From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
The Aunt Kate's Choice quilt block is made from Birds in the Air units and a smidgen of extra piecing.
My favorite technique is to paperpiece this block. With little effort, points just come out so-o-o-o pointy.
Nothing gets cut off.
Simply by stitching on a line.
But if you despise paper piecing, don't worry.
Instructions are also included for traditional patchwork, too.
There's always more than one way to put a block together. The trick is to find out what works best for YOU!
Is Aunt Kate's Choice not ringing a bell? You might also know it as a 'Duck and Ducklings'. (We've got instructions for that block variation here.)
There's lots to do. Let's get started!
Several abbreviations are used in this tutorial:
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. Seam allowances are pressed toward the darker fabric unless otherwise noted.
For exquisitely flat blocks, take a minute to review our favorite pressing technique. It works even with foundation paper attached.
Now that's sweet!
We've got two cutting charts for two different techniques. Choose one or the other.
In both charts the dimensions represent squares unless otherwise written.
To translate from our charts, for a paperpieced 5" block for Patch #1 from Fabric A cut two 1-7/8" x 1-7/8" squares. Then subcut each once on the diagonal.
For the sample Aunt Kate's Choice in this tutorial, our Fabric 'A' is a dark and 'B' is a light.
To print the foundation patterns, click on the size listed in the 'Finished Block' column, i.e. for a 5" finished Aunt Kate's Choice, print 2" Birds in the Air units.
You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.
On the Adobe Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to 100% before printing for accurate results. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.
The patches are cut bigger to make positioning them a breeze! I suggest making a block or two as instructed.
Decide if you need to adjust the patch size to accommodate YOUR preferences.
Note any changes you make for future reference. Store with printed copies of the paper pieced patterns.
Remember to subcut Patches #1-#5.
|Finished Block Size|
|2, 3, 4||B||6||2-3/8”||2-5/8”||2-7/8”||3-3/8”|
|PRINT Birds in the Air unit||2"||2-1/2"||3"||4"**||--|
| Trimmed Birds in the Air unit|
| Unfinished Aunt Kate's Choice|
**You'll need to print two pages for a total of four units
There are no patterns to print for traditional piecing. Just remember to subcut Patches #1-#5 as directed (see far right column).
|Finished Block Size|
|2, 3, 4||B||6||1-7/8”||2-1/8”||2-3/8”||2-7/8”|
|Trim small HST to...||1-1/2”||1-3/4”||2”||2-1/2”||--|
|Trim Birds in the Air unit to...||2-1/2”||3”||3-1/2”||4-1/2”||--|
| Unfinished Aunt Kate's|
Birds in the Air
For detailed instructions, click the link below that corresponds to the type of patches you cut in Step 1 for:
After stitching, trimming and removing the paper, you'll have four units that look like this.
With RST, layer a #6 and a #7 square, stitch with a 1/4" seam. Press towards the dark.
Make four like this.
Lay out your finished units and center square into rows.
Stitch the rows together with a 1/4" seam. Press with the SAs in the direction of the arrows shown below.
At last, your Aunt's Kate Choice quilt block is finished!
Make it easy on yourself and check out our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library. Lots of blocks with illustrated instructions to choose from!
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!