31 Jul 2015

'Greek Cross' or 'Greek Cross' or just the Wisdom of the Greeks

Today's feature is about ... yes, you guessed it ... the Greek Cross quilt block, but depending on whether you want a simple task to complete for today or a more challenging one, I have created patterns for two different Greek Cross quilt blocks.

Greek Cross quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Greek Cross quilt block
The first version is a simple Greek Cross block -- a great choice if you are new to making quilts and perhaps this is a first introduction to a nine patch design. However, don't be fooled into thinking that "simple" equates to "boring". By changing up the arrangement of the blocks and of course the various colours, your quilt will be striking.

Seven Patch Greek Cross image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Seven Patch Greek Cross quilt block
The second version is for those quilters who want more of a challenge. The Seven Patch Greek Cross has many more pieces and therefore more care must be taken to produce accurate patches. None of the patches are difficult to make though, as the block contains only squares, rectangles and half square triangles.

An interesting side note: - Nine patch quilt blocks are so named because they have nine patches to make up the block. Seven patch quilt blocks have 49 patches, so why are they not called "forty-nine" patch quilt blocks? I guess that would just scare off quilters, so instead the seven patch is so named because it is created on a 7 x 7 grid.

Those Greeks were some smart guys

"School of Athens' by Rafael, image of Plato
  • "We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less."
    ~ Diogenes

  • "Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
    ~ Plato

  • "The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."
    ~ Socrates

  • "You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity."
    ~ Epicurus

  • "The foundation of every state is the education of its youth."
    ~ Diogenes

  • "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies."
    ~ Aristotle

  • "My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher."
    ~ Socrates

  • "Wisdom outweighs any wealth."
    ~ Sophocles

Greek Cross quilt block images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
'School of Athens' image of Plato by Rafael, courtesy of public domain

27 Jul 2015

Wyoming and 'Butch and Sundance'

Wyoming quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Wyoming quilt block
The Wyoming quilt block may look familiar to you, but that is likely due to the fact that many quilt blocks look similar. Changes in patch placement or rotation, and the colour value of the patches can make an entirely new block. You may be interested to check some of these blocks out for yourself, so I have listed a few on the Wyoming quilt block pattern page.

This nine patch quilt block is an easy one for the beginner quilter and introduces you to half square triangles and flying geese patches if they are new to you.

Fun Facts about Wyoming

  • Any person who fails to close a fence in Wyoming is subject to a fine of up to seven hundred and fifty dollars.

  • When you fly over Wyoming, you will notice that they have built their highways in an argyle pattern.

  • "Wyoming" is Native American slang for "Almost square."

  • Harry Longabaugh became known as the Sundance Kid because he served a jail term for horse stealing in Sundance, Wyoming.

  • The famous Hole in the Wall hideout for Butch and Sundance (and numerous other outlaws of the time) is located in the Big Horn Mountains of Johnson County, Wyoming.

  • Wyoming touches more states than any other.

'Wyoming' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
'Butch and Sundance" wanted poster image courtesy public domain

24 Jul 2015

"Oh, Sweet Pea, come on and dance with me."

'Sweet Pea' image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Sweet Pea
I was on a walk along the trail the other day with my friend Carol, and we were talking about the beautiful sweet pea flowers we were seeing all along the way. Here is a picture of some of the beauty we were seeing.

Then, for the rest of the day, I had a song running through my head (I think they call this an "ear worm") from way back in the day -- "Sweet Pea" by Tommy Roe. Since it would not go away, I thought maybe that was a sign to make a quilt block pattern for "Sweet Pea" to add to my Flower Quilt Blocks category.

Sweet Pea quilt block
After searching high and low, I could not find a picture of a quilt block with that name. I did however, find a picture of a quilt named 'Sweet Pea' so I went from there.

The quilt block looks kind of boring, but it has lots of possibilities when you put many of them into a quilt, especially if you make a lot of scrappy blocks -- (not being much of a gardener, I am assuming that Sweet Peas come in a variety of colours). Here are some sample quilts to give you some ideas.

'Sweet Pea' quilt images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Sweet Pea sample quilts

Download the free Sweet Pea quilt block pattern.

Flower Quotes to brighten your day

  • "If the English language made any sense, "lackadaisical" would have something to do with the shortage of flowers."
    ~ Doug Larson

  • "Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts."
    ~ Sigmund Freud

  • and my favourite ...

  • "Earth laughs in flowers."
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

20 Jul 2015

Copper is part of today's fun fact.

Arizona quilt block
Today's featured quilt block is called Arizona. How interesting that I used shades of "copper" in my sample block because, unbeknownst to me, copper is the most abundant mineral in the state, and Arizona leads the 50 states in copper production.

I am sure there are blocks for each individual state, and perhaps I will get to all of those ... someday. But for today, let's focus on using some half square triangles and some flying geese units.

This is an easy block to construct and the arrangement is similar to many other blocks. That is one of the great things about making quilts ... with slight variations to the colour and/or placement of the individual pieces, you get a whole new block. I have listed some links below for other blocks similar to Arizona.

Click on the Arizona image or download the free quilt block pattern here.

Other quilt blocks that are similar to Arizona
~ Checkerboard Star
~ Hands of Friendship
~ Lucky Clover
~ Maple Star (the block I use as my logo on Patchwork Square)

Today's Wise Thoughts

  • "Our lives improve only when we take chances - and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves."
    ~ Walter Anderson

  • "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
    ~ Chinese Proverb

'Arizona' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

13 Jul 2015

Nine Patch Square

Nine patch quilt blocks are probably the most commonly used blocks in quilts -- three patches across and three patches down. The indivudual patches may contain several pieces, but you put those pieces together into a patch and make nine of these units. Sounds simple enough -- and it is!

Nine Patch Square quilt block
Today's featured block is called the Nine Patch Square. It contains only small squares, rectangles and flying geese units. This quilt block is a good choice for beginner quilters as the shapes are simple. However, you can create all sort of interesting quilts just by the colours you choose and how you lay the blocks out into the quilt. Who says a quilt design must be challenging to be interesting?

You might also like to check out a companion block, the Nine Patch Square - Variation. See if you can spot the subtle difference between the two blocks.

Inspiration for today -- (Quilting is an Art form)

  • "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
    ~ Thomas Merton

  • "Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

'Nine Patch Square' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

7 Jul 2015

Two new quilt block patterns today

Union Square quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
I'm pretty happy today with my latest achievement -- moving my website to a new location and getting it online once again. So, why not some quotes about achievements?

Now down to business ...

Today's first featured block is a variation of the Ohio Star quilt block (an old favourite of quilters), called Union Square. I chose colours for this block with little girls in mind, but it would look amazing in any number of colour combinations.

The next quilt block was new to me -- called Z Cross. (I was wanting to create a block starting with "Z" to fill out my alphabetical list of blocks.)

At first glance, this appeared to me to be a really "ho hum" block, but when I designed some quilts using this block, I was very pleasantly surprised. You can see below what I came up with, but I did not want to show a picture of the actual block,  because you would likely never be interested. Click on the image or the text link to see the block for yourself.

Z Cross quilt images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Z Cross sample quilts

images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

6 Jul 2015

Eureka! It's back on the web!

image courtesy clipartpanda.com
Well, I learned a valuable lesson throughout all this.

The back story is that, believe it or not, I am the one in the family who is considered to be the "techy" member. So, I thought I knew what to do to transfer my website to a different host provider. (Now in my defense, I listened to the tech people at the new hosting company and they told me what to do. They just neglected to tell me some of the finer details.)

Well, after a wave of panic, I contacted my tech guy and he fixed it all up for me. There were several little extra tasks that I was to do and was unaware of, due to the nature of how my particular website works. Anyway, in a few strokes of the keyboard and a little upload/download time on his end ... the Patchwork Square website is live once again. (The man is a genius!)

The lesson learned is an oldie ... "Kids, don't try this at home!"

Tomorrow I will be adding the two new quilt block patterns that I created while waiting for all this to magically be fixed.Whew!

image courtesy clipartpanda.com

5 Jul 2015

Website Woes

Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to let you know that if you are finding that Patchwork Square is currently unavailable, it is due to the fact that I am moving the website to a new host provider and it is taking longer than I thought it would. They have "escalated" the process and hopefully, it will be up and running in a short while.

So sorry for the inconvenience and I hope you will check back again soon.


1 Jul 2015

It's Canada Day!

Maple Leaf quilt image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Maple Leaf quilt block
As you probably already know, the symbol noted for Canada is the Maple Leaf. So, even though I am late in the day to post this, I just had to use my latest Maple Leaf quilt block pattern to share with you and to celebrate the day. (The extra red, outer triangles here are added just for effect -- my version today of the Canadian flag).

 Simple rotations of the blocks can give you all sorts of interesting quilts. I have shown a couple of ideas below to give you some inspiration.

Another Maple Leaf quilt block pattern to download.

Proud to be Canadian

  • "I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given to participate in that work as a representative of my country, Canada, whose people have, I think, shown their devotion to peace."
    ~ Lester B. Pearson

  • "I love being Canadian. I think growing up in Canada gives you a world perspective that I certainly enjoy."
    ~ Ryan Gosling

  • Maple Leaf quilt images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
    Maple Leaf quilts
  • "I love Canadians because I don't see very much racism in Canada."
    ~ Patti LaBelle

  • "When God created the world, he didn't draw a line between Canada and America."
    ~ Marianne Williamson

  • "Canada has great natural resources, and its people have the spirit and ability to develop them."
    ~ Charles E. Wilson

  • "It's like Canada is the little brother to the United States and one day they are going to show the world they're just as cool as their successful big brother."
    ~ Dustin Milligan

'Maple Leaf' quilt images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com