Barn Dance Quilt

Barn dance quilt

Barn dance quilt

I was going to call this quilt pattern Square Dance but then I realised that I already have a quilt called that, so it is now officially the barn dance quilt – even though the quilt blocks are floral!  I just felt that the blocks reminded me of people whirling around in a dance.  The quilt measures 54″ square and I have used 1.1/2 yards of cream fabric, 3/4 yard each of yellow and pink fabric and 1/2 yard each of blue and green fabric.  Given the colours that I have used, I think I can see this as a beach or picnic quilt.

Quilt block one

Quilt block one

Cutting requirements for quilt block one

2.7/8″ squares:  thirty two each in yellow and cream

4.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in cream and pink

2.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles:  thirty two cream

Quilt block two

Quilt block two

Cutting requirements for quilt block two

4.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in yellow and cream, eight each in pink and green

4.1/2″ squares:  eight cream, eight pink

2.1/2″ squares:  sixteen green

2.7/8″ squares:  eight each in green and cream

You will also need five 3.1/2″ strips of blue fabric for the border

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

For both blocks, make half square triangles with all the 2.7/8″ and 4.7/8″ squares.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles.  Press the seam allowances towards the dark fabric and trim the corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Layout for quilt block one

Layout for quilt block one

Sew the squares in pairs

Sew the squares in pairs

Make quilt block one

This is the one that made me think of four people whirling around in a dance.

Lay the patchwork squares out as shown in the photo.  This is classified as a five patch block but the differing sizes of the patches mean that it is not quite as straightforward as five rows of five.  Sew the yellow half square triangles together in pairs – two of them with the squares side by side and two of them with the square beneath them.  Sew the two large pink half square triangles in pairs.

Complete the two halves of the quilt block

Complete the two halves of the quilt block

Now you can sew the squares together across the rows.  The simplest way is to make up the two halves of the quilt block and then sew the two halves together, so you need to sew rows one and two to each other first and then add the rectangle.

You will need eight of these blocks.

Quilt block two layout

Quilt block two layout

Make quilt block two

Lay the patchwork squares out in three rows of three.  The pieces in this quilt block are almost all the same size so this one is more straightforward to sew together.

I forgot to take a photo of the green four patch unit in the bottom right corner of the block, but it is made with two 2.1/2″ green squares and two green/cream half square triangles.  You need to sew these together first.  Then the rest of the block can be made by simply sewing the squares together across each row and then sewing the rows to each other.  You will also need eight of these blocks.

Rows one and two of the quilt

Rows one and two of the quilt

Assembling the barn dance quilt

The main feature of this quilt is the green diamond formed in the middle of the quilt, so that’s the easiest way to describe the layout of the blocks.  The blocks are laid out in four rows of four.  Row one is made with quilt block one at each end and two of quilt block two in the middle.  Rotate the central blocks so that the two green triangles form a larger green triangle as shown.

Row two has two of quilt block one in the middle with a quilt block two at each end.  Place the end blocks so that the green triangles continue the diamond shape, extending the green to the edges of the quilt.

Final two rows of the quilt

Final two rows of the quilt

Row three has two of quilt block one in the middle again and one quilt block two at each end.  These are rotated so that the green triangles point down from each edge towards the middle.

Row four is the same as row one but with the green triangles coming to a point at the bottom of the quilt.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Barn dance quilt border

Barn dance quilt border

Barn dance quilt border

Obviously I couldn’t stop myself adding some blue to this quilt pattern, so I have used 3.1/2″ blue strips for the border.  You will need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the barn dance quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found towards the bottom of the beginner quilting page.

Here’s the video:

Long arm quilting machine

Long arm quilting machine

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I bought a longarm quilting machine recently.  It arrived in lots of boxes and I foolishly believed the instructions that said it would take two to four hours to put it all together.

Eventually, I had to call in a friend to help me put it all together.  Then I felt slightly intimidated by this huge thing dominating the room. It was suggested to me (thank you, Carole) that the machine and I would become better acquainted if I named it – so it’s over to you:  can you help me by suggesting a name for my longarm.  I would love to see your suggestions – just leave your ideas in the comments section below and I’ll let you know next week which one I have chosen.

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About Rose


  1. Virginia says:


    • Thanks, Virginia. After many wonderful suggestions I have decided to call her Minnie (tongue in cheek as she is enormous!).

  2. Curly, or stitch

  3. Love your patterns!! Look forward to all your emails. How about Lilly Mae for a name?? I’ve had a long arm for a number of years and am still learning new things. It is such a joy to be able to finish the quilts in a short time. Enjoy the journey of long arm quilting!!

    • Lovely name. Thanks, Diane. I’m really looking forward to getting to that stage with my longarm.

  4. Roxanna says:

    Quiggly………for quilting and swiggles…it covers all kinds of designs!

  5. Colette says:

    Hi am new to quilting and still trying to find time to do some of your designs, who knows might have to retire to get started. I thought a good name might be Pat or Patty or Patsie as that’s what the machine is for to enhance the pattern. (and save your back)

  6. Hello Rose,
    I just looked at all the wonderful names that people have suggested. So many good ones to choose from. A friend of mine had named her camper van Maude, which actually suited the ‘personality’ the van seemed to have. When I read your post and saw the photo I immediately thought ‘Betsy’ . If you have a book on name meanings it might help you pick the one you want out of all the names offered. For example my name means ‘little Jane’ and Jane means ‘God’s gift’. I am 5′ high and my mother called me her gift.
    Many Blessings to you,

  7. If assembling it was really such a nightmare then he sounds like a Cedric to me!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Beulah

  9. Katherine says:

    I would love to have a long arm even though I’ve never used one. Anyways, I think you should name is Henry or George. Mechanical things are male around my house lol.
    Anyways congrads and enjoy

  10. Mary Ellen says:

    Hi Rose……. If that machine was mine, I would name it ‘Niva’, after the Old Order Amish woman who taught me to quilt by hand way back in 1973. I haven’t seen Niva in almost 20 years, but I always think of her when I start a new project!

  11. I suggest “Girlie”. Depending on the tone of your voice you can talk to your machine with affection and admiration or with a little bit of or a whole lot of admonishment.

    • Thanks, Marcia. I’m glad no one will be able to hear me chattering away to my longarm. They would think that I’ve lost the plot completely.

  12. quiltmebaby says:

    How about naming your new machine Genie (or Jeannie) because the results will be like a magic spell.

  13. Hi Rose,Only one name for your new toy and that`s Daisy – as in “a bicycle made for two” as soon as I saw it made me think of a bicycle
    So you could say I`m just going to on Daisy for a bit !!!

  14. I would like to suggest Jesse. Short and it could be male or female ; )

  15. Frances Wiles says:

    I would call your beautiful machine Sunshine as it would add a ray of sunshine when you do the finishing touches to your beautiful quilts

  16. Bonnie L says:

    I’ve had one for about 5 years now. It is still a task-master and I bend to
    its beastly will but wouldn’t trade it for anything. I too was surprised about
    the regular bobbin size and have learned that 2 bobbins will do a baby quilt
    and 3-4 a queen size if I don’t get too fancy. So far as a name….since it is
    in your daughter’s bedroom you might name it after her. When she comes
    to visit they will be “really close” like twins. Bonnie

  17. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    I would call it Rosie the Riveter, or Riveter for short, or Rivet. I think it would make it feel less intimidating to call it Rivet. Although Mary’s Eros sounds good too.

    • Thanks, Cindy. There are so many wonderful suggestions that I’m going to have a tough time choosing.

  18. Shelley says:

    How about the name: Arm & Hammer? It is a pretty big Long Armed quilter!
    Of course in the US this name would be appropriate considering its size: “The Law” as in the long arm of the Law. LOL!
    I could really get into naming your new quilting machine!

  19. Hi Rose, congratulations on your new machine. I wish you lots of luck with it and many hours of fun
    Maybe you should call it: Thelma or Thelma Lou
    Happy Sewing

  20. I enjoy all of your quilts. I am extremely jealous, even though I am a new quilter, I have been dreaming about long arms since I learned they existed.
    I like the name hashtag #Wallyjoe.

  21. You have to go with Little Rosie. It reminds me of how you might have felt being a little girl and just learning how to sew. It’s almost like you talking to your little self and encouraging yourself by saying “Little Rosie, we can do this! It’ll be just like the good old days!” 🙂

  22. Rosie” What a delight to read over 100 people naming your machine?
    I bet you are excited to get started quilting, I know I would be. It won’t
    take you long to get the hang of it with all the knowledge that you have.
    You give the name that it deserves. We will be waiting to hear from you.
    Love all your quilts!

  23. Ngaire Clarke says:

    How about Ludlow. Good name for such a big boy. Love the barn dance quit so beautiful.

  24. call the long arm HANDY as it will be much more handier than a standard sewing machine.

  25. Sandra Barnett says:

    Love the quilt and the colors very summery.
    Don’t know about the name. I usually don’t name my machines, but I’ ve read some good ones. You will have a tough decision to make. Have looked at the long arms but first I need to learn on a short arm.
    Good luck hope you have fun. Have a good productive weekend. Too bad about your daughters room. I’m sure when she visits she can squeeze in somewhere

    • Thanks, Sandra. I told her last night and we had a good giggle at the thought of her crawling underneath it every time she wants to get to her bed!

  26. Hi Rose,
    Lovely, lovely quilt. Wish I could make them as fast as you do. The name that came to mind when I saw the big machine was “Jumbo.” Have fun and enjoy.

  27. Jean Ransome says:

    Hi Rose, Another lovely summer quilt you have done this week, I love it.
    I would call your Long Arm Quilting Machine ” My Sweet Rosie ” I hope you will be able to get it up and running very soon. But I think you will need plenty of time to study the instructions etc., Good Luck with it.
    Jean xx

    • Thanks, Jean. I’ve been switching between the dvd and the book instructions – will take the plunge today.

  28. Theresa Akin says:

    I would suggest “Bobby” short for Bobbin or “Patches” for all the patches and piecing you will be doing on the machine!

  29. Holly Stander says:

    How about “My Precious.” You could woo her each morning to get her to behave.

    I saw War Horse in Denver, Colorado. I also cried. There were parts of it that were very painful to watch. I couldn’t believe that was originally from a children’s story. But weren’t those horses magnificent?

    • Thanks, Holly. I like the idea of wooing her. Warhorse was amazing – so moving even though it was so obvious that the horses were puppets.

  30. As big as it is I was thinking “Big Bertha” sorta fitting lol But what ever you name her am sure you will enjoy using her on your beautiful quilts! 🙂

  31. Cecilia Alcantar says:

    Have you any one thing you’ve learned about your quilting frame that stands out. I tried to picture the effort that it took to assemble it and several ideas came to me. Names like, “miles”,(for the miles it will travel as it is used). Also the name “shadow” (because it mimic’s whatever stitch design you program).
    Another fun name could be less intimidating like, “buttercup” (because once you get going, it’s like spreading soft butter on bread). Enjoy it and thanks !!
    Cecilia Alcantar

  32. Val Burdett says:

    Miss Sophie Sew comes to mind, a name to use firmly or best buddy

  33. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Rose What about calling your machine Bertha as in ‘Battling Bertha’ usually works for me. Elizabeth

  34. Lovely pattern! Call it Eros after the Greek god of love.
    He is bound to make you fall in love with him.
    Also. it’s an anagram of your name.
    Enjoy getting to know your machine.

  35. Love the pretty quilt. As for a name for the beast that is your new machine – how about El Toro? You may just have to be the matador and show it who’s boss!!!

  36. Pauline says:

    Hi Rose what about Beauty then if you go wrong you can call it the beast x

  37. I think you should call this beauty Sally, long tall Sally. sorry if this has been suggested before,, there were soooo many to read through, I just scrolled to the bottom. Again another lovely quilt, think I would perhaps just like the windmill square. Best regards, Ange

    • Thanks, Ange. You’re right – there have been some wonderful suggestions. Long, tall Sally sounds good.

  38. I think you should name it Iris. The flower is beautiful and complex

  39. Pauline Britten says:

    I think ‘ Bobbin-Along ‘ has a really nice ring to it…

  40. Debbie walker says:

    Love the quilt Rose the colours are beautiful . How about calling it Quilly . ? X

  41. Hi Rose, II don’t know how you do it, a different quilt every week. I think it should be an F word – FINISHED so what about Flo? Gwen

  42. carole yoxall says:

    Hi Rose,another beautiful quilt design,and I love the pretty butterfly material.What great names to choose from,have fun ,enjoy,xx

  43. Jody Farmer says:

    I think the name “BOBBIN”…only because if you don’t have a full one when your sewing…you are in big trouble – hope that put a smile on your face today. Thanks for all your tutorials, I appreciate them all and have learned sooo much! Jody Farmer

    • Thanks, Jody. Yes, definitely a smile. Do you know that was one thing that surprised me – the bobbin is only normal size. Somehow I had expected a bigger bobbin so that you could keep going for longer.

  44. It must be a dream come true to own a long arm Rose! What about Quilt Buddy or even Big Buddy – after all it’s going to help you finish off all your beautiful quilts in no time at all. Enjoy!

    • Thanks, Ingrid. Great suggestions. Certainly is a dream come true – I’ve wanted one of these for a very long time.

  45. Margaret says:

    Beautiful quilt Rose. You could call your machine Patch as quilts are made up of many fabrics.

  46. My husband suggests “Tiny” or “Titch”.

    • Thank him for me, Carol. I’m sure my daughter will agree when she next comes to stay and can’t get to her bed!

  47. Hi Rose,
    My suggestion for your longarm is ‘Houston’, then if you get in trouble you can say …like in the movies. HOUSTON, we have a problem, just a little humour. All the names are marvelouse. Good luck choosing.

  48. Dear Rose,
    Oh boy how wonderful I am sure you will be in charge of it before long, I feel the name I would give it is my best friend Rosie lee, enjoy.

  49. Anne Conway says:

    Hi Barn Dance quilt and your long arm quilter I would call it “Cormac” a strong Irish name for a strong machine at least if you had a bad day it would be easier to give out to a man. Have a good week-end.
    Best Wishes


  50. Olive Procyshyn says:

    Rose love the Square Dance quilt. Thank you .
    Enjoy the new toy and call her Daisy Mae.
    Hope you have years of fun

  51. Barbara Harrison says:

    How about Quiditch? As in Harry Potter and Quilting in the Ditch!

  52. Mr Tickle, because he’s got long arms!

  53. Georgia says:

    Hello Rose, I would like you to name your long arm “ICHT” This stands for ” I CAN HANDLE THIS”. Love your web site!

  54. pat volk says:

    Dear Rose,
    Lovely quilt pattern and I love the colors. I think you should call the new quilting machine Gerta. You will eventually come to love and depend on her just like a war horse in battle. Gerta is a good name for a war horse.

  55. Hi Rose, Thanks for the great quilting tutorials and how about calling your new machine PANDORA as you didn’t really know what was coming out of the box.

  56. Dear Rose,
    I have a Longarm and her name is gailiegirl.
    Roses are red violets are blue, so call her VIOLET
    Many thanks for you pattern I think the young girls will love this quilt.

  57. Kathleen says:

    Wow. That machine is a monster for sure. Upon first reflection I laughed and thought a name could be “My Way” or the highway. But, I dedicate the name Myrtle in honor of my late grandmother who quilted and passed from ALS. A very sweet woman

    • Thanks, Kathleen. Much bigger than I realised. I still haven’t told my daughter that it’s in her bedroom. Myrtle’s a lovely name.

  58. How about Beatrice- Bea for short! Bea- cause you like to quilt, Bea- cause you are creative. Just Bea-cause , Beas (ok soo Bee’s) are happy little critters with their flight pattern make an awesome FM quilt design.

  59. Hi Rose your machine should be called Violet, Rose and Violet go good together.

  60. workhorse

  61. Lori M. says:

    Hello Rosie, the quilt is so cute. And I just picked up some old baby curtains with butterfiles on it, yellow, blue and pink. I will make this for my granddaughter to use this summer when her friends are over and they want to sit outside on the lawn…. And that is one big longarm and you needed help to put together, so how about calling him, “Big Boy”, that would be what I would have said when the boxes came, “that is one Big Boy”…..

  62. Margot K says:

    Sally: its sounds like a breezy name full of sunshine and fun…you need those positive thoughts to keep a positive outlook on learning how to use the wonderful addition to you life.

  63. Rose… you have done very good job.really its very good design.. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  64. Annemarie Krieg says:

    Since it is such a huge machine, why not name her Maxi. That would be
    quite suitable.

  65. Monika Wong says:

    Every time I walk into my sewing room I say to my machine: Hello Beautiful Lady lets make music together.

  66. katytweety says:

    I would call it “tall girl”

  67. evevanna says:

    Beauty since you’ll have a beautiful quilt when your done.

  68. Marion Ward says:

    Hi. Just had to text . Great site and my suggestion for a name your machine is Laura the long armed machine! Good luck with getting to grips with it.

  69. I would name it after a bull-the handles are like horns that you use to move the machine around by. I thought about Bessy but cows don’t have horns on the family farm so Burt.

    • Thanks, Sue. Great idea. Some cows have horns – I think that Highland Cattle have horns – but it’s a lovely idea.

  70. Carol Gerstacker says:

    Of course your longarm must be named after a lovely flower as you are. ie lily, daisy, iris. I personally vote for Lily longarm!

  71. Linda Baima says:

    Name for your machine: Big Bertha

  72. Hi Rose,
    Well you are very fortunate to have one of these machines, lucky you.When I first saw the picture the names that came to mind were Spyder and Roboquilt.
    Am sure the ladies worldwide will come up with far more imaginative names than me.I will look forward to seeing their suggestions too.
    Bet you can’t wait to get playing on it.
    Have a good weekend

    • Thanks, Trish. I still can’t quite believe that I have one – it’s something that I have thought about for years. I got a small lump sum payment out of my pension pot and decided that I would put it to something that hopefully will give me years of pleasure. Thanks for the names – great ideas.

      • Gail Thompson says:

        I don’t have a name that’s printable for your longarm Rose. I’ve had mine for about a year and we’re not friends at all. You will need to practice! They told me it takes about 100 hours to be good on one. I am not!
        I have to say too that I love your quilts and your way of teaching them. You make it look so easy and when I try it, it IS!! Thank you Rose for all your work for us all. (Name it Butthead). LOL

        • Thanks, Gail. I guess I’d better start my 100 hours soon. I loaded up the cloth leaders last night so today I will be able to load my first quilt on it. Thanks for the comments and suggestion.

  73. Val Henry says:

    How about
    QUID (Quilt Until I Drop) or (Quilt Until I’m Done)

  74. Elizabeth says:

    Good old “BESS”. Do you have a kitty? if not now maybe in the past. Kitty’s like to meander up and down and in and out and over and under. Maybe “KITTY” or the kitty’s name. I have never named a machine. When something goes wrong I usually just say “oh darn it, come on” lol.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. Yes, I have had cats and they definitely got into everything. My favourite image of machines breaking down was in a programme called Fawlty Towers when Basil beat his car with part of a tree to punish it for breaking down.

  75. Kathleen says:

    Well, since your name is Rose, I think your longarm should be Violet!

  76. I think you should call her Wanda

  77. Rose,
    How about calling your long arm quilter “ROSIE” I think that would fit her beautifully. She would do a great job quilting just like you do.
    Thanks, Carol

  78. Just found my next project. Very pretty.

  79. Hi Rose, I find that by calling anything that puts the wind up me “Eric” it seems to deflate the problem straight away. Good luck with your new toy!!
    Kind regards, Judy. Australia

  80. Gail Smith says:

    Love your quilt ideas. The Barn Dance has beautiful colors in it. Can’t wait to hit the fabric store soon. Name for your machine? The dominator, sew beautifully (eventually, lol), Rose’s baby, sew I win. Just a few off the top of my head.
    Have a great weekend Rose. Just love your quilting emails.

  81. I would call your new machine LUCY——-It is a pet name I use a lot and it will make you feel in charge. Good luck

    • Thanks, Bea. That’s where I’d like to be – in charge rather than tip toeing nervously around it!

  82. How about Lettie, as in Lettie Longarm…. 🙂

    Thanks for the news letters, a bright spark to the week…

  83. Christine says:

    I think you should call your new long arm quilter SQUARE BASHER
    Squares that make quilts square quilts etc and although you don’t usually associate men with quilting it does look quite manly

    • Thanks, Christine. I must try not to bash it when I get annoyed! You’d be surprised how many male quilters I have on my email list.

  84. Jen cowan says:

    Hello Rose

    Another lovely quilt there.

    My suggestion for your new machine would be Miss Lydia Ludlow, known as Liddy to her friends!

    Best wishes


    • Thanks, Jen. There’s an idea – one name for when things are going well and another for when they’re not.

  85. Cheryl Haynes says:

    How about “Rose Pedal” for your new long arm machine.

    Love your emails.

    • Thanks, Cheryl. Lovely image.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Hello Rose what a beautiful design you have done, and yes you can see quite clearly like four couples dancing in a circle. That is a lovely one and great name yo uhave chosen there could not have been anything else. thank you Elizabeth

  86. Ed Hunley says:

    I would name the longarm frame ‘FLUFFY.” Who could possibly be intimidated by anything called fluffy? LOL.

  87. rosetta

    • Thanks, Rita. Lovely name.

    • nudquilt says:

      I would name the quilt Elizabeth to celebrate your graceful queen.

    • Germaine says:

      Hi Rose,

      Another beautiful quilt! I hope I live to 500 as I will need that many years to finish all the patterns I would like to make. You could call your machine Little Rosie. My mom name was Rose Smith and she loved and was passionate about quilting. My dad always called her Little Rosie. That name would let her know that you are in charge.

      • Thanks, Germaine. How neat that your mother and I shared a name – and that she was also a quilter. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Maj-Brit says:

      Hello Rose

      I thought a good name would be; ‘my helping hand’.

    • Pat schmidt says:

      I want to thank you for all the patterns you have sent me. I now have got my daughter-law in to quilting and have told her to go on you site and that she will learn a lot from you.
      Yours Pat.

      • Hi Pat. Thank you so much – it must be lovely to have someone to quilt with. Thanks for spreading the word.