This is based on the video transcript: We often, as we travel from quilt show to quilt show and demonstrate our Slidelock products, get quilters ask “How do you make your quilting tumbling blocks? How do you sew those tumbling block sections together?” So, I spent a lot of time showing them what I do.
How To Mark, Sew, and Assemble Tumbling Blocks for Quilts
The key to these, of course, is to cut each and every 60-degree diamond exactly. Once I’ve done that, I’d turn them over, and actually mark every single one of my pieces, all the way across to 1/4 inch, all the way around, and wherever the two lines cross, the X mark is where you drop your nail to start sewing and where you stop your needle when you’re sewing. That lets you insert each block piece.
So, once I’ve done that, I take the first two sections, and I would lay them together in this manner. Now, I have to sew them together. So, all I’ve done is sewn a 1/4 inch, starting at the beginning of the X, ending at the ending X.
Next, I have to add what looks like the trickiest piece, which is that third diamond. To do that, I am laying this diamond on top of this one. I’m going to take that, and not moving it, I’m going to start in the center at the X. Sew down to the bottom X, and stop. Then, I’m going to take this, flip it over, press it. Now, I’m going to turn the whole thing over, and I’m going to realign that up and start and stop until I get a sewn three-piece block section or a quilting tumbling block.
When you finish sewing this, you’ll end up with a tiny little spot in the center that actually isn’t sewn. It’s very small, and once you’ve quilted, it never really truly moves. So, I can show you how to do this if you’d like on my machine. I’m going to take my sections over to go to the machine. Now that I’ve marked all three of my diamonds so I know where I need to sew, I’m going to start sewing those sections together. So, I’m going to pick up your first two pieces, line them up, and I’m going to drop my needle right on the X.
I’m going to take a couple of stitches. Now, I’m going to backstitch just a bit because I don’t want those to come apart as I flip and sew each of the sections together. I’m going to cut that off. Turn that over. Press the seam flat. One of the things that I do not do is cut away the dog ear that we have when we sew diamonds because you want to have that section when you add your next quilting tumbling block pieces together. If you cut that away, you lose your line that you want to sew too.
Next, I’m going to take the third piece, line it up, get it set, and then I’m going to do the same thing I did there. I’m going to drop that needle right at that X. Pick a couple of stitches. Backstitch just a bit just to be sure they stay secure, and now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to take this first block, pull it aside so that I can get there without picking that fabric up underneath. Backstitch. Cut your threads, and go ahead and press that one.
What you want to do here is you’re always pressing as you work the way you want this piece to lay, but now, I need to put the rest of this third piece in here. The way you do that is you actually fold all of the fabric, pulling that second piece aside just a little, so you have that whole scene flattened out. Again, lining up, right on the X. Two stitches forward, two back. I’m going to take that. Lay your pieces down. Press them flat, and you have your first quilting tumbling block section. You just continue to add those together, one after the other, in the same manner in the layout that you would like to have.
Now that you’ve sewn all three of your pieces together, you end up with your quilting tumbling block, which is what you wanted to have, and you would set that in there. Now, you’ve got another whole design. You can just keep going, and you’re adding. Each time you want to sew, you’re going to add, lay that on there. Open that up. Stitch from corner to corner. Bring it back down. You would just press that. Flip it back over again, and add in that block section.
That’s how you mark, sew and assemble quilting tumbling blocks. There’s really nothing to it.