Tuesday 11 August 2015

Oma's Blues: Making the BB1 Blocks

This is how I'm making the BB1 block. I've opted to piece, however you could also applique this block if you wanted to. For myself, I think piecing is faster and I did get through my 30x blocks in a day, which worked for me.

First up, is the always difficult choice of selecting fabrics. It should be easier when you have a two colour quilt like Oma, but believe me - I still ummmed and ahhhed for many hours before deciding on my final choice. These blocks make up a border which, in my mind, looks like an abstract vision of Delft stacked plates and dishware.
After fabric selection comes organised, scheduled preparation. I cannot stress enough how important it is to break up your task into segments of work. If I had attempted to make 30x blocks from scratch all in one day, it would have been too much to get through. I find it much easier to constantly 'prep' work and tuck it into envelopes to return to later. This is a great activity to do when I only have an hour or so free and it means that at some later time my work will come together 'quickly'. Well, it will look quick, but really there will be many little hours of preparation that have all come together.
pay careful attention to the curve as you stitch, it needs to be accurately and evenly stitched
I'm using Polyfuse which is a wash away fusible because it makes my work process faster and this means I don't have to remove the paper. Another advantage is that the fusible adds some stability to the fabric and this actually makes neat stitching easier than sewing without it.
Before sewing the second half, I'm pressing the seams away from any white area of fabric (because it will show through the white!). I do this throughout my work, if I left it all until the end I would probably never get around to doing it. When the blocks are completed, I will iron these folds into position, however this step now makes that process much faster when I am at the ironing board. Spotting seams of fabric show through which or light patches is a real annoyance of mine. As this quilt contains a light white background and many dark blues, I'm especially wary of keeping my blocks 'neat'. 
Before moving on, check seam lines. They must be neat and accurate. When they're not, I unpick and then re-sew them. Yes, this even happens to me. Don't hesitate to correct your work at the block stage, there's nothing worse that spotting these careless mistakes when the whole quilt top is completed.
Only when I am completely satisfied and my seams are flattened correctly, do I start with finishing the block
When the block is complete, I stack it to maintain the turned seams ready for ironing and final trimming later. I will trim my blocks down to size altogether at the end before sewing the border together.

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.


  1. Hi Esther! Thank you for sharing your machine piecing step-by-step photos and explaining your process in detail. You certainly have some great new tricks for this old dog! And, your fabric choices are dazzling!

  2. Calling these blocks BB Blocks sounds like you are swearing LOL Many many thanks for the tutorial so easy to follow and how fresh crisp and lovely these wee blocks look. I'm afraid it would take me more than a day to get through that pile though even having them prepared LOL. That is a lovely lovely blue you have used in these blocks Cheers Glenda

  3. Hi Esther, thank you for sharing your tips. I love your choice of fabrics.
    Although I am finished with the BB, I only make the middle as a wallhanging, I love learning from you.
    Bye bye, Jacqueline.

  4. Bonjour, j'aimerais vous posez une question sur l'utilisation du papier soluble que vous utilisez. Je pratique uniquement le quilting à la main, n'est-il pas trop difficile de quilter sur le papier soluble ou faut-il le dissoudre avant de faire les points de quilting à la main ??

  5. Thank you for the tips, making notes...:-)

  6. grazie Esther , come sempre le tue spiegazioni sono veramente chiare e fanno sembrare tutto facile..... scelta dei tessuti favolosa.


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