Friday, February 19, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 9

Block 9

We continue on to what I call the checkerboard cross block. The point of this block is to work on precision piecing and strip piecing.

Cutting Instructions

Queen Sized:
Background (or Print 1): (4) 4.5"x4.5"
Print 2: (4) 1.5"x18" (you can also use smaller 1.5" strips)
Print 3: (4) 1.5"x18"
Multiple 1.5" strips depending on your fabric placement

(The squares on the bottom are my background/Print 1, the red is Print 2, the blue is Print 3)

Baby Quilt:
Background (or Print 1): (4) 2.5"x2.5"
Print 2: (2) 1.5"x18" (or smaller strips)
Print 3: (2) 1.5"x18"

Piecing Instructions

Pair your 1.5" strips into sets of 4 for the queen sized block (2 for the baby quilt) depending on whether you want to do a checkerboard like I did or want to do something more out there. To put this a little more clearly, here is the basic block:

As you can see, each strip set can be turned 180 degrees to create the strip next to the first. However, if you want to work with more than two fabrics, things become a little more interesting:

If you are using 4 different fabrics, you will have 4 different strips sets, (1) P1, P2, P3, P4, (1) P2, P3, P4, P1, (1) P3, P4, P1, P2, and (1) P4, P1, P2, P3. Here are the queen sized and baby quilt blocks to color and determine your strip sets.

For the checkerboard, sew one strip of Print 2 to one strip of Print 3, then press the strips. For the queen sized, then add one strip set to another strip set so you have Print 2, Print 3, Print 2, Print 3.

Once you have these strip sets sewn, give them a good press and then I like to use my cutting mat to square up my strips. We aware because these strips are so thin and long, they will likely be a little warped after sewing and pressing, this is why we have a bit of extra length to make sure we can continue to square up our strips as we cut.

Line the first few inches up along one of your vertical lines and then use your ruler to square up the strip along one of your horizontal lines. Then line your ruler up along the seams and cut a 1.5" strip.

The lines on your ruler should perfectly line up along the three central seams, since these will end up at 1". Cut 10 strips from each strip set, making sure you stop and square your edge every few cuts, if you notice that your ruler no longer perfectly lines up along the seams (you will end up cutting less if you are using smaller strips, or multiple different strip sets).

Lay out your strips, rotating the even numbered strips by 180 degrees to get that checkerboard look.

Now, flip the even strips onto the odd strips and pin at every seam and at the beginning and end of each seam. Make sure you pin each set of strips with the same color in the top corner (so not like I did in the picture below, I ended up having to seam rip half my sets).

Press the blocks and make sure that they are all the same. Then set two of the sets together to make a 4x4 layout.

Press these blocks and then lay out your entire block so you don't get confused about what goes where.

Now sew these together in any order you'd like. I prefer to flip the middle blocks onto the left side blocks. And then adding the right side blocks to finish out the rows.

Then I sew the rows together.

Here is the complete block:

For the baby quilt, I used three different fabrics, so figured out how many strip sets I needed for the block and then used the same procedure as for the larger block, but only using two strips per strip set.

I had a total of 3 different strip sets for this layout (Red/Blue, Blue/Green, and Green/Red).

Here is the finished block:

Completed block size:

Queen Sized: 12.5"x12.5"
Baby Quilt: 6.5"x6.5"

Several other options:
  • Play with the placement of fabrics in the checkerboard.
  • Make wonky strip sets as long as you end up with 4.5" (2.5") squares.
  • Fussy cut your Background/Print 1 pieces.
  • Make improv blocks and cut them down to 4.5" (2.5") squares.

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