How to Make a Slab Quilt


Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And the Canadian Quilting Association is having a really big quilting bee this year, and their goal is to make quilts for the Ronald Mcdonald House. Now this is a great cause but what is also great is the pattern is free. And it is a slab block. Now this block is great for using up any leftover fabric you have. It’s great for any charities that you want to do. It is just a great big fun block to make. The block ends up being 12½” and there’s no measurements until you trim it down. Let me show you how easy it is to make this block. It’s from the book called 𝑆𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑀𝑜𝑟𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑄𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑡𝑠. The book is all full of patterns where you’re able to use up all of your little scraps. It even has a pattern to make a box out of scrap fabric for your scrap fabric. But today we’re going to make the Missing U, better known as The Flat Block. Here’s the free downloadable pattern and I’ll give you a link so that you can download it. The block is from Cheryl Arkison and because the Canadian Quilting Association is doing this to represent Canada’s 150th birthday, they’re asking that there’s going to be at least one piece of some type of Canadian fabric somewhere in the block. So if you’re making it for your charity you can do it any way you want, but if you’re going to participate in this you need to have one piece of Canadian fabric. So you can actually make just one block or a whole quilt and send it off. I’ll put a link in the description to everything. What’s also really nice is they’ve come with their own labels so that you can put labels on the back of the Canadian quilt. I’ve printed them on these fabric sheets so I’m just going to be able to cut and I’ll have four labels to go. So this is basically what a slab block looks like. There’s no real rhyme or reason. It’s just a matter of keeping it flat so that it’s not distorted. And each block is going to look totally different from the next block. Let’s get started. So the fabric I’m going to use is from a leftover project from fabric from Northcott. Now this fabric is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday so it’s perfect for this project. So I have pieces that are just leftovers, all different sizes. So what we need to do is combine all of these [with] some matching fabric in the solid lines —this is also from Northcott—and it’s very easy. You’re going to start with two pieces of fabric and you’re going to sew them together and it doesn’t matter what size. Because I have some small sizes, that’s what I’m going to start with. So I’ve sewn two together. From there we’re going to build to the block. And you can build by adding one piece on the end or a double piece on the end. And the double piece, what I’ve done is I’ve taken strips and I’ve sewn them together with whatever was left over. And I also had these long thin pieces. They’re going to turn out great inside the block. So I’ve taken them and I’ve sewn the small ones onto other pieces, and I’ve even sewn three together so that I have a nice piece to work with. And once they’re all pressed I’m ready to go. I’m going to start with the piece that I’ve sewn two pieces together. It doesn’t have to be square; it just needs one straight line. So I’m going to just take this piece and I’m going to straighten one edge, and that’s the edge I’m going to sew the next block on. Now there are a couple of different ways you can do this. You can just sew the pieces on and then trim the seam allowances after. I like to trim my seam allowances first. It keeps it nice and straight that way. So I am just going to make that line straight. I’m not worried about anything else. So I have my one straight edge; now I can sew a piece of fabric or a double strip onto that edge. So I’m going to take a piece that I’ve already sewn together as a double strip. This saves a little time and I’m going to use that one straight edge along the sewing machine foot so that I can maintain a quarter inch on this piece. I’m not worried about the other piece. So I’m going to take that straight edge, flip it over and then I can just cut off that piece. And I’m not worried about trying to measure it with a ruler. I’m just going to cut it off and I can bring that to the machine and sew a quarter inch. And when that seam has been sewn I’m just going to take that and I’m going to press that right to one side. It really doesn’t matter what side you press it to. When that’s pressed I want to trim one more edge straight. And it doesn’t matter what side you go on because eventually you’re going to trim this all down anyway. So I’m going to take one side and cut it straight. And I’m not worried about the rest of the seam allowances, just that one edge. Now that is going to be my next edge that I’m going to stitch on. And because I have a leftover block which is going to be close to this size, I’m going to use that block. Even though it’s not going to fit, I’m going to be able to trim it down. So I’m going to find a spot that I feel is comfortable, flip it over, and stitch that quarter inch. When it’s on, press it. Now I need one more side but I’m going to use one of the sides where I have that shorter block on, so that I can trim it off, so I’ll trim off this edge here. But if you want to you can do the other edge. Using that line I get to put another piece on. Now if you’re going to make more than one of these, you can just bring them to the machine and chain-piece them. So I have some blocks ready to go. Some have three pieces, some have more, and I like to vary them. So I have a nice long strip and I’m going to be able to take that straight edge and put it along one of my edges. And it’s not important that the bottom piece be straight because you are going to follow the straight line that you trimmed on the block. You don’t follow the outside piece; you’re going to follow the top piece. So I’m going to be able to put this piece on, and the next piece, and the next piece, and go all the way down. Now I’m going to be able to cut these apart. And you don’t need to use the rotary cutter. Your scissors are going to work fine. I’m going to going to cut right between those blocks and separate them. This will really speed up making this quilt. And if there’s a lot of seam allowance you can just trim it off to the quarter inch, but if it’s not a lot you can leave it. Now I’m going to take this whole stack to the iron and press them up. And it’s been pressed. I’m going to find one more edge and straighten it up. And by only straightening up one edge at a time you’re going to be able to change the sizes as you go along. You can even use fabric that’s not straight because you’re going to use the one straight edge, you’ll be able to trim it off after. The whole idea is I’m going to want to take that edge of my foot and follow the straight line. I’m not going to worry about any of that ragged edge. That ragged edge is going to be trimmed off after. And it’s not important what the piece looks like inside. It can be on an angle. The important thing is one straight edge. And I’m going to be able to build on this so that is going to go out on all four sides. By always starting with one straight edge, the quilt block is always going to remain flat. So each time you go to add a piece you only need one straight edge. You can add big pieces and you can even add strips that are already pieced. And when your blocks are a little bit more than 12½”, I would recommend to take them to the iron give them a little bit of a starch and a really good press so that they lay nice and flat. Take a 12½” square ruler and trim off the four edges so that the block equals 12½”. And when the trimming is done you’ve made a slab block. And they’re all different but even those little pieced blocks that you had leftover or even the pieces that you had to add will add charm and make the quilt a lot of fun. And when you go to sew them together, if you want to make a large quilt, you’re going to sew four blocks together and you will need to make six rows. If you’re going to make a smaller block you’re going to sew three together and you’re only going to have four rows. The large one will be 48½” by 72½”, and the small one is going to be 36½” by 48½”. And this is such a fun- looking quilt. And when the quilt is done it still has a bit of a traditional feel with a little bit of modern. I guess you could call it traditionally modern. It is a quick and easy block to make. A great block for charities and it’s a great block of using up all of your scraps—little, big, even pieced. And if you want to send a block in I’ll put a link in the description to the Canadian Quilting Bee because anyone can send a block in. And I’ll also put a link in to Cheryl’s website so you can check out her pattern. It is a great block, I do hope you give it a try and as always Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what were sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!