Tag Archives: Free design

Economy Block 17 Free Designs

The economy block has quilters excited! As I wrote in January, quilters have found the fun in this square-in-a-square, or diamond-in-a-square block. It’s a great way to showcase novelty prints with fussy cutting, or just enjoy the color play between patches.

Once you’ve made a few of these great blocks, what should you do with them? For some ideas, take a moment to google Images for economy block quilts. I’ll wait…

Yeah. Not much variety there in design, huh? Almost every picture has an array of economy blocks side by side. The only difference is coloring.

As terrific as they look, there is more you can do with them than that. Here are SEVENTEEN ideas. They all use the same coloring, so you can focus on the secondary designs instead of color differences.

And remember, you can make the economy block ANY SIZE with my tutorial and cheat sheet.

The first one uses an unpieced alternate block. They get more complex — and more interesting — after that!

Unpieced alternate blocks

Hourglasses, turned in alternate rows

Click here to see 15 more designs!

Free Design #3 | The Commissioning Quilt

A year ago I published a post called The commissioning quilt. In it I showed a quilt I made because of my son’s Air Force commissioning ceremony. The finished quilt measures 54″ square.

Today I’m sharing the pattern with you. The pieced border makes it look more complex than it actually is.

The center consists of 4 Ohio Star blocks. Each outside border strip includes 7 hourglass blocks. If you have consistent 1/4″ seams, the borders should fit well with little adjustment.

The picture shows a narrow final border. I drew this to represent the binding. It is not included in directions below. I drew this design in EQ7 with 4 fabrics. According to the software, the yardages are as follows:
A: 1 yard white
B: 1.5 yards light blue
C: 1 yard red
D: 3/4 yard dark blue

I used yardage from my stash and did not measure this for accuracy. The methods I use for cutting may make differences in this, and your yardage may vary.

The center blocks measure 15″ square, finished. In the basic 9-patch format, each patch measures 5″ finished. Sashings are 3″ wide. The narrow border is 1.5″ wide. The outer pieced border is 6″ wide. Some people can use this and figure the rest themselves.

These directions are for the rest of you. I made the hourglass blocks in the Ohio stars and in the border using the “cut twice diagonally” method. If you have another method you prefer, perhaps using strips, feel free. The cutting instructions here use my method.

CUT
A Fabric (White)
16 5.5″ squares
4 6.25″ squares
8 7.25″ squares
With the 6.25″ squares and the 7.25″ squares, cut in half carefully and completely across the diagonal. DO NOT move the fabrics after cutting. Now, cut again across the other diagonal. You will have 4 triangles from each square.

B Fabric (Light Blue)
12 3.5 x 15.5″ strips
8 6.25″ squares
8 7.25″ squares
Cut squares twice on the diagonal, as above.

Tip: When cutting sashing strips, I cut strips along the selvage, as it is more stable and less likely to distort for size when sewing. When sewing sashing to blocks, I know the sash is the correct size, and can adjust better for the pieced block.

C Fabric (Red)
4 2 x 39.5″ strips, cut along selvage as above; you might need to piece these for length
4 6.25″ squares
7 7.25″ squares
Cut squares twice on the diagonal, as above.

D Fabric (Dark Blue)
4 5.5″ squares for block centers
9 3.5″ squares for cornerstones
4 2″ squares for border corner blocks
7 7.25″ squares, cut twice on the diagonal, as above
2 6 7/8″ squares, cut ONCE on the diagonal

SEW:
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance for all sewing.

Sew 16 5″ finish hourglass units, for Ohio star blocks. Each hourglass unit will have 1 A triangle, 2 B triangles, and 1 C triangle. You will have 4 pieced units per block. Complete the Ohio stars as 9-patches.

Sew 28 6″ finish hourglass units, for the border. Each hourglass unit will have 1 A triangle, 1 B triangle, 1 C triangle, and 1 D triangle. You will have 7 units per border side.

Sew 4 6″ corner blocks. Each corner block will have 1 A triangle, 1 B triangle, and 1 large D triangle.

Assemble the center blocks with sashing and 3″ corner blocks.

Attach the narrow strip border with 1.5″ corner blocks.

Assemble the hourglass units in strips of 7 per border. Attach the first 2 borders on opposite sides. Attach the 6″ corner units to the last 2 borders. Attach these.

Check the post called The commissioning quilt for another variation using a different center block and different colors.

You are more than welcome to use this design. (Don’t sell the design — that would be stealing!) If you have questions about construction, do feel free to ask and I’ll help you however I can.

Free Quilt Design #2 | XOXO Medallion

Here is another design you are welcome to use. (Don’t sell the design — that would be stealing!) This one lays out the steps for the XOXO quilt top I recently finished. It isn’t a “pattern,” as I won’t include directions or yardage. If you have questions about those, do feel free to ask and I’ll help you however I can.

The design measures 48″ square, which is a great size for a baby quilt or for anyone’s lap quilt. This top is in brilliant colors. You can use any colors you want. Also consider a different final border to vary it more. The design uses the basic template of my Medallion Sew-Along, Track 1. Track 1 has a 15″ center block and borders of prescribed widths, giving a completed top size of 48″.

XOXO top. Sixth Medallion Sew-Along Track 1. 48″.

All sizes below are finished. You may have favorite ways to create the designated blocks, and I encourage you to use whatever method you prefer.

The center block is 15″ finished. It uses the block design and directions you can find here. You can see in that post a number of colorways for the same block. Any other 15″ block will work here, also.

The unpieced borders are great places to adjust sizing, if you need to trim or add width. Don’t cut the borders until you know what size they really need to be. See this post for more information on adjusting borders.

Border 1 is the turquoise border surrounding the center block. It is 1.5″ wide.

Border 2 is half-square triangles in 3 colors. You can use 2 colors, or make it scrappy with a lot. It is 3″ wide. There are 6 HST per side, plus one in each corner, for 28 HST total.

Border 3 is the blue-with-circles print border and corner blocks. It is 4″ wide.

Border 4 is the turquoise print. It is 2″ wide.

Border 5 is the XO border. It is 6″ wide. There are 6 blocks per side, plus one in each corner, for 28 blocks. Of the 28, 14 are X blocks and 14 are O blocks.

X and O Blocks
Each block is made as a 4-patch. I used the stitch-and-flip method to make each unit of the 4-patch. Each unit is made from a 3.5″ cut square of the feature fabric and 2 2″ cut squares of the background fabric. (If you use the same background fabric for all 28 blocks, you need to cut 224 2″ squares.) I always press the triangle over before trimming the underlying fabric, which helps me get a truer square.

Border 5 Alternatives
In truth you can choose alternative blocks or styles for all the borders and even for the center. For border 5, you may prefer 9-patches, plainer 4-patches, hourglasses, or anything else you can build with 6″ blocks. Really you can use whatever you want to get 6″ in width, including piano keys or flying geese. Or you may have a great focus fabric and decide to have an unpieced border, instead. Or use an appliqued border or painted or …

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear what you think.

Free Quilt Design #1 | Queen Medallion

I love designing and creating new ideas for quilts. But I’m like you — I have lots of ideas for quilts I’ll never make. Here is a design you are welcome to use. (Don’t sell it — that would be stealing!) I won’t call it a “pattern,” as I won’t include directions or yardage. If you have questions about those, do feel free to ask and I’ll help you however I can.

The design measures 96″ square, and it will fit well on a queen-sized bed (60″ x 80″). Or it will more than cover the top of a king-sized bed (78″ x 80″).

All sizes described below are finished. You probably have favorite ways to create each of the designated blocks, and I encourage you to use whatever method you prefer.

The center block is 21″, finished. When turned on point with no excess, it creates a block that is just shy of 30″ square. If you oversize the setting triangles and trim to 30″ finished, it creates a perfect center. The block is created as a 9-patch. This post describes how to set a block on point.

The unpieced borders are great places to adjust sizing, if you need to trim or add width. Don’t cut the borders until you know what size they really need to be. See this post for more information on adjusting borders.

Border 1 is the green border surrounding the block on point. It is 3″ wide.

Border 2 is hourglasses with 4-patches in the corners. It is 6″ wide. There are 6 hourglasses per side, or 24 hourglasses total. Also there are 4 4-patches.

Border 3 is the teal border with pale green corners. It is 4″ wide.

Border 4 is sawteeth, or half-square triangles. It is 4″ wide. There are 14 HST per side, plus 4 in the corners. The total is 60 HST.

Border 5 is the green border with teal corners. It is 4″ wide.

Border 6 is checkerboard. It is 6″ wide. There are 24 2-patches per side, plus 2 in each corner, for a total of 104 2-patches. Watch the corner arrangement. It changes because of the even number of units.

Border 7 is the final border. It is 6″ wide.

Make this design yours. Feel free to use a different center block or different blocks within borders. Change the colors to suit yourself!

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear what you think.