Simple blocks – New Album

New Album is very simple block – a plain Square-in-a-Square block with a border. You can download the instructions here. The centre square is an ideal opportunity for ‘fussy cutting’ your print fabric (it doesn’t show too well on this snapshot from EQ) and you can do the same in the smaller cornerstones of the border.

Swapping the colours over gives the block a different look –

Or you can opt for something completely different using Autumnal batiks –

or in more muted fabrics so the centre square is not so prominent

And then put into quilts – first alternate colours, straight-set

and then on-point

And now let’s play around with the colouring a bit –

or blue –

or alternate with a plain Square-in-a-Square

make the background lighter –


Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

Happy Easter! And welcome to Block six of our Block of the Month quilt-along. This month it is the turn of Card Trick.

block-6-card-trickThis block relies on a clear difference between the colours used to create the illusion of interlocked squares. You can download the instructions for the block here.

Our alternative colourways could look  like these –








And here’s some of the students’ blocks to give you an idea of how fabric choice can affect the look of a block, from the background to the contrast between colours –
















Simple blocks – Right and Left

This time our Square in a Square unit has pieced triangles around the centre square. You can download the instructions for the free block pattern, Right and Left, here. If you need help with the piecing you can download a free step-by-step tutorial from the Tutorials page or go direct to the pdf here.


right-and-left-block-aWhen put together these blocks form a secondary pattern of Pinwheels at their junctions. You can have fun playing with the colourings of these triangles to create different effects. And, as with most of these Square in a Square blocks, the centre square allows you to play with ‘fussy-cutting’ large or bold prints.




right-and-left-quilt-fOr you can turn the blocks on point, colour the corner triangles differently and make something like this –


Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

March and block 5 of our Block of the Month quilt-along. This time it is the return of that perennial favourite – Ohio Star.

block-5-ohio-starThis block adds the Quarter-square Triangle to our repertoire of units. You can download the instructions for the block here. Our alternative colourways could look a little like these –








Students also played around with colour –






But be careful that your colours are not too similar

block5-ohiostaras you may lose the pattern altogether.



Simple blocks – Improved Four-Patch

The Improved Four-Patch block is a merger of the Square in a Square and Four-Patch units – essentially a 4-patch ‘on point’. You can download the free pattern for this quilt block here.

improved-four-patch-block-aYou can have fun playing with the colours and shades in this block, changing the emphasis of lights and darks from one part to another. Like the ordinary Square in a Square it isn’t very exciting when straight set on its own, but changing the colours or combining it with other similar blocks can make quite a difference.






improved-four-patch-quilt-cor turning it on point –

improved-four-patch-quilt-dA similar patchwork block is Coffin Star – this time a 16-patch square turned on point –




Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

February already, and the fourth block in our quilt-along Block of the Month quilt. This time it’s the turn of Churn Dash, but with an added twist – ‘Churn Dash Variation’, if you like – I have added Flying Geese units to the traditional block.

block-4-churn-dash-variationYou can download the instructions for the block here. Other colourways could look like these –








You could make the Flying Geese units and the rectangles the same colour as two students did –








They also made the units by just adding triangles to two corners of a square – because they didn’t like making Flying Geese.