Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A 5" Square Pattern

I have been helping with the 5" square fabric exchange for 1 year now.  I enjoy finding places to use these fabrics.  The guild had an Irish Chain block using Christmas prints.  The 5" Christmas exchange squares were easily cut to accommodate the 2 1/2" squares called for in the rabble block pattern.  The best part.....I won a great stack of blocks.  These blocks will be used for the Christmas Traditions quilt to be auctioned off in December.
 The latest finish is a quick option for using your 5" squares as a type of sashing.  This pattern works great with fat quarter bundles or a little yardage.  The novelty prints are great because the larger pieces allow print patterns to still be distinguishable.

This quilt is using the 5" black square fabric exchange.  Some of my swap fabrics were lighter than I wanted for this quilt so some fabrics from my stash were cut into 5" squares and substituted into the quilt. Occasionally a 2 1/2" black strip was paired up and sewn to make the block.  Use what you have and cut only what needs to be cut.  Using the pre-cut pieces first is what turns this quilt into the quick project.
Here you can see where 2 black squares are layered right sides together and sewn on 1 side. The unit is cut in half across the seam yielding 2 pieces.  Press the pieces.  It doesn't matter how you press here....none of these seams match up with anything....no bulk no matter what you do!
To make this block square....cut a 5 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle out of your novelty fabrics.  My stash included some older sample card fabrics.  These sample pieces were from the same fabric lines but the focal pieces were larger, the accent pieces were small.  The card was carried by the salesman to shops showing current selections.  These had some memories for me and I seemed to by keeping them not sure of how to make a great quilt out of such little pieces.  The largest piece couldn't have been more that 14' x 18".  If these larger prints were cut too small the great patterns were lost.  Pair up the 5 1/2" x 9 1/2" novelty print with a pair of black 2 1/2" x 9 1/2" pieces.  Sew.
Lay out the blocks alternating the black strips vertical and horizontal.  Sew the rows and columns together.  A 3" scrappy black border frames the body of the quilt.
The hardest part of this quilt was organizing the squares.  The variety was just a jumbled up mess when pieces were random.  The contrast between the tone on tone fabrics had your eye jumping everywhere.  The pretty prints...well that's all there was.  What you can't see...some of the print backgrounds are brown, some are black.  Also 2 of the flower prints only occur once.  The bright fun print on the left cut to my favorite 6" border finishes the quilt.  The lime green binding can be seen in the top photo really brings it all together.  Many other options were auditioned...the lime green made the quilt.  I was hoping to use that fabric somewhere else, but.....use what you have, but what you need.  I guess a shopping trip will be in order when lime green is "needed".

You can check out what others are doing at Freemotion by the River.


  1. I really need to try to do something with my scraps, but then I also need to do a lot with all the new (had a long time, but never cut) yardages I have stashed away! I won't live long enough to use up the yardage fabrics, much less the scraps I already have stored away! But....I hope to start on scraps in the near future. That quilt with the black really fascinates me. Keep inspiring me! ---"Love"

  2. That's such a clever design and so effective! You could have some real fun with that and the stash. You scored well on the Christmas blocks too.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. It looks great.

  4. I love that wonderful quilt with the black. (I also like the Irish chain) Thanks for sharing. I have a LOT of charm squares.

  5. I love the red, green and white one, it will be so festive. The quilt with black is wonderful, too. I love quilts that have black in them to really show off the other fabrics. Have fun with them!


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  7. Just so you know, I've really missed reading more about your projects since February. Wondering what you've been working on. Hope all is well with you! ---"Love"

  8. Just so you know, I've really missed reading more about your projects since February. Wondering what you've been working on. Hope all is well with you! ---"Love"