Intricate Stitches BOM

Welcome to the Intricate Stitches block of the month!  I designed this quilt as my main project for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016. (Click HERE to go see Angela for more details on the RSC!) I'm using some beautiful hand-dyed fabrics from Vicki Welsh to make some challenging blocks from our quilting heritage.  This is going to be a great quilt and a lot of fun, so come on along and play!

The quilt will look something like this!

It's Complicated, the quilt from this BOM!

The quilt I've designed is square and uses 12 12-inch blocks surrounding a larger center square.  The blocks are all uncommon traditional blocks that are pieced either using many pieces, small pieces, or unusually-sized pieces.  (1-1/4 finished hsts, anyone?)  Since this is an RSC project, the color of the block each month will be the color given by Angela for the RSC.  Because the quilt has 12 blocks but this year's RSC is planned for only 10 colors, there will have to be 2 of the easier blocks a couple of months.  I'm also planning a pieced border, so I'm going to make a few of those units each month, too.

On the first Tuesday of each month, I'll post the block tutorial with detailed directions and lots of pictures.  (Check out the Classic Stitches page for examples of last year's tutorials.)  The blocks look really complicated--and they are--but they can be broken down into more familiar units.  I'll do my best to make them as easy as possible to construct, so that we all end up with beautiful blocks and a beautiful quilt.

These blocks are easier than they look!

There are some options for this BOM, too. Want to play along, but not sure about making the whole quilt?  Try a block or two.  If you use scraps, the worst that can happen is you waste some fabric that you weren't using anyway.  And the best that can happen is a gorgeous block, so why not try it?

Don't like the quilt layout?  Make some blocks and design your own!  Twelve blocks set in 4 rows of 3 blocks each will make a very nice lap quilt.

Want to make some blocks, but aren't into scrappy quilts or the RSC?  Change the colors! Use fat quarters in any color to make the blocks.

Really like a particular block?  Go old school and make it over and over in any colors, then set them together into a spectacular quilt.  (See HERE for an example.)

Don't like a block, or think it's beyond your skills?  Skip it or make a different one!

Quilt too small?  Make more blocks! Quilt too big?  Make fewer!

Really want a challenge?  Make the blocks in a 6-inch size!  You can do this by cutting the finished size of the units in half, so that a 1-1/2 inch finished piece becomes a 3/4-inch piece.

The initial idea is mine, but you can customize to your heart's content.  Make the quilt your own!

**An important note about copyright and sharing: I am giving away the directions and tutorials for this quilt for free.  This BOM is open to anyone who wants to play along. There are no sign-ups and no fees. If you want to share the tutorials or pictures with anyone, please link back to my blog.  (That's just good manners!) You do NOT have permission to cut and paste ANY of my work into your own blog or to substantially copy my directions and claim them as your own.  You do NOT have permission to sell or charge any fee for anything using my work.  It should go without saying, but anything that I've written remains my exclusive property and I get to decide what ultimately happens to it. The patterns are traditional blocks that are widely available, but the directions, photos, and quilt pattern remain my property.  Let's all be respectful and keep this fun for everyone, okay?**

Materials needed:

I am using fat eighths (9 by 22 inch pieces) of hand-dyed fabric for my quilt, along with some scraps.  Each block should take no more than one fat eighth of each color.  Some of the pieces are quite small, so this could be a good place to use up some little scraps.

For the backgrounds, I am using mainly Kona white, a solid white that is widely available, is inexpensive, and looks good with almost all fabrics.  I have 4 yards, which should be more than enough for the blocks and any sashing that I decide to use.


I am planning a pieced border with units made as we go along and final assembly at the end.  The quilt would also look good with running yardage as a border.  I really encourage you to wait until the end to purchase a border fabric since there will be so many colors in this quilt. If you purchase in advance, 1 to 1-1/2 yards should be enough.


New block tutorials will be posted on January 5, February 2, March 1, April 5, May 3, May 24, June 7, July 5, August 2, August 16, September 6, and October 4.  (That's 12!)  On November 1, I will post the directions for the center pieced block and the pieced border.  December 6 will be the big reveal of my finished quilt! (Or at least the finished top.)

That's it for the general information!  I hope you'll come along and have some fun this year.  If you decide to make some blocks or any part of the quilt, I'd love to see your pictures!

Questions?  Email me at academicquilter AT gmail DOT com

The prep part is over, so now let's go sew!

Links to the blocks:


February-- Brown




May--Bonus Block in purple



August--Purple again

August--Bonus Block in blue


October--Orange again

November--Center Medallion



Finished top


Jo said...

These blocks are coming together nicely. You are nearly at the end. Hopefully next year I can get back into it...

Unknown said...

Went to download Sept to the end and can't get them to download. Have they not been issued?

Mari said...

You are no-reply, so I can't answer you directly, but the links are definitely there. I just tested them, so I don't know why they aren't working for you. If you can't get them to work, you can always go look directly at the first Tuesday of the month, or you can search for Intricate Stitches and all of the Intricate Stitches posts should come up for you.

Unknown said...

Came back today and yes, they're working for me today. Must be gremlins in the system. Thanks again for these great blocks. Got a late start as just found you when reading from another website.

Now for another question, will there be more instructions for the assembling these blocks together as well as the borders, sashings, etc? This is such a nice looking layout.

Mari said...

Suzanne, can you please email me? That will make it easier for me to answer your questions. Thanks!

May events! Sewing days precede meeting said...

Just started, and love the challenge! Hope I can make it all the way through! Heard about your blog through Vicki. Also using some of her fabrics in the blocks. I don’t know how to load a picture, but the block is gorgeous!