Quilting Tutorial: Simple & Cute Quilting Block
Regardless of your quilting experience, this detailed tutorial will explain all you need to know to create a beautiful quilt block. The disappearing 4 patch is a simple and elegant pattern you can use for just about any quilting project you can think of. If you're new to quilting, try a small project to start. You can try making a few simple placemats, or even a window treatment.
Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary equipment you'll be needing for your project.
Set yourself up in a comfortable spot and try keeping everything close enough that you don't have to move around too much.
Now get your iron ready, thread up your sewing machine, and go put on your favorite tunes!
What you'll need:
Fabric cut into 5" squares (see note below)
Iron & ironing board
Rotary cutting tool
General sewing notions such as a seam ripper, pins, and measuring tape
Read This if You're New to Quilting
Before getting started, there are a few things I should mention that will make your sewing experience much easier. I had to learn these on my own, so take the easy road and read on. (I've also included a couple bonus photos at the bottom of the page to better explain what I try to explain.)
Pressing is the single most important thing to do when it comes to sewing. It makes your lines crisp and clear. It's much easier to join two pieces together when you can tell where all the seams are. There are two steps to this process. Once I sew two pieces together, I press the seam that I just sewed. This first press will be on the wrong side of the fabric. The second press is done on the right side of the fabric and is made by lifting one edge of the fabric and pushing your iron over the seam. Remember that if you're using a very light colored fabric you might want to flip the seam towards the darker colored fabric so it doesn't show through.
A word about placement now: I cut my own squares, so not every square is perfect. The best way to get around this is the placement. When you're sewing two pieces together always put the smallest piece of fabric over the larger one. Center the two pieces as best you can and line up the edge you're going to sew. I don't usually bother pinning with short seams because the fabric tends to stay in place. I do use pins for longer seams though, just to keep everything lined up.
When you have to sew over two joining seams, line them up well before sewing them together. If they don't line up you're going to have crooked corners. You can expect that it won't be perfect at first, but you'll get better over time.
If the fabric seems to stay put too well when you want to make minor adjustments, just wet the tips of your fingers. It'll give you that extra little grip you need.
You're going to start by making a block that is two squares wide by two squares high. So grab four of your 5" squares of fabric and lay them out to see which go best in which configurations. Once you like the way they look, sew your squares into a block. This becomes the base of the pattern.
Next, line up your base block on your cutting mat so the seams of the block line up with the grid lines on the mat. Place a grid measuring tool over the block and line up the lines with the mat and the block. You are going to make 4 cuts to create the pieces to rearrange your block. Cut 1 inch from the center in every direction. This creates nine pieces; four large corner blocks, four rectangular pieces with a seam down the middle, and one center piece joining the four fabrics. I swap the left corners for the right corners, then flip my center 90 or 180 degrees, but you can arrange them however you think looks best.
I sew my quilt block sort of like I read a book - from left to right and from top to bottom. So say you have a block cut up into 9 pieces, you sew the top three pieces together. Then you sew the three middle pieces together, and finally, the last three bottom pieces. Once you have these three strips, sew them together to create your block. Don't forget to press every seam!
Sew the pieces together in strips, then into blocks! And Voilà!
So there's my quilting tutorial. If I'm missing anything or if you'd like some clarification, just leave me a comment. And please, feel free to show me some of your own tips and tricks!