Radiant Splendor ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to sit down, relax and look through my favorite block reference books. A couple weeks ago, I pulled out Nancy Cabot’s Quilt Collection, complied by Rose Lea Alboum. You can see more about it on my blog here and ordering information here. This time as I was flipping through the pages, this block caught my eye, Cubes and Tiles (1933).

Cubes and Tiles Quilt Block - Nancy Cabot 1933

I decided to see if I could find a bit more information about it, so I search for it in my other favorite block reference, Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. (Which by the way, is now available to buy as a PDF download!) It turns out, this block has been, well, around the block a few times! It was listed under 5 different names, from 5 different publications. The oldest I saw was a Ladies Art Company quilt pattern catalog from the late 1800’s, under the name Stars and Cubes. Pretty cool! And since everyone else came up with their own name for this block, I decided to call mine Radiant Splendor. :)

I sat down to do a little photoshop work to see if I could figure out how to put this block together. Turns out it’s not that hard – as long as you love making flying geese! I’ve put together a tutorial for anyone interested in making one of their own.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts


Radiant Splendor ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ unfinished quilt block

We are going to follow the below construction diagram to make this block. We will begin with the flying geese, then piece center star, followed by the border stars and finally sew those components together to make the final block.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Cutting Instructions

Pattern Piece Fabric
Background Cut 4 6-1/2” x 6-1/2″ White
Background Cut 12 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” White
Background Cut 20 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” White
Center Star Cut 1 4-1/2” x 4-1/2” Purple
Center Star Cut 8 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Purple
Border Stars Cut 4 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” Yellow
Border Stars Cut 32 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Yellow

Block Instructions
This block contains 20 flying geese components. Let’s make those first.

Step 1: Using a marking tool (disappearing ink pen, pencil, hera marking tool, chalk, etc), mark your (8) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Purple Squares and your (32) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Yellow Squares from corner to corner on the wrong side of the fabric, along the diagonal.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 2: Gather your (20) 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” White Rectangles. Take (1) 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” White Rectangle and place (1) 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” Purple Square, right sides together as shown, lining up the fabric on the short end of the rectangle. Stitch along the marked diagonal line.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 3: Using a quilting ruler, trim the stitched 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangle 1/4″ past your stitch line, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Press your fabric open.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 4: Place your next 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” Purple Square, right sides together as shown, lining up the fabric on the other short end of the rectangle. Stitch along the marked diagonal line.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 5: Once again using a quilting ruler, trim the stitched 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangle 1/4″ past your stitch line, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Press your fabric open.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

You now have a 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Flying Geese unit.

Step 6: Repeat the above instruction to piece a total of (4) Purple flying geese units and (16) Yellow flying geese units.

Now that you’ve made your 20 flying geese units, we will make the Purple Center Star.

Step 7: Take your (4) Purple Flying Geese Units, (1) 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Purple Square, and (4) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ White Squares, and lay them out as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 8: Stitch together the segments into three rows as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 9: Stitch your rows together to form a finished 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ block, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Set aside. We will now assemble the Yellow Border Stars.

Step 10: Take (4) of your Yellow Flying Geese Units, (1) 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Yellow Rectangle, and (2) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ White Squares, and lay them out as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 11: Stitch the top row of (2) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ White Squares and (1) flying geese unit together, as shown. Stitch the center 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangle to (1) flying geese unit, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 12: Stitch the remaining (2) flying geese units to the center pieced unit, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 13: Piece the assembled top row to assembled bottom section, as shown, resulting in a 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Yellow Border Star.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 14: Repeat the above steps to make 3 more Yellow Border Stars, for a total of 4 Yellow Border Stars.

Now we are going to assemble all your pieced components into a finished block.

Step 15: Lay out your (4) 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ White Squares, (4) Yellow Border Star components and (1) Purple Center Star as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 16: Stitch each row of blocks together, as you would a 9 patch. Stitch your rows together.

Congratulations! Your block is now finished!

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Comments

  1. 1

    Catriona says

    Hiya
    I love this block, thanks so much for sharing the tutorial! I can’t help but think of the Pantone quilt contest with the block title and the central colour, is this going to be your entry?
    However I love Maths and I feel I should point out that your instructions give an 8.5″x8.5″ central block and a 20.5″x20.5″ finished block. It would make a great 20″ cushion!
    Thanks for sharing, Cat

  2. 5

    says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial Faith – I have bookmarked it for future use. Love the colours you used and the fact that you made it scrappy whilst still making each colour stand out beautifully.

  3. 6

    says

    A great tutorial that I have also bookmarked. I can’t, or rather don’t like doing, quilt math so a great help. As a relative newbie and not always accurate I need a bit of give n take.

  4. 12

    Marianne says

    Oh! This is marvelous! It makes up so pretty! The design is elegant, and I love your choice in this block, Faith! Way to go!

  5. 18

    Sharon T says

    Thank you, Faith, for the tutorial. This is going to the top of my bucket list! Can’t wait to get started!

  6. 19

    says

    Lovley block and great name. Thanks for the breakdown. This will be perfect for a scrappy cushion I have in mind for the sofa.

  7. 21

    Erica says

    Beautiful block! Thanks for the tutorial! I love your tutorials because they are so well written and easy to follow.

  8. 22

    Patricia says

    Thanks! A really neat pattern. You need to print and view it before publishing it, though. It needs to be cleaned up a bit. But it is deciferable. I appreciate the work you put into it. Thanks so much!

    • 23

      says

      Hi Patricia – thanks for your comment! Webpages don’t print out like normal documents due to the code behind the scenes. They are really only meant for viewing on the computer. I do occasionally offer patterns as PDF documents for printing – those are usually sold in my pattern shop. Thanks again!

  9. 26

    says

    I love this block and the book. I’ve always wondered about this and you probably know the answer. As I’ve been playing around with designing lately, how do I know if a block that I design has been designed by someone else, especially as far back as the 1930’s?
    Thank you.

  10. 30

    Nancy says

    You are a treasure! Love this block….I’m thinking, how wonderful it would be made up in red & blue as a 4th of July pillow.
    Just love your website & how gracious you have been in sharing your knowledge.
    xo, Nancy

  11. 31

    Davidson,Sandra says

    Love the block, think I might give it a try when I have some time. Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. 36

    says

    First, I LOVE your color/fabric choices. As usual! They really make your block sparkle! Second, am I hallucinating, or is this block not on a balance 3×3 grid? I don’t know the right term for it, but it seems like if you cut the block into a tic-tac-toe grid, the square at the center is bigger than the ones around it and the outer “squares” in the grid are more like rectangles.

    • 37

      says

      Ha, you are not hallucinating! All 9 components are not the same size. The center is larger and the yellow border stars are rectangles.

  13. 41

    Angela Baker says

    Hi Faith: I was fascinated by the Nancy Cabot book and poked around on the internet for a copy. I like historical quilt books, too. By pure coincidence, though, I was thumbing through a sewing book I have, copyright 1949 (World Scope Family Library, the Book of Sewing and Needlework volume) and found a chapter on quilts which starts with this EXACT block. Interestingly, they call it “Yankee Pride”.

  14. 42

    Angela Baker says

    Cont’d… it goes on to say: “This pattern is an adaptation of a popular quilt design which originated in New Orleans. It was named the LeMoyne Star in honor of Jacques LeMoyne, Sieur de Bienville, founder of the city. After Louisiana was purchased by the United States in 1803, American women called the design the Lemon Star, and it began to appear in different parts of the country in various forms.” Just sharing…

    • 43

      says

      Wow, that is so cool!! Lemon Star….seems meant to be that I like it (as Fresh Lemons), right? lol It looks like the “Yankee Pride” name came initially from author Ruth Finely’s Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them, published in 1929. This is like a fun treasure hunt for sure. :)

  15. 46

    Tammy says

    A love this block! I am currently working on a sampler quilt and this will fit right in!

    Thanks for the great tutorial.

  16. 47

    Terry Thompson says

    What a great little wall hanging this would make for my office wall! Thanks so much for the tutorial!!

  17. 48

    says

    Awesome tutorial. Cannot wait to make a quilt using this block! I think I’m going to use vivid small-print backgrounds, and neutrals for the stars – just to mix it up a bit! Love, Love, Love this block! Thanks…

  18. 49

    Julie says

    Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. I am a relative newbie to quilting and I have been wanting to try some more piecing, particularly to learn flying geese and stars. I saw your post and loved your square and read the instructions and realized this was the tutorial for me! I made it this morning and it came out great. So thanks for the help advancing me in this great craft.

    • 50

      says

      I’m so happy! I think you are the first one I’ve heard from that has made it – thanks for making me smile this morning!

  19. 51

    Sarah Lahrman says

    Thanks so much for sharing! Love the block and think it would look stunning in just solids too!

  20. 52

    says

    WOW!! This is really striking, flying geese are my nemeses but this block really makes me want to try harder to master them!! Thanks faith x

  21. 53

    says

    Hi Faith,
    I love the colours. I’m making a baby quilt right now in a bright pink and yellow, seeing the orchid makes me wish I’d pushed it a little more. It’s really striking.

  22. 54

    Julie says

    Hi, I wonder if you could lead me to a resource that shows how to resize a block. I want to make this one to come out at 16 1/2″ unfinished and thank you very much for the tutorial.

  23. 57

    Chrissy Brooks says

    Thanks for the tutorial. As soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for a series of pillows I am making for my living room. I finished the block yesterday and just need to make the envelope back. I love it!

  24. 59

    says

    The quilt that my grandmother made as a wedding gift (1977) was a king size quilt made with that pattern. I think the blocks are around 24 inches. The center star is gold in each block, then each block had different colors with a black background. Oh, did I mention that quilt was made with VELVET?? Love that quilt. It is one of those that when you are under it, you don’t move much.
    Betty
    Shadywood.blogspot.com

  25. 63

    linda gonçalves says

    amei seu blog,parabéns é tudo muito lindo,gostaria de receber suas aulas no meu imail,abraços…

  26. 67

    says

    I just finished a quilt-top of this block! I made 16 of them. It was a fun pattern and lead to a really neat secondary design (very different than how I thought it would turn out, but a fun surprise). Thanks for a great tutorial!

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