22 Apr 2018

Blueberry Compote quilt block

The quilt block called Blueberry Compote is a quick and easy one to construct. It uses only squares and half square triangles.

My first block was designed using only three colours, but I thought it was a little drab, so I decided to add the bright orange --the complementary colour to the blue. By using a little of this colour, it gives the block just the spark it needed. (However, if your goal is to create a more subtle colour palette, then the choice on the left is the one for you.)

Blueberry Compote quilt block images © Wendy Russell
Blueberry Compote quilt blocks

Below I have used both blocks to create the sample quilts. The first selections show the quilt blocks set side by side in groupings of four blocks. Rotations by 90 degrees of some of the blocks in each group, results in a quilt with a secondary pattern appearing.

Quilts designed with the Blueberry Compote quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed with the BLUEBERRY COMPOTE quilt block. Side by side block setting


This second set of quilts uses the quilt blocks set on point. Several blocks are also rotated to once again utilize the directional nature of the blocks, and create an entirely different quilt design.

More quilts designed using the BLUEBERRY COMPOTE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
More quilts designed using the BLUEBERRY COMPOTE quilt block. On Point block setting


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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18 Apr 2018

Auntie's Puzzle quilt block

The Auntie's Puzzle quilt block is a simple five patch featuring squares and half square triangles. Those are the first patches you will learn to use as a beginner quilter, and that is because these are the most commonly used units in quiltmaking.

Auntie's Puzzle quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Auntie's Puzzle quilt block

After having described this block as a five patch, I then change it up because my personal preference for constructing the block is as an uneven nine patch simply because I like to work with "chunks" rather than in rows. (However, if you prefer to work in rows, then that is perfectly fine as well.)

The Auntie's Puzzle quilt block is also a "member" of a group of blocks that are directional in nature. This opens up all sorts of interesting ideas for quilt designs by rotating some of the blocks by 90 degrees, which often results in creating a secondary pattern. If you look closely at the quilt shown on the left you will see "stars" forming when using groups of four blocks. Switching up the colour options and/or including an additional colour can make this feature stand out even more.

Quilts designed using the AUNTIE'S PUZZLE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the AUNTIE'S PUZZLE quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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9 Apr 2018

Baton Rouge Square quilt block

The Baton Rouge Square quilt block is a favourite of quilters for two reasons.
  • Firstly, it is a 10" block and that makes for easy math. (But if this size is not for you, I have also given instructions for two other block sizes.)
  • Secondly, it is an easy quilt block to sew as it is constructed using only squares and a few half square triangles. This makes it a wonderful choice for a beginner quilter -- and -- as an addition to your collection of quilt blocks reflecting cities and places.

Baton Rouge Square quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Baton Rouge Square quilt block

For some, the name Baton Rouge Square brings to mind the capital city of Louisiana. However, I was drawn to the word "rouge" which means "red" in French. Since red is my favourite colour, how could I not use it in this block?


Using red as the background colour in the block, I also played around with a variation of the two remaining colours -- black and grey -- and switched them up, using both versions in the resultant quilt shown on the right. This just adds an additional bit of interest to the final quilt.

Quilts designed using the BATON ROUGE SQUARE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the BATON ROUGE SQUARE quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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29 Mar 2018

Best Friends quilt block

The Best Friends quilt block has a lot of pieces -- but -- it is well worth the effort to make as it then lends itself to some amazing quilts as a result.

Best Friends quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Best Friends quilt block

(A Side note is that the block contains only squares, rectangles and half square triangles -- easy peasy!)

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I like to make the construction part as simple as possible. So, as is often the case, I have designed this seven patch block to be constructed in an easier manner (at least in my opinion) -- as an uneven nine patch.

The two sample quilts illustrated below both use an on point setting. But -- could they look any different? (Maybe so, and that is where your design skills come into play!).


Quilts designed using the BEST FRIENDS quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the BEST FRIENDS quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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23 Mar 2018

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt block

The world wide emblem of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows -- three chain links -- represents the values of Friendship, Love and Truth -- or the "chain" that binds the Members together.

This quilt block is the representation of this group, first founded in England in the 1700s and evolving in the United States in 1819. The IOOF became the first fraternity in the United States to include both men and women, in 1851.

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Odd Fellow's Chain quilt block
This quilt block is not intended for a beginner quilter. This is not because it is difficult, but instead due to the large number of patches in the block. However, if you are up to the challenge, there is nothing difficult in this block. You just need to be very conscious of sewing a precise quarter inch seam allowance in order for all of those pieces to fit perfectly. My method constructs the block as an uneven nine patch (easier, in my opinion) rather than sewing this eight patch in eight rows of eight.


The two sample quilts illustrated show off the quilt blocks in very different ways. The quilt on the left adds large triangle corners to each block thereby increasing the size of the quilt blocks but also enhancing them with extra colour. The quilt on the right sets the blocks side by side and this creates a subtle secondary pattern if you look closely. There is no end to the possibilities for your own personal quilt.

Quilts designed using the ODD FELLOW'S CHAIN quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the ODD FELLOW'S CHAIN quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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15 Mar 2018

Quilt Blocks for the Irish in you

St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching and perhaps you want to start a quilt for the occasion. (Okay, it won't be ready until next year if you start now -- but there is no better time than the present.)

These four quilt blocks will give you lots of ideas for that quilt. Use one or all of them. That is the beauty of quilting -- you decide how it all goes together.


First up is Danny Boy -- a beautiful Irish ballad. Some believe the song was meant as a father's message to a son going off to war. It was first recorded in 1915. Perhaps this quilt block might be fitting for a veteran in your life.

Danny Boy quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Danny Boy quilt block

Irish Puzzle is a four patch quilt block that will give you lots of practice making half square triangles -- in two different sizes.

Irish Puzzle quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Irish Puzzle quilt block


We have all heard of the "luck of the Irish" so, what better block to choose than Lucky Clover? This simple quilt block is comprised of only squares, rectangles and flying geese patches. Of course, once again I went with the obvious green for most of the fabric choices.

Lucky Clover quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Lucky Clover quilt block


Lastly, the Connemara quilt block requires a little more work in that it uses more patches in the block. However, none of those patches are difficult so the block is well worth the effort to make.

 
A side note - Connemara is a region in Galway, Ireland and is known since ancient times for its green marble (one slab can contain over forty shades of green). This marble is used for a multitude of things from countertops to jewelry.

Connemara quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Connemara quilt block
All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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4 Mar 2018

Arrows quilt block

The Arrows quilt block might look a little boring at first glance, but colour choices make this a block that is striking -- and simple patches make it an interesting choice for a beginner quilter.

ARROWS quilt block image © Wendy Russell
ARROWS quilt block
This four patch quilt block features only squares and half square triangle patches. These simple patches make the construction of this block an easy task and speeds up the making of a stunning quilt.

The sample quilt shown below on the left illustrates that by 90 degrees rotations of the blocks in groups four blocks, you will start to see a secondary pattern emerge due to the directional nature of the block. The use of sashing strips to separate those blocks adds another element of interest to the quilt.

The sample quilt shown on the right introduces additional blank blocks and setting triangles in varying colours to add an extra pop of colour to the quilt.

Quilts designed using the ARROWS quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the ARROWS quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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21 Feb 2018

Chisholm Trail quilt block

The Chisholm Trail quilt block is named for the famous cattle drive path from from Texas to Kansas in the post-civil war era. The "Chisholm" part of the trail was blazed and marked in 1864 by Jesse Chisholm, as a way to supply his own trading posts in Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma.

Chisholm Trail quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Chisholm Trail quilt block
The design of the Chisholm Trail quilt block fits its name as it has a directional nature, which seems to me, to be appropriate. Directional blocks have lots of opportunities for the design of your quilt. By rotating some of the blocks by 90 degrees, you can develop all sorts of interesting variations.
This simple four patch quilt block is ideal as a starting point for a new quilter. Squares and half square triangles are the only patches used in this block.

The sample quilts illustrated are made with simple settings. Your biggest decision is how much colour do you want to add to the final quilt.

Quilts designed  using the CHISHOLM TRAIL quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the CHISHOLM TRAIL quilt block
All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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