Tips & Hints
Here's the January block. I found this block on a website with antique quilts. Blue and yellow blocks have been a favorite of our swappers in the past, so I hope you will enjoy the block. We are trying different backgrounds other than the usual white-on-white and ecru-on-ecru ones this year. You will be making TWO blocks for January.
For your blocks you will need an assortment deep yellow to gold print fabrics and a deep blue print for the background. Think fireflies in the night sky. I used three different yellow prints in my block. You may make your blocks as scrappy as you like. Cutting instructions below are for EACH block. If you would prefer, templates are also available in pdf format.
Sew half square triangle units by placing a yellow print fabric 4" x 4" square on a blue print fabric square of the same size, right sides together. Draw a line from one corner to the opposite one, on the wrong side of the yellow fabric. Sew a scant 1/4" from each side of the line. Cut on the line. Press the seam (carefully so as not to stretch the bias seam) to one side. Trim the unit to 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". I use the bias square tool for this. You will make six half square triangle units for each block.
Sew a blue 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" square to one yellow side of four of the half square triangles. Press toward the blue square. Sew two of these units together, making sure your placement is the same as the upper left and lower right quarters of the block graphic above. Repeat. It's easy to get them together wrong. You can press these seams open or partially clip them as I did in my practice block, so I could get the "little four-patch" in the center when I pressed the block. See the back of my sample block.
Cut the blue 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares in half once diagonally, being careful to cut exactly from corner to corner. Trim the resulting triangles by lining up the 3 1/2" line of your ruler on each of the legs of the triangle (the sides that are at right angles to each other) and trimming the part of the point that extends beyond the ruler. This will help when piecing later. Cut the yellow 6 7/8" x 6 7/8" square in half diagonally as for the blue squares. Trim points beyond 6 1/2" from the legs of the triangles. The triangles will look like the graphic below.
Sew a blue triangle to each side of the two remaining half square triangles, matching the placement in the upper right and lower left of the block graphic above. The blunt corners you created in the previous step will help you match the pieces correctly. Press the seams toward the blue triangles. Sew those two units to the two large yellow triangles. Again, the blunt corners will help you match these pieces correctly. Be careful when you are stitching that the bias seam does not get stretched. I like to sew from the center out to each corner. Press toward the yellow triangle.
Lay your units out, using the block graphic as a guide. Sew the units in the first row together. Press toward the yellow triangle. Repeat for the second row. Sew the two rows together. Press the seam open or partially clip as I did in my sample block. (See the block back photo.) Repeat all steps for the second block.
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 seam allowance. 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 TWO blocks for January. Blocks will be due to Patty by the last week of January. You must be current with your blocks to be in the drawing. Remember to put your Priority Mail stamp and your address label in with your blocks. This is a one year commitment. Please don't wait until the last minute to make our blocks.