Jack and Six Quilt

Jack and six quilt

Jack and six quilt

I began the Jack and Six quilt  with two different blocks and ended up with a quilt that looked too complicated – with no particular benefit to the design.  I simplified it down so that I was just using two versions of the Jack and Six block (also known as the Tennessee quilt block) and I think that I’ve come up with a much more pleasing quilt.  It measures 46″ square, using sixteen 9″ blocks finished size.  I used 1/2 yard of light blue fabric with 3/4 yard each of dark blue, red and white fabrics.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the Jack and Six quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  sixteen dark blue, twenty eight light blue, four red

3.7/8″ squares:  eight each in light blue and white, forty each in dark blue and white

For the borders you’ll need eight 2.1/2″ red strips cut across the width of fabric and four 1.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric cut across the width

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the Jack and Six quilt

Make half square triangle units with the 3.7/8″ squares.  Place a white square right sides together with either a dark blue or a light blue square and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Basic layout for the jack and six quilt block

Basic layout for the jack and six quilt block

The basic layout for the jack and six quilt block is a simple nine patch block.

There are two light blue and one dark blue square along the diagonal.  In the top left corner there’s a light blue/white half square triangle and all the other spaces are taken with dark blue/white half square triangles.  Note that in the top left corner the half square triangles all have the colour to the top left of the square while in the bottom right corner the half square triangles all have the colour to the bottom right of the square.

Sew the squares together across the rows and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make twelve of this version of the jack and six quilt block.

Alternate layout for the jack and six quilt block

Alternate layout for the jack and six quilt block

For the remaining four blocks I have made a slight alteration, using a red square in the middle rather than a light blue square.  Apart from this, the layout is exactly the same as for the basic block above.

Assembling the jack and six quilt

Rows one and four

Rows one and four

Lay the squares out in four rows of four blocks.

Rows one and four are the same as each other, with four of the basic blocks side by side.

Rows two and three

Rows two and three

Rows two and three are each made with a basic block at each end and two alternate blocks with red squares in the middle.

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

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

For the first quilt border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You’ll need two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the sides.

The second border is made with 1.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 40.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the sides.

For the third border I returned to the 2.1/2″ red strips.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom, with two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the jack and six quilt.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

Birmingham bull at Christmas

Birmingham bull at Christmas

Christmas owls

Christmas owls

Christmas is approaching very quickly and I thought that you might like to see a couple of local Christmas scenes.  The Birmingham Bull has his Christmas outfit on and a lot of the city centre has been taken over by the German Christmas Market.  These owls caught my eye at one of the stalls.  They are made in some sort of basket work type of stuff (technical term that!).



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  1. Dear Rose I do love the technical terms, but don’t use too many — could confuse me!! Ha-ha!! The other day I was wondering what pattern I had that was easy , but would make a good Christmas tree Skirt. Well it wasn’t that Friday but the next one and there was the pattern for a lovely tree Skirt. That would be one from a few weeks ago of a darling quilt with 4-point stars in gold up in each corner and the body of the quilt in a soft blue. I haven’t decided on my colors just yet, may not change them! And still thinking on the best way to make the hole and the gap up the back!

    Your friend and fan from Texas 🙂

  2. Beautiful! Perfect for snuggling down in the cold, dark mornings.

    • thanks, June. At least we’re approaching the shortest day so these mornings should start to get a bit longer next month.

  3. o Rose, this pattern would drive me around the bend, all those seams, that is what my nightmares are made off, hahahahaa

    • Hi Twemyss. There seem to be lots of seams, but that’s why I use relatively large squares to begin with. To me, it doesn’t seem fiddly then – imagine trying to do this pattern with 1″ squares!

  4. As usual Rose, you have come up with another beautiful quilt. You are correct, it does look more complicated even after you have simplified it down but after viewing your video it looks very doable.

    • Thanks, Claire. I always think that you can impress non quilters with quilt patterns that look complicated but haven’t actually been that difficult to make.

  5. Rose, A beautiful pattern. Thank you. Definitely one that can be made bigger.
    The photos of the bull and the owls are so cheerful.
    Thanks for putting them here.
    Have a lovely week-end.
    We are on an orange weather alert.

    • Hi Mary. Hope your weather doesn’t get too bad = there seems to be a lot of extreme weather everywhere at the moment. I love the buildup to Christmas – as you say, everywhere is so cheerful looking.

  6. ELLA WILSON says:

    when I first saw your jacks quilt I thought it was for the profesional quilters but when I realy looked at it closley I could see the diffrance and knew it was for us beginners thanks Rose your the tops I love your quilts and you make things look so easy and this is helpping me now to regain my interst I have been quite ill latley but on the mend again thanks also fo the lovely fabrics I have bought from you they also help I hope you have a real good christmas and enjoy every thing about it regards to all. Ella Wilson

    • Hi Ella. Sorry to hear that you’ve not been well. Quilting’s a great therapy, isn’t it – I always feel better when I’ve been sewing. This quilt pattern is only squares and half square triangles and the block is an easy one to put together. We are so lucky to have such lovely fabrics to work with, aren’t we. Thanks for your Christmas wishes.

  7. Jean Dunne says:

    Love your ‘technical terms’! They are cute owls. Regards, Jean

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