Quilts have been around for ages, yet their popularity seems to snowball over time. They have a unique mixture of fun and challenge that will test out your creativity.
With four or more square blocks of fabric full of originative details, you can create this lovely handicraft. It is such an enjoyable escape from stressful situations or a nice boost to learn hand piecing basics.
Anyone can learn how to hand-sew a quilt block. You only need to know where to start, and here’s our DIY guide.
How to Hand Sew a Quilt Block?
Measure the size of your blocks, then cut with your rotary cutter. Thread the needle using quilt thread, and sew a straight line from the edge of your fabric. Piece the next set of blocks together cautiously.
Just go on sewing, joining pieces together, and pressing until you’re delighted with the result. You can buy a pack of pre-made fabric blocks or have your own.
What Will You Need to Hand Sew a Quilt Block?
Here are the vital supplies you need to prepare before sewing to achieve this rewarding activity.
Fabric: Any quilting weight cotton is preferable. A store-bought fabric usually indicates how much you should use for backing, batting, and binding fabric. Otherwise, go online and try using a quilt fabric calculator to determine the dimension of your blocks.
Needles: In hand quilting, the standard needle size is 10. The eye should not be too small or big, plus robust enough to handle multiple layers.
Thread: Make sure to have a stout, fine quilt thread at home. It is painless to use and has a smooth texture. A thread with different colors and sizes is perfect as well.
Pencil: Use a lenient pencil with a softer lead to draw your seam lines.
Safety Pins: Apparently, pins’ role is to hold pieces all together at the layer points. Don’t settle for safety pins with a longer body, or else the thread may get trapped. Opt for shorter ones instead, such as one-inch or 3/4 inch.
Scissors: Prepare small snips or scissors to cut down threads. While for fabrics, choose a scissor with a comfortable handle and saw-toothed blades.
Other supplies include a rotary cutter, quilt ruler, and tape (here, we recommended bias tape).
Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sew a Quilt Block
While we appreciate professionally-crafted quilt blocks, nothing’s more fulfilling than seeing your labor of love, agree? It just takes time and effort. But the list of advantages is too tempting one cannot resist. A quilt block makes use of a simple stitch and suits any sewing level. Movability is perhaps the core of its beauty.
So, where to start? Now that you have all the supplies you need, it’s time to turn those ideas into valuable art!
Step 1: Choose the materials and block patterns you will use. The options vary, and each holds unique properties. As indicated, cotton is the most sought-after when dealing with hand quilting, thanks to its long-lasting wear.
Now for the quilt block patterns, you are not limited to basic designs. Let your creativity go wild. Beginners may want to start with baby quilts. You can then explore other pattern designs inch by inch.
Step 2: Cut the fabric with a rotary cutter along with a ruler and mat. Trim about 1/4 yard pieces to make your blocks neat and equal in size.
However, you may also opt for irregular sizes as long as the edges are squared up. It depends on how you want the end product to turn out to be.
Step 3: Thread your needle and tie an overhand knot at the end. While a very long piece of thread is appealing to have, it can get tangled and knotted.
Hence, making your quilting a little bit messy. It is best to have a thread length starting from your elbow to your wrist.
Step 4: It’s time to draw your seam allowance. This one is important in quilting as it will hold your stitches and secures all pieces together.
Add 1/4 inch allowance to each side of the square. It leaves that seamless-sized shape you want for the quilt blocks. You can use a ruler and pencil or marker (pencil line) for accurate dimensions.
Step 5: Stitch the seam carefully. When stacking two blocks, be sure the sides are together with the edges flawlessly ranged. Put in the needle 1/4 inch from the edge and make a running stitch alongside the pencil line.
Make tiny stitches as possible. Have at least three back stitches (or any stitch you prefer) to secure the end thread. You can tie a new thread knot and sew the next block.
Step 6: Keep on sewing the following squares until the last one. Don’t forget to press the seam open and flat. Mix and match colors, or stick to your favorite color patterns.
Either way, you will have to stitch the squares together in rows or strips. Sew these rows/strips as one, and you now have a quilt top!
Step 7: A quilt is composed of three layers: the top, batting, and backing. The top is what you have just finished, while the batting is the feathery middle section.
On a flat floor, lay down first the backing fabric, followed by the batting fabric. Smooth down any wrinkles. Put the finished top above the batting layer.
You may need a little patience here. Make some adjustments until you are confident the corners/edges are correctly aligned.
Step 8: This is where your safety pins come to the rescue. Start pinning adjacent to the middle portion, then pin through all seams. Maintain a four to five inches distance to keep them intact while you quilt.
Step 9: Like squares, you also need to run simple stitches, or what we call stitching in the ditch. Focus on making equivalent sizes of stitches. Begin sewing close to the middle of the quilt’s one corner. Remove the safety pins throughout.
Step 10: Edge your quilt using a bias tape, though you can apply a border too. Trim off excess backing and batting. Ready to display your hard work!
Different Ways to Finish Quilt by Hand
Hand tying is the most common finishing method used when quilting. What you need is a regular running stitch through the layers where you want to create a knot. Leave around a three inches tail.
The cross stitch is another popular method we have – with the back impeccably mirrors the front. It forms an “x” mark by just making a knot and covering the thread. Be sure to use a pencil, pen, or marker if that helps.
Perhaps the satin stitch could meet your desired finished product. Don’t worry; it is super easy and looks beautiful in the back and front area. Try different thread weights to achieve the right consistency.
It’s like you are coloring a shape but with the use of thread. It’s essential to mention a versatile stitch option. Get fancy with your blocks without killing extra time. You may need a quilting hoop when doing satin and cross-stitch, though. A sturdy hoop will do the job.
Sometimes, you may have “ooh” moments to do an entire quilt. You can also use these stitches as an alternative quilting method.
What Kind of Fabric Should I Use for the Backing?
It is generally suitable to use the same fabric as the quilt front, which is cotton. It makes your hand sew quilting stress-free and can improve the unique details. Besides, it is by far the most popular substrate. Although your preferences and needs still have the final say.
What Makes a Quilt Block Beginner-Friendly?
A quilt block is a simple shape that is easy to assemble. The detailed designs are just a fun addition. Rectangles and squares are among the easiest to make, even for those with little hand quilting experience. That means sparring from bias ends and curves. There’s a pre-cut fabric, too, which will save you a lot of time.