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 –
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.
When 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.
Or you can turn the blocks on point, colour the corner triangles differently and make something like this –
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.
You 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.
or turning it on point –
A similar patchwork block is Coffin Star – this time a 16-patch square turned on point –
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.
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.
This is what the block looks like when nine are set together to make a quilt –
The block is symmetrical so turning it around makes no difference but you can always play with the colour.