Delilah Block of the Month – Month 2 – Bells Beach Block

Welcome back!  This month we explore curves.... again.  If you have been following me on Instagram (@oklaroots) you may have noticed that I am not a big fan of the curves.  

Well, let me clarify:  I love the look of curves... I just don't like making them. 

More...

Why? Because they are hard! Like really, really hard! The whole time I am making the block I am mumbling to myself about how awful this is turning out and who do I think I am making curvy blocks and "Go ahead, eat that chocolate cake, nothing matters, you suck at curves".  It gets dark, folks.

But then, like the sunlight on a rainy day, the block is finished... and looks pretty dang good! So this is why I share these.  Don't stop halfway through! Make it to the end! My curves were pinching too! My ends weren't matching up either!  My block most definitely did not end up the size it was supposed to be (block too small, story of my quilt life). But that's OK! It's going to look awesome!

So enough with the pep talk. Let's get to the construction. 

Side Note: Don't have the Delilah pattern by Jen Kingwell? Why not?! Grab yourself a copy from Amitie Textiles, or check your local quilt shop.




Just like in Month 1, you'll start by cutting out the fabric using the templates provided (acrylic or paper). Group your choices together and let's get started.

The one way I have somewhat kept my sanity during curvy construction work is to pin pin pin! I fold both curves in half to make creases, then match the middle of each and pin.  I'll then pin the ends.  I then use some wonder clips to hold the loose ends in place.  I found that if I don't do this, keeping the two pieces aligned is about... oh I would say... 100% impossible. But that's just me. 

When wrestling your curves through the machine, I find it best to focus on the challenge at hand and not worry to much about what's coming next.  Pay attention to the the material directly under the presser foot.  If the 2 inches you haven't sewed yet are going in totally different directions, don't worry about it.  You'll deal with them.... under the foot.


If you struggle with curves like I do, you might be feeling a bit defeated after you have sewn your first pieces together.  The pinches, the misaligned edges.  I get it.  I feel it too. Take a break, grab a drink, and press the life out of that mess. And then move on to the third curve.

Yea. 3 curves.

And guess what?  

You'll do a fourth as well!!!

YOU GOT THIS.

When adding the fourth curve, make sure you line up the ends correctly.  Just use your hands to follow the curve and pin it. 

Once you have all 4 curves sewn together, you might end up with a PERFECT little block.  Or, you might not.  I'll let you be the judge of how mine turned out.

Make 3 more of these. We'll deal with the wonky edges later.




Sew the 4 curvy block together as the pattern directs. We'll now add the side strips.  These are going to help hide those uneven edges. When sewing them on, make sure to leave a bit unsewn on each edge.  You get to do the fancy "y-seams" today. And they are easy. Way easier than curves. NBD.

I've circled the end flaps that remain after each of the four strips are sewn on.




You know what I like? Y-seams. I like them a lot. You know why?  They help hide my mistakes! Since I'm not a master curvy sewer, my blocks ended up a bit smaller than the pattern directed once trimmed. These seams are not going to advertise that. 

Fold the block in half, into a triangle. Line up the edges for 2 corners, as shown in the photo.  

At your machine, stitch a line starting from the corner of the curvy blocks, straight down, as shown in the second photo.

If your curvy blocks are smaller, this seam might end up larger than a quarter of an inch. But that's ok! This bit really cleans up all the mistakes made previously. Like a glass of wine at the end of a bad day.

What I love about Jen Kingwell patterns is that each block is a quilt itself. You could take any of the blocks, make a dozen or so, and have a beautiful quilt. This is huge inspiration for other pattern designers (myself included). Also, no fabric planning required. I raid nothing but my scrap jars when making these blocks.

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Jess

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