2015 February | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog

February 2015

8 posts.

Perfect Your Skills: Squaring Up Blocks


It is essential that all quilt blocks be squared up before they’re assembled into a quilt top. If you piece together your quilt top with some blocks that are too large and ease in the excess fabric, you’ll end up with a quilt that has waves. If you piece your quilt with some blocks that are too small and try stretching the fabric to fit, you’ll have a quilt that isn’t square at the corners and pulls in, creating drag lines across the surface.


Measure each block to be certain they are all the same size. Check to be sure they have 1/4″ seam allowances on all edges and that the corners are square. Use a large, acrylic square ruler atop the block to check your work. If you have cut accurately and used 1/4″ seams throughout the piecing process, the blocks will be the correct size.


If you are squaring up a block to a dimension that is not easily visible on the ruler, use pieces of narrow masking tape on the underside of the ruler to create a guide, like in picture above. Place the inside edge of the tape on your measurement line, so you can see at a glance if a block is too small.



What can you do if some blocks are too small?

• Discard blocks that don’t measure up and make replacements using accurate 1/4″ seam allowances.

• Restitch blocks, making sure to use accurate 1/4″ seam allowances.

• Add borders to blocks to bring them to a uniform size. Borders may be added around the entire block or just to one or two sides.


What can you do if some blocks are too large?

• Discard blocks that don’t measure up and make replacements using accurate 1/4″ seam allowances.

• Restitch blocks, making sure to use accurate 1/4″ seam allowances.

• If the margin the block is off is minimal (1/8″ to 1/16″), you may trim it. Recognize that you may be trimming into the seam allowance, thus cutting off points of angled pieces or visually altering the finished look of a block relative to the other blocks in the quilt.

Make It Tonight: Tissue Pack Covers

Fabrics: Bunny Tales collection by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman Fabrics


Survive seasonal colds and allergies with cute and colorful tissue-pack covers! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.




  • 3–3-1/2×5-1/2″ rectangles of fabric
  • 3×5″ tissue packet


Finished tissue cover: 3×5″




Assemble the Tissue Cover:


1. Fold one long edge of a fabric rectangle under 1-1/2″; press. Repeat with a second rectangle.


2. Lay your remaining rectangle right side up on your work surface. Position the two folded rectangles on top, with right sides facing down and folded edges overlapping.


3. Pin in place.


4. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the rectangles together. Clip corners just outside the seam line. Turn right side out and insert a tissue packet through the opening.

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Take 5 Fat Quarters Blog Hop

Today is the final day of the blog hop for Kathy Brown’s latest book (her 6th for Martingale).

I’ve known Kathy for several years. I think we first “met” when the Take 5 die she designed for AccuQuilt was featured in the Favorite Finds column of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in 2008. Her energy and joyful spirit are showcased in quilts in her latest book Take 5 Fat Quarters: 15 Easy Quilts from Martingale.

This collection of quilts includes designs that are terrific, no matter if your taste in fabric is modern, Civil War-inspired, solids, or batiks. There is something for everyone.

As I thumbed through the book, I enjoyed reading Kathy’s inspiration for each of the quilts. I find the back-story and the behind-the-scenes info of how a quilt came to be fascinating.


I decided to make Crisscross Applesauce, above. Plus sign-inspired quilts are very popular right now and this pattern, with 6″ blocks, was just the right size.


I have been collecting blue and white prints from designers Polly Minick & Laurie Simpson for Moda Fabrics. I thought this pattern would make a very striking two-color quilt. I used more than five fat quarters. What can I say? I love scrappy and I know Kathy would understand my need for more fabric!


I can’t decide how to set blocks together. Alternate light and dark blocks, set them on point, or group darks and lights in groups of four.


I also have my next quilt picked out, Farmhouse Favorite, above. I love Log Cabin variations and I think I’ll use some Kim Diehl fabrics for Henry Glass & Co I have in my fabric stash.


All images from Kathy’s book are courtesy of Martingale and photographer Brent Kane.

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Blogs We <3 This Month

Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!


Life Under Quilts

Jessica Alexandrakis of Life Under Quilts is a master of English paper-piecing and working with scraps! Be prepared to be inspired by her current sewing projects and learn great tips for quilting on the go.

Read her blog here.


Ivory Spring

Designer Wendy Sheppard loves antique quilts, China, and needlework, and regularly features these beautiful heirlooms on her blog. She also sometimes throws in a fun free pattern and machine quilting tips!

Read her blog here.


Persimon Dreams

Designer Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams has such a fun quilting style and loves exploring and learning. She hosts a yearly Quilt Along to teach new skills and help readers discover more about your own quilting style!

Read her blog here.

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Trend Talk: Quilt Alongs

Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!

This month, we’re loving quiltalongs! Yes, we are hosting our own, so this may be a selfish post, but quiltalongs are so fun! It’s a great way to expand your skills, meet new quilters, and get great inspiration from an online community! They’re also known as mystery quilts or block of the months. Some are already started, but you’re only a month behind! Find one (or more) and start sewing. Join the online community to see what other’s are making, too!



Find a quiltalong to start now (in order going clockwise):

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