From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Our Love and Kisses quilt block takes advantage of half square triangles made 8-at-a-time and twirling seam allowances to make construction a breeze.
Just follow the pressing directions.
Block assembly is Easy Peasy, Lemon-Squeezey!
It's time to cut up and sew!
Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:
1/4" SA are used through this tutorial.
When instructed to press, 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 as directed.
As always, I'm a huge fan of starching your fabric before cutting. In my opinion your cutting is more accurate and it's helpful to be able to fingerpress your seams instead of jumping back and forth everytime to the iron.
A 50/50 mixture of StaFlo liquid starch concentrate to water is my preference.
Sample Block Size:
I love fabrics with writing on them.
You can see a bunch of them here.
Two are used in the sample block. The finished block turned out really nice.
As always, contrast is key when you've got blocks with points. You need enough so that all your piecing shows.
Cutting Chart for a~Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1||L||1||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||6¼" x 6¼"||7¼" x 7¼"|
|2||D||1||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||6¼" x 6¼"||7¼" x 7¼"|
|3||L||8||1½" x 1½"||2" x 2"||2½" x 2½"||3" x 3"|
|4||D||1||1½" x 10"||2" x 13"||2½" x 16"||3" x 19"|
|5||L||1||1½" x 10"||2" x 13"||2½" x 16"||3" x 19"|
|6||L||2||1½" x 2½"||2" x 3½"||2½" x 4½"||3" x 5½"|
|7||D||1||2½" x 2½"||3½" x 3½"||4½" x 4½"||5½" x 5½"|
|Unfinished Block Size||6½"||9½"||12½"||15½"|
My go-to thread for all my piecing is...
The Love and Kisses block needs 8 HST to make the corners. We'll use the 8-at-a-time method to make them. Just the right amount!
If you're planning on a quilt full of Love and Kisses you may want to consider using triangle paper for even more efficient piecing.
To begin, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the backside of either the #1 or #2 square. Choose whichever one is easier to see your markings on. Mark just dark enough to be able to see at your machine.
Stitch a quarter inch away from both sides of both lines for a total of four lines of stitching.
The photo below shows what happens when you don't have the right quarter inch foot in your accessories case.
On the day I created this sample, I left the 'right' foot at home.
What to do?
Here I simply marked the stitching lines a 1/4" from both sides of each center diagonal marked line. Then installed my open toe applique foot and stitched directly on the four outside lines.
There's always more than one way to get thing done in quilting!
Press the sewn pair of patches flat to set the seams.
Move to your cutting mat.
I like to use a rotating rotary mat for this.
Yes, it's expensive. I would have never bought it for myself. Thank goodness it was gifted to me. When it wears out, I WILL replace it...it's that terrific.
The next step is to cut the #1/#2 into four equal squares; then into eight equal HST.
Use the chart below.
Find the Center/Midpoint Measurement that corresponds to your finished block size.
|Trim HST to…|
Align the Center/Midpoint measurement on your ruler with the edge of the #1/#2 unit.
Cut through the center.
Turn the mat a quarter turn and repeat to create four equal squares.
So far so good, eh?!!!
Now cut each square in half on the middle diagonal line. You can just barely make that marking out in the photo above.
Press the resulting HST (SA to the dark) and trim to the size that corresponds to your finished block size found in the chart above.
These are your perfect little HST.
To assemble the corner units, with RST add a #3 square to the #2 side (red fabric in the photo below) of each HST. Make 8 exactly the same.
Use the photo below for correct placement.
Press the SA toward the #3 square, away from the HST.
With RST, join two of these units together. The SAs nest making matching the seam line so much easier.
Feed the pairs through your sewing machine with the #3 square on top and feeding first into your machine.
After stitching, pull the stitches away from the center without cutting any threads. You may need to loosen them with the point of your seam ripper.
Then press so that the back of the block looks like this.
Four Patches (Top and Bottom sides)
With RST, sew the #4 and #5 strips together along their long edges.
Press with the SA toward the light #5.
Use the chart below to check the accuracy of your stitching. If your strip set is wider or narrower than it should be, correct it now.
Find the subcut width that corresponds to your finished block size.
|Trim HST to…|
At your cutting mat, straighten one short edge of your stripset.
To do so, place a line on your ruler (blue arrow) directly over the seamline, trimming away roughly 1/8" to 1/4".
Subcut into 6 units. Set two aside.
With the remaining four, make two four patches as shown below.
Then loosen the stitches in the center of the four patch to twirl the seam. Don't cut the thread tails.
Left and Right Sides
Add a #6 to the two remaining #4/#5 pairs. Use the photo below placement of the patches.
Press the SA toward the #6 rectangle.
At last we're ready to assemble the Love and Kisses.
Arrange your patches as shown in the photo below.
Double check placement one last time. (Seriously, it sucks to have to rip things out this close to the finish!)
With RST stitch the units in each row together.
If you've followed the directions for pressing the SA, all the seams that should nest, do nest.
That makes putting the block together a whole lot easier.
Stitch the rows together.
Here is Love and Kisses from the backside so that you can see how all the nesting works to your advantage.
And finally. The finished Love and Kisses quilt block from the front.
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!