Sunday, October 21, 2012

Batik Charm Squares-- Counterpane Block

Counterpane blocks, all sewn together!
I went a bit overboard this autumn when it came to ordering in charm squares.  We have lots and lots of them, especially in batiks.  but they are so pretty!
I had 4 packs that I took home with me, which I decided to sew into one large quilt top.

  (note! along the way, I discovered that my charm squares were not 5" x 5", but more like 5-1/4" square! so if you get some, you might want to double-check their size!)

A while back, (oh, my goodness, it was almost a year ago!) I tried out a quick sew technique, here,
and I decided to do a bigger project with it.
Basically the idea is to sew all the squares together, and then cut finished blocks from the large gridded piece. 
So, I sewed four sections of blocks, 4 columns by 10 rows.  So although I jumbled up all my charm squares, each pack would yield one 4x10 unit.
 I decided not to sew all the units into one large grid, because it is a bit easier to handle smaller pieces.
Next, I cut off half the block from the left side, and sewed it to the right side.  Then I cut half the top row off and sewed it to the bottom.
 I'm sure you can see where all this is going...

this blocked off area shows where the individual block will appear
 This is the finished block!  I have consulted my reference copy of Barbara Brackman's "Encyclopedia of Pieced Blocks" where it is identified by several names, --A Plain Block(1896), Nine Patch, Sheepfold Quilt (1934), Irish Chain , and Counterpane(1934).  I prefer to call it by the last name.
so then you can cut the section apart to get 10 finished Counterpane blocks! Yay!
 I sewed them together with sashing from a pale apricot color.  I had it on hand, and I liked the look, it seemed to lighten it all up a bit. I cut the sashing at 1-3/4", so it finishes at 1-1/4". 
all 40 blocks with sashing
 Now, if you only used 3 charm packs, you would have 30 blocks, so it would be this size!
30 blocks
 and if you used only 2 charm packs, it would be this big:
20 blocks
 Although it looked fine as a horizontal grid setting, I decided to turn it on point, and so I did, using that very tricky "turn a quilt on it's side" technique.
 I added a bit of an outer border, and this is where I'm at with it now.  I don't think that it really needs an outer border, what do you think?


  1. ohhhh...I love it on point!!
    Thank you so much, Michelle, for all the details and different options!

  2. Very cool technique! I'll have to remember that one.

    And on-point, it looks amazing. Like stained glass!

  3. thanks, isn't it something how things look so different when they are on point? such a different effect,

  4. I think it is lovely and yes, on-point is more interesting and exciting somehow...

  5. Love the on-point technique! I still need someone to hold my hand when I do it though! And the batiks are gorgeous!


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