The Arrant Red Birds quilt block is another misnomer. Once again I have made it in the traditional colours of blues and white, although I feel that logically it should be made in reds and white. I’ve made it as a 16″ square finished size.
In case you’re wondering, the dictionary defines arrant as either thorough (as in I sometimes talk arrant nonsense!) or as wandering. I guess that it’s the second definition that works for this block name.
Cutting requirements for the arrant red birds quilt block
2.1/2″ squares: eight dark blue
2.7/8″ squares: ten each in light blue and white, eighteen each in dark blue and white
Make half square triangles
Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above. Place a white square right sides together with either a light blue or a dark blue square. Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.
Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units. Press the seam allowances towards the blue fabric and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.
Make the arrant red birds quilt block
I’m showing the central area first to keep things simple. There are four dark blue squares in the middle and a dark blue/white half square triangle in each corner. On each edge of the central square place two light blue/white half square triangle units. Place the light blue triangles with the blue triangles side by side forming a larger triangle pointing towards the middle.
For the next frame place a dark blue square in each corner. Between each pair of corners place two pairs of dark blue/white half square triangles. Place these so that there is a larger white triangle pointing outwards in the middle of each edge. The dark blue triangles on either side of this form a stripe together with the other blue triangles. Together they form the dark blue diamond shaped frame.
Now add the last frame, giving you the full layout for the arrant red birds quilt block. In the middle of each edge place two dark blue/white half square triangles, forming a larger dark blue triangle pointing away from the middle.
Across each edge there are two sets of four half square triangles. They alternate dark blue and light blue and are placed so that the blue triangles on either side of the central pair face the same way as each other.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the arrant red birds quilt block.
Do check the photo carefully before you sew everything together. I managed to mis place one pair of triangles and it took me ages to unpick and re sew the seam.
Quilt design ideas
For quilt ideas I have shown a basic quilt with sixteen blocks sewn together in four rows of four.
Then to introduce some variety I tried swapping the light blue and dark blue for an alternate block.
I rather like this version – it’s far more interesting to look at.
Here’s the video:
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