When sewing a quilt, it is imperative that each individual block be perfect. Each imperfect block will have a domino effect that messes up the entire quilt top more and more. For beginning quilters there are quite a few tips and tricks to making a perfect quilt block. These tricks start when you buy the fabric and continue all the way through the cutting and piecing of the quilt block. Start with an easy quilt block, such as a nine-patch to get the hang of the tricks of the trade.
Things You'll Need
- Two different fabrics, dark and light
- Roller cutter with mat
Purchase 100 percent cotton fabrics or specialty quilter's fabrics from a quilting supply or fabric store. Buy the highest quality fabric you can for the best results. Wash, dry and iron all of the fabric to prevent shrinkage in the quilt later.
Line up the selvage edges, which are the uncut edges of your fabric. Make sure the raw, or cut edges, match up. Trim the raw edges to make them even, if necessary, using the roller cutter, mat and ruler.
Position the fabric evenly along the measuring lines on the cutting mat. Place your ruler along the 3-inch mark on the cutting mat and cut a 3-inch wide strip of fabric. Measuring carefully before cutting your strips will help you end up with a perfect quilt block.
Cut enough strips for your desired size quilt and then cut the strips into 3-inch squares. To make a nine-patch quilt block you will need five dark squares and four light squares for each block. You will need 12 8-inch blocks for a baby quilt, 40 blocks for a twin size quilt, 63 blocks for a full size and 99 blocks for a queen size quilt.
Line up the edges of the one dark and one light squares of fabric and sew together, using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Do not push or pull the fabric --- allow the sewing machine to do the work of moving the fabric for you to keep the fabric from bunching up. Sew three sets of dark and light squares together.
Add one more square to each set. One strip of squares should be sewn light, dark, light and the other two should be dark, light, dark.
Iron both of the seams toward the dark fabrics. This will help you line up the seams when sewing the strips of squares together to make the completed blocks.
Take one dark square strip and one light square strip and line up the seams so that they butt up against each other. This will make the points on the outside of the quilt block crisp and perfect. Repeat, sewing the remaining dark square strip to the light square strip.
Tips & Warnings
- For perfect quilt blocks it is very important to press new seams each time you sew. This keeps the seams flat and prevents the front of the quilt block from looking bulky.
- Sewing the seam allowances the same on each piece also makes for a perfect quilt block. Using a ¼ inch seam allowance on all seams helps all of your pieces fit together properly.
- "Quick Method Quilts Galore;"Anne Van Wagner Childs, Editor; 1995
- Quilting 101: Quilt Block Assembly
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
How to Do Strip Quilting
Strip quilting is a method that lets you piece quilt tops faster and easier. Rather than piecing each individual unit, you sew...
How to Cut Quilt Pieces
Fitting quilt pieces together is like constructing a jigsaw puzzle, and each section must be cut precisely to fit. Although this requires...
How to Create Quilt Squares With a Rotary Cutter
Precise cutting is the foundation of professional-looking quilts. Learn how to use a rotary cutter to cut quilting squares fast and with...
How to Sew Squares in a Square Quilt Block
Quilts make great gifts for friends, and creating them is a popular crafting project that is fun for beginners and experts alike....
How to Make A Simple Celtic Knot Quilt Block
Learning to make quilt blocks is exciting. This simple Celtic knot quilt block design is a very fun block pattern to put...
How to Line Up Quilt Squares Perfectly
A quilt with mismatched seams will look like it was made by an amateur. A quilt with perfectly matched squares and seams...
How to Square up a Quilt Block
Squaring up your quilt blocks is one of the most important steps of making your quilt. It ensures that the surface of...
How to Make a Patchwork Stuffed Animal
Stuffed animals made from patchwork fabric can add a charming, rustic touch to any room. Use quilting scraps or purchased fabric for...
How to Cut Pieces & Patches for a Quilt
Learn how to cut pieces, strips and patches for your quilt in this free video series that will have you creating the...