I mentioned earlier. I watched your tutorial on the Civil War quilt kit…oh my! I so want to make one of those! Would they by any chance be available to buy in Ireland? I just know now they are expensive but worth it. My partner is fascinated by that whole period (and so am I to an extent) I think it would be lovely to make a quilt for him, don't you? I would definitely follow the tutorial for this Civil War quilt. Am I rambling?

    Greetings from Ireland :-)have you ever been Jenny?

    South Kilkenny

  43. Quiltmekiwi

    June 19, 2017 2:23 am

    Jenny YOU are a darling! I love the quilt, but it's your cheery presentation that makes it pop!

  44. Shaun Monthei

    June 19, 2017 5:32 am

    I have to agree with the catching up part. I've made so many quilt tops from these videos! I hate having to quilt them with my tiny brother sewing machine! I was wondering where to get those table shelves that you can connect to the sewing machine! I have the extended table part but it's still to small. I would love a long arm sewing machine!!! I would buy one in a heart beat if I won the lottery!! I have to buy some colorful layer cakes for the Sweat Treats pattern and this one too I' amazed how many quilts I love that I still want to do. Gotta catch up and finish quilting the others! UGH!!!!!!!!!!! Love you Jenny and your super happy, sparkly smile!!!!

  45. TheSEA04

    June 19, 2017 1:04 pm

    I always enjoy watching your tutorials, lots of great tips and ideas, but I wish they could be a little longer for a newbie quilter like me…

  46. Marie Fountain

    June 20, 2017 10:20 am

    I'm new to quilting and watching your videos is very helpful – you make it sound easy and so much fun. I was introduced to you by Ashville Quilt Co in Ashville, AL – great people! Thanks for your demos!

  47. Donna DeLany

    June 21, 2017 1:21 am

    Hi Jenny, I just love watching your tutorials and this is a beautiful and fun quilt that I am going to have to make!! I always learn something new from you and I have been a quilter since 1990! I love it!! You are such a joy and an awesome teacher!! I thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge!! You are such a blessing and I am so happy to have found your channel!! Blessings to you!!

  48. Janet Klatt

    June 21, 2017 10:44 am

    Hi Jenny, I am watching from Australia, I love this quilt, can I buy this fabric pack from you, we have nothing like this here, I would love it in kit form

  49. cherrygingham

    June 21, 2017 9:20 pm

    So, if the layout is 5 blocks by 5 blocks, that makes 25 total and using 2 layer cake squares for each, that is 50 squares. You'll need 2 layer cakes to make this and have some left over. Not sure how many were used for the corner squares in the sashing.


    June 22, 2017 9:53 pm

    Very impressive design, Jenny & MSQC! I love that you were able to calculate the math to use a layer cake, as I have bought several from you over the years, this is a perfect design for one of the fabric collections that reads-as-a-solid (or simply mixed solids). Thanks for another memorable "must-make" quilt designs and tutorials. ~Diana from Toronto

  51. Barbara Mays-Stock

    June 30, 2017 10:06 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    I'm wondering, do you use 1/2 of the colorful layer cake for the HSTs and half for the flying geese? You didn't mention the breakdown. Thanks.

  52. Liz Bethy

    July 2, 2017 4:02 am

    Is it ok to use muslim for the backing of the quilt? What kind is the best to use? Do I need to look for a specific thread count, and does it need to be prewashed?

  53. Irene Marshall

    July 3, 2017 10:41 am

    Jen, did I miss exactly how you make the long sashing with corner stones? I don't think you demonstrated it. Can I find it in different video?

  54. Janet Blickle

    July 14, 2017 4:18 pm

    Jenny, Have you made an Oregon Trail quilt? I live in Oregon and my Gr. Gr. grandparents came here on the Oregon Trail in 1854. I have learned so much from watching your videos. Thank you.

  55. Hand Made Karmen

    August 5, 2017 2:49 am

    Ayudaria mucho pusieran subtitulos en español me baso en ver pero no me quedan claras las medidas porque lo dice muy rapido me podrian ayudar en decirme de que medida es el bloque? y de que medida quedan los triangulos por favor saludos desde Mexico

  56. Ida Bourne

    August 24, 2017 5:56 pm

    Jenny, I love your tutorials, your sweet and fun personality and how well you explain the process! Thank you.

  57. Joy Whitcroft

    September 1, 2017 1:31 am

    Jenny you are so much fun … you make quilting look soooo easy … and you never fail to inspire me … Thank You so much .. (and don't worry … Gardens have Fairies hiding in them … and so do Sewing Rooms … and yours … like mine … love to play hide and seek with our Rotary cutters … if you listen really carefully while wondering where your lost items are … I'm sure you will hear them giggling … hehehehehehehe) …. Happy Sewing everyone.

  58. Tracy Hastings

    January 16, 2018 2:40 pm

    As always, a great tutorial. Love the fabrics. I went through as many of the comments to see if anyone has asked about the border fabric and backing fabric names. I would very much like to purchase the same fabrics and couldn't find them on the MSQC web site. Can someone provide me the name of the border fabric and the backing fabric, please? Many thanks to everyone at MSQC for all your hard work, keep it up!

  59. Lily Fae

    June 18, 2018 9:26 pm

    What would the measurements be if I wanted the center square to be a layer cake? If I wanted to double the sizes?

  60. Maria Angeles Castrillo

    January 22, 2019 3:12 pm

    Precioso….podrias hacer un tutorial de las estaciones del año de Sue….gracias….si algun dia puedo voy a verte….gracias….

  61. Chris peters

    February 20, 2019 5:22 am

    I make quilts for two charity groups. Your quilts are very large for donation. Do you have directions for smaller sizes.


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