Friday, April 15, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 15

Block 15

So I know I took inspiration for this block from somewhere, but I also know that I made some changes to make this my own design. Which means that I am calling this the QST Star, because I'm really creative like that (I save most of my creativity for quilt designing and hardly ever name my quilts anything interesting).

Cutting Instructions
Queen Sized:
Background - (1) 9.5"x9.5"
Background - (2) 5"x5"
Background - (12) 4.5"x4.5" OR (4) 4.5"x4.5" and (4) 4.5"x8.5"
Print 1 - (1) 8.5"x8.5"
Print 2 - (4) 4.5"x4.5"
Print 2 - (1) 9.5"x9.5"
Print 3 - (2) 9.5"x9.5"
Print 4 - (2) 5"x5"

So here we have another reason why I make these ahead of time. For this block, the white is the Background (you only need to cut (2) 5" squares, not 4 as shown), white background with little flowers is Print 4 (you only need to cut 2, not the 4 shown here), the white background with large pink and red flowers is Print 2, the green background with large yellow flowers is Print 3, and the yellow is Print 1 (shown at the wrong size in this image - I cut (1) 9.5" square instead of (1) 8.5" square).

Baby Quilt:

Background - (1) 5.5"x5.5"
Background - (2) 3"x3"
Background - (12) 2.5"x2.5" OR (4) 2.5"x2.5" and (4) 2.5"x4.5"
Print 1 - (1) 4.5"x4.5"
Print 2 - (4) 2.5"x2.5"
Print 2 - (1) 5.5"x5.5"
Print 3 - (2) 5.5"x5.5"
Print 4 - (2) 3"x3"

Here, the dark grey is my background, the ships are both Print 1 and Print 4, the blue is Print 2, and the yellow is Print 3. Notice that I went with option 2 for the background for this block. Saves sewing a seam.

Note: Another option for the corners would be to cut (4) 8.5" (4.5") squares of background fabric and (4) 4.5" (2.5") squares and do stitch and flip triangles in one corner of each background square, instead of making HSTs and then stitching them into units for the corners.

Piecing Instructions

Mark the Print 2 4.5" (2.5") squares down the center diagonal (I forgot to do this, this time, but if you want bonus triangles, remember to mark your second line at least .5" from the first line). Lay out your Print 1 square, take (2) of the Print 2 squares you just marked and pin them to opposite corners. Sew just a hair to the outside of the line, trim, and press. I would suggest pressing these open as it reduces bulk and it makes a very nice V for you to sew through later.

Next, repeat that process with the other two corners.

Once you're finished with the snowball unit, set that aside. Next we're going to work on our QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles). Take your background square and your Print 2 9.5" (5.5") squares and draw a line down the diagonal. Then pair them with the Print 3 squares. Pin carefully. Now sew a 1/4 inch on both sides of the line. Trim them apart and press them. It's actually easier if you press the seams to the Print 3 side of each block, but I still iron all of mine open. At this point you can also choose to trim these down to 9" (5"), but I leave them as is.

Now we're going to draw a line down the diagonal on the background/Print 3 blocks. To do that, take your ruler and line one of the lines on your ruler up along the center diagonal, so that your line will be perpendicular to the seam. This is especially important if you chose not to trim your blocks down. Now carefully move your ruler so the line stays on the seam until the long side of going through one of the corners and then draw your line along the diagonal you've created. Note: Do NOT just draw a line from one corner to the other.

Next, pair the two units you marked with the two unmarked, so the Print 3 is opposite the Print 3 in the other unit. If you pressed your seams to one side, you can now nestle the seams along the diagonal. If you didn't, then match up the little V's in between the dog ears at either end of the diagonal seam, pin on each side, and then carefully fold back one side of the HST and check to make sure your seam lines up. Pin on both sides of the seam and at the beginning and end of your line. Now sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the center line as per usual.

Before trimming the pieces apart, I like to fold them back and check to see how well my points matched up in the center. It's not too late to seam rip and start over at this point. Not so once you've cut the units apart. Once you're satisfied (I've learned to let it go if my center point is just a little off), trim the units apart and press.

Now to trim the block. Make sure you line up the 45 degree line along one of your seams with the 4.25" (2.25") mark at roughly the center. More importantly however, is keeping that 45 degree line even with the seam and making sure the 8.5" (4.5") marks at the top left and the bottom right touch the other seam, otherwise you will lose your points later. Trim two sides, then turn it around and trim so the block is 8.5" (4.5") square.

Set these units aside. Then move onto the corner units. First draw a line down one set of the diagonal of your 5" (3") squares (either Background or Print 4), I prefer to do that on whichever square is lighter. Then pin and sew 1/4" seams on either side of the line. Cut apart, press, and trim to 4.5" (2.5") square. Now take (3) of your background 4.5" (2.5") squares and sew them together with (1) of the HST units into the corner units. If you have directional prints, it's helpful to lay out the entire block now, and decide with direction you want the HSTs to go.

If you cut background rectangles, here is how they should go together.

Once you have all of your units done, lay out your block and sew the units together as you prefer. I like to sew the units into rows and then join the rows together, pining at every seam. When you are sewing blocks to the center unit, make sure the center unit is facing up, so you can make sure that your seams are going through the tip of the V's of your seams, and you don't lose the point. This V should be 1.4" from the edge.

Here is the finished queen sized block:

And here is the baby quilt version:

Completed block sizes
Queen sized: 24.5"x24.5"
Baby quilt: 12.5"x12.5"

Several other options:
  • Use squares of background fabric for the corner units and add stitch and flip triangles to the corners, either "square" or wonky.
  • Make the corners from different fabrics for a scrappy look.
  • Fussy cut Print 1 for the center of block.
  • Play with the positioning of fabrics in your block (draw it out on a sheet of paper).
    • Perhaps you'd like to have the points be solid, so sub out the Print 2 for another Print 3 (or in that case, skip making that unit altogether and just cut (2) 9" (5") squares of Print 3.
    • Perhaps you'd like to use Background fabric instead of Print 2 for a center that seems to float in space.
Block 15 Quilt:

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