It may not always be obvious, but I do really think about all the blocks I ask people to make, and all of them get a test sew-up. Group blocks need to be mostly easy to moderate in difficult, forgiving (few if any points to match), and quick. If I'm going to ask people to make a difficult block (like curved seams or paper piecing) the final design had better really deliver some wow factor!
Sometimes blocks don't make the cut, and that is how this little baby quilt came about. I really like the color scheme, which I may recycle later, but the effect of the curves on the four patches didn't work out like I'd hoped and I couldn't get consistent, fool proof results.
Although in the end this block was too finicky for mass-production, I was able to make a cute little baby quilt with my test blocks which is now in my Etsy shop. And since I was thinking about a tutorial I did photo-document the entire process so that if any of you wants to make a similar quilt for yourselves, you can!
Pull your fabrics and cut 7.5" squares, four per blocks. You'll need to make your blocks in pairs.
Sew up the four patches and layer them one on top of the other. Make sure the top blocks has a different fabric in each position than the one below (that is, the same color is not stacked on top of itself in any position.)
With your sharpest rotary cutter, cut a winding curve thought both layers of block at once. Take it from me, DO NOT make your curve as tight as mine is in the picture above. That was a mistake. Make smooth, big, gentle curves.
Switch the layers in one half of the block to make your new blocks.
With your quarter inch foot sew the new blocks back together. You can check out the links at the bottom of this tutorial for guidance sewing curves without pins or put "sewing easy curves" into google for tons of videos and tips. You DON'T need to pin. Just line up 1" at a time and go slow. Remember, the only place your two layers need to line up is just as they pass under the needle.
Press to one side or the other. I got insanely lucky on the blocks below and the ends almost lined up, but most of the time your ends won't and that's ok. That's why we started with 14.5" four patches.
Trim to 12.5" square. I made a point of keeping my main vertical and horizontal seams square, that is, at 90 degree angles to the blocks edges. I think you might get a cool effect from trimming at wonky angles, something to experiment with :)
And that's it! If anyone make a quilt from this tutorial I'd love to see pictures! And if anyone want this quilt, it's in my Etsy shop.
|Making good use of the heat left in the ironing board after pressing blocks|
Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.