One Block Wonder, Block closeup 1

One Block Wonderment

In 2013, Other Projects by S Adams

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When I took the Tumbling Blocks class, my instructor told me about One Block Wonder (OBW) quilts.  It was another one of those instant reactions for me.  I gotta do this!  I waited and waited for a class to come around, and made myself a nuisance by begging the quilt shop to schedule one.  When a class did not appear to be forthcoming, I finally decided to tackle it on my own.  I figured it couldn’t be all that different than Tumbling Blocks.

I ended up buying all three One Block Wonder Books by Maxine Rosenthal to guide and inspire me.  They were well worth the price!  There were a few things that made me a little nervous, but the books walked me through everything and I loved the process!  It was so exciting to watch the quilt materialize right before my eyes (pun intended).  I will definitely be doing another OBW quilt.

One of my favorite things about this quilt is the infinite designs you can ponder while looking at it.  I can stare at just one block for a long time noticing little details in the repeating pattern.  Or I can look at a section and study how the blocks play off each other.  It’s a great time waster!  It’s my favorite quilt and you may notice bits of this quilt scattered about my blog.


As usual, I did learn a few things, especially about One Block Wonder quilts:

  1. The instructions tell you not to use a fabric with a lot of background.  It’s good advice, as I ended up with a number of blocks that would have been solid black if I had bothered to sew them together.  I still like the starting fabric I chose, but will keep this in mind when I do my next one.
  2. It was pretty much mandatory to have some kind of design wall to do this project.  I started with one, but it wasn’t long before I needed a second.  I went the cheap route, by getting 1” thick rigid foam insulation board from Home Depot and covering it with cheap batting.  My only complaint is that I have the batting secured with packing tape and that needs reapplying fairly regularly.  Otherwise they are still serving me well, over three years later.
  3. It’s great to have a little chunk of extra fabric to put on the back of your quilt, to remind you what your starting fabric looked like.  I can’t remember if the book said that, or if my Tumbling Blocks instructor suggested that.
  4. My next OBW quilt will have a pantograph instead of custom quilting.  I was so enamored with the finished top that I really wanted it custom quilted.  Karen did a great job, but you can hardly see her quilting even when you are right on top of it because the pattern is just so busy.

I ended up leaving out most of the blocks that had the yellow flowers.  For some reason they just weren’t working for me in the layout.  Between these and other blocks that somehow didn’t work, I had enough leftover blocks to make a bonus table runner.  I quilted that myself doing stitch in the ditch around each 60 degree triangle.  It was the first thing I quilted myself, and although it’s made from “leftovers” it holds a special place in my heart.

p.s. Sorry I don’t have a picture of the back of the wall hanging.  But I’m not taking it down to get one at this time.  Maybe if I ever rearrange my office/quilting room!

The Project Photos


The Project Details…

Pieced By: Me
Piecing Done: July 2013
Quilted By: Wall Hanging: Karen Walker
Table Runner: Me!
Quilting Done: November 2013
Pattern: “One Block Wonder” by Maxine Rosenthal.
Fabric Line: Beautiful Peacock, by Timeless Treasures
Size: Wall Hanging: 57 1/2 x 62 1/2 inches
Table Runner: 18 x 48 inches
For: Myself
Occasion: None