Quick Quilts from Simple Quilt Block Designs

quilt block design siobhan rodgers
‘Polaroid’ by Siobhan Rogers is based on a simple four-patch quilt block design.

The Slow Quilting Movement, led by Mark Lipinski, has taken hold, and many fiber artists have joined in. I agree: There is something deeply satisfying about taking one’s time to work on a project that will honor the art and the maker, and last a lifetime.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for finishing a quilt.

Siobhan Rogers, an Australian quilt designer and popular quilt teacher, noticed that many of her students want to create dazzling quilts from fabulous fabrics, but are “time-poor.”

So she wrote a book that focuses on designs using repeats of a single quilt block, simplifying the construction process: By the Block: 18 Surprisingly Simple Quilts. Like a lot of modern quilt designs, the ones in the book take traditional quilt blocks and blow them up, repeat them in non-traditional ways, or float them in an expanse of solid fabric.

“One of the best ways to achieve a complex looking quilt that comes together quickly is to work on a large scale,” writes Siobhan.

Take, for example, Siobhan’s ‘Polaroid’ quilt, inspired by the 1970s and ’80s-era instant photos. The quilt blocks are essentially four-patches surrounded by sashing. Each block measures 14″ square, and the entire quilt is only 34″ x 45″.

Throughout the book, Siobhan offers “Time-saver” tips on design and construction, from keeping your ironing surface near your sewing machine for quick pressing trips and using jelly roll strips to make a fast but interesting binding.

By the Block is a terrific book for beginning quilters who know the basics and want to create fast but sophisticated designs and for intermediate quilters who can use Siobhan’s easy quilt block patterns as springboards for creating their own designs.

P.S.  What’s your best time-saving quilting tip? Leave your comment below.

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Easy Quilting, Quilt Designs, Quilting Daily Blog

2 thoughts on “Quick Quilts from Simple Quilt Block Designs

  1. I believe quilting is an art. Being organized helps the process, but I’m quilting because I like to watch my quilts evolve from choosing the pattern to choosing fabrics. Then the fun begins. There is no time saving as you focus and really lose yourself to the process. Savor all the moments it takes to produce your masterpiece; it’s not a quick and easy project we are making, it is a family heirloom!

  2. One of my time-saving tips is when I’m cutting out pieces for a quilt if I only have a small piece left I make squares or strips of the left over fabric to put away for another project. I put the same sized squares or strips into plastic zip lock bags and label them so they are easy to find by size.