Quilters frequently inquire about the construction of a Baby Blocks or Tumbling Blocks quilt. These quilts are lovely, and they can either be pieced together in a planned pattern or from scraps.
A number of years ago, quilters in my vicinity began working on Charm quilts. When you make a quilt using only one shape in one size – a square, triangle, rectangle, or diamond – and each fabric only once, you have created what is known as a charm quilt. This quilt is a collection of all of the different fabrics that I have either purchased or been given.
I went with a diamond for my shape, and ever since then, whenever I get a new piece of fabric (when I remember), I snip off a tiny rectangle from one of the corners. After I have gathered a few, I arrange the rectangles so that I have one light, one medium, and one dark fabric to sew together. I then cut diamonds from the rectangles using a diamond-shaped cutter.
In most cases, Tumbling Block or Baby Block quilts have a particular arrangement of values in the fabric that gives them their distinctive look. The trick is to make sure that each of the light, medium, and dark fabrics are placed in the same spot in each of the blocks. Because of this, the quilt has a three-dimensional appearance.
There is some variation within the light fabric due to the fact that I am working with a restricted fabric selection while I place my light, medium, and dark pieces. For instance, a fabric that is classified as medium in one set of three may be classified as light in another set. As a direct consequence of this, certain regions of the quilt top appear to be darker than others.
If I were to make the quilt using coordinated fabrics, every light fabric would be very similar to one another.
The light, medium, and dark fabrics that make up this Tumbling Blocks Charm Quilt are all placed in the same relative position across the entirety of the quilt. However, due to the fact that the fabrics were added over the course of several years, some of the light and medium fabrics have become darker in certain areas of the quilt compared to other areas of the quilt. It is possible to achieve greater coherence in the design by working with coordinated fabric rather than fabric that resembles scraps.
An up close and personal look at a portion of the quilt
Here is how to piece together a quilt using the Tumbling Blocks or Baby Blocks pattern. When sewing the hexagons together, use the same method that you used to sew the diamonds together. This will ensure that the finished product looks consistent.
To view an expanded version of any of the images below, simply click on the image.
My preferred method for stitching diamonds is by hand, and I started by sewing the seam that joins the light and dark fabrics together. It doesn’t really make a difference in which order you attach the different blocks.
I mark my sewing line with a piece of masking tape that is a quarter of an inch wide and use a few pins to keep the pieces of fabric together while I sew.
The Tumbling Blocks are constructed using three diamonds, one of a light fabric, one of a medium fabric, and one of a dark fabric. Maintaining the same relative position for each value across all of the “blocks” is required in order to produce a three-dimensional design. When your diamonds are arranged in the position in which they will be sewn, it is much simpler to determine which seams need to be sewn. To start, I sewed the lighter fabric, which is the one in the upper left, to the darker fabric (in the bottom center). I joined them with the right sides facing each other, then aligned the unfinished edges.
The picture above depicts the seam after it has been stitched together. At both ends of the diamond, bring the stitching to an end a quarter of an inch away from the raw edges. Make sure that your thread has a knot. The stitching should be held in place by a straightforward knot with a tail measuring one quarter of an inch.
After you have opened the seam you just sewed, align the fabric that is medium with the fabric that is dark. Place the diamond where you want it, then mark the spot where you will sew. Stitch the side, taking care to knot the thread at both the beginning and the end of the process, and positioning the starting point and stopping point of your stitching 1/4 inch away from the raw edges.
Stitch in place after you have matched the final edge of the medium diamond with the edge of the light diamond.
After you have finished sewing all of the seams, the back of the Tumbling Blocks hexagon you are working on will be able to lay flat. I’m going to fold the seam allowances so that they face the darker fabric.
As can be seen, there are a variety of approaches to taking care of the various sized blocks you have. If your blocks have the same design but are different sizes, you can conceal the differences even more by utilizing multiple techniques to extend the sides of your block within the same quilt. This will allow you to create the appearance that the blocks are the same size.
You will notice in the picture that follows that I have made use of each of the approaches outlined in the previous paragraph.
A “block” that has been completed for either a Tumbling Blocks or Baby Blocks quilt.
This article was generously provided by http://www.How-to-Quilt.com. Thank you!
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