Block 3-Blueberry Pie
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I loved berry season. It meant family trips out to the nearby farms to purchase berries by the crateful. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries were my favorite. Oh, the anticipation of that first blueberry pie fresh out of the oven. My pie crusts have improved over the years, but my mom was an expert at the flaky crust.
I have a few little tips to share with you about this month's block. I picked up a bag of scrabble letter tiles and use these to label my pieces as I cut them out. Labeling is especially important for this month's block.
Another label I rely on are small sticky notes. We have several combinations of Half-square Triangles to keep track of with this block and this really helped me to keep them organized.
When drawing lines on the back of fabric as I prefer to do when needing to sew a diagonal line, I use a piece of very fine sandpaper that is attached to a clipboard. This keeps the fabric from slipping as I mark it. I know that a lot of quilters just eyeball sewing those diagonal lines, but I find I like the precision I get with taking the time to draw the lines.
As I made the Half-square triangles I worked with only one combination at a time. This kept me from mixing up which one was which. I do like my Bloc Loc rulers and this one works great for trimming these units to size. With a regular ruler you just need to make sure that your seam line is lined up with that diagonal line on your ruler as you trim. This will ensure that your Half-square Triangles come out perfectly halved with the two different fabrics meeting at the corner.
As I mentioned, I worked with just one combination at a time and made sure to label as them after trimming.
This really helped when it came time to put the various units together that make up this block.
I have given very precise pressing directions for this block which will aide in having all of the various seams work with each other to allow this block to go together nicely. Whenever possible having "locking seams", seams that go in opposite directions, really helps in achieving those sharp points we all desire in our work.
The drawback is that we can end up with some bulky seams to sew over. My tip: sew very slowly over those seams and pin as necessary. I always place a pin when my top seam is facing away from needle as shown here. These are the seams most likely to get pushed out of alignment as I sew.
However, when the top seam is facing towards my needle it will tend to get pushed into the seam underneath and things usually line up quite nicely even without pinning.
Sometimes it also helps to use a stiletto to hold down that seam as it goes under the needle. Again, sew slowly over these bulkier seams to keep your stitches nice and straight. Learning to slow down as I sew has had one of the greatest impacts on the precision of my piecing.
All of these tips are the things I do to end up with units that come out nicely when several seams meet up. I hope they are equally helpful to you as you make your own version of Blueberry Pie. Be sure and join me on my Facebook Sew Along group page to share photos of your blocks, ask questions, and sew along with a really fantastic group of quilters with all levels of experience. Request to join that group here.
I am blessed with some amazing pattern testers who enjoyed this one too. Here are some of their blocks to further inspire you.
To get your copy of this month's pattern click here: Blueberry Pie pdf pattern
For previous patterns in this series click here.
Now for this month's recipe:
Visit BetsyLife's blog for her Classic Blueberry Pie.
I have a bag of wild hucklberries from last summer that I may use instead...
Until next time...
Happy April 1st! We enjoyed Spring Break here last week and laughed about our "spring" weather of snow, hail and rain. When the flowers finally do come they should be gorgeous after all of the moisture. I hope you enjoy this month's block as much as I did. Flying Geese and Half-square Triangles make up this one. You can download a pdf of the pattern by clicking here.
My testers had fun with this one too. With or without the snowmen they all look great.
It's hard to believe we are nearing the end of this BOM. Next month for those that are doing the 12 block version it will be time to finish your quilts, the rest of us have Block 13 to look forward to that will be featured in the center of our quilt.
Block 2-Raspberry Cheesecake
This month's block goes together pretty quickly with some easy piecing techniques. I love the No-waste method for making Flying Geese, though the name is a misnomer as I do end up with some waste since I tend to make my pieces oversize and then trim them. The true wonder of this technique is that you get four Flying Geese out of it so it really saves time.
To begin, I lay two of the smaller squares on the large one and draw a diagonal line down the middle. Whenever I need to mark lines on my fabric I place it on a clipboard that has a piece of very fine sandpaper attached to it; this keeps the fabric from slipping as I mark it.
With my fabric marked, I sew 1/4 inch from each side of my drawn line. I like to use a stitch length of 2.4, just slightly shorter than my machine's normal setting. As I sew these I keep the top square pointed away from my needle, by doing so the fabric does not bunch up as I sew it.
Once sewn, I cut apart on the drawn line and press towards the smaller triangles. I always press with a dry iron, I have found that my iron lasts longer if I just don't put any water in it. Remember that you want to press your pieces, not iron them. When you iron you move the iron back and forth over the item, when you press you set the iron in place, lifting and setting it so that you do not distort your seams with a back and forth motion.
Now I place the remaining small squares on top as shown and have drawn my diagonal line down the middle. Once again I sew 1/4 inch from each side of the drawn line.
I cut these apart on the drawn line and press towards the small triangles. And just like that I have four Flying Geese.
I really, really like Bloc Loc rulers for trimming Flying Geese. The notches in the ruler "lock" into place on the seam and I get a perfectly measured and square unit after trimming.
The draw back to these rulers is the cost, as you have to get the specific size ruler for the size you want to use in your quilt. I do tend to use the same sizes over and over so I get a lot of use out of them. Another nice alternative is the Ultimate Flying Geese Ruler by Creative Grids. I have this ruler also and have found it to work quite well. With it's multiple sizes it is a good investment. Creative Grid rulers have a surface on the back that helps to keep the rulers from slipping as much which I love. You do have to watch carefully to make sure you line everything up correctly with this one, but the results are very good.
I do give instructions for how to cut these with a regular ruler as well. Again, my preferred ruler for this method is also made by Creative Grids. One of their small square rulers works well. I made a tutorial for this process to go along with mhy We Can Build A Snowman BOM and that video may be helpful to you as well.
Now that we have all of the Flying Geese made and trimmed it is time to join them together.
I have discovered that putting a small dab of glue along the edge I need to join helps to hold these in place. I use a washable glue pen for this and just put a couple of spots of glue along the edge, especially at the corners where my diagonal seams will meet.
I did add a pin to one side as I noticed that seam was going to be facing away from the needle as I sewed and a pin will also help to keep it from shifting. Notice that for this I have pinned differntly than my usual method. This is completely optional; I just like the added security to keep those seams lined up properly.
As I sew the Flying Geese units together I am going to watch the point in the middle. I want my needle to stay to the right of it-my goal is to land on it to achieve a perfect point. If my needle lands to the left of it that is how I end up with points that have been cut off in my final block. If all went well with my trimming than my 1/4" seam will allow my needle to land in just the right place. Still, I slow down as I come to this point and keep a close eye on my needle to help ensure that it lands right where I want it. Slowing down is sometimes the key to this process.
I just love how this block came out. I also love seeing your finished blocks so feel free to share in an email or on my Facebook page. My Facebook Sew Along page is like an ongoing quilt guild meeting with lots of love and encouragement and it gives me a chance to get to know all of you which is a real blessing for me.
To get the pattern for this month's block click HERE.
Here is a look at what my pattern testers did with their blocks...
I hope to close each of the posts for this BOM with a recipe. I found a couple that I just might have to try. The first one is on the King Arthur Flour website-I pretty much have loved all of their recipes.
But this second one adds chocolate to the mix-I just don't see how one could go wrong! I found it on I Am Baker's blog-this site is not at all good for my weight loss goals, LOL.
Click on the photos for the recipes.
Have fun and Happy Quilting!
Please note: The Snowman BOM started June 2018 and will run through June 2019. Blocks are released the first Monday of each month.
The 2019 BOM Just Desserts begins February 15th and each new block will be released on the 15th of each month.
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