Ruthie’s Quilt, from the September/October 2018 issue of Quilting Quickly, is super fun, and those tilted quilt blocks are a great opportunity to learn some new quilting techniques. How do you actually construct these quilt blocks?
The construction diagrams show you how to build the block, but Anissa can show you a few of her favorite quilting techniques for this tilted quilt block.
Tilted Quilt Block Tips
Staff member Anissa Arnold offered to work through the quilt block to show you the quilting techniques she likes best.
First of all—and this really is the most important step—pick a fabulous strip set collection to build your Nine-Patch units.
Once Anissa sewed her Nine-Patch unit, it was time to attach the side units using a partial seam technique.
It’s really important to lay out the units on this one, making sure they’re accurately positioned. Anissa muttered to herself. “Fat side on the left, skinny side over here…” as she laid them down. Muttering is a surprisingly good quilting technique! Saying something out loud helps focus your brain on what your hands are doing.
Anissa then laid the light-colored Side unit face-down on the Nine-Patch unit, matching corner to corner. Because of the unusual shape, the other top corner of the side unit will flap off the top edge, and that’s OK. Pay attention to the edge you’ll be sewing.
Anissa made a mark 3” down the side, and then placed a pin there for good measure. This is where the partial seam will stop.
Using a ¼” seam, Anissa sews along the edge, stopping at the 3” mark. Not everyone backstitches here, but this is a quilting technique Anissa likes when partial seaming because it makes the seam just a little more secure.
The side unit will flap off to the side. Avoid handling it too much, in order to limit stretching and raveling. Lots of spray starch helps.
Go ahead and press that partial seam, just down to the stopping point in the stitching. It helps set the stitches, and ensures a nice crisp edge for sewing that next Side unit.
Anissa aligns the next Side unit, following the edge of the Nine-Patch unit. A little dog ear from the light-colored Side unit extends above, but the dark-colored Side unit goes from edge to edge.
Anissa pinned her piece in place—extra helpful when there aren’t right angles to judge by—and sewed from top to bottom.
Anissa used the pin she pulled to act as a stiletto, guiding the last half inch or so of seam under the presser foot. The end of the seam is where you’re most likely to veer off your ¼”, especially since this block lacks the visual cue of matching right angles, so this quilting tip is a good one!
Anissa attached the side units clockwise—or is that counter-clockwise? She’ll sew the entire seam on this last dark-colored Side unit, and then press.
After pressing the last dark-colored side unit flat and crisp, Anissa folds the partially seam light-colored Side unit back. You want to edges of the Nine-Patch unit and light-colored Side unit at alight, and might have a slight rolled fold above that. (Don’t worry! It’ll work out!)
Anissa pinned the edges in place, and then slipped the unit under the presser foot. She placed her needle down right at the backstitched end-point of her partial seam, put her presser foot down, and sewed a ¼” seam all the way to the end.
Anissa pressed the “fresh” part of the seam with the block closed to set her stitches, and then open the block out, pressing everything flat.
Anissa didn’t have an 8” x 8” ruler on hand, so she marked the 8” line on her ruler. Over the center, she placed another piece of tape, and then centered this over her nine-patch.
The final block is definitely a charmer—scrappy and sassy and fun to make!