QuiltCon Block Challenge: Block Arrangement

This is part of a series of posts about the QuiltCon Block Challenge.  You can see more photos of blocks submitted for this challenge here, and in the Block Challenge Flickr Group.  

This is the block arrangement that I’ve planned for the quilt top, which will be about 62″ x 82″.

Given the size and number of the blocks, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to add much negative space without making the quilt way too big. I decided to concentrate on the 12-1/2″ dimension that was common to all of the blocks and arrange them in 6 rows that would each finish at 12″ high.

Since the other dimension of each block varies, there are different numbers of blocks among the rows and they aren’t arranged in a regular grid.

With such a variety of blocks, and such a large footprint, it can be tricky to use a design wall to plan the layout. Here’s a little trick that I used instead.

I started by putting all of the blocks up on the wall, without regard for how they would look in the finished quilt. Then, I took a photo, scaled it to fit on a piece of printer paper and printed it out.

Next, I cut out each block, which made it possible for me to just move them around on my work table until I found an arrangement that I liked.

(This is also a good strategy if you want to see what your blocks would look like amid different colors of negative space fabric.)

Here it is! I’m so happy with the finished arrangement. Come back tomorrow to see how I finished the top.


As a way of giving something back to QuiltCon’s host city of Austin, Texas, we’re going to use the blocks that aren’t selected for this quilt to make quilts for each of the 46 beds at the Austin Children’s Shelter. This will be MQG’s first large-scale charity project and we look forward to both using the many beautiful blocks we received for the challenge and getting as many guilds as possible involved in the process! Participating guilds will receive a package of 7 or more blocks (much like the groups of blocks being shown in these blog posts) to expand into a 68″ X 88″ Twin bed quilt. This can be accomplished by adding blocks, adding negative space, or some combination of the two. The quilts will need to be machine quilted, bound, washed, and shipped to Austin in advance of QuiltCon. MQG will also be interested in hearing about each guild’s process and will feature the completed quilts in a series of blog posts in Spring 2013.

If your guild is interested in this project, please e-mail info@quiltcon.com to let us know.

17 thoughts on “QuiltCon Block Challenge: Block Arrangement

  1. It has been so much FUN seeing all of these blocks and the way you’ve organized them. The final selections for the quilt certainly combine to make one very sharp quilt!!!!

  2. The blocks are great and the arrangement highlights them well. Thanks for the tip about taking a picture of the blocks, cutting it up and then playing with the blocks. Very clever!

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