Now that you've printed out the block, what do you do with it? There are a number of ways to make a block from a pattern, and the method you choose will depend on how experienced a quilter you are and what methods you like best. The method below is described in enough detail that someone who has never quilted before (if that's you, congratulations on starting!) should find it relatively easy to make a quilt block. If you have more experience, skip the parts you know, or go ahead and use your own method - there are a large number of books available with various methods and tips for easier piecing.

For this method, you will need:

  • Access to a photocopier
  • A large piece of thick cardboard
  • Glue
  • A pencil
  • Fabric to make the block
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • An iron

First, you need to make sure the block 6x6 inches. (If you already know how to do this, or the block printed out correctly to 6x6 inches, go on to the next paragraph.) Measure the block carefully, and grab a calculator. The percentage you need to increase the block is:
        6 divided by the size, times 100
So, for example, if it printed out at 3 5/8 inches, you would enter (6/3.625)*100 = 166%. Or if it printed out at 3 inches, you would enter (6/3)*100 = 200%. Once you have the percentage, go to a photocopier and enlarge the picture by that much.

Now that you have a 6x6 inch square, cut it out carefully, cutting on the outside of the lines (you'll notice the outside lines are thinner than any inside lines, if there are any). Then cut along any inside lines, cutting on the center of the inside (thicker) lines. You'll find yourself with a bunch of smaller pieces of paper ready to make into templates.

Take each of these pieces, and glue it right side up onto a piece of cardboard. Then cut out the cardboard 1/4 inch larger than the piece - the space between the paper and the edge of the cardboard is the seam allowance. You might find it helpful to print out a second copy of the block, and leave that one in one piece, so you can figure out which template goes where in the block. You now have a set of templates for this block, so you can make as many blocks as you need.

Lay out your fabric right side up. Put each template on the fabric, and use the pencil to draw around it. Cut out the fabric, and using a ruler, draw the sewing line (the paper line 1/4 inch inside the cardboard line) on the wrong side of each piece. Then, referring to the picture of the block, put two adjacent pieces of fabric right sides together, match the sewing lines, and sew them together using a running stitch. (Make a knot at the end of the thread, thread the needle, and pull it through both pieces of fabric on the matched sewing lines. Stick the needle down through the fabric 1/8 inch away along the lines, and back up 1/8 inch further along. Repeat until you get to the end, then make another knot. It should look like this:
     0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0
This is the standard fabric piecing stitch used in quilting. You can do it by machine or by hand, whichever you prefer.) In the same way, sew all the pieces of fabric together, ironing each seam flat as you finish it. When you finish, you'll have a finished quilt block!

What next? See putting it together for an introduction to assembling the quilt and quilting it. For more information, there are a number of books written on the subject - browse until you find one you like. If you have any questions, or get stuck, we're here to help; send mail to help@equiltblocks.com, and we'll answer your questions as soon as we can. Good luck, and happy quilting!

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