The final block in the series! All the patterns from block 1 through today are still free for you to download. These are easy to piece 6 1/2″ blocks. After you make all the blocks, including today’s block 9, you can use them any way you want. I will be presenting a finished wall hanging next week that features all the blocks and providing free instructions so you can make it yourself if you choose. If you just found my blog today, here are the links to the previous week’s posts: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7 and Week 8. OK… let’s get started on the last block!
2022 BOW Block 9 – Crosses & Losses
Now that you are an expert in HSTs, this block will be a breeze. This is basically a 4 patch block, with each “patch” made from HSTs. The instructions to make this block are found here: 2022 BOW Block 9.
The block made it’s first appearance, like many others in this sew along, in the late 1800s. Published first by the Ladies Art Company in 1897. It’s also known as Bouncing Betty (1933), Fox and Geese (1929) and Hour Glass (1932). It’s believed this block got its original name from the Bible, sometimes the only book that accompanied families in the 19th century to their new homes.
Since the blocks we have been making are from our “scraps”, I think it’s time to talk scrap quilting! Scrap quilts can be planned or unplanned. Planned you say? Isn’t the definition of “scrappy quilt” a quilt that is made from scraps you just randomly pull from your stash? Yes, I call those “unplanned” scrap quilts. These BOW blocks are like that. I just picked scraps out of my stash to piece each of these blocks. But, you can carefully choose an array of color prints and make blocks from various combinations and that is what I call “planned” scrap quilts.
I will use a simple 3 color quilt as an example. To make it easy, let’s say this quilt takes a yard of each color fabric (not including the background) and has 12 blocks from each color. Here’s the 3 colors:
Using these colors above you can make a simple scrap quilt with each block using only one color (left) or you can mix the 3 colors within each block and use each color in different units of the blocks (right).
Both are nice scrap quilts, but the one on the right definitely reads as more scrappy, even though it’s the same 3 colors. You can make the quilt even scrappier, by adding in more colors to each of the ones above. Instead of buying a yard each of the 3 main colors, by 1/3 yards of those fabrics and then an additional 1/3 yard each 6 other color prints that coordinate.
To the dark blue fabric, I added a light blue and a purple. To the red fabric, I added pink and brown (both fabrics have red accents) and to the yellow fabric I added green and orange. So, now I have 9 colors which I can distribute through 36 blocks giving me 4 blocks from each color. Or I can mix and match those colors within each block.
Now, all of the sudden you have a real scrap quilt even though you planned it.
So how do you plan a scrap quilt using any one block pattern? First I choose a block design, then how many blocks I want and then how many colors I want to use. Then I make a diagram using drawings of the blocks. I number the colors I am using and then on a the printout of the blocks in the quilt, I write in the color number(s) in the units that make up the blocks. Then I note how many blocks I have from each combination to help me calculate how much of each fabric I need.
Here’s an example of one of my color maps showing that I am using nine different color prints that are numbered 1-9:
Once I have this done, then I can figure out how many pieces I need to cut from each color based on the diagram above. It does take a little time and math, but by doing this planning first, you end up with a beautiful scrap quilt.
So, I hope this gives you a bit of an idea on how to make a quilt pattern scrappy if it isn’t already that way. I think it’s fun to do and I just love the look of the “riot” of colors. You’d be surprised that colors you think would never look good in the same quilt, look great in a scrappy one!
Come back next week for the Block of the Week wrap-up where I will reveal my wall hanging made from these blocks and give you those instructions. Remember, comment or ask questions throughout this series. At the end, I will have a grand prize giveaway. This will include my book, two of my newer patterns, some fat quarters and sewing scissors!