Platinum Retention Test – Quilt Designs: Blocks, Settings & Borders

Quilt Designs: Blocks, Settings & Borders

Find freedom from relying on books and patterns as you learn how simple and easy it can be to design your own quilts.

In this class, art quilter, Heather Thomas will show you how to visually break down a quilt block to determine how it is built then add in some easy math to make the cutting quick and simple. You will get information about how most blocks can be described as either a 4-patch, a 9-patch or a 16-patch.

Heather will show you how to make easy half and quarter square triangles and how to use “Magic Corners” for bias free piecing. You’ll also discover how easy it is to use simple paper piecing and flip-and-sew techniques to bypass block designs with difficult angles and lots of bias.

Heather will show you how to build from the block up including information about various block settings including straight and diagonal sets, horizontal and vertical sets as well as off set piecing. She’ll then show you how to work with pieced sashing and pieced borders.

You will learn all about the magic of the “coping” strip and how you can use them to make all the parts and pieces of your quilt design come together beautifully.

Using several quilt samples, Heather will introduce you to the three basics of good quilt design; balance, unity and variety and will provide you with some great information on selecting the perfect quilting motifs for your one of a kind quilt.


Download this PDF for 4, 9 & 16 patch templates.

Download this PDF for detailed basic math and diagonal set formulas.

Download this video to hear Heather talk about the joy she gets when designing her quilts.

Session 1: Introduction

In this session I will show several quilts and talk about how they were designed, introducing the types of blocks used the type of setting used, sashing and coping strips that are present and borders. While showing the quilts I will give an overview of how the three pillars of good design are used in each quilt; balance, unity and variety.

Session 2: Block Basics

Using paper templates and colored paper shapes, I will show how just about any block can be broken down into a 4-patch, 9-patch or 16-patch and give instructions on how to easily determine the finished measurements of each unit and how to do the math for quick cutting purposes. I will also provide information on how to cut and piece both half square and quarter square triangles and how to create simple paper pieced or flip and sew patterns to use with unusual angles or complex designs.

Session 3: Quilt Settings

In this session I will introduce some of the basic setting options for quilts including; straight set, diagonal set, medallion set, horizontal set and off set. I will introduce any special math that is utilized in each type of set and talk about how to achieve balance, unity and variety with each type of set.

Session 4: Sashing & Coping Strips

In this session I will show how coping strips can be used to stop action and help fit a pieced border to a pieced body of a quilt. I will discuss various styles of sashing and show how to do a simple stitch and slash technique all while teaching the basic math needed to complete these techniques.

Session 5: Borders, Borders, Borders

In the session I will talk about the differences in borders for wall quilts versus bed quilts. How to build the “drop” for a bed quilt so that it is visually attractive and how to do the math for pieced borders.

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8 Responses to “Platinum Retention Test – Quilt Designs: Blocks, Settings & Borders”

  1. Patricia

    I’ve been quilting a long time . I really enjoyed the easy to understand approach on the math. I’ve been doing it the hard way. This will make my life easier in the future.

  2. Christine Spano

    Your are a great Teacher and so very talented and inspiring. I enjoy watching your videos and have certainly learned a lot. Keep them coming. Love your hair styles too!


  3. JULIA

    Thoroughly enjoyed this class. Learned so many tips and new techniques. Heather is one of my top 3 teachers. She is right up there with the famous fiber art pros. Love it when periodically in her online classes she lets her natural sense of humor show. Heather would be such an interesting, fun and entertaining guest at dinner or sewing parties.

  4. patsy geel

    thank you very much for a wonderful class.. i really appreciate it.

  5. Sema Talay

    Thank you very much Heather! It is an excellent class I’ve ever seen about designing blocks with maths and all up to the borders. Many many thanks.