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2018 Block of the Month - Row 3

 by thequiltingpatch on 17 May 2018 |
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Hello friends... 
You'll be pleased to hear that after a bumpy and hectic start to the year I am actually caught up with this project. Hmm, I should rephrase that. I have all my fabrics from the first two rows cut out and ready to take to a sewing retreat on 1st June. 
I did, however, cut and sew a trial run of this next border last weekend and I'm quite happy with the way it has sewn out. So this time you are getting photos of my block as well as the usual instructions.

This next row is made up of 12 Picket Diamonds blocks, a variation of a picket fence. ( Remember that there are two rows ( so 24 picket blocks)  to make and for those making it even larger, you may have to make more to increase the width of your quilt. )

The block is a rectangle that should measure 8.5 x 6.5 inches. It SUPER IMPORTANT that you finish up with this measurement. My suggestion is that you make one block up as a tester and if it doesnt measure up do some investigating. 
What to look for if its not measuring up....
1. Have you cut it right? Go back and check your measurements.
2. Are you sewing with a scant 1/4 inch? In patchwork we cut with a regular 1/4" off your ruler but we sew with a scant 1/4". This measurement is slightly smaller than the 1/4" off your cutting ruler or measuring tape. 

Here is the cutting instructions for the row.
Please note there is a section we are not going to piece on to this block, rather we will add it as a plain strip to the quilt. That is why it will be a rectangle when you finish up, instead of a square.
Also with the A strips there is no need to cut them back to 4 1/2", just cut your strips 1 1/2 by the width of fabric as we will make strip sets.

This block is made of two sections - a strip set and a square in a square.
The top section is a simple strip set construction, broken down to 2 sets of 4 strips. Each strips is an A piece ( 1 1/2" wide strip) 
I would recommend only sewing strips of two together and then sewing the twos to each other. ie if you sew the strips one to the next 4 times you'll find they start to twist. 

Once you have a strip set of 4, you can crosscut them at 4 1/2"

Measure your block now, it should measure 8 1/2" x 4 1/2". 

The lower section is made up of quite small square in a square blocks. These can be fiddly, so take your time and enjoy the process.
On that note...
I have the same attitude to my sewing as I do to cooking. Sometimes I'm making something simple or quick and its ok to be rushed. Othertimes I want a really great result, so I take my time and do each part of the task wth care and precision.  This is one of those times.
Im going to run through these instructions slowly, I hope its not too annoying, but at the end you should have the skills to make perfect square in a square blocks every time.

This block consists of a centre square with 4 x triangles attached to each side. It sounds simple, and it can be just that if you take your time and follow a few rules. Then you'll wind up with a block that hasn't lost its points. 
Step 1
Take a D square ( 1  7/8") a place a B triangle (1 7/8") along one egde, centring it so that there is a 1/4 inch hanging over each side. This excess needs to be evenly spread over each side.

Sew along this edge with a scant 1/4" seam.

Important pressing instructions...
Press the seam CLOSED first. That means just pressing it how it is, without opening anything. Dont miss this important step - setting the seam is crucial.
Now letting the weight of the iron do all the work, gently open the triangle and press it back.

Now we repeat that step with the opposite edge.

The next step is to attach the remaining triangles to the remaining edges, still focused on spreading the overhanging fabric evenly between the two sides. 

Note where my needle is when Im sewing up this last seam. It is exactly where the two fabrics meet.

Press gently again and then check your seam allowances on all four points of the centre square.
Do you have a 1/4 "? If you dont have a 1/4", when you sew this block to the next section, youre going to lose the points on your square, so now is the time to work out what went wrong. 

The next step is to join 4 of these units together in a row. The seams can be quite thick, so I press mine open rather than to one side. 

Measure your block length. Does it measure 8 1/2"?

Now you are ready to join this to the first section of your block.

Now measure you block. If it measures 8 1/2" x 6 1/2" you are ready to go ahead and make another 23 the same. And with that note I'll say "SEE YOU IN TWO MONTHS!!!"


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