My DIY Block Design

I was so excited when Alyce, of Blossom Heart Quilts asked if I wanted to be involved as a newbie designer in the blog hop to celebrate the launch of her e-book, DIY Block Design.


DIY Block Design ebook


As someone who hates quilt math with a passion, and gets endlessly confused trying to work out adding in/losing seam allowances, Alyce’s book was a revelation. I love how simply she explains things and the exercises to help you learn the basic maths behind blocks are extremely useful.


DIY Block Design inside peek DIY Block Design pages peek


So for my own block design, I chose to draw inspiration from some rather graphical sources. I’ve always been fascinated by patterns, particularly dimensional ones. In case you might feel the same way too, I now have a whole Pinterest board full of inspiration!

Follow Cassandra’s board Geometric Inspiration on Pinterest.

Some of my pins are very geometric, other pins are more about the colour combination or the feel of a design. But I kept being drawn back to my first pinned image….


Andre Durenceau Inpsirations


An Art Deco artist, Andre Durenceau born in France and emigrated to America. He worked as a textile designer, muralist, illustrator and more. He was a huge influence on art of the time, and indeed on what we see today as he worked as a colour advisor to Technicolor and even worked for Warner Bros in that time. 

I worked up the top left illustration in graph paper, simply changing the colour scheme from grey and red to a more modern aqua and coral orange.


DIY Block Design - Cassandra Madge


Alyce’s book helped me to identify the block elements, basic composition and then rough out the sizes that I would need in order to turn this sketch into a quilt. Don’t be afraid to play around at this stage. I made a low tech block simulator by sketching the design out a second time and cutting it into squares, so I could play around with orientation and what simple changes would make to the pattern. In the end I actually kept it as Durenceau intended, but with a vertical orientation rather than a horizontal.


DIY Block Design - Cassandra Madge


A selection of Cotton Couture solids from Polka Dot Tea fabrics (the most delicious feeling solids around), and my initial orange/coral fabric pull. My first intention was for only this colour to be scrappy but after a quick design wall mock up and a bit of feedback, I decided to change that idea and move on to plan B – a tone on tone coral print repeating in every block. I think the flowery, circular motif of the print just adds drama to the strong contrast between the fabric and the angular design.


DIY Block Design - Cassandra Madge DIY Block Design - Cassandra Madge


It’s a straightforward block design that packs a really graphic punch mostly by the choice of colours. I’m really excited to see a whole quilt coming out of this design, I think it will also be great for some custom quilting.


DIY Block Design - Cassandra Madge


However my sewing plans were derailed by packing up my sewing machine and all my toys, and the drawn out process of setting back up again in the new studio. However I’ll be sure to share more of it on Instagram, or here when I’ve got the top put together. I have already had a request from Lisa to let her make a version of is, so maybe you can convince me to write it up as a pattern?

My new-found confidence in designing though is all thanks to Alyce. If you are like me and see patterns and inspiration everywhere, you need this book. It will help get those ideas out into fabric and wrapped around the people you love!


Here are all the other fabulous people playing along this month. Lots of designs and inspiration in this list.


October 1 – Let the games begin!

October 2
Heidi @ Fabric Mutt
Christa @ ChristaQuilts
Angie @ Gnome Angel

Week 1: Inspiration

October 7
Ros @ Sew Delicious
Leanne @ Sewn By Leanne
Amy @ And Sew We Craft

October 9
Jennie @ Clover & Violet
Jane @ QuiltJane
Melissa @ My Fabric Relish

Week 2: Sketches

October 14
Jen @ Faith And Fabric
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

October 16
Sandi @ Crafty Planner
Anne @ Play Crafts
Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts

Week 3: Making

October 21
Joy @ Quilty Joy Joy
Linden @ Vine Lines Quilting
Cassie @ Cassandra Madge

October 23
Keera @ Live Love Sew
Janice @ Better Off Thread
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts

Week 4: Finishes

October 28
Kelly @ A Place Of My Own
Abby @ Color Bar Quilts

October 30 – Linky opens!


So, what’s your favourite source of inspiration? Do you start with a shape, a colour or a fabric line? Don’t forget to follow along with Alyce on Instagram, she’s giving away some sweet prizes just for playing along and designing your OWN block!




 Happy Crafting - Cassie.

Please be aware that there may be affiliate links in this content. Your support allows me to keep creating for you!

5 Responses

  1. Teje

    Hi! Your block is super beautiful! I love the way how it’s made and the colours are great! Can’t wait to see how this look as a whole quilt! x Teje

    • Cassandra

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! It’s a very different quilt to my normal style, but I think the finished product will be quite striking. 🙂

    • Cassandra

      Hi Donna! Thankyou so much for your compliment 🙂 I am working on putting more blocks together, but it is a tricky pattern to make as there are no shortcuts and lots of bias seams. Not sure if anyone has the patience for it!

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