Bow Tie Block is the first block in the Long Time Gone Quilt Pattern by Jen Kingwell. This is a traditional block that makes use of the fun snowball patchwork technique. It’s quick and simple to cut and assemble and a great way to start your Long Time Gone Quilt adventure.
Tutorial: Bow Tie Block
- See tutorial for seam pressing details.
- I use a Schmetz 70/10 needle.
- I use and recommend Wonderfil Konfetti Cotton 50wt in Pale Grey (KT906) thread for piecing.
- I use Flatter by Soak in Yuzu 248ml as my starch.
- I use Clover Wonder Clips to help keep my pieces in place.
- I use a design board to layout my pieces while I worked. Click here for a tutorial on how to make your own.
Measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial. It is a prerequisite of making this block that you have a copy of the pattern, Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Measurements, where applicable, can be found in this book and it’s associated media.
using from marti michell templates
How to Make the Block
- Tolerance Levels: you need to decide what is an acceptable tolerance level for “mistakes”. For example if your blocks are consistently 6¼” instead of 6.5″ are you ok with this. Or if your seams matching are less than an eight of an inch “off” are you ok with this. There’s no hard or fast rule and it’s different for everyone, so remember it’s your quilt so make your decision for you.
- Press your seams at each step. Click here for a great article on how to press your seams for patchwork.
- You can iron and starch your fabric prior to cutting. I also starch when pressing bulky seams.
- When pinning, pin away from you so that you don’t move your pieces when pinning.
- Where possible I chain piece all the pieces I can in one step. If you’re unsure of what chain piecing is, click here for a tutorial on how to do it. However, for the purpose of the tutorials I will step you through all the seams individually.
Block Assembly Steps
1: Make the partial Snowball subunit
I’m going to break this block down into the smallest unit, show you how to make that and then show you how they all fit together to make the larger block. You’ll need the squares identified in diagram 1 to make this unit. [See page 3 of your pattern for the cutting instructions.]
On the wrong side of the 2 smaller blocks use a fabric pen (I use a Frixion Pen) to make a diagonal stitch line. (Shown as a red line in diagram 2.) Place these squares right sides together in the corners of your background blocks (as shown in diagram 2).
TIP: I found laying them out in the order in which they’d appear in the finished block helped me to keep my directional prints going in the right directions.
Stitch on the line. If accuracy is a problem for you (and it is for me) I find stitching just to the edge of the line, closest to the corner to be trimmed, helps ensure that when the piece is pressed it forms a proper square. Once stitched, trim outer corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.
2: Assemble the Subunits
Layout your remaining squares as show in diagram 3.
Join the squares together to form two rows, as shown in diagram 4. Join rows together to complete the square. Repeat steps 1 to 4 to make 8 of these square units.
3: Complete the Block
Layout 4 of the square units as per diagram 5. Join the units to make 2 rows, as per diagram 6.
Join the 2 rows together to complete your Bow Tie Block. I found using the seams of the unit joins as a guide for pinning really helpful in lining everything up. Repeat steps 5 – 7 to make your second Bow Tie Block.
additional tutorial support
These tutorials were first published as part of the Long Time Gone Sew-along which was hosted by myself (GnomeAngel), Nicole Calver (of Snips Snippets) and Marti Michell. Both Nicole and Marti have provided their own tutorials to help you make these block you can check out these tutorials by clicking the buttons below:
Please note: I do not control any of the information not contained within the GnomeAngel.com domain. This means when you leave this site I have no ability to correct the information, provide the information or alter the information contained on the sites linked too. These links are provided as a courtesy only and I take no responsibility for the content contained on these sites.
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