SWOON QUILT BLOCKS

ROSE SMITH

Have you ever heard of swoon quilt blocks?  I hadn’t until recently but now I am finding them everywhere I look on the internet.  There are swoon pictures, swoon groups and even swoonalongs.  When I looked into swoons I found that they all began with a quilt pattern by Camille Roskelley.  The really interesting thing is that a swoon quilt block is actually a very old traditional block that has been taken on board by modern quilters.

You have probably seen this quilt block before and you probably know it as a variation of Carpenter’s Wheel or Star of Bethlehem.  The name that I love most is Nancy Cabot’s name for it:  Star of the Magi.

There are quite a lot of half square triangle units and these are made by placing two squares with right sides together, marking a line along the diagonal and sewing a seam ¼” either side of the marked line.  Cutting the line produces two half square triangle units.

You will need sixteen of these in light/white, twelve in dark/white and four in light/dark fabrics.  Make these using the 4.7/8” squares.

The total fabric requirement is:

White fabric: twelve 4.1/2” squares, fourteen 4.7/8” squares

Light fabric:  one 8.1/2” square, twelve 4.7/8” squares

Dark fabric:  twelve 4.1/2” squares, ten 4.7/8” squares.

The swoon quilt block is made medallion fashion, starting with the large square in the middle.  Lay the patchwork squares out as shown to create a star block with dark corners.  Sew two half square units together and sew them to the top of the large square and do the same with the two half square units on the bottom.  Sew together the four squares for each side and then sew them to the sides of the block.

The next round starts to use the dark squares along with the dark/light half square units.  Sew together two 4.1/2” dark squares and two half square triangle units and sew them to the top of the star block.  Do the same for the bottom of the block and sew together the six patchwork squares for each side and sew them to the sides of the block.

The final frame of this quilt block uses the white 4.1/2” squares (three around each corner) and the rest of the half square triangle units.  Check the photo to be sure that you have the triangles facing in the right direction.

It’s a lovely quilt block and can change enormously with differing colour placements, which makes it great fun to experiment with.