Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park fame showed on her IG feed a few weeks back a stunning design from a book called Wise Craft Quilts by Blair Stocker. It was a scrappy quilt but using different values of fabrics made for a striking design. Because it’s in a book we can’t really use it for a collective quilt but I noticed Blair had a free pattern on her blog using a slightly simpler design but using values to make the design stand out. Blair used Outback Wife from Gertrude Made for her quilt so it is quite possibly the most expensive quilt on the planet and as an aside, as it’s quite a scratchy fabric, it won’t be the most soft and cosy either! Anyway this design is perfect for using up scraps and any left over 5” charm squares. And to make life even more pleasant it’s just simple HSTs. What’s not to like ….so what’s needed
The trick with this block is getting the values right. As I’m after a quilt for a boy I’d like non floral blues and greens as the main colours and lighter patterned non floral fabric which don’t have to have green or blue but can be. So I picked out scraps/charm squares in both categories. To determine value and get a nice blend the best of way of doing that is to take a quick photo then put it into monochrome. You can also use a red plastic see through filter that you can buy. I do have one but where it is is a completely different matter as the photo trick is so easy
Here’s the colour version of my scraps
And then the monochrome version.
I then took away those two spotty and striped fabrics in the middle and swapped out a couple of coloured fabrics because they weren’t dark enough.
You then need to cut out 8 x 5” by 5” squares of ideally 8 different darker/medium value fabrics in blues and/or greens and 8 x 5” by 5” squares of ideally 8 different patterned neutrals/lighter fabric. (If you are struggling to find enough different fabrics don’t worry, life goes on!). Please don’t use solid white, cream, light grey etc as we are not looking for stark contrast but a more subtle contrast. So as you can see from my example I’ve used patterned lighter fabric in a variety of colours.
Using one darker square paired with a lighter square and a scant 1/4” seam make half square triangles using your favourite method. Following a tip from Nicky Eglington I iron each pale fabric down the diagonal corner to corner and use that as my guide to sew either side. But equally you can draw a line corner to corner. Then sew a line a scant 1/4” either side. Please trim the HSTs to 4.5” square then assemble as the finished block above and below. Can you please make one block. Please trim to 16.5” square
Please feel free to use fabric that is predominantly blue/green (any shade from lime to turquoise) but non floral please. In mine there’s a jaunty Kaffe Fasset fabric that is predominantly lime green but has other colours. That’s fine as long as it’s not floral. I’m saying that motif on that fabric isn’t a flower but just a shape!! You can if you wish, and you have enough scraps, have an all blue or all green version or mix it up as I’ve done.
If you are still struggling and I do appreciate that the non floral is a limitation then please do not hesitate to ask me to send some suitable fabrics. I’m really very happy to send you fabric. Just ask.