From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Skill Level: Beginner
The Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block is another variation in the Jacob's Ladder block family.
Not quite the block you were looking for? Click here to go the other Jacob's Ladder variations and links to those patterns.
Let's make our Broken Sugar Bowl!
Several abbreviations are used on this page:
All SA are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Pressing instructions are highlighted to make them easy to find.
Choose a medium and dark fabric with enough contrast so that the individual pieces are clearly differentiated.
I prefer to cut over-sized patches for my half square triangles, then sew the unit and trim to the correct dimensions.
In this tutorial for the 6" finished sample block, I cut my #2 and #3 patches 3-1/8" x 3-1/8" instead of the 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" listed in the chart below—adding 1/4" to each dimension—for specifically that reason.
If you'd like to cut your HST patches oversized, they are marked with ** below.
Cutting Chart for a~ Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1||Dark||2||2½" x 2½"||3½" x 3½"||4½" x 4½"|
|2*||Medium||2||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅞" x 3⅞"||4⅞" x 4⅞"|
|3*||Background||2||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅞" x 3⅞"||4⅞" x 4⅞"|
|4||Dark||1||1½" x 7”||2” x 9”||2½" x 11”|
|5||Background||1||1½" x 7”||2” x 9”||2½" x 11”|
|6||Background||2||1½" x 1½"||2” x 2"||2½" x 2½"|
|7||Medium||2||1½" x 1½"||2” x 2"||2½" x 2½"|
|Unfinished Block Size||6½"||9½"||12½"|
Half Square Triangles (HST)
We'll use the Quick Pieced Method for making these HSTs.
Draw a diagonal line on the back of both #3 background squares.
Stitch a 1/4" from both sides of this drawn line.
After stitching, give the pairs a quick press as they were sewn and then cut them in half on the drawn line.
Press the four HST open with the SA to the dark.
Find your Finished Block Size in the chart below and trim your HST as directed. If you cut generously you'll be trimming more than if you cut the patches the exactly as listed in the Cutting Chart.
|Trim HST to...|
With RST, sew the #4 and #5 strip together along the long edge.
The SA is pressed to the dark.
Find your Finished Block Size in the chart below.
Verify that your strip set measures true to the corresponding width. Subcut the stripset into four equal units the 'Subcut Width'.
| Stripset Width|
With RST stitch a #6 to a #7 square. Repeat for a total of two.
Press the SA toward the darker fabric.
Arrange the pairs as shown below.
With RST, sew each pair together. The SA can be pressed to one side or 'twirled'.
These are our finished four patches.
Arrange all the units into rows as shown below. The dark #1(large) and #4(small) squares are in the outside corners.
With RST, stitch the units in each row together.
Take a quick peek and flip open the patches right before sewing them. It's real easy to mix them up at the sewing machine.
When you're sure they're in the proper position, stitch.
With RST, stitch the rows together. I pin to keep the points of the HST matching up where they should be.
And this is the finished Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block!
The Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block is one of a number of Jacob's Ladder block variations. There are instructions on this site for many more—both 9-patch and four-patch variations—in several sizes.
Simply click any of the images below to go directly to those block instructions.
For design inspiration, click here to go to our Jacob's Ladder quilt pattern ideas page.
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!
...chosen by our readers.
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