For the 2017 Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I thought I would share Blue Bear’s most popular pattern, Greek Isles Modern.
This pattern is much easier than it looks. It is made with 2.5″ strips of white and 2.5″ strips of light, medium and dark batiks, that you may obtain from jelly rolls, or cut on your 2.5″ strip die with your Accuquilt Go! Cutter. The blocks are all constructed the same way, and placement is what determines the pattern. At 70 x 90,” it is the perfect quilt to curl up with on the couch for binge watching your favorite Netflix shows.
Here is a picture of Kim at Keep Me in Stitches in Largo, Florida, quilting this beauty; followed by a close up of her fantastic quilting.
Here are several more photos of the quilt out and about.
I have taught this class several times and here are some of my students interpretations of the quilt. Click on the links for short videos. They did a fantastic job!
As we discussed in Part 1 last week, this is a excellent block for beginning quilters to learn how to quilt. It is the pattern that I used when I was first learning to quilt. The most recommended book to make this pattern is “Make a Quilt in a Day- Log Cabin Pattern” by Eleanor Burns. So many people, including me, have used this book to make their first quilt. Thus, Quilt in a Day and Eleanor Burns are endeared to many quilter’s. Eleanor was a school teacher and her patterns are clearly written and easy to follow. The book is pictured in the photo below.
One helpful tool that the book contains is a paste-up sheet, where you lay out all of your fabric samples to see if you have a good mixture of lights and darks. An additional trick that I learned was to photocopy this sheet with the fabrics on it as it will highlight the contrasting tonal values for you. Here is a photo of the paste-up sheet that I did for my first quilt and a photo of it photocopied. To obtain the desired pattern effects, you want a strong contrast between the lights and darks. Remember this was my first quilt and I now see that I could have done a better job of making a stronger contrast between the lights and darks. Today, I would have made the pink center square darker and the two outer light colors lighter. This palette with the floral fabrics created a very country look and today I would most likely shy away from that as well. This quilt pattern is also good for a beginner as you can quilt it yourself by quilting straight stitches in the ditch.
This pattern is very versatile and can result is many different looks, depending on how you rotate the blocks. Let’s take a look at the traditional quilt from last week laid out 8 different ways. Depending on the fabrics you use and the layout, this traditional pattern can take on a modern look. I think that Whirligig and Navajo have a more modern spin to them.
My favorite is “Positive/Negative” as I love how the lights and darks create a a dimensional feel to the pattern. Which one is your favorite?
Next week, we will look at the Wild Geese Block which can create some fun modern patterns.
Today we are going to look at the log cabin block. This is the quintessential beginner quilt block because it is so easy. All you have to do is sew strips together and cut various sized units. Those units keep getting sewn to another strip and then cut again. Here is what the block traditionally looks like.
You will note that there is a red center with light fabrics on the left side and dark fabrics on the right side. The red center is thought to be the fireplace of the cabin, and the light side is the sun shining on the cabin, or goodness, and the dark side is thought to be shadows on the house, or sadness. Sometimes this quilt is called Sunshine and Shadows depending on how the blocks are arranged. The next photo shows how this quilt is traditionally laid out.
There are many blocks which have names related to things or events in the Bible. Today’s block, God’s Eye, would be one of the them.
Others would be Jacob’s Ladder, Crown of Thorns, Joseph’s Coat, Ruins of Jericho, Star of Bethlehem and many others. Quilts with Biblical names can be reassuring to those that are devoted to God and quilts have often been used as burial shrouds and it is comforting to families to have their loved one wrapped in a quilt with a Biblical theme. Many other quilt blocks with a square eye in the middle have been called “God’s Eye.” The yarn “God’s Eye” is a popular kids craft where two sticks make a cross and then different colored yarns are wrapped around the sticks concentrically.
The block is made up of a 4 x 4 grid, with smaller 4 x 4 grids contained therein. The smaller grids are composed with squares and half square triangles. Although there are many pieces in this block (88), it would still be a fairly easy block for a beginning quilter. This block is usually composed with four colors, 2 lights and 2 darks. Below is an example of a 16 block quilt made up of God’s Eye blocks.
This quilt can be very striking when made from scrappy fabrics, such as the quilt below.
Stay tuned for next week’s block, which will be the Log Cabin, a great block for a beginner to learn to quilt.
Happy Labor Day. I hope everyone is enjoying their time off with their families.
This week’s block is the Jacob’s Ladder. It has a Biblical reference as it refers to the story of Jacob found in Genesis 28: 10-12. The block also has many other names such as “Road To California, “Double Hour Glass” and “Covered Wagon,” suggesting that they were popular with the early pioneers headed west. Here is an example of what the block historically looked like.
Notice that the block is a nine patch construction, which was discussed in a previous post, containing 5 four patch blocks, also discussed in a previous post, and 4 new blocks that are called half square triangles (HST.) See example below. This block is documented as having been made into a quilt at the beginning of the 20th century. It was originally made with two contrasting colors, a light and a dark. The block often has another name, ” Underground Railroad,” associated with it, but it has not been documented that this block existed around the time of pre Civil War, when the Underground Railroad was happening, and may have gotten the name later as a remembrance.
This is an excellent block for a novice quilter as sewing the HSTs together is easy as you just have to sew two triangles together. It can be a little tricky to get those points on the end to match up, so one of my favorite tools to create the Jacob’s Ladder patches is my Accuquilt Fabric Cutter. It precision die cuts the pieces so they are perfectly cut. On the triangles, it cuts off the dog ears (the points that stick out) so that the ends are easy to align. Here is a link to the Accuquilt website, where you will find the fabric cutters and lots of fun dies. http://www.accuquilt.com.
Two “Go! Dies” that could be used to make this block are the 2.5″ square and the 2″ finished half square triangle. You will notice that the dies are two-tone, making it easy for you to place the fabric on the die. Then you place a plastic mat over the fabric and run the die, with the fabric and mat on it, through the cutter. There are manual and electric fabric cutters. Here is a picture of a “Go! Fabric Cutter” and the square and triangle dies. (Click on the thumbnails to make the pictures larger.) They are frequently on sale.
In order to create a double nine patch, we need to know what a nine patch is first. it is a block that contains a 3 x 3 grid. Normally there is a combination of light and dark fabrics. Here is an example of the basic nine patch block.
Notice how there are nine “patches” that are the same size. There is a combination of light yellow with the dark navy blue. The yellow is forming a cross and the navy is forming an “x” in the middle. All of these patches can be anywise, but typically they are divisible by 3, so the overall block size is usually 6, 9 or 12 inches. This block is popular with beginning quilters as it involves straight sewing and matching of a couple of seams. It is also an easy block to select color fabrics as you only need two, consisting of a light and dark. This block also makes a great scrap quilt as each of the navy squares in the example could be a different piece of fabric. This is also an easy jelly roll quilt as to contract the blocks, you sew 2.5″ strips of dark, light, dark together and strips of light, dark, light together and then cut them at 2.5″ intervals. Then you take two of the dark, light, dark units and piece them together with a light, dark, light unit in the middle. Here is what a quilt would look like using this block, and then using the block alternating with plain navy squares.
The name comes from the fact that there are two smaller four patches contained in this block. While four patch is in the name, “four patch” also describes the type of block construction.
Notice that there are two four patches and two plain squares. When these four units are combined together, they create a larger four patch, containing two smaller four patches, and you notice a lovely chain effect happening. The smaller four patch units could be made from strips or jelly rolls. This is an excellent block to use up scraps as each one of the colored squares could be a different color fabric creating a wonderful scrappy look.
Due to its simplicity, this block is an excellent block for beginning quilters and it can create a gorgeous quilt as you can see in the diagram below. This quilt contains 64 blocks- 8 across and 8 down.
Next Week’s Block of the Week will be the Double Nine Patch.
We will feature a quilt block of the week. You will be able to find them all grouped together in the page tab on the right side of the blog. We will have an example of the block and how it looks in a quilt and tell you a little about the history of the block, if known.
Week 1- August 15, 2016
Most Basic Block- Mother of all Quilt Blocks- The Basic Four Patch
This has to be the easiest of all quilt blocks. This is an excellent block for a beginning quilter to start with due to its straight sewing and simplicity. Here is what the block looks like.
To enhance the pattern, light and dark patches are alternated. It is called the four patch as it is composed of four patches. I believe that it was first identified by Carrie Hall in 1935. This block is a good one for thrifty quilters as it allows small scraps of fabric to be sewn together. The squares in the example above are 2″ by 2.”
Four patch is also the style, or basic grid-work, of a block when four similar units are combined together to form a larger four patch block, similar to the example below.
Here is how the 4-patch block looks in a quilt. It creates a checkerboard pattern when it is not combined with any other blocks. For this reason, this block is sometimes called checkerboard as well. This quilt is good for placing appliqué and/or quilting designs in the square blocks and borders.
Next week, we will talk about the Double Four Patch Quilt Block.