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Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to make a basic patchwork sampler quilt top - blocks 2 and 3

OK, here we are to finish blocks 2 and 3 of our basic patchwork sampler quilt top.

Let's start right away.

2. Block - The Pinwheel

For the 2. block we will need to cut triangles. The problems with triangles is that, in most cases, they are cut on the bias, and so sewing them becomes more difficult as the fabric is more flexible.
In our case we need half square triangles, and there are ways to facilitate the job.
Cut two 12cm / 4 7/8in squares of both fabrics. Now place the two squares of the first fabric right side up onto the table and the two squares of the second fabric right side down on top of the first squares. Make sure all edges are perfectly aligned.

Now sew the two squares together, sewing twice along the diagonal, once 0.6cm / 1/4 of an inch on the right and once 0.6cm / 1/4 of an inch on the left of the center diagonal. When done, cut the square in two right through the diagonal, leaving two triangles.

When you iron the triangles open (for this block, iron all seamallowances towards the darker colour), you will find you have created two squares made of two triangles each.

Proceed in the same manner with the remaining two squares and position the four quarters of the block as shown below.

Now flip the two squares on the right over and onto the two squares on the left aligning all edges.

Join the top two squares and then the lower two squares in order to finish the two halves of the block.

Now flip the top half over the bottom half, align the edges and join the two halves to finish the pinwheel block.

Very good, the 2nd block is done. But let's keep going.

3. block - Evening Star

This block is a combination of triangles and squares. And not only that, in this block we have half square and quarter square triangles, but don't worry, it'll be easy.

Here's what the finished block will look like.

We need to cut the following pieces (in order to avoid sewing on the bias, we will use a similar technique to the one used for making the pinwheel, only that this time some smaller pieces will be left over. Put them aside for later use, you never know when they might come in handy):

- one 11.2x11.2cm / 4 1/2x4 1/2in square (darker fabric, center)
- eight 7x7cm / 3x3in squares (darker fabric, for triangles)
- four 12x7cm / 5x3 in rectangles (light fabric, for triangles)
- four 6.2x6.2cm /2 1/2x2 1/2 in squares (light fabric, corners)

We will start by preparing the triangles.
Take one of the rectangles cut from the lighter fabric and place it on the table right side up, then place one of the darker squares for triangles onto the rectangle right side down, aligning it to three edges.

Now sew first through the square 0.6cm / 1/4 of an inch left and right from the diagonal as we did with the square in the pinwheel and as you see in the picture above.
Now iron the flap of the triangle open and place a second dark square onto the remaining space of the base rectangle. The square should overlap the other, already attached, square by at least the seam allowance of 0.6cm / 1/4 inch.

 The seems should form a "V" on the rectangle. Now cut the excess triangles away, cutting in between the two seams.

You now have one bigger piece, that's the points of the stars for the block, and two smaller squares, put those two squares away, you will not need them for this block. Proceed in the same way with the remaining three rectangles and 6 squares for triangles.
See below an example of what you can do with the leftover squares. If you put them away and perhaps add more when making another quilt, you can at some point mix them all together. These squares of two triangles can be arranged to form beautiful patterns and when you have lots of differents fabrics and colours they make a great scrappy quilt.

But let's get back to our evening star block. Prepare your pieces on the table as they will be arranged in the block, and start to join the rows.

First join a square for the corners with one of the starpoint-pieces turned upwards and a second corner square.
Then join a starpoint-piece turned sideways with the center square and another starpoint-piece turned the other way.
Last join the remaining corner - starpoint-piece turned downwards - corner.

Now all that remains to be done is to join the rows together. Pin the first and second row together, right side to right side, and make sure that the contours of the center square and the starpoints are well aligned. Sew together. Repeat the same procedure to attach the bottom row. Now iron your block and that's it, you're done.

I'll see you for the next tutorial where we will finish the last block and add the sashing.