I have had a couple of calls from people who are having problems following the directions to make up your quilt as you go blocks. The instructions are correct but the method is slightly different to a normal Quilt as you go method you may have done before so I thought a step by step photo tutorial may make it clearer to you especially if you are a visual learner…. this should clear up any confusion for you all…. have fun..
For one block you need one 10″ square of batting. It doesnt matter what type but keep to the same type for the whole quilt. A good way to use up all your scraps from previous quilt projects.
For one block you need
two rectangles of ColourA (dark green in photo) 3 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
two strips Colour A 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
two strips Colour A 1 1/2″ x 7 1/2″
two strips Colour B (floral in photo) 3″ x 7 1/2″
two strips colour B 3″ x 12 1/2″
Lay your finished stitchery block in the centre of a batting square. You can measure if you wish but just judging with your eye is okay – there are measures later to make up for imperfections.
Lay a 5 1/2″ Colour A strip right sides together on the top and bottom of the stitchery block.
using a 1/4″ foot stitch through all layers
because you are stitching through batting you may find it easier to use your walking foot.
press the strips open
Press open to reveal the finished front side of a block
trim the excess off one side at a time
If perfectly accurate there should be 3/4″ of batting left on each side of the block. However, if you were not perfectly accurate this is where you can fix it.
your completed block front
now take your two rectangles and lay them both right side up.
place them on top of each other (still both right sides up) and cut with your rotary cutter and ruler diagonally from corner to corner
take one pair of your triangles and lay them right sides together on opposite sides of your back centre 5 1/2″ square (this would normally be your stitched verse but I have just used a feature fabric to save time stitching another square)
stitch using a 1/4″ seam (careful not to stretch the bias edges of the triangles) and press open.
now lay the remaining two triangles right sides together on the remaining two sides. See how the little triangle bits hang out at the ends, this is correct as they will be even when you press them out after stitching.
press open. you can trim off your little triangles and square the block if you are a ‘neat’ freak but you dont have to.
now take your front block you made on the batting and lay it right side down on your table. Take the back diagonal square block like the one in the pic above and place it right side up in the centre of your wadding. Get it as accurate as possible but again just your eye is good enough.
Lay a 7 1/2″ strip right sides together on both sides of this block.
attach the strip using your walking foot and a 1/4″ seam through all layers – yes it will stitch through the strip on the front. The stitch line should be a 1/4″ from the edge of your strips on the front or thereabouts..
press the strips open
on the back again – lay the 12 1/2″ strips across the top and bottom right sides together. Stitch and press open
and this is how it looks from the front – note that the borders from the back are extending outside the edges of your batting square.
attach the two shorter 3″ strips, press open
repeat with the longer 3″ strips
and this is how they look from the front
place a ruler under your presser foot and lower the needle carefully so it sits on the 1 1/2″ line.
lay a piece of tape – masking tape or plumbers tape along the edge of your ruler on the machine bed
again using your walking foot stitch the two blocks together with the edges of the fabric lined up with the edge of your tape marking.
the larger than normal seam allowances (about 1 1/4″) are showing on the front side of your blocks – yes the front!
press open these seams
fold under a small hem on one seam allowance (Picture shows the burgundy one on the left) until the folded edge meets the stitching line. It should be about a 1/4″ hem which will give you a 1″ strip which now forms the last border on your front block!
now do the same on the other side of the seam allowance
I now used a wide zig zag stitch on my machine to stitch these seams down. Using a zig zag again gives you some leeway if your piecing has not been perfect. If you are a perfectionist or a traditionalist you can choose to hand slip stitch these edges down. If machine stitching begin and end the stitching line at the edge of the fabric on the front block – dont stitch right to edges of the back fabric. You could use an edge stitch if your piecing is super accurate or another fancy embroidery stitch on your machine for this step.
now imagine you have stitched two whole rows of these blocks together. you now need to join the rows in exactly the same way. And then when all the rows are together you will have 1 1/4″ seam allowances around all the edges. Bring them to the front in the same way with the little hem meeting the stitch line and your quilt is finished – both front and back and quilted!!! tada
I hope this solves and confusion and makes it more obvious to you how it works. It really does work and is quite a nifty method for a quilt such as this when you want it to grow with you as you stitch. Have fun creating…!