I thought for this week’s post I’d do something fun and creative. I know a lot of you make quilts from patterns like mine, where the setting is already designed by the quilt pattern designer. However, if you are like I am, through out my quilting life I often sit in front of my scrap bins and churn out quilt blocks for fun. When it’s time to use them, there are many ways to set these into a quilt, wall hanging or table runner. In this post, I will share some of my ideas with actual photos of some of my quilts to give you ideas. So, let’s get started!
Settings for Big Quilts
If you have enough blocks for a big quilt… that’s awesome! Here’s some ideas.
Straight Rows: Of course the standard setting would be in rows. My quilt, Marbles & Jacks, is a one block quilt where the blocks are just assembled into rows with no sashing in between.
This classic, traditional setting can be done with all the same blocks or an assortment of blocks for a sampler. I added a little “pizzazz” to this quilt above by alternating background fabric between light and dark.
Straight Row Variation – Two Block Quilt: This type of setting is a really fun way to create a secondary pattern in your quilt top. By using two different blocks with different patterns, you can create movement in different directions. The most common is a traditional block like a star or churn dash black combined with a checkerboard block.
Notice how the crisscross pattern created by the checkerboard blocks gives interesting movement to the quilt. When choosing two blocks to combine in a quilt like this, you can test out if they will work out together by making several paper copies of each of the blocks and laying them out like you would the fabric blocks.
When I choose to make a 2 block quilt, I usually choose one block with movement in specific directions and one block that either “moves” in another direction or has even movement. Here’s an example where I was trying this out using my computer program:
Maybe this will be a future pattern …. who knows?
Block Rows with Sashing: The fun with this type of setting is you can have plain sashing that just separates the blocks or you can use the sashing to create another secondary pattern. Here’s two examples from my patterns:
The quilt pattern on the left, Twilight Desert, uses a plain sashing to separate the blocks. The quilt pattern on the right, Open Windows, uses the sashing to make a monkey wrench design by using a dark square connecting the sashing pieces. Combined with the folded corner on the blocks, a monkey wrench design emerges.
On Point Settings: A final setting I like to use a lot is the on point setting. If you want to get a different look from your blocks, arrange your blocks this way. You can do this with one block and two block quilts. Both will create some interesting patterns.
The quilt on the left, Stepping Stones, is made up of the same blocks on point and this creates a secondary pattern where those blocks touch. The quilt on the right, Country Dance, is made up of two blocks, a churn dash and a checkerboard, on point and alternating to create the grid pattern.
Settings for Small Quilts
You can actually use the same concepts for larger quilt projects for your smaller quilts like wall hangings and table runners. For example, here’s my wall hanging, Posey Patch, that uses a sashing that make a star pattern.
You can see the stars created by a plain connecting square and stitch & flip corners on the ends of the sashing strips. It adds a bit more of fun to the quilt instead of just having a plain brown sashing.
This next example shows how you can do a straight setting of the same blocks in a table runner and create an interesting pattern and also have a two block setting that creates a diagonal secondary pattern. Both these runners are in the same pattern, Scrap Basket Duo.
These ideas are in no way all the ways you can play with blocks, but hopefully it shows a variety to inspire you. Now I bet you want to run to your stash of scraps to start making blocks, right?
Until next week,