Tips for a Revolutionary Block

The Nov/Dec ’10 issue of Quiltmaker features a clever technique from Anita Grossman Solomon in a block called Anita’s Arrowhead. Our staff was eager to try it out. Each staff member chose Christmas fabrics from one manufacturer to make a unique version of Anita’s Arrowhead. All the quilts contain 42 blocks and measure about 51″ x 60″. Below, Eileen Fowler shares some thoughts about her Arrowhead project.

hoffman arrowhead 1 256x300 Tips for a Revolutionary Block

My “cool” selection from Hoffman California Fabrics are more winter than Christmas, but there are some Christmas trees and poinsettias among the prints. A few frosty white and silver fabrics are thrown in for additional chilly contrast.

fabrics 300x225 Tips for a Revolutionary Block

After Anita presented the technique to the QM staff, I grabbed her instructions and ran home to make a test block.

First step: a pair of rough-cut squares. Check. Then I see this notation: “If the rough-cut squares are of previously starched yardage, they must be restarched.” I don’t starch. Luckily, I married a guy who irons his own shirts and uses — starch! Squares are now starched and pressed together.

squares 300x277 Tips for a Revolutionary Block

Next: trim the two squares. Check. (Gee, that would be a whole lot easier with my rotating mat.)

Sew the first two seams and make the three cuts. Check. (That would also be a whole lot easier with my rotating mat.)

“. . . press the seams open.” I have always pressed the seams to one side. Okay, maybe for this block. (Should I mention how nice and flat the block is with the seams open and how easy it is to press them open after starching the fabric?)

flat seams 300x238 Tips for a Revolutionary Block

Sew sections together. Check. Last step: Trim the block.
(Where is my rotating mat?)

rotating block 300x225 Tips for a Revolutionary Block

Test block done!

finished block 300x264 Tips for a Revolutionary Block

Here are my tips for making Anita’s Arrowhead blocks:

1. Starch the squares before the first trim. I was amazed at how much easier the construction was.
2. It’s okay to press seams open. Use pins for matching the seams.
3. A rotating mat is a useful tool for this block.

Pick up Quiltmaker’s November/December ’10 issue for the complete instructions.

About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
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5 Responses to Tips for a Revolutionary Block

  1. Wendy says:

    I have had so much fun making this block, thankyou! I used it to make my grandson a quilt for Christmas. if you’d like to see it its at

  2. Jeanie says:

    There is a much easier way to make this block. I didn’t have the magazine, so I took two 12 1/2 sqs (1 white, 1 blue). First I made two half sq triangles then turned those two blks into two hour glass blks. Next I measured 1 1/2 ” to the right side of the center line and cut, then the same to the left side of the center line. Take the 2nd hour glass blk, making certain the colors are in reversed positions of the other blk and cut it the same way. Now, swap the center strip you cut from both blks and sew them back into the respective blks. Now cut again 1 1/2″ on both sides of the center line of the diagonal going in the other direction. Swap the center pieces again & resew. Then I sized both blocks to 10″.

    I found the magazine yesterday & made one according to the directions. I prefer the way I made mine as I didn’t end up with all those pieces to sew together after it was cut( and I made 2 blks at once), although I did think the idea was clever, something I would never have figured out.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Nola, I think you’ll want the entire pattern. The magazine can be purchased at (or click on the link in the last sentence in the blog above.) You can also find the pattern in Anita’s book “Rotary Cutting Revolution” from C&T Publishing ( Perhaps another reader knows of a shop in England where you might find Quiltmaker or Anita’s book?

  4. Nola Seal says:

    Hi I have just seen your amazing arrow head block on your site.

    Please can you tell me where to make the cuts.

    I live in England and nhave never seen your magazine.

    Thanks so much

  5. Margaret says:

    This is an amazing block – and looks like will not be that difficult to make. Thanks for the tips.

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