Simple Shapes = Fabulous Finishes

Do you sometimes have a vision dancing around in your head about a quilt block you want to make, but cannot find a pattern?  Have you ever considered the possibility of creating your own simple pattern?

I do it all the time!

And, I’m a huge fan of simple shapes turning into marvellous “makes”.  So, if this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, I’m happy to share my process with you.  I am going to make a big house block like this one…but the process is the same, no matter what you decide to make.


First things first, gather your pencil, a pencil sharpener, a good eraser, and your quad paper (graph paper) sketchbook.   I have several of these sketchbooks completely full.  This one is about 3/4 full full of great ideas for future projects and quite a few that I’ve already made.


Next, decide how big you want your block to be “finished”. My block will be 15″ x 18″ .   So I will count out and draw a block 15  squares high and 18 squares wide.


Next I separate the blocks into halves, thirds or quarters. You can do this either vertically or horizontally.    I decided to make 3  unequal vertical spaces measuring  9″,  6″ and 3″ wide.

Using simple shapes, like squares/rectangles, HST’s and flying geese units, begin to draw  your block.

CF2AFE1C-D8F4-4608-9049-E732FA6558FE The photo above shows one house section finished and the middle one started.  All I have left to do is add the doors and windows in the 2nd house.  The 3rd section will either be an appliqué tree or a tree made of flying geese units.


Above is my finished block plan.  You might want to colour it now, so you can easily see which colour goes where.  I didn’t do it this time, but would recommend you do it  at least the first few times you make a block this way.    It just makes it easier to see at a glance if you have everything in the right place, before you start sewing.

Next I cut out and piece each section separately.   In the first photo below, I’ve cut out all the pieces for the lower half of the first section, remembering to add .5” to the length and width of every piece.


After cutting them out, I place them where they belong on the block.  Then I stitch them together, using a quarter inch seam.


In this case I sewed the window to the  lower wall, then added the two side walls. Next I attached the door to the left of the window and then the longest piece of the house above the door and window.  The piece on the far left is background and the piece on the far right is a piece of the larger pink house that I’m putting into the second section. The second photo shows the bottom half sewn together. It measures 5.5 x 9.5.  Yay! Yippee! So far so good!


And now now I do exactly the same thing with the roof and sky part of the first section.  Below is a photo of the whole first section once it’s sewn together.  This section now measures 9.5 x 15.5″

53FC72CB-C20E-4862-95D6-4C2C0A701BF9Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.  That’s what happens when I’m rushing to get things finished.

I pieced the remaining house and tree sections using exactly the same process. I didn’t take photos here because its exactly the same process as for the first section.

Below is the finished block again. It measures exactly 15.5″ x 18.5″ inches unfinished.  You might notice its a bit different than my original plan.  That’s because when I was finished building it, I decided the clouds fabric (above the chimney in the first house) looked a bit too light, so I lopped off a piece and added in a more geometric fabric.  And then I decided that I would put the tree on the left side, rather than the right.  My block, my choice.


I hope you can see how easy it is to build truly unique blocks this way.  If you do decide to make some blocks using this process, I’d love to see them.  Tag me on IG at @freckledfoxquiltery or comment with a photo below.

Did you do something creative today?







3 thoughts on “Simple Shapes = Fabulous Finishes

  1. Hi Velda,
    Thanks for sharing your process. I was inspired by your blog on the temperature quilt a few weeks ago, so my blog this coming Sunday will link back to yours when I show the temperature quilt I’m making. Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice tutorial, Velda. I sketch out designs with quad paper and pencil too; it’s very therapeutic to me. I think it also helps train my brain to be able to “dissect” a quilt block or design when I see one, by being able to “see” it in squares, HSTs, etc. if that makes sense. This is a very cute block!


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