Transparency  Block Instructions

This block is from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr’s book ‘Transparency Quilts’. It focuses on the value of fabric colours to create a transparent effect. The block assembles really easily and quickly. The challenge is in selecting the right fabrics. 

Fabric requirement:

    • white cotton for background

    • 3 different shades of the same colour. One light, one medium and one dark value. (Get out your ruby beholder) They can be a solid or have a subtle pattern but read as a solid. Please no black or grey. 

Finished size: 9″ square. 



1. Using the MEDIUM value fabric cut centre square 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

2. Using the LIGHT and DARK value fabrics cut 1 strip of each fabric 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and 1 strip of each fabric 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

3. Using the white background fabric cut  the following

    • 2 squares 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″

    • 1 strip 2” x width of fabric.  You will need at least  32″ 



1. Sew the light and the dark fabric 4 1/2″ strips to opposite sides of the medium valued centre square. (Press)

2. Sew the white 1 1/2″ squares to the ends of each of the 5 1/2″ light and dark strips. (Press) 

3. Attach these strips to the other 2 sides of the centre square. Place the light end to the light strip and the dark end to the dark. The small white squares should then be on opposite corners of the square. (Press)

4. Now attach the border. Take the strip of 2” wide white fabric and sew it to one side of the square.
Trim to match the width, it should be about 6 1/2”. (Press). Rotate and do the same for the next side.
Trim: it should be about 8 1/4″. (Press). Rotate and do the same for the next side.
Trim: it should also be about 8 1/4″. Do the same for the last side. Trim: should be about 9″. (Press).

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