Creative articles about quilting

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 11: Tulip in Vase

Andrea from Quiltmanufaktur and author for the German BERNINA blog is your guide for this fantastic quilt-along over the next 12 months. Together, you will sew classic patchwork blocks and combine them into a sampler. The completed quilt will be traditional, yet modern! The next part has been written and we are delighted that you join this quilt project.

It’s nice to have you back because today I am showing you the eleventh block in the Old Block Quilt-Along, “Tulip in Vase”.

Countless versions of this block have been published. The thing they all have in common is that they depict one or more “tulips” in a vase. The blocks differ in terms of the number of flowers, the size and features of the vase and in the portrayal of the flower stems. In addition to the name “Tulip in Vase”, these blocks are also knowns as “Tulip and Vase”, “Royal Dutch Tulip and Vase”, “Potted Star Flower”, and “Royal Japaneses Vase”, among others.

Our block comes from Carlie Sexton Holms, who published and mailed out patchwork patterns herself in the 1920s and 30s.

You can find a large selection of “tulip” blocks and quilts on the “Quilt Index” website: Tulip Quilts

The same block also appears under the name “Basket of Lilies”. I suppose because the tulips look more like lilies. Here is an antique quilt from an auction:


We are sewing the “Tulip in Vase” patchwork block

“Tulip in Vase” measures 9″ (with the seam allowance it is 9.5″). One section is made using the FPP technique and the rest is made up of pattern pieces.

Download the patchwork templates

For cutting out, I have created three PDF documents to download:

  • The first is a coloring sheet. This allows you to try out colors and designs for this block to see what they look like.
  • On the second PDF you will find the templates for the foundation paper piecing
  • and on the third you will find the pattern templates.

On the PDFs with the FPP templates and the pattern templates, I have put a control square with a side length of 1 inch so that you can check whether your printout of the templates is the right size. It is important to set your print options to “Actual size”.

Here are the downloads:

“Tulip in Vase” coloring sheet

“Tulip in Vase” FPP templates

“Tulip in Vase” pattern templates

Cutting out the pattern pieces

You will need to cut out the following pieces and quantities:

  • Piece A: 3 x background fabric
  • Piece B: 6 x background fabric
  • Piece C: 2 x background fabric
  • Piece D: 2 x background fabric
  • Piece E: 1 x background fabric
  • Piece F: 12 x petals
  • Piece G: 3 x calyx / 2 x base of the vase
  • Piece H: 1 x vase 

Sewing the “Tulip in Vase” patchwork block

It looks pretty confusing at first, doesn’t it? By now, you will be familiar with my way of working and you know that I lead you through the jungle :-).

The first step is to make the center block using the FPP technique, take out the paper and lay out your cut pieces.

And once again there are more Y-seams! It seems to me they used to be very popular… First, sew all the petals (diamonds) together and then insert the triangles or squares into the corners.

The flowers are now finished. And there are also more of those beloved special seams here too… Now you can also gradually see how the block fits together.

Now join the calyxes to the petals.

Sew the two flowers on to the right and left side of the center piece. Next, join the two triangles to the upper flower. Then close the panel seam between the two segments.

The triangle for the vase is only sewn on to the upper block piece.

Next, join the two outer strips to the vase base pieces.

Then sew the strips onto the square and finally, sew the triangle underneath the vase onto the block. And you’re done!

Except for the flowers, that wasn’t so bad, was it? And don’t you think it’s a pretty block? I’m sure we’ll get to see plenty of lovely flowers in vases.

Simply post your results here in the Community area of the Old Block Quilt-Along. Or post your pictures on Facebook and/or on Instagram not forgetting to use the hashtag #BERNINAoldblocksampler. If you include the hashtag under your image description or in the text, your post will automatically appear under this hashtag. You can follow these hashtags as well ;-).

New here?

Have you only just discovered the quilt-along? No problem! You can join at any time. Registration is not required, and you can win a BERNINA 570 QE! All the posts will remain permanently available:

In the first post, which was the invitation to participate in the quilt-along, you will find the important initial information about our joint project:

Old Block Quilt-Along – who’s in?

You can find the rest of the blocks from the quilt-along that have already been published here:

Old Block Quilt-Along – overview of all the posts

I’m glad you’re taking part and I hope to see more wonderful pictures of your blocks!

See you soon for the next block,


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  • grannyjan EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    Block 11 finished – a little bit of tidying up to do, but overall reasonably happy with it.  Certainly was a pleasure to do after the “Constellation”.  I still have difficulty with the FPP, it’s not anything I have done in the past and it took me longer to do the FPP pieces than it did to do the rest of the block.  I guess practice will improve my skills in this technique.

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