“Garlic Knots” Hack

11 08 2017

I am a fan of Bonnie Hunter, the queen of scrap quilts. (You will find a link to her Quiltville blog in the right column of this blog.) I have purchased most of her books and have constructed nearly a dozen of her quilt patterns. Bonnie provides a mystery quilt to her blog followers each year in late fall, and she launches a Leader/Ender challenge in July. (This year’s design is “Rail Fence.”) Bonnie designs blocks for the bi-annual publication, Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, and one of her ideas for blocks using scraps is regularly published in the “Addicted to Scraps” column in Quiltmaker magazine.

Currently, I am captivated by the simple block, “Garlic Knots.” Bonnie’s instructions for this block were published in the January/February 2014 issue of Quiltmaker. Click here for a diagram and explanation. You will find more photos on Pinterest and when searching “images of Garlic Knots quilts” online. In order to respect copyright laws, I will not publish detailed instructions for making this block. However, it is simple enough to figure out the math for yourself. If you want to make 6″ blocks, divide 6″ by the 4 squares in each row to reach the finished square size of 1 1/2.” If you want to use 2 1/2″ scrappy squares, you’ll end up with an 8″ finished block.

Instead of cutting oodles of 2″ squares for the blocks, I am using 2″ wide strips of Civil War reproduction fabric leftover from another project. The “hack” is strip-piecing 3 blocks at a time by cutting my 40″ long strips in thirds. To zoom in, click on the picture at the right. You will see that rows 1 and 4 are cut from the same strip-set. Row 4 is merely rotated 180 degrees. And Rows 2 and 3 are cut from the second strip-set. Similarly, row 3 is rotated 180 degrees. The 6″ blocks work up in a jiffy, and my pile of finished blocks is growing steadily. Several years ago I bought about 2 1/2 yds. of shirting which will be the background for all my blocks. When I use up all that shirting, I will quit making blocks, and my quilt size will thus be determined!

If you made a “Garlic Knots” quilt, what style of fabric would you use?