Elisabeth Fuchs designed and made this quilt as an assignment
for a City & Guilds course, taking the Sister's Choice block and trying to incorporate as many shadings as possible.
- Use fabric scraps at least 3in square
to add up to the following quantities
- One fat quarter in total of each
- 40cm in total of different cream
and white fabrics for background
- 1m of green fabric for border and
binding (needs to be one piece
- 90cm square of wadding and
- Quilting thread to match flower
colours, cream and green
Note: Use a 1⁄4in seam allowance
32in (81cm) square before quilting
Elisabeth traced the block using a paint program on the
computer and coloured it in several different ways. Being
instinctively drawn to symmetric designs it took her a while
to come up with something different. But when she did she
realised there was a flower hidden in the block! Figure 1 shows the
original Sister’s Choice block and Figure 2 the new variation. The
pieces are exactly the same in each block but the different use
of colour and tone creates the flower effect.
Elisabeth designed and made
this quilt while working on Linda
Kemshall’s online City & Guilds
Patchwork and Quilting course.
To find out more about the course
- Eight 2 1⁄2in squares of background fabric
- Four 2 7⁄8in squares of background fabric
- Two 2 1⁄2in squares of green fabric
- Four 2 7⁄8in squares of green fabric
- Seven 2 1⁄2in squares of red fabrics
- Sew the half square triangles. Lay
each 2 7⁄8in background square on top
of a green 2 7⁄8in square with RS together.
Mark a diagonal line on the background
squares. Using your 1⁄4in foot, sew 1⁄4in on
either side of the marked line. Cut along
the marked line and press the seam
towards the green fabric. You will have
a total of eight half square triangle units.
- Piecing the block. Arrange your pieces
on a piece of wadding to form the block
as shown in Figure 2 (the wadding will stop the
pieces moving). Put the darkest square in
the middle of the flower for the centre.
- Lay each square from the second
column on top of its immediate
neighbour from the first column, RS
together. Sew each pair together without
cutting the thread between pairs. Repeat
with the third and fourth columns. Carry
the chains of pieces to your ironing board
and press all seams. Lay back on the
wadding to form the block again.
- Continue in this fashion until all the
pieces are joined into five rows of five squares each. Sew the first row to the second
one, then add the third one, followed by the
fourth and fifth ones until completed.
- Repeat the same process to create a
pink, a blue and a yellow flower block,
always making sure that your darkest
coloured square is in the middle of the block
to form the flower’s heart. Press the blocks.
Figure 1: The original Sister’s Choice block
Figure 2: Simple changes of tone create the flower block
Quilt top and Borders
- Arrange all four blocks on a design wall
or table. Sew the red and the blue blocks
together and the yellow and the pink ones
together. See Figure 3 for layout; check that
the blocks are rotated correctly. Press
seam allowances in opposite directions
then sew all four blocks together.
- Measure the width of the quilt top.
Divide by two and add 1⁄4in. Cut one
1 1⁄2in strip in pink, blue, red and yellow to
this measurement. Sew together the pink
and yellow strips and add next to the red
and blue flowers. Sew together the blue
and red strips and add next to the yellow
and pink flowers. Press.
- Measure the new length of the pieced
section. Divide by two and add 1⁄4in.
Cut one 1 1⁄2in strip in pink, blue, red and
yellow to this measurement. Sew together
the pink and blue strips. Add next to the
red and yellow flowers. Sew together the
yellow and red strips. Add next to the
blue and pink flowers. Press. Note: If yours is a true scrap quilt you
may have to piece these strips.
- Measure the width of the quilt top and
cut two 5 1⁄2in green strips to match. Add
to the top and the bottom of the quilt. Press.
- Measure the length of the quilt top
including the two strips you have just
added and cut 5 1⁄2in green strips to match.
Add to the left and right side of the quilt.
Press the whole quilt top well.
Figure 3: Quilt top layout
Figure 4: Quilting pattern for the blocks
Quilting and Finishing
Elisabeth has hand quilted her top using
the pattern shown in Figure 4 on the flowers
and a diagonal grid over the rest of the
centre blocks. The border is quilted with
two narrow diagonal lines spaced at 1in
intervals around the border.
- Using two round objects such as a reel
of thread, small glass etc, draw a small
and a larger circle in the middle of the
quilt top, straight lines radiate from these
to the corner of each flower. Continue the
pattern on the flowers as shown in Figure 4.
- Cut a piece of backing and wadding
slightly larger all round than the finished
quilt top. Lay the backing RS down and
place the wadding on top, place the finished
top RS up and pin or tack together to stop
the three layers moving. Quilt along the
marked lines or follow your own design.
- When the quilting is complete, trim
the edges of the quilt square cutting
away any excess backing fabric and
wadding. Measure the top – quilt tops will
differ at this point as it depends how
much the quilting has shrunk the finished
top. Cut strips of green fabric 1 1⁄4in wide
sufficiently long to go around the finished
top with about 9in over.
- Join the strips into one piece and sew
in position on the edge with RS
together and raw edges level. Mitre the
corners if you want or sew two opposite
edges and fold the binding to the back and
then complete the remaining two edges.
Turn the binding to the back, fold the raw
edge under and slip stitch in place. Attach
a hanging sleeve if required.
First published in Popular Patchwork March 2004