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The Symmetry of Patchwork Blocks

Island TropicsOur web special this week is a bundle of coordinating fabrics. It’s easy to look at a bundle like this and admire the pretty colors. It takes a little more imagining, though, to figure out what to do with it. To help you out, we selected three different free pattern downloads as possible choices for using those fabrics. Two of the blocks are shown here.

First image for blog

Normally we just think of putting blocks together side by side, and all facing in the same direction. Blocks that have coloring that are non-symmetrical, or are symmetrical in just one direction can also be arranged in a variety of other ways.

For instance, we are used to seeing the Irish Chain block put together with the blocks side by side, and all oriented in the same direction.

4. Double Irish Chain col quilt 1But what happens if you pinwheel the blocks? You get a completely different look.

5. Double Irish Chain quilt 2a

6. Double Irish Chain quilt 2Here are 5 different layouts of the Triangle Charm blocks.

Blocks side by side oriented in the same direction.First set

Blocks pinwheeledImage 2

Blocks pinwheeled and then mirroredImage 3Four blocks mirrored and then those units side by sideImage 4

Four block unit all oriented the same way and then those units mirrored.Image 5It is fascinating to play around with all the possibilities. Which is your favorite?

Note: If you would like to recreate these blocks and use them in a quilt, please use the free patterns for guidance as to how much additional fabric you will need.

Triangle Charm: fabric 7 is 5748-02 and fabric 8 is 0213-10
Double Irish Chain: background fabric is Palette #58, 7132-25

8 thoughts on “The Symmetry of Patchwork Blocks

  1. Very cool! My favourite is the triangle charm block pinwheeled and mirrored. That one entertains my eyes the most.

  2. I love this!! I’ve always thought working with lots of HSTs made too many seam “bumps”. Recently I discovered that if I trim the points at the seam line and press the seam open results in a much better seam line.

    Thanks so much for the beautiful visuals!

  3. Thank you so much for the lovely patterns. Can’t wait to try them.

  4. Love the colors as always for both patterns. The triangle charm is my favorite. I like David’s choice for the visual appeal, but would probably do the last variation, oriented the same way and mirrored, because I like it too and it would be less confusing to actually construct! Thanks for showing us these possibilities!

  5. Hello, I dont get it, if I want to make the trianlge block into a say a twin quilt what do I need? Do you make a bundle a kit or how is it sold ?? Thanks

    1. If you download the pattern from our website, there are two size options- 53 3/4″ square or 97 1/2″ square. The fabric requirements are detailed in the pattern. Here is the link to get you started.

  6. I’ve been thinking of doing an Irish chain. WOW! What a difference to rotate the blocks. I’m thinking of using my stash of small florals. what do you think?

    1. Sounds like a great idea! We would love to see how it turns out, do send us pics!

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