Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Classic Stitches--Indigo

Hi all, and welcome back to the Classic Stitches row quilt!  We are somewhere in transit right now, but this month's block won't wait!  (Thanks to everyone for your good wishes, by the way!)  The color for this month is indigo, gray, or black.  I don't have much of any of those colors, so I am using blues that tend toward royal blue for my row.  This block looks great in any color or even a mixture of colors, so grab whatever scraps you'd like to use up and let's get to it!

Here is our block for this month:

This block is traditionally know as True Blue. In her Civil War Sampler book, Barbara Brackman notes that this block dates to the Union side of the Civil War, whose supporters were "true blue." This block pattern was published in a book by Ruth Findley in 1929.  It is constructed of two very simple smaller blocks, with the particular arrangement of the parts giving the block its striking effect.  It goes together really quickly, which should kind of make up for last month's very "piecey" block.

Instructions are given for a 6-inch finished block.  Instructions for other sizes and variations are given at the end.


For one 6-inch finished block, you will need a background and your focus color.  In this case, I am using a royal blue.  From the blue, cut 2 2-7/8 inch squares and EITHER one 1-1/2 inch by 13 inch strip OR 8 1-1/2 inch squares.

From the background color, cut one 2-1/2 inch square, 2 2-7/8 inch squares, and EITHER one 1-1/2 by 13 inch strip OR 8 1-1/2 inch squares.

That's it for the cutting!


First, use the 2-7/8 inch squares to make 4 half-square triangles that measure 2-1/2 inches to finish at  2 inches in the quilt.

That's all for the first block unit!

Next, use either the 1-1/2 inch strips or the 1-1/2 inch squares to make 4-patches that measure 2-1/2 inches to finish at 2 inches square in the quilt.

If using the strips, stitch the blue and the background together along the long edge, then press toward the blue.  Cut into 1-1/2 inch segments and then assemble into 4-patches.

And that's the second block unit!

All that's left is to lay out the block as shown and assemble.  Pay special attention to the orientation of the 4-patches because it's easy to get them turned around:

See? Easy-peasy! Seriously, these blocks go very quickly and look terrific. If you aren't making the row quilt, this would make a great alternate block in any quilt.  Ten 6-inch blocks will make a 60-inch row, and 6 will make a 36-inch row.


There are a lot of color variations for this block.  First, you could switch the colors and make white blocks on a blue background.  (To do this, just replace the center white square with a blue one and turn the other pieces around.  Really easy!)

Another possibility is making the 4-patches in one color and the hsts in another color.  I did this for the 12-inch block--see the picture below.  Other variations are given in the Brackman book, which is completely worth checking out. (From the library--get it?)

Make a Prairie Queen variation, which uses the same units but has a solid center square:

This is from an older quilt of mine.  Always save your old pictures!

For a 7-1/2 inch finished block, cut 2 3-3/8 inch squares and 8 1-3/4 inch squares from the blue, and one 3 inch square, 2 3-3/8 inch squares, and 8 1-3/4 inch squares from background.  Assemble as above.  I chose to make my row from 7-1/2 inch squares, and 8 of them will make a perfect 60-inch row.

For a 9-inch finished block, cut 2 3-7/8-inch squares and 8 2-inch squares from blue, and one 3-1/2-inch square, 2 3-7/8 inch squares, and 8 2-inch squares from a background color.  Assemble as above.

For a 12-inch finished block, cut 2 4-7/8 inch squares and 8 2-1/2 inch squares from blue and one 4-1/2 inch square, 2 4-7/8 inch squares, and 8 2-1/2 inch squares from background.  Assemble as above.  Or make 4 6-inch blocks and combine them into one 12-inch block. This is what I did for my 12-inch block:

This block turned out okay (yes, I see the misalignment, thanks. I promise to fix it.), but I am not really happy with it.  I think the block pattern got lost with the color changes.  I'm not unhappy enough to remake it!  Exchanging the white centers for blue ones might be in the cards, though.

I confess that with the move I have fallen behind, but I promise that finishing my row is tops on my list.  Meanwhile, here are my two blocks together:

See what I mean about the pattern differences that come from the color choices?  Live and learn!

Have fun making your True Blue row, no matter which color you choose to use, and come on back September 1 (!!) for the next block. Happy sewing!

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, and at soscrappy for RSC15.


andrea @ tideline quilts said...

I love the colours you chose for this block, and am really looking forward to seeing the entire top once it's ready! Very nice work!

Cathy said...

I love this block! I don't know that I've ever seen it and it really looks like it would tend to making a gorgeous quilt. Thanks for sharing!

Bernie Kringel said...

This looks like a fun block. I will do the 7 and 1/2" size and it should go together easily. Thanks as always for putting the tutorial together! Hope the move is progressing well and not making you too crazy.

Jo said...

Lovely looking block

Soma @ inkTorrents.com said...

I like the colours you picked for this lovely blocks. They look wonderful!

-Soma @ whimsandfancies.com

Julie in GA said...

Great looking block pattern. My favorite is the one from your older quilt with the red and black prints.
Hope your move is going smoothly!

Sally Trude said...

Yikes! Good luck with the move. Hope everything falls into place as neatly as your piecing!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Amazing how many options there are for one single block!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Me, too - liking that black and white and red block. Stay safe during your move.

Cathy said...

Right when I saw the block I thought it looked like Prairie Queen. And then I read on...

Good luck with the move.

Kate said...

I like the dark royal purple you used in the block. It's my favorite out of all the combinations you posted.

gayle said...

I hope the move is going smoothly!
Love the blocks, and I love that your tutorials give measurements for all sizes for the block. So many choices!

Deb A said...

This is such a cute block. You always do such a great tutorial and love that you give the various sizes. I'm going to play with a bunch of blues... they never seem to go down in the scrap bins.

LA Paylor said...

Hi Mari, stopping by to see you... LeeAnna

Sheila said...

Beautiful blocks and colors! Nice tutorial. Good pictures and instructions.

Lara B. said...

Those are very interesting blocks and I love the colors you chose Mari! Your instructions are wonderful!