Blockstep is a flexible quilt pattern that is great for precut fabric-like layer cakes and jelly rolls or for using up assorted scraps that are at least 2 1/2" wide. The modern quilting design is an interplay of chunky square outlines and splitting them and playing with those sides, or brackets, in rotation.
I first started playing with these simple shapes (or geometric shapes) when I was taking one of my first surface design classes at Otis College of Design. Repeats with rotation were part of the assignment, and I ended up creating this fun design.
Since this design was originally artwork, I printed out this pattern to create some chic wall hangings for my home. The first wall hanging was for my kitchen, which I had done in solid colors. The colors I ended up choosing for the piece were shades of olive green, khaki, and some orange. I then created a red color-way print for the Christmas season to put on the wall. (It even ended up being printed by a company in reds and greens for some Christmas gift wrap).
If you are a quilter and love modern quilt ideas or geometric quilt patterns, then you can thank my mother for this quilt. This is because it was my mother who commented that this would make an interesting quilt. I guess that suggestion hung in the back of my mind and finally came to life about 12 years later.
So, 12 years later, I am happy to finally introduce the Blockstep!
Blockstep is an easy pattern that is great for beginner quilters who are wanting to try their hand at simple geometric quilting. The pattern takes square blocks and splits them and rotates them to create this ''complicated'' geometric design. However, this simple pattern is very easy to follow and takes less time to complete than you might think. Plus, the sewing pattern itself doesn't involve intricate quilting blocks or dramatic curves, which is why it's perfect for beginners or basic quilters.
Now, with that being said, for all the advanced quilters out there, I would still recommend this pattern to you as well! With your sewing skill level being more ''advanced'', you will definitely have a quilt top made in no time at all. However, if you want to make this a bit more of a challenge for yourself, I recommend trying some free motion quilting on top or experimenting with different fabrics and really play with the combinations of light and dark and color arrangement.
This is also a good design to take a more floral print and use it in what can be seen as a more modern arrangement, balanced with solids. I used the floral prints within the blocks and brackets and play with the balance of pattern against solid and am loving the versatility of the framework.
Also, speaking of versatility, this pattern can easily be scaled up and down to create different size quilts, To adjust the size all you would need to do is add additional row of squares, either way, to move up to a queen or king-sized quilt. In my pattern, I included information for wall/lap (which could also work as cozy crib-size), twin, and queen.
As someone who loves modern quilts, I wanted to step outside the box and try some modern techniques that you might not see in a traditional pattern. One of those modern and new techniques (at least for me) was stepping out into the borders with a square or block on each side!
We don't always have to stay in the safe zone and out of the borders! Adding something extra to the borders is a great way to show off your favorite fabrics. For this dark version of the quilt, I used my own fabrics, but you could use layer cakes, jelly rolls, or even charm squares. This quilt is friendly to many sizes of precut fabrics. The fabric requirements in my pattern include yardage and step-by-step instructions to make a 56 1/2'' square lap or wall quilt, a 72 1/2 x 88 1/2" Twin sized quilt or a 88 1/2" square Queen size quilt.
When I had this dark version quilted by the long-arm quilter, Sally Corona of Corona Quiltworks (the white background version was long-arm quilted by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter) she really worked with the geometric structure of the quilt with straight clean lines done in random spacing horizontally. Then Sally took one section of blocks lined up vertically and quilted them with vertical lines in lime green which added high contrast to the other gray threads. I love it!!
Step this way, turn that way, have some fun with Blockstep.
PATTERN UPDATE! This pattern was updated with the release of Carolina Lilies fabric collection to make the cutting with accent colors a little more even. You can find the new and improved BLOCKSTEP at my shop at www.robinpickensinc.com.
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
I am proud to be a designer for Moda Fabrics!
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