Instructions for Hidden Wells Blocks

This stunning pattern goes together easily and makes good use of an ecclectic collection of fabrics. Often constructed in brights or rich tones, it is important to select at least one fabric with contrast or sparkle in order to highlight the design.

Begin by cutting and assembling strips of various widths. I suggest you use between five and seven different fabrics; use less and you lose the design, more and you overpower it.

For a 12" block, plan your strips to assemble to a 9.5" width. For a larger 18" block, make your strips add up to 14". For interest, cut strips to varying widths, making some two or three inches wide and others only 1.5 inches wide.

Square off one end of your strip-piecing, and cut 9.5" (or 14") squares. Cut each square along both diagonals.

These are your four basic blocks, label (or separate) them into four groups, A B C and D.

Sew your triangles together along the edges that used to be the outside edges of the squares:

triangle A and triangle B (#1)
triangle A and triangle D (#2)
triangle C and triangle B (#3)
triangle C and triangle D (#4)

Assemble two sets of blocks as four-patches:

  (4) | (3)         (2) | (1)
  ---------   and   ---------
  (3) | (4)         (1) | (2)

Be sure to rotate the blocks as necessary to create an "O" pattern with each pair of blocks.

Assemble your four-patch sets in an alternating layout in order to create the overall pattern. Take a moment to make sure you have everything laid out correctly, as the design can make you see things that aren't really there!

And a tip from Cindy:

"You left out some important information I think - SPRAY STARCH - working with all the bias edges you get lots of stretch -- the spray starch helps to eliminate it. I've made this quilt a number of times since Mary Ellen Hopkins first published the pattern. The one time I did not use the starch you could really tell the difference. If you are planning to try it again in the future try the starch - what a difference and it does go a lot faster:) Thanks for putting this on the net for everyone though. Your directions seem easier than Mary Ellen Hopkins - but then I just may be so familiar with them now that I read between the lines:)"

Cindy in CT

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