Designer Tidbits: Barbara Brackman + Album Quilt Block - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Barbara Brackman + Album Quilt Block

Get inspired by Barbara Brackman‘s latest reproduction beauty. Ladies’ Album is historic and romantic, perfect for a quilt project that you will cherish through the years. Barbara is here to share more about her Ladies’ Album collection for Moda Fabrics and share a quilt tutorial with you! Keep reading for a closer look at Ladies’ Album!

Q: Tell us a little about the Ladies’ Album collection. What were you inspired by?
A:Ladies’ Album is my latest nineteenth-century reproduction collection from Moda. It’s rather romantic, inspired by the sweet sentiments of autograph quilts and leather-bound album books. The prints recall the years 1860 to 1890 when school friends, boyfriends and favorite aunts “played the poet” with clever sayings and elegant signatures on paper or cotton.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A:I usually begin with a historical idea—like the album fad in quilts and paper. Sometimes it’s Jane Austen novels, sometimes Paris the Twenties. I find swatches—the document prints—that evoke the era, mainly from my own fabric library. I have a great fabric collection and Moda also has a fabulous fabric library. The large cretonne-style floral here came from their collection.

Q: How do you describe your style?
A:I would describe it as a mirror of historical styles rather than my own style. Right now shops have at least three different styles of my reproductions: the sentimental Ladies Album, the avant-garde Modernism from Paris in the 1920s and the Morris Modernized: CFA Voysey, featuring his turn-of-the-last-century take on imagery, repeat and color. I try to present an accurate reflection of historical style.

Q:What projects do you hope to see made with Ladies’ Album?
A:The Moda free pattern for Ladies’ Album is an old-fashioned album pattern and here I’m giving a pattern for a second classic album design. I’d love to see quilters use the Ladies’ Album fabrics for friendship and signature quilts, real keepsake quilts. Those album blocks always have a good spot for a name and a sentiment.

Q:Please include information about your free pattern and what inspired the pattern.
A:Album quilts were the rage in the nineteenth century and many of them were pieced in this particular block of squares set on point. Not surprisingly, the pattern is called “Album Block.” I adapted the design so those squares can be cut from a pack of Moda Jelly Rolls (2-1/2″ wide). The block finishes to just about 8-3/4″, an odd size, but it doesn’t matter since all the blocks will be the same size. The alternate squares and the background tea shades are cut from the Layer Cake package of 10″ squares. We are going to show you how to make the Album Quilt Block.

The quiltmaker, my friend Kathe Dougherty,  She set the blocks in a design that echoes the pattern construction—squares on point–which gives a nice balance to the composition.

The quilt finishes at 44” square.

Fabric Requirements:
One Ladies’ Album Jelly Roll (40 – 2 1/2″ strips)
One Ladies’ Album Layer Cake (42 – 10″ squares)
1/2 yard total of dark fabric for the scrappy setting triangles
1 1/4 yards for the border and binding. (SKU# 8284-20)

The Album Block finished at 8 3/4” square. You will make nine blocks.


A – From nine light Layer Cake squares cut two 2 1/4″ squares, 18 squares total.

Then, cut each square once on the diagonal. You’ll need four A triangles per block, 36 triangles total.

B – From nine light Layer Cake squares cut two 4 1/8″ squares, 18 total.

Then, cut each square on the diagonal twice. You’ll need eight B triangles per block, 72 triangles total.

C – From the Jelly Roll cut one light print, four medium prints and eight dark prints into 2 1/2” squares. You need 13 different squares per block, 117 squares total.

Setting Triangles
From the Layer Cake cut four 9 1/4″ squares for the alternate squares.

From two dark Layer Cake squares cut one 7” square, two total.

Then, cut each square once on the diagonal. You’ll need four triangles total.

From the 1/2 yard of fabric cut two 13 1/2″ squares.

Then, cut each square on the diagonal twice. You’ll need 8 triangles total.

Cut two 4″ x 37 1/2” strips for the side borders.
Cut two 4″ x 44 1/2” strips for the top and bottom borders.

Cut five 2 1/2” x width of fabric strips for the binding.

1 comment

  1. Thank you for this wonderful pattern. I think it would make a wonderful project for our local historical society, with signatures added from people in the community.