Saturday Stitches – An 8″ Connector Block

A favorite block size is 8 inches. However, the chain connector block seems to work better as a 9 patch block and that is not easily divisible as an 8 inch block. I was watching a Lori Holt video (I love her quilts even though I’ve never made one of them) and she was making an 8″ chain connector block. And of course, I set out to make that block with my AccuQuilt dies. These are the measurements for that block.

8 inch finished chain connector block

As always, I have a stack of star blocks that will work perfectly with some chain connector blocks. These are floating stars – all scrappy – made with a custom die that I had made by Custom Shape Pros through the AccuQuilt website.

This is how I made the connectors.

For each block:

Die# to CutSize to cut
2″ strip cutter2 each2″ x 8-1/2″ dark strips
2″ x 8-1/2″ light strips
2-1/2″ strip cutter42-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ light rectangles
2-1/2″ strip cutter12-1/2″ dark square

Sew the light and dark strips together, press to the dark strip, and then subcut with the 2″ strip cutter into pairs to make the corner four patch units.

Sew the light and dark strips together, press to the dark strip, and then subcut with the 2″ strip cutter into pairs to make the corner four patch units. Layer as many as will fit onto 2″ strip die
These are the 8-1/2″ strips that have been cut into subunits for 4-patch corner units
Arrange light/dark subunits to be stitched into 4-patch units
Arrange the four patch units, light rectangles, and dark center square to make a 9 patch block.

And this is the mockup from EQ8 of the connector blocks and the floating stars.

Connector Quilt Blocks – for 6″ and smaller blocks

For those who know the way I like to design quilts, you will know that most often I use a pretty block like a star and use a connector block to frame it. As I was working on a single Irish chain this week which is just a a simple 9 patch block alternated with plain blocks, I thought about the chain connector blocks. And one of the nice things about using a nine patch connector block is that the standard AccuQuilt built block is a 4 x 4 patch block. Thus there are no matching seams between blocks on a quilt like this. You can see in this example.  And so long as the connector block and the pieced block are the same size, it stitches together quickly.

However, mixing 9 patch and 4 x 4 patch blocks is not always easy because the math doesn’t add up. So I have been working on ways to make these blocks using the Qubes and making them fit the Qube sizes which are 4″, 5″, 6″, 8″, 9″, 10″, and 12″.

The 6″ nine patch block above that you see uses a four patch in the corner that has 1″ finished squares and the center is a 2-1/2″ square. The smaller four patch gives the “framing” space needed around the pieced 4 x 4 patch block.