Simply Brilliant!

Posted by Gerri Robinson on

I know you remember the original NO CUT - NO TRIM Block-in-a-Block I introduced you to over a year ago.  If you're new and are totally unfamiliar with what I'm referring to, take a quick minute and read all about it here (shown above).

This design CONTINUES to garner a lot of attention and interest and it has even brought back several "retired" quilters back to their sewing machines.  There's something to be said for simplicity, right?


I followed up the original NO CUT - NO TRIM Block-in-a-Block design with the Wonky Wonder here (shown above)!  It too has a very strong appeal and just the right amount of variety to make it Wonky Wonderful!

You'd think I'd stop there, right?  Nope.  In the hustle and bustle of holiday prep, I had another idea for the SAME concept of NO CUT- NO SEW Block-in-a-Block but this one is even MORE SIMPLIER!

How?  By starting with your 5" square in the corner of a 10" block (shown below).

Fold in half horizontally by bringing the bottom up to the top edge (shown below) and press.  

Stitch 1/4" from the bottom fold and press open (shown below).

Rotate your block so the 5" square is in the upper right corner (shown below)

Fold in half horizontally by bringing the bottom up to the top edge (shown below) and press.  

 Stitch 1/4" from the bottom fold and press open (shown below).

 This method creates (2) open edges (shown below)

But don't worry, those will get stitched up if you lay your blocks out with the small patches all toward the center (shown below).

Not your favorite look?  No worries, rotate the blocks a bit more, like this (shown below).

 Or like this (shown below).

There is no right or wrong way in which way you set your blocks.  I'm seriously thinking of adding sashing between each of the blocks for this look (shown below).  What do you think?  Should I?

If you're concerned with the (2) open edges on the layouts where the small patches are on the outside edge of the quilt, no worries.  Simply run a basting stitch along the perimeter of your quilt once all your blocks are sewn together; keeping the open edges stitched down in preparation to be quilted.

Well?  Isn't this method Simply Brilliant?  I think so, hence the name for the design. Only 2 folds, 2 stitching rows and 2 presses and you're on to the next block.

Oh, and if you're curious what the block size is, its stitches up to be 9-1/2" and will finish (once stitched into rows) at 9" square.

Are you going to give Simply Brilliant a try?  I'll be back, in a future post, sometime in January/February with the final results of my block setting and finished quilt.

Interested in making Simply Brilliant too with my NEW Brilliance Collection?  Shop to your heart's content in Brilliance Pre-Cuts and Yardage here!

This NO CUT - NO TRIM concept is very addicting.  Give it a try and let me know what method you chose; the original, the Wonky Wonder or Simply Brilliant.

Until next time, happy quilting!












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  • I am new to quilting ,I would really like to try this

    eileen on
  • I used the original block to make a Quilt of Valor. It was a fun block to make of collected fabrics and turned out great. Thanks! Anxious to try the new block.

    Rosemary Sevigny on
  • Love this idea….will try myself soon!

    Carol Grolemund on
  • In your original design what do you think about putting the small square on point?
    Or if you have an Accuquilt you can make your own squares. You could do crazy quilt material and cut that into 5 and 10 inch squares or any size with the Accuquilt. The possibilities are endless. But I like this technique and try it! Thank you!

  • What do you think of the idea of putting another 5" block in the opposite corner?


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