How I sew an Alabama Beauty block

This is the first group of 9 blocks – sewn together. There will be a total of 36 blocks – 3 more sets of 9.

In this first group I joined each block – one at a time. I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like – it was exciting seeing it come together. I wasn’t sure the secondary circles would show up – but they do – just enough!

When I finished a row of three blocks I joined them to each other. When I finished the middle row I joined it to the top row and the same for the bottom row.

I haven’t posted any progress on the Alabama Beauty blocks for awhile – but I have been working on them. I discovered that sewing the same pieces together on all 9 block makes it go much faster – I get into a rhythm when I do the same thing over and over.

This picture shows the 16 pieces that make up one block.

1) I sew the two trumpet shaped pieces to the four purple pointy bits. First I have to clip the concave curves on the purple pointy pieces. While I’m at it I clip the trumpet shaped pieces too – because I will have to do it later anyway .

I press it open like this. I do this for all 9 blocks before I move on to the next step.

2) The next step is to sew the four purple pointy modules to the four orange peel shapes. Press and repeat for all 9 blocks.

This is what it looks like from the back after pressing.

3) Now I sew one set of two orange peel modules together.

And then the other – on all nine blocks.

The last step of course – is to sew the two modules together to form a completed block. I start sewing at the center and work out – I find it makes the points meet more accurately.

I am just finishing step two on the ninth block.

This is my method – using Inklingo of course – I cannot imagine sewing a 16 piece block – every single piece is curved – any other way!

Other Inklingoists undoubtedly approach it a bit differently – it took me a few blocks to discover my favorite way of doing it.

Cathi at Quit Obsession is a master at hand piecing – with a special fondness for curved patterns. See Cathi’s wonderful very well  illustrated tutorials on hand piecing  here and here. Whether you use Inklingo or not these are excellent instructions.


12 responses to “How I sew an Alabama Beauty block

  1. It looks great,I wish I was brave enough to give it a try.

  2. Thank you for showing your sewing and pressing process. Very clear instructions. LOVE your fabrics–what fun. This quilt is going to be a stunner!

  3. I have bookmarked this post. Thanks for sharing. The Alabama Beauty blocks are on my definitely-to-do-someday-list (very long list :-)), and your instructions are very clear. And the colors! Wowie!

  4. Beautiful work Carol…I have taken notes and will follow your piecing plan when I do my blocks. I am going to piece on the machine but the order should be the same…thankyou,

  5. I really like your piecing order, Carol. Thanks for sharing it!

    ~ Ronda

  6. Bright and cheery!
    Not my style but I can apprciate how great they are. Thanks for the mini Tute on how to piece and press the block

  7. Your fabrics are so rich and luscious. Monkey says they remind him of the jungle. :-) I love everything about your Alabama Beauties. Thanks for showing your pressing technique too. You do lovely work.

  8. Chartreuse Moose

    Dazzling! Your work is all like eye candy and such a delight when I get to visit!

  9. Beautiful–just gorgeous! I felt a warm tropical breeze just by looking at your photos. Amazing.

  10. Beautiful photos of your process. This quilt is going to be a show stopper!

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