Pushme Pullme quilt top

Back in September, Michelle of Factotum of Arts and Squeek Crafts debuted a new pattern she’d created for a block that used nested arrows. Then called This Way That Way, the block plays with value and kind of tessellating pattern to create a really neat design that’s almost like an optical illusion: if you look at it one way, the In arrow stands out and the rest fades into the background, but if you refocus your eye, the opposite occurs and the Out arrow stands out. When Michelle was looking for pattern testers, I was only too happy to help!

Push Me Pull Me quilt top

Michelle has made several blocks in a (mostly) monochromatic colour scheme, using dark and light value blues with white and grey borders, so I wanted to try something a little bit different, to see how it would work out using fabrics with varying colours (not that I went so wild with that, sticking primarily to shades of blue and green, all from the same line). So I made four Pushme Pullme blocks using 8 prints from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence line of fabrics and five different shades of Kona cotton for the borders. (The darkest blue is Nightfall, but the other four were pulled out of a design roll of “New Colours” from… several years ago. I don’t know what their colour names are.)


I did all the blocks one at a time (rather than chain piecing the units of multiple blocks) and they took me a little longer than an hour per block – I’m a pretty slow sewist, though, and was also watching a new-to-me movie at the time (“Highway 61”), which was a bit more distracting than I prefer when I’m sewing. Still, they come together very easily. I had been a little concerned about matching up the cross in the centre of the blocks, but that didn’t give me any trouble either.

The blocks are a bit larger than standard – 15 inches finished – which is nice for quilt making because it sizes up a quilt nicely without having to add sashing or borders. My blocks came out a touch small – about 15.25″ rather than 15.5″ unfinished. The centre unit was the correct size in every case, but I didn’t measure anything after that, so I think I ate up an eighth of an inch with each of my borders. I rarely sew with a scant seam, but I think I probably should have in this case!

Push Me Pull Me

Regardless, I love the finished top! (And my obligatory wind-blown shot, since I can’t seem to manage a photo shoot in my backyard without it!) I think it turned out as well with my (controlled) blend of colours and prints as it did in Michelle’s monochromatic version, and I think it’d work also with a more chaotic blend of colours as well. I’m imagining a child’s quilt with rainbow blocks, for instance. As long as you maintain the value differences, I think it’ll work out with nearly anything.

I was really hoping to have this quilt entirely finished in time for the mini-blog hop for this pattern, but I got held up making the backing for the quilt. I’m using four more prints from Florence for the back and was going to have a blue cross through the centre to break it all up and to mimic the sashing a little bit, but I went and cut my Florence prints an inch too small all around and so I need to re-cut the blue cross to be a little larger, so that it’ll still be big enough. Anyway, hopefully I’ll finish it up soon. I’m thinking about putting hanging tabs on the back and putting this one up on an empty wall in my bedroom.

In any case, definitely head over to Factotum of Arts, where Michelle is hosting a giveaway and then go check out the posts of my fellow testers. I haven’t seen what they’ve made yet, but I’m willing to bet they all look amazing!

Ashley at Wasn’t Quilt in a Day
Mara at Secretly Stitching
Sarah at Sarah Quilts


43 thoughts on “Pushme Pullme quilt top”

  1. Wow! I love your blocks! This is spectacular – especially where they all converge in the center! I love how the colors match up!

    1. Thanks 😀 I had fun with the colour placement on this one and I’m really happy with how it came together. I like how the dark sashing kind of continues the arrow in a way.

  2. oohh.. I love your version and how you broke up the outer sash with different colors, it makes it look like more arrows. Mine was a little small too, coming to just a little over 15″ unfinished, but they are still large blocks.

    1. Thank you! It was kind of a necessary thing because I didn’t have quite enough of any of the light blues or greens, but I’m really happy with how it came out. Kind of a fun change, in a way.

      I love that these blocks are so large – you don’t have to make quite so many to wind up with a large quilt.

    1. Thanks! I really like it too – when I found Florence in a quilt shop, I was drawn more to the colours than to the fabrics. I still think some of them are kind of ugly in a way, but they really work well together.

    1. Thanks! It was a necessary change because I didn’t have quite enough of the blue or green solids, but I love the effect the dark blue has on the overall pattern.

    1. Thanks Michelle! I enjoyed working with the block.. I might wind up making a lap quilt with it for my dad, though I’ll need to scrounge up more fabric that’d suit him.. Better save the idea for next year 🙂

      Seeing everyone else’s finishes really makes me want to finish mine up now too!

      Sent from my iPhone


    1. Thanks! I didn’t have enough of the light blues or greens so it was kind of a necessary thing, but I love the effect it creates.

      Sent from my iPhone


    1. Thanks! I played around with the placement of the dark strips – all on the outside, all on the inside, two in the centre like this, or with all the blocks rotated so that the greens were on the outside and the light blues on the inside – and this was my favourite. I don’t often like non-symmetrical layouts, but this just seemed to work best!

  3. Wow, this is fun to look at. I love your fabrics! I especially like how you decided to treat the dark corners. Entirely cool!

    1. Thanks, Aalia! It’s a really neat pattern, all put together, isn’t it? One block on its own is pretty neat, but all put together it’s a lot of fun.

      I tried out a few different options with the dark bits of the blocks, but this was by far my favourite.

    1. That bit of darkness adds something interesting to a quilt, doesn’t it? I love how much brighter everything else seems when you include something really dark like that.

    1. I agree! There don’t seem to be a lot of patterns out there that stand up to that, so it’s always great when there’s another one out there 😀

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