Tag Archives: quilt block

Accidental Quilt Block Variation – REDO 2015

I have received some requests to write out a step-by-step tutorial for the variation of the block I made in my posting titled Re-thinking My Accidental Quilt Block from January 19, 2014. Because I just showed various pictures, folks trying to make the block became confused. Then I discovered there was an unintended quirk in the way the quilt was turning out based on some cutting instructions! So I deleted that post and wrote this new variation that works out the way I originally intended!  So if you read the original post and wondered why you couldn’t find it – it’s gone!

I feel this new variation is way easier to make, so I’m posting a tutorial on how to make that one instead. I think everyone will be happy that I did, LOL.

Pictured below is a new sample block and two potential layouts that could be used for a quilt. You may notice the colors changed in the quilt layout samples because I didn’t realize I was low on the fabric I used for the block sample. 🙂  To cut my pieces I used 2 ½” wide strips from a Jelly Roll which resulted in a block that equaled 6 ½” square.Block Pieces-9

Block Pieces-10

Block Pieces-11

Click on this link to get to the tutorial, or just click on my Tutorials link at the top of the page. Look for the Accidental Quilt Block Variation – 2015.

Nine Patch Magic

I think Nine Patch Magic is what I need to call my “accidental” quilt block.  After posting my Accidental Quilt Block tutorial I had a lot of interest from people sharing the post.  One person, Pauline (not sure if she wanted me to post her full name), did some really fun experimenting with the design.  She incorporated all of the cut sections together and came up with several designs.  Here are some of my favorites. For each of these you can see one block, then what happens after she put several together:

Stained Glass Look

Nine Patch Magic Blue

I really like how she demonstrated that using just two colors for this block turned out a really interesting result as well.

So of course now I need to actually make a quilt and not just a block!  So that’s on my to-do list to start this weekend.  But…I also have another technique I want to try so we’ll see which gets accomplished first, LOL.

Again, I would love to see what anyone else comes up with when playing with this technique.  Folks who would like to send me pictures can e-mail them to beyondsockmonkeys@gmail.com.   It is such a pleasure to see others creations!

Great job Pauline!


Fun and happy Laurel Burch quilt top – finished!

Lately, my weekends have not allowed me to spend much time quilting.  However this weekend was the winner!  I was finally able to get back to my quilt top made with some Laurel Burch fabrics and I’m really happy with the result.

LB quitl top 02

For some reason my pictures have been turning out really “soft” lately.  I think my old camera is finally getting worn out. 🙂  Another thing that I don’t feel is clearly shown is the fact that many of the fabrics I used have patterns and texture to them.  In person, that makes this quilt top even more fun to me!

LB Fabrics

So there you have it.  I started with making a few “Economy blocks” for an online sew- along then morphed it into this quilt top.

Here is some information on how I made this quilt top if you are interested in doing something similar. I put instructions for how to make the blocks at the end of these directions.  This is not an extremely detailed tutorial but I hope you find it helpful:

This finished to 47″ x 47″

LB quilt directions image

Center A = 9 – 7 ½” x 7 ½” *Economy blocks – sew together 3 rows of 3 blocks for a 9-patch center.

Surround that by 4 -2 ½” wide strips the length needed to surround your nine-patch center (measure the right and left sides, sew on those strips, then measure the top and bottom, then sew on those strips)

Border B = 48 –2 ½” half square triangle blocks. Sew 12 together for the right side, then 12 for left side and sew both sides on first.  For the top and bottom borders sew a 2 ½” square at the beginning and end of each 12 block row for a total of 14 blocks for each row.

Surround that with 4 – 2 ½” wide strips the length needed (measure the right and left sides, sew on those strips, then measure the top and bottom, then sew on those strips)

Border C = 28 – 5 ½” x 5 ½” *Diamond in Square blocks and 4 – 5 ½” x 1 ¼” spacer strips.

Make border C as follows:  sew end-to-end 3 blocks, sew on 1 – 5 ½” x 1 ¼” strip then sew on three more blocks to make your right side border.  Repeat to make your left side border.  Sew those on to your quilt.  The bottom and top borders are made up of 4 Diamond in Square blocks, then the spacer strip, then 4 more Diamond in Square blocks.  You can see that I changed things up a bit by changing the color of the first and last block on the top and bottom border rows.

After you’ve sewn on Border C surround that with 4 – 3 ½” wide strips the length required for the final border (measure the right and left sides, sew on those strips, then measure the top and bottom, then sew on those strips).

*How to make the easy Diamond-in-Square and Economy blocks for this quilt size:


  1. Cut three 4 inch squares (one for your center, two for the outer triangles).
  2. Cut the two squares in half diagonally to get 4 triangles.LB Step 2
  3. Sew two of the triangles to your center square along the opposite sides (right sides together).  The triangles will be larger than your square.

LB Step 3

4. Press the triangles open then trim their sides down to meet the sides of the square.

LB Step 4

5.  Sew the other two triangles to the opposite sides of your square.

LB Step 5

6.  Press the triangles open, then square up your block to equal 5 ½”.

Diamond in Square

For the Economy block you follow these same steps but add one more layer of triangles.  Cut two squares 6”.  Cut those squares diagonally to get 4 more triangles.  Sew them to the squared-up 5 ½” block, then square that up to 7 ½”.

LB Economy Blocks


Engineer, mathematician, or free spirit – which path do you take when designing quilts?

I don’t know why I have these unexpected, sudden moments of clarity, but once again, I realized there was another way to make my “accidental” quilt block.  I’m going to need to find another name for it eventually!

While playing with ideas for another round of borders on my Laurel Burch quilt, I had cut some small squares and made some half square triangles.  As they were laying on my cutting table suddenly I saw it; another way to make that block!

From looking at this:


To laying out this:


Now I had “discovered” three different ways to make this block:


So this got me thinking.  If I was better at geometry, or knew a little something about engineering, would I have been more prone to have figured this out sooner rather than by accident as I was experimenting?  That said, if I was just a more experienced quilter would I have known this as well, LOL.

There was actually a time in my life where I would have been mad at myself about this.  My internal dialogue would have been “How dumb of me to think I discovered a way to make a unique block” (when I was playing with the sub-cutting of a nine patch).  I would have felt foolish.  But for some reason, maybe because I’m more “mature”, I just felt like this was a new lesson learned and still enjoyed the process of experimenting without trying to adhere to specific standards.  However, for me, this third technique is really easier than trying to design a color layout for the nine patch that will give me the right result after cutting it up then sewing the pieces together.

I also like these different quilt layouts that you can achieve with this type of block:

In this one the red and green cross really stands out to me.

Sample Quilt2

I like the zig zag pattern (of the burgundy red and green) of this example and the fact that the center square is smaller in each block due to the additional seam when sewing two halves of different cut blocks together (see this post):

Example Quilt2 Red

The third one has the same layout as the first, but because of the colors used the purple points around a blue center square (almost like a flower) stands out to me:

AGB Quilt Example 3

So my quilting education continues!  Whether I try to think like an engineer, mathematician, or blindly go my own way, I’ll just enjoy the process!

FOOTNOTE:  No sooner had I pushed the button to publish this post I realized there is a fourth way to make this block (maybe you have too)!  Rather than add it here, I’m going to make a quilt using that technique then publish a tutorial.  Stay tuned…