Choosing fabrics for ‘Square in a Square’ blocks

This week I am enjoying choosing fabrics for ‘square in a square blocks’ for my Refuge Circle charity quilt group. (Our group was set up by quilter Rachel Hauser of ‘Stitched in Colour’ as part of her ‘do.Good Stitches’ initiative.) Actually the ‘square in a square’ is actually inside another square, so I needed to choose three fabrics for each of six blocks. This is how it went.

The centres of the blocks have to be ‘fun prints’ so I found these fabrics in my fabric collection. They do not need to ‘go’ with each other, as my blocks will be mixed in with blocks from other members of our group.

fabrics chosen for the 'square in a square' blocks

I cut out a square from each of these for the centre of the block.

cut centres for the 'square in a square' blocks

The next step was choosing the first ‘frame’ to go round the central square. As you can see, I chose solid colours (with one exception – a low volume aqua print).

first frames for the 'square in a square' blocks

The next step was to choose fabrics for the second frame around the centre. You will see that I picked fairly low volume prints and, in the case of the low-volume aqua print mentioned above, I picked a solid pink for the second frame. The idea was to make the novelty prints at the centre of the block the heroes.

Here is the elephant print with its pale aqua ‘first frame’.

Here is the block with its soft red second frame (which just picks up the tone of the red balloon in the elephant’s trunk and the marks on the orange elephant).

Here are the six finished blocks.

It took longer than you might imagine to go through all the trays of fabric to choose those additional fabrics! Now the blocks are all packed up and ready to go to the Queen Bee for this month’s project.

Also this week, the May 2023 issue of ‘We Like Sewing’ is published.

Right at the bottom of the cover, you can see a mention of Christmas Star Blocks, which are my contribution to the magazine. As you will know from last year’s ‘Watch the Stars’ mystery quilt, I am partial to a patchwork star. The article is called ‘Holiday Spirit 8-point Star Block’. There are no less than THREE eight-pointed stars in this article, with full instructions for making. This is the link to the article:

For full information about the magazine and its membership scheme, go to

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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