Patchwork Building Blocks

Sometimes, well often if I’m honest, having a 2 year old and 11 year old playing together doesn’t work. Today they were using the building blocks. Once we had convinced the toddler to build with them rather than throwing them at his brother, it was still difficult.

The 11 year old wanted to build an architectural master-piece and the toddler was pleased if he managed to build a two-block tower. The thing is… as far apart as their achievements were, they both succeeded in relation to their skills and experience.

Patchwork blocks are a little similar in that respect. If you are completely new to the hobby, then squares and rectangles will be challenge enough – getting them lined up straight, sewing the correct seam allowance, checking the sizes, ironing often and working out how to re-thread the sewing machine. That really is enough to focus on without any further complication.

fourAs you progress in skills you might start experimenting with four-patch blocks. Where you make a square out of four smaller square pieces, which may themselves be made up from even smaller pieces. See how quickly it all gets complicated???

Later you discover the terminology of half-square-triangles, snowballs and nine patches, or disappearing nine-patches…. the list goes on and on.

My advice to you as a novice – stick with your basic shapes until the craft is a little more natural to you. And invest in a simple course aimed at your level of experience. Find someone you like the look of and trust and go for it. 

If you are a little more experienced and want to shake things up a bit then gradually introduce some more trickier elements. Perhaps a four-patch or a snowball corner.

susannah-01The Susannah Patchwork Block is a really nice one to sew. It consists of a four patch made from a rectangle, two squares and a snowballed (triangle) corner. It is also a block which can have hundreds of different effects depending on the colours you choose for each element (piece) and how you match them together.

I have a short video tutorial for this block which shows you the process. Click the orange text below to go to the video. 

Click here to view Susannah Block Video.

So, whatever you are building, enjoy the fun of sewing it and don’t worry if everyone else seems to be doing things faster and more complicated. Just like my toddler, we all have to start somewhere.

Bye for now






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