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.
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.
Or you can put the blocks on point; all the same block but with a dark background –
– it looks far more dramatic than the light background.
But what happens if we turn those corner units so the triangles point outwards?
And then set into a quilt, with alternate colourings –
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 –
We have been promised that Spring is just around the corner – hard to believe with all the snow and ice – so yesterday when I found a couple of projects we had done with Young Quilters over the Easter holidays back in the 1990s I felt it was time to write them up properly and offer them as free patterns. They are both cushions, but could be little quilts as well, measuring 12 inches finished, without borders. As they were designed with Young Quilters in mind they are nice and simple and a quite young child could manage them with adult help here and there. They can be sewn by hand or machine, although I did them on the machine.
First of all we have a basket – which is actually a pocket on the front of the cushion. The original hand-written pattern says for keeping a book or small toy, these days it is more likely to be a phone or tablet perhaps. You can download the pattern here.
Although the pattern has lots of diagrams sometimes photos show things more clearly so here are the step-by-step photos I took when I made the basket pocket –
The other pattern I found was a Snowball block turned into an animal – we apparently had dogs, cats, pigs and even hens, but the one I have chosen to do the ear templates for you today is the rabbit. Once you have made this one you might like to let your imagination run riot as our Young Quilters did on the day and see what you come up with. You could even add an appropriate tail to the back of your cushion or quilt.
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.
Just set on its own this two fabric block can look a bit so-so . . .
but turn alternate blocks around and you get the classic Snail Trail pattern.
But what if you add another colour?
The quilt could then look more like this
Or add yet another colour
which gives you more opportunities for playing with the arrangements
or this – which reminds me of waves breaking on the shore
. . for children. The Christmas holidays are here and you are trying to find something (other than phones/tablets) to keep everyone amused? Here are two free patterns for you to download that first appeared as projects for Young Quilters some 20+ years ago (when we had Young Quilters).
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 –