Pattern for Rock and Roll Quilt
from PIECES: A Year in Poems and Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines
  • Scraps of assorted fabrics
    • blues and pastels for sky
    • greens and small florals for pasture and leaves
    • brown for tree trunk
  • Fabric for borders, 1/8 yard.
  • Batting and backing

General notes:

  • Finished quilt will be 8 3/4 by 111/4  inches not including borders. 
  • Quilt is made of small squares 11/8 inch on a side.  When sewn they are 5/8 inch.
  • Cows are paper-pieced and placed as indicated in assembly diagram. 
  • First cow is paper-pieced in 3 sections, then sewn together. Second cow is 4 paper-pieced sections. Patterns are reverse of what will show on quilt. 
  • Pattern may be traced onto freezer paper. Ironing fabric onto shiny side of freezer paper will help hold it in place. 
  • If you would like to make a slightly larger quilt using 11/2 inch squares, go to this  pattern.


  • Cut 11/8 inch squares 
    • Numbers given are what you will use. Cutting more gives options as you place them.
    • Sky: 108   (including 14 for half-square triangles and 12 for Tree Branch Squares) 
    • Pasture: 113   (include some lighter shades for the background)
    • Tree leaves: 61   (include light, medium and dark shades of green to make half-square triangles)
    • Tree trunk: 22   (including 4 to make half-square tingles and 7 for Tree Branch Squares)
  • Paper-piece Tree Branch Squares
    1. Cut out pattern Square 1.
    2. Place sky fabric square wrong side to unmarked side of pattern, matching edges. 
    3. Place trunk square right sides together with sky square, matching edges. Stitch along one line. 
    4. Fold corner of pattern along seam line. Trim to 1/8 inch.  Open and press. Trim edges of trunk fabric along edge of pattern.
    5. Place second sky square right sides together with stitched square. Stitch along second line. 
    6. Fold pattern and trim, open, press and trim as in step 4. 
    7. Follow steps above to make Squares 2-7.
  • To make half square triangles, place two squares right sides together. Stitch along diagonal center line. Trim one side to 1/8 inch seam.  Open and press. 
    • Make 14 half green and half sky.
    • Make 3 half green and half tree trunk.
    • Make 22 two shades of green.
    • Make one half square triangle for the base of the tree, half dark green and half brown.
  • Follow diagram or picture of quilt to lay out squares. 
    • A flannel or foam layout pad (18 x 24 inches) keeps them from sliding around.
    • Place lighter colors along horizon line, darker colors under tree as shadow. 
    • Make a patch of wildflowers.
    • For the leaves it is not essential that you follow the exact pattern of dark and light or the direction of each triangle. Try for interesting movement with peeks at the sky through the leaves.
    • Play with your squares until you like what you see. 
  • Begin in one corner and stitch the squares into a row using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 
  • Stitch another row.
  • Stitch the two rows together, matching seamlines.
  • Continue until all 18 rows are stitched together.
  • Add borders, sandwich, quilt and bind.

Patterns for Tree Branch Squares:
Each square should be 11/8 inches. If they do not print accurately, click here for a PDF file.. Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary.  For a free download click here.
Diagram for Placement of Tree Branch Squares

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