Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tumbling Blocks - Made Easier

This allover pattern (known as Baby Blocks and Tumbling Blocks, among other names) has been a favorite of quilters for centuries -- even the early Colonial period.


     Before that, geometric designs like it were often featured in tile and parquet floors, particularly in Dutch Master paintings.  Take this checkerboard example:


Nicolaes Maes  The Idle Servant   (National Gallery collection, UK -- courtesy of Wikipedia)


You can even make your own 'tile' (actually painted) Tumbling Blocks floor, thanks to Make It Lovely. Go here for directions.



If you were stitching this pattern in cloth, it demanded painstaking piecing, usually by hand. It was difficult to get the diamond seams accurate, and points smooth.

Until now. 

Try this modern variation from Teresa Down Underbased on a technique developed by Marci Baker. Click on the link -- or take a look at the photos below. (Think 'rows,' instead of 'blocks.')



These videos are helpful, too:


This is Marci's video on the technique:




I've strip-pieced this pattern in Amish-inspired solids, like this 1930s version:




But it's equally beautiful in a scrappy mix of fabrics.


Rainbows or pastels, anyone? 

And not just cottons, either -- many 19th century Baby Block quilts were pieced in silks. Sometimes those areas were accented with Crazy-patched sections, as well. However, this 18th century version is straight cottons:

Shared by cathquilts.blogspot.com...all photos are via Pinterest

Gaw-jus.

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