Just Takes 2™ Quilt – August 1 Quilt Blocks

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The sun is shining this morning and it's supposed to be a hot and muggy day here at the cottage. You'd never know it by the chilly night we had. There was fog on the lake when I got up and Clutch is snuggled under a quilt trying to stay warm. We're enjoying the summer and have the next installment of Just Takes 2 blocks for you today.

Isn't it an interesting mix of blocks today? Some easy, one a bit challenging and embroidery!


Block 57

 


A closer look at how the foundation paper piecing sections of this block are sewn together. For such a simple block, even I had to look at it twice.

Block 58

If you'd like to purchase the set of Optional Redwork Embroidery Designs just click on the text and you'll be directed to the Online Store.

Block 59

Please don't be intimidated by this star. If you work carefully you'll be fine. Is my block perfect? Nope, but it's the correct size, lays flat and I only had to "frog stitch" two seams so I'm happy. I've made more than a few Lone Star quilts including one that was my Daddy's funeral pall and I'll share what I've learned along the way.

 

  • For this block your strips need to be 1 1/2" wide. The actual measurement should probably have another 1/16th of an inch added to it but that's not practical. Just make sure your strips aren't less than 1 1/2".
  • Your seam allowance must be 1/4". If it's more than that your block will be too small. If you have to err on one side or the other, use a scant 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Don't be tempted to try and save time by sewing a strip set with strips cut the full width of your fabric. They'll end up wavy and distort your diamond segments.

 

 

  • Stagger the strips by 1 1/2" (the width of the strip) when sewing them together to save on fabric.
  • Use a shorter than normal stitch length. I use what I would for foundation paper piecing. This is important because we'll be pressing seam allowances open to reduce bulk and aid in matching points.


  • Use a ruler with a 45 degree line printed on it to cut your diamond segments. After you've cut two or three segments from a strip check your angle to make sure it hasn't gotten distorted. If it has, true it up and continue cutting your pieces.

  • Use standing pins to match the points on the diamonds. Keeping them vertical will give you the most accurate match.

  • Place a pin about 1/4" on either side of the standing pin to stabilize the match and keep it from shifting when you sew. Remove the standing pins before sewing the seam.

  • Continue pressing seam allowances open to reduce bulk and aid in matching points.

  • Let spray starch and your iron be your friends when working on this block.

  • I used the Diamond Guide (included in the pattern) and blocked each point of the star using a little spray starch and my iron. It really does make a difference.

  • Spray the diamond with a little spray starch. You don't need to saturate it, just have it damp. Use glass head pins to block it to the Diamond Guide pinned to your ironing surface. I think you'll be surprised how much you can manipulate the diamond to match the guide. Press with a hot iron and let it cool. You'll have a perfect, smooth diamond to work with.

  • We've talked about sewing "Y" seams before. I had no trouble sewing these on the machine but you can sew them by hand if you prefer. When sewing your diamond points together you'll notice that some of the edges are on the straight of grain and some on the bias. Whenever possible sew a straight of grain edge to a bias edge placing the bias edge on the bottom against the feed dogs of the machine. If an edge is going to stretch it will usually be the bias one and sewing a seam in this way will correct the stretch matching it to the straight of grain edge.

  • Here's a look at the seam allowances on the back of the block. The majority of them are pressed open, including the final seam sewing the two halves of the star together. The seam allowances on the background squares and triangles are pressed toward themselves. When I sewed two diamonds together I always pressed that seam allowance one way in the same direction. It works out great when you sew the two halves of the star together because the seams at the center will be staggered making it easy to match them.

  • I used the spray starch and iron again to block my finished star to 15 1/2". As you can see I'm still working on the embroidery. I hope to finish it this week. If you have trouble and I can answer any questions please email me and I'll do my best to help.

If you'd like to purchase the set of Optional Redwork Embroidery Designs just click on the text and you'll be directed to the Online Store.

Just Takes 2™ Blocks for August 1 - Click here

 

 

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  1. August 1 Blocks at Sentimental Stitches™ | Just Takes 2 - August 1, 2012

    […] The August 1 blocks are ready for you to download at Sentimental Stitches™. There are some tips for working on these blocks in today’s post. […]

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