Pressing Matters … Q & A and Tips for Making Violets

Posted by on March 1, 2016 in block lotto community | 3 comments

Sophie-Violet6A couple people have asked me about the acceptability of not-quite-matched seams in the center of the block.

As always, I hope everyone STRIVES to make well-made lotto blocks, while appreciating that the intention of the Block Lotto is to remain–now and always–a beginner friendly activity.

The violet block is a great example of how much pressing your seams will help you make better blocks. All the seams around the centers of my blocks aren’t perfectly matched, but they are all pretty darn close … and no pins were used in putting them together, but I did PRESS the seams as I sewed them.  Here are a couple of my blocks, as seen from the back. (They could be pressed flatter, but you can, I think, get the idea).


Back1 Back2


The block on the left has the background seams pressed toward the Flower fabric; the one on the right has them pressed toward the Background–both ways work.  The really important seam are the ones after you add the small center squares. If you alternate the direction you press them, then when you are sewing the four petal units together to form the Violet block, those seams snug into one another nicely (and for me, eliminated the need for pins.)

Another tip/reminder from one of the sneak seekers was to MARK those diagonal lines (and not just eyeball your way from corner to corner). If you don’t want to mark up your fabrics, you can also fold the background squares diagonally in half and press a creased line to use as your sewing line. This will also ensure that your seams will line up in the center, because you have made sure they are precisely marked and stitched.

If you have made the blocks and have any tips to share, please add them in the comments.


  1. I made 2 blocks and then decided to press open all the seams on the third block. Pressing open works better on this block in my estimation. My blocks are nice and flat. I never use steam I might add, just a hot iron.

    • I never think about pressing seams open, but I agree it’s a good option for this block. One of the things I love about quilting … is that there are many ways to achieve a design with not one right answer. Thanks for your comment/suggestion.

  2. I always use a tip I picked up from Fons and Porter when sewing those diagonal “snowball” corners: instead of sewing right on the drawn line, sew just barely off it toward the corner. That tiny little bit doesn’t look like it would make a difference, but my folded over corners reach full size better when I do this. I am told it is because of the width the thread takes out of the fold. Also, I always press the corner up before I cut off the backing fabric just to make sure it is is straight and lines up with the original square. If it doesn’t, I can still fix it.

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