Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Combining two simple blocks

In the Midsummer Night's Dream quilt, I combined 3 different blocks (none of which were simple) to make the center medallion.  You can also combine just two simple blocks to get a really neat design.  I made a couple of baby quilts a few years ago that illustrate this, combining a simple snowball block (only 5 pieces) with plain old 9 patch blocks.  I used 1930s reproductions and muslin.  To make the Snowball blocks, I cut 25 6.5" squares of the repro fabrics and 100 2.5" squares of the muslin.  I put a square on the corner of the large square and sew from corner to corner on the little square.  I trimmed the muslin square to 1/4" seam allowance, but didn't cut the repro fabric off--I found my blocks were more accurate if I left them on.  Since I planned on machine quilting, having the extra fabric there wouldn't interfere.  For the 9 patches, I cut strips of lots of the repro fabrics and the muslin, and sewed them together with 1/3 being muslin-print-muslin, and the rest print-muslin-print, pressed all the seams toward the colored fabric, then sliced them up with a rotary cutter, and stitched the little 9 patches together.  I made plenty of them, so there were enough for two baby quilts.  The one above was given to our little grandson, William Caleb.  The one below was given to a little girl baby of a co-worker.

Using the cooler colors seemed to work well for a boy, and the warmer colors for the girl turned out quite pretty.

To use different blocks together, it seems to work best if the blocks have the same number of divisions in the pattern.  For instance, both of these blocks are evenly divisible by 3, basically 9 patches.  You could also use two different 4 patches, 5 patches, etc.  More on this tomorrow.

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