Piecing the Blocks for the QAL

There have been several Facebook posts of quilters who have selected and cut the wrong shape, e.g., a Shape 3 instead of a Shape 5 and not only did the shapes not fit but had to be re-cut. Reading the instructions really helps as the Shape #s are written on the diagram. Even so, it’s easy sometimes to pick up the wrong die. We talked about labelling the dies, but there is another step that really helps me.

Piecing the Block: First dies are selected and the shapes are cut from fabric.  After the shapes are cut, I use a foam core board covered with a thin layer of cotton quilt batting to lay out the shapes so I can see that the block will go together as it should.

And then after making sure the correct shapes for the block are cut, I stack and arrange the shapes into the subunits that will be made. For example in this block, there are four flying geese, four Shape 2 Squares and one Shape 6 Square on Point finished with four Shape 5 HSTs. This allows me to chain piece the subunits in the block.

One quilter wrote on the FB group about cutting shapes from thin foam and labelling them with a marker and then laying them out so she could learn the different shapes. This is a great idea for beginner quilters and those who are new to the Qube system. It’s nice to have a chart so you can visualize the shapes and shape #s. AccuQuilt has a wonderful resource with a chart with all the shapes from the Qube sets with all 216 blocks. I highly recommend you download this and print the chart and always keep it handy.

There are times when designing a block or trying a new block and it’s nice to know how the shapes will go together before cutting into fabric. In that case, colored paper is a great way to see how the block will go together. A pack of colored construction paper is always near my library of Qubes so that shapes can be cut and arranged and rearranged. When it is important to cut directional dies, I use a marker and scribble all over one side of the paper so that I can tell which is the right side and which is the wrong side of the fabric.

9 Replies to “Piecing the Blocks for the QAL”

    1. I was inspired by Lori Holt too! Took some of the boards with me to a retreat a couple of weeks ago and they were so helpful!! Planning on making more as needed!! And thank you for the 216 Block reference. I think I’ll never make a block again that doesn’t align with my dies.

    1. Hi Barbara, I hope they will. It has taken me a long time to do some of them consistently. And I learned most of them from other people. Belonging to a quilting group is a good thing.

  1. Marjorie, you are a Godsend! Thank you so much for giving us so much of your time and expertise. Now, every time I pick up a die, I’ll be grateful ? to you!

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