Question from Anna:
Can one use an oblong or has it got to be a square? (You made yours 9 3/4 inches, I, on the other hand, could make mine 9″ X 11.5″)
I am aware that this then would limit the way one could put them together. With a square one can rotate 4 times, with an oblong it works only two ways.)
You can of course tinker with this as you wish but the 5 sided figure in the middle gives the more traditional look; sewing is much easier with a 4 sided centre but then you run the risk of it looking a little like log cabin – which again may be your choice.
As you say with a rectangular finish then you can only turn the blocks in the opposite direction rather than rotating them in your finished design.