QUILT BLOCK PATTERNS – ROLLED SEAM BLOCK
This quilt block is simple to make and quite eyecatching when made with a strong colour underneath. It is made by putting pale coloured strips cut on the bias over a strongly coloured fabric and then creating peepholes to allow the strong fabric to show through. The peepholes are created by rolling back the seam allowance and sewing in place. That’s why the strips have to be cut on the bias – there is more give in the folded fabric that is rolled back.
Making the rolled seam quilt block
Cut a 21″ square each of backing fabric and wadding. Place the backing square right side down, smooth and lay the wadding on top. Smooth and lay an 18.1/2″ square of bright fabric (blue in the photo) on the wadding with right side up.
Take 1/2 yard of the light fabric for the top and cut in half along the fold. Fold the bottom corner up to the top as shown on the right and then cut 5″ strips along the diagonal. Repeat with the second half of the fabric.
With the right side on the outside, fold both edges of each strip towards the centre and press. With the raw edges down, place the longest strip along the diagonal of the blue square and pin in place.
Sew along both edges of the strip, 1/2″ from the edge. Make sure that you stop sewing at least 1″ before the end of the strip so that the edge of the top square is free to be sewn to the sashing.
Place another strip next to the first with the folded edges touching.
Keep adding strips with the folded edges toucing, sewing 1/2″ from the edge. I find it helps to smooth the two edges together as shown when sewing.
Rolling back the seams
When nine strips have been added, you should just have two corners of the quilt block left uncovered. You cannot add any top fabric there because it would not leave you enough are unsewn to join the block to sashing or another block.
Using a fabric marker, mark lines at right angles to the seams 2.1/2″ apart. Sew along these lines, stopping 1″ from the edge of the quilt block.
Baste the edges of the top fabric, taking care not to catch the wadding in the basting.
With your thumb, roll back the seam allowance on one of the squares. Starting at the right hand side of this curve, slipstitch the curve in place using very small stitches.
Continue to the next square. I find it easiest to sew all down one side of the seam and then sew back up the other side of the seam to complete each curve. I also find it easiest to start with the longest seam in the centre. That way I can kid myself that I am getting quicker, when in fact it is just that the seams get shorter as you move away from the centre of the quilt block!
You now have an 18.1/2″ square that could be used as a cushion cover or could be used as a block in a quilt. You can see how I used it in a quilt as you go quilt.