Saturday, 16 July 2016

Tips, Tools , and Techniques July 2016

For this month's Tips, Tools and Techniques we will be discussing 3D blocks. 3D blocks are a good way to add some visual interest. They also happen to be a fun way to challenge yourself with a new technique.

Heather J. was kind enough to join me for a demonstration on some 3D blocks she has made and an interesting way to combine them in a finished project.

First she showed me a really fun 3D bowtie block. You will need 3 fabrics. For example:

1. 1- 6" red square
2. 1- 6" black square
3. 2- 3" B&W print squares

This is enough to make two 5.5" blocks.
Cut the red and black squares into 4 - 3" squares (2 for each block).

Fold the print in half (wrong side together) and put on top of the red square with the fold in the middle and raw edges in upper right corner. Then place the black square on top of them both.

Sew down the right hand side and press, so the folded print side is away from the solid red/black squares.

Put the 2nd red square under the print and the black on top, so they are opposite the other squares and sew the other side.

After you sew, press the same as the other side.

Now fold the two halves together, making sure the print is lined up with the edge. (this will take a bit of patience).

Sew along the top and press. Tada this is what the finished one looks like. Super Cute!!!

Next up she showed me another 3D block. For this one you use a foundation fabric square and a larger coloured/ patterned square. For example the foundation square is 5" and the colored square is 7".

Finger press or iron, the half way point on all 4 sides of the colored square. Pin the 4 corners of the 2 fabrics together. Carefully find the halfway point of the colored square and fold it to the right side of the top edge, making sure the fabrics stay lined up along the top. Do this for all for sides and pin as needed. Sew a 1/8" away from the edge all the way around. Manipulate the excess fabric in the middle so it forms a square or rectangle in the middle and press flat. Voila another 3D block. Have some fun experimenting with different sizes of squares/ foundations.

Here are some examples of different results.

Heather did a great job combining these 2 blocks into a fun wallhanging. She even put on some prairie points too.

Another example of a 3D block is the 3D pinwheel block. Heather found a great tutorial in the Make Modern magazine Issue #1. It was designed by Serena Edwards. This is a very versatile block with simple math. Check it out!  Here is the finished block.

And here is Heather J's finished quilt.

I can't wait to have some fun playing with these 3D blocks!!

Thank You Heather J. for the great techniques. Stay tuned next month for Tips, Tools and Techniques.


  1. Clear instructions, great photos. Thanks Cathy and Heather J. for the tutorial. I am very motivated to even try some new blocks. How about a wallhanging with each block being a different 3D design? Do I hear a challenge in the offing????

    1. I can't wait to see your design!

  2. Great tutorial, thanks for the info ladies.