Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hands2Help 2019 - Meet Guest Blogger Joanne!

Hi, all!

I'm so glad you're here!  It's time for another guest blogger and today I'm pleased to turn the blog over to Joanne!  Joanne has been involved with Hands2Help for many years now, and was actually the one to give me a push to feature the rectangle in my series of pre-H2H tutorials this year!  She has long been a lover of rectangles and is here to share more about them with us today - so without further ado, here she is!


Thank you Sarah for offering me the opportunity to be a guest blogger this year for the Hands2Help Challenge.  In the past I have shown my simple bricks pattern and done a wee little tutorial showing just how to assemble the block. 

Among the many reasons I like this block for community outreach quilts is that it involves straight stitching. No need to worry about points disappearing on stars or wobbly pinwheels. As you build the block it is what I call self correcting. By that I mean that each addition should match evenly with the previous section.

A brick is a special rectangle and this year we have been celebrating the rectangle during Sarah's weekly tutorials leading up to the challenge. If you take two bricks and stitch them with a quarter inch seam along the long side the result is a square. Bricks can be virtually any size from 3/4" x 1" to 5" x 9 1/2" and up. This makes them adaptable to many sizes of scraps.

My first 30 or so simple bricks quilts were all made the same way and used scraps. I experimented with colour a little in that I used established colour schemes. The one below is a pink and pastel green one. I will admit I have yet to make one that has no established colour scheme. I am a controlled scrappy person.

After I had exhausted my need to make the Simple Bricks1, I moved on to Simple Bricks2. Again using a controlled palette of colours. 

For this one you select two colours. The centre two bricks are one colour and the surrounding bricks are the second colour. Alternate blocks reverse the colour placement. This can also be done in one colour with alternating light and dark centres. These require more attention to where you are going and may not be ideal for charity group sewing if you have a variety of experience within the group.

This year I have started to experiment with a new Brick pattern I am calling Simple Bricks3. This one requires a good understanding of value and a very repetitive placement of those values. Here is a single block. 

The two middle bricks are light. Above and below those starter bricks are a medium/dark brick. On the sides you will have two bricks sewn end to end with a light and a medium/dark. But the direction that you put these side bricks is important. Note that I have the medium/dark on the top on the right side of the block and on the bottom on the left side of the block. 

To assemble the quilt top arrange the blocks so that the middle two lights are vertical and in the next block horizontal. The result is shown below. This was my first Simple Bricks3. 

If you use 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" bricks the block you get will be an 8 1/2" square (unfinished) block. Each of the Simple Bricks3 needs four light and four medium/dark fabrics. Using that information you can make any size quilt top. For this one value placement is very important and remember to alternate the direction of the centre pairs of light bricks.

I have not exhausted the possibilities for this arrangement but can see me thinking about the possibilities for Simple Bricks4 in the days ahead.I hope you will give this block a try. 

Piecefully, Joanne


I still have a box of 2.5"x4.5" bricks left over from last year's tutorial - now I need to try out these new blocks!  Thank you, Joanne, for giving us some more inspiration for using rectangles.  It's a versatile shape for quilting and a great way to use up fabric scraps!

Keep working on those H2H quilts, folks!  I love seeing them show up on Instagram - there's so much beauty and love in them!  Oh, and FYI - I did visit every blog that linked up last week, but unfortunately, was unable to leave comments on some of them.  I did want you to know I was there, though!  




  1. I love this segment it gives me so many ideas

  2. it always amazes me that such beautiful quilts can be made from the simplest of units...thanks for showing!

  3. Simple but a nice pattern, great for charity quilts.

  4. I have used Joanne's brick pattern, but I love the new brick3 - have to give that one a whirl.

  5. How fascinating and inspiring! I look forward to the day I finally start to experiment. I'll probably be 80, but that's OK! :)

  6. Thanks so much for sharing Joanne! I love these ideas :-) I have a bin of 2.5x4.5 'bricks' that I used to keep by my machine for leaders & enders...I need to get that back out and start it up again.

  7. Each of Joanne's patterns are great for charity quilts! I'm particularly drawn to Simple Bricks 3. That quilt top's added interest really sings!

  8. I like this tutorial. The colour placement gives it a lot of movement.

  9. Now this is a very easy scrappy quilt! Nice!

  10. I do love easily-assembled blocks. This is a new take on rectangles (bricks). Thank you for the tutorial.

  11. I love how the Simple Bricks 3 placement of color creates an interesting design. I look forward to making some and sharing the design with my charity quilt group. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thanks, Joanne, for the good information. It’s got me thinking about making brick blocks now.

  13. So many choices and ways to using rectangles. I too have a problem with being totally scrappy. I try throwing it in a bag and sew whatever comes out but I find myself opening the bag when I don't like the color I did blindly. LOL


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