Tips & Hints
For the September block we're doing a Kansas Troubles block. The colors are chocolate brown, tan, red, dark blue and light blue. The block almost has a Native American feel to it. The year is almost over and I realize I haven't picked my "thank you" block so this is it. We are making 12" blocks this year (that's 12 1/2" unfinished). We will be making THREE blocks for September. Cutting instructions below are for each block.
Cut the light blue squares in half diagonally. Be sure you cut exactly from corner to corner. Trim the resulting triangles by lining up the 6 1/2" line of your ruler on each of the legs of the triangle (the sides that are at right angles to eachother) and trimming the part of the point that extends beyond the ruler. This will help when piecing later. Cut the brown squares in half diagonally as for the light blue squares. Trim points beyond 3 1/2" from the legs of the triangles. Cut the red squares as for the previous squares, trimming the points 2" from each of the legs. The triangles will look like the graphic below.
Next make all your half square triangle units. You may use your favorite method. Here's how I make mine. Draw a light pencil line on the wrong side of the tan squares, from corner to corner. Place each right sides together with a dark blue square of the same size. Sew a scant 1/4" seam on either side. Cut on the line. Press toward the dark blue fabric. Trim to 2" x 2", being sure the seam goes from corner to opposite corner. There are 16 half square triangle units for each block.
Sew two half square triangle units together. The dark blue should be in the upper left of each unit and the tan should be in the lower right if you are holding the unit with the ends pointing left and right and the sides pointing up and down. Press seam toward the tan triangle. Sew this to one leg of a brown triangle. Press toward the brown triangle. You should have a unit like the one below. Repeat three more times for each block.
Sew two more half square triangle units together. This time the dark blue will be in the upper right and the tan will be in the lower left. Press toward the tan triangle. Sew a dark blue 2" x 2" square to the end with the tan triangle. Press toward the dark blue square. You should have a unit like the one below. Repeat three more times for each block.
Sew the first unit and the second unit together. The second unit is sewn to the other leg of the triangle. Be sure you match the seams and sew through the "v's" formed by the seams of the triangles. This will assure that your points are not cut off. Press toward the brown triangle. Sew a red triangle to the end of each dark blue square, being sure that the diagonal of the red triangle matches the diagonal of the brown square when you press it. Press toward the red triangles. You should have a unit like the one below. Repeat three more times for each block.
Sew the previous triangle to a light blue triangle, sewing the long sides of each triangle. Be careful not to stretch this seam, as it is on the bias. Press toward the light blue triangle. Take care to keep this unit square when you're pressing it. Repeat three more times for each block.
Sew two of the previous units together, making sure they are placed as in the block graphic above. Press toward the light blue triangle. Repeat. Sew these two units together, taking care to match the seams. You may want to sew with a longer stitch at first, to make sure the seams are matching. If you press toward the light blue triangles and carefully release the seam allowance in the center of the block, you will have a little pinwheel form in the seam.
Repeat all instructions for the second and third blocks.
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. If you use pen, please use something that is permanent, like a pigma or archival album pen. Do not forget to label your 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 September 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 THREE blocks for September. Please do NOT trim your blocks. Blocks will be due to Patty by September 30th. Please allow enough time for your envelope to travel through the mail system. Patty and I will be getting together to open "squishies" October 4th. 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.