Quilts with Different Size Blocks
Quilters are frequently in search of new and interesting ways of combining blocks into a quilt. Often the blocks are different sizes, and so the question is asked:
"How Can I Combine Different Sized Blocks in my Quilt?"
Sometimes it happens by accident. You may have been in a
block exchange, and everyone was supposed to make 9 inch
blocks. But there were some quilters who forgot and made
12 inch blocks instead.
Rather than making two different quilts or leaving the
different size ones out, you can get creative!
Following is just one real-life example of how I combined several different sized blocks and patches to make an interesting fishbowl quilt for engineer son, Bubba - when he was 6.
Bubba combined his love of fish and my love of quilting when he found this quilt pattern in a magazine. When I first looked at the picture of the quilt, I was amazed and puzzled about how it was put together.
My son picked this fishbowl quilt and all of the fabrics in it. This is an example of how to combine different size blocks in one quilt. Click on the quilt to see a larger picture.
After I broke it down into its smaller units, it became obvious how easy it was to make.
Bubba chose the fabric when he was 5, and they reflect his taste at the time - including the Care Bear, Strawberry Shortcake, and Popple patches with Mickey Mouse quilted fabric binding!
The overall size of the quilt is 43" wide by 47" high. Each of the 4 blocks (surrounded by fuchsia sashing) measures 17" high by 19" wide.
The first step was to divide each of the four corner units into smaller parts.
Each of the units is separated from the whole corner block.
Without describing how to make the individual units, you can see that there are several different sizes and shapes in each quilt block.
There are 4 main units in the center. Each of the fish blocks is a aquare measuring 7 1/2." A piece of fabric measuring 5 1/2" by 7 1/2" was sewn onto opposite sides of the fish patches.
This changed the square fish patches into rectangles.
The four center units are sewn together and make a rectangle.
The center unit (including the two fish blocks and two rectangle pieces) measures 13 1/4" wide by 15 1/2" high.
The three patch sides were then added, further elongating the rectangle, and forming the sides of the fishbowl.
At this point, the block measured 19" wide by 15 1/2" high.
The lip on top of the fishbowl was added. This strip is 1 3/4" high and 19" wide.
This is just a small example of how you can take different shaped patches and combine them to make a quilt that looks like it was put together as blocks.
The key to making any quilt is to break it down into smaller, sew-able parts. This quilt was broken down into several even smaller pieces - most notably half-square triangles. And even some half-square triangles with an extra strip to add some interest.
Sometime you may want to make a quilt using squares and rectangles in unusual combinations to create a unique look. With some planning and paying attention to how each block is made, you will be able to accomplish some amazing things.