Northern Lights

Pattern available from my Shop

Northern Lights – single block
This is one of the simplest blocks possible, consisting of four small units; two half-square triangle units and two four-square units. However, a number of different designs can be made from it, depending on which way round the little blocks are arranged.
Northern Lights cushion
Northern Lights cushion

Four blocks together make an effective cushion cover.

Can you see how the blocks have been placed carefully, so that the direction of the half-square triangle diagonal always goes out from the middle?

In the small quilt below, made from flannel and plaid fabrics, all the blocks are arranged the same way round, giving an overall diagonal feel.

Northern Lights

A simple diagonal grid of hand quilting was chosen to complete the quilt – notice how this grid changes slightly in the border.

If the little blocks are arranged in groups of four, with the diagonals circling round in each set, then this is the effect:

Green and cream quilt
Northern Lights Blocks arranged in rings

I love the dark green fabric in this quilt – if you look carefully, it has ducks on it, so I named this “Ducks in Rings”.

However, if the blocks are arranged all the same way round within the sets of four, and the sets rotated so that the diagonals radiate out from the centre, a completely different effect is obtained:

Blue and Pink Northern Lights quilt
Northern Lights – arranged radially

This “scrappy” little quilt was made with the fabric left over from my favourite bed quilt “Solitaire“.

And finally, this variation, in which the four square units are rotated so that the Light squares run down the diagonal, and is known as Buckeye Beauty:

Muted green and apricot quilt
Buckeye Beauty – yet another variation on Northern Lights.

This one was made as a cot quilt when a friend of mine at work who likes soft colours, had her first child, Henry. I needed to finish it quickly, so again used a simple grid design for the quilting – vertical & horizontal this time, and stitched by machine.

Isn’t it amazing how many things can be done with one simple little block?

This pattern is available for you to buy as a download.
It includes:

  • quick-piecing instructions to make the blocks quickly and easily
  • 8 different ways of arranging the blocks to make different designs
  • suggestions for using the block to make a cushion cover, a wall-hanging, a cot quilt or a small wallhanging