Friday, April 13, 2012

29 - Apple Core

The new and improved Apple Core block
 I have always loved the look of apple core quilts but was nervous to try to make one because you have to use a template.  I figured that there were enough ways to mess up a quilt with rotary cutting and sewing.  If I added in tracing a template and cutting with scissors, I knew that the opportunities for inaccuracy and error would skyrocket.  But all of the quilting skills that I was nervous about in earlier Skill Builder blocks turned out to be no big deal, so I put off making my apple core block until the end of last week, totally confident in my soon to be developed skills.

And this was the result.  A big puckered wavy mess!  I made my own 4.5 inch template using this truly great tutorial, but  I don't think my template was 100% accurate and those inaccuracies just multiplied as I traced, cut and sewed.  I didn't want to show you a method that I couldn't complete decently..., I went to the store and bought an apple core plastic template so I could have an accurate template, but when I checked to make sure that the top of the apple nestled in with the sides along the stitching lines it didn't!   What!?!  I started to get very worried about my ability to get this block made.

But I guess all's well that ends well, because this morning, I made this block and I like it.  No puckers and very little waviness.  It is the block that we will make this week in the We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler.  If I can do it, you can too.  :)

The Template

Print this apple core template from Quilter's Cache.  The template is the size of the finished apple core, so we will need to add seam allowance ourselves.

To add the seam allowance, line up the 1/4 inch line of the ruler with the edge of the apple core.  Make a small mark at the edge of the ruler.  Move the ruler around the edge of the apple core making small marks every 1/4 inch or so.  Cut out the template along the dashed lines.


Trace carefully around the template.  Do not let the template shift!  Cut the fabric just barely inside the traced line.  Cut out 9 apple cores.

Fold each apple core in half and make a small notch with scissors in the middle of the apple top and bottom and in the middle of each apple side.


Lay out the apple cores as desired.  We will sew each each row together left to right, and then join the three rows.

Line up the notches on the apple top and apple side.  Pin.

Pin the edges of the apple pieces together.

It is hard to see in the picture, but make a series of 1/8 inch clips along the concave edge of the apple side.  This will help ease the curved edges together.  Wiggle and play with the edges until they line up fairly well and pin between the middle and end pins.

Sew very carefully along the edge of the fabric with a 1/4 inch seam.  Stop regularly and adjust the fabric, top and bottom layer, to avoid puckering.

Press towards the apple sides.  Join all three rows.

To join the rows together, start by butting up the seams and pinning them.
-Next match the notches of the apple tops with the notches of the apple seams and pin them.
-Pin the ends of the rows together.
-Make the 1/8 inch notches along the apple core sides
-and then wiggle and pin between each middle notch and seam pin.

It will be a big bumpy lumpy pinny mess when all the pins are in.
Take your time and sew the row together - stop regularly to line up and adjust the fabric as needed.

Press.  Really press.  I want you to get out the spray starch and make the block as stiff as a piece of paper.  Trust me, it will really help when trimming the block to size and adding the border especially if the block has any waviness.

  • Trim the block to 10.5 inches square.  
  • Cut two 2 x 10.5 inch strips and two 2. x 13.5 inch strips of border fabric.  
  • Sew the 10.5 inch strips to each side of the apple core block.  Press towards the border.  
  • Sew the 13.5 inch strips to the other sides of the block.  Press towards the border fabric. 

Trim the block to exactly 12.5 inches square.  To make sure the border is even on all sides, mark the center of the block by folding it in half and marking the center on the top, bottom and sides with pins or by ironing a crease as I did.  Cut 6.25 inches on either side of the center crease - this will result in a perfectly centered 12.5 inch block.

And it is done!!!  

I am so glad!


  1. I just have to tell you that I love your tutorials! I recently learned to sew curves and your skill builder tutorials were a great help, thank you for all your work!

    (The apple core block always reminds me of pantyliners, sorry *lol* but I want to hear your reasons why you don´t like this block ;-) )

  2. I am a little nervous about this one... but excited! :) Yours looks great!

  3. No more curves for me - not after the last disaster!

  4. I really really like this block. I was at a quilt auction this past weekend and a totally scrappy apple core quilt sold for $950!! Now I'm totally obsessed with making one. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  5. Congratulation , very pretty.Good idea

  6. I love apple cores! Then again I cheated and used my GO!, why not right? It was so fast and easy and just went together perfectly. Don't swear them off completely until you try it this way! I didn't include the boarder because the go cores are bigger than yours were.

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