Monday, 19 October 2015

Puss in the Corner - Red Sky at Night Quilt

I have spent the last week thinking about cats in preparation for this week's tutorial! I don't have a cat. I used to when we were growing up but I didn't pay it much attention. I can't even remember its name. And I can't remember it minding all that much. In fact, the only thing I can remember is it disappearing for days when we had visitors, and only coming back when it could be sure the coast was clear. Nope. I can't tell you any stories about cats.

After searching my books and coming up dry, I finally decided to try my hand at Google. Anyone following along here will know that Google hasn't been a very helpful friend in this process. Google most blocks, and if you're lucky to actually come up with a quilt block, and not a pub in Oxford or an American football team, it's usually just a tutorial or picture.

So imagine my delight when I asked Google about Puss in the Corner and discovered it was an old children's game! Old like mid 1800s! It was usually played by five children, four in a corner of a room, or behind a group of trees, and one in the centre. The four would sneakily swap places and the one would try to snatch a corner spot, a little like musical chairs. I thought it was wonderful that in a collection of blocks inspired by Bible stories, politicians, the Temperance Movement, and ordinary household items, a sweet children's game also features. I can just imagine the long simple dresses and aprons that you see in period dramas swishing around with the screams and giggles!


You will need:

Red: Four 4.5" x 2.5" rectangles, twelve 2.5" squares.

White: One 4.5" square, eight 4.5" x 2.5" rectangles, twelve 2.5" squares.

Today's flying geese are being made the easy, 'extravagant' way. After forty odd weeks of making half square triangles, and playing with other ways to make them, I've decided, waste or no, this is my favourite!

1. Place a white square on one end of a red rectangle. Sew a line from the centre of the rectangle, diagonally through the square to the opposite corner.

2. Trim off the little triangle on the outer side of the seam. Push the white triangle over to complete the square. Press.

3. Repeat on the other side. The repeat with all the other rectangles, both white and red. They should look like the ones above.

4. Sew the red 'goose' (the red triangle above) to the white 'goose', with the red goose on the top. You should have four little arrows.

5. Lay out your block as above. Sew the little red squares to the white ones next door. Press open.

6. Sew this new rectangle to the white one next to it. Press.

7. Sew the block together in rows.

8. Sew the rows together.

This block feels so different to me now that I know its history. I've always liked it, with its interesting lines and clear, modern feel. But now it has a touch of whimsy too. It makes including a story with a tutorial absolutely worth it, don't you think?


  1. What an interesting and thought provoking post! I do spend a lot on quilting but, after over 35 years as a quilter, I have seen many times the generosity of quilters--so many hours of labor freely gifted to those in need of comfort! I do have a substantial stash, but love to share it with those who will make charity quilts with it! How fortunate we are that fabric is readily available and inspiration on blogs such as yours at our fingertips! We are truly blessed! Thanks for the history lesson and reminder of our heritage!


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx