Alaska State Quilt Block: Exploring the Colors and Patterns of the Last Frontier
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Step back in time to the early 1900s, where the art of quilting thrived as a cherished pastime for many individuals across the United States. In a quest to capture the essence of each state, “Hearth and Home” magazine embarked on a fascinating project that involved quilters from all corners of the nation. They invited quilters to submit a quilt block that they believed best represented their state, which would then be published in the magazine for all to admire, appreciate, and replicate.
Among the collection of stunning quilt blocks, the Alaska State Quilt Block shines brightly, capturing the spirit of this beautiful state. The block is meticulously crafted using the colors of Alaska’s state flower, the Alpine Forget-Me-Not, paying homage to the rich natural heritage and breathtaking landscapes that define this remarkable place.
This particular quilt block is constructed by combining smaller blocks to create a harmonious 12″ finished block. To guide you through the process of crafting this remarkable piece of history, I have prepared a detailed video tutorial that will walk you through each step. Alongside the video, I will share valuable tips and insights to help you achieve a flawless 12 1/2″ block that showcases the beauty and legacy of Alaska’s quilting tradition.
Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or a passionate beginner eager to delve into the art of quilting, I invite you to join me on this journey as we unravel the secrets of the Alaska State Quilt Block. Together, we will honor the skill and creativity of the quilters who came before us and create a stunning testament to the timeless craftsmanship that continues to captivate us today.
Today we release the Alaska State Quilt Block tutorial on its special day, June 26, 2023, in celebration of National Alaska State Day. Throughout the year, we will strive to release the state blocks on their respective national days, offering you an opportunity to explore the rich quilt block heritage of each state. So, stay tuned for an exciting and educational quilting adventure that pays homage to the diverse beauty of our great nation!
Go grab the cutting directions and templates for this block below and let’s get started! The pattern includes rotary cutting instructions and templates if you wish to print the pattern.
Step 1 -Cut and Subcut your Pieces
In the initial step of the Alaska State Quilt Block tutorial, we cut and subcut the fabric pieces required to construct this stunning block. To guide us through this task, we will rely on the rotary cutting pattern instructions, which comprehensively outline the precise measurements and techniques for all the necessary cuts. To grab the rotary cutting instructions, sign up for the password to our Free Resource Library.
Following the detailed instructions provided, carefully measure and trim the fabrics, ensuring accuracy in creating each piece. The rotary cutting pattern instructions cover all aspects of cutting and subcutting, providing clear guidance for every component required to assemble the Alaska State Quilt Block.
While the majority of the fabric pieces for the Alaska State Quilt Block can be cut and subcut following the rotary cutting instructions, there are slight variations when it comes to pieces B and D. However, fret not! The rotary cutting instructions will provide you with precise details on how to cut these pieces. You will find specific measurements and cutting techniques that will make sure you get your B & D pieces cut correctly. So, rest assured that the instructions have got you covered, guiding you every step of the way to successfully cut the B and D pieces and achieve a flawless Alaska State Quilt Block.
By following the rotary cutting pattern instructions, we can confidently proceed with cutting and subcutting all the necessary fabric pieces. This meticulous attention to detail sets the foundation for a beautifully constructed Alaska State Quilt Block.
Step 2 – Let’s Start with the Center Section
In step 2 of creating the Alaska State Quilt Block, we will focus on constructing the center section. To begin, we will work with the F pieces. First, draw a diagonal line on each light F piece. Next, align the right sides of a dark and a light F piece together. Sew a seam on each side of the drawn diagonal line, ensuring the fabric layers are securely attached. Once the seams are complete, carefully cut along the drawn diagonal line. This will yield two half-square triangles (HSTs). Repeat this process for a total of four HSTs.
After cutting the HSTs, it’s time to press them to achieve crisp and smooth seams. Gently iron the HSTs, pressing the seams toward the dark fabric. This will ensure a neat and professional appearance for your quilt block. Trim your HST’s to 2 7/8″.
Moving forward, our focus shifts to constructing the hourglass block that will form the centerpiece of the Alaska State Quilt Block. To begin, gather two H pieces of each color and carefully arrange them according to the layout instructions provided. Take note of the specific placement of the colors to ensure an accurate representation of the hourglass design.
Once the pieces are arranged, it’s time to sew them together. Starting with the first row, sew along the short sides of the two colors, joining them together with a precise seam. Repeat this process for the second row. As you sew, pay attention to maintaining an accurate quarter-inch seam allowance for optimal results.
After sewing the individual rows, press the seams to achieve smooth and flat blocks. Iron the seams towards the darker fabric to create a seamless finish.
Now, it’s time to bring the two rows together to form the hourglass block. Align the rows carefully, ensuring that the center seam is nested, meaning the seams interlock neatly. Sew along the center seam, joining the rows together securely.
To complete this step, press the center seam to one side, ensuring the ironing is done in a manner that creates a crisp and polished appearance.
With all the necessary pieces prepared, we have reached the final step of creating the center of the Alaska State Quilt Block – assembling the 9-patch block. Let’s begin by laying out the top and bottom rows according to the provided diagram, ensuring the pieces are positioned accurately.
Next, it’s time to sew the two identical rows together, creating both the top and bottom rows of the 9-patch block. Carefully align the pieces, making sure they fit together seamlessly. Sew along the edges, joining the pieces with precision.
Once the sewing is complete, it’s essential to press the seams to achieve a polished and professional look. Iron all the seams towards the solid patch (G), following the diagram provided. This will create a smooth and cohesive appearance for your 9-patch block.
Take note of the diagrams for both layout and ironing, as they serve as visual guides to ensure your final block matches the desired pattern accurately.
Now that the top and bottom rows of the 9-patch block are complete, we move on to constructing the center row, as shown in the provided diagram. Carefully lay out the remaining pieces to form the center row, ensuring their correct placement.
Sew the pieces together, following the pattern of the center row diagram. Take your time to align the edges precisely and sew with accuracy, ensuring a seamless connection between the patches.
After sewing, it’s time to press the seams for the center row. Iron all the seams towards the solid patches marked with (G). This ironing direction will create a cohesive and visually appealing appearance for the center row.
Refer to the provided diagram for both layout and ironing to ensure that your block matches the intended design accurately.
Now that we have completed the individual rows, it’s time to bring them together to complete the center section of the Alaska State Quilt Block. Align the three rows carefully, ensuring that the colors are properly aligned according to the provided diagram. Pay attention to matching the seams of each row to ensure the points align nicely.
Join the rows together, sewing along the seams we previously made. Take your time to match the seams accurately, allowing the pieces to nest together neatly. Sew with precision to achieve a seamless connection between the rows.
After joining the rows, it’s important to press the seams to create a polished and cohesive look for the center section. Follow the ironing direction noted in the diagram to ensure consistent and professional results.
By following these steps, you will successfully assemble the center section of the Alaska State Quilt Block. The careful alignment of colors and matching of seams will result in a visually appealing and well-constructed centerpiece.
Step 3 – Assemble the outer rows
As we set the center section aside, let’s shift our attention to building the outer rows of the Alaska State Quilt Block. The first step in this process is constructing the inner triangle, which forms the heart of each outer row. To create these triangles, we will need pieces E and C. We will build all four triangles simultaneously to streamline the process.
Start by creating a pile of four E pieces. Then, on each side of the E piece, make a separate pile of four C pieces. Refer to the provided diagram to ensure accurate placement and layout of the pieces.
Now that we have the piles of E and C pieces ready, let’s proceed to assemble the inner triangles for the outer rows of the Alaska State Quilt Block. Take one C piece and align its right angle with the corresponding right angle of an E piece. It’s crucial to ensure the correct alignment to achieve accurate and symmetrical triangles.
Once aligned, securely pin the side that needs to be sewn. Pay close attention to pinning the correct side to avoid any potential sewing mistakes. Double-checking this step will help maintain the desired pattern and prevent any unwanted errors.
After pinning, sew along the pinned side, creating a precise and secure seam. Once the seam is sewn, carefully press the seam towards the C piece, using an iron to achieve a crisp and polished appearance.
Repeat this process for the remaining C piece, aligning the right angles, pinning the correct side, sewing the seam, and ironing towards the C piece. By following these steps, you will obtain visually appealing triangle pieces that form the inner triangles of the outer rows.
Now that we have constructed the inner triangles for the outer rows, we can proceed to add the B and D pieces to complete the formation of rectangles. Start by creating a pile with the four triangles we just built.
Next, take the B and D pieces and place them on the appropriate sides of the triangles, following the diagram for correct placement. It is essential to ensure that the pieces create a rectangle when sewn together, aligning the edges precisely.
To ensure accurate alignment, mark the B and D pieces as indicated in the instructions. These markings will serve as a guide when lining up the pieces with the triangle sections before sewing
Step 4 – Add the Outer Rows to the Center Block
Now that we have completed the necessary components, it’s time to assemble the Alaska State Quilt block. Begin by taking two of the inner triangle rectangles we constructed earlier. Add an A piece to each side of these two rectangles. Align the edges accurately and sew the pieces together. After sewing, press the seams towards the A pieces for a clean and polished appearance.
These assembled pieces will form the top and bottom rows of our Alaska State Quilt block.
Next, it’s time to incorporate the short inner triangle rectangles into the center section. Place these rectangles on opposite sides of the center section, ensuring that the edges align properly. Pay attention to centering the point of the triangle with the G piece on the center section.
Once the pieces are positioned correctly, sew them together, joining the short inner triangle rectangles with the center section. After sewing, press the seams towards the center section for a cohesive look.
In the final step of completing the Alaska State Quilt block, we will add the top and bottom rows to the center section. To achieve a seamless connection, it’s important to nest the seams together.
Carefully align the top row with the center section, ensuring that the seams nest together neatly. Securely pin the pieces in place before sewing. Repeat the same process for the bottom row, aligning and nesting the seams.
Once pinned, sew along the edges, joining the rows with the center section. Take your time to sew accurately and maintain consistent seam allowances.
After sewing, press the seams towards the outer rows to create a smooth and cohesive appearance.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed the assembly of the Alaska State Quilt block. It’s now time to proudly share your creation with friends and fellow quilters on social media. Use the hashtag #AlaskaQuiltBlockCC to showcase your work and discover what others are making with this pattern.
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When you put this block into a quilt, it makes for a stunning display!
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