More Fun with the Economy Block

I keep playing with the economy block, which I first wrote about in January 2014. Apparently other people do, too. It’s my most-viewed post by far, with at least several hits every day. In fact if you google “economy block”, this is the result:

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 9.31.52 AM

Yep. Two hundred and six MILLION results, and mine is number one. Okay, now that I’ve bragged…

The first post showed you how to make the economy block ANY SIZE with my tutorial and cheat sheet. The second showed you 17 different arrangements of the block with alternate blocks. They range from simple to fairly complex.

This week I’ve played with the economy block as the center of a bigger block. Below are two blocks. Each is sized to be 1.5 times the size of the economy block in the center. For example, with a white center below of 4″, the economy block is 8″. The points on the outside add another 4″ (2″ on each side). The total finished block size is 8″ x 1.5 = 12″.

Here is a block EQ7 calls a “Contrary Wife Variation.” I’ve also seen it called Union Square. Wouldn’t it look great as the center of a medallion quilt? 😉

Union Square block

Union Square straight set

Union Square or Contrary Wife variation, straight set with sashing.

Union Square on point

Union Square or Contrary Wife variation, set on point with sashing.

EQ7 calls this one the “Double X, No. 4” block. I think it looks a little more delicate than the one above. Also the cornerstone in the sashing helps create a wonderful secondary design.

Double X block

Double X No. 4 block

Double X str set

Double X straight setting

Double X on point

Double X on point setting

I’ve shown these in one color set, but it’s easy to imagine them in a range of colors, with more than three colors per block, or using lots of fabrics (scraps.)

There’s a lot more, but this is enough for today.


15 thoughts on “More Fun with the Economy Block

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I like it enlarged, too. I think I do partly because I don’t much like making this block. So using the points around the edges means fewer blocks to make. 🙂

  1. snarkyquilter

    The double x on point is my favorite of the ones you’ve worked up. How would it look if you didn’t use sashing but put the blocks right next to each other? Oh, congrats on being the economy block guru.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      🙂 Thanks. Yes, life takes funny turns some times.

      I did try it with the blocks side by side and wasn’t crazy about it. However, I also tried it (since posting this) with values flipped, and the secondary design shows much more easily. Kind of a fun block. I may post some more variations with it just for kicks.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Johanna. It will be an incredibly busy weekend. We have family reunion both days and I’m sneaking in this comment between things. In a few minutes my personal time disappears! 🙂

  2. stitchinstein

    Love this!!! I so see this scrappy, but love your greens too! I also was really taken with your Jewel box variation in your first post. I liked how the eye started seeing a basket weave effect. Really cool!

  3. katechiconi

    Oooh, I like Contrary wife on point!
    I’m fairly sure I don’t have either the following or the popularity of subject to warrant any kind of rating on Google, and I think I like it that way. I enjoy developing a relationship with my readers, and I’d find a large increase in readers and comments hard to manage. But congratulations on writing what seems to be definitive material on your subject!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It certainly does surprise me that it’s so popular. I wrote the first post out of frustration, that it was easy to find tutorials for making the block, but only if you made it a specific size. The math is the same no matter what. As to having a large increase in readers or comments, that hasn’t really happened. 🙂

  4. KerryCan

    My most-popular-post-ever ranks #5 in a Google search–I was pretty thrilled, too! I like the Economy Bock–its simplicity, its tradition, its name, even! I really should get back to some sort of quilt-making . . .


Thanks for your comments. I don't check them often. Please email me if you have questions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.