Sunday 5 July 2015

2015 Finish Along - Q2 Tutorial - How to create a pattern from a block you've seen by Rhonda from Rhonda's Quilt Ramblings

Hi everyone - I'm delighted to share the second tutorial for Q2 of the 2015 Finish Along with you today.  Rhonda is the original instigator of the Finish Along and blogs at Rhonda's Ramblings.  Today she is sharing how she worked out how to make a block she saw in an antique quilt - how fun!

Hey, y’all … Rhonda [the Rambler] here! I am ever so excited to be here today. I blog over at Rhonda’s [Quilt] Ramblings, well, theoretically I do.

As of late, there's been little to no Ramblings. Twice a year my job drains every ounce of energy I have – Christmas and end of June. This is good and bad. It is at this same time (the crazy busy time) we get a week (occasionally two) off. I am certainly looking forward to vacation this year for a couple reasons – I can get back to blogging (which means life is getting back to normal) and I get out of the office for an entire week!!

 BUT…y’all are not here to listen to me Ramble! You’re here for a tutorial…which is just what I have for you! First, a question…have you ever seen an antique quilt and thought you’d like to make it but didn’t know what the block was called and/or couldn’t find a pattern for it? If you answered yes, then I have just the tutorial for you! As a result, I also have a bonus block pattern from a quilt I saw in an antique shop….this quilt:

  starting quilt RQR 

DISCLAIMER: I am sure there are several ways to go about creating a pattern for a block – this is what works for me, and hopefully you can glean some direction from my Ramblings. Two major steps need to take place before you get into the drawing of the block.

1. The first thing I do is to isolate the block in the quilt

isolated block

2. Then you must establish a grid in the block. This allows you to see what “parts” (referred to throughout) the block is made of. As you can see below this block is made of HSTs and squares.

parts found
I did a screenshot on my iPad and then uploaded the pic into TouchDraw and drew lines with the app.

Now that you know the parts of the block, you can start drawing it.

I am a bit old fashioned and do this with graph paper and pencil. I will give you an alternative a little later. So, step one…obtain graph paper & pencil. Free printable paper here.

Copy each part onto the graph paper ensuring the HSTs are slanted in the right direction. I start in the center and work my way out. The letters you see in the pic are the colors in the quilt, this helped me keep track of where I was in the block as I worked my way out.

The center and unfortunately the only pic I took of the line drawing...oops!
The center and unfortunately the only pic I took of the line drawing...oops!

NOTE: Pick out the fabrics you plan on using – take it from me, you want to do it at this point – not later (more on this later).

Color the pencil drawing (if you know the colors of your fabrics, coordinate them). This step is important as it makes the block come alive. Pay close attention to this step and ensure the colored block looks like the picture of the finished block. After I colored the block, I went in with a dark color and marked the parts outlines. This allowed me count the parts and create a color key more easily.

See how the dark lines make the "parts" easier to see?
See how the dark lines make the "parts" easier to see?

At this point, your pattern is finished. From here, you can start making your project – floor pillow in my case.

Here are the steps to complete this block: NOTE: If you are more tech savy than I, and want a way to draw your blocks on your iPad – then I have just the app for you and know just where to send you to learn how to use it. The app is called TouchDraw and I found you a great tutorial for drawing blocks with HSTs here.

I used the color key for counts of the different HSTs and square - next to them I wrote the fabric color names (not pictured).
NOTE: If you didn’t pick your fabrics earlier, do so now and you created a color key. It may get confusing with the different but if you follow the key and stay focused you can do it. 

FIRST: Determine the size you want your finished block to be and do some math. I wanted a large floor pillow and knew I wanted to use Thangles to make my HSTs. After digging through my Thangle stash, I discovered some 3.5” size. Since the block is an 8x8 layout, my finished block will be 28x28 (3.5*8). If I add borders (or not) this seems like a decent sized floor pillow for Callee (my granddaughter). 

NOTE: There are many ways to make HSTs: HST paper, 8 @ a time, from strips of fabric, more traditional ways 

FYI: If you want this block to be finished at 12” each part must finish at 1.5” (12/8).
  1. Cut your fabrics according to the appropriate technique you chose.
  2. Sew and press your HSTs.
  3. Lay out your parts matching them to your colored drawing.
  4. Sew parts together to make rows and rows to make a block.
Here’s my finished block. 

Lovely Neons
Lovely Neons
As I previously stated I intend to make this block into a floor pillow; but, if you make several of these blocks they make a very nice secondary pattern - I remind you of the inspiration quilt....

starting quilt RQR
I love secondary pattern created.

I hope this gives you some help. If I can answer any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email

Sure hope to see you over at Rhonda's [Quilt]Ramblings - where the Ramblings will get back to normal soon!!

  blog signature  


SarahZ said...

Fun post! Beautiful quilt, and floor pillow! I love coming up with patterns from what I've seen, and you describe the process perfectly :) Thank you!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Very cool - And it is a really pretty Quilt ;-)

barbara woods said...

That's the way I do it

Gemini Jen NZ said...

Great tips, thank you Rhonda!

Georgi said...

This is FABULOUS! Thanks so much for posting this ~ I've often wondered how to recreate a quilt I've seen!

Suze said...

It's not fun when you forget to add the seam allowance to EACH piece in the block I also save pictures of quilts from ads that I like. I have a quilt journal where I keep these things. My journal has graph paper for each page. My first quilt block that I sketched was a log cabin heart block. A friend of my daughter's husband had made the quilt for them as a wedding present. I was visiting and saw it in the closet. My daughter's older son (who was 7) and I had fun sketching the block in my journal. I didn't need to measure the units in the block to be able to sketch it. However, I had my grandson measure them for me as it gave him practice using a ruler and it was a great way to give him some insight into one of my hobbies. Thanks for the great post.

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

I love that block!

Mary Huey said...

Nice visuals on breaking down a quilt block pattern!!