Tips & Hints
For October we're going to do a variation of the Maple Leaf block. The block will be done with a leaf print or other Autumn-related print for the large triangle, a contrasting print for the triangles and stem and Kona Snow for the background. You will be making three blocks for October. (You will have one leaf print triangle left over so you might want to make an extra block for the comfort quilt project.)
Cutting directions for ONE block is below:
Draw a line diagonally on the wrong side of two 4" x 4" Kona Snow squares. Place these right sides together with each contrast print fabric square. Sew a scant quarter inch on each side of the line. Cut along the line. Press away from the Kona Snow triangle. You will have a total of four of these half-square triangle units for each block. Cut the leaf print square in half diagonally. (You will only need one of these triangles for each block, so reserve one for the next block.) Cut the 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" contrast fabric square in half diagonally.
Now we'll do the stem unit. Sew a contrast print triangle to one side of a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" Kona Snow square. Press away from the Kona square. Sew the other triangle to the adjoining side of the 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" Kona Snow square, checking block graphic above for correct placment. (I like to lay out all my pieces in the position they will occupy in the block before I start piecing.) Press away from the Kona square. Next comes the stem. If you prefer, you may press 1/4" under on each side of the 1" strip and applique it down, but I think what I've come up with makes a nice alternative to an appliqued stem.
Cut the Kona square in the previous unit diagonally from the tip where the two triangles meet to the opposite tip. There will be some extra seam allowance where the triangles were sewed on and pressed. You can remove this to cut down on bulk. Sew one side of the 1 " x 5 1/2" strip to the edge on the Kona snow piece that was just cut. Sew carefully, as this is a bias edge. Leave a little of the strip sticking out at the beginning and end. Trim the strip even with the edge of the contrast fabric triangle. Press toward the strip. Sew the other half of the stem unit to the other side of the strip, matching the end you just trimmed with the edge of the contrast triangle. Press toward the contrast fabric strip. You can now trim the excess stem even with the rest of the unit. The stem will be thinner than the one in the block graphic above. It was hard to draw it exactly the correct width in EQ5.
Sew two half-square triangle units together. These will be the ones on the top in the block graphic above. Be sure the contrast fabric triangles in the units are on the lower right of the unit. Press the seam to one side or open. Sew this to one "leg" of the leaf print triangle. Press toward the large triangle. Sew the remaining half-square triangle units together. These will go on the right side of the block. Sew a Kona Snow square to the end of this unit. Press toward the Kona Snow square. Be sure to check the block graphic for correct placement. Sew this unit to the right side of the previous unit, matching the seams. The seams will be pressed in opposite directions, which will help in lining them up. Sew this unit to the stem unit. Press toward the large triangle.
Repeat for a total of three blocks. The blocks are 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" unfinished. Here are a couple of tips that may help in piecing this block. You can trim the points of the triangles to help in lining them up with the other pieces of the block. You can use the Fons and Porter Point Trimmer, if you have one, or you can trim the large triangle to 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" and the small triangles to 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". This does the same thing as the Point Trimmer. Also, press units away from the side with more seams. If the number of seams on both sides is equal, you may want to press the seam open. Sometimes the seam wants to go one way at one end and the other way at the other end. You can carefully snip the seam allowance, making sure you don't cut into the seam. This will allow you to press the seam in the directions it prefers to go.
Send your blocks to Patty. The blocks should be mailed a week before the end of the month. If your blocks are late, you won't be in the drawing for that month and you'll cause more expense and work for Patty.