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Monday, 10 October 2016

Just One Block - FQ Friendly Free Quilt Pattern with Tute and Tips

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Simple, Clean, Modern
Just One Block Quilt Pattern
(approx 71" x 71")

Just One Block is a large square quilt based on my original Kukulcan quilt block pattern.  As the name suggests the quilt comprises of just one block with each block section mixed and matched to create 3 individual block patterns.  You can style it up or down, adapting to suit adults or children, depending on your chosen fabrics.  Adapting my original Kukulcan block' 12" finish to make the Just One Block block 10-3/4" makes the quilt pattern Fat Quarter friendly.  Simple techniques will appeal to both beginner and more experienced quilters and I'll walk you through each stage with diagrams, photo tutes and lots of mbCD tips.

Disclosure/Disclaimer: 
Fabrics for the First Blush version of the Just One Block quilt were provided by Windham Fabrics and fabrics for the Kukulcan Block were provided by Benartex Fabrics, both at no cost to mbCD.  All other materials are my own.  In all other respects, this post is for informational purposes only and no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.

Take one quilt block, cut it out three times and swap the pieces around to make three different blocks.  Make another three blocks and another and before you know it you've got a quilt, let's call it the 

Just One Block Quilt
NB: Want to make the Just One Block quilt without all the tips and tutes? 
Click through here for the basic pattern instructions without diagrams, etc.

Materials
Design Option 1 (see Design Elements) - 24 Fat Quarters (12 background and 12 contrast)
OR Design Option 2 (see Design Elements) - 18 Fat Quarters (12 background and 6 contrast)
Border Fabric - 3/4 yard
Binding Fabric - based on 2-1/4" binding - exactly 1/2 yard with no margin for error 
OR based on 2-1/2" binding - 5/8 yard
Backing - 4 yards minimum - this 71" x 71" quilt requires a minimum of (2) x 2 yard (72") lengths of 42"/44" wide fabric.  This minimum allows no lengthwise margin for error, wiggle room or long arm quilting excess

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Design Elements
The basis of the pattern is that 2 Fat Quarters (FQs) will yield 3 blocks.  However, depending on your overall design and fabric choices it is possible that 3 FQs will yield 6 blocks.  This gives you two design options using one or multiple background and contrast fabrics and requiring 18 or 24 FQs to complete the centre panel of the quilt top.

Design Option 1: One OR Multiple Background Fabrics and Multiple Contrast Fabrics
24 FQs will yield 36 blocks, one of each type, an inner, middle and outer
12 FQs will be your background fabric and you will cut 24 blocks from these - there will be minimal wastage (see my cutting chart below)
12 FQs will be your contrast and you will cut 12 blocks from these - half of each FQ is unused

Design Option 2: One OR Multiple Background Fabrics and One Contrast Fabric
18 FQs will yield 36 blocks, one of each type, an inner, middle and outer
12 FQs will be your background fabric and you will cut 24 blocks from these - there will be minimal wastage (see my cutting chart below)
6 FQs will be your contrast and you will cut 12 blocks from these - there will be minimal wastage (see my cutting chart below)

Background Fabrics
Make a pile of your background fabrics - it is good if there is some commonality to them, a colour, design element, print size, etc.  For the First Blush version, I used check and dot fabrics as my background fabric - the prints are small and dense.

The First Blush fabric collection is designed by Ruby Red Designs for Windham Fabrics.

Contrast Fabrics
Make a pile of your contrast fabrics - again there should be some commonality and for the First Blush version, I used floral prints with a slightly larger and wider set design than the background fabric.

Pairing Fabrics
Next pair a background fabric with a contrast fabric - consider how the colours work together in pairs and also how those colours will look as a block when placed alongside all the other pairs made into blocks.  In the First Blush version, I tried to ensure that each colour paired with another colour on one occasion only - so there'd be no colour duplicates once the blocks were made, eg red and green are only placed together once.  I also tried to create the highest contrast I could in my choices - just look at that yellow background with a deep blue floral contrast.

TIP:
Take a photo of your final pairing choices, as I did, so you can refer back to it.  When you start cutting it's easy to lose track of what goes with what.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Be prepared to change your choices if necessary as you work - when I came to make the block using the dark red fabric (top left) I realised the contrast on that print colourway was far greater than for the other colourways I was using.  It stood out like a sore thumb against the rest of the blocks (there it is again, bottom right of the pic below).  Also in the pic above, tThe 3 fabrics on the right are extras that I was auditioning for borders and backing, you'll see in my finish photos I went with the top right fabric.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Time to audition some alternate colourways and I swapped it out for the blue colourway of the same print (bottom right).

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Tools
cutting mat / rotary cutter / small scissors or clippers
cutting ruler / marking pencil or pen / pins / neutral thread

Cutting Instructions
Design Option 1:
Background Fabric FQs - for each FQ cut out pieces as detailed in Cutting Diagram 1 below.
Contrast Fabric FQs - for each FQ cut out pieces as detailed in Cutting Diagram 2 below.

Design Option 2:
Background and Contrast Fabric FQS - for each FQ cut out pieces as detailed in Cutting Diagram 1 below

Cutting Diagram 1 (2 blocks/FQ)
Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

TIP:
To speed things up, I drew the layout onto the back of an FQ with pencil, then layered and rotary cut through 3 FQs at a time.

Cutting Diagram 2 (1 block/FQ)
Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Borders
WOF = Width of Fabric and is assumed to be 40"
Piece (7) WOF x 3-1/2" strips into a long strip (approx 280") and cut required lengths:
(2) 65" x 3-1/2" lengths
(2) 71" x 3-1/2" lengths 

Binding
WOF = Width of Fabric and is assumed to be 40"
294" x 2-1/4" length - approx (8) WOF strips

Arranging Your Blocks
Make (36) 11-1/4" unfinished (10-3/4" finished) blocks - 12 of each block type Inner / Middle / Outer.

Working in 3s, place 3 full blocks of background cut sections on your design wall in the correct block layout - 2 background fabric blocks and it's paired 1 contrast block.  Swap the contrast block pieces with the background block pieces until you have 3 blocks - Inner / Middle / Outer as detailed in layout diagrams below.  

TIP:
Not necessary, but I placed the B and C pieces in the same places around every A piece so my blocks are identical in layout.

Block 1: Just One Block Quilt - Inner
Section A - contrast fabric / Section B & C - background fabric
Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Block 2: Just One Block Quilt - Middle
Section B - contrast fabric / Section A & C - background fabric
Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Block 3: Just One Block Quilt - Outer
Section C - contrast fabric / Section A & B - background fabric
Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Piecing The Blocks 
Time now to sew the blocks together.  Sew each block together using a 1/4" seam.
Start by sewing A1 to B2 and work your way around the block adding each piece in numerical order A1 to C9.
Press all seams in your preferred manner, I've pressed my seams open for a flatter more modern look.

Tip:
1) Chain piece these blocks 3 at a time - working with only 3 blocks made with the same fabrics helps to keep things on track, it's easy otherwise for the fabric pieces to become muddled across the 36 blocks.
2) When you have added all the B pieces to the A piece the block should measure 7-1/4".  It is worthwhile checking the size at this stage to ensure your finished blocks measure up correctly at 11-1/4".
3) As you finish each block, trim to 11-1/4" square, joining the blocks and later the rows will be easier if the blocks are squared to the same size.

Designing The Layout
This is my design layout for the quilt top showing the placement of the First Blush fabrics using Design Option 1 - multiple background/multiple contrast fabrics.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

If you want to use the same design, lay fabric squares out as detailed in the diagram below.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

This is another version of Design Option 1 - this time a one background/multiple contrast design.  It is actually the Kukulcan block design I created previously and shows the quilt also without borders and in a different 1/2/3 layout.  You can read more about my 12" (finished) Kukulcan Block here.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

And this is how the Kukulcan blocks 1/2/3 look made up.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Below is an example of just how modern the quilt can look using Design Option 2:
this is a monochrome - one background/one contrast design;

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

and again in green and white.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Finally, here's a blank layout so you can try out your own fabric placement too.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

  Joining The Blocks
Join the blocks row by row as shown in the diagram below.
Press seams open or to the side, whichever is your preferred method. 

For the First Blush version of the Just One Block quilt, I have pressed my seams open for a flat, modern finish.  You may want to click through to read my Pros & Cons Guide To Pressing Seams which includes how to join open pressed seams accurately and also how to nest seams.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Joining The Rows
So you've made your 6 rows and now you need to join them taking care to match all seams.  

I've put the following diagram together showing you one way you can join your row, of course, you can simply sew the rows one to the next if you prefer.  If you sew them together in the order indicated it reduces the weight of fabric to the left of your sewing machine harp/throat at any one time which reduces stress at the needle and also for your arms and shoulders when sewing. 

 If you find the diagram confusing here's it is in words - join rows 1+2, 2+3, 5+6, 4+5 and finally 3+4.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Your quilt top centre is now complete and should look something like this.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Adding The Borders
Add the four borders in the order shown below - the two short borders first and then the two longer borders.
Click through to this post to read my tips for adding borders accurately. 

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Backing Your Quilt
Create your quilt back - I joined two lengths of the same fabric together to create what appears to be a whole cloth quilt back. 

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

 In this tutorial, I show how to pattern match perfectly when joining lengths of fabric together.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Making The Quilt Sandwich
Layer quilt top with batting and backing using your preferred quilt sandwich method.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Quilting Your Quilt
Quilt the quilt using your preferred quilting method. 

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

I quilted in the seams using the Stitch In The Ditch quilting method from edge to edge of the quilt along all block joining seams.  I then quilted around the 3 square seams within each block.  I used a 4.0 mm straight stitch and Aurifil 50 wt #2600 Baby Dove Grey.  NB: I have gone for looks over practicality and this is not a recommended method with pressed open seams, see my Pressing Seams Pros & Cons Guide.  

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Squaring Your Quilt
Square the quilt using your preferred method.

I squared my quilt by ensuring the border all around the quilt measured 3-1/4" (right side facing) from the quilt edge to the border's seam with the main quilt top blocks.  When a quilt is squared and has borders such as for this quilt pattern I advise my students instead of squaring up the whole quilt that they should ensure the border alone is equal in width at all points around the quilt - visually this will look correct to the eye even if the overall quilt measurements aren't perfectly equal and correct.  

Binding Your Quilt
Bind the quilt using your preferred binding method.  
The Materials list includes fabric for a 2-1/4" or 2-1/2" straight grain double fold binding with a 10" excess included for finishing.  I have used a 2-1/4" binding on the First Blush version.

If you'd like to pattern match your binding strips as you join them, I've created this Joining Binding Strips & Matching Patterns tutorial to show you how.

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

I've machine sewn the 2-1/4" double fold binding in place using a 4.0 mm straight stitch and Aurifil 40 wt #2423 Baby Pink.  

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

The Finished Quilt
Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Captions for this pic of my photographic assistant 'worshipping' my work are welcome in the comments section ;D

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

Sharing Your Makes
If you make a Just One Block quilt using my pattern I'd love to know.  You can share pics with me via the following links and using hashtags #mbCD and #madebyChrissieD.




Just One Block Quilt Pattern

Just One Block Quilt by Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD

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Disclosure/Disclaimer: 
Fabrics for the First Blush version of the Just One Block quilt were provided by Windham Fabrics and fabrics for the Kukulcan Block were provided by Benartex Fabrics, both at no cost to mbCD.  All other materials are my own.  In all other respects, this post is for informational purposes only and no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.


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33 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great quilt and instructions Chrissie! Thank you so much for all the time you spent creating this for us.

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  2. Fabulous quilt and great instructions Chrissie

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  3. Thanks for this free pattern - must have taken you ages to write this post. I like the version where the middle square matches the outer border.

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    1. Thanks Lesley, yes the tute do indeed take ages to put together! There are so many ways you can use these 3 blocks, singularly or in multiples. I've seen similar quilts where the square blocks are made using a different pattern design for each but making all 3 from this one pattern allows for simpler, faster fabric cutting and then more versatility in design choices. :D

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  4. Very nice and thanks for the pattern. It will be a great charity quilt.

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  5. You give such easy instructions, I think I will use this to teach a friend how to make a quilt.

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    1. I love to share my quilting knowledge with my readers and students so your comment makes me particularly happy Donna. Keep in touch and let me know how you go on if you do use the quilt pattern to teach your friend - Chris :D

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  6. Thank you for this pattern - wonderful instructions! Love your quilt!

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  7. Thank you so much for the lovely pattern, and wonderfully detailed instructions. I'm going to try and make it! :)

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    1. Delighted you like the pattern Sharon, let me know how you go on with the pattern and I'd love to see pics too - Chris :D

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  8. Adorable pattern! Loving First Blush fabric!!!

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  9. I love your quilt-great pattern, thank you, Susan

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  10. this is lovely. i love the fabrics

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  11. So lovely, might have to try this!

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  12. Wow, modern pattern with 30's fabric! You made it work. Very detailed instructions are a joy!

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    1. I really appreciate your comment Susan, long blog posts aren't for everyone but I like to share here the same way I do in my classroom and I know some people enjoy step by step instructions and visuals while others are happy to work alone. This is the first time I've experimented by adding a link to a shortened version of my instructions within a blog post pattern, hopefully people will enjoy having both options - Chris :D

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  13. Following you on facebook now!!!

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  14. I would love to see this on a farmhouse white iron bed too! Or a picnic quilt!

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  15. I love all the additional layouts you posted. Thank you for the tutorial.

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  16. I would love to make a quilt with this gorgeous fabric. Thank you for the chance to win xox

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  17. Lovely tutorial. I'll share your link with the club

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  18. Your quilt tuerned out so cute, and thanks for taking the time with the very helpful and detailed instructions!

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  19. Your quilt turned out beautiful and thank you for all the great tips with your tutorial.

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  20. I love the old fashioned look of your quilt. Your tutorial and tips are outstanding! Thank you.

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  21. You provided great info in this blog! Thanks for the tutorial on matching the pattern when seaming.

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  22. Thank you for this great tutorial !

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  23. Lovely quilt- I will add it to my wish list! Thanks for sharing your pattern!

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  24. Спасибо большое за урок.

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  25. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

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  26. Oh how pretty! I would love to learn to quilt one day. Thanks so much for sharing at #HomeMattersParty.

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  27. Wow! What a detailed process. This is really terrific in every way. I appreciate that you took so much of your time to write this out as you have. Clearly a blog to subscribe to if you really are interested in learning how to quilt. I am very impressed. This quilt makes you want to have one like it. Looks cozy, too. Pretty.

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I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley