Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern

Pink ribbon quilt
Jason Meredith / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • 01 of 05

    Make Awareness Ribbon Quilt Blocks

    Cancer Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern
    Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern for Awareness Quilts. Janet Wickell

    Foundation Piecing

    This version of the Awareness Ribbon quilt block is foundation pieced. If that method is new to you, be sure to read foundation piecing basics, and perhaps make a sample Log Cabin block before you begin.

    Foundation templates are a mirror image of the actual quilt block. For this block, you'll sew mostly long triangles (cut from bars) and long strips of fabric.

    Download the Cancer Ribbon Quilt Block Templates

    Download the file here. The file contains templates for two ribbon block sizes, 6" x 7" and 3" x 4" (finished); instructions are for the larger block.

    • Most bias edges are positioned on the interior of the block, where they're stabilized by other patches.

    Cut only enough fabric for one ribbon block. Everyone foundation pieces a little differently (primarily due to more or less overlap when sewing seams); adjust patch size up or down after you've made a sample.

    6" x 7" Ribbon Block, Top Half

    Background:

    Sizes are approximate; use scraps if you like.

    • (1) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" square (piece 1)
    • (2) 2-1/2" x 2-3/4" bars, each cut in half once diagonally (creates mirror image pairs) (pieces 7 through 10)
    • (2) 1-3/8" x 5" bars (pieces 11 and 12)

    Pink: (or another appropriate color)

    • (1) 2" x 2-1/2" bar (piece 4)
    • (2) 1-3/4" x 5" bars (pieces 12 and 13)
    • 2-1/2" wide strip, start with at least 10" in length (pieces 2, 3, 5 and 6)

    6" x 7" Ribbon Block, Bottom Half

    Background:

    • (2) 4" x 2-3/4" bars (cut each in half once diagonally -- cut the bars along opposite diagonals, two triangles won't be used) (pieces 2 and 5)
    • (1) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" square (piece 3)

    Pink: (or another appropriate color)

    • 2-1/4" wide strip, about 9" long (pieces 1 and 4)
    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Begin Sewing the Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block

    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern
    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Foundation Piece the Ribbon Quilt Block

    A few things to remember about foundation piecing:

    • Pieces are sewn to the reverse side of the foundation; you should be able to see sewing lines by holding it up to the light
    • The first piece is the only patch positioned right side up
    • Make a mirror image of this asymmetrical block by tracing sewing lines onto the reverse side of the foundation and positioning patches on the front, printed side

    Read Foundation Piecing Basics if this technique is new to you.

    Start Sewing the Ribbon Quilt Block

    1. Make a foundation using the top half of the block in my PDF file. Be sure to print the templates at 100-percent. (They can be scaled up or down, but if you do that, remove the outer seam allowance and redraw it to equal 1/4"; adjust patch dimensions to reflect the new block size.).
    2. Place the background piece reserved for patch 1 right side up on the foundation, centering it within the printed boundaries of that patch. (The illustration shows the fabric as opaque so that you can see lines).
    3. Place a long strip right side down against the first, angling it so that its edge overlaps the right printed line of patch 1 by about 1/4". An excess tail should extend past the top and bottom right edges of patch 1. (The triangular patch -- patch 2 -- shown under the right edge of patch 1 is the area this strip must cover.)
    4. Hold the fabrics in place (pin if you like) and flip the foundation over. Sew a seam on the line that separates patch 1 from patch 2, beginning and ending it a few stitches on either side of the line.
    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Continue Sewing the Awarness Ribbon Quilt Block

    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern
    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Continue Sewing the Ribbon Quilt Block

    1. Flip the pink strip you just sewed right side up. It should cover patch 2 underneath, with enough of an overlap along the three unsewn sides to create a stable seam when those seams are sewn. It will stretch past the right side of patch 2 -- the excess can be trimmed later.
    2. If the strip is positioned correctly, flip it back to its wrong side up position and trim the seam allowance you just created. Leaving about 1/4". (If the position isn't good, rip the seam and try again.)
    3. After trimming the allowance, flip patch 2 right side up again and finger press.
    4. Position a patch 3 triangle (one of the pair won't work -- make sure the shape aligns with patch 3 before sewing) right side down along the line that separates patches 1 and 2 from patch 3, overlapping the line enough to create a stable seam allowance.
    5. Holding fabrics in place, turn the unit over and sew on that line, beginning and ending a few stitches on either side of it.
    6. Flip the new piece right side up and check placement. Its edges should cover the area of piece 3, with enough overlap to create stable seam allowances when lines around it are sewn. Its bottom edge should extend past the outermost line of the template (the trim line).
    7. If all's well, flip the piece wrong side up again and trim through all layers underneath it, leaving an approximate 1/4" seam allowance. Flip right side up and finger press in place.
    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Almost Finished.. Sew the Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block

    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern
    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Continue Sewing the Ribbon Quilt Block

    1. Position pink patch 4 right side down with its top edge centered on and overlapping the foundation line that defines the top edge of patch 1 (not shown). Sew, check placement, trim through all seam allowance layers to even the up and reduce bulk, flip upright and finger press.
    2. Sew a pink strip onto the foundation, for the patch 5 area, by aligning it right side down with its right edge overlapping the patch's left line by about 1/4". The top and bottom of the strip should extend slightly past the outermost foundation lines on the top and bottom.
    3. Sew, check placement, trim through all seam allowance layers, flip upright and finger press.

    Note: some patches are shown lighter and/or opaque so that you can see the lines underneath. Colors don't truly differ.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finish Assembling the Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block

    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern
    Cancer Awareness Ribbon Quilt Block Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Assemble the Ribbon Quilt Block - top half

    1. Use the same techniques to continue adding patches in numerical order. Take care with the long triangles -- it can be a little tricky to position them correctly, but once you "get it," you'll be fine. Remember that the edges of all patches along the outer edges should extend past the outermost foundation line (the trim line).
    2. Press when you're finished. Trim through all layers on the outermost foundation line at the bottom of the design.

      Assemble the Bottom Half of the Ribbon Block

      1. The bottom half of the ribbon block is assembled in the same way as the first, in numerical order. Start with patch 1, placing it right side up. Align and sew the two patches next to it before moving on to patches on the opposite side of the unit.
      2. Always remember to trim back seam allowances as you go (all layers) or you'll have a jumbled mess of fabric on the back of your quilt block.
      3. Press the unit and trim on the outermost foundation line at the top of the design.
      4. Align the two block halves right sides together and sew a seam along the line at the midpoint, where the trimmed edges meet. Press and trim along all outer lines (lines should match where the halves were sewn together).
      5. Leave foundations in place until the block is sewn to sashing, a setting rectangle or to another block.

      Some long triangles weren't used. Save them for another project or make a mirror image quilt block.