29 May 2017

Jewels in a Frame quilt block

The Jewels in a Frame quilt block is daunting at first glance. However, squares, rectangles and half square triangles are the only pieces used. These are the most basic units used in quiltmaking.

Jewels in a Frame quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Jewels in a Frame quilt block
I have designed the pattern to sew the block in sections (or chunks) since that method is easier than using a "row by row" approach. Breaking the block down in this manner makes it less overwhelming and you will be done before you know it.

The two quilts illustrated below use the two most common settings for the block. One is a side by side layout while the second quilt features the blocks set on point with some additional blank blocks to showcase your quilting.

Quilts designed with the 'Jewels in a Frame' quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the Jewels in a Frame quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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26 May 2017

Delectable Mountains Variation quilt block


Delectable Mountains is a well known quilt block and this is a variation on that block. There are several more patches in this variation to add extra interest.

(*Note to self - prepare a pattern for the Delectable Mountains block too.)

Delectable Mountains Variation quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Delectable Mountains - Variation quilt block

This quilt block is technically an eight patch (because it is designed on an 8 x 8 grid), but I have created the pattern to be sewn as an uneven nine patch as I feel it is a simpler way to construct it. (I would much rather work with smaller groupings than a row by row method.)

This block is a choice for those quilters who would like more of a challenge. There are no difficult patches to make to create the block -- but there are lots of pieces, and therefore lots of seams. Accuracy in sewing a quarter inch seam allowance is crucial to a successful construction of this block.


I took quite a while designing the sample quilt layouts as I wanted this block to create a stunning quilt. I like the outcome of my endeavours. They both look very different and you have to search very carefully to see that both quilts are made using only the one block in their design.

Delectable Mountains Variation quilt images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts designed using the Delectable Mountains Variation quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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21 May 2017

Flying Ducks quilt block

The Flying Ducks quilt block would be a good choice to use as a learning tool -- as a "step 2" of sorts for using half square triangles. Generally half square triangles are used as a "patch" by sewing two right angled triangles of contrasting fabrics together to create a square. However, often we need to use the cut pieces differently.

Flying Ducks quilt block - image © Wendy Russell
Flying Ducks quilt block
In this quilt block, some of the single half square triangle pieces are sewn to adjoining sides of a square to create a large triangle. This new pieced triangle is then finished into a square by sewing a single larger triangle to the pieced triangle. Still confused? Well you can see what I mean by looking at the four corner sections of the block.

The second learning experience in this quilt block is known as a three quarter square triangle patch. Two quarter square triangles are used to make one side of the square and this then is sewn to a third triangle. You use different methods for the initial cuts of these triangles as it is always preferable to have the straight of grain of the fabric on the outside of the patch (to avoid distortion).

The two sample quilts shown use very basic on point settings of the blocks, but the resultant quilts look very different.

Sample quilts using the "Flying Ducks" quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts using the Flying Ducks quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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16 May 2017

Crow's Feet quilt block

I have to say that I don't think I would ever choose the name Crow's Feet for a quilt block -- or for anything else for that matter. Maybe that is because I am of "a certain age" and this is a term I am not crazy about. However, the designer of this quilt block did not ask me. :-)

Crow's Feet quilt block pattern - image © Wendy Russell
Crow's Feet quilt block

I was pleased how this block turned out. I was asked to create more quilt block patterns with neutral colour schemes, and so I went with the brown family of colours. I actually like it! The dark brown and the orangey browns perk it up quite a bit, but it still "reads" neutral.

The two sample quilts below look entirely different, yet are created using the same block. The "arrows" are quite prominent in the quilt made with blocks set side by side, but almost disappear in the quilt set on point -- your eye is drawn elsewhere.

Sample quilts made using the Crow's Feet quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts made using the Crow's Feet quilt block
All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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13 May 2017

Black Tie Event quilt block

Well I tried. I was going for a monochromatic quilt block but I just had to add a spark of colour. I'm a person who just adores colour everywhere, and as a result, it is difficult for me to stick to a single colour family in a quilt block. So, I just added a touch of colour -- my favourite colour -- to this block. I think it makes all the difference.

Black Tie Event quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Black Tie Event quilt block

I took some liberties with this block -- making slight changes to another block created by Michelle Bartholomew, which she called Doves in the Daylight. I removed a few seams, thereby reducing the bulk and added the red corner squares. Michelle's block was also based on another quilters' favourite called Doves in the Window. Can you see how quilt blocks evolve over time? You start with one block, make some subtle changes, and voilĂ  -- a new block is created. In this case, I have named it Black Tie Event.

I really had fun designing the quilts using this block. By introducing the sashing strips, I was once again able to include the tiny spots of red to brighten up the result. I think this colour combination lends itself to a special gift for the man in your life --  (at least that's my opinion). Your thoughts?

Black Tie Event quilt images © Wendy Russell
Black Tie Event sample quilts
All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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11 May 2017

Flowers in the trees - Magnolia quilt block

Well you know it is springtime (and in my "neck of the woods", that phrase is followed by the word finally), when the Magnolia blossoms appear.

Magnolia quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Magnolia quilt block
I selected the colours for this seven patch block by admiring the magnolia tree in the backyard of my friend. These beauties were gorgeous in ivory with touches of a medium shade of pink and of course, with the dark green leaves. All of these blossoms were showcased against a beautiful, blue sky.

I chose to construct this block with fewer seams in order to create less bulk. I also like to sew blocks in what I call "chunks" whenever possible, rather than row by row. This block is no exception and so I designed the pattern by sewing as an uneven nine patch. However, you may prefer the row by row method so that is an easy adaptation to make at your end.

The two sample quilts shown below are set with the most commonly used layouts -- a side by side setting and an on point setting. Both quilts have the blocks separated by sashing strips in order to introduce more colour.

Download the free quilt block pattern for Magnolia

More Flower quilt block patterns

Quilt samples using Magnolia quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts using the Magnolia quilt block

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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8 May 2017

Rocky Garden quilt block

The Rocky Garden quilt block is a simple nine patch, but it is also a lesson in using half square triangles as cut pieces, rather than the usual method of making a square from two of the pieces.

Rocky Garden quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Rocky Garden quilt block

Along the way, you will also be constructing a few flying geese units as well -- just for good measure. All in all, this quilt block would make a good choice for a quilting class for beginners.

When deciding on the layout of one of the sample quilts illustrated below (the side by side setting), I chose to reverse the colours in half of the sewn blocks. I just liked the way that option looked. The second sample quilt uses an on point setting and I added sashing between the blocks. As you can see this produces a very different quilt.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Rocky Garden quilt images © Wendy Russell
Rocky Garden sample quilts

All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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4 May 2017

Mother's Own quilt block

Mother's Day is arriving soon -- Sunday, May 14th to be exact. There is not a moment to spare if you want to create a special quilt block for the big day.

Mother's Own quilt block

This quilt block is an easy one. Even though you see triangles in the block (creating the star shape), they are sewn using only squares, with the "sew and flip" method which is favoured by many quilters. It's a five patch block, so an added bonus is that the math is simple!

The two sample quilts illustrated both use an additional fabric for sashing strips between the blocks. This is entirely optional, but I just liked the look.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Quilts using the "Mother's Own" quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Sample quilts using the Mother's Own quilt block

More quilt blocks to celebrate Mothers:
All images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

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