May 14, 2014

Cheery Mellow: Strong Tower

Hello there!

I feel it's been ages since I last blogged, but these two weeks have been crazy; just be patient, and you may find the whole story posted in a day or two... (Yep! That's a promise!)

Let's just go and take a plunge today and get down to business! 

This is Strong Tower and it will be living in Cheery Mellow one day. The inspiration for this block was "Castle Walls" by John Adams, featured in Fat Quarterly's Shape Workshop for Quilters.

This is what you need:

A. For the center, one 4 1/2" square
B. For the walls, four 4 1/2" squares
C. For the corners, two 2 1/2 X 10.5" rectangles
D. For the corners, one 2 1/2 X 10.5" rectangle
E. For the corners, one 2 1/2 X 10.5" rectangle
F. For the wall points, eight 2 1/5" squares

Place one F square on the corner of one B square.  Sew diagonally, from the lower left corner to the upper right corner of the white (F) square. Feel free to draw a guiding line.

But wait a minute!

This is just perfect for Cutting Corners, extra Half Square Triangles!!!

Remember, this is completely optional, but with an extra step or two, you'll save fabric and get quilting units in return - can it get any better than that?  Just click here and follow the instructions. By the time I'm done with this sampler quilt, I'll probably have enough extra HS Triangles to start another one...

You will have something that looks like this...

Repeat on the other side...

... and do the same with the remaining units B and F. You'll end up with the four tips of the inner diamond and eight extra HST!

Now, let's go to the corners; they are made of 4-patches. Sew the 2 1/2" width rectangles together, joining fabrics C with D, and C with E. You'll have a little wiggle room, so make sure everything is squared up. 

Now, cut them into 2 1/2" smaller pieces; each should measure 2 1/2" X 4 1/2". Pair them, making sure that the fabric that is repeated ends up in opposite sides of the 4-patch units.

Now, we are ready to sew all the pieces together!

But before, let me bring up color combination... I was not sure whether I wanted a gray or a yellow center, so I cut a square of both of them, and I'm so glad I did!  Let's look at these pictures:

If you see, both colors look good, but the fabric with the yellow flower seems to pop out of the block, whereas the gray background blends more and is more muted. Make sure colors work for you and help you get the effect you are looking for. Cheery Mellow is no blendy quilt, so I decided to use the yellow daisy for the center.

Going back to the sewing...  Make rows first:

 Once you're done, sew them together:

Remember, it does not hurt to sew a scant 1/4" seam all over; there's so little to trim! 

Another tip for accuracy is double checking the size of the smaller parts. This block is a nine patch, which means it's made of nine different squares, like a tic-tac-toe grid, and each should be a 4 1/2" square before sewing. If you take a little extra time to make sure each piece is good to go, you'll save yourself a major nightmare, and you won't even have to square things up when you finish sewing the block:

Here you have it, My Strong Tower, ready to go into Cheery Mellow!

Stay blessed!


  1. I'm loving all the mellow cheery patterns you are coming up with! If you haven't read my other post: I saw this fabric in a video and LOVE it. I have made my bedroom colors gray, white, black and yellow and this fabric is perfect to make a quilt, curtains or whatever! The only thing is I have not been able to find out who makes it so I could buy some. So please tell me who that is! I just found your post today and think it"s wonderful! I even subscribed to get emails from you. Thanks for the work you put into this post !

  2. Hi Rosepetal! I'm glad to know that you are enjoying this quilt; there is an interesting meaning behind each one of these blocks and it has been great working on them. The fabric I am using is from "Mellow Yellow" for Red Rooster Fabrics; here is a link to their page I just got from a Google search: I am always looking for bargains, and I got this fabric from different places; it took me a while to get the different prints I'm using for Cheery Mellow. Thank you for joining in with all the quilty experiments! GB, Yiya.