Saturday, 5 October 2013

Cross roads - a block tutorial

As I was saying in my post yesterday, I am queen bee this month in the Siblings Together Bee 2. I couldn't find a pattern I really wanted to use so I played a little bit with an high-tech quilt design software (aka Excel) to put on paper/screen the idea I came up with, which could work for a bee. I decided on this block that I have called Cross Roads. It is a "pixelated" block that can be chain pieced very easily. Read on if you want to know how to piece it with, what I like to call my "extreme chain piecing" method, which is also an excellent method to avoid any confusion/mistake when you are piecing a pixelated block. All the squares are sewn as arranged for the block. I used this method when I worked on my Super Mario blocks and it was perfect with all these little 1' squares.



The block is not difficult as it is made of squares only. My block finishes at 18' and is made of 81 squares (2.5'). If you have a Sizzix machine and the 2.5' square die, this is ideal to cut your fabric for this block!
So for this block you will need:
40 background squares (white/cream/beige/off white for my block)
16 green squares
13 blue squares
12 red squares
Now take your squares and lay them on a table or on the floor in an arrangement you are happy with for your block and Take A Picture. (Just in case, a child, your cat/dog or the wind moves the squares before you had time to use them). This was my plan for the block:
You are now ready to chain piece the block. We will work in columns first (sewing column 2 to column 1, then adding column 3 then 4, 5 etc)
First place the blocks of the second columns face down on the first (A2 on A1, B2 on B1, C2 on C1 etc)
and starting from your last row (I) make a pile of your pair.
You can now sew all your chain piece all your pairs. Don't cut the thread between your pairs, head back to your block and make a pile of the column 3 squares (starting from row I)
Chain piece column 3 to your columns 1+2 pairs. Before you had your squares from row 3, finger press the seams. Press towards the left for row 1, right for row 2, left for row 3, right for row 4 etc.

Don't cut the thread between your groups of 3 squares and go and collect row 4 starting from I4.
Repeat until there is no lose square left! You will get an elongated version of your final block like this, which needs to be squeezed!
All the rows are attached together by the chain piecing thread, so you won't get confused when finishing it.
The final step now is very easy, you need to transform the rectangle above into a square. All you have to do is to sew row 1 to row 2, row 3 to rows 1+2, row 4 to rows 1+2+3 etc until finished. Because you have finger pressed your seams alternating left and right for each row, you will be able to align your squares very easily (you could be pinning if you wanted to but that would take some time!). I don't like pinning I must say. Anyway from the picture above to the picture below is less than 15 minutes sewing time and a few minutes pressing with the iron! Et voila, all done!
So what do you think? Do you like my block? Did you find my tutorial useful or is it not clear? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you make any blocks, well I'd love to see them!
Celine

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