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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12 Feb 2018

Love in the Mist quilt block

Continuing on the Valentine theme I started earlier this week, today's featured quilt block even has the word "Love" in the title. Love in the Mist is an easier block to make than Cupid's Arrow Point, featured previously.

Love in the Mist quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Love in the Mist quilt block

Love in the Mist is a simple nine patch block featuring half square triangles and the square in a square patch -- (which is fast becoming a favourite of mine). However, don't think you are limited to using these "romantic" colours, as this star block would look fabulous in many other colour schemes.
The two sample quilts shown below use standard layouts of the blocks -- one quilt shows the blocks side by side with a centre section of blank blocks to showcase your quilting skills. The second quilt features extra colour in the blank blocks as well as sashing strips for additional effect.

Quilts designed using the LOVE IN THE MIST quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the LOVE IN THE MIST quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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9 Feb 2018

Cupid's Arrow Point quilt block

It's that time of year again when cherubs are getting ready to flex their bows. How appropriate that I have just the quilt block for you to make for this special day -- Cupid's Arrow Point.

Cupid's Arrow Point quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Cupid's Arrow Point quilt block

This quilt block has something for everyone. It is a pretty block that is constructed as an uneven nine patch, for ease in sewing. And ... it is a choice to make when you are wanting to practice sewing some of the patches that you don't use for many a quilt block -- namely the square in a square as well as quarter square triangles. There are also lots of flying geese patches, but those are more commonly used.

I really like the surprises that appeared as I was designing the two sample quilts illustrated below. I am a lover of plaid and was delighted to see that these quilts looked like different arrangements of the same plaid. Can you see it too?
Quilts designed using the CUPID'S ARROW POINT quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the CUPID'S ARROW POINT quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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3 Feb 2018

Firewheel quilt block

Sometimes I just like to stick to the obvious colours that seem to call out to me. In the case of the Firewheel quilt block, this was no exception. I envisioned a fireball brightening up the night sky.

Firewheel quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Firewheel quilt block

This quilt block is an eight patch featuring common pieced patches -- half square triangles and flying geese units. None of these patches are difficult to sew, but care must be taken to sew an accurate quarter inch seam allowance due to the large number of cut pieces in this block. The good news is that you will be creating a stunning quilt.
The two sample quilts shown on this page are just ideas that you might like for your quilt, or perhaps you are all set to design your own. Whatever the case, you will certainly have fun in the process.

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

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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29 Jan 2018

Memory quilt block

The Memory quilt block is a nine patch that features only patches that you learn as you first start your quiltmaking journey. The pieced units are half square triangles and flying geese. I would suggest that it is difficult to find a patchwork quilt these days that does not contain one or both of these patches.

Memory quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Memory quilt block

I chose to make this star quilt block as a controlled scrappy version. By that I mean, that you see three different colour values -- (light, medium and dark) -- but the overall look is that it retains a certain colour palette -- different shades of rust and yellow. I did keep the background fabric the same throughout, but you could easily use different scraps of a similar colour as well.


The two sample quilts shown below use standard layouts of the blocks. I wanted to focus in on the "blazing star" so chose simple settings of the blocks. I wonder what you will come up with in your personal quilt?

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


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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22 Jan 2018

Four Crowns quilt block

At first glance, you might not like this quilt block called Four Crowns, as it has a "directional" nature to it. Some might think that that will limit your options in the resultant quilt. I say that it is quite the contrary. Directional quilt blocks open up all sorts of interesting design possibilities.

Four Crowns quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Four Crowns quilt block

This Four Crowns quilt block is a four patch and is constructed entirely of half square triangles, in two different sizes. This is the perfect block to use to practice up on the most commonly used quilt patch.

The two sample quilts shown below give you ideas of how the directional aspect of this quilt block can work to create a wide variety of different quilt layouts. I would be interested in seeing some that you can design as well.


Quilts designed using the FOUR CROWNS quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the FOUR CROWNS quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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11 Jan 2018

Ribbon Star quilt block

The Ribbon Star is another quilt block that is sort of an optical illusion. The "ribbon" folds around the star, and you see the "right side" of the fabric and the "underside" of the fabric. This effect is created by using different values of the same colour family.

Ribbon Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Ribbon Star quilt block
You might also be interested in these other examples of what I would call "optical illusion" quilt blocks.



The two sample quilts shown below are both created with the blocks set on point, but are, as you can see, very different. Isn't it interesting how a few subtle changes of colour placement make such a change?


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


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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9 Jan 2018

Blazing Star quilt block

The Blazing Star quilt block is not for the beginner -- but I say that with a caveat. There is nothing difficult in the making of this block -- it just contains lots of pieces and therefore, you must be able to sew a precise quarter inch seam allowance. That's it! So, if you can do that, then this block is a lovely addition to your collection of Star quilt blocks or Biblical quilt blocks and more.

Blazing Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Blazing Star quilt block
This quilt block is technically an eight patch as it is designed on an 8 x 8 grid. However, I have taken a few liberties in the number of cut pieces (why have more seams than necessary?) and chose to construct the block as an uneven nine patch, for the ease in the sewing.


The two sample quilts shown below use standard block settings -- an on point setting with sashing strips and setting triangles for more "pop"-- and a side by side layout that produces a tiny secondary pattern between the blocks.

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


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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