Tips & Hints
Here's the May block. Patty picked out this one. It's a traditional pansy block with a few modifications to make it eaiser to piece. There are two places where you will need to sew a "Y" seam, but I'll try to make it painless. You will be making THREE blocks for May. One will be Patty's "thank you" block.
For your blocks you will need a medium and a light purple (lavender) print and a light green leafy print for the background. You will also need scraps of a black print and a gold print. I am giving you rotary cutting directions, but some of the pieces will need to be cut with templates. The templates are here. You can also paper piece part of the block if you wish. The parts that can be paper pieced are here. When you print them, be sure that the Acrobat Reader is not shrinking or stretching the patterns. If you do not have Acrobat Reader 6, you may download it by clicking the button at the bottom of the page. I'm only putting one template of each size in the document (to keep the size down), so be aware that you will need to cut some of them with two fabrics right sides together to get the mirror image piece. Cutting instructions below are for all three blocks.
We'll do the "Y" seam pieces and get them out of the way first. Place the 5" x 6 1/2" rectangles of light purple print right sides together and use template B to cut them to size. Mark the corners of the longest diagonal seam with dots. (See graphic below.) Since we are sewing "Y" seams, we will not sew all the way to the edges. Sew these together, starting at the first dot and ending at the second dot. You may want to back stitch or stitch in place at the dots, so the stitching will not pull out. Your piece will now resemble a heart. Repeat twice more for the other two blocks. Cut the light green 2 3/8" x 2 3/8" squares in half diagonally or use template "C". You will have four triangles. (One will not be used for the blocks.) Mark the corner (where the sides form a right angle) of the triangles with a dot. (See graphic below.)
Match this dot to the dot on one side of the "v" in the top of the heart shape. Sew from the dot to the edge. Then match the other side of the triangle to the other side of the "v" and again sew from the dot to the edge. Repeat with the other two heart-shaped units, pressing the long seam open and the green triangle toward the purple. Using the same principle, sew a gold 2" x 2" square (template "J") to the bottom of the heart shape, sewing from the dot outward. Press toward the purple fabric. Repeat twice more. Cut the 5 3/8" x 5 3/8" squares in half diagonally or cut template "A". You will have four triangles. (One will not be used.) Sew the longest edge to the top of the heart shape, matching the center of each unit. Press toward the large green triangle. Repeat twice more. There, the hardest part of your block is completed. This unit should measure 8" x 8".
Next are the half-square triangle units. Place a gold print fabric and a medium purple fabric 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square right sides together. Draw a light pencil line on the back of the light 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 darker fabric. Trim to 2" x 2", making sure the seam goes from one corner to the opposite corner. Repeat these instructions, using light green fabric and medium purple fabric. You will have two half-square triangle units of each color combination. Repeat twice for the other two blocks.
Take two medium purple rectangles, 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" (this is equivalent to template "D"). You will be sewing 2" x 2" light green squares to three of the corners to make snowball corners. These two pieces will be mirror images of each other, so please check the block graphic above for placement. Repeat twice more. If you need a refresher on snowball corners click here. Take two light purple rectangles, 2" x 3 1/2" (equivalent to template "K"). Use a medium purple square 2" x 2" to make one snowball corner on each, again mirror images of each other. Repeat twice more. Take two light purple rectangles, 2" x 5" (equivalent to template "E"). Use a black square 2" x 2" to make one snowball corner on each, again mirror images of each other. Repeat twice more. Sew a light green 2" x 2" square to one corner of a medium purple 5" x 5" square (equivalent to template "F"), as a snowball corner. Repeat twice more. You should have all the units to your block. Lay them down on a table or up on your design wall in the positions they will be in the block and check to make sure your snowball corners are in the right place and your half square triangle units are in the proper rotation.
Sew a medium purple and gold half-square triangle unit to the end of the light purple rectangle with the medium purple snowball corner. It will go on the end opposite to the end with the snowball corner. Press toward the light purple. Sew a medium purple and light green half-square triangle on the same end as the snowball corner, so that the two smaller medium purple triangles form a larger triangle. Press this seam open. Check the block graphic for correct placement. Repeat for the other side, making sure this one is the mirror image of the first one. Repeat for the other two blocks. Sew the previous units to the side of the medium purple units with the three light green snowball corners. They will go on the side with only one snowball corner and will be mirror images of each other. Press this seam open to minimize bulk in the seams. Repeat twice more. Sew a light purple rectangle with a black snowball corner to the bottom of each of the previous units, checking the block graphic for proper placement. Press toward the light purple rectangle. Repeat twice more.
Sew the medium purple square with one light green snowball corner to the bottom of one of the previous units. Press toward the medium purple square. Sew the other unit to the proper side of the first unit that is mostly light purple with a light green triangle on one corner and a gold square in the opposite corner. See block graphic for proper placement. Press toward the light purple. Repeat twice more. Sew the remaining unit to the previous unit, matching seams. Press toward the light purple. Repeat twice more.
Your blocks should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2". Click here to see a photo of the front of the test block I made. Click here to see the back. You will see that I pieced it a bit differently than my instructions. I figured out an easier way to piece after I had finished my 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. 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 THREE blocks for May. Blocks will be due to Patty by the last week of May. You must be current with your blocks to be in the drawing.