Making this Brickwork Pattern Afghan is a great way to use up fabric scraps. Alternately, I really like the suggestion made to use special fabrics – suits, dresses…etc. This could make a very nice memento for someone.
For a practical, inexpensive, and pretty afghan we recommend this patchwork afghan in a brickwork pattern. It is an excellent way of preserving the material of treasured dresses, suits, coats, and ties. The afghan may be made from silk and rayon pieces, or, for greater warmth, make it of wool pieces and line with outing flannel in a medium or dark shade.
If the, afghan is made according to the directions given it will measure about 56 by 76 inches. The chart shows a suggested color scheme in which rose, blue, green, yellow, and violet silks were used. All blocks in a given color need not be from the same material; that is, in the afghan shown, part of the rose blocks were cut from a rose satin sash, part from a rose and white print, and still others from a rose crepe dress, but the general effect was the same. In woolens,grays, blacks, browns, tans, wines,blues, and greens, with a few gay colors will make a pretty afghan.
To cut the blocks make patterns from stiff paper or cardboard. The brick block is a rectangle 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. This allows for 1/4-inch seams. For heavy woolens make the block about 5 by 9 inches, thus allowing for 1/2-inch seams. Cut a 4 1/2-inch square for the half-blocks (a 5-inch square for half-block if using woolens). Using these for patterns, cut blocks from your materials, cutting blocks on the straight thread of the goods. No set color scheme need be followed so we are not suggesting the number of blocks to be cut from each color. You may have each row a different color if you choose, or you may repeat the same color in several rows. It will be most economical to make the longest rows, or the rows you repeat most often, of the color of which you have the most blocks.
To assemble the pieced center lay pieces as shown on the chart, beginning at upper right-hand corner with the block marked R1. Continue to lay 10 more blocks of this same color across diagonally to lower left edge, following the arrangement in the row marked R1. As explained before, these blocks need not be rose but may be any other color you choose, though they should all be of the same general color.
Choose another color which looks well beside the color of this row. Beginning just below the block in upper right corner, lay a diagonal row of 11 blocks, following the arrangement of blocks in the row marked B2. Continue to lay diagonal rows as shown on the chart; then fill in the upper left-hand corner as shown by the chart. Fill ends of alternate rows with half-blocks to complete the row. Shift rows if necessary until the color harmony is a pleasing one.
Piecing: work may be done by hand or on the machine. Silks you may wish to join by hand; with woolens the machine is preferable. Beginning at right upper corner with block R1, pin it to block BELOW (B2), and that to the block BELOW, and so on to the lower right corner. There will be 8 whole Blocks in the row. Seam blocks together, press seams open, lay strip back in place. Pin and join the next strip. When all 11 strips have been joined and pressed, seam strips together lengthwise; press seams open.
Border: for our silk afghan we were fortunate, by piecing the strips, to have enough black satin from a discarded dress and robe to cut the border. For the side borders cut 2 strips 6 1/2 inches wide, and as long as the afghan plus 13 inches. For the end borders cut 2 strips 6 1/2 inches wide, and as long as the width of the afghan plus 13 inches. Seam strips to center, mitering corners. We like outing flannel for the lining for it is both soft and warm. For the silk afghan put a thin layer of cotton batting over lining (this is optional with the wool afghan), pin afghan top in place. Put in frames and quilt, quilting around each block of center, and quilting border as illustrated or in your favorite pattern. The border is most effective if quilted with lustrous thread (pearl cotton) in a contrasting color. We used rose on the black. Bind edge with satin blanket binding in the same shade.
Once the method of making the center is understood you will find many uses for this brickwork pattern. Using smaller blocks it makes attractive quilt and pillow tops, and is a good way of using scraps of material without following a set color scheme.