April 28, 2015

Spring has sprung - There are "Birds in the Air"

The Birds in the Air quilt block has endless possibilities. At first glance it seems ... nice ... but nothing special. Well, that is where you are wrong.

'Birds in the Air' image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
"Birds in the Air" quilt block
Using 90 degree rotations of the blocks, you can achieve all sorts of quilt layouts. Adding sashing to your quilt will provide additional interest. This four patch quilt block is made entirely of half square triangles, using two different sizes of those triangles. By experimenting with colour placement of the triangles ... well ... the sky is the limit of how your quilt can differ from another quilter's project.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Today's "Ah Ha" Moment

  • "Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses."
    ~ Dale Carnegie

'Birds in the Air' image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

April 25, 2015

Crown of Thorns Quilt Block

'Crown of Thorns' image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Crown of Thorns quilt block
Who comes up with these names anyway? I guess the "thorns" are all the points of the half square triangles in the block. You will get lots of practice making these patches, but the construction is easy, as the only other shape used in this quilt block is the square.

This is a 10" quilt block, which is a favourite with quilters because it makes the math easier. It is also in the category of  5 patch block (so named because is is made on a 5 x 5 grid), and is sewn together as an uneven nine patch.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Today's Insightful Quote

  • "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."
    ~ Katharine Hepburn

'Crown of Thorns' image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

April 18, 2015

A Quilt Block Fit for a Queen

Mocking the Royals

"Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel."
~ Benjamin Disraeli

'Coronation' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Coronation quilt block
Today's featured quilt block is along the lines of royalty, as you may have guessed. It is the Coronation block.

Using a larger quilt block can speed up the process of making your quilt. In that case, this block is a good choice as it can be made as a 16" block.

When making any given quilt block that contains lots of pieces, it can be a little easier to construct when the individual pieces are not too small. For those wanting to make a block in one of the common sizes, I have also given instructions for making a 12" block. Any smaller than that, and you will be working with very tiny pieces, which can create a lot of bulk because the seam allowances are still the same quarter inch.

What I noticed when I set the blocks side by side, is that a secondary pattern emerged. See if you can see the additional small stars that appear with this type of layout.

Download the free quilt block pattern.

More Large Quilt Block Patterns

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

April 16, 2015

I'm on a Roll ...

Today's featured block is called Rolling Stone and last time I featured a quilt block called Rolling Pin. (This is where you groan at my sense of humour.)
Rolling Stone quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Rolling Stone quilt block

What I noticed is that both blocks use the same patches, but changes in colour and reversing the direction of some of the patches makes an entirely new block.

Moving on from that concept, I thought it would be interesting to design a two block quilt, using these blocks and see what I come up with. The sample quilt below illustrates this. Two block quilts are used mostly to create a secondary pattern so it is difficult to pick out the individual blocks. See if you are successful in finding the two different blocks.
Rolling Pin and Rolling Stone two block quilt image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Rolling Pin and Rolling Stone two block quilt

One of my next projects is to create a series of two block quilt illustrations using the blocks I feature on the Patchwork Square quilt site. If you have suggestions for blocks you would like me to feature, please comment below.

Quote for Today

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure."
~ Mark Twain

Images © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

April 12, 2015

Star or Pinwheel?

Quote for Today

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
~ Vincent van Gogh
"Turning Stars" quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com
Turning Stars quilt block

Turning Stars Quilt Block

Given the colours I chose for this quilt block, I should have featured it at Easter time. But, here it is now, just in time for some lovely spring weather. (Easter and springtime go together, right?)

The Turning Stars quilt block is an easy block to construct as it is a four patch, which often means less seams to sew. It can also be a learning experience for new quilters, because  it uses several quarter square triangles in each of the four quadrants.

Now, who is with me on this ... shouldn't this quilt block name have the word pinwheel in it rather than stars? Just sayin'.

'Turning Stars' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com

April 09, 2015

A Different Approach ...

Today, I made a decision to change up how I write this blog. I create many more quilt block patterns than I have featured on this blog, but it gets to be such a time-consuming activity to find quotes that sort of go with the "theme" of the featured block, that I have been lax in doing so.

So, I have decided that I will post new quilt block patterns as I create them, (or that I have not featured thus far), along with a sort of "Quote of the Day" that I find inspirational, funny, insightful or whatever/however the mood strikes me that day. This way, I believe my blog posts will become more frequent and you will become aware of new free quilt block patterns on the Patchwork Square website.

So, without further ado ... (I have always wanted to say that) ...

Today's Inspirational Quote of the Day

  • "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be."
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Featured Free Quilt Block Pattern

Rolling Pin quilt block
The Rolling Pin quilt block can be a good choice for teachers to expand on how to use half square triangles in a patch differently than making a single square using the two triangles, as is the most common practice.

The half square triangles are featured in the flying geese units and the square-in-the-square units.

'Rolling Pin' quilt block image © W. Russell, patchworksquare.com