Creating the Delaware State Quilt Block: A Step-by-Step Tutorial in Peach Blossom Hues
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Step back in time with us to the early 1900s, a period when the art of quilting flourished as a beloved pastime across the United States. In those days, quilts were more than just practical bedcovers; they were crafted with love and creativity, often representing the rich heritage and unique characteristics of each state.
One particular project embarked upon by “Hearth and Home” magazine captured the hearts of quilters from every corner of the nation. The magazine invited talented quilters to submit their interpretations of a quilt block that best symbolized their respective states. The end result? A stunning collection of quilt blocks that celebrated the diverse beauty and spirit of America.
Today, we embark on a journey to create one of these state quilt blocks: the Delaware State Quilt Block. But we won’t stop there. We’ll add a twist of modern elegance by infusing it with the captivating hues of the state flower – peach blossoms. This color palette brings a touch of sophistication to the design, while still honoring the essence of the original block.
To make this project more accessible to quilters of all skill levels, we’ll incorporate a clever technique for the appliqué corners. Instead of struggling with cutting and sewing curves, we’ll simplify the process by using appliqué quarter circles. This innovative approach not only saves time but also opens up the opportunity for more quilters to join in the fun.
In this tutorial, I’ll guide you through the steps of creating the half circle templates and assembling both the appliqué and pieced sections of the Delaware State Quilt Block. Additionally, for those who love incorporating technology into their quilting journey, I’ve created a YouTube video tutorial that demonstrates how to cut the quarter circles with a Cricut machine.
So, whether you’re a seasoned quilting enthusiast or just starting on your creative path, join me in bringing the Delaware State Quilt Block to life, infused with the timeless charm of of the state flower, the peach blossom . Let’s celebrate the artistry of quilting, the rich history of Delaware, and the joy of creating something truly beautiful with our own hands.
Today is the Delaware State Quilt Block tutorial on its special day, July 13, 2023, in celebration of National Delaware 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 – Creating the Template for the Quarter Circles (Piece A)
To begin our journey in crafting the Delaware State Quilt Block, we’ll start by creating the template for the appliqué quarter circles. With this template, we’ll be able to transfer the shape onto our fabric and then cut out the quarter circles precisely. Here’s how you can do it:
Gather the necessary supplies:
- Compass: You can find a compass at your local office supply or school supply store. Alternatively, you may use a compass from your own collection. If you’re looking to purchase one, I have provided an affiliated link to make it convenient for you.
- Quilt ruler: Ensure you have a quilt ruler on hand, as it will help in drawing precise lines and measurements.
- Paper: Card stock works best, but any paper will do.
Draw the circle:
- Set your compass to a radius of 2 5/8 inches (half of the diameter, which is 5 1/4 inches).
- Place the pointed end of the compass at the center point of your template material (such as cardboard or template plastic) and carefully draw a circle with a diameter of 5 1/4 inches. This will be the outline of your quarter circles.
Mark the center and draw lines:
- Identify the exact center of the circle you’ve drawn. Mark this point clearly, as it will be crucial for aligning the quarter circles.
- Using your quilt ruler, draw a straight line from one side of the circle, passing through the center point, and extending to the opposite side. This line will divide the circle into two equal halves.
- Next, draw another straight line at a 90-degree angle to the first line, also passing through the center point. This will create a right angle and define the boundaries for the quarter circles.
Remember, at this stage, do not cut out the quarter circles from the template material just yet. We’ll use this template to transfer the circle shape onto our fabric in the next step, and then we’ll cut out the quarter circles.
Step 2 – Cutting Pieces B to F
In order to continue creating our Delaware State Quilt Block, we need to cut out pieces B to F. These pieces are essential for constructing the block and bringing it to life. For detailed instructions on rotary cutting, I have prepared a comprehensive guide available in our free resource library. If you haven’t already, head over to the library and grab the rotary cutting instructions.
Once you have the cutting instructions, follow the steps outlined to cut out pieces B to F accurately. Take your time and ensure precision in your measurements and cuts. Attention to detail will result in a beautifully crafted quilt block.
Once you have completed cutting pieces B to F, come back to this tutorial, and we’ll proceed to the next step—cutting the A pieces from fabric.
Step 3 – Cutting the A Pieces
To proceed with the creation of our Delaware State Quilt Block, it’s time to cut the A pieces. Before we do that, let’s prepare the fabric by following these steps:
Cut 4 pieces of fabric:
- Measure and cut 4 pieces of fabric, each measuring 6 inches in size. These will serve as the base for our A pieces.
Apply fusible webbing:
- Take each 6-inch fabric piece and apply fusible webbing to the backside according to the instructions provided with the product. One recommended option is Lite Steam a Seam II, which offers a convenient way to fuse fabric pieces together.
- Place the fusible webbing on the backside of the fabric and lightly iron it, following the instructions provided. Leave the paper backing on the fusible webbing for now.
Transfer the circle shape:
- With the circular fabric piece now in hand, it’s time to cut out the quarter circles. Follow the lines you marked earlier to create four evenly-sized quarter circles within the circular fabric piece. These quarter circles will be used in the next step of our tutorial.
Congratulations! You have successfully cut the A pieces from fabric, infusing them with fusible webbing and preparing them for appliqué. In the upcoming step, we’ll explore how to incorporate these quarter circles into the construction of our Delaware State Quilt Block.
Step 4 – Adding Quarter Circles (A) to (E) Squares
Now that we have our quarter circles (A) prepared, it’s time to incorporate them into our (E) squares. Follow these steps to seamlessly merge the two components:
Prepare the (E) squares:
- Take your (E) squares and ensure they are neatly pressed and free from any wrinkles or creases. This will provide a smooth surface for adhering the quarter circles.
Remove the paper backing:
- Carefully position the exposed fusible webbing side of the quarter circle onto one of the corners of an (E) square. Ensure that the 90-degree corners of the quarter circle align perfectly with the corners of the (E) square.
Hand press the quarter circle in place:
- Once the quarter circle is aligned, use your hands to gently press it onto the (E) square. Apply light pressure to secure the fusible webbing to the fabric. Repeat this process for the other three corners of the (E) square, ensuring precise alignment each time.
Repeat for the remaining corners:
- Move on to the next (E) square and repeat the above process to add quarter circles to the remaining three corners. Continue this process until all the corners of each (E) square have a quarter circle (A) adhered to them.
Iron the A pieces in place:
- Once all the quarter circles are in position, follow the instructions provided with the fusible webbing and iron the A pieces in place. This will permanently bond the quarter circles to the (E) squares.
Congratulations! You have successfully added the quarter circles (A) to the corners of the (E) squares, creating a visually captivating design. The ironing process ensures a secure bond, allowing the quilt block to maintain its shape and durability.
We will applique these pieces when the entire block is assembled. Set these aside for now.
Step 5 – Building the Center Hourglass Unit
Now it’s time to assemble the center hourglass unit of our Delaware State Quilt Block. Follow these steps to create this central focal point:
Gather the F pieces:
- Retrieve the F pieces required for building the hourglass unit. Lay them out according to the diagram provided, ensuring the correct placement of each piece.
Sew the pieces together in rows:
- Take the first two F pieces and align them right sides together, matching the edges. Sew them together with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Repeat this process for the next two F pieces. After sewing each row, press the seam allowances towards the dark fabric pieces.
Join the two rows:
- Take the two rows you’ve created and carefully align them, matching the seams. Ensure that the center seams nest together for a precise alignment.
- Sew the rows together, using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Take your time to ensure accuracy in your stitching. Once the two rows are joined, press the seam allowance in one direction.
Set this block aside for now.
Step 6 – Assembling the Center Units
In this step, we will assemble the center units of our Delaware State Quilt Block. This process requires attention to detail as we work with bias seams. Take your time and handle the pieces gently to ensure accuracy and prevent distortion. Let’s get started:
Lay out the B, C & D pieces:
- Refer to the diagram provided and arrange the B, C, and D pieces according to the layout. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the placement of each piece.
Construct one half of the unit:
- Begin by assembling one half of the unit. Take a C piece and a D piece, aligning them right sides together. Pay attention to the small angle point of the D piece, ensuring that a 1/4″ tail is showing beyond the edge. This will allow the sides to line up in a straight line once ironed.
- Sew the C and D pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. After sewing, carefully iron the seam towards the C piece.
- Repeat the process to add the other C piece to the opposite side of the D piece. Again, make sure the small angle point has a 1/4″ tail showing.
Add the B piece:
- Next, add the B piece to the unit you’ve just constructed. Pay attention to the placement of the B piece, ensuring that it has a 1/4″ tail extending from the large D corner. This will help maintain a straight line.
- Sew the B piece to the unit, aligning the edges accurately. Once sewn, iron the seam towards the B piece, leaving a tail that we will utilize when aligning the two halves.
Repeat for the other half:
- Repeat the above steps to construct the other half of the center unit. Take your time and ensure precision in your stitching and ironing.
Join the two halves:
- Once both halves of the center unit are constructed, it’s time to put them together. Match up the tails from the B piece in the center, aligning the edges carefully. Sew the two halves together, ensuring accurate seam alignment.
- Iron the seam towards one side of the unit, creating a flat and smooth surface.
Trim the block:
- Finally, trim the completed block to the final measurements of 5 1/4″ in length by 2 3/4″ in width. Use a ruler and rotary cutter to achieve precise dimensions.
Repeat for the other three center units:
- Repeat the above steps to assemble the other three center units of the Delaware State Quilt Block. Take care to maintain consistency in your construction and measurements.
In the next step, we’ll bring all the components together and complete our Delaware State Quilt Block. Stay tuned as we approach the final stages of this beautiful project, showcasing the timeless elegance of the peach blossom colors.
Step 7 – Assembling the Delaware State Quilt Block
We’ve reached the final step in creating our Delaware State Quilt Block. It’s time to bring all the pieces together and witness the beautiful culmination of our efforts. Follow these steps to assemble the block:
Lay out the pieces:
- Refer to the diagram provided and lay out all the pieces according to the placement guide. Take a moment to ensure that all the components are in the correct position.
Construct the block in rows:
- Begin by assembling the block row by row. Start with the top row and work your way down.
- Sew the pieces in each row together, one by one, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Take care to align the edges accurately.
- After sewing each row, iron the pieces towards the center unit in that particular row. This will create opposing seams when putting the rows together.
Join the rows:
- Once all the rows are completed, it’s time to join them together to form the Delaware State Quilt Block.
- Match up the seams and edges of each row, nesting them together to ensure precise alignment. Sew the rows together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- After sewing, iron the seams towards the center rows. This will help the block lie flat and create a smooth surface.
Applique the A pieces:
Now is the time to Applique the A pieces. I used a small blanket stitch with matching thread, but you are free to applique these pieces however you want to! It’s all a creative decision that will always be beautiful.
Congratulations! You have successfully assembled the Delaware State Quilt Block. The combination of pieced sections and appliqued corners has created a visually captivating design, showcasing the beauty of the peach blossom colors.
Take a step back and admire your creation—a stunning representation of the Delaware State Quilt Block, infused with your creativity and skill.
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