Everyone knows the traditional quilt blocks like a star block or the Log Cabin block. But did you know, you can take these traditional blocks and create interesting new blocks by combining them? This is also an easy way to make a block bigger if you need it to be for a particular project! I will show you a few examples I have created using my design software.
This first technique I will call “Log Cabining” a block. Sounds funny, but you can create a whole new fun design by doing this. Let’s say you have a pattern for a plain 4″ star block.
It’s pretty, right? But what if you want a larger block to fit with other larger blocks. For instance, if you had 8″ snowball blocks you wanted to use in the quilt. Well, just add strips of fabric to the sides of this block to “log cabin” it!
This not only serves the purpose of making the block larger, it also makes it “scrappy” and more colorful! So, if you combine these blocks with a snowball block, look what you create:
The Second technique I use to mix things up it to take a block like the star above and turn it into a 4-patch block by adding two plain 4″ squares. So, here I start with a 4″ star block:
I made this one with black fabric and you’ll see why in a minute. Now, I combine two of the above star units and two plain 4″ squares to make a 4-patch block.
Now comes the fun. I’m going to combine the Log Cabin star from my first technique and this 4-patch block to make the quilt top:
So now, you have a completely different look from the first quilt top above. You also get a directional secondary design with the stars running diagonally.
Taking that directional secondary design one step further adds a fun additional twist to this quilt top. Replace the plain 4″ squares with 4″ half-square triangle squares of 2 different tans and make the star units with the 2 different tans:
Now combine these blocks with the Log Cabin stars:
Now you have two diagonal designs going in opposite directions! Isn’t this fun? I’ve taken a simple star block and created this fun quilt top.
My final technique is “snowballing” a block. I’m going to use the Log Cabin star block above to show how this can help you create a fun quilt top, but you can use this with any block. I’m going to use 3 1/2″ squares to make my corners. Use the “flip and sew” or “folded corner” technique I describe in this blog post to make snowball blocks.
Here’s the Log Cabin star block “snowballed:
Now, I combine the above block with the plain Log Cabin star block:
Once again, with the same elements, we get a completely different quilt top! Imagine if you use different colors for the center star.
Finally, I put the snowball blocks from above with the 4-patch star blocks for a completely different look.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless! So dig through your fabric, find a simple block pattern like the star block and have fun!
Leave a comment on this post on what topics you would like me to cover in future blog posts and be entered to win a free pattern: Star Struck! The drawing will be on January 22nd.