I have 30 Sunbonnet Sue blocks found in my grandma’s house. They are 12” squares set on point. They were pieced with aloe green but someone ran out of the green for the alternate blocks and setting triangles. There was no sashing in this quilt. The appliqué is very good and consistent. The blocks have no stains or flaws.
I would love to make them into a quilt for my daybed but I am lost as to how to set them. What type of a block other than a solid alternate block would you put between the pieced blocks? (The solid blocks are too much because the solid color just takes over.) Should I be going the sashing route, or squaring off the on-point setting and doing everything as squares rather than on point?
Do you have any books that address this dilemma?
You are fortunate to have found those blocks. I would keep them on point (usually, you don't need as many when the blocks are on point). Some suggestions for an alternate block are: Hourglass block (an X block), Nine-Patch or Four-Patch blocks, or even a 25-Patch block (5 squares across, 5 down) with a solid strong color making an X through the block, which will give you an interesting secondary design. Even just using a large triangle-square in green and white as the setting square will allow you to arrange the blocks in a Barn Raising-style setting (like the Log Cabin version).
Any pieced block can work as an alternate block. I would suggest paging through quilt magazines and quilt books, seeing what blocks or settings catch your eye. It's also okay for the blocks to "rest awhile" while you search for the perfect setting option.
In my book The Quilter’s Edge, I have a chapter on different block settings and formulas for figuring out the sizes and yardages for the different setting options.
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