Traditional Tuesday - Block 45

Block 45 - Monument
If you were memorializing a loved-one with this block, you'd probably make it in a somber color combination. You'd also insert a plain, light fabric in the center of the 5th row from the top and embroider their name on it. I chose to do the opposite and use fun happy fabric in keeping with the birthday cake theme. The infinity symbol done in these happy colors reminds me more of confetti than death. Perfect for a day like today!

Like I mentioned yesterday, this block probably dates to the Victorian times just after President Garfield's death. And since I trust all things Barbara Brackman, I went to her site and found this fun info on the block. (I wrote my stuff before I saw her post, so I was surprised to see the birthday cake reference!)

You'll need two fabrics for this block. You can use a print and solid like I did or any other 2-color or 2-value combination you choose.

  • For the monument, cut your dark fabrics into 1 1/2" wide strips. Cut the strips into 1 1/2", 2 1/2", 3 1/2", 4 1/2", 5 1/2" and 6 1/2" lengths.
  • From the background, cut into 1 1/2" wide strips. From those cut 2 strips each 3" long. This is going to be longer than you need for most rows, but it's easier to cut it down later than to mess with cutting fussy little strips. If I were making more than one block, I'd cut them all to size.

Lay out your strips as they will look when sewn and sew each row together. Press to the dark.
Finger press each row in half to find the center. Use this mark to match up the rows and sew together in pairs. This will ensure the rows are perfectly centered the way you will want it to be when finished. Join the pairs together to complete the block. Press to one side.
Here's the sewn block. See how the sides stick way too far out?
Trim the sides off leaving a 6 1/2" block.
After I was done, I noticed something strange with my background purple. It appears as though it has faded. At first I thought it was because of the heat when I pressed the block (like reds do sometimes), but after cooling, it stayed. I wonder if it's just cheap fabric or old or just a fluke? Has anyone ever seen this happen before?


  1. Thanks much for your monument block tutorial! I found it just in time to make a great little wall hanging for a friend who is celebrating her 50th birthday--perfect timing. If you want to see how it turned out, you can check it out here:


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