QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

I hope you’ve started making or at least thinking about your Bow Tie blocks for QM’s Bitty Blocks in January.


I wanted to share a few things for you to think about. Here’s the Bow Tie quilt block we’re making.

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QM Bitty Block #1 is a simple Bow Tie block.

1. You’ll want to consider your backgrounds carefully. I was surprised when I put my first batch up on the design wall. The background was really busy!

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Consider backgrounds carefully.

You can see that I was able to calm it down by adding another background fabric that was less busy.

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Add some background fabrics which are less busy.

2. Another thing to consider is the scale of the fabric. These are tiny blocks, just 3″ x 3″, so small to medium scale is best. Here are examples of good fabrics to use. You’ll want small to medium scale prints and tone-on-tones.

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Good fabrics to use include small to medium scale prints and tone-on-tones.

These large scale fabrics wouldn’t be as good for these small blocks.

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Large scale prints won’t work as well in Bitty Blocks.

3. Another option to think about: You can use a dark fabric for the A patches, and use something lighter for the Bow Tie (B patches), like this.

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I used dark for the A patches and something lighter for the B’s.

Whether you go with light Bow Ties or dark Bow Ties, you’ll probably want to keep the values in the same places for all of them. They look a little weird if you mix them up.

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Things get a little weird when you combine blocks with the values reversed.

You could certainly make two rows of Bow Ties, using light backgrounds for one row and dark backgrounds for the other.

4. Another lesson I want to help you learn is that value is relative. In the block below, I’ve used the turquoise fabric as the dark.

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Turquoise used as the dark fabric

And below, I’ve used the turquoise fabric as the light.

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Turquoise used as the light fabric

Here are the two blocks side by side.

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Blocks side by side: turquoise is the light or is the dark, depending on what you pair it with.

The turquoise can function as the dark or as the light. It all depends on what you pair it with.

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A few renegade blocks will add vibrance to your quilt.

In the row above, I added the “renegade” block with the turquoise background. A few of these can be sprinkled into your rows with great effect. Be brave and give it a try. I promise your quilts will be more lively.

5. You might consider making some of your Bow Ties scrappy.

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Make your Bow Ties scrappy. Just keep the values fairly close so the Bow Tie shows up.

This is a sure-fire way to make more interesting quilts. In the block above, I kept the red values fairly close. One is hot pink and one is very orange, but they all work together because they read as one value. The background A patches are two different pale greens. Once you put it into the row…

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The scrappy red block fits right in!

…it fits right in!

Really good news:

It took me all of 15 minutes to make my first six Bow Tie blocks.

They sew up in a snap! I couldn’t resist seeing what they looked like in a ring.

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Oh my! I feel a scrap quilt coming on!

Oh my! I feel a scrap quilt coming on!

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Help us spread the word: #qmbittyblocks

Find the complete instructions for January’s Bitty Blocks.

Look for a new Bitty Block on the first Monday of each month!

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