Sewing Up Blocks

I’m still working my way through the ModernQAL with moderate success. Some blocks have been a neat and easy sew, others have been a real pain and I will probably end up redoing them.

The block for August was the Quatrefoil. It’s a lovely design and I could definitely see myself making a whole quilt out of this one. The green and pink with the elephants are a fun combination made up of some small pieces I had left over from other projects. The main elephant print in the centre is out of print now and is becoming hard to find so I purchased a fat quarter from a seller on eBay just to make sure I had some in my stash for future use.

Next up is the Escalator block, which was a total pest to put together. Lots of small fiddly bits and you can see that it hasn’t sewn up well. The shape of this block is really off and I wouldn’t be happy putting it in a quilt top. I’d like to try again with this one…some day when I am feeling very patient and have lots of time to devote to it. I do like the combination of fabrics through the middle, they are the same fabrics as the Quatrefoil block.

October’s block was the Best Friend design. The centre square lends itself beautifully to a cute fussy cut but I misjudged the size. My geisha doll looked great when I cut the 2 1/2 inch square but I lost too much in the seam allowance and she looks too big for the square.This one came out OK but isn’t quite right, so I will probably give this one another go and choose a smaller picture for the fussy cut.

Despite my imperfections with these blocks, it’s been a good project for me. Sewing garments, accessories, bags and pouches and more free form quilting projects don’t have the same level of accuracy. I’ve had to try quite hard to improve in this area and I’ve learned a lot with each block. Best way to learn is to make mistakes, right? And it’s a nice excuse to maybe purchase a couple of new quilting rulers and a better quality cutting mat!

All these blocks are from the book Modern Blocks by Susanne Woods.

13 thoughts on “Sewing Up Blocks

  1. You are doing well, Ros! I was only looking at some of my quilt blocks from both ModernQAL and the FQS BOM's the other day and you can really tell how far my piecing has come when you look over them. I am treating it all as practise and by doing these blocks I am learning more than if I had just picked the blocks all myself since I am actually doing blocks that I would never usually pick.

    Love your new fabrics too!

    1. Thanks Amy! I am not the best at piecing, I'm getting better but I think I try to do things too quickly in those very small kid free windows of time. I might invest in a 1/4 inch foot too – that might help my accuracy when I'm stitching.

    2. Your blocks are really pretty! I got a 1/4 inch foot and use it soooo much! (You can figure out where your scant quarter inch is on it, too. ) You won't regret getting it.


    1. Yes, I think I will either end up making a quilt or I will choose the blocks that end up being my favourites and make them into some cushion covers (an idea which is actually quite appealing now that I think of it!)

    1. Thanks!! They look better in real life – I found it hard to get good pics because our weather has been crazy this week. So much rain! I agree – clothes are SO much easier!

  2. Love your blocks….. so colorful and fun! I am learning along the way, too! This "makes" me try different blocks that I wouldn't try "on my own!" Your learning quilt will be absolutely cute!


  3. You are certainly trying hard at these blocks. That geisha block looks very difficult. One thing that has helped me is the pressing. Iron every little bit as you go. Totally annoying I know. But guess what? The blocks turn out better. Lots better. If a section of a block has stretched slightly, making the block a bit wonky, then it is acceptable to measure and trim before continuing. You can also get an email newsletter from Ricky Tims from which teaches quilting. This is free although big-time enthusiasts might buy a membership. I know you like learning new stuff and extending your skills, so just have a look at least.

Leave a Reply