Pink and Tan Birds in the Air
Tips & Hints
This month's block is a Birds in the Air block. It goes together very quickly. The colors this month are pink and tan. The blocks will be nine inches finished (9 1/2" unfinished). You will be making FOUR blocks for March. (This is because we have 29 swappers and need to make more blocks some months so that everyone will win a set this year.)
I am giving you cutting directions for all four blocks here. For FOUR blocks: cut from tan print - six squares 4" x 4" (for half-square triangle units) and two squares 9 7/8" x 9 7/8". Cut the large tan squares in half diagonally and trim the straight sides to 9 1/2". This will make blunt corners that will help you when lining up the units for the final seam. Cut from pink print - six squares 4" x 4"(for half-square triangle units) and six squares 3 7/8" x 3 7/8". Cut the 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares in half diagonally and trim the straight sides to 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". This will help you join these triangles to the half-square triangle units. I have made the templates with blunt corners also, so if the cutting instructions are confusing, please take a look at them. For those of you who prefer templates, I am including printable templates this year in pdf format. Click here to see them. Click on the Adobe icon at the bottom of the page if you need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
First make your half-square triangle units. I give you an easy way here, but you may use any method you prefer. Just make sure your units measure 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" when finished and that they are square and the seam goes from corner to corner. This is very important for your block construction. Place a tan 4" x 4" square on a pink 4" x 4" square, right sides together. Draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the lighter square and sew a scant 1/4" on either side of the line. Cut on the line. Press seam toward the darker fabric and trim to 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". You should have twelve units.
For each block - sew two half square triangle units together, matching the placement in the block graphic above. Press the seam toward the tan triangle. Sew a pink triangle to the end of this unit, matching the placement in the block graphic. Since you already cut off the corners of the triangle, it should match the half-square triangle perfectly. Press the seam toward the pink triangle.
Sew pink triangles to adjacent sides of the remaining half-square triangle unit, matching the placement in the block graphic above. Press the seams toward the pink triangles. Join the first unit to the second unit, matching seams and being careful to not cut off the points in the seam. The seams should go in opposite directions, making it easier to line up the seams. I like to pinch the seam together with my fingernails before I sew and peek at the right side to see if my points will be coming together. You can also sew the point area with a longer stitch, so it is easier to take out if you need to make an adjustment. Press the seam toward the pink triangles (down - according to the block graphic). A little spray sizing helps the seam lay flat. Be careful when pressing so you don't distort your block.
Place the triangle unit right sides together with the large tan triangle. If all your seams are an accurate 1/4", these should be the same size. Sew this seam, being careful not to stretch it, since it is on the bias. And be careful not to cut off the points. Press the seam toward the tan triangle. Your block should measure 9 1/2" x 9 1/2". If your block is larger, please do NOT trim it. This will cause the points to be cut off when the blocks are set together. Please make an effort to sew with scant 1/4" seams and your block will come out the correct size. Click here to see a scan of the front of the test block I made. Click here to see the back.
Remember to label your blocks with at least your name (city, state, and email address are optional) on the BACK of your block. This may be a piece of paper tacked or pinned on, a sticky label or pigma pen in the seams. Just be sure to label them in some way. This ensures that you get credit for your blocks and lets the winner know who made each block.
If you have questions or comments, post a note on the MSN Club or email Squirrel (Patty) or AzPatch (Margo). You will be making FOUR blocks for March. Please do NOT trim your blocks. Blocks will be due to Patty by the 31st of March. Patty and I will be getting together to open "squishies" April 6th so please get your blocks to her before then.
If you have Electric Quilt 4, the zipped file is available for download here.