Block quilting mania!

In the recent issue of Uppercase, there were many articles about quilters and each of their unique approaches to the craft. There have been a number of incidences where we have spotted quilters making their quilts piece by piece, either because they're using scraps, or they're making blocks that they'll later put together as a whole, or even solely due to time restraints.

Sew Mama Sew ran one of the most recent BOM sewalongs with magnificently modern designs as the basis for each of the 12 blocks. The ability to take a simple-to-follow block and recreate that in different colours and prints 12 times over, or indeed create 12 completely juxtaposing blocks allows a quilt to take on its own personality, even though your friend may be using the same blocks.


scmodernbomsa1 Sew Mama Sew's Block of the Month


For many a month, we have been running our own Block of the Month workshop here at Ray Stitch with quilting extraordinaire Michael Caputo as teacher. As a graphic designer and paper engineer, Michael has the vision to design these sorts of things and in fact, does it so well that he regularly designs quilts for magazines and even a book.


michael Michael hard at work on one of his many projects


Our attendees have enjoyed their once-a-month quilting sessions with Michael and are now ready to assemble their 12 blocks into a quilt. However, not every avid quilter can go at this leisurely pace - maybe you have too many ideas and need to get them out into the physical world, or even have a present to make...


Blocks Ray Stitch Blocks of the Month designed by Michael and Rachel


BOM quilt in progress Our finished BOM top using mainly Leah Duncan's Meadow collection for Art Gallery Fabrics


For this reason, we decided to put on a BOM crash course here at the Sewing School. Set over two Saturday afternoons you have the joy of trying something different, as well as the excitement at quickly having a finished quilt. The results from our first BOM sessions are exquisite; the blocks sit seamlessly together (literally seamlessly, for they haven't been assembled yet) in both pattern and colour combinations. One of our regular dressmaking Sewing School attendees had never attempted quilting until taking the class here, and we're so impressed and proud of her achievements. It is testament to the fact that it is possible to create something piece by piece, considering as you go, rather than designing something massive that may take (as we have seen) years to complete - and still call yourself a quilter.


Finished BOM quilt Learn them all or choose your favourites to repeat


If you're interested in making your own block quilt, the class is running on Saturday 18th May and Saturday 25th May, 2-6.30pm £110. In the first sesson you will learn how to create unique and individual blocks by building patchwork sections with different fabric shapes. You will then have one week to build on these blocks at home. The number of blocks you build, determines the size of your quilt! The second session involves piecing your blocks together to create your 'top', quilt your quilt, and neatly bind/finish the edges. This is one absolute crash course in quilting, one in which you will go away feeling accomplished with a bulging brain and quite possibly an addiction.

For some drooling time, here is one of Michael's own BOM quilts with perfect concentric circles:

Michael Caputo BOM quilt

And another with repeat for the book 'Quilting' by DK:

Michael Caputo for Quilting by DK


We hope to see you and your work soon.


Words by Steph.