Monday, January 3, 2011

Offset Block #1

Start With Something Simple

You want to design a quilt. Every quilter does. And I want you to design a quilt. That's why I started my blog. So where do you start? How do you start?

You start by doing something, anything. Change it and then change it again. Keep changing it until it turns into something you like. Start with something simple and play with it until you find something interesting.

Let me show you what I mean.

What if I start with a Nine Patch block? Why a Nine Patch block? Because it's simple, easy to sew, and is as good a place to start as any.

What if I change it by adding 3 more Nine Patch blocks?

What if I change it by coloring each block a different shade of green?

What if I invert the colors of a Nine Patch  block?

What if I alternate a Nine Patch block with a plain square?

All of these changes have potential. All of them have been used at some time by somebody. Up to this point all I've been doing is the obvious.

What if I slide one of Nine Patch blocks up so that the plain square becomes a rectangle?

What if I slide it up even further?

I've never seen a Nine Patch block offset this way. Has it been done before? Probably.  But it's new to me and I think it would be interesting to see what I can do with it.

What if I use 3 offset Nine Patch blocks to make a kind of quarter circle?

This is even more interesting.

What if I join 2 quarter circles to make a curve?

What if I turn this curve on its end, repeat it and color it?

This would make an interesting wall hanging. Add more curves and colors and it makes a cheerful crib quilt.

Notice, that I didn't do anything that you can't do. I found this because I went looking for something, anything, and I stumbled upon it. Go looking and you too will stumble upon something that you can call your own. It's exciting when you do.

However, it doesn't stop here. This is not an end but a beginning. I'm going to play some more with offset Nine Patch blocks and then show you what I find. In addition, I want you to do the same and show me what you find so I can post it on my blog.

I think that between us we can come up with some really interesting quilt designs and show the world how easy (and fun) coming up with quilt designs can be.


  1. Hi Wayne,
    I posted a short answer to your Why Design challenge on my blog today. The URL is

    Thank you for making me think about this! Now I'm going to set up my sewing machine... we are on vacation and my hubby is golfing!

  2. Wayne this is an excellent way to inspire quilters to take a design and make it their own. Love it.


  3. Darlene

    I am presenting a simple design idea and encouraging others to play with it. I am hoping they will try playing and discover that they can design. After all playing and designing are the same thing.

    It's an experiment that's going to stretch out over several blogs. Will it work? I hope so.

    If you have any thoughts on how I can improve my approach let me know.

  4. Oh I am really going to need some time to spend on your blog. I will learn so much!!

  5. Hillbilly Handiworks

    So, does that mean you are going to try playing with offset Nine Patch blocks to see what you can discover?