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The Picture Frame Quilting Block

a picture frame quilt block variation

Above is another picture frame quilt block. A picture frame quilt block is nothing but a quilt block with a big center square with space enough to fancy cut the center and showcase the center fabric.

As you can see from the picture above, I have chosen not to put a novelty or fancy cut print in the center.  It is obvious these types of blocks can be used this way. What is not so obvious is how these blocks can be made to look nice in a quilt all by themselves.

grids of a variation of a picture frame blockFirst of all, here are the grids to make this block. This is a 4 patch, which as been further divided into 36 grids.

As you can see, it is all squares or rectangles, with the exception of the corners, which are half square triangles.

Using Simple Measurements to finish at 2 inches, the center block will be cut at 8 1/2 inches raw. The half square triangles on the corners will finish at 2 inches. Cut a rectangle for the 4 small squares on the sides  8 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches raw.

Here is the thing to learn from a block like this. You cannot put them side-by-side. You can see what happens below. Unless you make it scrappy, the sides are the same, and there is no contrast.

a picture frame quilt block variation a picture frame quilt block variation

Now look at the layout below. If you add sashing, this block makes a beautiful quilt all by itself. Notice the secondary pattern the corners of the quilt squares make with the sashing.

The plaid in the border adds interest and personality to the quilt. The corners are also fancy cut for more interest. Notice the black in the half square triangles and in the sashing squares. Do not be afraid of black. It adds a lot of punch to a quilt, even in small amounts.

Also, when you cut a large plaid, you may want to cut the same part of the plaid to run down each side and across the quilt. Some people are very meticulous about this, while others just prefer a more whimsical look and don't worry about it.

The fabric is doing a lot of work in this layout to make the quilt interesting and give it personality. Have some fun with this block, whether you use it by itself, or fill those frames with cute little prints or fancy cut fabrics.

layout potential of the picture frame variation block

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