Currently I have two projects in progress that have alternating blocks.

First is the Sew Splendid Sampler quilt.  I stitched along, sort of.  Mostly I just did the pieced blocks, but I also added a few ideas of my own.  I knew I wanted a quilt at least throw size and the only way seemed to be to use alternating blocks.  So, the block I shared recently is my alternating idea.  This is how it looks laid out with the pieced blocks.

DSC00385The whole thing is a little  different for me.  I found myself with an abundance of 1930s reproduction fabrics and thought to use them on this quilt since it was all an experiment.  I don’t hate it, but I am not as confident in this range.

Next is the Jolly Christmas Quiltalong.  Again, I have mostly stitched along, but also added some outside blocks.  Again, I want a larger quilt, so I used her Poinsettia Block, slightly modified, as an alternating motif.  I plan to use sashing (color not determined) and gold cornerstones to extend the Irish chain effect.


I like this one more, but I am concerned that the alternating blocks are taking center stage because of their bold design.

So many of my finishes lately have been quilts I wasn’t quite sure of.  That isn’t a bad thing, though.  Hopefully it means I am still learning and growing as a quilter. If you never try something that makes you at least a little uncomfortable, you aren’t going anywhere new.


17 thoughts on “Alternating

  1. I love your quilt so far but when I look at this quilt it seems to me that it should have an uneven number of blocks across and down
    I can’t recall the teachers name as it must have been 60 years ago but she always said remember uneven is better so with the Christmas one add another block like the first and third OR turn the blocks so that it is 3 across and 5 down then if you want it bigger add wider boarders Just my humble opinion

    1. I agree on the block placement. The layouts are intended as samples, not finished products. The Splendid Sampler quilt will be probably 11×11 blocks and the Christmas quilt 5×5.

  2. Your blocks are beautiful! Love the Splendid Sampler in the repro fabrics and the Christmas quilt will be gorgeous! I too love the poinsettia block and would love to make one of these……hum, someday! Thanks for sharing these.

  3. I know what you mean about going out of your comfort zone… my Splendid Sampler felt the same way. I would have loved working with the 30s prints! Isn’t that funny? I love your Christmas design. The alternate blocks are bold but they are so pretty.:)

  4. Lovely quilts and I do like the fabrics in the Splendid one.
    I’m thinking of breaking up the Christmas blocks too, but probably not the poinsettias. Something simple I think (so I don’t mess it up!).

    Then I got sidetracked with your Calico Rose QAL! Oh dear – quilt being quilted on the machine upstairs, practicing scrappy strips and getting used to the treadle machine downstairs . . . I think perhaps the Calico Rose may be ideal for me to take on holiday with the hand crank! So thank you in advance!

  5. Resisting the urge to lay out my sampler blocks to see if a similar block to your top one would work with it. (But I have three to finish for local guild show first–two done.) I really like the effect of the diagonal set squares forming diagonal lines around the focus blocks. And FWIW, the poinsettia block wasn’t the first thing I saw when I looked at the Christmas layout. I think the contrast between big and little pieces keeps the focus blocks in focus.

  6. The quilts are something I would never tackle. Bravo you for jumping in and doing it. I can’t make something if I am not totally in love with it. I guess it is all those years as a graphic designer when I had to please a client- I have no grit left.

  7. I seem to reach that stage of uncertainty with a lot of my projects and I like your thoughts about how that only means we’re learning and growing. I’m working on a quilt now that I chose to use alternating blocks in order to make it bigger. I like the blocks you have chosen for both quilts. It’s hard to go wrong with any version of an Irish Chain. I say forge ahead!

  8. They’ll both be fine. The dark in the alternating blocks for the 30s fabrics keeps that from being too pale and retiring. I see what you mean about the alternating block in the Christmas quilt possibly overshadowing the other blocks, but I don’t think it would be a big deal if they did. The other blocks are still there chiming out Christmas noise. =) They are both great quilts! Challenge is good.

  9. I disagree with you on the alternating blocks on the quilt along, I believe they truly enhance the Christmas blocks. The colors are perfect & blend well with the quilt a long blocks. That’s my unqualified opinion anyway. I am truly partial to bold colors. The quilt a long’s before, looked a bit too bland for my taste, this is much better, or so I think. lol Great job, as usual.

  10. I really like both of your projects. 30’s aren’t my fabrics of choice, either, so I really like the chain you have connecting the blocks all together. I don’t have a problem with your Christmas blocks. I’m enjoying seeing your progress. I’ve been spending my machine time of summer clothes for my granddaughters.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is nice to hear from you.

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