June 13, 2019

Let's Party - Quilt block tutorial

This is my quilt "Let's Party", just published in the Summer 2019 issue of Quilter's World Magazine. It features Maywood Studio Fabric's collection Back Porch Celebration by Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio. The center panel is super fun and I chose border blocks to set it off. The quilt measures 58" x 70".

The pattern is easy to follow in the magazine. Yet, I love these blocks so much that I decided to show you how I made them. The overall design looks complex but when you look at these steps below you will see I used super common patches and the construction has no secret to it. So, here it goes:

Let's begin with this block. All the cutting instructions are on page 48 of Quilter's World Summer 2019 so I will skip that part here.

 These are the pieces I need for one block. I will make half-square triangles next.

I chained pieced the patches and you will do the same as you will be making 28 blocks. See that strip of painter's tape next to the Bernina? Stay tuned for comments about it later.

I know the half-square triangles turned out fine because I placed them next to the square they will be joined to and there was a perfect match.

Next, I place all the patches in order next to my sewing table and begin the block assembly. There are a couple of ways you can go about it: sew the patched in columns then sew columns together, or sew patches row by row. I will demonstrate the latter.

Notice that the triangles at the end of the rows fit well.

I check every seam after I stitched it. Notice the spot in blue - this won't do as it will mess up the design. Jack the Ripper goes into action...

That's better!

There is no trick here. The seams align well as long as use 1/4" seam. No need to stretch, fudge, curse, reach for some chocolate to calm the nerves...

After pressing the patch I look at the back to see if the seams are laying flat. That one is not but I will make it!

I snip a V where the seam is unruly, and problem solved. I am careful not to touch the seam with the scissors.

The block is almost ready.

To add the red triangle, I fold in half the unit I just completed, right sides together, and crease it.

I then fold the red triangle in half, wrong sides together, and crease the fold.

Now it is time to nest the creases...

... pin liberally, and sew. Notice the ends of the triangle sticking out a cool 1/4".

And here is Mr. Block number 1. How easy is that???

Next block is even easier!

These are the corner blocks. You will need only four of them.

 These are almost all the patches I will need - I left out from this photo the corner square.

First, I made the two flying geese units. Remember the painter's tape? Here it comes in handy. My friend Deb told me this is how she sews, and she is awesome at sewing and quilting, so I had to emulate her. I no longer mark the back of the squares for flying geese blocks and for other "stitch and flip" blocks, unless the squares are larger than, say, 3". Position the patch, align the bottom corner to the tape, and make sure that corner lines up with the tape while you stitch. Does it work? See for yourself:

 Perfect straight seam.

Now I have all I need to complete the block.

The red corner square can be stitched either to the bottom strip or to the side one. I chose to join it to the bottom strip.

 No magic here, you see. Just regular stitching with 1/4" seam.

Here comes the sun!!! I really like this block.

 I sew the blue triangle to the patch in the same manner as above, by nesting the creases I made to the folded units.
And here it is. These fabrics are so cute!

 There is no secret to putting these blocks together as you saw. Just plain old 'mind your seams'.

I love how Melissa Kelly from Sew Shabby Quilting quilted it. Simple lines reminiscent of the wind on the flags of the center panel and on the borders.

Here is a YouTube video where I show you how I made the decision to assemble these blocks the way I did. It is a quick video with the Electric Quilt Software with an alternative way to put them together, and why I did not choose it.

I hope this has been helpful. Have a fantastic day!


  1. I like those blocks! They would work well to frame any panel.

  2. I have this magazine! My friend mailed it to me for my birthday! Thanks for your photos showing how to sew it! Watching the 4th of July celebrations and hope you have a good one also.


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