Sunday, May 24, 2020

Rectangles Squared Quilt Started, Stalled, and Resumed

Back in 2012 I saw a quilt on Ravelry in the show and tell thread, and it has stuck in my mind ever since! I love the pattern of the light and dark and then the added layer of the coloured squares that seem to float behind the dark lines.
Here's a link to the maker's post on Flickr. I did not see that she ever identified the pattern.

But as I looked at it more closely, I realized it was a very simple construction. I've diagrammed it:
You put two rectangles together to make a square. You put four of those units together to make the block. You do need to watch how you assemble them because you'll need half spinning clockwise and half spinning counterclockwise. (I choose 2x4" rectangles but of course you could use any dimension as long as the height finishes twice the width.)

When you put them together you get:
There's another way to get almost the same result with fewer seams to match in assembly:

Here they are side by side:
Except for how the pattern ends at the edges, these two methods produce the same result.

Unless you take into account how the colour falls in the pattern.
On the left is the quilt I admired. The squares of colour don't line up with the black lines and add an extra layer of interest. On the right you can see that the colour is confined inside the black lines and produces a flatter result. You could also say the one on the right is calmer and easy to line up the colours to emphasize the woven look. Neither is better; it just depends on what you enjoy and choose to make.

Who knows what made me decide now was the time for this quilt I have been thinking about since 2012, but I got started in early March.
I decided to make half of the blocks pairing dark blue with light yellows and greens and the other half pairing dark green with light blues and whites. I ended up not having enough fabrics in some of the colours so I didn't strictly follow that colour scheme. I organized everything in these stacking trays that used to be used for eyeglasses orders.
You might be scratching your head because these pieces do not look 2.5"x4.5".
No, they're not. When there was a big enough piece of fabric, I cut the pieces at 2.5"x9", and sewed them together before trimming them to 4.5"x4.5". It makes for a little less matching up while you're sewing.

I sewed a lot of the seams as leaders and enders while finishing my Joy to the World quilt.
That was a lot of improvisational sewing with scraps, so there were a lot of starts and stops perfect for fitting in some leaders and enders.

Once that top was done, however, I did some sewing with this quilt as the main project.
I completed the first few blocks and put them on the design wall to make sure I was pressing so the seams would nest.
It's a good thing I checked because I had to make a correction. If you're thinking of making this pattern, for the blocks turning one way, press the first seams toward the dark and the second seams away from the sewn seam. (This will make sense when you're doing it.) Press the blocks that turn the other way toward the light and toward the seam. Everything will nest that way.

By April 19, I had all the blocks sewn that I could make from the fabric I had.
I have quite a bit of blue so that was no problem. The dark green was not so plentiful. Here I have all 40 blue blocks done and 20 green ones. I put the project on pause then because I was waiting for some green to come from someone I had sent fabric to. (I had a certain design she needed and she agreed to swap.) I never did get anything from her. :( On the other hand, my sister came to the rescue and sent me a nice package with a good selection of greens.

It wasn't quite enough to do all 20 blocks in green, but I had already decided to fill in some of those blocks with blue. (And I snuck in some of that black that I have so much of!)

By mid-May, I had all the blocks done and laid them out on the spare bed.
I want to put them somewhere I can see all of them at once on a flat surface to double check the balance of colour and of lights and darks, but I think this is pretty close.
It's laid out in an 8x10 grid. At 8" a block, the quilt will be about 64x80, a twin size or so. I suppose I could border it, but right now I'm not planning to.

Linking up with:
  -"Oh Scrap" at Quilting is more fun than Housework.
  -Quilting Patchwork and Applique


  1. I know the pattern with the color framed, but this one is much more fun! You were very organized, I like the way to sew blocks as leaders and enders while working on another quilt!
    Thank you for linking at Patchwork & Quilts ;)

  2. I really like this. It never would have occurred to me to make it as outlined in the first example but I love it and it gives the quilt so much extra interest!

  3. I love that quilt, Christina, and I never would have been able to figure out the construction (without a pattern!) Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Joy! Unfortunately for pattern writers I'm usually able to figure out designs from a picture. My mind just goes that way.


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