Sunday, May 29, 2022

Positivity 2022 QAL - Block Tutorial

This Block Tutorial post marks the beginning of the Positivity 2022 Quilt Along.  Although I shared the Sponsors & Prizes, the QAL Schedule and the Fabric Requirements earlier, this is the post where you can actually get started!!!

I am so very excited. But first - a disclaimer. 

Please note that the block itself is not new. But this method of making this block is my very own. 
Think of it this way - I did not discover New York, but I am the driver of this new superfast overnight train to New York (or Chicago, in case you live in New York).

If this irks you for whatever reason, and you wish to chastise me, please leave now. Thank you. 

If you are still here, I love you so much. Let's proceed to the block construction. Using this method, we will make the blocks in pairs (two at a time).

Fabrics for two blocks
Background Fabric (Gray) - One 5" square, Two rectangles 2.5" by 5", Two rectangles 2.5" by 9"
Focus Fabric (Turquoise) - One 5" square, Two rectangles 2.5" by 5", Two rectangles 2.5" by 9"

Directions for two blocks
A. Frame each 5" square with the contrasting fabric.
  • Sew the two background rectangles (2.5" by 5") on opposite sides of the 5" square of focus fabric. Press and trim. 
  • Sew the two longer background rectangles (2.5" by 9") on the remaining two sides of the focus fabric square unit we created in the step above.  Press and set aside.
  • Sew the two focus fabric rectangles (2.5" by 5") on opposite sides of the 5" square of background fabric. Press and trim.
  • Sew the two longer focus fabric rectangles (2.5" by 9") on the remaining two sides of the background fabric square unit we created in the step above. Press.
Square each unit to 9" by 9".

B. Now we will cut these two units into quarters.

C. In the next step we will take two quarters from the left + two quarters from the right to construct our final block. 


Repeat with the remaining four quarter units to construct the second block. The blocks should measure 8.5" square.
Please make sure that the focus fabrics are on the inside.  It is easy to make an inside-out block (where the focus fabric and background fabrics are reversed). 



We want to keep all blocks with focus fabrics on the inside (background fabric outside) to create the tessellation effect in the completed top.  

In the pictures below, you can see my audition blocks. Always a good idea to make a couple of trial blocks before we dive head first into making 80 :-D

Focus Fabric Center

Background Square in the Center

Two sides stitched

Two sides stitched

Ready to press and trim


Both units squared to 9"


These look pretty good. If you wish to stop here and make your entire quilt using just these framed blocks, it is completely acceptable. But I digress. Getting back on track.


Cut into quarters

Cut into quarters

Two stacks 

Taking two units from each stack, we construct our final blocks. Sew them like a 4-patch, but watch the direction of the fabrics - focus fabrics meeting in the middle, background on the corners.

First block comes together :-)

Two blocks, squared to 8.5"

Do a happy dance!!! Or shall I say do the twist? 
We have a month to make our 80 blocks. The finished flimsy linky party is not until July 17, 2022.

Plenty of time? What do you think?
I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. 


I have combined the block instructions, layout options and fabric requirements from the 2021 QAL into a downloadable PDF, available on my Etsy Store.



33 comments:

  1. A fun, fast block! Thanks for the tute!

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  2. Hi Preeti! This is a fun block. I've made the framed block before but have never cut it apart and twisted it up. I can't wait to start once our fabrics arrive. New QAL - new fabric, don't you know?! Happy Sunday to you. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

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  3. I always love how you figure out an efficient way to make any kind of block! You're amazing! These look fun to make.

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  4. With a great tutorial like this, easy to make 80 blocks ;)) Thank you for making the process so clear.
    Thank you for sharing, and linking up ;)

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  5. What beautiful blocks! I love them and the absolutely, very cool way we get to construct them with you! I'm definitely in! I'm thinking I may make two of these -- one to donate and one to keep! Thank you, thank you!

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  6. Brilliant!!!! I love blocks that are just as easy to do by photos as words!! Love this method Preeti!!!! Off to get some fabrics!!!!

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  7. Well said! Can't wait to get started. And this way works better with the fabric sizes I have.

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  8. What a wonderful tutorial! I might join in once I'm back among my fabrics in about a month. TerryK

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  9. Ditto to all of the above! Looking forward to getting started.

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  10. Fantabulous! XO, Kaholly

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  11. I'm so excited! I thought we were doing the same pattern as last year, but this is BETTER! I've seen this pattern elsewhere and liked it, but never had good reason to start. Now I do! But first I have to clear off my cutting table from the project I left half-finished last time I was up sewing. Such first-world problems I have... Thanks for hosting again this year.

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  12. Interesting way to piece the blocks - I love the "disappearing" type blocks where you start with something straight forward, cut it up, rearrange, and come up with something totally different. Well done!

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  13. Thanks for sharing your block instructions with Oh Scrap! You know I will be making mine with scraps :)

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  14. Looks like an easy way to make garlic knots.

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  15. Fun, fun, Preeti!! Off to share the tutorial with all my friends...

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  16. What a clever way to make these blocks! I love it!

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  17. looks like a quick way to make this block! thanks for the tutorial!

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  18. Great directions as always.

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  19. Great block, and fast. Perfect for charity quilts. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday wait Loss.

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  20. Excited to join, Preeti - my heart has been sick for the last month and I've barely even read quilting blogs, much less actually quilted anything, but maybe this will be the push I need to get out of my head for awhile. Appreciate your clear and always clever instructions!

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  21. What a logical, efficient way to make this block!!!! Thanks for all the great pictures!!!!

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  22. I too love to make things easier and faster , thank you , Great work!

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  23. Love the way you make the block. It sounds like you get negative comments occasionally. I am so sorry about that. I don't know why people take so much time spreading negativity. That's very nice of you to host this sew a long and to go through so much trouble to make such detailed instruction.

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  24. Thank you for the great tutorial!

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  25. Love the way you did this block!!! Ignore the naysayer’s 👍

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  26. Great tutorial. But actually this is a block that Jenny Doan did on a video about 5-6 years ago. She called it chopped blocks. It is known as a bento box block also. But it makes a very Pretty quilt!

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    1. Dear Anonymous, thank you for your two cents. I am so sorry that you think that this is Jenny Doan's Chopped Blocks, because it is not. The method may appear similar, but not only her blocks larger, the end result is also distinctly different. What is your purpose in making the comparison when you are clearly wrong? As much as I am irritated by your comment (and should just delete it), I am going to let it sit here so that others can see it for what it is - a rubbish, meaningless comment with a false accusation.

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  27. What a great idea, and very clear instructions. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Brilliant way to make this block. Thanks for sharing this technique.

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  29. Amazing block! Amazing process!

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  30. Preeti, are the blocks ordered any particular way in the top?

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    1. I plan to orient all blocks the same way. That would create the tessellation effect, where the background fabric would appear interlocked with the focus fabric.
      But you are free to choose your layout :-) I am just glad you are sewing along.

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