Want to add a bit of timeless elegance to your newest quilt project?
The Blacks and Whites quilt block and paper-piecing tutorial makes it easy for you to join the ranks of expert quilters with its crisp, pointy points in three sizes (6", 8" or 12")!
Using only 3 fabrics – light, medium, and dark - this classic pattern will make sure that every stitch stand the test of time.
Turn your fabric into something beautiful with this unique Blacks and Whites quilt block pattern!
Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:
1/4" SA are used through this tutorial.
Pressing instructions are highlighted in yellow throughout this tutorial to make them easy to spot.
When pressing, first press the patches in the closed position just as they came off your sewing machine. This sets the seam, melding the fibers of the threads into the fibers of the fabric.
Then press the SA the only way you can—towards the last patch added or as instructed in the directions.
Did you remember to subcut Patches #2-#7 once on the diagonal to create triangles? Double-check the cutting chart if you missed this step.
With a small dot of Elmer's Washable Glue Stick, adhere the #1 square to the unprinted side of the pattern using the dashed guidelines to make positioning it easy.
With RST, align one shorted side to the edge of #1 that overlaps the #2 patch on the printed pattern. This patch is cut oversized to make positioning it almost foolproof.
Get your sewing machine set for paper piecing.
Stitch on the line between #1 and #2, starting and stopping before and after the printed line by a generous 1/4".
With RST align a short edge of #3 with the available edge of #1 and stitch as before.
These patches need a trim to create a good 1/4" SA.
At your cutting mat, from the printed side position your ruler over the solid line that is the edge of #2/#3. Fold back the pattern on that line.
You'll probably need to tear the paper away from the seam just a bit. That's normal for paper piecing. If you rip the paper too much, use a bit of Scotch Brands® Magic Tape to repair the pattern.
Position the 1/4" line on your ruler (red arrow below) directly on the fold and trim away the excess fabric.
Now we know exactly where the 1/4" SA is.
With RST, align the #2/#3 edge with the bias cut of #4.
Sew as before.
So far, we've got the four units to this point. They're starting to look like something now!
Back at the cutting mat, trim both exposed edges of #4, folding on the solid line, positioning the ruler for trimming to 1/4" SA.
Do this for both sides of all 4 units.
After trimming, your Blacks and Whites should look something like this. Those little bits were torn out of the paper pattern along the way. As long as it isn't ripped completely, this is just fine and won't affect your piecing.
Add the #5 and #6, in the same fashion as the #3 and #4 were.
Trim #5 and #6 just as we #3 and #4 to establish that perfect 1/4" SA.
I know it's tempting to skip the trimming, but it does make it easier to position the next patch exactly where it should be to avoid having to rip out the patch.
We want to avoid ripping out those shorted paper piecing stitches if we can! It's too much like work.
At this point, our units look rather like a hot mess. Trimming them to size fixes that.
I find it much easier to align the 1/4" marking on the ruler with the solid outside lines of the pattern to trim.
We're left with beautiful pointy triangle points. A center diagonal seam that is perfectly placed.
There's nothing like paper piecing for truly accurate patches.
Remember, our patches are cut so that the outside of the block is all on straight of grain.
With no bias to stretch out of shape, I remove the paper now.
Sew the pairs together into rows.
The seams through the diagonal center of each will nest to make matching the points so much easier. (Love it when that happens without any extra work!)
Press, with the SA towards the light #7.
Sew the rows together, pinning as needed to help match the seams and points.
Take a look at the stunning Blacks and Whites quilt block you just completed! Clean lines, beautiful balance – it's a real showstopper.
To eliminate bulk at the center of the block, we're going to twirl or fan the seam allowances.
In addition to reducing the bulk, this technique makes it easier for you to set the blocks together edge-to-edge in a quilt design if you'd like. Those center seams between the blocks will always nest.
Again, nested or abutted SA are less work to match.
After twirling the SA, give your Blacks and Whites a final press.
From the back side you can see all that seam allowance twirling going on!