Tips & Hints
For the February block we're doing a traditional block that Patty found on Quilter's Cache. If you haven't already discovered this website, it's a great place to find blocks and to get ideas. This block will be done in 30's fabrics. I have done mine in a dark and a light version of four colors. You don't have to use eight different fabrics if you don't already have a stash of 30's fabrics. The main idea is to have a 3-D look to the block with the use of the lighter and darker fabrics. I will give you directions for making a block like mine, but you can use a light and dark fabrics in two colors if you prefer.
The background for this block is a solid white fabric like Kona Snow. I used a good bleached muslin for my block. If you can't find a white solid in your area, please email Patty with your address and she will send you a fat quarter of Kona Snow. You can send her a fat quarter of fabric for a trade when you mail your blocks to her. Don't forget to ask her what kind of fabric she would like to trade for. No printed muslin or unbleached muslin, please. We are making 12" blocks this year (that's 12 1/2" unfinished). We will be making TWO blocks for February.
Below is a table with the cutting information for EACH block. This is for the sew and flip flying geese unit I will show you how to do.
Before you begin sewing, you may find it helpful to lay your pieces out, matching the block graphic above, to make sure you have cut your fabric correctly.
For each block: Sew a dark 30's fabric 3 1/2" x 2" rectangle to a white 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" square, right sides together, using a scant 1/4" seam. Press seam away from the white square. Repeat with the other dark 30's 3 1/2" x 2" rectangle and the two light 30's 3 1/2" x 2" rectangles. Now turn each unit so the 30's print is at the top of the white square. Sew the matching 5" x 2" rectangle to the right side of this unit. Press away from the white square. Lay these units down so the units with dark fabric are in the upper left and lower right and the units with light fabric are in the upper right and lower left. Sew the top two units together. Press toward the unit on the right. Sew the bottom two units together. Press toward the units on the left. Sew the top unit to the bottom unit. Press seams going in a counter clockwise direction, like the other seams. Gently release a few stitches at the center of the block, if necessary, so a little 4-patch forms after pressing.
Now lay the resulting unit down. Place the rest of your rectangles to match that unit, dark fabric going opposite light fabric. Lay your white rectangles down where the flying geese units will go. Lay your 2" x 2" squares on the white rectangles, matching them to the inner rectangles. At this point you may find you have cut your squares from the wrong color and will need to cut them from the other color.
Make four flying geese units. Use your white 3 1/2" x 2" rectangles and the 2" x 2" squares. Make your units so the triangles match the inner rectangle fabrics. (See block graphic above.) Lay your units out to make sure the flying geese are made from the correct fabrics and that the white triangle is facing out. See my easy flying geese instructions. The units will be 3 1/2" x 2" unfinished. Lay the flying geese units back where they came from in the layout.
Now we'll do the side strips. Sew the flying geese unit on the left side between the two 3 1/2" x 2" rectangles on either side of it. Press away from the flying geese unit. Sew this to the left side of the center unit, matching seams and edges. Press toward the center unit. Repeat for the flying geese unit on the right side. Replace this unit in the layout, making sure to put it back the way it was.
Now we'll do the top and bottom strips. Sew the flying geese unit on the top between the two 5" x 2" rectangles on either side of it. Press away from the flying geese unit. Sew this to the top of the center unit. Press toward the center unit. Repeat for the flying geese unit on the bottom.
Your block should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" (unfinished). Click here to see a scan of the front of the test block I made. Click here to see the back. For those of you who prefer templates click here. No foundation patterns this month. Remember when you're printing from Adobe Acrobat Reader that the boxes labeled "Shrink oversized page to paper size" and "Expand small pages to paper size" need to be unchecked. Otherwise the templates will not print out the correct size. This block does not lend itself to foundation piecing.
Remember to label your blocks on the BACK of your block. Sticking a return address label on each is an easy way to do this and you're already putting one on the envelope anyway. Do not forget to label your blocks. Your $3.85 Priority Mail stamp is due if you forgot to include it with your January blocks. On the outside of the envelope, in the lower left corner, please write which month(s) the blocks is(are) for (i.e. BOM Feb 2003). This helps Patty separate the BOM envelopes from the rest of her mail.
If you have questions or comments, post a note on the MSN Club or email Squirrel (Patty) or AzPatch (Margo). You will be making TWO blocks for February. Please do NOT trim your blocks. Blocks will be due to Patty by February 24th. Patty and I will be getting together to open "squishies" March 1st, so please get your blocks to her at least a week before then. If you can't get the blocks to Patty before the winners are picked, please email me for the addresses of the winners so you can mail the blocks to them directly.
I will not be including an Electric Quilt file anymore, unless there is a huge demand for it. Email me if you would like one and I'll send it to you.