Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quilting 101 -- Lesson 5 -- Piecing the Blocks Together

Lesson 1 -- Choosing A Design
Lesson 2 -- Fabric
Lesson 3 -- Cutting Fabric
Lesson 4 -- Piecing

Now it's time to "play" with all those pretty blocks you made!  

Once you have finished piecing all 18 nine-patch blocks, lay them out on a table or clean floor with the plain blocks and decide how you would like
to arrange them.  

If you have several blocks that are similar in color, you want to pay particular attention to their placement.  Try to "balance" the color in your quilt by distributing similar blocks evenly throughout the quilt.  For example, note the placement of all the blue blocks in the photo here.  Also, take into account the color value of each block.  For example, if you have a few blocks that are lighter or darker than most of the other blocks, try to distribute those evenly as well.  This way, you won't end up with some areas looking too "heavy" or "light" in value.

Once you have determined your placement, you may want to take a photo.  This is especially helpful if you do not have a space to leave the blocks laid out where they will not be disturbed (like by children or a family pet!).
Sew the blocks into rows using a 1/4" seam allowance

The premise for sewing the blocks together is exactly the same as sewing together the nine-patch blocks.  Begin by sewing the blocks into rows.  Press the seams toward the plain block (in this case, the animal print blocks).

It is helpful to lay out your rows before you sew them together

Once all the blocks are sewed into rows, sew the rows together.

Remember to carefully match (and pin) the areas where there are intersecting seams!

When you have finished, lay out your quilt top and admire your work!

In Lesson 6 we will add the borders!

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