Monday, September 27, 2010

BOW #17 Double Four Patch

The Double Four Patch is a natural sequel to last week's Four Patch--just use the single Four Patch in the place of the dark square of a larger Four Patch.  That gives you a Four Patch within a Four Patch, or a Double Four Patch.  (The same principle applies to other blocks, too; think about doubling up when we do the Nine Patch later.)

The block is as easy to make as the Four Patch; you're just making it twice.  For a 12" finished block you'll need:
(2) Four-patch units (light/dark) that will finish at 6" (You'll have used 3-1/2" squares to create them)
(2) light squares, 6-1/2"

Arrange as below:

The Double Four Patch is great to use as a chain block; if you alternate with other blocks and turn the Double Four Patches you can create a chain of the dark squares.  It can "make" a quilt that might otherwise be too simple.  Think about plain blocks of large floral prints, alternated with the Double Four Patch to create a path through a garden...

From Mary Kay: Here is an example of that chain look, alternating this week's Double Four Patch block with the Spool block. You may not recognize the BlockFab app framing this quilt: it's a sneak peek at the new iPad version, which I'm working on! Being a new environment, we're still working out the kinks, but it's progressing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

BOW #16 Four Patch

The Four Patch is another one of my favorite blocks because it is so simple but so versatile.  It's a great first block for a new quilter, but it's useful for experienced quilters and designers, too.   It's the integral part of a Double Four-Patch--but that's another story for another day.

You will see the Four Patch as part of other blocks.  Take a look at your Buckeye Beauty block and you'll see Four Patches built into it.

Only a one-patch is simpler than the Four Patch.  To make a 6" Four Patch (you can make a 12," but that makes from some pretty big pieces; if you make two 6" Four Patches you'll be ready to put them into that Double Four Patch I promised you):

(2) 3-1/2" light squares
(2) 3-1/2" dark squares

Just alternate the light and dark squares in a 2x2 grid:

One of my favorite things to do with a Four Patch  is to make a checkerboard pattern--of any length or width you wish.  It can be a primary design element of a quilt, or sashing, or a border, or a filler block or section.

Here are some quilts that feature Four Patches in one form or another.  The sky's the limit with the Four Patch--and it's hard not to love that!!

This is one block of a larger quilt, and you can see Four Patches in the corners, and in the center--that 16-patch is really 4 Four Patches.   (Sorry that it's a little blurry; you get the idea.)

Here the four patches make up filler pieces in an Orphan Block quilt.  An orphan block quilt is made up of blocks that that never found a place in other quilts.  I have a very short attention span so I have MANY orphan blocks.  When I've made one block once I'm satisfied.  Been there, done that, let's move on!  :-) 

This time the Four Patches step in to make two edges of a small quilt; I generally don't like square quilts, to the Four Patch strips serve to add an extra design element while making the quilt a rectangle.

Finally, here's an unquilted "scatter quilt," what I call small quilts that are designed to serve a specific function around the house--and add a little style to the purpose.  This one is going to be the holiday "home" for my TV remote.  (My remote is resting on an autumn version of such a scatter quilt, though it is with flying geese and a Courthouse Steps.)

Notice that both the blocks are 4-patches (2 x 2 pieces), and that means they have the potential to interact and form new, secondary patterns.  I like the way the pinwheel blades flow into the squares in the Four Patches.  If I were to add more blocks around it would create a terrific pattern.  That may have to be my next Scatter Quilt, or maybe a larger quilt...

Monday, September 13, 2010

BOW #15 Fox and Geese

Fox and Geese is just a fun block.  I confess that I haven't made a quilt with Fox and Geese, aside from the icon quilt, but I have seen quilts made with it and because it's directional it would be a lot of fun to design with it.

It has a Native American feel to the design, especially if you do it in two colors (red and beige) and arrange it in concentric squares (actually, I don't think squares can be concentric, but you know what I mean)--it reminds me of a Navajo weaving.

It would also be beautiful in scraps with different arrangement of the blocks.  I always think about fall colors, even when it isn't fall (doesn't it look like leaves that are falling on top of each other) but this would be a charming spring quilt in pastel colors.

It's easy to make, using squares and those ubiquitous Half Square Triangles.  For a 12" finished block you'll need:
(2) 6-1/2" half square triangles, light/dark
(4) 3-1/2" half square triangles, light/dark
(4) 3-1/2" light squares

Monday, September 6, 2010

BOW #14 Birds in the Air

Birds in the Air uses two sizes of one of quilting's favorite shapes:  the triangle.  It is something of a double-half-square-triangle, or half square triangles within a half square triangle.

For a 12" block you will need:

(1) 12-7/8" dark square, cut in half once diagonally (you will need just one of the triangles)
(2) 4-7/8" dark squares, cut in half once diagonally (you will need 3 of the resulting 4 triangles)
(3) 4-7/8" light squares, cut in half once diagonally

Arrange the pieces as shown:

This is terrific as a two color quilt (blue-and-white, and red-and-white are two favorites with quilters), or as a scrap quilt.   We're heading into the season when birds are in the air, flying south; (here in Iowa we've already seen the geese on their way); it would be wonderful in autumn colors--give it a try in BlockFab with the autumn colorway.

Mary Kay says: following Karen's suggestion, I headed over to BlockFab and tried a couple Birds in the Air layouts in red and white. These two use the Straight Furrows and Streak of Lightening layouts.

Another Bow Tie quilt

I was reminded today that I have another Bow Tie quilt.  This one is from the book, "Schnibbles," and uses 5" charm squares.  The arrangement of the blocks is different than the ones we've shown so far; it almost loses the look of the bow tie, and makes a new pattern.