Make a Traditional School House Block

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This week's free project is taken from The ABCs of Quiltmaking by Janet Lundholm McWorkman. 

The School House block is one of my personal favorites. If you search the web for these blocks, you will discover an enormous variety of quilted styles, from midcentury modern to simple designs built from only four pieces. The traditional School House block featured in The Quilter’s Primer is complicated. There are many pieces of different sizes. Organization at this point will make your life much easier when sewing together these small pieces.

Materials

Choose 3 fabrics: 1 light and 1 dark. (Minimum sizes listed below.)

Background: 6 ̋ × 15 ̋

House walls: 8 ̋ × 12 ̋

Roof: 6 ̋ × 10 ̋

Windows and door: 4 ̋ × 8 ̋

Chimneys: 3 ̋ × 4 ̋

Cutting

Makes 1 block.

Make the Block

School House block assembly

1. Arrange all the pieces for the block as shown in the assembly diagram.

2. Begin with the chimney section. Sew the 2 chimney strips to each end of the background 21/2 ̋ × 41/2 ̋ rectangle. Add 2 background squares 21/2 ̋ × 21/2 ̋ to either side to complete the chimney section. Press the seams toward the darker fabrics. 

Assemble the chimney section.

3. Piece the roof section. Sew 2 half-square triangles using the 2 background squares 21/2 ̋ × 21/2 ̋ and 2 roof squares 21/2 ̋ × 21/2 ̋. Sew a dark square 21/2 ̋ × 21/2 ̋ to each end of a background rectangle 21/2 ̋ × 31/2 ̋. Trim the seams and press them toward the roof fabric. You now have 3 pieced roof components and 1 roof rectangle. Sew them together as shown.

Assemble the roof.

4. Piece the door section. Sew the 11/2 ̋ × 21/2 ̋ window and the 21/2 ̋ × 31/2 ̋ door to either side of the 11/2 ̋ × 21/2 ̋ wall piece. Press the seams toward the darker fabric. Sew 2 wall pieces 11/2 ̋  × 5 1/2 ̋  to the sides of this unit, and then add the 11/2 ̋ × 41/2 wall piece to the top. Press the seams toward the longest fabric pieces. 

Assemble the door.

5. Piece the window section. Sew the window squares to either side of the 1 1/2 ̋ × 11/2 ̋  wall squares, pressing the seams toward the darker fabric. Add the 1 1/2 ̋ × 31/2 ̋  walls and the 11/2 ̋ × 5 1/2 ̋  top and bottom walls in the same manner as Step 4, pressing the seams toward the longest fabric pieces. 

Assemble the window.

6. Add the 11/2 ̋ × 51/2 ̋ top and 11/2 ̋ × 61/2 ̋ left side background strips to the window section. Press the seams toward the background.

Complete the window section.

7. Sew the door and window sections together, and press the seam toward the background.

8. Sew the roof onto the unit from Step 7. Press the seam toward the door and window.

9. Sew the chimneys to the top of the roof, and press the seam toward the chimneys.

School House block alternate colorways. 

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  • free project
  • Janet Lundholm McWorkman
  • The ABCs of Quiltmaking
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