The Picture Frame
The Picture Frame Block is used
to highlight a special fabric. This block also has some similarities
to the Log
Cabin Block in that it makes use of the contrast of light and
dark on different sides of the block.
This is an easy block to
construct, but will introduce a new ruler and review raw
Can you see the grid on this
block? Once again it is a 4-patch, with each patch further divided
into four sections.
taking up 2 units in the block, and two of them have also been
shaped on one side at a 45 degree angle.
Do you understand why
grids are so
important in quilt blocks? Why is there so much talk about the
Some quilts are made using just
one block, but other quilts use several blocks. Using the same
grid for all the blocks makes it easy for them to fit
The blocks still need to be
made the same size, but the math is a lot easier and usually they
look better together and make good secondary patterns.
In this block the center square
finishes at 4-inches. Once you have that measurement, it is
very easy to calculate what size to make the other units in the
block. Each of the units is going to finish at 2-inches.
Since we are working with
finished sizes on this block, you will add 1/2 inch to each
measurement, or the amount of fabric that you cut.
Let's start with the center
piece. This is "fancy cut". That means that you are
going to take a fabric and choose the exact part of the fabric you
want for the center.
you use a large scale print (usually too big for piecing) or a
In the picture to the left, I
have put a template over the roses that I want in the center of the
Picture Block. The center of the template is open, so I can
take my marking
tool and draw around the inside of the square. This
particular template gives me the option of drawing on the inside of
the template for a 4 1/2 inch raw square, or on the outside,
for a 8 1/2 inch raw square.
This template is called "Get
Squared" . Whether you draw your line on the inside or outside of
the ruler, you can see exactly what you are getting.
After you have your square cut
out (you can use scissors or your rotary cutter), you will want to
Rectangle to opposite sides of the block.
The length will be the same as
the center (4 1/2 inches). You know the units need to finish at
2-inches, so cut your strips 2 1/2 inches wide. Now is a good
time, if you are not already doing it, to speed up your cutting by
putting both fabrics together and cutting them at the same time.
After you cut the
Rectangles, sew them to
the opposite sides of the square.
Now it is time to cut the
Squares the will make the diagonal lines on the rectangles.
Again these will finish at
2-inches, so cut them at 2 1/2 inches.
Pin the Squares as show above.
Notice the diagonal lines which have been drawn on the Squares.
Be sure that you place them as shown. Fold them over
to make sure when you fold back the fabric you will get the correct
(It is always good to double
check your work. It is like the carpenter rule "measure twice, cut
once". No matter how long you've been quilting, you will
piece should now look like this. All that is left to do is the
Be sure and match the Square
point and the point on the Rectangle.
You have a lot of layout
options with this square by taking advantage of the light and dark
side. Contrast and a beautiful print in the center are the
keys to success in this block. You can make it very colorful using
different fabrics in the center, or changing the colors around the
square. Just keep the
Finished Block Size -