Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sugar Bowl and Flower Basket

Now that you have practiced with a 12 inch basket block, it's time to make something a little smaller.

Sugar Bowl

A sugar bowl isn't really a basket but it is a container (which is good enough for today).  Barbara Brackman lists this pattern from the Farm Journal, established March, 1877. There are a number of different blocks named Sugar Bowl or Broken Sugar Bowl but this particular one doesn't go by any other name.

A - 1 dark square 2" x 2".

B - 2 light and 3 dark squares 2.5" x 2.5".  Cut diagonally to make 4 light and 6 dark triangles.  Trim half square triangles to 2" x 2".

C - 1 light and 1 dark square 4" x 4". Cut diagonally to make 2 light and 2 dark triangles (1 dark triangle not used). Trim half square triangle (center of basket) to 3.5" x 3.5".

D - 2 light rectangles 2" x 3.5".

Block measures 6.5 inches.

Flower Basket

Flower Basket is the same as last week's Basket of Chips but with one less row of triangles.

A - 2.5" x 2.5" squares - cut 4 of background, 1 each of three colors for flowers and 1 for basket. Cut diagonally to make triangles.
Trim half square triangles to 2" x 2".

B - 1 dark and 1 light 4" x 4" square. Cut diagonally, use 1 for background and 1 for basket.

C - 2 light rectangles 2" x 3.5".

Block measures 6.5 inches.

Make one of each block to continue the mystery.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Basket of Chips

This week's block is one of those traditional basket blocks. Why are there so many basket blocks?  I think that, firstly, a basket is easy to depict in two dimensions and with basic geometric shapes.  If it has a base and a handle, it looks like a basket. Secondly, baskets can be full of so many different things - think of a basket of kittens, a fruit basket, a flower basket, a baby basket, a laundry basket ... the list goes on and on.

Names for this block include Basket of Chips, Anna's Basket, Basket of Flowers, Chip Basket and Flower Pot. 

Edna Rudberg was married twice.  Edna was married to her first husband Leonard when she made this block.  After Leonard died, Edna married again - at the age of 85 - to her second husband, Bernard Blevitzky, age 91!

Basket of Chips is a five by five pattern but it needs to finish at 12 inches in the mystery quilt.  I have added an extra two inch strip across one side and across the top to make up the 12 inches.  Five different fabrics for the 'chips' make ten half square triangles.

A - 3” x 3” squares: cut 7 for background, 1 for basket and 5 for chips.  Cut diagonally to make triangles (one background triangle not used).    Trim half square triangles to 2.5” x 2.5”.

B - 7” x 7” square for basket, cut diagonally and use one half triangle.
C - 5” x 5” square of background, cut diagonally and use one triangle.

D - 2 rectangles 6.5” x 2.5”.
E - 1 rectangle 2.5" x 10.5" (or a little longer).
F - 1 rectangle 2.5" x 12.5" (or a little longer - these can be trimmed back to suit)

Block finishes at 12.5 inches square.  You will need one of these basket blocks for the mystery quilt.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Whirlwinds and Windmills

Squares are my favourite patchwork shape.  I'm a big fan of Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders and I always have a pile of two inch squares by the sewing machine to finish off chain piecing.


If you want beautiful but simple quilt blocks triangles are the winners.

Four different blocks - but all from the same pattern.  This week's mystery patterns are Windmills and Whirlwind.  There are four blocks to chose from but you only need to make two.


A - 1 light and 1 dark square 4.5" x 4.5". Cut diagonally twice to make 4 light and 4 dark triangles.

B - 2 dark squares 4" x 4". Cut diagonally once to make 4 triangles.

Assemble 1 light A, 1 dark A and 1 B. Trim to 3.5 inches.

Block measures 6.5 inches.

All four blocks use the same cutting directions, just different colours.


A - 1 light and 1 dark square 4.5" x 4.5". Cut diagonally twice to make 4 light and 4 dark triangles.

B - 2 medium squares 4" x 4". Cut diagonally once.

Sew the same as the Whirlwind block.

Grandmother Clark's Windmill

From a popular set of pattern pamphlets in the 1930s. This Windmill is the same as the previous Windmill but the A triangles alternate around the centre.


And the same again.

A - 1 light and 1 dark square 4.5" x 4.5". Cut diagonally twice to make 4 light and 4 dark triangles.

B - 2 light squares 4" x 4". Cut diagonally once to make 4 triangles.

Isn't it a clever design?  I'm just blown away ......

Friday, June 2, 2017

No Whirligigs Today

My birthday present arrived this week. It's not my birthday for another three weeks but I couldn't wait.  What do you think of my new top?

It is just a top and not quilted so it has never been washed.  The colours are bright and the names are all legible. The seller described it as 1920s but my research so far says 1938 and Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania.  It has some terrific blocks in it.

 You will see more of these blocks in the future, I promise.

Now back to reality....

I was planning to share this block this week but I'm feeling uncomfortable about it.


Like most traditional blocks, Whirligig has a number of names: Catch Me if You Can, Battle Ax of Thor, Pure Symbol of Right Doctrine.  In the early 1930s, it was usually called by another name, as Ruby McKim demonstrates.

"Our frontier mothers ingeniously converted this ancient symbol of good luck into a quilt pattern which is made simply from two triangles.  Sometimes they called it Fly-foot".

And the more I consider it, the less I want to include it in the mystery quilt. Whirligig was fine in 1937 but it just doesn't seem a good choice now, no matter how it is presented.

So, there is no new block this week.  You can catch up with last week's block while I get something ready for next week.