Road to Paradise
Tips & Hints
Here's the March block. Donna picked out this one. As mentioned last month, 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 March.
For your blocks you will need an a dark green, leafy print with a dark background and a lighter green print, marbled or tone-on-tone, for the background. I will be giving you instructions for foundation piecing the units that are not half square triangle units. Cutting instructions below are for EACH block. You may use templates if you prefer or any other method for the "Peaky" and "Spike" (as Doreen Speckman called them). I know there is a pair of rulers called Tri-Recs. I have some but I haven't seen them since I organized my sewing room. If you have a set and don't know how to use them, here's a tutorial. If you prefer to use templates, get them here.
We'll start with the half-square triangle units first. Place a dark green and a light green 5" x 5" square right sides together. Draw a light pencil line on the back of the light green square, from corner to opposite corner. Sew a scant 1/4" on each side of the line. Cut along the pencil line, and press open, with the seam toward the dark green. Trim to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2", making sure the seam goes from one corner to the opposite corner. Repeat once more. You will have four half-square triangle units. Repeat for the second block.
Next comes the square-in-a-square unit that is in the middle of the block. You can either use the snowball corner method, or foundation piece it. If you want to use the first method, the dark green square would be 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" and the four light green squares would be 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". Line a light green square up to one corner. Draw a light pencil line on the back of the light green square. Sew along the line. Press back toward the corner. Repeat for the other three corners.
Now, on to the foundation piecing. Click here for the foundation patterns. Unit I is the center of the block. Trim the pattern about 1/4" outside the dotted line. Take the 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" square and place it on the wrong side of the foundation, holding it up to the light to line it up so itís covering up the #2 shaded square. Make sure it overlaps an equal amount on each side. Secure with a pin or dabs of glue stick (the washable kind.) Trim off the four 3" x 3" light green squares, using the #3 template found here.
Align the light green triangle as shown in the diagram below. Pin carefully, away from the seam line. Sew on the line on the reverse side, sewing a couple of stitches into the seam allowance on both sides. Press in place. Repeat for the opposite side of the square.
Sew the other two triangles on, as shown in the diagram below. This time you will sew all the way to the dotted lines on each side. Press the triangles into place.
Trim your unit to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". The paper may shrink a little from the heat of your iron, so be sure to use your ruler when you trim. Also, you may want to use a rotary cutter with an old blade, as paper will dull your new one. It should look like the diagram below. Make one of these units for each block
For the next unit (I'll call it the star-point unit), use the B, D, F and H units of your foundation pattern. Trim a 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" light green square using the #1 template. Line this up on your foundation, on the wrong side, overlapping the #1 white triangle. The bottom edge of the fabric should extend slightly over the dotted line, so you have enough fabric when you're trimming. Secure the fabric with pins or glue. Trim two dark green 5" x 3" rectangles with template #2. The rectangles should be right sides together, so that you have pieces that are a mirror image of each other. Sew a dark green triangle to the light green triangle, on the foundation line, as shown in the diagram below. If the sewing line will not be crossed over, be sure to sew all the way to the dotted line. Press in place. Repeat for the other side.
Trim as you did the previous unit. Your unit should look like the diagram below. Repeat three more time for the first block. Make four additional units for the second block.
I find I have more control over the foundation pieced units if I remove the paper at this point. You may prefer to leave the paper on and remove it when the whole block is finished. Sew a square-in-a-square unit between two star-point units. The star points are pointing outward, as in the block graphic above. Press the seams open. Sew a star-point unit between two half-square triangle units, matching the placement in the graphic above. The dark triagle of the half-square triangle units is in the corner. Press seams open. Repeat for the bottom row. Sew your rows together, again pressing seams open. Be sure to match up your points and seams.
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. This is not optional.
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 March. Blocks will be due to Patty by the last week of March. You must be current with your blocks to be in the drawing.