Nov 03 15

Developing a New Block Design

This is a new quilt block design I’ve been working on.  (Please excuse the crosshairs that still remain; I haven’t gotten around to removing them yet.)  I’ve been making some designs using leaf shapes and this one features the large ginkgo leaf from the ginkgo leaf Appli-K-Kutz dies we used to carry.  I like how delicate they are.  It’s interesting to me that the arrangement of the stems forms a secondary design that my eye wants to follow.  Here’s a closeup of the center section:
In the photo above, you can see that one pair of ginkgo leaves has an internal design that looks like plumes that emanate from the center/bottom portion of the leaf.  The opposite pair of leaves have a swirl design inside:
Check out the edge finishing on the ginkgo leaves.  It’s kind of a lacey inside scallop variation but I like the delicacy of it.  In each of the 4 corners of the block, there is a swirl that sits on the diagonal:
That swirl is positioned in the exact same position it occupies in another block I made about a year ago.  Here, you can see that swirl in the 4 corners of this tulip block:
I figured that these 2 blocks might look nice together and if I had that swirl in the same spot in both block types, they’d form a neat secondary design each time that 4 of them came together.  Plus, it also meant I could make some kind of cool ruler work design on the inside of the structure that the 4 of them created!  Here is a shot from my design wall as I started playing with it.  In my head, I assumed I’d place them on point but I do not like the way the ginkgo block looks when set on point:
You can kind of get an idea of what I mean about swirls from different blocks “meeting up” in the photo below that shows 3 of them next to one another:
I still like the block types together, but the on point setting just doesn’t work for me.   I’ve decided that setting the blocks on square is the way to go.  Here’s a mock up of them on my design wall once I’d completed 2 of them:
The 2 ginkgo leaf borders that are dangling around them weren’t made for this quilt.  They were my test stitch-outs for a new border design.  One of them uses the large ginkgo leaf and the other uses the medium ginkgo leaf.  I hung them here just to get an idea of whether the “flow” of the borders might work with these blocks.  You probably recognize that center block as my old feathered wreath MEA block.  I’m going to add a swirl in all 4 corners of that block, too, so it can have that same “meet up” effect as the other swirl blocks.  So…what’s on your design wall these days?


  1. Diane Evans Says:

    Wow!! Nothing on my design wall that’s as beautiful and intricate as these blocks, Patsy — gosh, they’re pretty. Is the lacy border on the gingko leaves a digitized pattern, or one from your new Destiny? It’s beautiful. This is going to be another stunning quilt.


  2. Virginia Says:

    Love the direction this quilt is going. Agree that on point wasn’t the best layout for the blocks. As for my design wall, I have almost finished sewing all the blocks needed to complete a king sized quilt. Next will be all the machine quilting on my new midarm sit down machine.

  3. Maria Gardner Says:

    Another feast for the eyes from you, Patsy. Lovely layout and combination of different blocks. I rather like the larger ginkgo border. Let’s see what you add to the rest of it!!

  4. Lorie bugaiski Says:

    Love it! On my wall are block from the William Morris quilt morning glory, have two blocks done work on three and four!

  5. Suzy Webster Says:

    I love your work and it’s so fun to see other people’s design process!

  6. Marietta Walker Says:

    SO pretty. Your talent is amazing.