Monday, February 14, 2011

Offset Block #8

What Happens When You Offset

Shoo Fly Blocks?

Part 2

Who says that quilt blocks always have to be lined up in rows and columns? You can create interesting designs by offsetting something as simple as a Shoo Fly block.

Let's start with 4 Shoo Fly blocks arranged around a square.
What if more Shoo Fly blocks are added offset so that they form spirals starting from the original 4 blocks?

This is a good start, but there is a lot of white space in the corners.
What if the spirals are extended to fill the corners?

This needs more color.

What if 2 of the spiral arms are in blues and 2 of the arms are in greens, starting with the darkest colors in the center and ending with the lightest on the outsides?

This gives greater definition to the spiral arms and makes the design more interesting.
This design can be tightened up slightly if the 4 center blocks are offset  around a smaller center square.

This reminds me of a spiral galaxy.

If each of the Shoo Fly blocks is 6" x 6" this would make a quilt 3 feet square.
What if the above quilt is treated like a block, and 4 of them are combined to make a lap quilt?

This is even more interesting and opens the door to all sorts of possibilities.

Shoo Fly blocks are not the only traditional blocks that can be offset to create interesting patterns. For other examples go to My Posts by Subject in the sidebar on the right and click on Using Offset Blocks.

You may want to try using offset blocks to create your own quilt designs.


  1. This is a fantastic idea, thank you very much! I've been reading the blog, I really like all the entries. This one in particular :-)). It's so simple yet is based on the outcome of the special!


  2. Once again you completely intrigue me. Once again I thank you for these mind opening posts!

  3. Marcsi es Agi

    Thank you for your comments.

    Everything simple can be used to make something special. Looking for something special is what makes quilt designing fun.

  4. Tonya

    Offsetting blocks is actually an old idea that gets ignored and forgotten because it's not obvious how easy it is to do.

    You should give it a try.