Sunday, September 4, 2016

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE WEEK 1 ALABAMA

By now I am  hoping that you have picked out your fabrics. If you are having problems, feel free to use the "Contact Form" on the top left side of this blog and I will try to help you. You will also use that contact to let me know that you have finished your block, so I can give you instructions as to what to do with the image, so that you will be in a drawing this week. 

Keep in mind when making the blocks, my fabric suggestions are just that, suggestions. Feel free to shake things up and use your own fabrics in unique ways. This block challenge is for you to get out of your normal quilting mode and try something new. The possibilities are endless!

All instructions will be contained in the blog. I think you can print out the blog to save the instructions. If you can not let me know. Until I figure a way to attach a pdf to this blog, you will have to share your email address (through the contact form) so I can email any templates that you need to print out. If any of my blog followers know how please tell me!!! Print the templates out with "no" scaling or at 100%.

For a video of how to establish a perfect 1/4" seam, check out my YouTube. (Please let me know if this link does not work and I will email it to you.)

  BLOCK 1a

PREPARATION:

Determine where you want to put the fussy cut fabrics.
Make a template for the section that you want to fussy cut out of heavy template plastic. I used the corner stones for mine so I cut a square that is 1-7/8" x 1-7/8". Using a permanent marker draw your shape accurately on your template material and cut out. Follow the instructions from the previous blog to cut your repeats.

FABRICS:
Fabric 1: Overall print for fussy cutting.
Fabric 2: Light
Fabric 3: Medium
Fabric 4: Dark

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS:
From Fabric 1:
Fussy cut (17) 1-7/8" squares. I cut four repeating sets of four different designs and one single design for the center.
From Fabric 2 cut:
* (4) 1-7/8" x 1-7/8".
* (4) 1-7/8" x 7-3/8".
From Fabric 3 cut:
* (4) 1-7/8" x 4-5/8".
From Fabric 4 cut:
* (4) 1-7/8" x 10-1/8".



SEWING INSTRUCTIONS:

Make a nine patch by sewing the four 1-7/8" Fabric 2 squares, five 1-7/8" Fabric 1 squares.
1. Chain sew the center column to the first column. Press to Fabric 1. Do NOT cut patches apart.
2. Chain sew the last column to the center column.  Press to Fabric 1. Do NOT cut patches apart.
3. Matching seams, sew top row to center row matching seams. Press seams up.
4. Matching seams, sew bottom row to center row matching seams. Press seams down.


 

5. Sew a 1-7/8" x 4-5/8" Fabric 2 rectangle to the left and right sides of the nine patch. Press to fabric 3.
6. Sew a 1-7/8" Fabric 1 square to each end of a 1-7/8" x 4-5/8" Fabric 3 rectangle. Make 2. Press to Fabric 3.
7. Matching seams, sew the sections from step 6 to the top and bottom of the nine patch. 
Press to Fabric 3.


 


8. Sew a 1-7/8" x 7-3/8" Fabric 2 rectangle to the left and right sides of the block.  Press to Fabric 2.
9. Sew a 1-7/8" Fabric 1 square to each end of a 1-7/8" x 7-3/8" Fabric 2 rectangle. Make 2. Press to Fabric 2.
10. Matching seams, sew the sections from step 9 to the top and bottom of the nine patch. Press to Fabric 2.




11. Sew a 1-7/8" x 10-1/8" Fabric 4 rectangle to the left and right sides of the block.  Press to Fabric 4.
12. Sew a 1-7/8" Fabric 1 square to each end of a 1-7/8" x 10-1/8" Fabric 2 rectangle. Make 2. Press to Fabric 4. Matching seams, sew these to the top and bottom. Press to Fabric 4.




13. You will need to square up this block to 12-1/2" square. Using a square ruler place the ruler so that the 7" horizontal and vertical lines are on the bottom right corner of the center square of the block. Trim off the top and right sides of the block. Turn the block around, lining up the 12-1/2" marks on the left and bottom of the block, trim off the top and right sides to equal 12-1/2" square.






BLOCK 1b



FABRICS:
Fabric 1: Overall print for fussy cutting.
Fabric 2: Dark
Fabric 3: Medium

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS (Be sure to put some rolled up tape on the back of the templates so they don't move while you cut.)
 
Fabric 1: Cut four repeats with template A.
Fabric 2 and 3: Cut four left and four right with the template B of each fabric. Place the fabrics wrong sides together when cutting, you will get a left and right of each at the same time. You will make four cuts of fabric 2 which will give you 4 left and 4 right patches and then repeat with Fabric 3.



SEWING INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Sew a left Fabric 2b to a right Fabric 3b. Make 4. Press seam open.
2. Sew a left Fabric 3b to a right Fabric 1b. Make 4. Press seam open.







   
 
 Layout pieced background and template  A making sure to keep the same color
 backgrounds on the same side.












3. Starting with one side, with the concave (inward curve/smile!) on top. Match centers and ends. Pin in the center and on each end. I weave the pins in to hold the edges together better. Put the last pin in perpendicular to the end pin to create a "T".

  Only 4 pins needed!                                                                              2 pins make a "T"
 



   







4. Sew a couple stitches and place your needle in the down position. Grab the center pin with your right hand and tug slightly to the left. Use your left hand to manipulate the fabric so that the edges are aligned. Sew to the center. 

5. Place your needle in the down position and grab the end of the seam. Give it a slight tug and line up the raw edges. Continue to sew the seam to the end. When the pin that is pointing towards the needle gets close, put your finger on the head of it and hold it down lightly on the machine surface. As you are sewing, the pin will come out. This helps stabilize the corners so that they do not get skewed. (Because my right hand is taking this photo it is not touching the fabric. You will need to hold that center point until your needle gets to that position and stop. You can see that the raw edges are together and I did not need extra pins.) Sew both sides.

Here is a short video on sewing curves. (Please let me know if this link does not work and I will email it to you.)

What your section will look like with both sides sewn. If you find that your section sticks up in the middle, spray generously with water and press from the center of the block out to the edges and corners. This will flatten it out. The sections should equal 6-1/2" square.
 

6. Sew the four sections together. Press seams open. The center seam will be very thick. I use a small mallet or hammer and hammer it into submission! It will flatten it out! The spray the whole block and give it a good pressing. Be careful not to distort the block. You can block it at 12-1/2" square or trim it to size if it is too big. 

Out of curiosity, before I started piecing I wanted to see what the block would look like with the lighter purple in the center so I layed out the pieces. I liked the dark in the center. What do you think?


 Good luck! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. Don't forget, you have to use the "contact" form on the top left of the page to get the templates for Block 1b and to send me your email address. 

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading and be sure to share with your quilting friends. Toby Lischko 



 


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