When a Quilt Block Just Isn’t Working

| Quilty | Episode 229

Hey, man. It happens. Mary shows you why the quilt block she started…isn’t going to be finished. Learn how to avoid (some) quilting mistakes and how to forgive yourself when it’s just not happening. Check out the fabric Mary fell in love with at our store. Mary also says a design wall is perfect for making test blocks to avoid quilt blunders. For more fantastic quilting tips and ideas pick up Quilty the magazine, visit HeyQuilty.com or watch Quilty Season 1 on DVD!

Hint: click on the photos to view Quilty season 1 on DVD and Quilty magazine the March/April 2013 issue!

          Quilty March April 2013


  1. Love your Quilty shows; so helpful and encouraging for new quilters.
    Just wanted to mention a tiny correction… Around the 3:00 mark, the setup is called “mise en place” and not “miss”.
    No biggie, just wanted to share that French info. :)

    Donna, 2 years ago Reply

  2. I did something very similar on my first quilt. It was such a shame – all my hard work was just not visible. There was some really awesome piecing in that quilt – you just couldn’t see it! It was a mistake I will only make ONCE!

    Patrick, 2 years ago Reply

  3. Mine was too many tones the same even though the colors were different, changing out some lights and darks for one of the mid-tone fabrics made all the differenc and became stunning.

    Jean La Vanway, 2 years ago Reply

  4. Been there done that, fortunately I did it early in my career and always try to make a sample block. Hey if the sample block doesn’t work out you can add it to your stash of orphan blocks and make a donation quilt sampler.

    Verity, 2 years ago Reply

  5. made the same mistake – how can we fix it – take out and replace with a better color? or too many bias pieces.

    marjo brown, 2 years ago Reply

  6. Hi,

    Is there a previous video or pattern instructions available for the circular quilt in the background ?

    I have more than my fair share of blocks gone wrong, thus I have a varied selection of trivets in my kitchen drawer that I don’t care if they get stained or worn out.

    Thanks !

    DiAnne, 2 years ago Reply

  7. Thanks for sharing your mistake. That’s a point well taken!
    Note to self: Make a sample!

    Mary Stephens, 2 years ago Reply

  8. Thanks for the tip. It’s nice to know that the pros can make something and not be happy with it. I’ve done that before and it is very discouraging.

    Linda, 2 years ago Reply

  9. Made the same mistake, but took it one step further. I actually pieced ALL of the blocks, THEN decided I didn’t like one of my color choices. I ended up appliqueing a different fabric choice on top of the misfit – 35 blocks worth!

    Mona Askren, 2 years ago Reply

  10. Sorry about that, but thanks for giving the rest of us tips on how to avoid that! :) What is the pattern of that pretty quilt on the wall behind you? Really nice! Also, I love, love, love watching your videos! I play them one after another while I am sewing and it is just the most pleasant way to spend time! Thank you!

    Sue, 2 years ago Reply

  11. That is why i only make one to see how it look, and i know how you fill.

    Phyllis, 2 years ago Reply

  12. I did the same dang thing when making a quilt for my son – great pattern, fun fabric, crummy quilt, which I did finish and give to him because, well, I had finished the thing! Seriously though, I could see one of your rejected blocks as the bib of an apron, with another one as a pocket.

    Sandi Baier, 2 years ago Reply

  13. I guess we have all made this mistake. I was so upset I threw out all the fabric. Rose

    Rosalinda Call, 2 years ago Reply

  14. My husbands hobby is photography, and using his tools has proven invaluable. I snap a picture, or scan in a color image of my fabrics, cut and paste the fabric images into the block pattern using his photo tools and decide if I like the blocks without cutting any of my precious fabric…..Better yet, I can use those “photo blocks” to build up part of the quilt on the computer and audition the blocks together before cutting anything. I’ve done this several times with quilts I’ve been making specifically for others, and have even let them tell me if there is something they want changed. It’s saved my fabric, and left my recipients delighted more than once.

    Cheri Barker, 1 year ago Reply

  15. If that was what I did , I would put one together on the design wall without sewing them . Then I would go back to the fabric shop and buy colors to make it pop , more than likely now I have enough pieces to make several quilts . Okay , have fun , don’t fret , and wonder if the other one I want to give to someone or put it in another room or a spare for a change . Trish

    Patricia Wallick, 1 year ago Reply

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