Lately, my main source of inspiration is vintage quilt blocks.  Whenever I want to start a project, especially a scrappy one, I grab books that have cataloged the patterns handed down for generations.  Flipping through these pages almost always sparks some sort of inspiration. 

The people (mostly women) who made quilts from these blocks back in the late 1800s and early 1900s were not using lucite quilting rulers, rotary cutters, and maybe not even sewing machines.  At present, I look at these blocks in terms of construction through a new lens – the one that knows how to quickly and accurately assemble with these widely available tools.  Some of these classic blocks you can look at and easily decipher how to construct based on a grid or a series of rectangles and triangles.  The others, well, they require more ingenuity.


Last year some friends and I started a group called #notabeebee.  It’s a bee where you make the blocks each month and keep them for yourselves – no mailing.    Our theme was stars, and looking for a unique star block for my month was the reason I cracked the book.

One of the blocks that caught my eye is Sky Rocket.  It’s a nine patch on point with acute triangles coming from the center square on each side, like this:


Looks simple, but this is deceptive.  Because the nine-patch is on point, the cutting dimensions of the squares rely on the diagonal measurement.  So if I wanted to make a nine-patch, set it on point, then add the triangles, I’m using the Pythagorean theorem.  As a rule, I do not Pythagorize anything in quilting (unless it’s really really important) nor do I cut pieces to any precision less than 1/8″.  Practically, I needed to make sure the block could be made to 6″ and 12″ finished sizes so there’s that too.  (P.S. If you’re better at math than me and see an easy solution here, please be kind.  I failed calculus.)

My solution was to make the nine patch to easily cut sizes, then reverse engineer the triangles.  With this approach I lost the nine patch square touching the sides, but I was ok with that.


I’m calling it Sky Rocket Variation.  For a 6″ finished block, the squares of the nine patch are cut to 1.75″ each, then the triangle “wings” are paper pieced.  For a 12″ block, the nine patches are cut to 3″ each, and there is a scaled paper pieced triangle to add on for that.  I’ll include the patterns at the end of the post.

Here are my completed blocks:


I gave my bee mates a couple construction notes that I’ll give to you too:

#1  Match points by pinning through wing point as shown and at seam allowance depth on 9-patch (shown on 6″ block)
















#2 On the 12″ block I found I needed to pin four times to keep the wing from slipping.  Trim the dog ears on both blocks.


If you want to give it a try, the patterns I wrote are below.   IMPORTANT:  Seam allowances are not included.  You’ll need to draw or cut a 1/4″ border around each pattern piece.   

If you make one, please tag me on IG, I’d love to see it.  @s.j.lauzon


Sky Rocket Var 6

Sky Rocket Var 12


These Sky Rocket Variation patterns are published for personal use only, do not sell or redistribute without my permission.

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