Block of the Month

Traditional Blocks with Variations!

Welcome to the Block of the Month for this year!

This program is FREE for all members, so you can participate as much or as little as you choose!

How it works

Each month directions for a traditional block, as well some variations to those blocks and ways to use the blocks, will be posted here, on the Block of the Month page. We’re hoping that you make one or more blocks each month and share it on our Facebook page so others can see what you are doing. This may also motivate others to participate. The goal is for everyone to have fun and feel connected to others during this unique time of being remote.

Download September BOM instructions – Log Cabin

Download October BOM instructions – Dutchman’s Puzzle

Download November BOM instructions – Turkey Tracks

Download December BOM instructions – Ohio Star

Download January BOM instructions – Bears Claw

Note: No BOM in February

Download March BOM instructions – Churn Dash

Download April BOM instructions – Jacob’s Ladder

Download May BOM instructions – Fifty-Four Forty

About May’s Block of the Month – Fifty-Four Forty

Thank you to Janice Rink for the beautiful sample.

For this month’s traditional block, we picked Fifty-Four Forty a beautiful star block. As usual, I did a little research on the internet, but found its history a bit confusing. The phrase Fifty-four Forty or Fight had to do with the dividing parallel between Oregon and Canada and it was made popular when James Polk was running for President in 1844. Polk won the election but ended up agreeing on the dividing line being the 49th parallel in 1846. However, the block doesn’t show up in a published format until 1933 in the Chicago Tribune by Nancy Cabot. In her article, she suggests that the block was the expression of patriotic American women. The bottom line is that it is a very nice star block, but the star points are a little challenging to make. I hope you give it a try and enjoy the results!

Only one more month to go before this year’s Block of the Month program will be complete. Remember, next September, we are hoping to see how everyone used these different blocks in some manner whether it was just one block in a pillow, table topper or wall hanging or several blocks in something larger. The good part is that you have all summer to finish up your items. Have fun quilting!!

In addition to getting to the end of this year’s program, we are thinking ahead to next year’s BOM program. Look for a survey that will be coming out soon and let us know what you’d like to see in next year’s program.

More information about this year’s BOM

Our goal is to offer you a traditional block each month with cutting and sewing directions for a 12” finished block. We will offer you some variations of the block to try. Sometimes the variations will be in the way the block is cut and sewn. Other variations will be in different ways to use color to make the block look different. Downloadable instructions to for the blocks will be posted on this page (see above).

One difference this year is that no fabric is provided. With our meetings being remote, trying to get fabric to you would be a challenge. Since we all have “a little bit of fabric” in our homes, we suggest that you use some of that or you can go shopping and support a local quilt shop!

The fun part about this Block of the Month activity is that you get to choose how many blocks to make each month – 1, 3, 4, 6, more or 0. It’s totally up to you. Each month, we will show you a few examples of the block so that you can see different options to consider. Some months may also have examples of other ways to use the blocks. Consider using the blocks to make a few items for your house or as a gift for others. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • 1 block can make a pillow
  • 3 or 4 blocks can make a table runner – rectangular
  • 4 blocks can make a square table topper OR a wall hanging
  • 6 blocks can make a baby quilt
  • 9 or more blocks can make a quilt of any size

** A variety of blocks made from each month, could also be made into a Comfort Quilt.

As you sew and create, please share pictures of your blocks and projects to Quilt North’s Facebook page!! Try looking for posts under “Community,” which is under the “More” button to see posts by your quilting friends. Seeing how each person interprets the block differently is always exciting. . .and it may even motivate others to participate and give it a try.

To post to Quilt North’s Facebook page, just go to it and post a picture of your block with a comment. If you are having trouble finding the post option, you may need to change your setting to the “New Facebook look” as opposed to the “Classic Facebook look.” I had to do this, but then I switched my setting back to the Classic as I just prefer that look. If you are still struggling with this, then send your picture and comment to Janis and she will post it for you within a few days.

Janis Rink
Deb Wolfert