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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1 Aug 2017

Disappearing Nine Patch quilt block

The Disappearing Nine Patch quilt block is one that is designed for machine piecers -- not the hand piecers in the quiltmaking world. However, for those quilters (like me) who enjoy sewing your quilt blocks by hand, I have also made that pattern for you as well. (More on that later in this post.)

Disappearing Nine Patch quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Disappearing Nine Patch quilt block

This is a quick and easy quilt block to sew by machine. It is constructed as a simple nine patch of nine equal sized squares. After pressing, the block is then sliced and sections are rotated to create the new block -- (hence the "disappearing" part of the name of the quilt block.)


The two sample quilts illustrated use common layouts of the blocks -- an on point version and side by side version. And as you can see I have chosen to make these quilts as totally scrappy versions, but you may choose to use a controlled set of colour options. (That's what makes quiltmaking so amazing -- every quilt is an original work of art!)

Quilts designed using the DISAPPEARING NINE PATCH quilt block - imagex © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the DISAPPEARING NINE PATCH quilt block

Now back to the pattern designed for quilters who like to piece their blocks by hand. I had made this pattern a few years ago when I was unsure of the name of the block -- and, since it is constructed in a totally different manner, I made up my own name for that version of the block. Here is my version of the MOSAIC quilt block. You will also notice that I have reversed the placement of the dark and light colours in the Mosaic block/quilts to give you a totally different look.

* Thanks to Alyssa C. for the heads up about the real name of the Mosaic quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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29 Jul 2017

West Virginia quilt block

The West Virginia quilt block is an eight patch, but is constructed as an uneven nine patch due to the different sizes of the patches.

Check out other "location" quilt blocks too: Cities, States and Other Places

There are lots of interesting things going on with this block -- a star, a "frame" around the star and the corner sections make a secondary pattern of sorts, depending on how you lay the blocks out next to each other in your final quilt.

West Virginia quilt block image © Wendy Russell
West Virginia quilt block

I have assigned this quilt block to an intermediate category of difficulty -- not because there are any hard-to-sew patches, but simply because there are many pieces and therefore many seams in the block. Careful attention to sewing a precise quarter inch seam allowance will make this block go together in no time. The block features half square triangles and square in a square patches.

The two sample quilts illustrated give you an idea of how the secondary pattern can emerge -- do you see the extra "stars" that appear where the sashing strips separate the blocks?

Quilts designed using the WEST VIRGINIA quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the WEST VIRGINIA quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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24 Jul 2017

Stone Tiles quilt block

The Stone Tiles quilt block is perfect for a new quilter, since it contains only squares and rectangles -- no pesky triangles to worry about!

Stone Tiles quilt block image © Wendy Russell
STONE TILES quilt block

This easy quilt block is constructed as an uneven nine patch, even though it is technically a seven patch block (as it is designed on a 7 x 7 grid).

This quilt block is also one that could be used in a two block quilt -- since the "stepping stones" in the four corners would lead the eye on a diagonal line. You would place it as an alternate block to just about any other block you want to feature in your quilt.

Depending on the layout of the blocks into your own quilt, you can have two totally different looks, as illustrated in the sample quilt images shown below.

Quilts designed using the STONE TILES quilt block - image © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the STONE TILES quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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22 Jul 2017

Best of All quilt block

The Best of All quilt block is one designed to give you lots of practice with various patches. (Okay -- perhaps that was not the reason for the design, but it is a block with interesting components.)

Best of All quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Best of All quilt block

Half square triangle patches and flying geese units are pretty common in hundreds (and probably thousands) of quilt blocks. But, the interest in this block (from a sewing perspective) is the unit that is sitting adjacent to the centre patch, on all four sides. You get to add quarter square triangles to two sides of a square (the small peach square) and then finish off the patch with larger half square triangles (dark grey) on each end. (Hard to explain, but if you look closely at the block you will understand what I mean.)


The two sample quilts shown are both designed on point with sashing strips separating the blocks. By simply changing up the placement of the pieced blocks and the blank blocks, you get two totally different looks.


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

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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11 Jul 2017

Peony and Forget Me Not quilt block

This is not a common quilt block -- at least I have not seen it before, but I saw that it made a pretty block and so decided I should share it.

Peony and Forget Me Not quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Peony and Forget Me Not quilt block


Most people would be familiar with the Forget Me Not flower with petals in a variety of blue colours, but there are some around in a pink-burgundy colour too -- and so that is what I went for here. Peonies come in all sorts of lovely colours. Check out this Peony Nine Patch quilt block.

A little trivia:  Forget Me Not flowers are often given and planted as a remembrance of one dear to the heart and you can read more about this beautiful flower at Flowerinfo.org. Be sure to check out the other colour variations shown in the images on that website.



This eight patch block is constructed as an uneven nine patch, mainly due to the specific patches used in the block. You will find half square triangles, quarter square triangles as well as a patch using both of these cut pieces to form what is known as a three quarter square triangle patch. The centre of the block is comprised of the square in a square patch. So all in all, this is a choice you might use to practice your sewing skills in your quiltmaking journey.

The sample quilts illustrated are quite different even though both quilts use on point block settings.

Quilts designed using the Peony and Forget Me Not quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the Peony and Forget Me Not quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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6 Jul 2017

Sun, Sand and Surf

Who doesn't think about getting wet and lying on a beach when the name San Diego is mentioned? This will explain my choice of colours for this quilt block.

San Diego quilt block image © Wendy Russell
San Diego quilt block
The San Diego quilt block could be a teaching tool for quilting instructors as the block contains half square triangles, flying geese units and the block is constructed in "chunks" to make the process simpler. An added bonus, is that the centre is comprised of its own quilt block -- called a Sawtooth Star. So you get two blocks in one!

The two sample quilts illustrated are both designed using an on point setting. The difference lies in just a simple change-up of the fabrics for the blank blocks -- which is a great spot to showcase your quilting skills.

Quilts designed using the San Diego quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the San Diego quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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4 Jul 2017

Fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July

One of the biggest days in the United States is the 4th of July. Celebrations are everywhere -- not to mention the mouth-watering scent of meat sizzling on the barbeques.

One thing for sure is that there will be fireworks once darkness sets in -- and so, here is a quilt block worthy of that event!
Starglow quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Starglow quilt block


This Starglow quilt block is not for the beginner quilter -- unless you are confident in the sewing of an accurate quarter inch allowance. That is the only difficulty due to the number of seams in the block. Other than that, none of the individual patches are difficult -- there are just lots of them.


I changed it up a little in this version of a sample quilt -- by simply swapping the placement of some of the fabrics -- to make a sort of reverse image of the block. By alternating these blocks with the original block, you can achieve all sorts of interesting variations when you design your own quilt. Have fun!

Quilts designed using variations of the STARGLOW quilt block - image © Wendy Russell
Quilt designed using variations of the STARGLOW quilt block


All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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1 Jul 2017

It's Canada Day!!

Today is Canada Day and not just any Canada Day! It's the 150th anniversary of Confederation of this great country and there are lots of celebrations planned all across the land.

The title of today's quilt block -- Love in the Mist -- doesn't bring Canada to mind, but the reds and white just screamed to me that I had to post it today.

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

This quilt block uses simple shapes and patches -- squares and half square triangles and also features one of my favourite patches -- the square in a square.



Whether the star in the centre is what grabs your attention or maybe (like me), red is your favourite colour -- this easy nine patch block is a fun one to make.

The two sample quilts illustrated feature blocks set side by side or on point. Both quilts give you ample opportunities to showcase your quilting designs.

More Canadiana quilt blocks:
~ Maple Leaf
~ Simple Maple Leaf

Sample quilts using the Love in the Mist quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts using the Love in the Mist quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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28 Jun 2017

My Fancy quilt block

I don't know why quilt blocks get their specific names, but the My Fancy block does not strike me as particularly "fancy". So, I chose to make it monochromatic and that is my contribution to being fancy.

My Fancy quilt block image © Wendy Russell
My Fancy quilt block

The block falls into two different categories -- a four patch (the centre section) and then the complete block is constructed as an uneven nine patch. With half square triangles and flying geese units making up the block, this is a complete learning experience for a new quiltmaker.


The two sample quilts illustrated look like they were done with totally different blocks -- simply because of how the blocks were set into the quilt. So, now it is over to you to create a stunning heirloom.

Sample quilt designed using the My Fancy quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts designed using the My Fancy quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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21 Jun 2017

Peony Nine Patch quilt block

Flowers are everywhere now (in the northern hemisphere where I live). And my friend Lisa recently posted a picture of her beautiful watercolour of a vase of peonies from her garden. This then, inspired me to create the pattern for the Peony Nine Patch quilt block. I tried to stay true to the colours I had seen in these beautiful blooms in nature.

Peony Nine Patch quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Peony Nine Patch quilt block

This nine patch block gives you practice using half square triangles and quarter square triangles as individual cut pieces -- rather than creating the usual square patch.




This quilt block can join my most recent floral offering -- Magnolia -- to add to your collection of Flower quilt blocks.

The two sample quilts illustrated surprised me in that they both looked like I intended to design some "plaid" quilts. (I'm a sucker for plaid at any time.) So what do you think?

Quilts designed using Peony Nine Patch quilt block - image © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using Peony Nine Patch quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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18 Jun 2017

Joseph's Coat quilt block

This block is for me! I say that because I just love colour -- and the story tells that Joseph had this amazing coat of many colours. So, naturally I had to design the Joseph's Coat quilt block as a scrappy version with lots and lots of colour. This is a perfect choice to use up all of those scraps in your fabric stash.

Joseph's Coat quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Joseph's Coat quilt block

It's important that you have a definite light and dark fabric to give the eye a rest after gazing at all of those colours. (You might even reverse the placement of the light and dark just for a different look.)


This quilt block gives you lots of practice in sewing three different patches -- half square triangles, quarter square triangles and the square in a square patch, but the easy part is in constructing it all as an uneven nine patch block.

I had so much fun playing around with this block that I designed four different sample quilts. Here are two of them below, but you will need to check out the pattern to see the other two ideas.

Quilts using Joseph's Coat quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts using the Joseph's Coat quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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11 Jun 2017

Grandmother's Choice quilt block

Earlier this week we looked at celebrating Dads with the Father's Choice quilt block. Today, it is all about Grandma.

Grandmother's Choice quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Grandmother's Choice quilt block


This is an easy five patch block. It uses half square triangles in two different sizes and that is the extent of the difficulty in this quilt block.


Although this block is technically a five patch (because it is designed on a 5 x 5 grid) it also falls into the category of uneven nine patch due to the size of the patches -- often covering two rows of that five row grid.

The two sample quilts illustrated both use on point settings of the block but give you different looking quilts in the end. The choices of block layout are endless and you just need to use your imagination. Enjoy!

Quilts designed using the Grandmother's Choice quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the Grandmother's Choice quilt block

Keeping it in the Family

~ Father's Choice
~ Mother's Choice
~ Sister's Choice
All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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5 Jun 2017

Father's Choice quilt block

Last month we celebrated our Moms. Now it is time to recognize those great men in our lives -- Dads. The Father's Choice quilt block might be just what you are looking for.

Father's Choice quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Father's Choice quilt block

I chose this subtle colour scheme since most of the Dads I know like blue and grey. However, if your Dad has another favourite colour, don't be shy in expressing it in this five patch quilt block. The only pieced patch required is the half square triangle and the rest of the patches are squares. This is a quick and easy block to make.



The two sample quilts illustrated are both using an on point setting of the block. But as you can see, by careful placement of the blocks and choosing other features such as sashing or extra, blank blocks you can achieve very different looks.

Father's Choice quilt images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the Father's Choice quilt block

Similar quilt blocks - Keeping it all in the Family

~ Farmer's Daughter 
~ Grandmother's Choice
~ Sister's Choice

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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