Schools Out … so Let’s Celebrate with School House Blocks

Posted by on June 1, 2012 in blocks | 6 comments

Linda's First Block

Linda's First Block

For June we will be making a simplified variation of the traditional Schoolhouse block. This block was made by Linda from Dallas.

The directions for making the block are here:

Red & White School House


Christa organized the cutting directions to make it easier to keep track of which reds to use where and reposted her Feeling Blessed blog post for us on this site here:

2012 June Block – Christa’s Cutting Guide


For each block you’ll need:

White fabric for background—this can be solid or a white-on-white (WOW) print

THREE red fabrics for the schoolhouse—these can be solids, tone-on-tone (TOT) prints or multicolor prints that are predominately RED and will “read as red” from across the room. Your three red fabrics should have good contrast with one another.

Remember there are multiple ways to create contrast:

VALUE – use light, medium and dark red fabrics or reds that, compared to one another are lighter, brighter and darker.

SCALE – Combine smaller and larger scale prints (that are predominately red, but can contain other colors.

PATTERN – Different kinds of prints can create contrast.  I like to combine geometric with more organic designs, but the idea of a polka dot + stripe + plaid schoolhouse just popped in my head and those three types of geometric prints could also be interesting, I think.

If you make multiple blocks, you may use the same white for all your blocks and you may repeat the same red fabrics in multiple blocks as long as no two blocks have the same fabrics in the same place. The maximum number of blocks you can make and enter in the drawing is the usual NINE.

If you are wondering why I am not asking for specific placement of the fabric, the reason is to minimize the number of different red fabrics you’ll need to make 9 blocks.  If you were using this block for a swap, where each quilter would make sets of identical blocks to swap, or making them for your own quilt, you might decide to make a rule like all roofs will be the darkest of the three reds in each block.


The TAG for ALL blog posts about this month’s block is schoolhouse.
As usual, when you are posting photos of your block(s), use the default category, blocks.  When you are posting about mailing/receiving the blocks, uncheck blocks and check the category, sent and received.


Here are the first four block photos I received from Christa, Linda and Wendy and the virtual quilt I made from them.  I love how in only four blocks, you see lots of variation (and ways to create contrast 😉


Virtual 4 block quilt

Virtual 4 block quilt


  1. I haven’t done anything quilty in a month and a half at least…except for opening up the squishies I won! this looks like it should be a fun block…if I can get enough order in the sewing room to work and find the fabrics!

  2. Had fun getting the sneak-peek and making my first schoolhouse but I hat to re-write the cutting directions for myself. May be somebody else finds my notes helpful …

  3. The block size is supposed to be 9.5″ x 9.5″ (9″ finished). The paper-piecing pattern seems to measure only 9″ x 9″ (8.5″ finished). Is there another simple way to print the paper-pieced pattern and get it to print to the correct size?

    • Thanks for letting us know. I am planning to (finally) set up my printer today. I’ll check it out and get back to you as soon as I can.

      • Sophie — I figured it out… when I print the paper pieced copies I have to go in to “advanced” for my printer options and select “actual size”. Then I have to just draw two lines for the seam allowances that don’t show on my paper. Don’t just use the default printer options or the blocks will be the worng size.

        • Great! Although I had the best intentions and did go to my storage and bring back my printer (along with some red FQs), the printer is still in the box.


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