Block by Block

Block by Block

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A few weeks ago, I asked you to share some of your favorite books, and a few of the titles that came up were block books. Rotary cut and template based, using a specific technique and paper-pieced, easy and challenging. You should know I collect block books of every manner and generation. They are my favorite type of quilt book.

So that's today's subject - books filled with a variety of blocks, including a few that might not be thought of as such. If you're wondering, this is the shelf above my workspace, and I use most of these books frequently - regularly.

So that you know what I mean when I refer to a book as a "block book", it's any book that has a variety of blocks in it. Some include sizes and cutting measurements, others only have black-and-white drawings. (Draft it yo'self, o' quilty one.)

The books I'm going to include here are those that are readily available at your favorite quilt shop.

Published September 10, 2008, Judy Hopkins' 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks is one of my favorites. I use it a lot - as in, I had to remove the page-flags for this picture.

Each of the 501 blocks includes the measurements to make the block in six sizes. Some of the blocks require a "template" - those are included in the book. But before you trace the template, put your ruler down on it as some of the squares and rectangles can be cut with just the measurements. (Ask me how I know.)

Just so you know, this book doesn't come with a spiral binding. After my oft-used first copy started falling apart at the seams, I got a second book and had it spiral bound at a local copy-print shop. (The cover was laminated too.)

The New Quick & Easy Block Tool - another favorite. Like Judy's book, this one includes multiple sizes for each block. It also shows setting ideas for the blocks.

This one already has the spiral binding.

Other block books of this type include:

Then there are the books that are chock-full of cool blocks but usually in just a single size.

Lori has it going on. In Farm Girl Vintage and Vintage Christmas, she mixes traditional blocks with cute, original blocks. Change the color palette and change the feel of the block, mix and match the blocks to make original sampler quilts, and mix the blocks with those from other books. Both books are excellent resources.

Forty-eight 6" blocks and six different quilt settings. It's a block book - the Moda Block Heads.

The Farmer's Wife - some of these blocks require templates, others can be rotary cut. But there are one hundred 6" finished blocks in this book. These five books have 550 blocks!

Feeling Splendid? From Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, The Splendid Sampler and The Splendid Sampler II will give you the instructions for 200 blocks that finish at 6".

Other books of this type include a few favorites:

A few more titles worth looking for:

  • The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters by Jinny Beyer
  • 1000 Great Quilt Blocks by Maggi McCornmick
  • Block Genius: 201 Pieced Quilt Blocks with No Math Charts by Sue Voegtlin
  • Quiltmaker's 1,000 Blocks: A Collection of Quilt Blocks by Carolyn Beam (Editor)
  • The Quilter's Album of Blocks and Borders: More than 750 Geometric Designs Illustrated and Categorized for Easy Identification and Drafting by Jinny Beyer
  • Judy Martin's Ultimate Book of Quilt Block Patterns by... Judy Martin
  • Feathered Star Quilt Blocks I by Marsha McCloskey
  • Feathered Star Quilt Blocks II by Marsha McCloskey
  • Block Party: A Quilter's Extravaganza of 120 Rotary-Cut Block Patterns by Marsha McCloskey
  • One Hundred Pieced Patterns for Eight Inch Quilt Blocks by Marsha McCloskey

Do I have all of these books? Not even close. But I have a few. I also borrowed a few from neighboring offices.

Giveaway Alert! To celebrate blocks and block books, we're giving away a copy of Moda Block Heads and a couple of layer cakes. Leave a comment by Midnight CST on Sunday, February 10 telling us the following:

  • Do you have any block books on your quilting bookshelf?
  • And what is your favorite block book? If you don't have a favorite block book - what is your favorite block?

Happy Friday! I'm off to make a few blocks.

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