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Archive for the ‘Patchwork Blocks’ Category

Proverbs 16:2-3

In part one of the X-Box quilt block tutorial, we constructed the main units of the block and sewed them together.  We’re now ready to add a border.  I think you’ll like this easy sew and cut method, which can be used for any quilt block you’re making by adjusting the measurements.

X-Box Quilt Block Border

The following instructions will create a border for two X-Box blocks, which will in turn become lattice when you sew your blocks together to form the quilt top.

Border Strips, Set One:

(1)  From two different fabrics, cut rectangles  4″ x8″.

(2)  Place one rectangle on top of the other, right sides together.  Sew the two short sides, using a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Sew Short Sides of Rectangles

(3)  Cut this unit in half, parallel to the seams.

Cut Unit in Half

(4)  Stack the units together with the seam allowances at the top or bottom.  Cut the units in half as shown (perpendicular to the seam allowances).

Cut Units in Half Again

(5)  Press open.  You should now have four strips that measure  2″ x 7 ½″.

Four Border Strips

(6)  Sew two of these strips to the sides of your block as shown, matching the center seam allowances.  Repeat this step for the second block.

Sew to Sides of Quilt Block

Border Strips, Set Two:

(1)  From two different fabrics, cut rectangles  4″ x 11″.

(2)  Follow steps #2 through #4 above.

(3)  Press open.  You should have four strips measuring  2″ x 10 ½″.

(4)  Sew the strips to the top and bottom of your block, matching the center seam allowance.  Repeat this step for the second block.

Wasn’t that easy?  I love the way this method creates a double lattice effect around the blocks.

I’m off to complete my X-Box quilt.

Happy quilt making!

Nancy

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Proverbs 2:6-7

This quilt block could also be called an easy peasy Bow Tie block.  The Bow Tie block has been around for some time, so most of you are familiar with it.  I simply modified the “tie” part of the block, put four block units together, and framed it to form a new block.  The individual block borders become lattice when the blocks are sewn together.

X-Box Quilt Blocks

To construct the blocks, I used commonly sized quilt rulers as templates—2 ½″, 4 ½″, and 4″ x 8″.  These aren’t necessary, but they do save a little time in the process.

Quilt Rulers as Templates

For one block, cut the following:

Two dark  2 ½″  squares
Two light  4 ½″  squares
Two medium  4 ½″ squares

Cutting Measurements

I used two different fabrics for each value but that decision is up to you.  Same or different, it doesn’t matter.

Take your two light squares and fold them in half, finger pressing a crease on the fold line.

Fold Light Squares in Half

Fold them half again, finger pressing a crease.  Open them and set them aside.

Fold in Half Again

Back your two small dark 2 ½″ squares with an iron-on fusible product, such as Trans Web, Mistyfuse, or Steam-A-Seam Lite 2.  Follow package instructions.

Place a small dark square on both of the light creased squares (right side) and position them as diamonds, matching points to fold lines.  Press according to product instructions.

Fuse Diamonds to Light Squares

Sew a 2.0mm straight stitch around the diamonds with matching thread about 1/16″ from the outer edge.

Stitch Fused Diamond

Place the medium value squares on top of the fused squares, right sides together.  Mark a line down the center of the medium value square.

Mark Center of Medium Squares

Place Medium Squares Over Light Squares

Stitch a quarter-inch seam down both sides of the drawn line.

Stitch Quarter-Inch from Center Line

Cut the units in half along the drawn line.  Finger press open.

Cut Units in Half

Position one unit on top of another with medium value facing light value, right sides together.

Medium Over Light

Butt the seams up against each other and mark a center line perpendicular to the seams.  Pin as shown.

Mark Center Line and Pin Units

Sew a quarter-inch seam on both sides of the drawn line.

Sew Quarter-Inch from Center Line

Cut in half along the drawn line.  Finger press open.  Your units should look something like this.

Sewn Units

Place your units in sewing order.  They should form an “X” pattern when positioned correctly.  Since you’ve finger pressed the units, you can adjust most of the seams easily so that they butt up against each other as you sew the blocks together.  Of course, a pin here and there never hurts.

Sew Blocks Together

Square up the block and press.

In part two of this tutorial, we’ll give the X-Box quilt block a multi-fabric border using my easy sew and cut method.

Happy piecing!

Nancy

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Psalm 119:137-138

I’ve been thinking about this quilt design for weeks now.  The blocks are simple to construct and offer a very different appearance when positioned on point.

Cheery-Oh Quilt Graphic

My finished quilt will look similar to the graphic, but my palette of fabrics will be different.   I design quilts in my software just to have a road map to my approximate destination.  I seldom follow them in every detail.  What fun would that be?

Cheery-Oh Quilt Palette

I recently made a trip to Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, North Carolina with this quilt in mind, finding many of the palette fabrics there.  If you live in the southeast, you definitely want to experience Mary Jo’s Cloth Store—fabric as far as the eye can see.  I can close my eyes within a mile of the exit and my car will just naturally veer to the right at Exit 21, Coxe Avenue.

Now back to the Cheery-Oh quilt block.  I’ve constructed three blocks so far and here is how they look.  Each block will measure 7 ½” finished.

Cheery-Oh Quilt Blocks

The following instructions are for one quilt block.  To make a quilt with these blocks, simply multiply each unit number by the number of blocks you will need.  In my case, I need thirteen blocks.

Cutting instructions:

Cut four (4)  3” squares from print fabric

Cut two (2)  3 3/8” squares from same print fabric

Cut two (2)  3 3/8” square from white Kona cotton fabric

Cut one (1)  3” center square from white Kona cotton fabric

Cutting Instructions

With your 3 3/8” squares, construct four half-square triangles using my half-square triangle tutorial.

Construct 4 Half-Square Triangles

Now place all your units in sewing order.

Unit Placement

Sew units from row one together, using a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Sew Units Together, One Row at a Time

Next, sew units from row two together.  And finally, sew units from row three together.

Sewn Rows

Press your seams in opposite directions as shown.  Correct pressing can make life a whole lot easier.

Press Seams in Opposite Directions

Position row one on top of row two, right sides together, allowing the seams to butt up against each other.  Pin in place.  Sew the rows together.  Repeat this step with row three.  I like to press the row seams open, but this is entirely up to you.  Your block is now complete.  Square up if necessary.

I’m off to sew blocks #4-13.  Once I have them all made, I’ll continue this tutorial, showing you how I cut the side and corner triangles to complete the center unit of the quilt top.

Happy piecing,

Nancy

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Psalm 144:8-9

If you’ve followed some of my tutorials, the method for constructing these Monkey See blocks will be familiar.  They are super easy and fast to make.  You will need a novelty fabric that you can fussy cut for the center of the blocks.  This tutorial makes nine blocks, enough for a baby, wall, or lap quilt.

Monkey See Blocks
First, fussy cut eight 4 ½” center blocks.

Fussy Cut Centers

Cut eight rectangles 4 ½” x 5” from contrasting fabrics.  I used four fabrics so I cut two rectangles from each one.

Beginning with the 4 ½” squares, sew a contrasting fabric (right sides together) to each one by sewing down two sides.  The rectangles will be a little larger than the squares as you are sewing.

Sew Two Sides

Shift the tubes you’ve created and quickly match up the seams.  Finger press a fold line in the contrasting rectangle.  Cut along the fold line and finger press open.

Cut Fold Line

Cut eight 5” x 8 ½” rectangles from the same contrasting fabrics.  Place each rectangle on top of the previously sewn units, matching the contrasting fabrics.  Sew down the two sides perpendicular to the previous seams.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to Seams

Shift the tubes and match the seams.  Finger press a fold line in the contrasting rectangle and cut as shown.  Press.

Cut Fold Line

Your blocks should measure 8 ½” square.

Measure Blocks

Cut eight strips 1 ½” x 42” (the approximate cross grain measurement) from the same four contrasting fabrics.  Sew strips around each of the four blocks, using one of the contrasting fabrics that doesn‘t match the particular block you’re sewing it to.

Sew Strips Around Four Sides

Press open.

Press Strips Open

Your finished blocks should measure 10 ½” square.  Square up if necessary.

Now cut one 8 ½” square from your novelty fabric.  Cut one more strip 1 ½” x 42”.  (I used a fifth fabric that I will be using for the borders.)  Sew the strip around the block and press.  This will be your center block as you arrange your blocks in rows of three.

Sew Strips Around Center Block

Sew your blocks together and then sew your rows together.

Sew Blocks Together

Here is my quilt top so far.  I plan on adding a 5” border.  Aren’t those little monkeys cute as can be?
Monkey See Sewn Blocks

Have a great weekend,

Nancy

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Psalm 119:33, 35

I think this is my favorite way to use the Crossroads quilt block.  In this tutorial, the Crossroads block becomes the center unit, building two pillars (squares) on the foundation of the courthouse (rectangle).

Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

I don’t use the traditional method of constructing this block.  My easy sew and cut method saves time by reducing the number of “strips” that need to be cut.  Actually, instead of strips you will be cutting rectangles, sewing them on two sides and then cutting them in half.  This method is fast, accurate, and more enjoyable since the rectangle units are larger and easier to work with.

You will need three light fabrics and three dark fabrics for the contrasting steps.  When doing the math for a quilt, simply multiply the cuts (and the center units) by the number of blocks needed.  To make this easy, I have highlighted the the cutting instructions in bold type.

First, construct a center unit using my Crossroads Quilt Block tutorial.  Use a dark fabric for the rectangle.  Your center unit should measure 4” x 4”.

Cut a rectangle 3” x 4” from one of your light fabrics.

Cut First Light Rectangle

Position the light 3” x 4” rectangle on top of the Crossroads block, right sides together.  (The cut rectangle will not cover the entire Crossroads block.)  Sew the two sides that are perpendicular to the Crossroads’ rectangle as shown.

Sew First Side

Sew Second Side

Shift the tube and quickly match up the seams by butting them up against each other.  Finger press a fold into the light rectangle.

Shift Tube, Match Seams, Fold

With a pair of scissors, cut along the fold line.  Finger press open.  Your unit should measure 4” x 6”.  (From this point forward assume that each new cut rectangle is positioned on the previously sewn unit, right sides together.)

Cut Along Fold

Cut a 3” x 6” rectangle from one of your dark fabrics.  Sew the two sides that are perpendicular to the previously sewn light strips.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to Light Strips

Shift the tube, match the seams, and finger press a fold into the dark rectangle.  Cut along the fold line as before.  Finger press open.  Your unit should measure 6” x 6”.

Cut Fold Line

Cut a 3” x 6” rectangle from a light fabric.  Sew the two sides perpendicular to the previously sewn dark strips.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to Dark Strips

Shift the tube, match the seams, and finger press a fold line into the light rectangle.  Cut along the fold line and finger press open.  Your unit should measure 6” x 8”.

Cut Fold Line

Cut a 3” x 8” rectangle from a dark fabric. Sew the two sides perpendicular to the previously sewn light strips.  Shift the tube, match the seams, and finger press a fold line.  Cut along the fold and finger press open.  Your unit should measure 8” x 8”.

Cut Fold Line

Cut a 3” x 8” rectangle from a light fabric. Sew the two sides that are perpendicular to the previously sewn dark strips.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to Dark Strips

Shift the tube, match the seams, and finger press a fold line.  Cut along the fold and finger press open.  Your unit should measure 8” x 10”.

Cut Fold Line

Cut a 3” x 10” rectangle from a dark fabric. Sew the two sides perpendicular to the previously sewn light strips.  Shift the tube, match the seams, and finger press a fold into the dark rectangle.  Cut along the fold and finger press open.  The block should measure 10” x10”.

Cut Final Fold Line

Press your block, square up if necessary, and take pleasure in a job well done.

Completed Courthouse Steps Block

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m at the quilt sandwich stage of my Crossroads scrap quilt, with hopes of getting it quilted today.  I use the word hope because it’s probably not going to happen.  I keep eying (did you know the spelling of this little word is controversial?) the Courthouse Steps block on my cutting table, longing to make another log cabin quilt.  And then there’s the monkey fabric begging for a cute quilt design and the fabrics I purchased last week that I already have a quilt design for. . .

Ahhhh. So many sweet decisions.

Nancy

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Psalm 119:89-90

The Crossroads quilt block is a super simple little block that can stand on its own in a scrap quilt, join other units to form a framed block or whirly-pinwheel design, or serve as the core of various log cabin blocks.  Crossroads can probably do even more than I’ve listed, but that’s as far as my thinking has taken me this week.

Crossroads Scrap Quilt

The block is comprised of a rectangle and two squares, certainly nothing unique.  However, my sew and cut method of constructing it is a little different and makes the process fast, accurate, and enjoyable.  This is the perfect quilt block for using up all those scraps you have saved.

Crossroads Whirl Quilt

First, cut two 4 ½” squares from different fabrics.

Cut Two Squares

Place the squares right sides together and sew two parallel sides, using a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Sew Two Parallel Sides

Cut the unit in half.

Cut Unit in Half

Finger press the two units open.  The units measure 4” x 4 ½”.

Finger Press Units Open

Cut two 4” x 4 ½” rectangles from contrasting fabrics.

Cut Contrasting Rectangles

Place the rectangles on top of the units, right sides together.  Sew down two sides, perpendicular to the seam.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to the Seam

Cut the units in half and finger press open.  You now have two Crossroads blocks that are mirror images of each other.  The blocks should measure 4” square.

Cut in Half Again

For a scrap quilt, I position my blocks with the rectangles in the center.  This isn’t necessary, but I like the effect.

Position of Blocks

For a whirly-pinwheel quilt, I make all my rectangles the same color and position them in the center as well.

Position of Blocks for Whirly Design

In part two of this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use the Crossroads block as the core of a Courthouse Steps block along with my super simple way of constructing this traditional log cabin block.  I love log cabins!  The third quilt I made as a new quilter was a queen size log cabin quilt that I still snuggle under while hibernating in the winter time.  For me, it’s the equivalent of comfort food.

Happy piecing,

Nancy

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Isaiah 46:4-5

In part one of this tutorial, I showed you two different methods for cutting out the Quarter Turn block.  Now we’re ready to begin sewing the block together.

Quarter Turn Quilt Block

First, let me share a few helpful observations regarding the construction of this block.  I mentioned previously that you would be working with bias edges.  The bias edges are on the inside of the block and are the edges that you will be sewing to the center four-patch unit if you use the template method and mark the straight-of-grain on the side opposite the right angle (hypotenuse).

If you use the second method, cutting your pieces from rectangles, the outside edges will be on the bias.  Treat them accordingly and remember that spray starch serves as a great ally with bias edges.

Second, you will need to position your triangles correctly as you sew them to the four-patch unit.  In the diagram below, you can see that the 90 degree right angle corners are adjacent to the edges of the four-patch.  The right angles make a quarter turn around the block, which accounts for the block’s name.

Right Angles

Complete sewing the four-patch unit.

It is helpful to set your block pieces in sewing order before you begin so that all goes smoothly.

Set Block Pieces in Sewing Order

Beginning with the #1 bottom triangle, flip the unit over onto the four-patch, right sides together.  Sew a partial seam, stopping about halfway.  Remove the sewn unit from your sewing machine and finger press open.

Sew Partial Seam on Triangle #1

Place the sewn unit back into place with the remaining triangles and flip #2 triangle over onto the four-patch, right sides together.

Flip Triangle #2 Over and Position in Place

Pin in place and sew the entire seam.  Finger press open.  (I recommend pinning in place since you are sewing a bias edge.)

Sew Triangle #2

Place the sewn unit back into place with the remaining triangles.  Flip #3 triangle over onto the four-patch, right sides together, and pin in place.

Flip Triangle #3 Over and Position in Place

Sew the entire seam.  Finger press open.

Fold triangle #1 back onto itself.  Flip the final triangle, #4, over onto the four-patch unit, right sides together.

Fold Back Triangle #1 to Position Triangle #4

Pin in place and sew the entire seam.  Finger press open.

Sew Triangle #4

Now fold the #1 partial seam triangle back onto the four-patch unit.  Complete the seam.

Fold Back Triangle #1

Press your completed block and square up if necessary.  That’s it!

Isn’t this a beautiful quilt block?  I’m in the process of making sixteen of these that should come together into a quilt top that look’s something like the graphic in part one.  I chose to pepper the quilt with color via the four-patch units, keeping the surrounding triangles in pastels.

Four-Patch Quilt Blocks

Happy quilting,
Nancy

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