Category Archives: Electric Quilt

Simple Blocks – Aunt Dinah

Aunt Dinah is a variation of the Ohio Star – it has our featured ‘Mary’s Triangles units in the four corners. You can download the instructions for making the block here.

When I first coloured in this block I came up with this

Aunt Dinah block 2

Bu I felt poor Aunty looked a bit dull, so (as it is November and therefore nearly December) I decided to jazz her up a bit with some red and a few snowflakes and stars.

Aunt Dinah block

Like Ohio Star this block can be bit ho-hum just straight set on its own and you can lose the stars – they become a pieced sashing.

Aunt Dinah quilt

But add plain sashing between the blocks or alternate the colours of the stars and things look a better.

Aunt Dinah quilt 1

Or you could turn the corners of the block around and then alternate these with the original, changing the colours of the block as well

Aunt Dinah quilt 2

Even ‘dull’ Aunt Dinah doesn’t look too dull when given this makeover

Aunt Dinah quilt 4

Of course, given the time of year, you could always make something a lot smaller –

Aunt Dinah quilt runner

– give it a border, and maybe ‘pointy’ ends  . . . ?

Or you could head over to our Payhip shop and buy a pattern to make a runner – we featured it way back in 2014.

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Simple Blocks – Spinning Tops

This is a very similar block to last month’s Grandmother’s Choice – the only difference is that the centre rectangles have been split into two squares. You can download the instructions for the Spinning Tops block here.

Spinning Tops block

Try different ways of colouring the block – it can look quite different in pastel shades for example –

Spinning Tops block a

Because we have coloured the corners differently and because alternate units are turned the blocks are not symmetrical which means you can have a lot of fun turning them around – alternate blocks, or alternate rows or . . . mixing them with alternate Grandmother’s Choice blocks.

 

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Or you set them on point, with or without sashing. This is what the pastel ones look like –

Spinning Tops quilt d

Spinning Tops quilt c

Have fun playing with these blocks. You can download a blank quilt to colour here – you can print lots of copies, cut them up and design your own unique quilt.

Simple Blocks – Grandmother’s Choice

Quite a number of the blocks using the Mary’s Triangles units are 5-patch (sometimes known as uneven 9-patch) blocks. For this reason they are best made at sizes that are multiples of 5 – and 10 inches is usual. This month’s block is Grandmother’s Choice and is a typical (and simple) 5-patch block. You can download the instructions to make this block here.

Grandmother's Choice block

The block on its own just set straight together is not very exciting, but if you alternate the colours in the block it starts to look a little more interesting.

Grandmother's Choice quilt b

Add in another colour perhaps, as sashing?

Grandmother's Choice quilt a

Or go pastel?

Grandmother's Choice quilt c

Or on point with sashing and cornerstones? It is starting to look very different.

Grandmother's Choice quilt d

Enjoy playing with this quilt – change the colours around – it looks quite different done in brights and lights for instance.

 

Simple Blocks – Album

This is the first of our simple blocks which has Mary’s Triangles units and, as with most blocks with these units, they are in the corners.

album block alt colour

You can download the free pattern for this block here, along with a few ideas for quilts.

Just because the block has the triangles on the outside doesn’t mean that you can’t turn the units around and make a completely different block.

album block reversed

Notice that the colours have been reversed as well. If you mix these two colourings in a quilt  you get something far more interesting than just the blocks on their own.

album quilt a

Or you can put the blocks on point; all the same block but with a dark background –

album on point c

– it looks far more dramatic than the light background.

album on point b

But what happens if we turn those corner units so the triangles point outwards?

Album block 3

And then set into a quilt, with alternate colourings –

album quilt f

Its a very different quilt to the one we started out with.

The colouring (placement of lights and darks) of the block as well as the orientation of the corner units can have quite a dramatic effect on the appearance of the block and the quilts. Here’s a slide show of a few ideas –

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Simple blocks – Mary’s Triangles

Jewel Box blockThis little unit crops up in a number of blocks but is also a block in its own right. It has a variety of names including Jewel Box (or Block), Squared Triangles, Square and Triangles and the one I’ve picked – Mary’s Triangles.

You can make these units one at a time by cutting the individual squares and triangles or you can make two at a time with a very nifty method I read about so long ago I can no longer where, or when, but it has become an accepted method – it involves no triangles! You can download the Tutorial sheet for the unit here.

As with all units based on Half-Square Triangles you can have great fun with colour placement, scrappy looks and turning those units round. Here’s just a few ideas to get you started.

Start off by just putting the units together in a straight set, then change the lights and darks around, turn the blocks around, add in another colour for a bit of contrast . . .

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And here’s one I made earlier

jewel quilt

What will you make? Download the instructions for Mary’s Triangles here – it has a few quilt ideas and a blank quilt for you to colour in or play with.

Simple Blocks – Monkey Wrench

There are several blocks called Monkey Wrench – this one is sometimes called Snail Trail and is essentially a 4-patch within several squares, so we’ve added it to the blocks associated with the Square-in-a-Square tutorial.

Monkey Wrench block 1

Just set on its own this two fabric block can look a bit so-so . . .

Monkey Wrench quilt 1

but turn alternate blocks around and you get the classic Snail Trail pattern.

Monkey Wrench quilt 2

But what if you add another colour?

Monkey Wrench block 2

The quilt could then look more like this

Monkey Wrench quilt 3

or this

Monkey Wrench quilt 6

Or add yet another colour

Monkey Wrench block 3

which gives you more opportunities for playing with the arrangements

Monkey Wrench quilt 4

or this – which reminds me of waves breaking on the shore

Monkey Wrench quilt 7

or this (which looks more like arm wrestling!)

Monkey Wrench quilt 8

You can download your free block pattern here.

 

 

 

Simple Blocks – Coxey’s Camp

This block comes under the heading of ‘Square in a Square’ although in reality it is a 4-patch turned on point and then given a fancy border.

Coxey's Camp block

 

There are many different ways to colour it in changing the emphasis of the block by changing the dark and light colours around.

Using the different colourings can add interest to the quilt setting too.

Coxey's Camp quilt 3

Coxey's Camp quilt 7

As does turning on point –

Coxey's Camp quilt 5

It makes a good block to alternate with other blocks – more complicated ones or much simpler ones. Have a play with some of the other blocks we’ve already featured.

Coxey's Camp quilt 6

You can download the block instructions here.