Sewing the Blocks
Yippee! This week we start sewing the blocks for our Bella Vista Quilt.
This is the first block that I finished for my original Bella Vista Quilt.
When I have a quilt that is made up of multiples of the one block, I usually piece just one of the blocks first. This gives me the opportunity to check that I know what to do and I also think about the most efficient way to make the remaining blocks.
Once I have pieced the first block I then go about making the rest of them and this often involves techniques like chain piecing, to speed up the process.
You can see some chain piecing going on here. This saves a lot of thread and time.
Before I do this I take a photo on my phone of all the fabrics cut out and in their blocks. I case I mix up some fabrics I can check the photo and see which ones I paired with which.
Here I am pressing all the triangles away from the green square. I like to do them altogether, I press one, then place the next one on top and press. Then the next on top again - this gives them all a really good press. I don't stack more than 5 or 6 pieces, it tends to get a little wobbly.
There are lots of stitch and flip corner triangles in this quilt block. Once again, to save time I am using diagonal seam tape.
I line up the needle with one corner of the square and line up the diagonally opposite corner with the red line on the diagonal seam tape. Sew across the diagonal of the square keeping the corner lined up with the red line. You will stitch a perfectly straight line and all you need to do is trim off the excess fabric and press the triangle back.
When you are making the Bella Vista Quilt blocks it is important to make sure the 1" background lines that go through the star block, are in a straight line.
The first ones you sew on are easy, because you use one piece of fabric that goes right through the whole block. The others need matching.
Line up a ruler with the edge of the seam and place a pin on the raw edges of the background 1" strip. I will be in a line with the seam.
You can see that I have pins lined up with the background 1" wide sashing running vertically in this photo.
Now you can pin on the next section of the quilt block, matching the seams to the pins from the previous step.
This will make the 1" background strips line up exactly throughout the quilt block.
I like to use long, fine pins and I sew over them very slowly so nothing moves.
Here are 4 blocks finished. You can see how the 1" background strips line up exactly, through each block.
It is really worth taking the time to do this properly, your quilt will look so much better if you do.
Here are the four blocks from my second Bella Vista Quilt. These are the ones with the pieced centres.
I do love that bullseye effect that the stripes make in the centre of these.
Pin the seams carefully when you are making the centre of these blocks. I slide a pin in, on the stripe, perpendicular to the seam. I then sew over it slowly so the fabric doesn't move.
Aren't these Bella Vista Blocks stunning.
This quilt is being made with Vista woven and print fabric from Good News, Great Joy by Stephanie Sliwinski of Fancy That Designs.
What a pretty Christmas quilt this will be.
I will post more of these on Instagram when they are sewn.
I hope that gives you a few tips for sewing Bella Vista blocks and you have lots of fun too.