Playing around with the City Streets quilt block yields designs that are anything but pedestrian!
In this article, you'll find 16 unique designs to help you strut your quilting stuff.
To make it a bit easier on your eyes, I remove all the drawing lines from the quilt pattern illustrations—no lines around the patches, no lines around the blocks.
Occasionally, it can be hard to find the actual City Streets block. Simply refer to it here at the top of the page to refresh your memory.
Each pattern is 5 blocks across and 6 down unless otherwise noted. And we do need to change that layout further down the page for reasons that will become obvious.
At the end of these City Streets quilt pattern ideas, you'll find links to several free resources on this website to help you with designing your own pattern with the City Streets block.
In this first example, we piece our City Streets together, edge-to-edge.
It's the unexpected pattern that forms at the corners of this simple type of setting that makes for fascinating patchwork designs.
Unfortunately, with these two ideas, you end up with what looks like a Churn Dash block surrounded by sashing.
Except, there is no sashing. The edges of these little beauties butt up right next to each other.
To be honest, if I actually wanted to make this pattern, I'd piece it from Churn Dash blocks. Easier to piece and no pressing instructions to worry about.
This is a perfect example of why I remove the outlines from the quilt pattern variations.
We see the Churn Dash instantly. Alternative piecing ideas are easier to spot.
In these designs, our City Streets have sashing and cornerstones in either a red sash/white cornerstone or white sash/red cornerstone. These are simply rectangles and squares cut from your fabric.
Easy to cut.
Easy to piece.
The City Streets block pattern appears (yay!), though it's much easier to see with the white sashing of Combo #2.
Add the same sash/cornerstone combinations to our diagonal set.
Isn't it amazing how such simple elements so drastically change a patchwork pattern?
To top it off, It's so much easier to piece a quilt with these unpieced rectangles between the units. No extra seams to match, either.
No pressing instructions to revise.
Adding an alternate square cut from a solid piece of fabric reduces the number of City Streets you need to piece.
These spaces give you a place for some fancy quilting or embroidery—either by machine or by hand—or red work. Or perhaps a place to showcase a larger print.
You as the designer get to decide.
Start first with the solid alternate squares in the outside corners.
Again, the big difference the two sashing/cornerstone combinations make is rather unexpected.
Switch to the pieced City Streets in the outside corners with the same sashing/cornerstones combinations.
Up to this point, it hasn't mattered design-wise if there are even or odd numbers of blocks. The designs are nicely symmetrical.
But that's about to change. :)
Need a clue? Look at the white squares.
Both these designs are intriguing. I'm tempted to make one, specifically the second one.
A good practice in any type of design work is to tweak a couple of more things before settling on the final pattern.
'They' say that success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.
If that's true, after all these variations and tweaks we're about due for that last 10%, don't you think?
The logs finish at 1/2 a grid unit. For a 7" finished City Streets block, that's ½", ¾" for a 10½" and 1" for a 14" finished blocks.
In the next two options, the pieced City Streets are in the corners (left) and framed alternate squares are in the corners (right), no sashings or cornerstones.
With the blocks set edge-to-edge, there'll be some monkeying around with the pressing directions to create seams that nest for easier seam matching. (Not my favorite thing to do...)
In these final renditions, the sashing/cornerstones are back.
Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!
I've got a quilting retreat in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, at Pins and Needles. I think the last City Streets quilt pattern idea is what I'll be working on.
Watch this space for updates. :D