Bee Block Tutorial - Tippecanoe

For my month (August) in the Ravishing in Red Bee I chose the Tippecanoe block from Quilt Blocks Galore.  From experience, I know that though I really enjoy paper piecing, other people may not. So I am hoping that by providing this tutorial I might help alleviate the pain and frustration of paper piecing for some people.  I want to assure everyone that though is seems complicated, it isn't that bad!

To begin with, I printed out the paper templates and wrote on each numbered area what colour should be used in that area, so as to avoid any confusion.  For my blocks, I want the beige fabric used for the centre triangles, the red for the big triangles, and white for the background.

For my Bee, I sent everyone enough fabric and paper templates for two blocks.  To my fellow Bee members, if you can make two I would be grateful, but I realize that it is summer and everyone is busy so if you can only get to one then don't worry about it!  I will be happy with whatever you are able to do.

Now to begin the block!  To start, I find it easier to fold the template along the lines so that you have a bit of a guide on the blank side of the template.

Also, because the white I chose for the background is a stripe I cut out the triangles that would be used for the background right away so that they would somewhat line up.  There isn't really a science to this, but I took the fabric and placed it right side up on the wrong (blank) side of the paper template and lined up the stripe so that it ran parallel to the edge of Side 1 of the template for the first white piece and Side 4 for the second (piece four). 

Cutting each of the two white pieces separately, I folded back the template and cut out the triangle piece.

Doing this, I ended up with my two white background pieces with the stripes running in the same way.  For the next step, I put aside the background piece for section four and pinned the background piece for section one in place.  Then I took a red piece and placed it right side down and lined it up along the fold I had previously made in the paper template with 1/4" hanging over the fold for the seam allowance.


Once the red piece was pinned in place, I flipped the whole thing over and sewed along the inside line of section one.  When sewing along the template line, I find it easiest to start sewing just outside of actual template, which will help eliminate ragged edges.

Once I was done sewing, I pressed the red piece open and held it up to the light to make sure the fabric was covering the area that needed to be covered.  I am sure everyone knows what I mean when I say how frustrating it is when you've sewn the piece on wrong and have to rip it all off in order to try again.

As you can see from this picture, my red piece definitely covers the area it needs to and I can move on to trimming the seam allowance.  I always make may fabric pieces a bit bigger than I need, because I want to make sure it will fit.  Since I do this, if I left the seam allowances as is I would have some pretty bulky and uneven edges.  To fix this, I folded the "good" pieces back to expose only the seam allowance and trimmed it to 1/4".

With all of the fabric that is now covering the paper template it isn't so easy to see the folded edges that I have been using to help line up the fabric, so for the last couple of sections, I re-fold it and finger press the fabric so that I can see the edge.

Continuing on I finished sewing on and pressing out section three and four (four, using the background piece I had cut out previously) and after pressing the whole block I flipped it over and trimmed the block around the outside line of the template to create a neat and tidy block.

Each paper template makes one quarter of a finished block, so after making three more I had my four finished quarters.  When these were finished, I carefully tore the paper off of the backs.

Then I sewed the quarters into halves.

And finally those halves were sewn together into one finished block.


I hope that this tutorial helps a bit with the construction of this block!  Being my first sewing tutorial, if you have any suggestions (or notice a mistake!) please let me know.

For my fellow Bee members, enjoy!


  1. I love to paper piece!!! Thank you for the tutorial.

  2. I can't wait to try this! The stripes will be fun to figure out!