I know that it’s not quite bluebell time yet, but I thought that this block would make another cheerful springtime floral quilt pattern. I have made four bluebell quilt blocks, using two shades of blue with a white background. The quilt measures 44″ square and I have used 1 yard of white fabric, 3/4 yard each of light blue and dark blue, 1/2 yard of brown fabric. I have also used 2.1/2 yards of drawstring ribbon to make flowers for the corners and middle of the quilt.
2.1/2″ squares: eighty white, sixty four dark blue, sixty four light blue
2.7/8″ squares: twenty four each of light blue and white, twenty four each of dark blue and white, eight each of dark blue and light blue
4.1/2″ squares: twenty brown
2.1/2″ strips: four in white fabric cut across the width of fabric for the border
ribbon: nine 10″ lengths
Making the bluebell quilt block
Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above. Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. As you will be cutting along the line it doesn’t matter what you use to draw the lines – it doesn’t have to be a fabric marker. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units. These are now 2.1/2″ squares. Press the seam towards the darker fabric and trim the corners where the triangle tips stick out.
Lay the squares out in what would be ten rows of ten if they were all the same size. Just for interest, this is actually classified as a five patch block! It’s attributed to Nancy Cabot, one of the quilting columnists in the 1930’s. Basically you have four individual bluebell trumpets, two dark blue and two light blue. These are placed so that the two dark blues are opposite each other and so are the two light blues.
It might help to see the block built up from the outer edge. There are five white squares in each corner – one in the corner with two on either side of it – with a brown 4.1/2″ square just inside each corner. Along the middle of each edge of the block there are two half square triangles and two plain squares, making one edge of each bluebell trumpet. The middle of each bluebell is made with four blue/white half square triangles placed so that the white forms a diamond in the middle. Then in the middle there’s another brown square with two blue squares along each edge and a light blue/dark blue half square triangle on each corner where the two different coloured bluebells meet.
Sew the squares together across the rows. For rows one, four, seven and ten this is quite straightforward, but the rows inbetween need a little more care. For rows two and three, sew the two white squares on the ends to the white squares underneath them and sew the four squares in the middle to each other. This makes them the same size as the brown squares so that they can now be sewn together across the row.
The same technique is used for rows five and six together and also for rows eight and nine together.
When all the rows are complete, sew them to each other to complete the bluebell quilt block. Make four of these, sew them together in two pairs and then sew the pairs together. You could have all four blocks facing the same way in which case you would have all the dark blue bluebells along the horizontal lines and all the light blue bluebells along the vertical lines. I chose to rotate alternate blocks to give the quilt a more random design, so that the left hand quilt block has the dark blue sections running horizontally while the right hand block has the dark blue running vertically.
I have used 2.1/2″ strips of white for the border. You’ll need two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the sides. The bluebell quilt top is now ready for layering, quilting and binding but I thought that I would show you the drawstring ribbon flowers that I intend to use to embellish the quilt after I have quilted it.
Drawstring ribbon flowers
You are probably quite familiar with drawstring ribbon, but I have only just discovered it and I am thrilled to bits. You can make flowers in seconds with it! Basically there is a drawstring built into one edge of the ribbon and when you pull this you can gather the ribbon along the string.
Tie the drawstring firmly and your ribbon flower is made. How simple is that!
I have left the ends of the drawstring hanging in the photo at the top of the page. I thought that they might look like stems but in fact they just look messy so I will trim the ends close to the knot before I sew them to the quilt. I have used 10″ lengths of ribbon and have made nine of the flowers. You can find this drawstring ribbon and other colours here.
Here’s the video: