Saturday, September 17, 2011

September Blocks

I had Another day to play Catch-Up (Thursday), now it’s Saturday….

After taking care of a few errands on Thursday I had a break in the action to work on this post.  I didn't finish it then but after a busy couple of days I can post it for you now.  I hope you have time to look at it over the weekend.  The weather has turned a little cooler and it feels lovely to be outside even if I’m just doing errands.  I’ve got my schedule under better control since last month.   I did finish the Railroad Crossing quilt as well as my other class samples and a couple of customer’s quilts too.  I've also had time to start another quilt top.

I made three blocks for you this month… twice.  One batch in pink and brown and, one from my layer cake squares.  I’ve got lots of 10" squares left and as I’m thinking about setting them I have one idea for using just 12 blocks to make a wall/throw size quilt which will finish at about 62” x 62” but I wanted to offer another option with more blocks in case you want to make it a bit larger (and have less leftover fabric.)  So, this month you can choose which one you want to make or make all three.  Or, if there was one you especially liked in an earlier month you could always make another of one of those.  The second setting I offer will grow more easily to suit the number of blocks you make.

The first block was chosen as a nod to the changing of the seasons and it is called Flock of Geese.  The second one uses up some of smaller leftover bits that I can’t throw away.  And, the third is a tribute to my beloved New York called Yankee Puzzle.  Once a Yankee, always a Yankee; September no longer goes quietly by without my thoughts returning “home”.  

Flock of Geese:

Version 1: Two Fabrics

From both a Light and a Dark 10” fabric square:  Cut  (1)  4 7/8” square, and cut (4) 2 7/8” squares.  (Note:  For the smaller triangles you could also use an easy angle tool.  In that case, cut (2) strips 2 ½” x 10”, layer dark and light strips RST in one stack and cut 8 pairs of triangles with 4 cuts.)

Pair the large squares right sides together and draw a line diagonally on the back of the light square.  Sew ¼” on both sides of the diagonal and cut apart on the drawn line.  Yield 2 HST units.   Press the seam open.  Square up, if necessary, to 4 ½”.   Repeat using the sets of the smaller squares.  Square these up to 2 ½”.  Lay out the block as shown in the photo at right.  Sew smaller units in groups of two then sew twos into fours.  Keep the units all facing in the same direction-light sides facing one way, dark facing the other.  Pressing the seams open will help the block lay flatter especially in the center.

Version 2:  Scrappy

Cut (1) dark and (1) light square 4 7/8”.  Choose 4 different lights and 4 different mediums (pinks) and cut (1) 2 7/8” square from each.  (Stack ‘em and cut them all out at the same time.)  You should have lots of pieces left from previous blocks.  Using them will help tie all the blocks together!  Use the instructions above to assemble the block.


From one or more Dark fabrics cut a total of (4) 2 7/8” squares.  From one or more Medium fabrics cut a total of (8) 1 ½” x 2 ½” rectangles.  From one or more Light fabrics cut a total of (8)  1 ½” x 2 ½” rectangles AND, (4) 2 7/8” squares.  Lay the pieces out as shown in the photo at right.  Using the squares and the same method as in the Flock of Geese block for making Half-Square Triangle units, layer, mark and sew on both sides of the diagonal to make 8 HST units.  Sew rectangles together into groups of 4 by sewing them together along the long edge.  Sew the center of the block together.  Add a group of rectangles to the sides.  Add a HST unit to the end of each of the remaining rectangle units.  Sew these new units to the top and bottom of the center unit to complete the block. 

For a scrappier effect choose a wider variety of fabrics for the rectangles and further mix placement of lights and mediums.  This pink and brown version really isn't much scrappier than the blue and brown block above.

Yankee Puzzle:

From one light fabric (center pinwheel):  Cut (2) 2 7/8” squares.  From another light cut (6) 2 7/8” squares (or 2 2 ½” strips using an easy angle tool).

From Medium fabric:  Cut (2) 2 7/8” squares (or 4 triangles from a 2 ½” strip using an easy angle tool).

From Dark fabric:  Cut (1) 5 ¼” square, cut in half on both diagonals and (2) 2 7/8” squares (or, 4 triangles from a 2 ½” strip using an easy angle tool).

Using 8 matching light triangles sew onto both short edges of each of the 4 large dark triangles making four flying geese units.  Using smaller dark triangles, sew together with 4 matching light triangles to make 4 HST units.  Sew Medium triangles together with remaining light triangles.  Lay out block according to photo at right.  Sew a pair of triangle units onto the bottom of each flying geese unit to make 4 block sections.  Sew 2 sections together to make each half of the block.  Sew the halves together to complete the block.
My two blocks aren't much different from each other.  The top one is from my layer cake squares, the bottom one is from my stash.

Note:   I use an easy angle tool much of the time especially with 10” squares.  I feel like I get better usage out of my squares.  From (1) 10” square I can cut (2) 2 ½” strips and (2) 5” squares.  With those units I can cut almost every piece for these blocks, both triangles and squares.  However, I did not pre-cut my squares into these units. 

I hope you will enjoy making one or more of these blocks!  Enjoy the season!