New Block Blog Hop: Berry Icy Ice Bar

Hello, and welcome to all those on the Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop. Today I’m sharing a tutorial for a Berry Icy Ice Bar block.


This blog hop features Cloud9 Fabric’s Cirrus Solids. Cirrus solids are organic, yarn-dye fabrics — very soft and pretty. Cloud9 kindly donated a fat quarter bundle in these five colors to all the participants:


This block was inspired by all the delightful ice creams and ice bars of summer. Sometimes the ice bars get a little too icy, and crystals form on the outsides. Maybe not so tasty, but distractingly pretty. This block uses a simple improv technique to cast a few crystals across the ice bar (or at least an impression of ice crystals, stylized).

We’ll use all five colors of Cirrus Solids for this block: amazon, iris, lilac, sky and shadow.


Let’s get started. First, some cutting:

Amazon is our background color. Cut these pieces and lay them aside for now:

A – 2 pieces 6.5″ X 2″

B – 1 piece 2″ X 12.5″

C – 1 piece 5.5″ X 12.5″




Next, cut one 8″ X 4″ piece from each of Iris, Lilac and Sky.



Finally, cut 5 or more strips from Shadow. These can be any width you like, but fairly narrow, and about 10 inches long. I cut one-inch and 3/4-inch strips.

We will be using a scant quarter inch seam throughout.


Now for the fun part – the section pictured above. The ice bar portion of this block uses a basic improv technique, in which a strip of one fabric is inserted into another fabric. It’s pretty simple, and if you’ve ever wondered “hmm, what would happen if I cut this up….” you may have stumbled onto this technique. I will show how it works below, but if you are interested in more, Pinterest is your friend, or here are a few other resources:

Recently, a bee I’m in referred to this free pattern for a double cross.

Debbie at A Quilter’s Table recently hosted a popular sew-a-long which used a similar technique in her crosscut tutorial, and this one might help too.

Start with your 8 X 4 rectangle in Sky. Move your ruler to a pleasing angle, any angle, and cut along the ruler.


Place one of the Shadow strips along one side of these pieces, making sure to let part of the strip overhang on both ends. Sew and press seams open.


Place the piece with the strip attached next to the other piece of the rectangle. It is not important to be precise in lining up these pieces, just put them fairly close to the way they were before being cut. We are going to trim later. Sew back together and press open.


Pretty! Repeat these steps with the lilac rectangle, but try putting the strip at a different angle or placement.

Once you’ve got both pieces, sew the lilac piece to the sky piece, along the long sides. Use a ruler to straighten up the sides that you want to sew together. Don’t worry about the ragged edges of the rest yet. Sew together.


Now we want to insert a strip that will cross both the sky and lilac. Use your ruler to find a nice angle that crosses one of the other strips, and cut along the ruler.


In the same way as before, attach the strip to one side of this cut. Press.


We want to have a nice, straight line between each of the three color rectangles, so that this block really looks like an ice bar. This is honestly the only really fiddly part of this block. You may not get the color blocks to line up straight on your first try. May I suggest a seam ripper? Oh look, mine matches the project.


Anyway, try lining up the colors, fold back about a quarter inch from the seam and peek under to see if it looks like things are in fact lining up. I suggest a pin or clip at this point to keep things in the right spot. And you might have to try a couple times. Below, you can see that the important line between lilac and sky does indeed look straight.


Now we are going to trim this piece of the ice bar. This section needs to finish at 6.5″ X 6.5″. Trim the long sides of each color first. Use your ruler to see that the middle line is straight, and at 3.25″ from the edge. Trim all sides, making sure to keep the middle line straight.


Now we will use the same techniques to insert some strips into the iris piece, the top of the ice bar. The first strip is done in the same way as above. Then, I want the second strip to cross at a jaunty angle, so I’m not going to line up the cross.


You could do this any way you like though — a perfect cross, no cross, or several crossing pieces. Up to you! Just make sure that you will still get a 6.5″ long block. If you move the pieces too much, it could become too short. If you want to put lots more strips into any of these sections, start with a bigger rectangle.

Now, trim this piece to 6.5″ wide by 3.5″ tall. Note this piece is 3.5″ because it hasn’t been attached to the others yet.


Sew it to the top of the lilac piece. This finished ice bar should measure 6.5″ wide by 9.5″ tall.


Now we’ll finish off the block. Sew A pieces to the top and bottom of the ice bar section. Press. Then sew B to the right of the ice bar.


Finally, sew C onto the left of the ice bar. You should have a 12.5 inch block. If you used a scant quarter inch seam, you may have a tiny bit of space to square up if necessary. Use your ruler’s marks to make sure that the straight parts of the ice bar are straight.


So there you have it. A simple bit of improv with lots of space to keep everything orderly.

You could try this block in different colors. Neapolitan? (Oh yes, I did try that. Couldn’t resist. Might share that on Instagram one of these days…)

To make a quilt of this block, you could keep the blocks all in the same arrangement or rotate the squares for variety. You could put crystals on all or only some of the blocks. I might be tempted to let some of the crystals spike out into the background fabrics.

image image-3



Well, I believe I’m off to get some ice cream now. But you can be off to find lots more blocks —

Today’s blog hop is hosted by Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. Head over there for all the info and some fun. Here are today’s other participants:

Kathy @Kathys Kwilts and More
Paige @Quilted Blooms
Mary @Strip Quilts Pass it On
Allison @Woodberry Way
Seven @The Concerned Craft
Olusola @Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co.
Ann @Brown Paws Quilting
Jodie @Persimmon + Pear
Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
Kitty @Night Quilter
Francine @Mochawildchild
Shelley @The Carpenter’s Daughter who Quilts
Jayne @Twiggy and Opal
Geraldine @Living Water Quilter
Shannon @Shannon Fraser Designs
Lisa @Sunlight In Winter Quilts
Jessica @Quilty Habit
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Deanna @Stitches Quilting
Denise @Craft Traditions

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll make some icy ice bars soon!


44 thoughts on “New Block Blog Hop: Berry Icy Ice Bar

  1. What a unique design! Lots of personality! Good job of designing something new and different. Was the name the inspiration for the block or the block the inspiration for the name? 🙂

  2. My perfectionistic tendencies (which I can never achieve) are so strong that improve drives me crazy. Your tutorial is wonderful and encouraging. I might just give it a try again after reading your blog. You made it seem fun instead of my trying to have to think of something to do. Being a math major, surely I can find some different, interesting angles. I could always create some series and then stick to that for angles, if I just have to have a plan. I could create the series and then put them on slips of paper and pull them out of the jar, so again they would be random. See, I told you I just have to have a plan. I think it comes from being a computer programmer for years and years. Thanks for a beautiful, playful block.

  3. This is a great block. I like the combination of improv strips with the more linear stripes. It reminds me of neapolitan icecream. A wonderful modern block.

  4. I will definitely be trying your block! Your directions are great–and this is something that I’ve wanted to take a stab at. (Well, not literally, I hope 🙂

  5. Jodie this is a lovely block!! I am really enjoying the sharing of improv blocks …. I love the look but not sure how to proceed so will definitely add this to my to do list. Thanks!

  6. Jody-A very dynamic looking block. These Cloud 9 colors are gorgeous together and the individual blocks are awesome. Can’t wait to see the finished quilt!

  7. What a great block, Jody! It’s a nice way to combine a little traditional piecing and a little improv. Your photos demonstrated the slice and insert technique very clearly. It is a very fun and delicious block!

  8. Love this and can’t believe I hadn’t commented before! Way to go taking the improv basics to a new level!

  9. Hey Jodie – I can’t see your email listed….but I’m a co-chair of the Seattle MQG Giving Committee and we’d like to have the guild make these blocks for our next quilt. Would it be ok if we used your first photo in a blog post for the guild? We’d link back of course, and have everyone follow your tutorial. Let me know – thanks!

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