I still haven’t discovered any block that resembles this one, so I guess the name Bella’s Block is going to stick for a while. As promised here is the how to for Bella’s Block.
Please note that because there are so many pieces in this block the directions that the seams are pressed in is very important. Please pay close attention to this aspect of the pattern.
Supplies to make 1 – 12 1/2” block:
A1 – (2) 5” squares
A2 – (4) 3” squares
B – (2) 5” squares
C1 – (4) 3” squares
C2 – (8) 2 1/2” squares
D – (4) 2 1/2” squares (varying colors)
- Starting with the center 4 patch, place 2 of the “D” pieces over to of the other 2 “D” pieces and stitch 1/4″ away from the edge. Then press the seams toward the darker of the two pieces.
2. Then, this is really important, lay out your pieces so the seam on the top piece is pointing to the right. Place one section over the other, match up the seams and stitch 1/4″ away from the edge.
3. Once the two pieces are sewn together you will find that your seam will not lay flat without excess bulk in the center. To remedy this fold open one of the raised seams and locate the threads that are holding the center together. These will be the seams that you stitched in step 1. Your are going to pick out the two (or so) stitches that are holding the seam together. Turn your piece and repeat on the other seam. When you are finished, finger press the seam open so you have a nice flat 4 point spiral in the center of your block. Press this flat. Your center square is now complete.
4. Working with the two 5″ corner squares, lay the two contrasting colors, one on top of the other, then mark them with a diagonal line through the center of the square. Stitch 1/4″ away from the line on one side, than turn your square and sew 1/4″ away from the line on the other side.
5. Cut the squares apart on the marked line and square the block up to 4 1/2″. I love the Quilt in a Day Square Up Ruler, but you can use whichever method you choose.
6. Once your block has been squared up to 4 1/2″, snip the seam allowance in the center of the block, to just before the stitch.
7. Place the block on your ironing surface like shown, and press the top half of the seam to the right and the bottom half to the left.
8. Turn the piece around and press it again from the front. Trim off the seam tails.
9. Moving on to the middle “star” pieces, place one of the A2 pieces onto of one of the C1 pieces, draw a diagonal line across each square and stitch 1/4″ away from the line on each side of it. Cut the square down the middle so you have two triangles and square each one up to 2 1/2″. You will have 8 triangles in total.
10. Divide your triangles into two piles. One pile you will press the seam to the background color and the other pile you will press the seam toward the “star” pieces.
11. Place one square from each pile next to each other so the background pieces come together and are pointing up, while the “star” pieces are touching only in the bottom center. Place one over the other, taking care to align the seams, then stitch 1/4″ away from the edge.
12. Place each sewn piece in front of you with the background color facing up as shown and press the seam to the right. You will now have 4 rectangles.
13. Moving on to the (8) C2 pieces, divide them up into 4 piles of 2 and stitch them together as shown. Press the seam to one side, it doesn’t matter which.
14. Place your “star” pieces together as shown making sure that the seams go in opposite directions, then place one on top of the other and stitch 1/4″ away from the edge.
15. After the pieces have been stitched together, pick open the seams the same way as in step 3 and press the seams flat in the directions as shown.
16. Lay the pieces out as shown, then begin stitching them together one row at a time.
17. Lay the three rows out on your ironing table and press the sewn seams of the center section inward and the sewn seams of the top and bottom sections outward. Stitch the three sections together.
18. Press the seams that you have just sewn outward and you are done!