Tu-Na Quilts: Fall Into a QAL Block Eight Released Today

BOMsBOMsWelcome to the release of the eighth block for the Fall Into a QAL.

QAL button

This QAL is brought to you by Partners in Design: Where Friends and Fabric Meet.

Partners in design

Presenting the Autumn Leaf Block

If you are looking for my Fabulous Freebies Blog Hop post, you will find it here. But you are still invited to check out this leaf block before you go.

tunaquilts 1a

This block is 12.5″ unfinished.

This block is designed by Jennifer Fulton of The Inquiring Quilter. Click here to download this free pattern. Remember these patterns are free only as long as the Fall Into a QAL is in process. Don’t delay, download your pattern today.

Making This Block Just a Little Easier

You can do it!

I’d like to offer encouragement for those of you who have never paper pieced before. I am a self-taught paper piecer. I started about 2 years ago and if I can do it so can you. But do start with Version B. If you’ve sewn a couple of paper pieced blocks already, then make Version A. 

For my first paper pieced project, I made a cat and mouse block. You can read and see it here. It was not a beginner’s project but I persevered and succeeded. I watched several YouTube videos and just did it. 

My second project was a 4″ lighthouse with many, many pieces (read and see it here). I like a challenge. But I really should have started with simpler projects. My most complicated 5.5″ mini was a shamrock with 64 pieces (some so small that only a couple of threads showed after flipping them)—read and see it here

The more paper pieced blocks I make, the more I like sewing them. I like the preciseness of them but that can also make it challenging and frustrating. Here’s a latte so sit back and sip a bit while I offer a few more suggestions and some paper piecing tools you can’t live without.

tunaquilts 3aa

This was probably my fourth paper pieced block.

A couple other suggestions to survive and thrive paper piecing this block

  • Check the 1″ box to make sure it IS exactly 1″.

    tunaquilts 2a

    You can’t even see the box under the 1″ mark. It’s perfect.

  • When cutting out your paper pattern pieces, don’t cut on the line. Leave extra paper.

    tunaquilts 4a

    This time it’s best not to cut on the line. I use regular copy paper. I’ve never had an issue with removing the papers; I just bend the paper back at the seam line a couple of times and it pulls right off.

  • Don’t try to save fabric. Many people believe that paper piecing is wasting fabric and therefore don’t like this method of making blocks. I prefer to think of it as using fabric. I cut generous pieces so they are not too small. I’ve learned from experience. Fabric needs to extend past the seam allowance for all the pieces. This is where many problems occur.
  • Begin and end your stitching line past the end of the seam allowance. I also often backstitch to secure the seam.

    tunaquilts 6a

    This is an easy piece to sew off each end. Any stitching needs to extend in the 1/4″ seam allowance (backstitching in this area is helpful). I set my stitch length to 1.5.

  • After stitching two sections together, such as A to B, tear away the paper seam allowance but leave the rest of the paper intact. This gets rid of the paper that will be hidden and very difficult to remove when you sew AB to C.tunaquilts 7a

Tools you didn’t know you can’t live without

  • Seam roller

Use a seam roller or wall paper roller, to roll open your seams.

tunaquilts 8a

Then turn your block over and press from the top. Do NOT press on the paper side as the ink can transfer onto your fabric. And DO NOT USE SPRAY STARCH as long as your paper is on the fabric. If you do, the paper will get wet, tear, and the ink may transfer onto your fabric.

tunaquilts 9a

Do NOT press on the paper side! You can also use your seam roller for this.

  • Card Stock

I use a heavy card that came in the mail (like a political advertisement) or a bookmark to lay close to the fold line. This gives just the right thickness for one of my favorite paper piecing tools to slide up against.

tunaquilts 5a

  • Add-a-quarter ruler

While you can trim with a regular quilting ruler, an add-a-quarter ruler makes life so much easier. It is a little difficult to see in the picture above as I used my 6″ one. I also have a 12″ one. I have both sizes at both houses. I could not live err do paper piecing without them.

  • Tweezers

These are especially helpful when removing the papers. Wait to remove the papers until after you’ve sewn the block into rows. The paper helps prevent the fabric pieces from stretching out of place because chances are pretty good that some of those edges are on the bias. Just remember to remove the papers before you quilt it!!

Join this QAL

You can join in anytime. Each 12.5″ (unfinished) block will be released every other Tuesday with the last one scheduled for release on October 16th. You are free to make these blocks any way you want. However, if you are wanting to enter the contest, be sure to read the rules found in the Enter to Win section below to make sure your entry counts. 

The patterns will remain free on the respective designer’s blog until November 13, 2018. Designers may choose to keep them free after that time or make them available for a charge in their pattern shops. The final finished top containing all 12 of these blocks (it doesn’t have to be quilted) link up for the mega giveaway is November 13th at 11:59 EST.

Enter to Win

A winner will be selected at random from all the blocks posted. Details are listed below.




Make Modern is a digital magazine for the online quilting community, brought to you from a group of passionate modern quilters in Australia. Every issue includes 10-14 modern quilt patterns plus 10-14 feature articles by amazing quilters from all over the globe.

Entering to win the prize above is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Everyone (You must be 18 to be able to enter to win prizes) gets to participate because International entries are welcome! You do NOT need to have a blog to enter. Hosts and designers are not eligible to win.
  2. Make a block using Jennifer’s pattern. Take a picture of it. Slight variations of the pattern are ok such as embellishments but keep your block true to the designed pattern if  you are entering the giveaway. The block should definitely be recognizable as one made from this free pattern. Deviating too much (or substituting a different block entirely) will cause your entry not to be counted. If you have questions if it’s allowed for entry into the giveaway, please ask me before you cut.
  3. Post a picture of your block before 11:59 PM EST, August 20 either on the linky party found on Jennifer’s post here, on the Facebook page, or on Instagram #fallintoaqal.

Winners are drawn from the eligible pictured blocks and prizes awarded every other week. A mega grand-prize using all 12 of the block patterns sewn into a quilt top/flimsy (quilting not necessary) will be awarded at the end of the Fall Into a QAL .

See These Hosts for Inspiration and Tips

on Making the Autumn Leaf Block

*Block Designer — here. Please visit her blog to download your free pattern.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

These are our prize sponsors throughout the QAL. The sponsor for each bi-weekly prize varies. The Final Grand prize bundle and sponsors will be announced 10/16/18.


In addition, the following members of Partners in Design are providing prizes as well:

Come on Back for the Next Block Release

Join me on September 4th at 12:00am EDT for the release of the eighth block designed by me, Tu-Na Quilts of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. You won’t believe your eyes.

Don’t Miss Out on My Previous Fall into a QAL Posts

Tu-Na Quilts: Big Announcement!!! (QAL introductory post with a schedule of when the blocks are released and a sneak peek at the fabrics that I’ll be using.) Yes, I’m seeing spots!

Tu-Na Quilts: Block One—Hedgehog

Tu-Na Quilts: Block Two —Harvest Basket

Tu-Na Quilts: Block Three — Bonfire

Tu-Na Quilts: Block Four — Sunflower with Tu-Na’s Tried and True Easy Steps to Making Accurately Pieced Blocks

Tu-Na Quilts: Block Five — Acorn with Lesson 1: Let’s Take the Wheel for a Spin of Tu-Na’s Tried and True Easy Guide to Fabric and Color Selection for Quilt Blocks

Tu-Na Quilts: Block Six — Pie with Lesson 2: Variety is the Spice of Life of Tu-Na’s Tried and True Easy Guide to Fabric and Color Selection for Quilt Blocks

Tu-Na Quilts: Block Seven — Pumpkins Aplenty

What I Learned Today:

  1. Paper piecing isn’t brain surgery; it’s ok to be a bit off.
  2. I love to paper piece. I already knew that but it is confirmed every time I sew one.
  3. I want to make more paper pieced blocks.
  4. Tu-Na Helper can be very helpful. He’s working on a special project in my sewing room. There are drills and screws and saws all over my cutting counter.
  5. Cutting on the ironing board doesn’t work well. 

Question: Have you made a paper pieced block before or is this your first one? Are you excited to try one or a bit apprehensive?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again. If you want to be notified when my next post publishes, please consider subscribing using one of the three methods available on my sidebar: email, WordPress, or Bloglovin. I’d love to have you be part of my reading family.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

At this time I am not affiliated with any company, services, or products that I mention here on my blog. I just happen to like them.

Linking to

Autumn Leaf Block Party at The Inquiring Quilter

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

WIPs at Silly Mama Quilts

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Moving It Forward at Em’s Scrapbag

24 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Fall Into a QAL Block Eight Released Today

  1. rl2b2017

    Hi Karen! You have shared lots of helpful hints today. Thank you! I haven’t paper pieced anything for years. Your leaf turned out great, and I love your fabric choices. I’ll certainly be back on the 4th to see your block. ~smile~ Roseanne


  2. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Still not sure about this paper piecing, but you gave some great helpful hints today, so I MAY have to give it a try!! Your fabric colors are great!


  3. inquiringquilter

    Karen, your post is perfect! You’re encouraging and clear about what to do. I know a lot of people will try this block because of you. Thanks!


    1. inquiringquilter

      You win! You managed to come up with a good story of how a fall leaf block fits my State Fair quilts theme. And you made me laugh! Thanks for linking to my special Wednesdays Wait Loss linky party!


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  5. Kathleen McCormick

    Love paper piecing and love your hints. I have always wanted to take it out of the seams and never have. This is perfect! The dots, grunge and solid versions are all terrific and I want each one!


  6. Leslie Schmidt

    I am not happy about how quickly it seems fall is approaching, but your block makes it feel not so depressing. It is so lively, and it makes me smile. I have done some paper piecing and like how accurate projects turn out, but I am not at the stage where I would do a whole quilt with it. Have you ever tried the method where you fold the paper on the line and stitch next to it? I believe the pattern is printed out on freezer paper and the pieces are ironed onto it. There’s an adorable young Dutch woman who uses this technique. Her business and YouTube channel are called Sugaridoo.


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  9. Patty

    The polka dots and colors add so much wonderul movement to your leaf block Karen. Your love for paper piecing is shining through with the ones you have made so far – the lighthouse and the cabin with the Sagurro cacti are beautiful. Thanks for the tips – the sizing one just reminded me why my leaf block failed to meet the block size…good thing for framing!


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