Monday, January 4, 2010

Sewing the Blocks

Got all your fabric cut? Let's start sewing then! 

First thing you need to do is lay your squares out in a pattern that is pleasing to you. 


Take the square in the top left corner and flip it over onto the top of the middle square so that the right sides are facing each other. 

Pin the blocks

Then sew them together using a 1/4 inch seam (all seams during this quilt along will be 1/4 inch, the standard for quilting)


Now take the square on the top right and flip it over onto the middle square with right sides facing each other.


Pin the blocks together and sew.

Repeat with the other two rows

Time to iron! I iron all my seams to the side because it makes for a stronger seam. And from what I understand is standard practice for quilt making.

Lay the row on the ironing board face down. 


Iron the back by pressing the seams to the side. 


You'll need to iron the rows in opposite directions to reduce bulk. Iron the first row to the right, the middle to the left, then the bottom to the right. 

Now that you have the three rows sewn together and ironed, it's time to sew the rows to each other. Lay your rows back out, then flip the top one over onto the middle one, right sides facing each other.


Pin the rows together, being sure to match the seams.


The way I like to be sure the seams match is by putting the fabrics together, then folding down one to make sure the seams line up.

 Don't pin the fabric like the picture shows! I had to pin it so I could take a picture. Just fold it down to make sure it matches, then flip it back up and pin them together.

Sew the two rows together. When you're sewing the rows be careful to watch how your seams are laying. Since you ironed them to the side it can twist on the underside while you are running it through your machine. The easiest thing to do is make sure you are sewing in the direction of your seams on the bottom and then you can just keep an eye on the ones on the top and adjust them if necessary.

Edited this post to add this:
Our friend Karen so graciously gave me a picture of her wonky seam so you can see what can happen. Notice how the seam opened up as she was running it through the machine. This actually isn't that bad. If you're not careful though it can flip the other way and then it will be facing to the right on one end and the left on the other.


Now flip the bottom row onto the middle row and pin them together, matching seams. Then sew the two rows together.

After sewing the rows together, it's time to iron again. You can either iron these new seams to the right, the left or iron them toward the outsides of the block as pictured, whatever floats your boat. It doesn't really matter.

Voila! A finished block


Now repeat the steps with all of the rest of your squares until they're all made into blocks. Keep in mind that you probably have extra squares. Look back to the first post if needed to see how many blocks you need altogether. You may want to keep those extra squares as individual squares so you can use them in other parts of the quilt. 

You need to keep something in mind when you're sewing your blocks together. If you are using charm packs it will most likely be impossible to have all of your blocks exactly the same because you won't have enough duplicate fabrics, that's ok! 

Also, if you're using 9 different fabrics then you need to decide if you want all of your blocks identical, or if you'd rather move the squares around so that your blocks are different. If you decide to make all of your blocks identical then remember that the middle square of your block will end up as a 2.5" block throughout the entire quilt top and your corner blocks will all be 5" blocks and it can create a pattern. If you do decide to make them all the same and create a pattern then make sure the block you put in the middle doesn't have a large print that will be lost when the block is cut.

That's all she wrote....well, for now.

Get to sewing! Have questions? Join us in the discussion group.


Crafty Maine Mom said...

Ok. I just finished getting all the blocks together last night. I am realizing the benefit of good fabric the more I use the cheap fat quarter fabric.

My teenager told me she likes it so far. I can't wait for the next step. Thanks

Karen said...

This is going together great. Thanks for the clear instructions,and great photos.

Post a Comment