Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Making of a Block

Yesterday I wrote about starting the mystery quilt Celtic Solstice. In week 1 I need to sew 380 triangles in a square blocks. These blocks are 3 1/2" square. I thought that today I would go over what it takes to make one of these blocks.

Yesterday I mentioned how much this quilt would cost in materials however I failed to mentioned that most of this quilt is being made with fabric that I had in my stash and my sister M bought some for me when we went on our shopping spree.

First of course is cutting out the fabric. I have chosen to make a "scrappy" quilt, meaning that I am using as many fabrics as I could find in the colorway I chose.

So this block consists of one center triangle and 2 side triangles.  Notice how the top of the center orange triangle is chopped off, this is something we do a lot in quilting as you don't need that little bit at the top, it would just be in the way.

Here I am just showing you the right triangle along with the center.

Next I will place the right triangle right side together with the orange and line up the edges. Notice that bottom right corner of the blue looks short...its not really, its cut that way to line up the 2 fabrics so that when its sewn and ironed it will be all lined up and happy.

Now comes the sewing. In quilting we use a 1/4" seam allowance. I chain piece these in batches of twenty-five or so. This gives me breaks where then I have to get up to press.

To keep my seam allowance accurate when I am sewing large numbers (I kind of zone out sometimes) I stack a bunch of post it notes 1/4" away from my needle so that the fabric just buts up against it and glides right through my machine.

Now I take my pieces over to my ironing table and "set" the seam by just pressing the seam while it is closed. Why? It helps the thread to lie nice in the seam and not be to bulky. I know it is just a tiny thread but when I am sewing several pieces together the less bulk the better.

Now I open the piece up and press, being careful not to stretch the fabric out of shape.

  Stack of pressed pieces. Back to the sewing machine.

 Next we need to sew on the left side. Its the same procedure as the right side.

All sewn and pressed.

Every so often I measure a block for quality assurance to see that it measures 3 1/2".

Now I need to trim all the little bits that hang over the block, as quilters we call these "dogears".

I finished all the orange and blue squares, all 140 of them. Not I just need to sew the 240 neutral ones.

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