21 Sep 2017

Amish Star quilt block

Another easy quilt block that is perfect for the beginner. (But don't think you can't make a dramatic quilt using only simple blocks -- not so.) A case in point is the Amish Star block which uses only the most basic patches in quiltmaking.

Amish Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Amish Star quilt block

Featured patches in this nine patch block are simple squares and rectangles and then you will move on to half square triangles and flying geese units. Quilters use these same patches over and over and over again making all sorts of wonderful designs.

The quilts illustrated use two different examples of on point settings. One uses blank blocks to feature your exquisite quilting, while the second design covers the whole surface and separates the blocks with sashing strips. Just a "drop in the bucket" of designs you can come up with too.

More STAR quilt block patterns

Quilts designed using the AMISH STAR quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the AMISH STAR quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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18 Sep 2017

Garden Square quilt block

The Garden Square quilt block might look familiar to you. It is similar to another block called Folded Corners, but with a simple change. Look closely and you will see the slight difference between the two blocks.

Since the name of this nine patch block brings a garden or greenery to mind -- (at least it does to me) -- one of the block samples is done in appropriate colours of a natural setting. I also chose a different colour scheme for those of you who like a more "masculine" look. In both cases, I stuck with the monochrome colours in order to continue on theme of an optical illusion that is created in the corners -- as if they are folded down -- just as in the Folded Corners quilt block.

Garden Square quilt block images © Wendy Russell
Garden Square quilt blocks 

Below are two of the four different sample quilts I designed using this block. You can see the other examples when you download the free quilt block pattern. I hope you truly enjoy creating your own special quilt with this quilt block.

Quilts designed using the GARDEN SQUARE quilt block - imagex © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the GARDEN SQUARE quilt block

More "optical illusion" quilt blocks:
~ Folded Corners 
~ Formal Frame

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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12 Sep 2017

Blue Ridge Mountain Star quilt block

For those of you who like to make larger quilt blocks, (in this case a 16" block) -- then, this might be one for you. (Larger blocks = fewer blocks to make).

Blue Ridge Mountain Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Blue Ridge Mountain Star quilt block

The Blue Ridge Mountain Star is also a fine choice to practice up on your skills in making certain common quilt patches, namely:
~ half square triangles
~ square in a square
~ quarter square triangles (just a few)

The two sample quilts illustrated below are perfect examples of how the design of your quilt can differ a great deal from a quilt made my your friend -- both of you using the same blocks. The setting of the blocks is what can make a world of difference.

Quilts designed using the BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN STAR quilt block - imagex © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN STAR quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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4 Sep 2017

Puss in the Corner quilt block

The Puss in the Corner quilt block is a simple nine patch featuring only squares and half square triangles. This block would be a wonderful choice to practice those triangles (which are the most commonly used patches in quiltmaking) and perfecting your quarter inch seam allowance along the way.

Puss in the Corner quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Puss in the Corner quilt block

This block could be sewn in a different way, by using flying geese units instead of pairs of half square triangles, but I thought the practice of making these much used patches was an opportunity for beginner quilters to "hone" their skills.

Continuing on with beginner quilters in mind, I chose to make the sample quilt illustrations using common (and favourite) quilt layouts for the blocks. One quilt shows the block laid out side by side while the other quilt features the blocks set on point with sashing strips between the blocks. Now, it's over to you -- what can you come up with?

Quilts designed using the PUSS IN THE CORNER quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the PUSS IN THE CORNER quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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27 Aug 2017

Depression quilt block

The Depression quilt block is one of my favourites -- for two reasons. First, it is an easy block to construct featuring only half square triangles. Secondly, this block lends itself perfectly to making a scrappy version, thereby clearing out a lot of the little bits of fabric in your stash.

Depression quilt block image © Wendy Russell
DEPRESSION quilt block

This four patch block is a perfect choice to practice up on sewing half square triangles, as the whole block is comprised of only those patches -- which are the most commonly used patches in quiltmaking (after the square of course).

The two sample quilts give you an idea of using this block to create a sort of optical illusion (left quilt) -- as in "Am I looking at light diamonds framing dark diamonds or is it the reverse?" The quilt on the right gives even more attention to the scrappy look by adding extra blank blocks in a variety of colours. There is no end to the designs you can come up with.

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

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23 Aug 2017

Oklahoma Twister quilt block

It's the time of year when Mother Nature shows who is boss and so I thought I would feature this Oklahoma Twister quilt block. This block could be considered as a study in half square triangles. This is the perfect block to choose if you want to practice up on that most commonly used patch in quiltmaking (other than the square), as there are lots of them in this block. It is these half square triangles that give the impression of the "twister" spinning -- at least that is how I see it.

Oklahoma Twister quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Oklahoma Twister quilt block

The trick to the making of this block is the careful placement of the "values" of the fabrics -- meaning whether the fabrics are a dark, medium or light choice. I chose to use a single fabric for the background (the light), while using a variety of mediums and darks -- all in blue -- to make a scrappy version, but still have it "read" as a blue block.

The two sample quilts illustrated are both designed using a side by side setting of the blocks. But, I could not resist adding the extra blank blocks in a variety of blue fabrics, to continue the "scrappy" look in the quilt on the right.

Quilts designed using the OKLAHOMA TWISTER quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the OKLAHOMA TWISTER quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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15 Aug 2017

Entwined Star quilt block

The Entwined Star quilt block is a simple nine patch block. Now having said that, it also introduces you to a method that quilters refer to as "sew and flip". In a nutshell, for some of the patches, you sew a square to another fabric and the end result is a triangle in the corner! Sounds complicated, but this is really easy and an alternative method for quilters who like to avoid triangles if at all possible.

Entwined Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Entwined Star quilt block

Now, not all of the visible triangles in this block are constructed in this manner -- and that gives you more exposure to working with quarter square triangles and half square triangles to produce a patch (underused, in my opinion), which is often referred to as the three quarter square triangle.


The two sample quilts illustrated use standard layouts for the blocks. So depending on whether you like to do lots of patchwork or you like to show off your quilting skills, you might lean towards one of these options -- or be creative and design a setting of your own.

Quilts designed using the ENTWINED STAR quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the ENTWINED STAR quilt block

As a side note ~ This block looked familiar to me and I realized that not only had I already created the pattern for a similar block -- but -- that other block uses similar fabrics! So perhaps you might take a look at this block, which uses only squares and half square triangles.

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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9 Aug 2017

King's Crown quilt block

The King's Crown quilt block is technically a six patch (as it is designed using a 6 x 6 grid), but it is constructed as an uneven nine patch due to the large centre patch that takes up a great deal of the design.

King's Crown quilt block image © Wendy Russell
King's Crown quilt block

The centre unit is known as a square in a square patch. With the centre section being so large, this is the perfect spot to place a motif that has been "fussy cut" from a large fabric. It would also be a wonderful spot to place a photograph that has been transferred to fabric.


To finish off the patches to create, you will make a number of half square triangles as well as a few flying geese units. All in all, this block is a great learning experience, if you are new to quiltmaking.

The two sample quilts illustrated are both designed using on point settings. This just gives you ideas of how very different two quilts can be when using identical blocks.

Quilts designed using the KING'S CROWN quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the KING'S CROWN quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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