Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just in the Nick of Time!

The July Layer Cake Blocks are Here!  For any who have been following along I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to get these posted.  But, if your summer has been busy or you’ve been out of town maybe you weren’t ready for them anyway.  But, before you think I’ve been slackin’ and just sittin’ around the pool sipping something icy cold and delicious that is far far far from the truth.  First off, I really don’t enjoy the HOT weather we’ve been having unless I were at the beach which I’m not.  So, I’ve been sewing and quilting A LOT, just not on these blocks.  My July list of completed projects includes quilting 7 quilt tops for others, sewing two dozen pillowcases (most for charity), completing a quilt top for a graduation gift before my niece heads off to college (that’s the next one to get pinned on my long-arm), and spending a week out in New York visiting my family, and work.   I’ve enjoyed it all and feel like I’m gaining control over my sewing room.  August should be busy too preparing my samples for the next round of classes I plan to teach.  Today’s block taken from one of the quilts I’m designing for a fall class.  It’s called:

Railroad Crossing 8” finished**:

Railroad Crossing-Layer Cake (left), pink and brown (right)
Choose 3 squares from your layer cake, one dark, one medium, and one light.

Pieces cut
From the 10” Dark (brown) square cut:

(1)    5 ¼”  square and cut it on BOTH diagonals to yield (4) dark side triangles

(2)    2 7/8” squares and cut them ONCE on the diagonal to yield (4) corner  triangles

From the Medium (tan) square cut:

(1)    3 ½” strip and from that cut (1) 3 ½” square and then trim the remainder to 3 3/8”.  I trimmed off the pinked edge.  Then cut (4) rectangles 1 ½” x 3 3/8”.

From the Light (blue) square cut: 

(2)    3 3/8” strips and from that cut (8) rectangles 1 ½” x 3 3/8”.

Block Layout
Use the picture to the left to lay out your block.  

Rectangle units pieced
To assemble, sew 2 light rectangles to either side of a medium rectangle making (4) units.  Press towards the light rectangles.

Pieced Rows
Take two of these units and sew them on to opposite sides of the 3 ½” square.  Make sure you are attaching the units along the side that's pieced!  Press towards the center square.  This is the center row.

Then, sew the large dark triangles to pieced units matching the edges; the points of the triangle should extend 3/8” above the pieced  unit.  Press away from the pieced unit.  This completes two more rows.   You now have 3 rows.  Do not attach the corner triangles just yet.
Sew the rows together matching and pinning seams in place.  Press towards the center row. 

Lastly, sew the 4 corners to the ends of the pieced rectangle units (not onto the side triangles, they won’t fit there!)  Press towards the corner pieces.   Done!

 **My blocks came out a little big.  You know how you’re usually told to sew with a scant ¼” seam?  You don’t want to do that with this size block.  I’m not really sure it’s meant to be made in an 8” finished size.  My 12” ones are much more accurate with what I call my “regular” seam allowance.

I did not make 4” or 2” blocks this time.  Instead I used my flannels to make 12” blocks! 

Here are the measurements for a 12” block:
From the Dark:

Cut (1) 7 ¼” square and cut it on BOTH diagonals to yield (4) dark side triangles

Cut (2) 3 7/8” squares and cut them ONCE on the diagonal to yield (4) corner triangles

From the Medium:

Cut (1) 4 ¾” center square

Cut (4) rectangles 1 7/8” x 4 ¾”

From the Light:

Cut (8) rectangles 1 7/8” x 4 ¾”
Follow the assembly instructions for the 8” block.