Friday, July 6, 2018

Pattern Play and Secondary Designs {July IBA Challenge}

This month's Island Batik Ambassador theme is pattern play and secondary designs!

What exactly are secondary designs as they relate to quilts and quilting? I think the best, simplest explanation of a secondary design is that it is the additional designs that arise when pieced blocks are placed next to one another. I think the most common example of a quilt with secondary designs is the traditional Storm at Sea quilt.

Image from Generations Quilt Patterns
While this quilt is, when broken down into its parts, are square in a square units and pieced sashings, putting things together results in our eyes seeing stars as well as the illusion of waves.

Two block quilts also frequently produce secondary designs. If you haven't made one yourself, you've probably seen someone make a Wanta Fanta block from the Bee Hive collection! 

Image from Blossom Heart Quilts
Another one of my favorites is the Carol quilt from Kitchen Table Quilting! In this quilt, the blocks create a lattice effect.
Image from Kitchen Table Quilting
Remember my two Blue in Bloom quilts? These quilts definitely make use of secondary designs!

I created a Pinterest board for secondary designs and two block quilts, too! Check it out for more inspirations. 

For my project for this month, I'm making a two block quilt using snowball blocks and Missouri stars that will be a baby sized version of a very cute mini quilt my sister made a while ago:

Her blocks are 6" finished and her mini is about 24" square. My blocks will be 9" finished and my quilt will be about 36" square, which will be a perfect little baby quilt! For my quilt, I pulled yellow, purple, and pink Island Batik fabrics and added in a white solid.

The yellow dot print in the back will be my main fabric replacing Amanda's jellyfish. My stars will be an assortment of pink, purple, and yellow and I'll use white in the same places as the original. I already have purple binding set aside (my failed binding from my 30 Pearls quilt!) for this project and I'll be getting flannel for the backing since it will be a baby quilt.

The four full snowball blocks are done (I'll need to make eight half-snowballs!).

I've started cutting and sewing on some of the parts and pieces of my Missouri star blocks and have really just made a mess of my cutting board.

Happy Friday! Sharing at Main Crush Monday!


  1. I look forward to seeing how all the lovely purples and pinks play with the bright yellow!

  2. Very fun fabric pull! I'm tempted by this Missouri Snowball design, but it will have to wait until a few other pieces are further along :)

  3. This is going to be great Alison! I love your fabric pull, and I love what snowball blocks do for secondary designs. :-)

  4. It will be so much fun to see these colors in your quilt. I wanted to do the fanta block, but didn’t bring the right fabrics. Storm at sea is my favorite, but, I can’t wait to see what everyone does.

  5. You've got a great start on this month's project. I enjoyed your Pinterest board with the secondary patterns. More projects to add to my "some day" list.

  6. Looking fun Alison! Secondary quilt designs are always fun and Storm at Sea is once of my favorites!

  7. Nice photo of several quilts that create the secondary designs. The plan you have is going to be great -- I like the fabric pull. Have fun finishing it.

  8. Alison - my cutting board looks like that 99% of the time! LOL It's always so fun to see secondary designs emerge as blocks are put together. Your baby quilt will be so pretty with the fabrics you're using. Have fun with it and thanks for sharing on MCM!


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