Today we are switching things up, and instead of featuring projects using our paper collections, we are sharing projects created with our fabric collections!
Patch Block Tutorial, by Christine Ousley.
So, maybe you have seen some of the beautiful Bella Blvd designs that are released as fabric and wanted to do something with them, but just didn’t know where to start. Well, I’ve put together a tutorial to help you begin. What I am going to show you is very simple and the best beginner project. If you’ve ever looked at beautiful quilts before you might think, wow, I could never do that, but if you break it down into little chunks you might find that it is very doable and fun. So I’m going to walk you through a simple 9 patch block. Putting fabric together in a quilt pattern can be used for many things other than an actual quilt. You can make purses, pillows, decorative details, wall hangings, and much more. So if that large king sized quilt was holding you back, start small here with me.
The first thing that you will need to have on hand are the tools. As in any craft projects, having the right tools makes any job easier. A self-healing mat and a rotary cutter and quilting ruler are musts for cutting the fabric. You will also need a pair of scissors, pins, and a wash away fabric pen. You can get all of these supplies at your local craft store.
It is important to have a cutting ruler and mat that fits your project. Using a ruler too small will make it very difficult to get a precise cut. I use two different sized rulers for my projects.
Line your fabric up on your mat, place your ruler on top and cut to get your first straight edge. Make sure to press down hard with your non cutting hand on the ruler so that it does not shift while cutting. Use the rotary blade and cut away from you for best results.
After your first cut, move your ruler over to your desired measurement and repeat. For this project, I am cutting 4” squares. You will need 9 total. I used 4 of one fabric and 5 of another.
Flip the fabric around and make the cut for the other side.
After you have cut out all of your 4” squares, place them on the table to see if you like the pattern they are making. For this project, I only used two fabrics and laid them down side by side alternating patterns but you could use as many fabric patterns and colors that you wish.
So take your squares over to your sewing machine, keeping them in the same order as you laid them out.
Take the two from the top row, starting at the left and place them right sides together. The above pictures shows the right sides of fabric. Flip the right side over on top of the left side square and that will make them right sides together.
Place the blocks in your sewing machine and sew the right side of the two pieces with a 1/4” seam allowance. On my machine, there is a line that indicates where the 1/4 seam allowance is, so I just push the fabric along that line.
This is what your two pieces will look like after they are sewn together looking at the right or front side.
Next you will want to iron open the seams on the back. This will ensure that you have a nice flat block when you go to use it in your project. You can finger press the seams open or use an iron.
Personally I prefer to iron them open but make sure that you don’t separate the seams too much with the iron or your seams might not match well.
Continue to put together your blocks to form the top, middle and bottom rows.
Completely sew all blocks on each row before you start sewing the rows together.
Here you can see all of the blocks sewn in rows and what they look like from the front.
Here is what the blocks look like from the back side of the fabric before opening the seams. Iron or finger press all seams open before going on to the next step.
At this point you are ready to sew your rows together. The most important part is getting your seams to line up correctly. This takes time and practice and even the most seasoned veteran quilters will not get it perfect every time. Don’t worry too much about your seams matching up exactly as you start. It definitely gives it that handmade look anyway.
I use my pins to help keep the seams in the right place when I sew. Holding the pieces together at the seam, stick the pin in the seam and work it through the other side making sure that your pin goes through the back seam and not the fabric. Work the pin back and up the same way for the top half of the pin.
Sew your rows together, with a 1/4 seam allowance, taking out the pins as you sew.
After you have sewn all of the rows together, this is what it will look like.
Iron or finger press the seams open on the back.
Here is your finished block. Now you can continue to make more blocks the same way and piece those together to make something bigger, or maybe you will want to use this block to make a small pillow. Work on your cutting and piecing skills and I will be back next month with some steps on finishing your project.
Bella Blvd Snapshots fabric for Riley Blake Fabrics
Riley Blake Designs markets our fabrics under Stephanie Hunt as the designer. When purchasing or searching the Riley Blake website it's actually easier & more efficient to find the Bella Blvd fabrics under "Stephanie Hunt" as the artist.