Completed block
Completed block

Measurements for a 12in block

  • Small square 2in
  • Rectangle 2 x 3 1⁄2in
  • Large square 3 1⁄2in
  • Half square triangles 2 3⁄8in
  • Flying geese large triangle 4 1⁄4in square cut into four diagonally
  • Flying geese small triangle 2 3⁄8in square cut in half diagonally

First published in 1928 by the Ladies Art Company. This block is based on a four patch grid although the strong cross in the middle can confuse and make you think it is a five patch.

Constructing the block

Choose a number easily divisible by 4 and draw out the square. Find the half-way point along the sides and draw the diagonal lines. Draw in the vertical and horizontal markers.

If you are rotary cutting remember to add 1⁄4in to each side of the square shapes and 7⁄8in for half square triangles and 1 1⁄4in for quarter square triangles. Or cut apart on the drawn lines and add 1⁄4in seam allowance on all sides.

For hand piecing cut the paper apart and use as templates, drawing round the edge. This pencil line is your stitching line.

Measurements for a 12in block are given above for reference and Figure 1 shows the construction sequence.

Figure 1: Piecing the block
Figure 1: Piecing the block

On point illusion

This block looks good when used without sashing as the dark corners and the diamond in the middle give the illusion of blocks on point which add dynamics to a quilt top. The photo shows this block sewn in a variety of blues.

Why not make a twenty block quilt with each block using tints and shades in a different colour? This would also be a good idea for a group scrappy quilt. If using different colours in each block, a sashing may be need for some cohesion in the quilt.

Tonal variations

Figures 2 and 3 show the different effects produced by varying the tones. If you swap the light and dark areas you can totally change the effect of the whole top

Figure 2: Light corners with a darker central area
Figure 2: Light corners with a darker central area
The pink central area comes forward and the dark corners recede
Figure 3: The pink central area comes forward and the dark corners recede

To check this tonal effect before making the whole quilt top, you can make a smaller copy of the block. Make two versions with the fabric in different places and stick the fabric down with glue onto paper. Photocopy a number of times and arrange to see which you like best. (Black and white photocopying gives a good indication of the tonal value of fabrics.)

Alternatively you can buy a multi-view lens from a quilt shop which shows you what the quilt would look like in a 5 x 5 arrangement. Or to look at a four block arrangement, use two mirror tiles, placed at right angles at the corner of one block.