30 Dec 2017

Toad in the Puddle quilt block

You just have to wonder who comes up with these names for quilt blocks. This is a perfect example. But, who am I to quibble?

I like this four patch quilt block because it offers up the perfect choice for using your scraps, as I did in this sample block. I chose a light coloured background fabric, but this would be striking in a dark fabric too -- as long as there is lots of contrast between that dark background and the remaining scrappy fabrics.

Toad in the Puddle quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Toad in the Puddle quilt block


Flying geese patches and half square triangles are the only units in this simple quilt block. By breaking the block into quadrants and then sewing many different groupings, you can then arrange and rearrange the sections to make a variety of interesting blocks.


The two sample quilts illustrated are both created using standard quilt block settings -- side by side blocks or blocks set on point with additional setting triangles.

Quilts designed using the TOAD IN THE PUDDLE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the TOAD IN THE PUDDLE quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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17 Dec 2017

Pinwheel Star quilt block

Who doesn't immediately smile when you think of a pinwheel? For some reason, I think of days at the fair or getting one of these whirling treasures at a birthday party when I was a child.

Pinwheel Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Pinwheel Star quilt block

So, today's featured quilt block is the Pinwheel Star. This quilt block is comprised of half square triangles and flying geese patches. It is actually a small nine patch block within a larger block -- constructed as an uneven nine patch -- so you get twice the fun in the construction.

The two sample quilts illustrated both use standard on point settings, but each has its own special charm and look very different.

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


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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10 Dec 2017

Christmas Star quilt block

I'm a person who likes traditions -- especially old traditions -- and so, this Christmas Star quilt block is designed with the colours of the season.

Christmas Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Christmas Star quilt block
This quilt block is a little more challenging that other star blocks you might make, but the only difficulty in making this block lies in the number of pieces. So, with careful attention to your quarter inch seam allowance, this block should go together with ease. You get to use a patch that is underused (in my opinion) -- that being what quilters refer to as a three quarter square triangle patch. This patch is constructed using both half square triangles as well as quarter square triangles in order to place the three triangles within the square, and leave no bias edges on the outer raw edges of the patches. Oh, and there are also a few of my favourite patches included as well -- the flying geese patch.

The two sample quilts illustrated use basic settings of the blocks. The only extra "ingredient" in the on point quilt setting is the extra colourful blank blocks for quilting designs.

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

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3 Dec 2017

Old Fan quilt block

The Old Fan quilt block is an easy one to construct -- a perfect choice for beginner quilters.

Old Fan quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Old Fan quilt block
This four patch block uses flying geese patches in each of the four quadrants to form a pinwheel and a few squares are thrown in to add some extra colour.
The sample quilts shown below use standard settings of the blocks. A side by side block layout utilizes sashing strips for extra colour and the on point block setting allows for extra blank squares to show off some fancy quilting.

Sample quilts designed using the OLD FAN quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts designed using the OLD FAN quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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23 Nov 2017

Cut Glass Dish quilt block

Cut Glass Dish is a quilt block that lends itself perfectly to creating designs for your quilt by rotating the blocks by 90 degree increments to create secondary patterns.

Cut Glass Dish quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Cut Glass Dish quilt block
This nine patch block is an easy one to construct as it contains only squares and the first patch you will learn as a new quiltmaker -- the half square triangle.
The two sample quilts shown below -- as mentioned above -- illustrate how you can make some really stunning geometric quilts just by rotating some of the blocks.

Quilts designed using the CUT GLASS DISH quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the CUT GLASS DISH quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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17 Nov 2017

A quilt block by any other name ....

Do you see what I see? Do these two blocks look the same?

On the left you are looking at Fox and Geese
On the right you are looking at Old Maid's Puzzle

FOX AND GEESE and OLD MAID'S PUZZLE quilt block images © Wendy Russell
Fox and Geese quilt block                                                      Old Maid's Puzzle quilt block

I don't know the history of how these blocks were named, but I suspect that two different quilters both had the same brilliant idea for an easy four patch block and here you see the results.

Since today's post offers two different quilt blocks, here are two sets of quilt layouts.

Quilts designed using the FOX AND GEESE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the FOX AND GEESE quilt block

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

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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9 Nov 2017

Remember to Remember

Once the pumpkins have had their day, it is time to focus on the poppy. The poppy has long been a symbol worn in November, so that we remember to remember. The official date is November 11th.

Poppy quilt block image © Wendy Russell
POPPY quilt block
I saw a picture a while back of a quilt with similar pieced blocks, so I created this Poppy quilt block pattern for those (like me) who are not keen on using appliqué as a preferred method. (A side note -- I am in awe of those who love appliqué and produce such beautiful quilts, but being a "math nerd", I prefer the geometric, pieced blocks.)
The quilt block can be made without the green fabrics but, as you can see in the two sample quilts illustrated, simple rotations of the block can produce additional “borders” for the poppy and add a different look to your quilt.

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

Remember to Remember

  • "The living owe it to those who no longer can speak, to tell their story for them."
    ~ Czeslaw Milosz - from "The Issa Valley"


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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5 Nov 2017

Bright Morning Star quilt block

The Bright Morning Star quilt block is an easy one to construct as it contains only simple patches -- squares, rectangles and flying geese units. However, placement of colour and values is what makes the block interesting -- and by extension -- a striking quilt.

Bright Morning Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Bright Morning Star quilt block

If you are new to quiltmaking, this is the choice for you -- you learn how to make one of the most commonly used patches (and my favourite) -- the flying geese unit. Then you construct the quilt block in the most favoured layout -- as a nine patch.
The two sample quilts illustrated show that you can make a stunning quilt with simple blocks. Colour placement is the key. Now the question is -- should you use sashing strips or not? :-)

More Biblical Quilt Blocks for your collection

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

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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31 Oct 2017

All Hallows quilt block

A quilt block that is perfect for Halloween. The All Hallows block features lots of half square triangles and flying geese patches.

All Hallows quilt block image © Wendy Russell
All Hallows quilt block

This nine patch block and it is a perfect choice for new quilters to move on and really practice up that quarter inch seam allowance. Not only are there lots of patches, but fabric/colour placement is key to make this block really stand out. And who doesn't love a pinwheel? (Okay, maybe that is just the kid in me speaking!) :-)


The two sample quilts illustrated below continue on with a mostly dark background, just for the effect of a Halloween night. What was interesting to me was that, depending on your chosen layout of the blocks, a secondary pattern can emerge. I'd be interested in seeing what you can come up with.

Quilts designed using the ALL HALLOWS quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the ALL HALLOWS quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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25 Oct 2017

Twilight Star quilt block

The Twilight Star quilt block is designed using another quilt block as its starting point. This is a common occurrence in quiltmaking. One block looks interesting -- and then -- with a couple of quick change-ups -- you have a brand new block.

Twilight Star quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Twilight Star quilt block

Now, I cannot take the credit for the origin of this nine patch block -- I just admire it and like that it can add to my collection of Star quilt blocks. The Twilight Star block stems from a frequently used favourite among quilters, (especially in a teaching situation) -- called Ohio Star.

The Twilight Star is comprised of frequently used patches -- the half square triangle and the quarter square triangle. All in all, it is a fun project.

The two sample quilts illustrated both use on point settings of the blocks. However, with simple changes made to the fabrics used for the setting triangles and extra blank blocks, you get two very different quilts.

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

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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21 Oct 2017

Chinese Puzzle quilt block

I had created Chinese Puzzle pattern a couple of years ago and just updated it to feature one more block size and one more sample quilt layout.

Chinese Puzzle quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Chinese Puzzle quilt block

This four patch quilt block features half square triangle units as well as quarter square triangles to make another patch which quilters often refer to as the three quarter square triangle. Can you spot those patches?



The Chinese Puzzle block was fun to play around with because I used multiples of the block with 90 degree rotations to create new and interesting designs. One of the quilts also mirrors the fabric placement to create an additional design option. Although I chose to use only three different fabrics, quilts made from this block would be ideal as a scrappy version.

Quilts designed using the CHINESE PUZZLE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the CHINESE PUZZLE quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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16 Oct 2017

God's Eye quilt block

I'm always fascinated when I stumble upon a quilt block that I have never seen before. Today's featured block is one of those -- God's Eye. This quilt block is an eight patch which is constructed as an uneven nine patch, just to make the sewing simpler.


God's Eye quilt block image © Wendy Russell
God's Eye quilt block

The quilt block features lots of half square triangles and flying geese patches -- those pieced patches are the ones you learn first as a beginner quilter.
The two sample quilts illustrated both use standard settings, but in the case of this quilt block, notice that a secondary pattern seems to appear (formed by the background fabric) -- the sort of "starburst" shape -- when the blocks are placed side by side. I'm always a fan of secondary patterns. :-)

Now you have a new addition if you are collecting Biblical quilt blocks.


Quilts designed using the GOD'S EYE quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the GOD'S EYE quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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10 Oct 2017

Weathervane quilt block

I don't really have a reason, but the Weathervane quilt block has always been one of my favourites. Perhaps it is that it is an easy quilt block to construct, using half square triangles -- and my favourite patch -- the flying geese unit. Along the way you will throw in some squares and rectangles just for effect.

Weathervane quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Weathervane quilt block

This easy block would be a good choice for teachers -- to introduce new quilters to the most commonly used layout for a quilt block -- the nine patch -- and to practice up on the two frequent patches most often seen in a patchwork block -- namely that half square triangle and flying geese.

The two sample quilts illustrated use the standard settings for quilts. On the left, the blocks are laid out using an on point setting with sashing strips to separate and frame the blocks. On the right, blocks are set side by side with additional blank blocks (as in the quilt on the left as well) to feature your quilting, . The only limit to your creativity is your imagination. Enjoy!

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

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4 Oct 2017

David and Goliath quilt block

I think I am going to have to create a new category of blocks as I seem to be designing quite a few with a "biblical" theme or name. So on that note, here is a block called David and Goliath.

David and Goliath quilt block image © Wendy Russell
David and Goliath quilt block
Now I have to admit that I took some liberties in my design of this quilt block. Other versions use more half square triangle patches, while (as many of you already know), I like to reduce the bulk and have less seams if at all possible. Therefore, many of those half square triangles are replaced by flying geese units.


The design of this block was created using a 7 x 7 grid and therefore it is technically a seven patch. However, to make the sewing easier, my pattern has you construct it as an uneven nine patch -- to work in what I call "chunks" rather than row by row.

The two sample quilts illustrated give you ideas of how to set the blocks using an on point setting with extra blank blocks and sashing strips or a standard side by side setting. So many options!

Quilts designed using the DAVID AND GOLIATH quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the DAVID AND GOLIATH quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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29 Sep 2017

Z Cross quilt block

The Z Cross quilt block is perfect for anyone who is new to quiltmaking. It is also a really fun block for those who have been making quilts for years.

Z CROSS quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Z CROSS quilt block

The block is technically a five patch (since it is designed on a 5 x 5 grid). But, for any of you who follow this blog, you know that I generally prefer to construct a five patch block as an uneven nine patch instead. Then end result is the same, but it is just an easier method -- in my opinion. Squares and half square triangles are the only patches used in this block -- the most commonly used patches in quiltmaking.


I was pleasantly surprised when I started designing the sample quilts using this easy quilt block. This just reinforces my thought that just because a block uses simple patches does not mean the resultant quilts have to be boring. What do you think?

Quilts designed using the Z CROSS quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the Z CROSS quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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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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