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).
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 ~ 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.
|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|
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.
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.
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.
Press your fabric open.
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.
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.
Press your fabric open.
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.
Step 8: Stitch together the segments into three rows as shown.
Step 9: Stitch your rows together to form a finished 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ block, as shown.
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.
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.
Step 12: Stitch the remaining (2) flying geese units to the center pieced unit, as shown.
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.
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.
Step 16: Stitch each row of blocks together, as you would a 9 patch. Stitch your rows together.
March 5, 2014 68 Comments
Today I’m very excited to share with you a new book by designer and author Lucie Summers, Quilt Improv: Incredible Quilts from Everyday Inspirations. Many of you probably know Lucie through her fabrics for Moda. I have a fair share of them in my stash and I’m constantly reaching for them when working on scrappy projects.
When I first opened Quilt Improv, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the photography. I have a very large library of quilting books. (Sort of a quilt book addict.) I think I can easily say, these are the most beautifully photographed quilts in my entire collection.
Seriously. If I could spell out what would make a perfect setting for quilt photos, I would probably say rustic barns…
historic looking stone walls…
And what is this? A truck full of flower bulbs? (LOVE!!)
I want to move into every picture! I honestly feel like this could be a coffee table book. Drool worthy.
Quilt Improv has directions for several improvisational techniques, referred to as The Building Blocks: Applique Circle, Basket Weave, Chain Pieced Strips, Chevrons, Crazy Triangles, Half Square Triangles, Log Cabins, Pieced Squares, Portholes, Quarter Circles, String Blocks and X Blocks; as well as 12 Quilts. Is is absolutely packed with information.
I decided to make a little project out of the book, and in the spirit of one of my New Year’s Resolutions, include one of my kids in the fun. I showed my 4 year old the project – Chain-Pieced Strips. I let him dig through my scrap tubs and lay out all the fabrics.
I trimmed them to size and sewed them together. It was actually a really fun project to work on together. He was so excited, he kept saying “I can’t believe I’m making my very own quilt!!”
I quilted and bound it and now it is a very special quilt for his stuffed panda.
Improv can be a little scary, but it’s also quite freeing and a great way to sew with kids.
Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour – some stops even have giveaways!
January 21, 2014 39 Comments
Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving for my American readers! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed some time off with your families. I’m sure many of you are out shopping today – maybe even you’ve been up since midnight. But for those spending time at home today, I’m very happy to share my next quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival with you, the Star Bright Quilt.
But before I get to the quilt, something really, really exciting arrived on my doorstep Tuesday afternoon. My copies of the book! And this is awesome news because it means the books are all in the warehouse here in the United States now and being shipped out to retailers. So you should start seeing it soon in shops and if you ordered it online already, chances are you will be getting it sooner than expected! Woohoo!
I also have a few copies available in my shop ready to ship. Those are signed by all 3 of us authors. If you happened to purchase a copy from somewhere else, you can get signed bookplates in my shop as well (The $1 cost for those just covers the shipping and paypal fees).
Back to today’s quilt share! This the my Star Bright quilt and definitely one of my favorites. Maybe because it combines a few of my favorite things: paper piecing, stars and fabrics from Anna Maria Horner.
It’s lap sized and quilted with straight lines.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my last post, but something I love about this book is that many of the projects use 12″ x 12″ finished blocks. This makes the quilt patterns really flexible. If you like a layout, but want to switch out the blocks, it’s really easy. Just pick one (or more) of the other 19 blocks in the book (or another block you happen to know and love). Make your blocks and plug them into the pattern.
I was motivated last week to do a bit of Christmas sewing for the house. I used the block from this quilt to make a new pillow for my couch.
I did some light free motion meandering quilting in the negative space and then assembled using Katie’s invisible zipper tutorial that I love so much.
I think it matches the Christmas quilt I made last year quite well!
November 29, 2013 15 Comments
Look how great my 6 year old holds a quilt!
This month the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild had a log cabin challenge. We were all asked to make a 36″ x 36″ quilt with log cabin(s) in a modern way. Last night was the meeting and everyone came up with such great designs! Really, no two were alike. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone’s quilts and the thought that went into all of them.
I decided to make all white log cabins with tiny strips of bright fabrics randomly incorporated into the logs. The logs are various widths, from 1-1/2″ to 1/2″ finished.
This quilt was pretty improvisational. Although I had a plan for the blocks in my head, I wasn’t really sure about how to put them together. At first I was thinking about 1 giant block. Then it changed to multiple blocks. Then I decided I needed some separation to define the blocks. Ideas floated around from using neutral tan to narrow strips of color, stacked. But in the end I decided on larger color blocks.
I quilted this in straight lines, about 1/2″ apart.
The backing is one of my favorite prints from designer Anna Maria Horner.
The binding was also something that changed at the last minute. I was planning on doing bright scrappy binding, but after it was cut it just seemed like too much. So I went looking through my stash and my eyes were drawn to one of my favorites from Violet Craft’s Madrona Road – the black text print. I worked in a couple spots of bright strips just to echo the design of the blocks.
And in an Arkansas Traveler update…I finished the quilt top! It looks great and the backing just arrived. I am still deciding on the quilting, but that will be the next large project to tackle on my list.
March 29, 2013 30 Comments