28 October 2015

DIY Block Design Challenge

Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts has been hosting a blog hop for the past month to go along with her release of her new ebook DIY Block Design.  I put my hand up to join in the fun.  I am new to quilt design and am always trying to improve my design skills.  Alyces book is full of fantastic information for both the beginner and the advanced quilter.  She goes over all the basic building blocks of a quilt block and provides easy reference charts to help the math side of quilting.  

I use graph paper like a lot of designers and it works great but you have to draw the whole block again if you make a mistake or decide to change it.  So time consuming.  I find that there is inspiration ever where but some times it is just doodling on paper while looking at a stack of fabric.  Then the challenge comes to see if I can make what I draw out.

This design came about because my friend Kelly at The Quilt Machine gave me a fat quarter stack of fabric to make a cot quilt with.  The stack of fabric that I was given was Giraffe Crossing by Riley Blake Designs.

I used this print as my starting point for my block design. I had eight fat quarters all prints to work with so I figured out what was the biggest the block could be to be able to create 4 blocks.

This is the design I came up with, it is very basic and goes together really quick. I added solid fabric to the prints to add some contrast to the design.  

Here is how it looks with fabric. The four blocks made a great little cot size quilt. 

Here is the block in another colour way. I think I will have to make a few more to put another quilt together.  I love red, white and grey together. 

I wrote up an easy tutorial if you would like to make the block or quilt for yourself. 

This tutorial makes an 17 ½” x 17 ½”  block.  Use a ¼” seam for all.

Cut Instructions - 

  • For the center cut a 9” x 9” square.
  • For the boarder cut 2 – 2” x 9” strips and 2 – 2” x 12” strips.
  • Make 4 flying geese units. I used the no waste method.
    • 1 square 7 ¼” for the geese.
    • 4 squares 3 7/8” for the sky.
      • Put 2 of the sky squares on top of the geese block.  Draw a line on the diagonal and sew a seam ¼” on each side of line.  Cut on the drawn line. Press triangles open and repeat with remaining squares. 
  • Make 4 Half Square Triangles (HST). I used the Alternative Half Square Triangle method that will give you 4 units in no time.
    • 1 square 5 1/2" (use same fabric as used for sky)
    • 1 square 5 1/2" (use same fabric as used for geese)
      • Put the right sides together and sew a ¼” seam all the way around. Then cut the unit on the diagonal twice to get the 4 units.  Press to the dark side. 
  • Cut 8 – 3 1/2” x 3 1/2” units to use on either side of the geese units.
To assemble block.  This block is really easy to piece, refer to the photo above for placement if unclear. 

Sew the boarder fabric to each side of the block and press.  Then attach the top and bottom boarder and press.

Take the 4 flying geese blocks and attach a 3 1/2” x 3 1/2” unit on each side. Press.

Take two of these geese strip units and add a half square triangle on each end. Press.

Attach the two flying geese units that do not have the half square triangle (HST) attached to the sides of the block.  Press.

Take the two units with the HST attached and attach to the top and bottom. Press.
You now have a finished block.   

I have really learned a lot from all the other designers that have shared their design process and I encourage you to go check out their blog post on designing.   Below is the list of all the other bloggers who have shared. 

October 2
Heidi @ Fabric Mutt
Christa @ ChristaQuilts
Angie @ Gnome Angel

Week 1: Inspiration
October 7Ros @ Sew Delicious
Leanne @ Sewn By LeanneAmy @ And Sew We Craft
October 9Jennie @ Clover & Violet
Jane @ QuiltJane
Melissa @ My Fabric Relish

Week 2: Sketches
October 14Jen @ Faith And Fabric
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
October 16Sandi @ Crafty Planner
Anne @ Play Crafts
Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts

Week 3: Making
October 21Joy @ Quilty Joy Joy
Linden @ Vine Lines Quilting
Cassie @ Cassandra Madge
October 23Keera @ Live Love Sew
Janice @ Better Off Thread
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts

Week 4: Finishes
October 28
Kelly @ A Place Of My Own
Abby @ Color Bar Quilts

You can get your own copy of Alyces book DIY Block Design

Thank you so much for stopping and and visiting.  




  1. I love your block! HSTs and flying geese and squares and rectangles... Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I love how you framed the main print so well. This would be such a great block to use fabric that I really love and hate to cut up too much.

  3. You did so well with the giraffe fabric Abs your cot quilt top will be perfect for a charity quilt. Thanks heaps. Yes I made another for my friend. I just need to put my blocks together quilt my top and bind before tomorrow it might be a late night. Lol