03 June 2013

Goose Creek Block Tutorial

It's June!  The school year is winding down, summer trips and activities are being planned, spring plantings will bear vegetables soon (hopefully), and it's my month to coordinate the next quilt for the Love Circle of do. Good Stitches.

I recently attempted to teach my three-year old one of my favorite parlor games.  Those were the most maddening 15 minutes of my life, but the silver lining is I found my color palette for the d.GS quilt:

 As I was scouring the web for a block design, Goose Creek (found at Quilter's Cache) caught my eye.  The block is made up of four units- two Nine Patches and two Square in a Square blocks.  The instructions assume a certain level of quilting experience, so I thought I'd offer up a tutorial that's a little more fleshed out for anyone who may need it.

Goose Creek Block

All seams are a scant 1/4".  Block measures 12.5" unfinished.

For each block you will need:
  • (2) 43/4" squares- cream solid or low volume prints
  • (4) 37/8" squares- two squares each of two different color prints (errata: pic below shows four different prints rather than two)
  • (10) 21/2" squares- various color prints
  • (8) 21/2" squares- either solid cream or low volume prints with a cream background

Nine Patch
Lay 21/2" squares out so that the color prints are in a plus pattern, and the low volume prints are at the four outer corners:

Lay the squares from the middle column of each block right sides together over the squares of the first column, stitch together, then press open:

I'm a press to the side kind of quilter, because that's how I learned.  If you also press to the side, be sure to press the top and bottom pairs to the same side and the middle pair to the opposite side (this will allow you to "nest the seams" between the rows).

Lay the remaining squares of each block right sides together over the squares from the middle column.  Stitch together, then press open.  The seams of each row should be pressed in the same direction, but the seams between the rows should be pressed opposite of each other:

Sew rows together, making sure to nest seams, as below:

Press seams, trim blocks to 61/2".

Square in a Square
Cut the four 3 7/8" squares from corner to corner.  As noted above, the photo shows four different prints, but you should actually have two different prints (see below).  After cutting, you will have eight triangles, four of each print.

Place the long edges of two matching triangles right sides together on opposite sides of a 43/4" low volume square.  Note: An easy way to center them perfectly- fold the square in half and finger press along the crease.  Do the same for the triangle (on the long edge).  Match up the center creases.

Since the triangles are cut on the bias and are prone to stretching, I like to pin along the edges.  Sew together, then press towards the triangles.

Repeat the step above with the remaining triangles.  Trim blocks to 61/2".

You're almost there!  The next step is to sew the Nine Patches and Square in a Square blocks together in the following layout:

Again, if you press the seam of the top row in the opposite direction of the bottom row (as below), you can nest the the seams when you sew the rows together for a neater finish.

Trim block to 121/2".  You're done!


  1. I'm so impressed that you tried to teach your three-year-old a board game! :D

    Your tutorial is great! That's such a nifty color palette... I'm looking forward to seeing the quilt in the end!

  2. Love the blocks and the colours! I only lasted 5 minutes trying to teach my 4 year old 'snap', we had to stop for my sanity ;-)

  3. Ooh, great plan! Thanks so much for the clear instructions, these look very fun to make! I'm so glad we're in the same quilting circle :) And I love your inspiration photo! I haven't played that game in years!

  4. This is a great block. Definitely wanting to try it someday. And "Sorry!", I've probably played at least 50 rounds of it over the last month or so, my 9 year old is addicted. We don't even put it back on the shelf anymore. :) We have a 'modern' version of the game but the one you have pictured above is the exact one I had growing up. My parents still have it and we still play when we go home.


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