Bright Stacks for Bright Quilts in January

Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I’m calling this variation of the traditional Chinese Coins quilt pattern, Stacks … and we’ll be stacking some bright fabric “coins” in January.
It’s one of those blocks that doesn’t really seem that great until you put a few of them together on the design wall.  Here are 8 Stacks from Julie.
My directions for making the 10 inch (finished size) block can be found here: Stacking (Quilt) Blocks. (The individual blocks will measure 10-1/2 inches before they are sewn together into a quilt.)
The early reviews from the sneak peekers have been pretty positive … and you can see in the sidebar that they have already been really productive.

Fabric Guidelines

For each block, you’ll need 5 bright fabrics plus white.

Your bright fabrics may be solids, hand-dyes, batiks, tone-on-tones, novelty prints, floral designs, geometric designs, woven or printed plaids … whatever bright colored quilting cotton you find in your stash will work beautifully this month.
The white fabric may be solid or a white-on-white (WOW) print.
Using Jelly Rolls/Noodles/Worms
Whatever you call them, if you have 2-1/2 inch strips of fabric, they will be perfect for this block … and will make this quick block even quicker to cut and sew.
Making Multiple Blocks
You may use the same fabric in up to 5 blocks—which is, coincidentally, the number of 8 by 2-1/2 inch rectangles you can cut from a width of Fabric (WOF). 
However, each lotto block you make must have a unique combination of five fabrics.  So, mix it up and have fun. Remember, you cannot just change the order, each block should have a unique set of five fabrics.
You can make the maximum of 9 blocks with 9 strips of bright fabric, each cut into 5 rectangles.

Measuring & Pressing

Yes, this month marks our return to using rulers as more than just a straight edge.  Everything you cut is 2-1/2 inches wide.  You’ll need to sew those classic 1/4 inch seams in order to end up with a block that is 10-1/2 inches tall.  But we are having some fun in the horizontal direction.  By staggering your bright strips, you avoid matching ANY seams.  Plus, each block can be a little different than the others. And because we are using bigger pieces of the white background than needed–to allow for the opportunity to play–we won’t have to worry as much about the horizontal direction coming out exactly right.

If you have having problems making a block that is 10-1/2 inches tall, check your seams and be sure to PRESS your blocks as you are putting them together. (It’s kind of amazing how much pressing can improve your quilting 😉

Labels for your Blog Posts

If you post ANYTHING here on the subject of this month’s block, please add the label “stacks” to your post.  

If you are posting photos of your blocks, please ALSO add the label “jan 11 photos.”

Some Inspiration from the Sneak Peekers

I decided to let Flickr do the work for me this month … here’s a composite of 60 of the photos from Benta, Caroline, Cathy, Debbie, Julie, Kate, Laurina, Maree, Mary Jane, Michelle, Rho and Sara.  (links on names go to their blogs.) Thanks everyone for the great photos.

I will post all of the individual photos from ALL the sneak peekers in the next message. 


  1. If the sneak peek is any indication, we may break a record this month! What fun, I was just thinking about the Chinese Coin pattern.

  2. I'm going to get back in for the year. Now, when do the blocks have to be posted?

  3. Yay! The deadline for posting a photo of your blocks is noon (east coast) January 31. If you want to receive the sneak peek for February, then post by January 24 at noon.

    I will have to add you back as an author, so give me a heads-up by email when you are ready to jump back in.

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