I ❤ patchwork pick: 1 book, 3000 quilt-block possibilities

Karens-Bears-Paw-blocksLong before I worked at Martingale, I was a fan of Judy Hopkins and her books. And even though this renowned and prolific quiltmaker passed away in 2011, I still treasure her books and refer to them often. “501,” as we lovingly refer to Judy’s best-seller 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks around Martingale, is my go-to resource whenever I start planning a new quilt. And heck, why not? Judy has done all the math for us! I just pick the blocks I want, decide which size blocks to make, and I’m good to go. This book has earned a well-deserved space on my library shelf. Is it on yours? If not, read on!

Here are my top 5 (+1!) reasons you’ll want to have a copy of 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks on your bookshelf.

Reason #1: These 501 traditional quilt blocks are perennial favorites—they never go out of style. Whether you prefer modern or traditional fabrics, reproductions or theme prints, you can find blocks perfect for your favorite fabrics.

Christmas-at-Crockett-Cabin
Here’s a section of “Christmas at Crockett Cabin,” a quilt I made as part of a Martingale block exchange using the Crockett Cabin block from the book (page 80). Surprise—as you can see from the block illustration, the block
isn’t the star. The star emerges when you set the blocks together.

Reason #2: This book is an excellent hands-on resource for hundreds of block designs—and their names. So many times on social media I see quilters asking, “Do you know what this block pattern is called?” With 501, you can impress your quilting friends with your quilting knowledge by knowing the block names the next time you’re asked.

Example-of-quilt-block-names
Example of quilt-block names from 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks

Reason #3: Each block is illustrated with black-and-white shading, which really lets you use your imagination when it comes to selecting fabrics. Rather than matching (or being distracted by) fabrics as shown, you can simply follow the shaded illustrations for value placement.

Toad-in-a-Puddle-quilt-block
Example of block directions from
501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks

Reason #4: Each block has directions for a variety of sizes—with rotary-cutting sizes and easy-to-follow assembly diagrams. Finished blocks range in size from 4″ to 15⅛" square.

Bears-Paw-and-Flower-Pot-blocks
Choose large or small blocks! Shown here are my 10½" Bear’s Paw (page 44) and 5″ Flower Pot (page 109) blocks.

Reason #5: Looking for blocks to swap or trade? This book will undoubtedly have what you need. Or maybe a sampler quilt or a row quilt is on your sewing agenda. It’s so easy to be your own quilt designer and create a one-of-a-kind quilt that is 100% you!

Double X 3 blocks
Block: Double X #3 (page 95). I made 10″ scrappy blocks and set four of them together to make large star blocks (right), which are then separated by sashing.

Plus, did I mention, Judy has done all the math? And not just for 501 blocks, but for all 501 of them in multiple sizes! That’s literally thousands of block options you can use to make quilts in mini, medium, or maxi sizes. The options are just about limitless.

501 Rotary-Cut Quilt BlocksHere’s what other quilters are saying about 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks on Amazon.com:

5 stars! “As a new quilter, I cannot say enough good things about this book. I love the pictures of ALL the blocks offered at the very front of the book. I LOVE the detail put into each block in the instructions section, especially the grids!”

5 stars! “…the patterns are solid. You need this book. Use it for centers, swaps, borders, and you won’t be disappointed!”

5 stars! “I love how all the math is done for you… It is the most-often used book in my quilting library.”

5 stars! “I will put this book in my rolling sewing tote so I am sure to have it each time our guild meets. Get one for yourself or buy one for a quilting friend. You or they won’t be disappointed.”

Buy-it-NowReady to dive into this amazing quilt-block compendium? Buy the print version of 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks and you’ll instantly be able to download the eBook version for free. Or, you can buy the eBook version by itself and save $10.00! Go here to buy the book at our website, ShopMartingale.com. Be sure to leave your review of the book once you’ve had a chance to try it out!


How many different quilt-block designs have you sewn since you started quilting: just a few, more than 10, more than 25, more than that? Tell us in the comments!

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