Crafting State Pride: The Beauty and Symbolism of the Pennsylvania State Block
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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.
Among these captivating creations, one block stood out as the very essence of Pennsylvania – the Keystone State Block. This masterpiece not only showcased the unrivaled skill and imagination of its creator but also served as a powerful emblem of the state’s significance in the shaping of the United States.
What makes this particular rendition even more special is that the colors chosen are inspired by Pennsylvania’s State Flower, the Mountain Laurel. The delicate hues of pink and white from this beautiful flower bring a touch of nature’s elegance to the art of quilting.
To ensure that the creative process is accessible to everyone, we have thoughtfully broken down the Keystone block into quarters, making it easier for you to cut and build each section. Additionally, we have prepared a helpful YouTube tutorial video that guides you step-by-step through the process. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or just starting on your quilting journey, this video will be your invaluable companion, providing visual demonstrations and expert tips to bring your Keystone block to life. So, with the combination of our user-friendly instructions and the tutorial video, you’ll find yourself confidently quilting away and creating a stunning tribute to the Pennsylvania State Quilt Block and its Mountain Laurel-inspired colors.
Today is the Pennsylvania State Quilt Block tutorial on its special day, July 20, 2023, in celebration of National Pennsylvania 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.
Gather the necessary supplies:
- Rotating Cutting Board (0ptional) – to help turn your pieces without touching them.
- Quilt ruler: Ensure you have a quilt ruler on hand, as it will help in drawing precise lines and measurements.
- Marking Pens – I like Frixion because they erase with heat.
Step 1 – Cut the Pieces for the Block
Before we proceed, make sure you have the free cutting instructions from our resource library. These instructions will provide you with all the necessary details on how to cut each piece for the block, and there’s a key to help you identify where each piece fits. For visual guidance, you can also refer to the subcutting details provided in our YouTube video tutorial.
Once you’ve gathered all your cut pieces, we’re ready to begin assembling the block. Let’s dive into the exciting process of bringing the Pennsylvania State Quilt Block to life!
Step 2 – Layout the Pieces
Now that you have all your pieces cut, it’s time to arrange them into piles of four, as this block comprises four identical quarters. To assist you in the layout process, refer to the key on the cutting instructions for a visual guide. Additionally, I’ve provided a diagram below to help you visualize the arrangement.
As you place the pieces in their designated spots, you’ll notice that each quarter block is further divided into thirds. Our next step involves assembling these thirds individually before finally combining them to complete each quarter block.
Once your pieces are in place, we’ll move on to assembling the thirds to create a beautifully crafted Pennsylvania State Quilt Block.
Step 3 – Assemble the Outer Corner of the Quarter Block
Now, let’s focus on assembling the outer corner of the quarter block, using pieces A, B, E, and F.
First, take piece F and align it with piece B. Be sure to leave a small tail on piece B, as this will help us later in ensuring a straight edge for our block. Sew these two pieces together, and then iron the seam towards piece B to keep the fabric flat and neat.
Next, repeat the process with piece E on the other side of piece F. Align piece F with piece E, ensuring the edges match perfectly. Sew the pieces together and iron the seam towards piece E.
Next, let’s add piece A to the top of the B/E/F piece we assembled above.
To begin, find the center of the B/E/F piece and make a crease to mark it. Similarly, fold and crease the A piece to identify its center. Matching the centers of both pieces, carefully align them together. Once aligned, sew the pieces together, and then iron the seam towards piece A. This will ensure that the fabric lays flat and creates a clean, polished look.
Step 4 – Assemble the Center of the Quarter Block
Let’s assemble the center section of the quarter block. Let’s work with pieces C, D, and G to bring this part to life.
To start, take piece C and align it with piece G, ensuring the top corners match perfectly. Sew the two pieces together, and as you do, leave a small tail of piece C at the bottom. This little tail will be essential later in achieving a straight edge for your block. After sewing, iron the seam towards piece C to maintain a neat appearance.
Next, repeat the process with piece D on the other side of piece G. Align the top corners of piece G with piece D and sew them together. Similar to before, leave a small tail of piece D at the bottom and iron the seam towards piece D.
With these steps completed, the center section of the quarter block is now skillfully assembled.
Step 5 – Complete the Inner Corner of the Quarter Block
As we near the completion of the Pennsylvania State Quilt Block, let’s focus on the inner corner section of the quarter block. For this step, we’ll be working with pieces I H & J.
To begin, take the H piece and add it to the I piece. Leave a small tail of about 1/8″ on the I piece; this will aid in achieving a straight edge for the block. The H piece will have a larger tail at the bottom, which we’ll trim in the next step.
Once you’ve aligned the pieces, sew them together, and iron the seam towards piece H. This will maintain a clean and polished appearance for your quilt block.
Next, repeat the process for the piece J piece on the other side of the I piece. As with the previous side, leave a small tail on the I piece and iron the seam towards piece J.
By completing these steps, you’ve skillfully assembled the inner corner of the quarter block, perfectly fusing pieces I and H together.
Step 6 – Complete the Quarter Block
We’ve come to the exciting moment of completing the quarters of the Pennsylvania State Quilt Block! The process is made easier by finding and matching the centers of each section. Let’s bring all our beautifully crafted pieces together.
Start by locating the center of the A/B/E/F section along the bottom and make a crease or mark to identify it. Similarly, find and crease or mark the center of the C/D/G section along the top. Match the centers of these two sections and carefully align them together. Sew the sections together, and then iron the seam towards the A/B/E/F section to maintain a smooth and neat appearance.
Next, repeat the process for the I/H section on top of the C/D/G section. Find and mark the center of the I/H section and match it with the center of the C/D/G section. Sew these sections together, and iron the seam towards the I/H section.
With these steps completed, you’ve successfully assembled the quarter block. The precision in matching centers ensures a symmetrical and harmonious design that reflects the beauty of Pennsylvania’s State Quilt Block.
Now, before moving on, take a moment to trim all tails around each quarter block. This final touch will give your block a clean and polished finish, enhancing its overall appeal.
Step 7 – Assemble the Pennsylvania State Quilt Block
Congratulations on completing all four quarter blocks! Now, let’s bring them together to assemble the stunning Pennsylvania State Quilt Block. Lay out your quarter blocks as indicated in the diagram below, making sure to match the seams and points precisely.
To begin, assemble the rows by sewing the quarter blocks together. Match the seams carefully, ensuring a seamless integration. Once the rows are complete, iron them in opposite directions so that the center will have a nested seam. This will create a neat and flat center for your quilt block.
Next, sew the rows together, matching the seams with precision. Once the rows are sewn, iron the entire block in one direction to give it a polished finish.
And there you have it! The Pennsylvania State Quilt Block is now complete. Your dedication and craftsmanship have brought this beautiful block to life, showcasing the spirit of the Keystone State and the elegance of its Mountain Laurel-inspired colors.
For a more visual guide and additional tips, remember to check out our detailed YouTube video tutorial (link provided below). It will further assist you in creating your masterpiece and offer helpful insights for any quilter, whether a seasoned expert or an enthusiastic beginner.
With this block complete, you have the potential to create a captivating quilt by repeating and combining several of these Pennsylvania State Quilt Blocks. The final result will be a stunning display of artistry and heritage, a true celebration of the diverse beauty found in the quilt block heritage of each state.
Thank you for joining us on this exciting quilting adventure. Your passion and creativity have turned fabric into a masterpiece, embodying the heart and soul of Pennsylvania. Now, let’s continue this journey, exploring more quilting wonders and celebrating the art of quilting together. Happy quilting!
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