Quilter's Block Challenge
These three quilters show how to make and combine different quilting blocks from one fabric collection.
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Alex Anderson challenges long time quilters Jim Kankula, Jean Wells, Jan Mullen to create blocks of their own design based on five red and white fabrics from her Redwork Romance collection. Quilter Russell Scott pulled all the blocks together into one great quilt.
Block 1: Aunt Vina's Favorite
Instructions provided courtesy of Jean Wells.
Materials and Tools:
1/8 yd of five different fabrics ranging in values from light to dark
basic cutting and sewing supplies
1. Determine where light, medium and dark values will go. The lightest values will go in the "C" and "F" sections, the darkest values in the "A", "B", and "E" sections, and a medium or bright in the "D" section.
2. Cutting for one, nine-inch block (9-1/2 inches unfinished). Refer to schematic
(cutting for four blocks)
A one, 3-1/2-inch square (4)
B two, 3-7/8-inch squares, cut diagonally (4)
C two, 3-7/8-inch squares, cut diagonally (4)
D eight, 1-9/16-inch squares (this sounds odd but when you put these on the diagonal this is how it comes out) (32)
E eight, 1-9/16-inch squares (32)
F eight, 2-3/8-inch squares, cut diagonally (32)
3. Stitch B and C triangles together. Press seams toward the darker fabric. Make sixteen.
4. Stitch the D and E squares together in pairs (64). Stitch two units together to make 32 four patches.
5. Stitch two F triangles to opposite edges of each four patch. Press toward F. Add the other two F triangles to the opposite sides. Press.
6. Lay out the blocks in three rows as shown. Stitch together blocks in rows 1, 2, and 3. Join the rows. Make four blocks.
7. Arrange the four blocks. Stitch together in two rows. Join row 1 to row 2.
One of the things that I like about this block is the secondary pattern that is created when several are pieced together without the insertion of sashing. I can bring a quilt that I made from antique-looking blacks and creams with an antique gold color in the D squares. It really turned out nice and would show another style of fabric from the red and white. Quilters sometimes need to see different ideas.
Block 2: Redwork Romance Tea Break
Instructions provided courtesy of Jan Mullen.
Finished size is 18-1/2-inch square.
Materials and Tools:
center - 11-1/2-inch white print square
border - four prints, each 12-1/2" x 16-1/2" - I cut some of the plaid print across the grain, you will need more if you do this. Cut eighteen 3-1/2-inch squares from each print to make 72 border squares
top layer - 12-1/2-inch red print square
border - two pieces each from two prints, 3-1/2 x 20-1/2 (all cut along the bias grain)
batting - cut 20-1/2" x 20-1/2" (optional)
applique thread - 1 skein of red embroidery floss, 2-1/2-inch length of Ecru DMC 4 Tapestry Cotton
stitching thread - ecru
1. On paper, draw a cup and saucer to scale to fit within an 11-1/2-inch square. Cut out the cup and saucer so that the drawing can be used as a template.
2. Cut the secret layer, top layer, border and batting.
3. Piece the secret layer border. To do this, cut the 72 border squares in half, approximately from corner to corner. Mix up and pair the triangles along their cut centres. Stitch. Press to the darker triangle. Trim each unit to a perfect 2-1/2-inch square with 'crooked' insides. Next, arrange the units to make 26 "Broken Dishez" blocks. These are groups of four units with two dark and two light triangles pointing alternately to the center. You will also need four half "Broken Dishez" blocks. These have a dark triangle facing top right joined on top of a dark triangle facing top left. Next, join three blocks and a half block for both the top and bottom of the secret layer border. Stitch on to the secret layer center. Join five blocks and a half block for each of the sides. Stitch on to the secret layer center. Finally, position the freshly pressed secret layer in the center of the batting.
4. Position the top layer over the secret layer. Center it also.
5. Mark the design on the top layer using the template and a marking
6. Secure around the design areas lightly with small safety pins to hold the sandwich together.
7. Cut out the area to be reverse appliqued a quarter inch in from the marked line, clipping seams where necessary. Secure with applique pins.
8. Stitch the prepared applique area. Do not stitch through the backing, merely stitch to adhere the top layer to the batting. I used six strands of floss and a large running stitch.
9. Turn under, pin and reverse applique the outer edge of the top layer. I tried to give this edge a slightly quirky, curvy look.
10. Time for the border. Cut the edges off each of the four pieces at 45 degrees to form a miter. Stitch the pieces together along this miter. Press the seams open. Lay this floating border over the sandwich. Secure lightly with small safety pins. Turn under the inner edges, clipping the mitered seams when necessary, to give another slightly curved edge. Pin with applique pins. Stitch with embroidery floss and the same large running stitch.
11. Mark the handle line on the top layer. Using a large needle and the tapestry cotton, bring the thread from the back near the top of the handle. Let it sit loosely and return it to the back at the end of the handle. Couch this along the marked line with ecru sewing thread.
12. Trim the block back to 18-1/2-inch square.
Block 3: I'm Seeing Red
Instructions provided courtesy of Jim Kankula.
Fabric requirements for 1 block (Finished size 18 inches square)
Darkest 1/4 yard
Medium 1/4 yard
Lightest 1/3 yard
Checkered 1/4 yard
Medium Floral for corners 1/8 yard (or just use lightest again)
1. Paper-piece the 16 square foundations and piece them in rows as shown.
2. Paper-piece the eight border rectangles and piece them together in pairs.
4. Sew the border strips that have no squares on the ends to opposite sides of the center block. Sew on the last two border strips (with squares).
Block 4: Star of Romance
Instructions provided courtesy of Alex Anderson.
- Cut four five-inch squares (Redwork Romance fabric 814R) Mark pieces 4E.
- Cut one 10-1/4-inch square then cut diagonally into four (Redwork Romance fabric 814R) Mark pieces 4E.
- Cut two 5-3/8-inch squares, then cut each into two triangles, diagonally (Redwork Romance fabric 812R) Mark pieces 2A.
- Cut six 3-1/8-inch squares, then cut each into two triangles, diagonally (Redwork Romance fabric 812R) Mark pieces 1A.
- Cut six 3-1/8-inch squares, then cut each into two triangles, diagonally, (Redwork Romance fabric817R) Mark pieces 1B.
- Cut six 3-1/8-inch squares, then cut each into two triangles diagonally (Redwork Romance fabric 815R) Mark pieces 1C.
- Cut six 3-1/8-inch squares, then cut each into two triangles diagonally (Redwork Romance fabric 813R) Mark pieces 1D.
1. Sew one 1A triangle to 1B triangle. Repeat to make 12 triangle squares. Each triangle square should measure 2-3/4-inch square.
2. Add one 1C triangle to the triangle square. Repeat to make 12.3. Add one 1D triangle to the top, completing the pieced triangle unit. Repeat to make 12.
4. Sew one 2A triangle to one pieced triangle unit. Repeat to make 4 pieced triangle squares. Each should measure 5" square.
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