Thursday, 20 November 2014

Decipher Your Quilt - Putting different sized blocks together

Welcome to the final post in our Decipher Your Quilt series - Leanne of She Can Quilt and I will both be talking about how to put together blocks of different sizes today.

I thought the perfect example for this topic would be the Modern Sampler quilt that Jess of Scrappy n Happy and I designed for our sampler QAL a couple of years ago. We used three different sized blocks in this quilt - 5", 10" and 20" and Jess put this design together in EQ7. You could also use this technique for other sized blocks too - as long as they have a common factor (ie multiples of the same number). For example 12", 9", 6" and 3" or 16", 12", 8" and 4".

As you can see in the image above, we broke the quilt down into sections that would enable us to put all the blocks together without having a y-seam nightmare. There are a couple of different ways to combine blocks of different sizes, many of which we used in the quilt above.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you'll always be joining smaller blocks into sections that are the same height or width as your biggest blocks. This will enable you to join the blocks together into progressively larger sections, which you can then join together to make your quilt top.

1. Making a strip of smaller sized blocks to be the same length/height as the biggest block:

If you make a strip of small blocks (ie half or a quarter the size of your biggest blocks), you can join several of these together to make a unit the same length or height as your biggest block.

So if your biggest block was 20", and your smallest were 5", you could join four 5" blocks together in a row and then join them to one side of your big block. Same goes for medium sized blocks - in this example the bottom two blocks would be 10", so two sewn together will allow you to sew them to a section as wide as the biggest block.

You can also use this idea to join block to the top and sides of a larger block. In the example below, two 10" blocks could be joined and sewn to the top of a large (20") block, giving a section 30" tall. Then a strip of three (30" in length) could be sewn to the side. 

Another example of how you could join small blocks into a larger section is below. By joining the small 5" blocks into strips, and joining these to strips of (or single) medium 10" blocks, you can offset the smaller blocks so they don't all end up being in a straight row.

2. Making a 'block' of blocks:

Another way you can join smaller blocks to larger blocks is by joining several small blocks together to make a section the same size as the largest block in the quilt. Four medium 10" blocks or 16 small 5" blocks could be joined to make a 20" square section.

There are probably other ways to think about this, but this is how I approach it. The easiest way to plan this type of quilt (if you're a planner like me) would be to use some graph paper to figure out the placement of your blocks.

I hope this has been helpful - don't forget to check out Leanne's post as well, we always think about these things a bit differently. This is actually the last post in our Decipher Your Quilt series, and I hope you've enjoyed it. I've learnt quite a bit from doing it, so hopefully you've picked up a few hints along the way :o)

xx Jess


Lynette said...

This is great. Thank you so much for taking the time to work up the tutorial. I am always grateful to everyone who shares their knowledge and experience freely!

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Thanks to both, this has been a great series x

em's scrapbag said...

Do you mind if I share your tutorial on my blog for Tuesday tutorial?