Thursday, March 10, 2016

Friends Around the Square

Hi Everyone!

My name is Julie and I am sew excited to present today's featured block for The Splendid Sampler. I own Patched Works in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.

This is a photo of me and Pat from Fall Market.

At Patched Works, we focus on quilting fundamentals to help make quilting a more enjoyable, rewarding experience. I chose a simple pieced block as my contribution to offer a basic skill building exercise.

My block is called "Friends Around the Square"

About 15 years ago, I was at a quilt retreat working on a quilt with a lot of half square triangles (HST). I was painstakingly template cutting each triangle, pairing it with another and stitching on the bias edge to creating each little block. My blocks were beautiful, they just were taking a little bit of time. My table mate looked over and exclaimed "What are you doing?" She showed me her Quick Quarter ruler and the rest is history. We all start somewhere and even though I had been sewing and quilting since I was a young girl and I now own a quilt shop, I find that I learn new things almost every day.

Throughout this journey and your entire quilting career, you will find there are MANY ways to achieve the same result. I always recommend to students to learn as many methods as possible so that you have many tricks in your toolbox. As you learn more techniques you can choose one method over another, you can say, "I know how to do it that way, I am simply choosing to do it another way."

I know how to template cut triangles and sew pairs together into HST, however today I choose a different way. :-) 

Now let's get started!

Cut your fabric according to the directions provided in the pattern.

Cut 2 large squares in half once diagonally for the frame of the block. 

Next, pair up light and dark squares right sides together and position a Quick Quarter ruler from point to point. 

See how the tip aligns perfectly in the corner?

Using a Sewline Ceramic Lead Pencil, carefully draw a line on either side of the ruler. Use caution to position the lead as closely to the ruler as possible to draw an accurate sewing line. 

Stitch on the drawn lines. 

Split each square to yield 2 HST. 

Press open. (You can press to the dark side if you prefer.) 

Trim all 4 HST to 2 5/8" squares. Don't be afraid of the 2 5/8" measurement. 

Position your 4 HST as shown in the picture and assemble as a 4 patch. 

Your center block should measure 4 3/4" 

Position the 4 cut triangles around the perimeter of the center block. 

Align one triangle to the center seam of the square and pin carefully. 

***Note the ample overhang on both edges. It is supposed to be this way!!! 

Stitch 1/4" seam

Repeat on all 4 sides. 

Viola! Look at your beautiful block! 

Pat and Jane included a bonus paper pieced version if you prefer. 

I created a little video for you too! :-) 

I can't wait to see what you make!

Thank you for reading! I hope you visit again soon!