Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Afraid to make your first X-Blocks quilt?

If using your X-Blocks quilt tool baffles you, maybe I can help.

I'm a great fan of the X-Blocks acrylic square and my students love working with it. But sometimes they are intimidated. "Your quilts look so complicated - how could this be an easy way to make quilt blocks?"

First, this tool is DESIGNED to make things easy. There is nothing more complicated for you to sew than nine patch blocks. Beginners start with the easiest quilt by piecing three strips of fabric together.

Second, the trick is in using the tool's registration marks. Lay your 3-stripped piece of fabric or nine-patches on your cutting mat. Place the X-Blocks tool on the fabric, matching the lines on the tool with the seam lines on your blocks.

Next, cut around the tool with a sharp rotary. Because the X-Blocks sits on your fabric off-grain, the result is what I like to call a 'wonky block.' As you sew all these wonky blocks together, an intricate design begins to emerge. Stars, pinwheels, name it.

Save the edges you trim off because they make the intricate (in appearance only) borders.

And one more tip: I like to use a small cutting mat or revolving mat so that it's easy to swivel the mat around when cutting all four sides.

I hope this information helps. For more X-Block ideas go to Patricia Pepe's website and click on her gallery or products page.