New Orleans House Project

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY: Design It Yourself

I've been working with another of last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  Simple 16-patch blocks were my first-ever RSC blocks.  I dug into my bin of scrappy 2 inch  squares and strips and pieced a year's worth of rainbow blocks.  I knew from the beginning I wanted to set the 16-patch blocks with hourglass blocks, and in the early months of the challenge I also cut the hourglass triangles as I went along.  The triangles fell by the wayside as the year went on though, so I have some catching up to do.  

When I'm piecing a quilt by the seat of my pants I always wish I had a reference book with instructions on how to cut the blocks or block components I need.  I have a few books with great instructions for certain blocks or borders, but no one reference with everything in one handy place.  Wouldn't a Dorling-Kindersley type book on quilt block construction be great?!

The hourglass blocks were easy.  They're really just quarter-square triangles, and there are lots of methods for constructing those.  From my old standby Template-Free Quilt Making, I know quarter-square triangles can be made by adding 1 1/4 inches to to the size of the finished block.  Since my 16-patch blocks finish at 6 inches, I cut 7 1/4 inch squares and then cut the squares on each diagonal to make 4 triangles.  Match the appropriate color triangle to its adjacent 16-patch and the hourglass blocks are ready to go!

Since I had already cut batches of triangles, my method of choice for making flying geese blocks (for the end rows) was limited.  Fortunately, I had bookmarked a great flying geese tutorial on Marcia Hohn's wonderful website, Quilter's Cache.  

Geese are under construction.  I only need to make 10 more of these!  

That's OK, it gives me the opportunity to also make the 8-patch rectangle panels as a leader-ender project.

These are a no-brainer to construct, but I think we can all thank Bonnie Hunter for raising our awareness about leader-ender projects!

When it comes to Design It Yourself quilt projects - do you have any favorite reference books or websites?  I'd love to hear about them.  I'd love to compile a list and share it with everyone!


  1. Please be sure to share if you find some good references!

  2. I had the same problem when I put together my rainbow pineapples. I had a photo that inspired me, but no directions to go by. I had simply taken a pineapple pattern and reduced it until it was about the size I wanted and went to town with it! It worked out okay though, and I really, really love it! Just as you are going to love yours!!!

    1. 2 books that are invaluable to me are 'Rotary Magic' by Nancy Johnson-Srebro and 'Great Sets' by Sharyn Craig. I use others too when I do my own thing depending on what I'm doing of course, but those are the 2 I can't live without.:)