Saturday, January 23, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 3

Block 3

Our next block is made up of what I like to call four partial snowballs (seems fitting for snowzilla), I've also seen them called half snowballs.

Cutting Instructions:

Block 3:

Queen Sized
Background - (8) 4.5"x4.5"
Prints - (4) 8.5"x8.5"

Baby Quilt
Background - (8) 2.5"x2.5"
Prints - (4) 4.5"x4.5"

Note on cutting large pieces: I am generally a lazy quilter, anything bigger than my 6x24" ruler can handle, I will use the lines on my mat for. I'll square up the fabric along one line and then use my ruler lined up across the lines of the mat to cut to the correct size. For the most part this works just fine, especially when I'm cutting larger and then trimming down the final block to the correct size.

However, since we are trying to be a bit more precise here, I resorted to a second ruler for this one, so I could be sure to get a clean 8.5" cut. By the way, don't do what I did in this picture and add 3.5" to the 6" ruler, and do what I did once I figured out that I needed to add 2.5" instead.


Block 3:

Mark all of your background pieces along the diagonal. I used a Frixion pen since that will disappear when ironed.

Next line up your background squares on two opposing sides of your larger block, being careful to line up the corners and sides. I probably overpinned, but since you're sewing on the bias, I prefer to overpin and not have to worry so much about the fabric stretching (baby quilt on the left, queen sized on the right). Another option is to starch the dickens out of your background squares so they won't stretch.

If you are worried about directional fabric, line up all four pieces at once, and make sure the corners follow the pattern (alternating corners).

For the larger sized pieces, you can also draw another line closer to the corner, at least .5" from the previous line to create bonus triangles.

Take your pinned blocks to your machine and chain piece all eight corners, making sure to sew just slightly OUTSIDE of the line (towards the corner) on each one to account for the fraction of fabric that is needed when ironing these over. If you are making the bonus triangles, come back through and sew these just outside of the line as well, unless you put the line more than .5" from the previous one, then it's safe to sew on the line.

Now, trim the corners. For the bonus triangles, be careful to cut in between the two seams, but at least 1/4" from the main seam for the block.

I highly recommend ironing these seams open, to reduce bulk when we sew the blocks together.

Take a moment to measure your blocks and make sure they are still the correct size and trim off any small amounts that might be hanging over from your corners. Then line up the four blocks to match the pattern and sew them together first in pairs and then into a row of four. Remember to pin at the seam, you'll want to match those up so they lay right on top of each other.

Finally give those blocks a good press and you're done with this step.

Here is my baby quilt version. I'm doing a travel theme for that, with travel prints and solids as the background.

Don't forget those bonus triangles. I intend to use them for a pieced back, you can just toss them in your scrap bin, or potentially even use them for another part of the quilt. We'll be making quite a few HSTs, so you'll have plenty of opportunity.

Completed Block Size:
Queen Sized: 8.5"x32.5"
Baby Quilt: 4.5"x16.5"

Several options:
  • Fussy cut the prints, like I did for the baby quilt.
  • Use improv stitch and flip triangles to make wonky corners for the blocks.
  • Change around the background and prints to make inverted partial snowballs.

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