Tips & Hints
For July we are doing a fruit basket block. It's my version of 751.5 (Primrose Patch) in the Barbara Brackman book. It's an advanced block as far as piecing is concerned, but there are no techniques that we haven't done before. Cutting all the patches takes the longest amount of time. You will be using a print that's suitable for a bowl (I used blue in my graphics because it seemed to go nicely with the fruit colors, but other colors might work as well), assorted prints in fruit colors (I used some fabrics with smallish fruit prints in my sample block but I think it would look better with tone-on-tone prints for these), two medium/dark green prints for leaves (or scrappy if you prefer) and Moda Marble Sweet Green for the background. You will be making TWO blocks for July.
Cutting directions for TWO blocks are below:
Cut the 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" Sweet Green square in half once diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. Place pairs of 6 7/8" x 2 1/2" rectangles right sides together. Trim one corner off at a 45 degree angle so the shorter side measures 4 3/8". Cut two 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" squares twice diagonally from corner to opposite corner. Cut the 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" square in half once diagonally. The Fruit Color print squares were rounded up to the nearest 1/8" as were the squares for the snowball corners, so you have some extra "wiggle room" for those. The blocks should turn out about 1/4" larger so they can be trimmed by the winners. Cut the 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" bowl fabric squares in half once diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. I suggest that you lay all your pieces out on a flat surface the way they will be in the block, as it's easy to get pieces sewn together incorrectly. I had to move one snowball corner and I thought I was being really careful.
Sew snowball corners to the fruit color print squares. For a refresher on snowball corners click here. I used a Clover white marking pen on the green squares. It disappears when you press. See the block graphic for correct placement. Two squares will have snowball corners on all four corners. The same green prints will be on opposite corners. Please note that none of the same greens touch. The other squares will have two green snowball corners and one Sweet Green corner. The fourth corner will be trimmed after the block is assembled. Sew two fruit snowball units together for the first row. The Sweet Green corners will be touching at the upper left side and the green corners will be on the lower right side. Press seams open. Sew the remaining snowball units together, with the units having four green corners in the middle and the ones with three snowball corners on the ends. The Sweet Green corners will be on the lower right side. Press seams open. Sew a 4 1/4" quarter square triangle to the ends of the two previous rows, maching the placement in the block graphic above. The triangle is on the bias, so be careful not to stretch it. Press toward the Sweet Green triangles Sew a 3 7/8" half square triangle to the upper left side of the first row. You may want to press a small crease in the center of the triangle and match it to the seam in the first row. The triangle will not extend to the ends of the first row, as there will be some trimming later. This edge is also on the bias, so be careful not to stretch it. I sewed my seam from the center out. Press toward the Sweet Green triangle. Sew the two rows together, matching seams. Press toward the first row. Repeat for the second block. Yaaay!! The hard part is done.
Place the 7" bowl print and Sweet Green squares right sides together. Draw a line with pencil on the wrong side of the Sweet Green square from corner to opposite corner. Sew a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the line. Cut on the line and press toward the bowl fabric. Trim to 6 1/2" square. Join a 4 7/8" half square triangle to a Sweet Green 6 7/8" x 2 1/2" rectangle with one corner trimmed. The triangle will be joined to the shorter side of the rectangle. Match the square corners and the other ends will be offset by 1/4" inch. See block graphic above for correct placement. Press toward the bowl fabric. Join these units to the two sides of the half square triangle unit that are bowl fabric. See block graphic for correct placment. Press away from the half square triangle unit. Repeat for the second block. Join the two halves of the block, matching the centers. Be careful of the bias edges. Sew from the center out to both ends. Press toward the bowl unit. Repeat for the second block. If you did this right, the bowl unit will be slightly smaller than the fruit unit. If you forgot to trim your half square triangle unit, like I did, they should match perfectly. You may trim the excess fruit fabric even with the Sweet Green triangles if you wish or leave that for the winners to trim when they trim their blocks to size.
We are making TWO blocks for July. The blocks are 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" (approximately since we did round some measurements up) unfinished. Do not trim your blocks. Let the winners of the blocks trim them as necessary when they set them into a quilt top. And remember to label your blocks (sticky address label is a good method). Send your blocks to Patty. The blocks should be mailed a week before the end of the month. By now you should have sent your Priority stamp and label to Patty. Priority Mail went up another 20 cents on May 12th, so you might want to send Patty some additional postage if you have not won a set of blocks yet. 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. Another reminder, all blocks should be made with 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabrics that have been washed, dried and pressed. If you are having trouble finding the common Sweet Green Moda Marble background, please email Patty. This is the background fabric we're using this year, in order to have some consistency to the blocks. No other background fabric is acceptable.