Welcome to the 7th block in our Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey. We are introducing the Alabama block! To see our other State blocks (click here – State Quilt Block Journey)
In 1912 Hearth and Home solicited quilters to submit a quilt block that they thought represented their State, and they then published them and I am recreating these blocks for us to make!
The Alabama Quilt Block is a variation of a Log Cabin Block. This block is set apart by the squares that run in an “X” pattern in this block. Using a contrasting color in these squares really sets the block in half so you can use two different colors to make a stunning quilt that has several pattern possibilities. I will put up some pictures of all the different patterns you can get from this block when you just turn the blocks when laying them out!
Below I will show you how to put this block together and I have created a video tutorial for this block also. Follow my tips and you will get a beautiful 12 1/2″ block. I am providing templates for a 10″, 8″ and 6″ finished Alabama block.
Go grab the templates for this block below and let’s get started! The pattern includes cutting the templates and instructions on cutting the strips for your templates.
Below are the different variations of the quilt when you just turn the blocks!
To Begin With
As I stated above I have created a detailed video on the order of putting all the seams together, how to iron them so you get seams that will nest and how to put it all together to get the finished block!
This is a three color block. I would suggest using a bright, dark or contrasting color for the diagonal squares. I personally feel this block looks better with two halves of the block as different colors. I tried to match colors of the Alabama State Bird, the Yellowhammer Woodpecker as much as I could with my Batik Fat Quarter Stash. The Yellowhammer Woodpecker is beautiful and I didn’t even know they existed!
Tips for this block before we start
- 1/4 seam″. A quarter inch sewing foot works great for this!
- Cut your strips with the grain of the fabric. This will help prevent stretching the fabrics when sewing. We want the fabrics to keep their shape.
- I have provided a block legend that you can use to color in your pieces so you can have an idea of how your colors will look in the block. It helps when figuring out which templates to use for each color.
- Use the cutting instructions and replace your colors so you know which pieces to cut from each color.
- You don’t “need” to use the templates to cut the pieces for this block, the measurements are provided.
Step 1 -Choose Your Fabrics and Cut your Templates
The templates that you have downloaded tell you how wide to cut strips for each template. It also tells you many of the template are needed in the block. This is where you will need to figure out how many you will need for your colors. If you colored the legend it will help you count how much of each color for a certain template you will need.
Take your fabric and square it up with the grain and cut your strips to the width needed according the pattern. The number of strips will depend on the width of your fabric.
Cut your templates from the fabrics, keep the template with each of your fabrics so that you know which one you are working with.
Step 2 – Lay out your pieces for the block
Lay all your pieces out just like it will be in the block. This will be very handy when putting your pieces together to cut and knowing which side of the piece you will be sewing. Also, so you can make sure you have the right colors in the right place before sewing!
As you sew, put your pieces back in your layout so that you can see how it will all go together. This helps keep you in check on which side to sew the color strips on. The legend is very helpful in laying your pieces out in the right order, so does looking at the picture of the block also!
Step 3 – Assemble the center of the block
At this point we are going to assemble our block! First we will start with the 9 middle squares. Sew the squares together in rows with a 1/4″ seam. Iron the top and bottom rows seams to the right and the middle rows seams to the left.
We can now put these rows together and the seams on the top and bottom rows will nest with the middles row. Nesting will keep your points together so you have perfect squares.
Next we will put the completed center block back on our easel with the colors matching with the strip colors.
Step 4 – Add the Corner squares to the strips
Now we will take the corner blocks and add them to the 3 strips on two sides of the block. Please refer to the picture below. We will want opposite side strips to have the corners sew onto them and the other two opposite side will just be the strips. Sew the corners on to each side of the strip with a 1/4″ seam. Iron the seams towards the strip for nesting later.
Step 5 – Add the strips to complete the block
At this point we have the center block, two opposite side strips with corner blocks sewn on, and the other opposites sides just have the strips.
We will start with the short strips with no corner blocks and sew those onto the center block matching the ends of the strips and block. Sew a 1/4″ seam. Iron these seams out towards the strip for nesting later.
Next we will add the short strips with the corner blocks sew on to the our the center block with the strips sewn on it. Nest the seams at the corner blocks, match the ends and sew at a 1/4″ seam allowance. Iron the seam towards the strip.
We now have another square block.
The last two strips will be put on in the exact same order as above.
Step 6 – Trim your block
Now that you have your block completed we can trim it to 12 1/2″ square. I use my 12 1/2″ square ruler and line up the diagonal line with the corners and the points on the diagonal. Then trim around the edges to get a 12 1/2″ square.
Step 7 – Your Alabama Block is Complete!
Share your newly created block with your friends on Social Media! Use the #alabamaQuiltBlockCC and see what other people are making!
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Watch the YouTube video we made for assembling this block!
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