It’s time for Block 2 in the BlockBase+ Sew Along! I loved seeing everyone’s sewn blocks in the link up on Friday. If you haven’t added your first block to the link up yet, you can do so at any time in the Block 1 Link Up post.
Don’t have the BlockBase+ software yet? It’s not too late to join in! Find the BlockBase+ software here >
In this post, we’ll practice navigating through the categories and subcategories again to find the block. Then we’ll take a look at the Display settings and go through the steps of printing the templates for our next block. Let’s get started!
- Double-click the BlockBase+ icon to open the software.
- If you see the Getting Started window, click the Close button. (If you’d like to turn off the tour, check the box next to “Don’t show again” and then click Close.)
- In the Navigation Panel on the left, click on 16 Nine X, then click on 04 Like an X.
- Let’s take a moment to play with some of the Display settings available. The Display toolbar is above the Block Viewer.
- Click on the Patch lines button to view the blocks without the lines around the patches. To turn the patch lines back on, click the button again.
- The Colorway buttons allow you to view the blocks as Line Drawings, Grayscale, or in Color. Click on each Colorway button to see the different displays.
- The Display buttons change how large or small the blocks display in the viewer. The number of blocks shown in the viewer will depend upon the size of your screen too.
- Now that we’ve played with the display settings, let’s get to our block! This time we’ll be sewing block 2898, which looks like this:
- Click on block 2898 to select it. Remember that you can look for the Brackman ID number in the Notecard Panel. And if you don’t see this block in the viewer, use the vertical scrollbar to the right of blocks to see more blocks.
- In the Block toolbar, click the Print button. Then choose Templates from the menu.
- In the Print Templates window, you can select the settings for your printout. I’ll be using the Default block size. If you want to change the size, click Custom block size and type a new size. (If you’re getting really creative and don’t want to make a square block, click the Lock button to the right of the size boxes to unlock them and type a different size in each box.)
Note: The Finished Block Size is the size of the block after all the seams have been sewn (including the seams on all four sides of the block). BB+ adds the seam allowance for you in the printout.
- The Seam Allowance is set to the standard quarter-inch (0.25″) that most quilters use. You can type in a new width if you’d like to change the seam allowance. You also have the option to set the seam allowance to a dashed line or a solid line. Or you can turn off the seam allowance altogether.
- Mirroring is OFF by default. For this particular block, all of the patches are symmetrical, so mirroring really isn’t a factor. If you were making a block with applique pieces and planned to trace the templates onto fusible web, you would want to mirror the templates.
- Under Printing Options, select Print all templates.
- Click the Preview button.
- This is the Print Preview screen. Because we selected Print all templates in step 14, you’ll see a separate template for each patch in the block. I’m using the default 6″ size and my templates take up four pages. If you changed your block size to something bigger, you may see LOTS of pages in the preview.
- Typically, you wouldn’t want to print (or cut out!) a different template for all those matching patches. Let’s make a change in the Print Templates window to save some paper. Click the Close button to close the Print Preview.
- In the Print Templates window, under Printing Options, select Print unique templates only.
- Click Preview.
- You’ll now see fewer pages in the Print Preview screen. And we can move templates to save even more paper. First, check the box next to 1″ Scale Square in the toolbar. This adds a 1″ square to your printout. After printing, measure this square to ensure that your printer is outputting the printouts at the correct size.
- You can move, rotate, and delete templates in the Print Preview. Click on a a patch and you’ll see the lines turn red and a handle in the middle of the patch. Drag the patch to re-position on the page or move to another page.
- You can also rotate a patch by clicking and dragging the green circle on the handle. Watching the video for this lesson at the end of this post will help make the rotation process more clear. There’s also a great video on the support site about the Interactive Print Preview Options.
- Take a few minutes to play with rearranging and rotating the templates on the pages. If you want to start over at any time (and place the patches back in their default locations) close the Print Preview, then click Preview again in the Print Templates window.
- When you have the templates arranged the way you’d like, you can click Print to print the templates for the block. If you don’t want to print right now, click the Close button.
- After printing or closing, click the Close button in the Print Templates window.
- Remember that we’re adding all of our Sew Along blocks to the Favorites view. With block 2898 still selected in the block viewer, click Add to Favorites in the Block toolbar.
- At the top of the Navigation panel, click the Favorites button.
- Now you’ll see our first two Sew Along blocks in the Favorites view. If you want to come back later and print a different type of printout for this block, you can quickly find it here in the Favorites.
- If you’re done working in BlockBase+, you can close the program by clicking the X at the top or clicking File > Quit BlockBase+.
Notes Before You Start Sewing:
- You can make the block any size you like.
- You can be creative in your coloring of the block (i.e. make the star points light and the background dark, or make each corner triangle a different color, etc.). Just keep the seams/patches in the same orientation as the BB+ block.
- I showed you how to print the templates for the block. But I realize that most quilters would prefer to use the rotary cutting chart for these easy-to-cut patches. The purpose of this lesson was to show you how to use the Templates printout options. If you’d prefer to piece the block using a different technique (rotary cutting chart or foundations), feel free to print those patterns instead. For help with other types of printouts, visit our support site.
- There will be a new post here on the blog on Friday, April 23 where you can post a photo of your sewn block.
Let’s get to know each other in the comments! I loved reading everyone’s introduction comments on Block 1. I hope you all enjoy getting to know each other this way too! For this post, let’s all leave a comment about our favorite quilting notion or tool. I’ll start–
Is it a bit biased to say that EQ8 is my favorite quilting tool? If we’re talking about my favorite non-software quilting tool, I would say that my little wooden seam roller is my fav. It’s great for paper piecing!
Block 2 Video
The steps in the video are the same as the steps listed above. So you can follow the written steps above, or watch the video lesson for Block 2.