1957.5 + 1970

What a coincidence! I’ve been puttering around with a block I saw while thumbing through Barbara Brackman’s Encylopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

I have many old block reference books but only recently added this one to the collection. Clearly an oversight on my part. Clearly.

So, I’ve been puttering with this block working out sizing — the book is a block reference, patterns are not included — and today I arrived at a successful test block.

This is referred to as 1957.5, the Georgia block as published in the periodical Hearth and Home. My version came out to 8″ unfinished. It almost ended up bigger because I couldn’t initially work out the maths involved in sizing that corner square — it is inset into an corner formed by a seam that is pieced at a 45 degree angle. I persevered. Now I am happy with the size.

By coincidence, I said to myself, hey, I’ve been cutting a lot of 2″ squares lately for my One Block Over virtual quilting bee blocks. I wonder if those blocks are the same size as these blocks?

Would you look at that?

Now, the blocks to the right and left of 1957.5 are 1970 (only one page over from 1957.5), a spool block attributed to Nancy Cabot from 1938. This block has gotten the “Badskirt bump” lately. Amy (badskirt) posted a tutorial for the Japanese x and + block after loads of people went gaga over a quilt by Setsuko Inagawa, a picture of which the lovely Jan posted after her visit to the 2011 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. I went gaga as well. Happily for me, Amy posted her tutorial just as I was getting ready to send out fabrics for my month of the quilting bee.  There are loads of blocks to see over at the quilt-along Flickr group.

I have a sinking feeling I may need to make two quilts — or maybe three? — one quilt of only 1957.5, one quilt of 1957.5 combined with 1970, and one quilt of 1970.


Whatever the outcome, both blocks are great ones to use up scraps (especially the spool block/1970) and they are Goldilocks-sized — just right. I’m not sure why they seem to perfect at this size but they do. Hmmm, maybe I could even modify the center of the 1957.5 block so it has one rectangle rather than a different fabric square in the middle. Hmmm, I feel more puttering coming on…

Would anyone like a tutorial?



  1. Katy said


  2. ~Michelle~ said

    Ooh, I love these together!

  3. Leila said

    yes please! They looks great together!

  4. Valerie said

    I love the X+ block —- I’ve been happily following along with the Flickr group’s progress, and bemoaning the fact that I have absolutely NONE of those wonderful Japanese print/text fabrics. {grin} This one’s on my list for sure — Amy’s tutorial works out right smartly with 5″ charm squares, right down to them being the size needed for cutting stripes on the bias. Yip-skip! I have some MoMo Wonderland with LOTS of stripes… Needs must piece this block soon!

  5. Lynne said

    Oh my gosh, that is so weird – have you ever read my blog – you sound exactly like me – OK I don’t have hundreds of old block books (but I wish I did) but I sort of drivel on and on like you just did in that post (please don’t be offended, I loved reading that post) and kind of just roll from one thought to the next to the next. And these blocks would ROCK together if that central circle was taken out. Gosh I am such a HUGE fan of old quilt blocks and patterns made in random new fabrics, these are just singing to me. I’m in the bee with Amy where she launched the X and + block and made her first one and, sweet as she is, she said she would probably want to use it even though I had made it all wrong LOL 🙂

  6. Lynne said

    Oh and that comment before – the Lynne is from Lily’s Quilts Lynne is my real life name and Lily is what my husband calls me.

  7. Yes, I would LOOOVVVEEE a tutorial, especially by you.

  8. Laura T said

    A tutorial would be great! Thanks for offering. Those are a fun pair of blocks. I’m definitely looking forward to how you use them (together or not).

  9. Debbie said

    A tutorial would be great! I’ll be watching and waiting. Don’t you love when old blocks become new again.

  10. Erica said

    Amy, did you know that all the blocks from this FANTASTIC book are in Blockbase, software put out by the EQ people? I use it a lot because it makes resizing blocks and getting rotary cutting details easy!

  11. Oooh gorgeous blocks Amy and thanks for all the linky goodness. I think I will have to make some of these too! xo

  12. Carla said

    Yes, please, with whipped cream on top!

  13. Marybeth Megel said

    Yes please for the tutorial. Love both blocks!

  14. Anita said

    I’ve avoided buying the book because I have the software. But the book just might be easier to peruse and I’ll have to add that to my library too.

    Love your blocks!!

  15. LOVE these blocks!!

  16. pratima said

    Beautiful blocks, Amy! I’ve been loving that quilt from the Tokyo quilt festival. What a coincidence that their sizes should match. Have fun!

  17. jill redding said

    I would also LOVE LOVE LOVE a tutorial what a great block and it looks great with the other one very japanese inspired which is awesome!

  18. Ruth said

    Oh yes on the tutorial. I’m waiting with baited breath.

  19. pat sloan said

    of COURSE 3 quilts… was there any doubt?

  20. cynthia said

    Mais oui!!! I agree–I want to make all three myself. One is nice, two is bettter, but three is always best.

  21. jill redding said

    Please please I am checking everyday for the tutorial I will be doing the happy dance if you decide to do it!

  22. GeeGee said

    I’m doing the x+ quilt and calling it “Hugs plus Kisses” since the (x) represents kisses and it forms a hug (o) when the blocks are set together without sashing. Thanks to Amy (Badskirt), I love these little blocks.
    Yes, a tutorial would be great, they look awesome together.

    PS. I get lots of inspiration from your blog, keep them coming!

  23. Sheila said

    I just stumbled upon your blog (which I am thoroughly enjoying, I might add), and this post stopped me in my tracks. I also fell in love with the x&+ blocks after Jan posted her picks of that quilt, and decided to use it as my inspiration for the Robert Kaufman MQG Challenge this past spring. But since I had a reduced palette due to the parameters of the challenge, I decided to play around with the block design for some variety. What I came up with is strikingly similar to “1957.5.” Proof that it’s nearly impossible to design a new block, since everything’s already been done by someone!

    If you’re interested in seeing how I combined the two blocks you can see my finished challenge quilt here: http://thoughtandfound.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/tic-tac-toe/

    I can’t wait to follow along now that I’ve found you!

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