April 2014 Block Lottery - Rock Candy

Welcome to the ECMQG April 2014 Block Lottery!

If you are new to the group, or our blog, you can read the general Block Lottery information here, as well as see previous blocks (with instructions or tutorials) and past winners.  As always, please read through the entire instructions before cutting and sewing.

The rules are simple:

  • The Lottery is open to all ECMQG members in good standing.
  • Please use only quilt shop quality fabric (no Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's fabric with the exception of designer lines and please no batiks).
  • The aesthetic is ALWAYS MODERN
  • Take your time and effort to construct your block well.  Use a 1/4" seam allowance. 
  • Blocks should be the correct size, within about a quarter of an inch.
  • Each block + $1 is one entry in the drawing.  You may submit as many entries as you would like.
  • Please label your block with you name, either within the seam allowance on the back, or, with an address label stuck to the back.
  • Past winners can still contribute, but please understand until we see a finished quilt from your win, allow someone else the thrill of winning.
  • If you have any questions please contact me - Kira - or comment below.

This month the color palette for our block is aqua, pink, red, and Kona white for the background.  This is a color trend that feels very retro, and is a popular color combination in the modern and modern-traditional quilter's palette. 

As a child, did you ever make rock candy by mixing sugar and water?  After a little bit of time (okay, a LOT of waiting), the sugar crystals are formed.  


This retro modern color palette along with the block design remind me so much of those sugar crystals, hence the name Rock Candy.


This month let’s touch on the subject of quilt design by using this block as an exercise.  I would like to explain a little bit…

The Rocky Candy block is simply a variation of the traditional Rolling Stone or Broken Wheel blocks.  A great resource for the history of these blocks is available from The Quilt Index.

Camille Roskelly, Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts, and Elizabeth Dackson of Don't Call Me Betsy, along with many others, have patterns or tutorials that are also variations. They can be found herehere, and here.   

In it's simplest form, the Rolling Stone block is a basic Nine-Patch block.  Four square-in-square blocks in the corners; four double strip blocks are used for the top, sides, and bottom; finally, the center block.  Variations can be created just by changing an element and/or color placement within the block. 

Because there are so many design possibilities, I have included a couple of links to coloring pages for the Rolling Stone block and Rock Candy block.  You can print these out and play with color placement or even change an element within the block to create your own version.

Rock Candy Block Tutorial

Unit 1 - Is the center of the block, a square-in-square.  It is a colored square that is surrounded by the white background.  (Make one block.)

Unit 2 - These are the corner square-in-square blocks, only with three sides of white background and the fourth side with a colored fabric.  (Make four blocks.)

Unit 3 - These are strip blocks made from two colored fabrics.  (Make four blocks.)

Choose three fabrics from your stash in shades of aqua, pink, and red.  In this tutorial the colored fabrics will be referenced as fabrics A, B, C, D, and E.  (Yes, you will use two of your colored fabrics twice.)  Because I want to allow you to have more control over choosing where to place the colored fabrics, I am only specifying where the white background goes.

Fabric Requirements and Cutting Dimensions:
(This is a great scrap buster or stash buster block!  I am not specifying yardage amounts, because the block can be made using less than a fat-quarter of each color.)     
  • Kona White - one 28" x 3 1/4" strip
    • sub cut into eight 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares; cut again in half diagonally, making 16 triangles. 
  • Fabric A - one 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" square for Unit 1
  • Fabric B - one 14" x 3 1/4" strip
    • sub cut into four - 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares for Unit 2
  • Fabric C - one 7" x 3 1/4" strip
    • sub cut into two - 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares, then cut in half diagonally to make 4 triangles (see cutting instructions below) for Unit 2
  • Fabric D - one 2 1/2" x 19" strip for Unit 3
  • Fabric E - one 2 1/2" x 19" strip for Unit 3

3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares, sliced diagonally - Background and Fabric C

Unit 1

With right sides together, sew a background triangle to one side of the fabric A's 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" square. 

Repeat on the opposite side.  Press seams toward the background.  Trim excess fabric from sides so it is even with the center square.

Next, sew two more background triangles to the remaining sides, completing your square-in-square.   Press seams toward the background.  

Trim to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". 

Measure from the center points out 2 1/4", this way you will have a perfect 4 1/2" square.

Unit 2

Similar construction as with Unit 1.

Using the four 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares and the fabric C triangles, sew one of fabric C to the side of the 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares. Press towards the fabric C triangle.

Then sew one background triangle to the opposite side of the square. Press towards the background.

Trim the excess fabric off even with the square.

Next sew background triangles to the other two sides of the squares. Press towards the background and trim to 4 1/2" square.

Unit 3

With the two color fabric strips D and E placed right sides together, sew the long edge.  Press towards the darker fabric.

Cut into four, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares.

Assembling the Block

Lay out the units as shown.

Working from left to right and top to bottom, sew a corner block to a strip block, and a side block to the center block, paying close attention to your overall layout.  

Sew the remaining corner blocks and side block to the previous sections (as shown below), creating three rows.

Sew your top row to the middle row, matching seams.  Press this seam open.  Repeat with the third row, creating your block.

If your 1/4' seam is accurate, there will be no need to trim, as the block should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".

I hope you enjoy this sweet block, and I look forward to seeing your creations!

We are not having a meeting in April due to the field trip to A & E, so we will draw for a winner in May at the meeting on the 10th.  

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.  Thanks!

ECMQG Block Lottery Coordinator 

ETA: Jennifer's lovely quilt top made from her blocks


  1. Great tutorial Kira! And a lovely palette for this one! Now all I need is Kona white - I've been using Bella White for awhile, and it's not {quite} the same. Grrr..

    1. Thanks! If you need I have some extra Kona white if you need it.

  2. I enjoyed your tutorial Kira. I think you should be the quilt designer on MQG....IMHO!
    I am not able to print out the instructions clearly so I guess I'll just save it to my desktop. Low on color ink at the moment.

    1. Faye, your so very sweet!! I can print them for you, just let me know when you are going to be in FWB and I can meet you and give them to you.


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