Barbara Black Quiltmaker
Barbara Black has been quilting for 22 years and has taught quilting since 1989 to beginners through advanced. She teaches a weekly class for a quilting store in Huntsville, AL called Patches & Stiches. She has worked for 8 years as an Education Team member with Quilts Inc. (www.quilts.com) which holds 3 international shows for the public and 2 international trade shows each year. She has been awarded Best in Show by national judges for a quilt she entered in competition. She has held every position, including president of Heritage Quilters of Huntsville (a quilter's guild of over 350 members). She has had quilts published by McCall's Publishing and Christmas Year-Round among others. She has also designed the quilts and wrote instructions for them. Barbara especially enjoys teaching beginners and sharing her enthusiasm for the art of quilting.
How to Make a Quilt Block
Quilter Barbara Black demonstrates how to quilt and how to make a quilt block.
Barbara Black: Hi, my name is Barbara Black and I am a professional quilt maker and teacher. Today I am going to be showing you how to make a quilt and now it's time to learn how to make the block. I am utilizing five fabrics to make my quilt. You could use as few as two fabrics, but you will want a background fabric for sure and a dark fabric that will make the start points. I am using a medium tone blue for corner pieces and accent fabric as a light piece and then the center of the block has a rather attractive fabric that's lot of multicolors and makes a nice center for the block.
I want to demonstrate to you, how to carefully and accurately cut your strips of fabric. We want to keep the fabric straight on grain. In order to do that you take your fabric and after you have to got knit home and you want to lay that on your mat ready to cut it. Put the foldline as closest to your body and the selvage edges up, away from your body. This is the grain line of the fabric runs length wise, runs along with selvage and the cross wise grain runs up and down perpendicular to the selvage. Once you got your fabric laid out flat on the mat, take the small square ruler and pick a line on the ruler that you can see, laying it across right even along with the fold at the bottom. Then place the long ruler firmly against the small square, there by making -- giving yourself a straight line to cut. Move the small square out of the way and you are ready to cut. To safely use the rotary cutter the number one habit you want to get into is to always close the rotary cutter when you put it down. Every rotary cutter has an easy open and close mechanism and you want to get familiar and comfortable with using that.
The first cut we want to make, starting on the mat, you want to go forward as close as your hand is and no further than that, carefully walk your hand up again, continue on with the rotary cutter until you go all the way off to the end. That allows you to have a nice straight edge with the fabric. Now we are going to cut these strips into four and a half inch wide strips. So I have moved the rules the long ruler over and placed the four and a half inch line right along the cut edge. Again we will cut starting on the mat. Go as far as your hand is, walk your hand up again and continue all the way to the end. When you have got your strip cut, turn it so that the -- if you are right handed as I am put the fold on your right and the selvages on the left. We want to cut across and make a four-and-half-inch set of squares. These are two layers of fabrics so when I cut these squares I will have two of them. Place the four-and-a-half-inch line on the edge of the fabric, go straight up, pick up the two fabrics, turn them around and once again and come back and carefully be sure that your are cutting now an accurate four-and-half-inch square. This is pair of four-and-half-inch squares of the fabric that you need. You will repeat that with your other fabrics. For your background you will need three wide four-and-a-half inch squares. You will cut three of those from the start points which are dark fabrics, you will need two four-and-a-half inch squares. For the corners squares you will need two four-and-half inch squares. The accent piece again is one four-and-a-half inch square and there is a center square that is cut smaller, it's a three-and-a-half inches. Now let's learn how to quilt and make the units.