Saturday, February 25, 2017

Grandad's Shirts Block Drive

Welcome to the March-April Covered in Love block drive!  This time we're going to make blocks inspired by this awesome quilt. I'm calling it "Grandad's shirts" because that's what the colors and texture remind me of. 

The color scheme for this block is black, grey, and true-blues (not teal, aqua, turquoise, etc). Think manly colors :)

You need to cut (4) fabrics 4.5"x8.5" and one (the one in the middle) 4.5"x6.75"

Lay the 6.75" long piece sideways and measure from one side, making small pencil marks at the top and bottom as shown: 1.5" in from the edge, 2",2.75", 3.25", 4", 4.5", 5.25", 5.75"

Begin at the first set of hash marks that are half an inch apart, make a fold, wrong sides together, so that the adjacent hashes match up, and pin at both edges of the fabric. (Look at the pictures and hopefully this will make sense.)

Pin through the hash marks, then press the crease.

Sew the crease in with your quarter inch foot, which should mean you're sewing at the line of the hash marks you made earlier, connecting them. These stitches will be visible in the final quilt.  You can match the thread color to the fabric or use white or black, but please use the same in the top and bobbin.

Basically what we're doing is sewing in 4 creases. Each one falls right between the hashes that were half and inch apart, with 0.75" in the "valleys" between one crease and the next.

Pin the next crease in the same way as the first one and sew.

Once you've sewn all 4 creases carefully press just the outside half inch or so down. On one edge press them up and on the other edge press them the opposite direction.

Sew a line of stay stitching less than 1/4" from the edge to keep the directionality of the creases.

It's a little difficult to measure this little block since it doesn't want to lie flat but give it a try. Hopefully it measures 4.5" square, but there was a little play in the original measurements so you may need to trim a bit.

Now you can start to really lay the block out. Yes, partial seams! Don't worry.  **PS- do yourself a favor and flip your middle block upside down from how mine is, so that the creases are closer to the bottom of the block than the top.

Start applying to side blocks by taking one and sewing it to the middle block from their flush edge to 1/2" from the point where the small block ends.

Apply the next block across the new edge made by the joined middle and edge block.

...and the next, same way.

To apply the last edge piece fold down the first side you sewed so you can clearly see the edge where this block will join.

Sew it just like the others.

Then flip the first edge piece back up into place and fold it over to see your last seam to be sewn. Finish sewing that partial seam and you're all done.

The block should finish 12.5" square.  Press all seams toward the outside.  Try not to press directly on the creases if you can avoid it.

(Edited to Add: View some finished quilts here)

I know many of your are old hats at these block drives, but for anyone who's new to Covered in Love, we give quilts to patients who pass away at a hospital in east Texas.  Family members can take the quilts home with them to wrap up in afterward.  Anyone can participate in the block drives and make as few or as many blocks as you like.  Email or leave a comment (make sure I can reach you) for a mailing address or if you have any questions!

If you blog about working on these blocks, or any other charity sewing, you're invited to join the linky. Every Wednesday!
You can check out finished quilts from previous block drives here.

Linking to Oh Scrap!


  1. I will probably try this block but simplify it, the center will be a plain block. I have a lot of my mom's stash in browns to be used up. Perfect for men's quilts. Thanks for the pattern.

  2. Oo, this one has some challenging new techniques! I've been wanting to try some 3D blocks and this one will be my first :) Fun!

  3. Very fun and imaginative block Kat. Your color choices are perfect. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  4. I've made pleats before when I made clothes and I've made this block before but never made this block with pleats in center. Very interesting.

  5. Oh!! I can't WAIT to give this block a try!!

  6. I'm finally going to be rewarded for getting my seam allowances going in opposite directions! This looks fun!

  7. Pleats & partial seams! This will be a bit of a challenge that I'm looking forward to.

  8. This looks totally intriguing! I've never tried pleating before, should be fun!

  9. Love the added texture in this block! Thanks for the tut!

  10. I just finished this block 6 of them! Some hints that helped me were: 1) I made the hashtags on the inside of the squares bc it helped me line them up better. 2). I marked 1/2" all around the middle square. 3) my sewing room was quiet so I could concentrate. 4) I chained pieced each step. 5). Trust the tutorial. Do it step by step without trying to figure out the "future"!

    This block was challenging, but SO MUCH FUN! I'm so glad I made them! It feels great to have completed what, for me, was a challenge!

    Thank you, Kay, for a fun long distance Friday afternoon! It felt like you were right in my sewing room cheering me on! I'll soon be posting pictures of the finished blocks! It feels fantastic to have achieved this goal! Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Kat! Doesn't AutoCorrect drive you nuts? :-)