There’s nothing quite like flipping and turning blocks to make new designs–I call it block play.

There’s nothing quite like flipping and turning blocks to make new designs–I call it block play. My favorites are blocks with fun corners or a strong diagonal design that create something new when they’re set straight together without sashes.

My current project, Blue Lake, is a good example of a block with a strong diagonal design. There’s all kinds of potential block play in this design. The half-square triangle units at the corners are intentionally place to cause a secondary design where the block corners meet.

Blue Lake

Blue Lake

So far I’ve made 36 out of the 48 intended blocks for this quilt. The blocks are sewn four at a time using different prints with each new set of four blocks. It’s my preferred method of making quilts because I get to use lots of prints, but don’t have to sort by value or worry about more than a handful at a time. This whole approach was the subject of my book Patchwork Palette (available in my website bookstore http://www.donnalynnthomasquilter.com/product/patchwork-palette/).

_Patchwork_Palette_

Patchwork Palette

I just spent about 20 minutes this morning playing with a number of different ways to twist and turn these 36 blocks to make totally different looking quilts. The key is that the strong diagonal creates the design, not the color.

This first design is a simple “O” type of layout. It’s simple but has a nice weave to it.

Design #1

Design #1

 

I call this one the Big X. Start with an X in the center and just echo it out to the edge.

Design #2

Design #2

 

This is an X and O layout. You can have the O’s on the corners or the X’s. This one has X’s.

Design #3

Design #3

 

I like the way the interior big X is overlaid by a box and then the whole thing framed with a zig zag.

Design #4

Design #4

 

The Big Box is the opposite of the Big X. Start with the box in the center and echo out to the edges.

Design #5

Design #5

 

This is one of my favorites. The boxes form rings but the four corners have their own small boxes making it a bit more interesting.

Design #6

Design #6

 

This one is simple mirror image vertical zig zags. You could do the reverse and have them zig zag in the opposite way.

Design #7

Design #7

And this is only what I came up with in twenty minutes of block play! Which one do you like best? Take a moment to comment below and tell me what you think. Then try this the next time you have a block with a strong diagonal pull. Block play is fun!

Til next time!

Donna