Quilting Blocks

In many cases, a quilt is a series of quilt blocks pieced together in a decorative pattern. The blocks are sometimes identical but complementary blocks make a striking quilt, too.

It's working with individual quilt blocks, instead of working with a piece of fabric the size of the entire finished quilt, that makes quilting easier, especially for beginning quilt makers. The smaller blocks are much easier to maneuver and it isn't quite such a daunting mission when the job is broken down into smaller steps, such as working with one block at a time.

The number of quilt blocks required to finish a quilt is determined by how big the finished quilt is expected to be. A common size for each block is six inches square but square blocks that are only three inches on all sides are popular, too, although these are often left to the more experienced and adventurous quilt makers.

Identical quilt blocks produce a quilt that is uniform in color and design, although many colors of fabric can be used to make each block. Beginners may want to try their hand at making a log cabin quilt as a first project since this particular pattern is made from sewing a series of rectangles together in pleasing patterns. Because the rectangles require only straight stitching, the novice can get the feel for the quilt-making process without becoming intimidated by more intricate stitches.

Once all the individual quilt blocks are finished, they are sewn together to form the top layer of the quilt. The blocks can be sewn together directly or they may be sewn onto a decorative border that provides a pleasing contrast between blocks.

Whether using identical quilt blocks or blocks of differing design and color, it's a wise idea to lay each block out in the desired configuration before sewing them together. This way, it's easy to adjust the blocks to form the most attractive arrangement before the sewing begins. Once the best pattern has been chosen, numbering the blocks in the order of placement will make it easier to sew them in the chosen configuration.

Quilting Question of the Week Quilt of the Month program
African Art
Fante of Ghana - Asafo Flags | Textiles & Symbols | Zulu Beadwork
African American Art
Art & Contemporary | Historical | Traditional
Asian Culture
Chinese | Hmong | Indian | Japanese | Korean | Tibetan | Afghanistan
Native American Culture
Hawaiians | Kuna of Panama (molas) | Mainland Tribes
Latin Culture / South American Culture Haitian Culture Aboriginal Culture
Australia / New Zealand