It's week 3 in our little sew along. I hope you are having fun making your blocks. There are some beauties being shared in the Facebook Group. This week's block is a bit of a puzzle to put together and makes use of Half-square triangles and Flying Geese.
Click here for pdf pattern
Click Here for Previous Blocks and Instructions
I am having a Giveaway this week for one of my favorite rulers-entry details will be at the end of this post.
This week the cutting directions are the same for each colorway. I decided to starch my fabric this week-starching before cutting my pieces out. I have found that if I starch the pieces after they are cut I sometimes get a distorted square. I do like the sharpness adding starch gives to my project and it will all be washed out after the quilt is done.
I begin by making some Half-square triangles (HST's) using the A and B squares
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the B squares right down the middle. I like to line up the diagonal line on my ruler with the edge of the square then I know I am getting a precise line down the middle.
With right sides together, place the B squares on top of the A squares
and sew 1/4 inch from each side of the drawn line.
Cut apart on the line.
And press towards the dark side.
Now I just need to trim these little beauties to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
I like using my Bloc Loc ruler for this. It has a little groove that the seam fits into and it basically locks the HST in place so I can cut it accurately to size. I have found that I prefer to make the first cut with the pressed seam facing away from me, so lay my HST and ruler as shown and make the first two cuts.
Then I flip everything around,
line up the 4 1/2" lines with the cut edges of the HST, and trim the last two sides
Set these aside for now as they will be used when the whole block is put together.
Now I will do exactly the same thing with the F and G squares which will be used to make the center unit. This time I will show you how to trim these accurately with a regular ruler.
The trick when using a regular ruler to trim HST's is to make sure that the diagonal line on the ruler lines up with the seam line. Then I make my first two trims.
Flip everything around, line up the 4 1/2" lines with the trimmed edges as well as the diagonal line, and trim the last two sides. If you have not tried the Creative Grid rulers I highly recommend getting the 6 1/2" square to try-it is my goto ruler that is always out on my cutting table. Slowly I am replacing all of my old Olfa rulers with these as they really slip a lot less when cutting which saves me a lot of heartache.
With all of the F/G half-square triangles trimmed I lay them out to form a pinwheel block. This will become the center of our star this week. (I love adding pinwheel blocks to my quilts-they are just so cute.)
When sewing the squares together there are some diagonal seams to deal with. When the seam is facing up towards my needle I just sew without adding a pin-after having made sure everything is lined up nicely.
Here you can see how I have pressed the two rows in opposite directions.
Then I check to make sure everything is going in the right direction before sewing together.
Place a pin at the intersection if you like, I did not as the seam was pointing up towards the needle which tends to push the two locking seams together. The spot where the stitching lines intersect here is going to be the center of the pinwheel.
I do not want to stitch on the inside of that spot or I will lose my points-
I will aim for the place where those stitching lines cross each other.
Remember to slow down when you come to these kinds of bulky intersections-
it will help with accuracy.
All of those points coming together make for a very bulky intersection so there is a little trick that will help it to lay flat.
Before pressing I use my fingers to fan out the seams-opening them up so that one side goes one direction and the other side the opposite.
You do not need to worry about taking out those few stitches to open up the seam here-
it will hold together and you end up with a tiny pinwheel too.
After pressing it lays nice and flat- I pressed from the top, but wanted to show you how neat it looks from the back.
Before moving on to the Flying Geese, I check to make sure this square measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
I want the 4 1/4" lines to fall right on the seams in the middle-vertical and horizontal-that is the center of my block so I measure out from there.
Now for the Flying Geese. I am going to use a different method for making them this week. Since we are using three different fabrics the No-Waste method will not work. The measurements for cutting these pieces are a little larger than what we need so that they can be trimmed down to size.
To begin, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the D squares. I used a pencil as there is a possibility that the line could show through with this method.
With right sides together place the D squares on the left side of the C rectangles. Be sure the line is going the right direction.
We are going to sew right along the line this time. I flipped the unit around so that I could sew with my needle to the right of the line. It is important not to sew on top of line, but with the needle just to the outside of it.
Sewing along the line...
Trim off 1/4 inch from the seam line. Save those triangles for another project.
Press the triangle open.
Next, draw a line on the back of all of the E squares. Place them on the other side of the C rectangle-paying attention to the direction of the line.
Once again, sew just to the right of the line.
Trim away 1/4" from the seamline.
Then I just trim these like usual, trimming the Flying Geese to 4 1/2" x 8 1/2"
If using a regular ruler the middle mark you place at the point is 4 1/4"-leaving 1/4 inch beyond for seam allowance. (see the Block 1 Tutorial for more detail about this step.)
Now I have four perfect Flying Geese
and it is time to put all of the pieces to this puzzle together.
After arranging everything I like to take a step back and compare what I have laid out to the pattern. It is so easy to turn a piece the wrong way and not even notice until after everything has been sewn together.
The rows go together pretty easily-there are those diagonal lines to deal with again.
And I need to watch for the point on my Flying Geese.
Some of the diagonal seams will face away from my needle so I place a pin in. I like to place the pin so that it is approximately 1/4 inch in from the edge-about where my needle will land. I stop just as my needle comes to the pin to avoid sewing over it, then with my needle in the down position I can safely remove the pin and finish sewing.
I always check my measurements when joing rows. The middle sections should now be 8 inches. If you look at the bottom left of this row you will see that I am about an 1/8 inch off. Just at the bottom though, so I know I lost concentration and did not sew a straight line-very easy to do where you begin and end sewing. When there is just a little fabric under the presser foot things sometimes end up wonky if you do not take extra care to make sure you feed these end little bits as straight as the rest. If I am going to run off course it is most often when I come to the end of sewing a piece.
Some time spent with Jack the Ripper (like many quilters that is what I have named my seam ripper) and things are looking much better now. That little 1/8 inch may not seem like much but is enough to end up with mismatched intersections where the seams join or even a bit of a wrinkle.
With all of the rows now measuring the way they should I get ready to join them together. Once again I take the time to step back and make sure I have everything going the right way.
A pin or two helps keeps things in order and I do slow down over those seams.
This has been one of my favorite blocks to make. I think I tend to say that about almost every block I finish.
I doI like this one a lot because of the pinwheel center-They make such cute quilts. Here is one I am wokring on from a free pattern I found not long ago. Works up quick and easy with a charm pack too. The designer wrote a tutorial for it over at Moda Bake Shop if you are interested.
And with Block 3 finished the first row is done! Yay! Time to celebrate!!
So, for my Giveaway. The makers of Bloc-Loc rulers are sponsoring this one and will provide one 9.5 inch Bloc Loc Half-Square Triangle Ruler (valued at $51.00) just like the one I use. The deadline for entry is Sunday, February 25th. The winner will be chosen by a random drawing and announced on Monday Feb. 26th. This contest is open to everyone.
To enter just tell me in the comments something new you would like to learn.
You can get a bonus entry by going to my Facebook Page (<---click on link)
and saying "HI" to me there.
That's it for now, so until next week...
Every once in a while a blog post does not show up, while it is there somewhere in internet land it remains invisible. So...Here is a link for the post with my tutorial for Block #2.
All of the patterns for this quilt can be found on my Free Pattern page
There are some lovely quilt blocks being shared on my Facebook group page
Tuning My Heart Sew Along
Today I worked on the Flag block by Jan Patek-a cute little applique block. You can find Jan's pattern on her blog by clicking this link: http://janpatek.blogspot.com/2017/06/moda-blockheads-16-me-again.html
I decided my flags would feature the bees-perfect for my little garden of blocks.
I am continuing to use the fusible applique method-one of these days I will sit down and learn to master needle turn-but that day is not today. Here I am showing how I drew the flag poles-just filling in what is hidden behind the flags. With the pattern flipped over to the back I can still see through to trace all of the pieces on to my fusible. (Remember: when doing fusible applique you have to reverse the pieces.) I wish I had numbered the pieces for flag one and flag two-it would have made putting them together a little easier.
Following the directions for my fusible I iron the pattern pieces on to the wrong side of my chosen fabrics and then cut them all out.
I cut my background a little larger than the finished size, used my iron to make fold lines (as well as found the center of the paper pattern and created fold lines on it as well. Then I just line up the folds of the fabric with the folds of the paper to find the middle.
I am giong to start with the pieces that go in the back-the flagpoles, I used a pencil to make marks on the flagpoles to show where the flags will cover them up. (shown in more detail later)
I decided to try something new and sew around these before adding the rest of the flag pieces.
So after pinning a piece of stabilizer in place I went to my maching to start sewing.
I like to start with a few straight stitches.
(stitch length is 1.9, needle is in down position moved two places to the right.)
When I come to the place where I want to begin the Double Buttonhole stitch I pivot and clip the threads before proceeding. With these narrow pieces I decided to set my stitch width to 1.8, the length is still 1.9 and my needle is in the centered again and in the down position (Meaning when I stop sewing my needle stays down in the fabric.)
The proceed with the buttonhole stitch around this section of flagpole.
On the straight part of the stitch I want to keep my needle right along the edge of the applique piece-not on top of it but to the side.
When I come to a corner where I am going to pivot and continue.
Since I started with the flagpole that is underneath the other I stop, pivot and end with a few straight stitches going back over the stitches I have just made, and finish with a locking stitch.
Next I went to the other side of this flagpile andbegan in the same way-starting with a few straight stitches, pivoting around the other direction to begin the buttonhole stitch...
Before I brought the piece to my machine I made a couple of marks on each flagpole just inside where the flags will cover them up. As I want to avoid the bulk my buttonhole stitch would create underneath I will switch to the straight stitch and use it to go between the marks I have made on the flagpoles-those marks just barely show up in the photos but I was able to see them just fine.
Made it to my first mark so switch to the straight stitch.
When I get to my second mark I go back to the buttonhole stitch
After only a couple of stitches I pivot, switch back to the straight stitch to go across the top of the pole at the finial, pivot and resume the buttonhole stitch until I come to my mark again-then straight stitch down to the next mark before going back to a buttonhole stitch-sounds complicated but it worked out well in the end.
This time when I got back to the flagpole on top I just pivoted and continued to work my way around that one too.
Making the switch to a straight stitch between my marks.
When I get back around to where I started sewing on this second flagpole I finish off with a few straight stitches and a locking stitch.
The stabilizer made it a little harder to see the pattern underneath when I brought it back to the ironing table to add the flags, a drawback to how I am approaching this, but workable.
Before I add the flags I lightly pressed the pieces for each flag together-leaving the backing paper on the flag for now. I also placed a piece of paper on my ironing board to protect it from any fusible that might be hanging over the flag.
Now I can add the flags to the whole.
I stitched the finials next. There was a lot of stopping and pivoting to do around these curves.
The flags were pretty easy-I started with a few straight stitches along this edge.
Turned and began the buttonhole stitch around the corner section.
When I made it back to the top of the flag I just pivoted again and made my way around the entire flag with the buttonhole stitch.
Then just finished off with a few straight stitches and a fianl locking stitch.
And there it is-Flags.
Until next time when I tackle another block I missed...
Join Me on Facebook