Vintage Block Quilt Along - Block #1, Rose Dream

Vintage Block Quilt Along
One Vintage 12" Quilt Block per month
Starting in October 2012
for 1 year!

Here is the tutorial for the first block in the quilt along - Rose Dream.  This block is one I just adore. It is from the Kansas City Star Newspaper circa 1930.  There are lots of curves and I promise you will be an expert after making this block!
  My helpers include lots of pins and starch!  

You can download the pattern [HERE]
I am reworking the pattern - join my email list for pattern updates.
You can find the link to sign up on the right side of my blog.

This pattern makes a 12" finished  / 12 1/2" unfinished block

*You will need approximately a F8 each of light and dark fabrics for one block.
*If you want to make it scrappy you will need:
DARK FABRIC - 2 squares 5" x 5", 4 squares 2 1/4" x 2 1/4", and 2 pieces 2 3/4" x 4 3/4"
LIGHT FABRIC - 2 squares 5" x 5", 4 squares 2 1/4" x 2 1/4", and 2 pieces 2 3/4" x 4 3/4"

Acrylic Ruler
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter
Sewing Scissors
Fine sewing pins
Spray Starch
Matching thread
1 sheet cardstock

A - 4 dark and 4 light
B - 2 dark and 2 light
C - 4 dark and 4 light

Printing out the Template
Set your printer to "page scaling - none".  You may want to do a text print to make sure your 1" test square in accutate.  When it is,  print the template onto card stock.    The templates includes a 1/4" seam allowance. I use a scant 1/4", so when I am sewing my seam edge is just inside the 1/4" mark on my sewing machine.

Assembling the Block
The following instruction are for 1/4 of the block.  Repeat these instructions for all four sections of the block.

1)  Place your blocks on your work surface as you will be sewing them.
2)  We will stitch block A to B first.  Fold piece A and B in half along the edge you will be stitching.  Finger press at  the center fold.
3)  Place piece A on piece B matching the center finger press mark, right sides together. 
Pin the center fold mark first.
Gently pull on the edge of piece A to fit the raw edge of B. 
This is most easily done flat on a table or flat surface.
Pin the edges and then towards the center.  As you can see, I use lots of pins.  I find I get a better seam this way : )
4)  Stitch the seam with a 1/4" seam allowance. 
I like to sew over the pins to keep the raw edges in place.
Just be careful to slow down when you approach a pin and remove it if your needle is going to hit it.
5)  Press your seams towards the darker fabric. If you have puckers and some creases, that is OK!!  Spray the block with starch and give it a good pressing!! Because the curve is on the bias you can manipulate this seam fairly easily.
6)  Stitch the top portion of the block together - A + C.  Press the seams towards the darker fabric.
7)  Fold both the top section - A/C and bottom - A/B section in half, matching seams.
Finger Press.
8)  Place the A/C section on top of the A/B section, right sides together.
First - match the center fold marks, pin.
Second - match and pin both seams.
Third,  slightly pull on the bias curve of piece A/C stretching to fit section A/B and pin the seam.
Stitch seam with a 1/4" seam allowance.
9)  Spray you block with starch and give it a good pressing making sure to pess the seams toward the darker fabric on piece A.
It is OK if your block is not 100% square!
Get our your acrylic ruler and cutting mat and true up your block to 6 1/2" square.
Repeat for the other three sections.
10)  With right sides together, pin the two bottom blocks together matching seams.  Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press seam open.  Repeat for the two top blocks.
Place the top two blocks right sides together with the bottom two blocks.  Match and pin seams.  Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press seam open.

Yay!!! You have completed the Rose Dream Block.  If you have any questions, please comment below and I will add any replies to the thread.
I'd love to have you join my Vintage Block Flickr Group HERE!!
Charise : )


  1. Hi Charise, I am hoping to do your QAL in vintage fabrics as and when I can but I couldn't find the print option on your google docs, or a download option- should I be able to print it?

  2. It is such a pretty block! I will try it soon!

  3. Great block! I just started playing with curves... you make it seem so easy!

    1. The "Curve Master" foot is invaluable. I do curves SO much better than I do "meeting points" with squares or rectangles!!!

  4. I'm having some problems sharing the pattern on google.docs.
    I'll post the new link as soon as my IT guy (husband) helps me fix the problem : )
    In the meantime, please email me at charise_randell@yahoo.com and I can forward the pattern.

    1. I thought I was just a dork when I couldn't figure out how to print this last night! Yes, it worked for me now. Thanks!

  5. Charise, I am so excited that you posted this. I was just searching the internet a few days ago, looking for "challenging vintage quilt patterns" and coming up empty handed. Now that I managed my Drunkard's Path blocks successfully, I am feeling more confident about curved seams and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at this Rose Dream block. I just get so tired of seeing the same blocks over and over everywhere, you know? Thank you so much for posting this tutorial -- I'll let you know how it goes.

    1. Sorry about the printing problem!! I'm happy to hear you have the pattern.
      Look forward to seeing your block!!!
      Charise : )

  6. Hi - thanks for giving us this bom to do!
    I have one question - looking at the back of your finished square - it looks like you sewed the leaves on differently for the lighter leaves than the darker leaves. Did you use two techniques?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Bonny -
      For the leaves, I press the seams towards the dark fabric. This makes the seams go in opposite direction.
      If you want all your leaves to "pop out" you can press all the leaf seams towards the inside of the leaves. I hope this makes sense.
      Take a peek at the pic for #10 and you can see how the seams are pressed in different directions towards the dark fabric.
      Let me know if you have any more question!
      Charise : )

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  8. Sorry about the above deleted comment...left out a word by accident and it didn't make sense ;o)

    A friend of mine sent me information about your vintage BOM so I came to look it over...it looks like fun! I agree with some of the above comments that vintage blocks are a refreshing option :o) I'm thinking I may hand sew...do you think the blocks you have selected will lend themselves to this? I'm thinking that since they are vintage many people probably hand sewed them at the time they were first published. Thoughts?

  9. thank you for sharing this vintage pattern with all of us -- it is so dawgone cute! i love it!

  10. I think hand sewing is a great option - especially for the curves!!

  11. Thanks a bunch - you are a total treasure.
    Patti xxx (the old one)

  12. Hi Charise! I'm Amber's friend, Kelly. I really enjoyed meeting you, and I got curious about your work so I looked you up. I'm sure it takes lots of practice, but this pattern and tutorial makes me want to drag out my dusty old sewing machine and start learning to do this! I love the sweet little details you put into your pieces and your whimsical fabric selections. I also love that the pattern is from the dustbowl during the Depression...so interesting to tie in the pattern's history! Cheers!

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  14. Sorry, I type so badly I had to remove the above comment and start over!
    I just found this through your Hundred Blocks post-- glad I did! I think this qal looks fun and I'd love to give it a go, though I don't think I can start till afterDecember. Thanks for sharing about the Home At Last shop too!

  15. Umm, I mean thanks for sharing Sew Me a Song :p

  16. ...So here I am, exactly a month since you posted this block, and now I am finally ready to tackle it BUT -- I was inspired by your post where you combined this Rose Dream block with your cute little paper-pieced dresses. I'd like to do something similar, but use some Dresden Plate blocks I've been working on as my alternate blocks. The only problem is that my Dresden Plates finished at 12" x 12" due to my careless math/inability to follow directions/caffeine deficiency. I think my plates need to go on a bigger block than 12". I was all set to enlarge your pattern by to 1.1666667 or whatever to get to a 14" block and then I realized that it wouldn't work out right because of the included seam allowances. Then I looked at the original Kansas City Star pattern on your Flickr page and noticed that it was originally supposed to finish at 13", and I think I could get away with a 13" block for my Dresden Plates.

    When you scanned in the original pattern, is it at actual size -- can I just print "original size" from the Flickr group, add a 1/4" seam allowance on all sides of each piece, and end up with a 13" block that fits together properly? Or should I draw the seam lines 1/4" in from all sides on your pattern, enlarge by the appropriate amount, and then redraw cutting lines a quarter inch out from the new seam lines?

    Sorry to be such a glorious pain in the neck. Now that I'm envisioning Rose Dream + Dresden Plates, I can't imagine doing anything else.

  17. I'm just joining your quilt-a-long and I can't access the pattern for this block. Maybe it's my computer, but I thought I'd ask if maybe you had removed the link??? Thank you for this wonderful quilt-a-long and help!

  18. Yay -- four years later, I FINALLY made a Rose Dream block! I just posted it to your Flickr group. I made a 6" version to mix in with Farmer's Wife blocks. Thanks for the inspiration and for the sewing tutorial!


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