Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tutorial for May Believe Circle Blocks

May is my month to choose the design of our quilt for the Believe Circle of do. Good Stitches. While I did get my idea out there at the first of the month, the instructions were very general and I had not even made my own blocks to share. There was some feedback that maybe my instructions were a bit too general so hopefully this tutorial will help.

The strip pieced portion of the block is created using a foundation behind the strips. Since the strips may be from scraps that are not on grain, the foundation stabilizes the piece and keeps it from getting stretched or distorted. The strip piecing should somewhat grade from light to dark and there should be two bold color strips added in the darker side of the strip set. I went through my stash and cut a lot of strips, then laid them out in the order I preferred in the block. There is no set width for the strips but mine ranged from 1 1/2" to 3" wide.

The strip pieced portion of the block will be cut down to 10 1/2" square so make sure your foundation square is at least that size. A little bigger is better.  The foundation fabric should be thin and light. Batiste works great. I have a good bit of older fabric in my stash and some of it is less expensive lighter weight fabric that I keep just for this purpose. Lay the center strip right side up on top of the foundation fabric. Lay the fabric that will go next to it right side down on top of the center strip. Stitch a 1/4" seam. Flip the second strip right side up and press. Continue this way until your foundation piece is covered by strips.

This is what it will look like from the back before you cut it to size.

And here is the strip pieced square once it is trimmed to a 10 1/2" square.

Next you will need two 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" strips in a very light color. You will also need a 3" square from the very light fabric and a 3" square of one of the bright colors from the block.

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the very light 3" square. Put the 3" squares right sides together and stitch a scant quarter inch seam on either side of the drawn line. Cut along the drawn line. Press open the two units and square them up to 2 1/2".

Lay the block out as pictured. Stitch one strip to the side of the block and one half square triangle to the end of the second strip. Be sure to position the bright triangle corner to the upper right.

Now stitch the bottom strip to the top block and strip and your block will be complete.

What about the extra half square triangle? For Believe Circle members, please send the extra in with your blocks. It will be used in the outer border of the quilt.

Believe Circle members should make two blocks. I made one using warm colors.

And the other block is with cool colors. You don't have to do that with yours. The most important thing is to use bold, bright colors.

The inspiration for these blocks comes from a quilt I saw on Pinterest.

Thanks for your patience, Believe Circle. I am looking forward to making a beautiful quilt from your May blocks.
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