Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Intricate Stitches--Purple

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Intricate Stitches quilt!  This month's color is purple, with yellow accents.  I think we can handle that.  Have a look at this month's block:

This block is called Scotch Heather, and is number 1956 in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia.  I have in my notes that this block is a Needlecrafts block from the 1930s, but I can't confirm that because I have just now discovered (after years of using it) that my copy of that book is missing 16 pages!  It jumps from 240 right to 257, which is right where this block would be listed.

Oh, well! We'll make the block anyway. I'm not going to lie--this was a hard block for me to make. 

Updated, properly constructed block.

UPDATE: This block was a poor choice for a 12-inch block, and the first time I made it I had the sizes wrong.  This made the block somewhat different from the actual block as drawn.  I have gone back and corrected the sizes and the layout and remade the block properly.  Be sure to read the entire tutorial and pay close attention to the sizes and pieces.

For this block, you will need three colors.  I used a beautiful deep purple, a paler (but just as beautiful) bright medium green, and a pale yellow.  You could use two purples, or substitute the yellow for the pale green and use white instead of the yellow.  Play with your colors until you like them.

On to the cutting:

From the purple, cut:

     4 1-7/8 inch by 8 inch strips
     12 2-1/8 inch squares (for hsts)

From the green, cut:

     4 1-7/8 by 8 inch strips
     2 2-1/8 inch squares

From the yellow, cut:

     4 1-7/8  by 8 inch strips
     1 1-7/8 inch square
     12 2-1/8 inch squares
     4 1-7/8 by 1-3/4 inch pieces


This block is constructed by first making the center checkerboard and then surrounding it with the pieced sides.  To make the checkerboard, first construct three strip sets using the 1-7/8 by 8 inch strips:

Strip set 1 is green, purple, green.  Set 2 is purple, yellow, purple, and set 3 is yellow, purple, green.  Once you have the strip sets, cut 4 1-7/8 inch segments from each set.

Assemble the segments into 4 9-patches:

Notice that the green corner on strip set 3 is oriented differently, making 2 9 patches with the green square on the left and 2 with the square on the right.  Nine patches should measure 4-5/8 inches square.

Use the remaining strips to make a yellow, green, yellow strip set:

Cut 4 1-7/8 inch segments from this strip set.

Using 2 of the 9 patches (one of each direction) and one of the segments you just cut, make 2 units like this, paying attention to the direction of the green squares:

Take the remaining 2 segments and one of the 1-7/8 inch yellow squares, and join them together, then lay out the units you've made like this:

Stitch these units together and you have your checkerboard center!  This should measure 10-1/8 inches square.

The next step is to make the outer border.  Start by using 2 of the yellow squares and the 2 green squares to make 4 half-square triangles.  These should measure 1-3/4 inches and finish at 1-3/8 inches in the block.  Do the same with the remaining yellow and purple squares:

To make the side pieces, join 6 of the purple squares and one of the 1-3/4 by 1-7/8 inch squares as shown. The 1-7/8 inch side of the center pieces should be along the edge that will be attached to the checkerboard piece.

Make 4 of these pieces.  Set 2 aside and join 2 to the sides of the checkerboard. Important: only the center seam will match exactly.  The others will be off by just enough to make you crazy, but the piece as a whole will fit.

Take the two remaining side pieces and stitch the green/yellow hsts to the ends as shown.  Be sure that the green triangles point outward:

Stitch these lengths to the remaining 2 sides of the checkerboard, press better than I did, and admire your work!

What do you think--good save or epic fail?  My block turned out to be 12-3/8 inches square, which is 1/8 inch smaller than ideal.  When I put the entire quilt together, this was not a problem.

Hope your block turns out well!  Come back on April  5 for what I promise will be a great block!  I promise to pay more attention to the math for that one, really!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and soscrappy for RSC16.


  1. You deserve top marks for just attempting to convert that design into a 12 inch block. You made a great job of it though, and it sits lovely with the others.

  2. Oh, I can see how that would be a tough pattern to draft. But the end result looks great, and I am really liking how all these labor intensive (but so worth it) blocks are looking together.

  3. You did well. And you have done it....

  4. Very nice block and it made me think of an Easter egg with those pretty colors.

  5. Oh Mari, this one would surely be the end of me. I admire your tenacity with these blocks. The first three looks so great together. The resulting quilt will be amazing.

  6. ALL of these blocks are just beautiful! :)

  7. Mari, that is a beautiful block! But I'm so glad it was you doing that headache-inducing quilty math. I would've taken the scissors to it...or myself! Beautiful result and amazing blocks!!!

  8. As they say, we learn by doing. You learned well, Mari, and it is a lovely block. It looks like a bouquet of crocuses.

  9. I like the color scheme and how it looks with the others.

  10. Pretty block, but talk about a headache on a stick... Even coming close on the math on that one is a triumph!

  11. So pretty. Sometimes the math just doesn't work but you came up with a great solution by adjusting your seams. Great work.

  12. Love those three colors together. You have some pretty blocks so far. Can't wait to see what April brings.


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