Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Hold the Pickle Quilt Block Tutorial

As I promised last week here’s my quick and cheap tutorial for the Hold the Pickle block.

The block is effectively a  Pickle Dish Variation variation and once I modified it to remove the Drunkards Path units it lost its dish shape. I’ve named the quilt I’m making already as my Hold the Pickle Quilt, thus these are Hold the Pickle blocks.

I’ve given myself some parameters for fabric choices that you can ignore completely for your version. I’ve decided that I’m trying to achieve a sweet and pretty vintage effect so I’m using pastels for the backgrounds (B1 and B2) for the simple quarter log cabin units (not sure what to call these bits), low-volume prints as background for the star sections (B3) and checks, dots, and small scale florals for the focus prints in the centre (F). Star points are S. That’s what you’ll see in the photos.

I’m also using a tri-recs ruler these days to cut the fabric for the triangle in a square unit but I started out doing them as paper-pieced. You can find a pdf here from Generations Quilt Patterns for paper-piecing templates and paper-piecing cutting templates.

For this block we make 3 inch finished units.

So now that we’ve all got our templates ready we can start cutting.


For the triangle-in-a-square units, start with strips of your chosen fabric (S and B3) wide enough to fit your templates on and cut 8 star points and 4 background triangles. 

Cut two 3 ½” squares from the B3 fabric.

From the B1 and B2 backgrounds cut one each
          3 ½” square
          3 ½” x 6 ½” rectangle

From the F fabrics cut a total of four 3 ½” squares


This part’s pretty easy.

(Notice how suddenly my fabrics have gone all wrinkly? That’s because a gust of wind blew them all over the garden and I had to chase them and grab them quickly in my sweaty little hand. Thoroughly annoyed I took the photo ANYWAY. Notice also that I have the far left star point section upside down - don't do that.)

Sew the B1 and B2 squares to two F squares, then attach the B1 and B2 rectangles to make the quarter log cabin units.

Lay out the star points S around the B3 triangles to make sure you’ve got everything lined up okay and then stitch together.

Arrange the different bits to make sure everything’s pointing in the right direction. Sew together two triangle-in-a-square units to the two B3 squares and two triangle-in-a-square units to two F squares (black arrows). Sew these two sections together (red arrows).

Sew the sections together like a four patch and *ta-da!* one block done! The block is 12" finished.

I hope this all makes sense to you. If you have any questions or need some clarification, please comment and I’ll endeavor to fix it.

I’ll be linking this up to Cheryl’s (Meadow Mist Designs) and Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) new quarterly tutorial link up.


  1. Sue, what a great block! Thanks for the fantastic instructions! It would be nice in an on point setting as well!

    1. As my grand daughter used to say....get out of my head...I had exactly the same thought. It’s a gorgeous block either way

  2. I will have to try this one sometime. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Nice tutorial! This block is wonderful. Can't wait to see a whole quilt of them! Thanks for linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss.

  4. Such a wonky block! It’s just aforable.

  5. Such a cool block! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Very nice tutorial! Thank you for sharing. :)

  7. Awesome block. Love your fabrics, too.

  8. That is an awesome block - looks like it's bursting! Thank you for the tutorial!

  9. Great block Sue, thank you for the tutorial. The great thing is I already have a try rec ruler :-)

  10. I have already saved this post, and played with the block. I really like the feel of it, and the similarities visually to a spiky pickle dish. I have components left from En Provence, the Bonnie Hunter Mystery 2017, and this has given me a stepping stone to using them somewhere--vs. sitting in the box. I do appreciate it the inspiration.

  11. Great blocks and a great tutorial. I think it is quite a nice block without the drunkard’s path piece.

  12. Thanks for the tutorial; it's very clear. I like your block; I can't wait to see the whole quilt.

  13. I bought this ruler last year but haven't used it yet. Always good to see what it can be used for. Thanks for the tutorial.

  14. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.
    The blocks look great.

  15. Thanks for this. It’s definitely on my list of must makes...perhaps it will find its way to Stash Bee. I’ve always loved new twists on beautiful traditional blocks.

  16. I love this block, thanks so much for the tutorial!

  17. Great tutorial and a very cool block. I haven't seen this layout before and I really like it!