Block book/s

Jay asked in a comment the other day what a Block Book was and could I show some examples. Only too happy to, Jay!

A block book is a book-style container, sometimes with “pages”, usually of cotton wadding, used to hold prepped applique or blocks. I’ll show you what I mean.

Years ago I saw a block book in a quilt book (can’t remember which one now) and I followed the, rather intricate if I remember correctly, instructions. It has a handle at the top, and a front pocket, which rather falls all over the place (I think maybe it needed velcro?).

it has ties at the back

and opens vertically, and flaps are opened out to access the work

This one is holding some applique that I started in classes many years ago with Robyn Falloon.

The next one I made from a magazine, and it was designed by Leanne Beasley (the magazine was a “special” from Homespun and called “Bag Boutique” – can’t find a date in it but it’s several years old). I did change it a little by including some handles

It also holds some applique work (this one by Irene Blanck, a block of the month called “A Paradise of Birds“). The pages are about 15″ (approx. 15″ x 30” when opened)

I then designed one myself, using my “Timeless Tulips” template to made the front cover

putting a pocket on the inside to hold a pattern

and adding tuille between the pieces of wadding to stop the fabric pieces moving around and sticking to the next page of wadding. This is a block for hand piecing, and all the cut pieces are set in order, just waiting to be hand pieced. (These pages are about 17″ – approx 17″ x 34″ when opened)

my “Sunday Stitching” is here too

and completed blocks are living in the back of the block book

At the request of my students, I also designed a small version; in this one the pages are about 10″ (10″ x 20″ when opened)

It’s perfect for holding smaller applique or pieced blocks

again, I used tuille to keep everything separated

Foam core board (available from Officeworks) is used to keep the “book” firm (you can just see it peeking out of its pocket two pics above).

There are some commercial patterns available, here, here, here, and a YouTube one here. I don’t know what any of them are like, I just had a quick internet browse!

Hope this helps, Jay. Block books are great if you’re cutting out lots of blocks; the pieces for each block can be laid out on the pages ready for you to sew either by hand or machine. Kept this way, it makes it convenient to take to class or to a friend’s home for sewing (when we’re allowed out!).

Meredithe x

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4 Responses to Block book/s

  1. Helen f says:

    OMG – another bird quilt!!!

  2. frayedattheedge says:

    The first one I made was stiffened with a thin plastic kitchen chopping board ( because that’s what it said in the pattern). The next one was my own design and I used the sort of stiff foam (don’t know what it’s called) that you stiffen bags with.

  3. Becky Turner says:

    Oh Yes!!!! I need to make one of these up for my English PP!!! and the tulle is going to be a life savor!

  4. I can see this would be a very useful item!

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