Tag Archives: Nancy Martin Perpetual Calendar Blocks

Train Quilt Block

Some time ago, I thought it would be great practice for me to work my way through drawing the blocks found in Nancy Martin’s Perpetual Calendar 365 Blocks A Year.  The calendar was published in 1999.  I don’t know that I have had it that long, but I’ve certainly had it a very long time.

Obviously, I don’t work a block a day, but I’ve worked (I should say played) my way through quite a few blocks.  You can find them by clicking on the Quilt Blocks tab in my header.

And I have learned, and gained confidence, in using grids to draw blocks, as well as experimenting in quilt design.

The following block is simply named Train in Nancy’s calendar.

Train Quilt Block

Train is easily drawn using an 8 x 8 grid.

I think this block is a great little block for children’s quilts!


Or perhaps use just one block and a track border for a fun little pillow for a child.

Sister’s Choice Quilt Block

Let’s explore the Sister’s Choice Quilt Block.

The block is a traditional favorite.

Sister's Choice

Sister’s Choice is drawn with a 5 x 5 grid.

Here the blocks are set in a straight set with sashing:

Sister's Choice Straight Set

I’ve moved the color a bit, and that puts more emphasis on the stars:

Sister's Choice Straight Set 2

Let’s look at some straight sets without the sashing.

Sister's Choice Straight Set 3

The next one not only has the sashing removed, but the alternate blocks have some additional lines drawn.  The result is a star within a star.

Sister's Choice Straight Set 4

More alternate block experimenting:

Sister's Choice Straight Set 5

Sister's Choice Straight Set 6

Delete quite a few lines in the alternate block, and it opens up the entire design…great for the quilting lovers! 

Sister's Choice Straight Set 7

Moving blocks around, as well as adding and deleting lines from the original block (Sister’s Choice in this blog post), creates interesting designs.

Sister's Choice Straight Set 8

Sister's Choice Straight Set 9

Sister's Choice Straight Set 10

Let’s not forget about color (most importantly…value).  Changing values creates completely different looks!

Sister's Choice Straight Set 11

When designing your next quilt, take time to experiment with the block’s grid (adding/deleting lines to create alternate blocks), as well as value placement.

You will come up with a winner (or several)!  And have fun doing it!

I use Electric Quilt 7 for quilt designing.  Block Base is another great tool.  Sister’s Choice is #J008 in Block Base.  A pad of graph paper and colored pencils work well too!

Good Luck Quilt Block

I nearly skipped this block from Nancy Martin’s Perpetual Calendar 365 Quilt Blocks A Year.    I couldn’t see the design potential.

But with a name like Good Luck, how could I pass up the challenge?

Good Luck Quilt Block

Good Luck is an easy block to draw.  Simply slice a square in half diagonally and then draw two horizontal lines up to the diagonal.

I always begin my quilt design by looking at the block set side by side in a straight set.

Good Luck Straight Set

I’m thinking that without borders, and made smaller, the above could have potential to be a cute modern baby quilt.

The next design shows alternate Good Luck blocks rotated.

Good Luck Straight Set

More rotation:

Good Luck Straight Set

What if I merged four Good Luck blocks into one block, placed these blocks side by side, and rotated the alternates?

I have a nice basket weave thing going on.

Good Luck Straight Set

It might be well worth it to explore the four-into-one block by rotating some of the parts.  I didn’t think of that until just now, so will have to save that idea to play with later.

What I did think to do was to add another color and play with value.  Two examples of that:

Good Luck Straight Set

Good Luck Straight Set

There is no difference in the layouts of the above two designs.  Color/value is doing all the work.

The next design is playing with scale.  No new blocks are added.

Good Luck Straight Set

I did alter the Good Luck block by drawing a half square triangle into two corners.  The pleasant result is the pinwheels you see in the next design.

Good Luck Straight Set

There’s room for lots more exploration.  Except for the last design shown, I used only the Good Luck quilt block.  What about experimenting with alternate blocks and sashing? 

Who knew that one could get so much design potential from such a simple little block?


If you haven’t met the quilt block called Balance, then let me introduce you.

Balance Quilt Block

I found this block in Nancy Martin’s Perpetual Calendar 365 Quilt Blocks A Year.

I drew it with a 5 x 5 grid in Electric Quilt .  If you own BlockBase, it is #1817c.

It isn’t often that one sees a green and white quilt (I don’t think I’ve ever seen one…I may have to google that later), but it is March, and I’m longing for spring, so I’ve set this block with green and white. 

Here is how it looks in a straight set:

Balance Straight Set

In the following design, I’ve deleted a few lines from the block to create an alternate crossing block to set Balance with.  I’ve also added another green to the mix.

Balance Straight Set

I squared up the quilt design (it isn’t longer than it is wide now) and rearranged the blocks:

Balance Straight Set

Again, Balance is set side-by-side.  The only difference is in the color placement.  Stars have appeared!

Balance Straight Set

An alternate color theme:

Balance Straight Set

By deleting just a few lines, I’ve created another alternate block to add to the mix:

Balance Straight Set

And one more arrangement:

Balance Straight Set

Lots more could be done with this block, so go ahead and play with it!  See what you come up with!

By the way, this block looks amazingly like Bachelor’s Puzzle.

Christmas Tree Quilt Block

I played with the Christmas Tree quilt block this week.  I chose it from Nancy Martin’s Perpetual Calendar 365 Quilt Blocks A Year.

Christmas Tree Quilt Block

I easily drew the block from a 6 x 6 grid.

Here is how it looks set on point in a quilt design:

Christmas Tree On Point Set

And here is what happens when the blocks are rotated:

Christmas Tree On Point Set

I like it!

How about adding a group of friendly snowman:

Christmas Tree On Point Set

The snowmen will look cute when they are embellished with thread and buttons!

I found the applique shapes in Electric Quilt’s library.  I did alter them a bit, but EQ sure makes designing so much easier!

One more:

Christmas Tree On Point Set

I need more contrast, but otherwise I’m happy with the designs.

Merry Christmas to you and your families!