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Thread: What is your favorite book of quilt block patterns?

  1. #1
    Super Member Veronica's Avatar
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    Can you tell me what is your favorite book for quilt block patterns?
    I'm looking for one that has traditional quilt block that doesn't use a scant quarter inch.
    I have so much trouble with the scant quarter inch, my block are always off.
    I know that it's my error but it's just frustrating, it's taking the fun out of making them.
    When I need a 12 inch finished block it comes out 12" unfinished, not 12 1/2" as required.
    I need one that will allow me to use a quarter inch seam, so that I will stop wasting fabric, money and time.
    Thank you in advance for your answer.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    This is tough for me b/c I don't have that many books of just patterns anymore.
    A good one is/was Maggie Malone's. I don't even remember the name of it.
    You could check your local library for books of this type.

  3. #3
    Marion Jean's Avatar
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    Have you tried adjusting your 1/4" seam on scrap fabric? sometimes just a stitch width adjustment makes a difference. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Marion Jean's Avatar
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    Have you tried adjusting your 1/4" seam on scrap fabric? sometimes just a stitch width adjustment makes a difference. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Susieallaboutquilts. Maggie Malone's books are great. Here is the cover of one of hers that I just love, I can't ever imagine needing more than 5,500 block designs. I purchase this new at Barnes and Nobles for $24.99 but am sure that you could find it cheaper on Amazon.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    When I need a 12 inch finished block it comes out 12" not
    12 1/2" as required..
    That's the way it's supposed to work.

    You mean the unfinished block is 12" not 12.5"?

    Unless you want to work on improving your 1/4" seam - and the problem is not necessarily the sewing, it could be the cutting and pressing as well that are contributing to the block being off - then I'd suggest applique - needleturn, fusing, freezer paper. :wink: :wink:
    The seam allowance issue doesn't come into play so much with those methods.

    Really, I don't mean to be flip, but at some point you're just going to have to figure out a way to slowly master it.

    Sally Collin's book - The Art of Machine Piecing - is a sort of a classic bible. I learned a ton from that book. I wasn't interested in making 3.5" blocks like she does, but her methods and techniques are incredibly helpful. Basically, they help you understand why you're off - and how to check at every step to make sure you stay on track. It is a bit anal, but it's great stuff to know.

    People can suggest PostIts and all kinds of notions, but you really have to understand your equipment - the machine, the rulers and how the thickness of the lines affects your cutting, and your iron.

    So the issue isn't the block pattern, it's really improving your technique. And I'm not talking about the quilt police. If you want to make traditional blocks, and NOT lose every point and be off every seam, then at some point you have to work to master the basics. :wink:

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    see if your library has or can get you '501 QUILT BLOCKS A Treasury of Patterns for Patchwork and Applique'. it's put out by Better Homes and Gardens.

    it has a colored plate of each block and very easy to understand instructions. i like it because it doesn't bog you down with any information you don't need. for online blocks, go straight to

    http://www.quilterscache.com/QuiltBlocksGalore.html

    they have the widest selection in one place for every kind of method.

  8. #8
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    If all your blocks are 12" instead of 12.5"; it doesn't matter. Consistency is what you need so if all your seams are a hair more than 1/4"--it works out fine. If the problem is in your cutting--again--as long as you cut them all a smidge too small--it's ok. If the problem is in your pressing--that needs to be fixed.

    As for good books--I agree about Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs being one of the first I purchased.

    Paper-piecing might be the method for you. You don't worry about scants and 7/8's. You just sew on the line. Wrapping your brain around the flipping the paper over and sewing on the "wrong" side takes a little getting used to but once you get it; you'll have points so sharp they'll scratch glass!

  9. #9
    Marion Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    When I need a 12 inch finished block it comes out 12" not
    12 1/2" as required..
    That's the way it's supposed to work.

    You mean the unfinished block is 12" not 12.5"?

    Unless you want to work on improving your 1/4" seam - and the problem is not necessarily the sewing, it could be the cutting and pressing as well that are contributing to the block being off - then I'd suggest applique - needleturn, fusing, freezer paper. :wink: :wink:
    The seam allowance issue doesn't come into play so much with those methods.

    Really, I don't mean to be flip, but at some point you're just going to have to figure out a way to slowly master it.

    Sally Collin's book - The Art of Machine Piecing - is a sort of a classic bible. I learned a ton from that book. I wasn't interested in making 3.5" blocks like she does, but her methods and techniques are incredibly helpful. Basically, they help you understand why you're off - and how to check at every step to make sure you stay on track. It is a bit anal, but it's great stuff to know.

    People can suggest PostIts and all kinds of notions, but you really have to understand your equipment - the machine, the rulers and how the thickness of the lines affects your cutting, and your iron.

    So the issue isn't the block pattern, it's really improving your technique. And I'm not talking about the quilt police. If you want to make traditional blocks, and NOT lose every point and be off every seam, then at some point you have to work to master the basics. :wink:
    Sally Collins really is a perfectionist, but her techniques are worthwhile - a bit time-consuming, but beautiful results. Sometimes I'm just in too much of a hurry - need to sloooow down. LOL

  10. #10
    Marion Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    When I need a 12 inch finished block it comes out 12" not
    12 1/2" as required..
    That's the way it's supposed to work.

    You mean the unfinished block is 12" not 12.5"?

    Unless you want to work on improving your 1/4" seam - and the problem is not necessarily the sewing, it could be the cutting and pressing as well that are contributing to the block being off - then I'd suggest applique - needleturn, fusing, freezer paper. :wink: :wink:
    The seam allowance issue doesn't come into play so much with those methods.

    Really, I don't mean to be flip, but at some point you're just going to have to figure out a way to slowly master it.

    Sally Collin's book - The Art of Machine Piecing - is a sort of a classic bible. I learned a ton from that book. I wasn't interested in making 3.5" blocks like she does, but her methods and techniques are incredibly helpful. Basically, they help you understand why you're off - and how to check at every step to make sure you stay on track. It is a bit anal, but it's great stuff to know.

    People can suggest PostIts and all kinds of notions, but you really have to understand your equipment - the machine, the rulers and how the thickness of the lines affects your cutting, and your iron.

    So the issue isn't the block pattern, it's really improving your technique. And I'm not talking about the quilt police. If you want to make traditional blocks, and NOT lose every point and be off every seam, then at some point you have to work to master the basics. :wink:
    Sally Collins really is a perfectionist, but her techniques are worthwhile - a bit time-consuming, but beautiful results. Sometimes I'm just in too much of a hurry - need to sloooow down. LOL

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