We can relax our way through this month's block for Row 11. We are doing another version of the Hourglass block. With this one we get a completely different look than the one we did for Row 5.
By now you have probably gotten pretty familiar with making the Hourglass block, but let me run through my tips for this particular row.
I always sew with my needle in the "down position" ; which means whenever my machine stops, the needle is down. I do this so I can lay the next piece right up against the needle. This has been the key to getting my starting stitched nice and straight and not getting any ugly fabric bunching as I begin to sew my pieces together.
A key to achieving the look I wanted with this one is to use a golden yellow in all of the Hourglass blocks. I just make sure to pair up my other colors so each has a yellow with it.
When I am sewing these I like to work so that the seam on top is always facing towards my needle. This helps to "push" those seams together giving us sharp meeting points.
All of those seams coming together in the middle get rather bulky so I prefer to fan my seams up. This is done by using your fingers to first pull the seams in the direction they will naturally want to go and opening up that middle bit which allows them to do so. I then give it a finger press before turning it over and doing a final press with my iron. The result is a block that lays very flat.
It's all been pretty straight forward at this point. Now we have a couple of key points to go over. First the trimming. It is important that we use the diagonal line on our rulers to guide our trims. To get everything nice and square we have to know the midpoint of the trimmed size of our square. In this case the midpoint mark is 1 3/4". Do you see that mark and how it falls right at the middle of my block where all four points of the hourglass come together? That mark is key. I can then make my first two trims.
For the next trims I just rotate the block and line up m diagonal line again as well as the two outside edges I just trimmed (in this case right along the 3 1/2" lines.)
The only other issue I had was when it came time to join the blocks together to make the row. Most worked out just fine, but there were a couple where my pressed seams ended up going in the same direction.
Here is how I handled that in this case:
As I am sewing I will flip one of the seams over so that they lock in place. Notice I chose to flip the bottom seam, again so the top one will feed into my needle in a way that pushes it into the lower seam.
But then I have the problem of this wonky seam that does not lie flat.
So the trick is to get out my scissors and clip that seam right up to the stitching, allowing it to lie flat again. This is a technique I employ at times rather than using a dab of glue to hold seams together that are facing the same way. I learned this technique of doing a cut in the seam like this while making my first Moda Blockheads quilt with some of the big names in the quilting world and have since used it to deal with this particular issue when pressing seams did not achieve the desired results.
Since this process made two of each block combination I laid them out in two identical rows and then joined them together to make my long row for the quilt.
And that's it for this month. Next Month we will wrap up this project with our final row. I am really enjoying seeing all of your beautiful quilts in our Facebook group! I know those birds last month were a bit of a challenge, but wow! They are just the cutest. Well done!!!
Click on the link below for the free pattern.
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My other blog where I share about my walk of faith:
Sitting at His Feet
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