Quilting help needed, please!

I want to start a quilt (I’ve only ever made one cot quilt before, so this is a major achievement in itself wanting to make a big queen-sized quilt) that I’ve been wanting to do for a few years, but when I look at how it’s made up, I wonder to myself why it’s done that way.  You see the individual block looks like this:

And when you start putting them all together it puts a seam smack-bang in the middle of the cream blocks:

Which then made me think, why don’t they stitch the blocks then piece together on the diagonal, either in large blocks with connecting smaller strips, or just big long strips – I’ve tried to make a picture that will explain what I mean:

If anyone could offer advice I’d really appreciate it before I start cutting up my fabric.  While I can understand the simplicity of putting everything together when it’s all symmetrical blocks, it seems an awful lot of seamwork where there doesn’t need to be any … but it could just be me trying to make things awfully difficult for myself for my very first big quilt! 😛

Basically I need to know if I should just suck it up and continue doing the quilt as it was designed in the magazine and make things easy in myself or whether doing it one of the other ways will give a more pleasing result, even with the extra brainwork involved …

6 thoughts on “Quilting help needed, please!

  1. Hi Anne,

    One of aims of making a good quilt is to get the points/corners to meet exactly. Sewing on the bias, especially sewing two bias cut pieces together often results in stretching – so avoid this where possible in working out your quilt assembly. Some small bits within a block will often be on the bias but just be careful (and sometimes spray starch helps).

    Your assembly diagram in blue makes more sense from this perspective than the top right hand single block method. The seam “layout”, as you note is also neater. You’ve learnt the first rule of quilting – there are no rules. Rule two for me is the pattern can be “wrong” – and thoughful commonsense goes a long way.

    My last piece of advice is to investigate your local guild – you will meet expeienced quilters who will be only too happy to share their knowledge. It would be a shame to invest the time and money in a queen sized quilt and have to abandon the project, or be unhappy with the result.

    Good luck with your project.

  2. Hi Anne,

    If I were you, and this being my second quilt, I would stick to the pattern instructions. Not to squelch your creativity, but in my opinion, it would be much easier to construct a specific number of blocks than to mess about with all those narrow diagonal strips. Whatever you decide, good luck with your project!

    Warm regards, Nicole

  3. No advice, Anne, as I don’t quilt, but I understand completely what you are saying! Good luck with however you decide to work it!

  4. Looking at the blue line, none of the edges are on the bias so it’s OK. However, the red lines are. When they make the block, only little bits are on the bias. You’re talking about a long line of bias….could be big trouble! 🙂 Oh & what you want to do is called putting the block “on point”. You could still do it…but make each block on point and then join them. Like the blue line. Don’t do it on the red ones. Make the squares, then join. Don’t try lots of little lines. Trust me. 🙂

  5. I am a rank beginner in the patchwork quilt game, as you know Anne! So while I can’t offer you constructive advice, I would certainly advise you to contact someone who is an experienced quilter. If the local guild is too far away, not open when you are free, etc., just go to your nearest patchwork shop and ask them for the name of someone who would be willing to spend some time with you to show you how (and why) it’s done.
    As Susan says in the first post, there are no rules, but on the other hand, there are very good reasons for doing things a certain way. I’ve learnt the hard way to heed what my patchwork teacher and experienced friends have shown me, instead of taking what I thought was the easy way!

  6. I think you’re brilliant for only having done one quilt and “seeing” the pattern in a different way. I think your way would be better. Instead of combining a square in a square block with half-square triangles, you’ve changed it to 3 basic blocks – a square, a 4-patch and a square in a square. None of the cream blocks would have a seam through them, which would help with anything showing through, as well as the amount of ironing and setting seams that would be involved. And a 4-patch is easier to sew than trying to match points to create the look of a 4-patch. You would just have to know what each of the 3 finished block sizes should be to change your cutting directions on the fabric. From your picture, it looks like all 3 blocks would finish to the same size as the brown block. So your cream and brown block would be cut to the same size. Then you’d only need to figure the 4-patch. Here’s a link to making the square in a square without bias edges – http://www.equilters.com/library/PFP/square-in-square.html
    Good luck with whatever method you choose.

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