A Couple of Rejected Lotto Block Ideas

Posted by on April 20, 2010 in blocks | 6 comments

If you haven’t yet received email from me asking for your opinion about a block lotto idea, it’s likely that one day, you will. I don’t do this in a complete vacuum, you know 😉

When I was organizing the step-by-step photos for my Summer Tote on Flickr, earlier today, I realized I ought to also publish instructions for a couple of rejected Block Lotto block ideas. I had already made blocks and taken step-by-step photos long ago.  All I needed to do was to blog them–so I did: Free-style Trees and Quartered Star.

One is traditional, the other is more liberated. One was poo-poo’d by reviewers for being too simple; I think *I* decided the quarter star was maybe too complex for a good result for the block lotto–mostly because of the three fabrics in each block, not the partial seam construction.  Of course, I always have more block/color-way ideas than I will ever use anyway and some of them end up falling off the list or being put on a list of potential blocks for next year . . . even when I have already worked out instructions and taken step-by-step construction photos.

We may revisit these patterns as lotto blocks again, but in the meantime, I wanted to go ahead and share the block pattern directions. Both instructions are written for 6 inch (finished size) blocks.

Four Tree Blocks
I thought the simple tree shapes of these Free-style Tree blocks had possibilities. At the time, they would have been an introduction to a liberated quilting approach. Now, they might be an easy-peasy block for us during one of those typically busier months–free-style Christmas trees, anyone?

They are made using the same stack-n-slash, drawing with your rotary cutter technique as a lot of you used for your wonky shoo fly blocks where you begin with 2 squares of fabric and end-up with two identical blocks with opposite fabric placement.

Quartered Star Block (cropped)The Quartered Star quilt block block is another I had planned for the block lotto that didn’t make the list during our year of traditional blocks last year.

According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks, this block was first published with the name Quartered Star, in 1978 in Michael James’ The Quiltmakers Handbook, but I’ve also seen it referred to as the ribbon star.

I still love it, for the friendship star in the center and the woven ribbon effect when the blocks are put together in a straight set.  I think it has all kinds of scrappy possibilities.


  1. I like this one… the friendship star…. What was the reason for rejection on this one? Thanks.

  2. I can't remember exactly. I probably just had more ideas for traditional blocks than there were months in the year. There might have been an issue with fitting the directions into the about.com site format. I think I was a little concerned about a three-fabric block. Probably I just saw another block that I thought would be better. I know I made a bunch of the star blocks just to see how they'd look together.

  3. ok, ok – – – —

  4. I like them both! But I'm more traditional than wonky

  5. I wouldn't reject either of them – for traditional or wonky! so perhaps best you don't ask my advice ever as I'll try anything once (if I've got time).

  6. I think I made a bunch of those stars as well, when you were testing the idea. I still like them. 🙂

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