Happy June 15th! I don't know about you, but growing up in Portland, Oregon I associated the month of June with three things: the end of the school year, the Rose Festival, and strawberries. It is no surprise then that I have chosen Strawberry Shortcake for this month's block.
The link for this month's free pdf is at the end of this post.
I have some pretty awesome pattern testers whose blocks will further inspire you.
This month we will be doing a little Skill Building. Normally I avoid working with triangles if it all possible. This time the best way to make the block means that we will be using triangles. We can do this! You will see in my directions that there are some added steps for cutting some of the fabrics. I have cut them in a way that minimizes sewing on those stretchy, easily distorted bias edges as much as possible. I highly recommend that you starch your fabric before cutting. Having the fabric triangles a little stiffer will make them much easier to work with.
My tip for cutting those squares that need two diagonal cuts to yield four triangles? Use either a rotary mat or a small mat. With my small mat (I tend to flip them so that I do not see all of the markings on them) I line up my ruler on the square for the first cut, and then rotate the mat without disturbing the square. That makes it is easy to line up the ruler and make my second cut. Cutting is important here, you want those cuts to be centered on the square so all of your triangles are equal. As always I am making my units larger and will be trimming them down to size so there is a little leeway built in.
The Quarter-square Triangles needed for this block use three different fabrics. We will start with the two smaller triangles which are joined along a straight edge, rather than on the bias.
Working with triangles it is especially important to press and not iron. That means no moving your iron back and forth on the fabric, lift it up and set it down where needed. I actually use a towel on my ironing board. It serves two purposes: easy to toss in the wash when I have been using spray starch, and the extra fluff seams to help the seams lay a bit flatter. I also leave my iron just sitting on the seam for a few seconds, about 5-7 when I want an expecially flat seam.
There is no way to get around sewing on the bias with the larger triangle. My theory is it is helped by the fact that it is being sewn to the straightgrain of the triangles underneath...that's my theory and I'm sticking too it. I sew with the large triangle on top, being careful not to pull on it as I sew. Sewing a little slower can help in this process of not wanting that edge to stretch out of shape.
Once pressed it is time to trim these down to size. We need to know two things, the size we need to trim to (T) and one-half of that measurement (M). My mathematician husband would be so proud of me; I am writing a formula, lol. So our formula is: M=T divided by 2. In this case 4 1/2 divided by 2 which equals 2 1/4. I need to know where the exact middle is to place my ruler for trimming. I first line up the diagonal line on my ruler with that long seam line. Then I make sure that the 2 1/4" mark (the arrow is pointing it out) is right at the center intersection where the two smaller triangles meet. I trim the first two sides then rotate the unit and line everything up again to trim the second two sides. This time I only focus on that diagonal line and the outer measurements of 4 1/2".
Now I have 4 identical Quarter-square Triangles.
The corner units will have us working with triangles as well. We start off by attaching the two smaller triangles to the square.
When sewing the larger triangle in place it can be helpful to use a stiletto to keep the points at the end from wiggling out of place.
And there we have our Corner Units.
We will have a chance to use these techniques again in later blocks.
Soon you will be an expert!
I have enjoyed sharing recipes with you to go along with our blocks. How many of you made Chocolate Chip Cookies last month. I made the Chocolate Chocolate Chip version after one of the quilters in my Facebook Sew Along group shared a photo of the cookies she made and enjoyed. They were a hit at my house too.
My mom always made homemade biscuits with good ole' Bisquik to serve our berries on so that is what I think of first. There were a lot of recipes out there and this recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction sounded really good and had wonderful reviews. She also provided step-bystep directions that were very well written. To visit her blog for the recipe click HERE.
For the pdf of my quilt block pattern click on the image below.
Have fun and Happy Quilting!
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