We’re very excited to launch our new site with an amazing all new quilt block pattern from designer Elizabeth Hartman! Elizabeth is the author of The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker and Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics. Her Oh,Fransson! blog is a go-to source for quilting inspiration, sewing guidance and more. Elizabeth did a year-long series of tutorials on Sew Mama Sew–find the full list of tutorials and patterns here. She has also contributed many additional projects over the years including our Color Blocks Placemat + Napkin Sew-Along and the Quilt Block Sew-Along.
Today Elizabeth shares a free PDF pattern for the Dancing Queen Quilt Block, with additional instructions about how to turn the blocks in to a quilt. Have fun with the new block; add a link in the comments if you try it out!
I originally planned this block as a way to use Michael Miller’s iridescent Mirror Ball Dots fabric. I thought the name of the fabric was so fun that I wanted to come up with something disco ball inspired, but it took me a while to settle on a piecing design.
When I think about a disco ball, I think about something round but, when I actually looked at disco balls, I noticed that the mirror tiles are almost always square. I loved this sparkly mosaic look and turned it into a block that uses both solid and print fabric “tiles” to create the illusion of sparkle.
I adapted the design I used in the quilt, which I call Dancing Queen, into a 20” block pattern that is available here as a free PDF download. In this example, I’ve used prints from Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park collection.
The block pattern includes an outer border which, in the sample, is made with Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn-dyed cotton/linen in black. A single block like this would make a great pillow and multiple blocks, perhaps each with a different outer border, could be combined to make a fabulous quilt.
If you want to make a quilt more like my mirror ball example, you can skip the outer border described in the pattern and sew sashing between the blocks instead. For my quilt, I used 3” finished sashing (so strips that were 3½” wide before they were sewn).
The construction of my quilt top is actually very similar to the way the tiles and sashing are put together in each block – just on a larger scale. If you’re planning a composition like mine where blocks appear to extend off the top of the quilt, you can either make whole blocks and cut them in half (using each half in a different place) or you can use the process described in the pattern to make partial blocks using fewer tiles.
Whatever you do, have fun with the Dancing Queen block. It’s a great place to feature little bits of your favorite fabrics! Download the PDF pattern to get started.