Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cutting and Sewing, Part Deux

Have you got yourself a nice pretty stack of blocks?

Yes? Ok, now you're going to cut them up.

Whoa, wait, what? Cut them? All that hard work sewing them together and now we're going to cut them?

Why yes, yes we are. Muahahahaha!!!

Oops, sorry. That sort of, um, slipped out.

Moving right along, take your block and line it up within the markings of your mat.

Your block should be 14". Don't freak out if it's off a bit, that happens. The goal of this step is to find the middle of the block. If your block is 14", then you'll make your cut at 7". If your block is off a bit, just find the center. Make your cut there.

Without moving your block, measure the center of the block horizontally as well and make a cut there.

I do apologize for that terrible glare on my ruler, but you get the gist.

Your block should look like this after you make your cuts

Now take two of your newly formed squares and rotate them. You'll want to use two squares that are opposite diagonal corners from each other.  I rotated the top right and the bottom left. (You don't have to only rotate two squares, feel free to rotate more. The "standard" for this pattern is to rotate two, but it's your quilt, do what you want with it.)

Flip the squares on the right onto the squares on the left and pin them.

Sew them together. Be sure to keep any eye on the existing seams while you're sewing to make sure they don't twist under your presser foot.

Iron the newly sewn seams making sure to iron one row to the left and the other to the right.

Pin your rows together making sure to match that center seam.

Sew the rows together and you have a disappearing 9 patch block!

♫ Oh, oh, oh ♫
♫ It's magic, you know ♫
♫ Never believe it's not so.... ♫

Ahem, sorry again. Getting myself under control now...

Few things to keep in mind on this step. You may notice I didn't mention ironing the final seam of the block. I ironed it so I could show you a flat, pretty block for the picture. But, you may want to wait on ironing that final seam. Reason being is that if you iron them all now and in the same direction, when you lay the blocks out for your quilt top you'll have seams going in the same direction and will have to re-iron later. So leave that step out for now.

Also, this is your quilt. Do whatever you want with it to make it yours. You can follow my directions exactly or you can deviate and make yours different. I'll mention some things you can do later but I wanted to mention this part on this step in particular. You don't have to cut all your blocks and make them into disappearing 9 patches. Feel free to leave some of them alone and mix it up. Again, totally up to you.

That's it for now. You have one week for this step because it moves along fairly quickly. Don't forget to check out the chain piecing tutorial. And as always, join us in the discussion group if you have any questions.


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