From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Skill Level: Confident Beginner
An Eva's Garden quilt block is a grab bag of a beginning quilter's basic building blocks—half square triangles, Flying Geese and four patches surrounding an Economy Block.
It might seem complicated—and I SERIOUSLY questioned whether I
was a glutton for punishment making a 4-1/2" finished sample block—but
with paper piecing all you need to do is stitch on a line. (There's a wee bit of traditional piecing thrown in to finish those four-patches!)
Cut generously and you're well on your way to perfect points without the 'throw-the-sewing-machine-out-the-window' frustration.
Your Eva's Garden is a walk in the park!
I prefer to paper piece using an open toe applique foot. There's nothing to obstruct the view of the needle. You'll see me switch back to my favorite 1/4" foot with a guide for sewing the units together.
Reduce your sewing machine's speed if you can. Sewing slower is actually faster in the long run.
Staying on the line is critical to a block that's easy to assemble. It's much simpler to do this when you sew at something less than 'as fast as a jack rabbit'! And ripping, is time consuming and frustrating. Something to be avoided if possible. So reduce your sewing machine's speed.
I prefer Elmer's Washable Glue stick—the one that goes on purple and dries clear. It washes out easily.
To download the free patterns, you must have Adobe installed on your computer. You can get it here if you don't already have it.
It's simple. My patterns have dashed placement guides to make positioning the first patch virtually foolproof.
With Adobe, those lines print exactly as intended—DASHED. In other programs they render as solid lines. That can make the pattern confusing, especially for the beginning quilter.
Now choose your finished size from the table below and print the corresponding page(s) and number of copies.
|PRINT the Paper Piecing Patterns|
| # of|
copies to print
| Link to|
To print patterns at the correct size, under 'Page Sizing and
Handling' in Adobe's print menu, set 'Custom Scale' to 100%. Click here to see where it's at on the Print Menu page.
If you use something other than Adobe, you'll need to set 'Page Scaling' to 'None' to print at '100%'. Printing at 'Actual Size' tends to print at weird sizes. (Don't know why, it just does.) Use the 1" square graphic to confirm that you've printed correctly before sewing.
Cut out one large center and four side units just outside the dashed outside line.
With all the points in this patchwork design, to keep them really pointy choose fabrics with very good contrast.
For the smaller sizes, especially the 4-1/2" one, you'll want fabric that read closer to a solid. My red and white worked okay because of the stark contrast with the black. However, if there'd been black in it, too, I believe some of the points would've been lost where black touched black.
If you're not sure if there's enough contrast, make a sample before making the final fabric choices for your quilt...you can always use it later for a label or a scrappy quilt.
And finally, don't forget to subcut #2-7 (fourth column in from the left—#4 is cut twice on the diagonal; the rest are cut once diagonally to form the necessary triangles for the sides units).
Cutting Chart for an~ Paper Piecing ~
|Finished Block Size|
|1||Bac||1||na||2” x 2”||2-1/2” x 2-1/2”||3-1/2” x 3-1/2”|
|2||A||2||2-3/8” x 2-3/8'||2-3/4” x 2-3/4”||3-1/2” x 3-1/2”|
|3||Bac||2||2-7/8” x 2-7/8”||3-3/8” x 3-3/8”||4-3/8” x 4-3/8”|
|4||A||1||3-1/8” x 3-1/8”||3-5/8” x 3-5/8”||4-5/8” x 4-5/8”|
|5, 7||Bac||8||2-1/8” x 2-1/8”||2-3/8” x 2-3/8”||2-7/8” x 2-7/8”|
|6||A||4||2-1/8” x 2-1/8”||2-3/8” x 2-3/8”||2-7/8” x 2-7/8”|
|8||Bac||1||na||7/8” x 8”||1” x 9”||1-1/4” x 11”|
|9||A||1||na||7/8” x 8”||1” x 9”||1-1/4” x 11”|
|Unfinished Block Size||5”||6-1/2”||9-1/2”|
Learn more about my favorite, new quilting tool, the Magic Pressing Mat. A valuable addition to your quilting tools—regardless of the piecing technique you use.
Install an open toe applique foot if you have one. Reduce your stitch length to 15-18 stitches per inch. This makes more perforations in the Eva's Garden paper patterns and reduces the stress on each individual stitch. Both benefits make it easier to remove the paper at the end.
I chose a black background fabric for this Eva's Garden. The choice is always up to you!
Use a bit of glue stick to adhere the wrong side of #1 to the unmarked side of the paper.
With right sides together (RST), match the long edge of a #2 to #1.
Stitch, starting approximately 1/4" before and ending a 1/4" after the solid line between #1 and #2. If you're starched your fabric, fingerpress this seam open. Otherwise use your iron.
Repeat for the remaining #2s.
Trim the SAs to 1/4" with your rotary cutter and ruler.
With RST, match the long edge of #3 to #2.
Stitch as before, starting and stopping a 1/4" from the line. Press.
Repeat for the remaining three #3.
Trim the block by placing the 1/4" line of your rotary ruler on the solid black outline of this Economy block. Trim with a rotary cutter. Repeat for the other three sides.
Position #4 on the unprinted side of the pattern with a bit of gluestick.
With RST, add a #5 matching the cut edges as shown below.
Stitch, starting and ending past dashed outline of the unit. Press. Repeat for the other #5.
Trim the excess from the #5s leaving behind a 1/4" seam.
With RST, match a short edge of a #6 to the #5 and match it's other short side to the bottom of the #1 patch. (arrows)
Stitch. After pressing, repeat of the second #6.
Trim the seam allowance between #6 and #7 to 1/4".
With RST, add a #7 to both sides, pressing after stitching.
Trim the unit to size.
Repeat for the three remaining sides.
We'll use a bit of strip piecing to make our four-patches.
Return your stitch length to normal and install your preferred quarter inch foot. All the seams from here on out are 1/4".
With RST, sew the long edge of #8 to #9.
Press with the SA to the darker fabric. For this sample, my background is darker than Fabric A.
At your cutting mat, straighten the short end of the strip set.
Using the table below, find your 'Finished Block Size' and the corresponding 'Cutting Width'. With your rotary ruler and cutter, subcut as indicated below.
| Width of Strip Set|
| Subcut 8 units|
They look like this...
With RST, sew pairs together alternating light and dark patches. My sample block finishes at 4-1/2" so these four patches are tiny. I pressed the SA open to distribute the bulk. For larger ones, you can press either to the dark or twirl the SA.
These four patches complete all the pieces necessary to make our Eva's Garden quilt block.
Remove all the paper from the sewn patches.
Arrange them into rows. (Not quite sure why the colors in this photo are so 'off'—oops!) All the points point to the outside edge. A Fabric A square is in each corner.
Stitch the rows together, pressing the SAs away from the pointy side units.
Stitch the rows together.
As long as you've sewn directly on the lines there's not much to worry about matching within the side units. The only part I needed to rip and re-sew (because I seriously like everything to match up) is at the corner where the point of the HST meets the four patch.
And that's all there is to making our Eva's Garden quilt block!
...from our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library.There's more than a hundred to choose from!
If you'd prefer paperpieced blocks instead, those are sorted out for your convenience here.
How will you plant your quilt block garden?
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!