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.


Simple Blocks – Square in a Square

Sometimes called Diamond in a Square this unit/block is worth learning how to make as it crops everywhere from a unit in assorted bocks to a simple block used as a ‘spacer’ between more complicated blocks where, as you will see further down the page, it can create the illusion of a star within the quilt design.

The basic block is, as it says, a square within a square and you can find the instructions to make it on the Tutorials page or download them here.

square-in-a-square-blockBut suppose we keep adding squares around our square?

square-in-a-square-block-aand again

square-in-a-square-block-band again

square-in-a-square-block-cThe basic block on its own doesn’t make much of a quilt –

square-in-a-square-quiltBut if you alternate the colours it starts to look a little more interesting

square-in-a-square-quilt-aOr suppose you alternate the different variations of the block?





square-in-a-square-quilt-dand then change the colours completely and emphasise the star in the centre –


Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

Happy New Year! And it is time for the third block in our Quilt-along. This month it is the Road to California block combining those Half-square triangles with Four-patches.

block-3-road-to-californiaYou can download the instructions here. But first here’s a couple of other colour ideas –







And if you don’t like the look of that block, but you’ve made the units, there’s no law that says you can’t rearrange them to make a different block as one student did –


Simple blocks – Star and Pinwheels

Like the last few blocks this first one of the New Year contains the Three-triangle unit. Star and Pinwheels has Half-square triangles in its four corners and, like Martha Washington’s Star has the 3-triangle units forming the centre. You can download the instructions for the block here.

star-and-pinwheels-blockThis is what the block looks like when nine are set together to make a quilt –

star-and-pinwheels-quiltThe block is symmetrical so turning it around makes no difference but you can always play with the colour.



star-and-pinwheels-quilt-astar-and-pinwheels-quilt-bThere are more quilt ideas in the instructions.


Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

This month we look at how to make the blocks ‘dance’. The technique is often called Twist and Turn and the instructions provided are based on those in a book – Twist and Turn by Sharyn Squier Craig published in 1996 by Chitra. This is a super book with lots of ideas for block settings with a difference. You can download a pdf of instructions for our quilt blocks here.

So here is Friendship Star dancing in the quilt –

block-1-friendship-starand here is Eccentric Star from last month –


Next month we will have the instructions for our third block for the Dancing Blocks wallhanging.