Civil War Quilt – Block 8 – Cotton Boll

This is block#8 in the Civil War block-of-the-week series offered by Barbara Brackman.  It is called Cotton Boll. Go to Barbara’s blog to get the pattern and to see the story and pictures related to the block.  This week, there will be a template to print out.

I like to copy the pictures and directions, paste on a word document page and print for reference.  Barbara has some additional instructions on doing this.

This is another simple block.  For new quilters, this is the way I assembled the block:

  • I printed the template on card stock from Barbara’s post and double-checked the measurements to be sure they were correct.
  • Place the template on the wrong side of the dark “A” fabric and trace around each piece.  Cut each piece using a rotary cutter and ruler, following the lines.

  • Cut 4 squares of light fabric and cut each diagonally to make 8 “B” triangles.
  • Lay the pieces out on a mat in the proper order.

  • Using 1/4 inch seams throughout, stitch the triangles B to the sides of A.   There will be a 1/4 inch tail of the triangle on each side.

  • Trim tails.  Each section should measure 4-1/2 inches.  At this point I press toward the light triangles (some seams will be pressed in reverse later).
  • Place the pieces on the mat in the proper order.

  • Stitch together the two sections of the top row.  At this point, I reverse the direction of the triangle seams of the section that is on top as you are sewing and press so that the seams will interlock.  Open and press the connecting seam.  Then sew the two sections of the bottom row in the same manner.
  • Stitch rows 1 and 2 together, again reversing and pressing the triangle seams in the section that is on top as you’re sewing.
  • Press connecting seam open to form a nice, flat center.
  • Block should measure 8-1/2 inches

See the previous blocks in this series in my category list on the right hand side of the page – Quilting – Civil War Quilts.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

7 thoughts on “Civil War Quilt – Block 8 – Cotton Boll”

  1. Yours looks great. I’ll do mine on Tuesday. That’s the CW day every week. Did you find you liked using the template? Because I planned to just do the square and sew the corners on.

    1. I didn’t mind the template, but your way will be fine. I bet you’ll pick out some really pretty fabrics. Lillian

  2. Pingback: Stitch Ideas Blog
    1. I taught myself to quilt and I think the best teacher for beginners is Eleanor Burns and Quilt-in-a-Day. Her books are so good and you might be able to get some of the older ones cheap on eBay.

      Her web site is

      You can find a lot of information here including free patterns with instructions. I’d suggest starting with something easy like the Scrap 9 Patch block.

      She also has a video theater showing her past television shows which are really good for seeing how she pieces. She always picks the easiest way possible.

      After you learn the basics, you can go on to so many good designers and teachers, but I think Eleanor is the best for the new quilter.

      I love the Civil War Quilt series but her patterns can be difficult even for experienced quilters and the instructions are usually sketchy.

      Good luck with your quilting. I started very late in life (age 70) and I’ve enjoyed it so much.


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