Monthly Archives: October 2015

Elaine’s quilt block

Sometimes our families are blessed with an angel.  My cousin married one!  Thank goodness…we needed an infusion of sweet kindness added to our family.

Elaine has decided to take up quilting.  YEAH!

Since we live 3 1/2 hours from my cousin’s wonderful family, the best way to show her how to assemble the simple block I have chosen for her is to write a picture tutorial.  (When we do get to visit we are watching Penn State football, or better yet…wrestling, doing outdoor things…like fishing, cutting up firewood, etc.)

I apologize if you are not interested in this tutorial, but this is the best way to learn and/or teach quilting long distance that I know.  (I am not ready to make a you tube video just yet…sorry.)

Here are some finished blocks:

100_6055 100_6061 100_6057

This block features straight line sewing only.  Great for a beginner!  It is constructed from squares and rectangles.

Here is the cutting list for each block:

For the center:  4 1/2 inch square

For the outside: four 2 1/2 inch squares AND four 4 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangles

For ring of contrasting color: four 2 1/2 inch squares AND four 4 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangles

For background: four 4 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangles

And now for the directions….and lots of pictures!


Step number ONE:  Lay out the pieces so they look the way you want them to in the finished block.  This is the easiest way to keep things straight as you get started.

Now on to the piecing…Some of the parts of this block are repeated 4 times.  To speed up the process, we are going to piece all four of these parts at the same time.  Here we go!

Pick up the 2 1/2 inch squares from the outside and the ring.


Sew these pieces together in pairs, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  When they are all sewed together, take them to your ironing board.  Put the ring square on top.  Press toward the ring square.

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100_6066Your seam should look like this on the back (up towards the ring color).

Now to add the next piece!  Take your 4 freshly pressed units back to the sewing machine.  Add the 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch rectangle to each unit.


Sew all 4 units.100_6071 Once these are units are sewed, take them to your ironing board.  Put the two small squares on top.  Press toward the two small squares, NOT LIKE THE PICTURE BELOW.  (You will understand this later…trust me!)

Now you should have 4 of these:100_6073 Set them aside for just a few minutes.

Now it is time to make the other 4 units: 100_6068

Put the background and ring rectangles right sides together.  Sew with a careful 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Once you have all 4 units speed pieced together.  Take them to the ironing board.  Press them towards the dark ring fabric.


You are going to have a completed block very soon!  Lay out the pieces again…just to make sure it is going to look right.


Flip the pieces from the middle vertical column onto the left side. Do this to all three pieces.100_6077 100_6078 100_6079

Pin on the right sides.  Use one pin per pair.  (NOTE:  This picture does NOT match the colors in the pictures above!)


Sew down the sides that you just pinned to make three rectangular units. (Again, the colors do NOT match the previous steps.)


It is best to remove the pins as you sew, but…Do not snip the threads between the units. Take this to your ironing board.  Lay your pieces out like the picture below. (The colors are actually right in this one!  Happy dance!)


Press towards the top blocks.  You will be pressing one block away from you and two of the blocks towards you.

Lay your connected and newly ironed blocks out in the original pattern again.

Flip the blocks on the right on top of the rectangles.  Pin as shown in the picture.  (Boo.  The colors don’t match the finished block in this one either….I made 2 blocks at one in opposite colors.  That was a mistake for the pictures.  OOps!)


After you sew all of the seams, take your connected pieces to the ironing board.  This time the ironing becomes a little bit more important.  Just a little bit.  Don’t stress too much.

Snip the threads between the units.

Here are the ironing directions for these three pieces.

  1. Lay the center block with the 4 1/2 inch center square up towards you.  (It will look odd because 2/3 of the block will be on top and 1/3 will be underneath.)  Iron as you flip up the long piece.
  2. Next lay the left and right sides on the ironing board with the newly added squares on top.  Press towards the newly added squares…almost like the picture, but with the opposite colors….AAAAARGH!  What was I doing when I took these pictures?????100_6093

Now lay the three pieces out to show the block again.


Flip the left side onto the middle.


Line up the seams in the middle.  They should nest together because of all of the careful ironing this way and that way.

100_6096  100_6097

Pin near the seams.  Sew the entire length of the block from top to bottom.  Press to the outside when you finish.  (Put the outside block on top to press.)

Lay the block back out again.  Flip the right side over onto the main part of the block.  Nest the seams.  Pin.  Sew. Press.  Now you have a beautiful block.100_6099 Ta-Dah!