The tumbling block quilt pattern is a one patch design repeated over and over.
Many antique quilt patterns use fabrics with high contrast to achieve a bold effect masculine in nature.
This quilt pattern has been around for a long time and is considered to be an easy quilt pattern to make.
When only one patch is used over and over in a quilt your selection of fabrics in light, medium and dark tones gives the strikingly three-dimensional pleasing effect for the overall design.
The way the patch is assembled is also a contributor for achieving the right effect.
Since the tumbling block quilt pattern is a one patch design it is perfect for beginner quilting. Once you learn how the patch goes together you only get better with each block.
You will have an irregular edge along the outer perimeter which can be filled in with a slightly different patch to fill-in the gaps.
By filling in the gaps you get a straight edge which is easier for a beginner quilter to add a binding or a border to extend the width and length.
Often a Design Wall makes the job of arranging the single patch a lot easier. If you don't have one we show you how easy it is to make one.
A design wall allows you to do just that, design your quilt before you actually sew the patches together.
Be prepared to move the patches around until you are satisfied with the right image.
Here is a FREE Tumbling Block Quilt Pattern to get you started. Once you make your first Tumbling block quilt you will see how easy it is to duplicate.
Now let's show you how to get that single hexagonal patch which you will need for your tumbling block quilt.
The Easy Six Ruler made by EZ Quilting is a must have quilting ruler when making the pattern for a tumbling block quilt. This ruler is also used to make a six pointed star.
Keep the bottom edge of the ruler lined up with the bottom edge of fabric and then slide the ruler to the right until fabric fills the diamond; cut; continue to slide the ruler to the right to cut as many diamonds as needed. Nothing could be easier.
You can also make a template out of Mylar or cardboard that includes seam allowances and holes punched at each of the seam intersections.
It is important to note that there are three common diamond shapes used when making this tumbling block or most Amish quilt patterns.
The Amish tumbling block quilt pattern uses a diamond with 60-degree and 120-degree angles.
A Six-pointed star pattern also uses the same 60/120 angles.
A longer and narrower diamond is used for eight-point stars (45/135) which can be seen right here.
Once the Mylar template has been made using the 60/120 angles, use a stiletto (looks like an awl of sorts) to make a hole at the seam intersections. You can get a stiletto at any store where quilting supplies are sold.
This hole will be used to mark a small dot on the wrong side of each fabric piece. This is an important step so don't skim over it.
Once you have the seam intersections marked the stitching job becomes much easier when piecing together...almost effortless!
All pieces are the same size with like amounts cut from three different tones of fabric; light, medium and dark.
Mark the seam allowance on each piece of fabric. It may be necessary to use a white chalk pencil on the dark tones but a soft lead pencil should work for the light and medium pieces.
Some quilting instructions can be skimmed over but this one is very important. The trick is to make sure that you do not back-stitch into any of the seam allowances which will cause a pucker of fabric in your last seam.
You must stop stitching at the dot and secure the stitches with two back stitches!
When you press, one seam will overlap another, adding bulk to the finished project. Pressing direction for the seams isn’t critical with set-in-seams but strive to press toward the darker fabric.
Be sure to apply the up and down pressing motion when pressing the seams to avoid stretching the fabric parts.
Place two pieces of your tumbling block quilt pattern with right sides together and pin exactly through the endpoint markings. Turn each set over to make sure the pinning is accurate.
Lower your needle exactly at the starting dot. This is usually done by turning the fly wheel; once the needle has been inserted, remove your pin; lower the presser foot; take two stitches forward; back-stitch two stitches ONLY; and proceed to sew the length of the seam.
This is a slow and accurate job so reduce your speed to the lowest point. As you advance toward the end dot, remove the pin to make sure the needle enters through the dot. Do not go beyond the end dot!
To sew beyond the dot means that you are in the seam allowance which will distort your block size and cause the other seams not to match up. Accuracy is very important with set-in-seams.
This is one time when you will want to use the pinning skill. This is so whether you like to "pin" or not. I strongly recommend that you take the time to "pin"!
Pin the third patch of the set to the two-patch making sure you pin so the new piece will be on top for stitching.
Pin exactly at the starting and stopping points and verify for accuracy by turning the unit over.
Stitch the seam as before, starting from the inside corner and sew to the outer edges; secure the seam by back-stitching two stitches both at the starting point and at the ending point.
Pin along the last remaining seam with the pins situated so you will be sewing the seam from the inner corner to the outer edge. Stitch as in the same manner as you did for the two previous seams.
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