Thursday, September 4, 2008

Starter Quilt Simple Project: Step Three

My sewing machine is back from the shop, which means two things I'm sewing up a storm and we can carry on with our simple pink "mystery" project. The yardage and cutting instructions are listed in step two. So let's get sewing.

Whenever possible "chain stitch" your pieces. It keeps the thread from snarling and I find it's just a faster method.
So begin with your 9.5 inch blocks -- all nine of them. Sew one 9.5 inch by 3.5 inch rectangles of your striped fabric to each one.
Remember to press each seam as you go along and for this quilt press towards the stripe.
We're making three rows which should look like this:

Row 1) stripe, square of fabric C, stripe, square of fabric D, stripe, square of fabric C, stripe

Row 2) stripe, square of fabric D, stripe, square of fabric C, stripe, square of fabric D, stripe

Row 3) stripe, square of fabric C, stripe, square of fabric D, stripe, square of fabric C, stripe

Tada. Okay, next up are our cornerstone rows.

We'll be using our 3.5 inch squares of fabric B (those are our cornerstones) and the 9.5 inch by 3.5 inch bars of our stripe (that was fabric A by the way). Sew a square to each bar.
We're making four identical rows: square B, stripe, square B, stripe, square B, stripe, square B.

Here you can see the process part way. I've laid it out with the completed first three rows so you can see where we're going.

Once you have those four rows sewn, you can begin to sew those rows to the first three rows.
Now you'll see why we've been pressing towards the stripe. See where I drew in arrows on the picture? The rows are layered right sides together and the seams should but up against each other nicely, if it's not exact pin them nestled together anyway -- it will give you nice crisp corners. (Note: you can ease in a smidge of fullness but if it's really badly off you may want to undo the seam and resew with an eye towards perfecting your seam allowances -- they do matter.)

Once you have those seven rows all sewn together you have the body of the quilt.

As you can see this is shaping up to be a really simple quilt top... but it doesn't have to be. Here you can see that I took my Micron pen and traced an embroidery pattern in the center of my cream blocks -- if I had the patience I could embroider it. (I don't.)
And of course you can always substitute pieced blocks where this project uses solid 9.5 inch squares. I've got a couple examples of 9.5 inch pieced blocks coming up in future Building Blocks posts, so "stay tuned."

Oh, and we' ll add the border next time. You were wondering what those extra pieces we cut in step two were for, weren't you. Well, go on to step four.

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