Friday, August 28, 2015

Tumbling Blocks

One of the most "antiquey" looking quilts I've ever made is the little Tumbling Blocks quilt from my book Remembering Adelia. Remember this one?  Anyone made it? Why not? It's easier than it looks. 

This little quilt was inspired by a large Tumbling Blocks quilt made in the 19th century by President Calvin Coolidge when he was about ten. I saw a photo of that quilt in a magazine and knew I wanted to make a little one for myself. If you've been itching to make a tumbling blocks quilt yourself, this is a good one to try because it's small and easy. It's really a lot of fun and a good way to use up your scraps.

I've hand pieced and hand quilted THREE of these if you can believe it. Not because I was crazy but because I was sending trunk shows to various shops around the country at the time so they could display them and promote the book for me. Sure, it took a little time but they were fun to make and if you haven't hand pieced a quilt yet, try making a little tumbling blocks quilt by hand. It's not as hard as it looks. Remember, I've made three so it can't be that bad.

The instructions in the book are very clear cut and simple. If you prefer to do it on your own, without a pattern, cut diamond shapes from 2-inch scrap strips, lining them up with a 60-degree diamond ruler. There's a pattern for a template included in the book.

Because the blocks are small, it was easier for me to sew the "Y" seams, or set-in seams, by hand. but you can certainly do it on your machine.

If I were going to make another one someday I think I'd like try English paper piecing the blocks.

If you don't feel like making your own, here's a link to buy this antique quilt that's remarkably similar -

                                    full view of Tumbling Blocks antique quilt

                                          Want to try the tumbling block quilt pattern.  Its classic, and gives me the opportunity to use lots of scraps

LLBean used to sell one.

I wonder if Adelia or her daughter ever made a tumbling blocks quilt?


Julierose said...

This is a gorgeous quilt--I like all three of your hand pieced and hand quilted quilts...just lovely Hugs, Julierose

Leratdesfils said...

Superbe !
Le style que j'aime.

Rosa said...

Fabulous quilt and fabric combo!!

Have a fun weekend.

KaHolly said...

It's really very nice. Thanks for the mini-tute! I think I just might like to try it.

Jennifer M said...

Kathy it is such a charming quilt. I have never made one...yet:) You have got me thinking now, maybe I will make one from the charms from the groups charm swap!

paulette said...

WOW!! This quilt is on my bucket list!! Gorgeous!

Robin McGuire said...

I made a small tumbling blocks block as part of my first quilting class--hand pieced and hand quilted. I've always wanted to make this quilt. Maybe a challenge?? Or I like Jennifer M's idea to use charms from the swap!

Ruth said...

I hand pieced (EPP) a tumbling blocks doll quilt out of pinks and whites and then hand quilted it, but it probably would look more interesting out of different colored fabrics. English paper piecing is fun and easy and a doll quilt wouldn't take too long. I might do it. I have your book and have made the cover quilt and housewife needle case.

Vic in NH said...

Thank you for a very inspirational post! Your photos show the charm of the scrappiness with wonderful value control.

belarmina said...

Preciosos!! tengo este libro, y unas ganas locas de hacer todos los edredones que publica,

Quilting Moesje said...

The antique one from An Moonen inspired me soo much ..
I must make one too !
And now I read your post thats easy to make ...and yes thats soo true!
Its soo lovely and the affect fun to see :0))
I make a little cats quiltje for her sleeping place ; 0)


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