Monday, March 10, 2014

QCQAL Block #1: Sister's Choice

Today's the day! Our first block in the QCQAL is Sister's Choice!

There are a lot of great examples of Sister's Choice blocks on Pinterest and a variety of ways that you can "color" this block. To me, the more fabrics you integrate, the more modern looking it can become.

The traditional block translates well into 5, 10, 15, etc. inch finished blocks. It doesn't translate into a 12 inch finished block simply. I decided to make the width of the middle fifth of the pattern a half inch smaller for our pattern to make for an easy 12 inch finished block. It's a slight modification from the traditional block's 9 patch made entirely of squares, but I can live with that if you can.

The first thing to do is figure out how many colors you want to use and where you want to use those colors. The above diagrams show 2 color, 3 color, and 5 color versions of the block. The cutting directions go along with the 5 color block I made to explain where each piece of fabric ends up in the finished block.


4 background squares at 3 1/2 inches (HST units)
4 squares at 3 1/2 inches (HST units)
4 background squares at 3 inches (corner squares)
4 rectangles at 3 x 2 1/2 inches (outer rectangles)
4 rectangles at 3 x 2 1/2 inches (inner rectangles)
4 squares at 3 inches (inner squares)
1 square at 2.5 inches (center square)


Draw a line down the center of each one of your 3 1/2 inch background squares. Pair each background square with a 3 1/2 inch focus fabric square right sides together and sew 1/4 of an inch away from your marked line on each side. Cut apart along your drawn line and iron. Trim to 3 inches square. Yield: eight 3 inch square HSTs.

Make four units as shown below. Each unit is made of one background 3 inch square, one focus 3 inch square, and two 3 inch HST units.

Sew each one of your 3 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles of one color to a 3 x 2 1/2 inch rectangle of the other color (ie, sew your "green" rectangles to your "orange" rectangles) ALONG THE SHORT SIDE. Your finished units should measure 5 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.

Lay out all of your units as shown below and sew together. The block should now measure 12.5 inches square, trim if necessary.

Seeing one block makes me very excited to make more! Since I have fat eighths instead of fat quarters, I have to make sure that I rotate through my fabrics and use all of them -- hence why I used five different fabrics in my block.

Here's Amanda's block:

Her fabrics are from the Chiffon line from Free Spirit with some fabrics from her stash mixed in. She used four different fabrics and cut the inner rectangles out of her background fabric instead of a focus fabric. It lightens up the block a little bit and is a great use of negative space.


  1. You have really picked a great block!! Sister's Choice is one of my all time favorites! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  2. so excited to be in a new bee! thanks for hosting this and all your hard work! I don't really have a fabric plan other than what I have on hand and what I pick up along the way :)


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