So are you ready to start sewing?? I am so excited!!! To start we are going to be making 16 patch blocks. I know, not what you expected, but trust me, this is a fun and fast way to whip this quilt together. So to start, check out the chart below and find the size you are making. It will let you know how many 16 patch blocks you need to make. So for example, I am making a 3 x 4 size or 51 x 68 so I will need to make 6 16 patch blocks :)
So if you know how to make a 16 patch block go to it. If you are a beginner, no worries, I will walk you through step by step on how to make your block. First, you need to decide if you are going to make all of your blocks together in assembly line format or if you want to make one at a time. I will be showing how to make one at a time but if you want to do assembly line just repeat the instructions for how many blocks you are making :)
Onto the sewing!!!! We'll start by matching 2 patch pieces. Grab 2 of your 5" squares. Try not to worry to much about what you are putting together, you want to keep it random. I just make sure that I am not aligning 2 of the exact same prints next to each other :)
Lay your first 5 " Square onto your second 5" square with right sides together. Pin along the edge. Now go ahead and repeat this step 7 times so that you have 8 pinned together sets. That is for one block :) If you are doing assembly line pin together the number of blocks you need times 8 :) Make sense?? And just in case you are wondering, Yes, you should have extra charms. We will get to those in a week or so :)
And you are ready to sew. Grab your first set of 2 and sew a 1/4" along the pin side. Make sure to remove pins as you go. I know it is tempting to run over them but it is a really bad habit (one I am still working on breaking :) Once you have finished your first set don't cut your threads. This is where you chain stitch. Chain stitching is sewing all of your pieces one after another. It saves a lot of time. So keep feeding your sets through until you have sewn a 1/4" seam along all the edges.
When you have sewn the last set go ahead and remove them from your machine. Clip the small set of threads between each of your 2 patch sets. (I know, I need a new ironing board, this poor guy has been with me since college and has been used and abused :)
Now go ahead and open your 2 patch pieces. You are going to press the seams open. The reason for this is to reduce the bulk that is created. Go ahead and press all of your 2 patch pieces.
So now you have a stack of 2 patch pieces that look like this :) Aren't they just cute :)
Now we are going to turn those 2 patch pieces into 4 patch rows. Once again, try not to stress to much about the way things are lining up, just try to avoid repeat patterns next to each other :)
Lay your first 2 piece patches onto your second 2 piece patches with right sides together. Pin along the edge. Now go ahead and repeat this step for all of the 2 piece patches are pinned :)
Once you are all pinned you are ready to sew again. Once again, chain stitch your 1/4" seam running all of your pieces through one after another.
And once again, go ahead and clip the threads between your now sewn together 4 patch rows and press your center seam open :) Repeat for all of your 4 patch rows.
So now is where you really see it start to come together. Go ahead and lay out 4 rows. This is the time where you can play with the layout a bit to get a look you like. Once again though, don't stress about it to much, it will get mixed up again :)
Once you get a layout you like you are ready to pin. Lay your first 4 patch row onto your second 4 patch row and then lay your third 4 patch row onto your fourth 4 patch row, making sure to have right sides together. You want to start with pinning your 3 center seams first. (Where the arrows point). Make sure to align your seams as perfect as you an. This will give you nice crisp corners.
If you find that aligning your seams perfect results in a bubble no worries. Just smooth the bubble down and put a pin in horizontal. This will help to keep the bubble down and out of your way when stitching. Also, after stitching I realized I would have preferred a few more pins, so feel free to put a pin in the center of each 5" squares as well.
Once you are all pinned up go ahead and stitch your 1/4" seam along the pinned line. Before reaching seams, I like to just run my finger under to smooth out my underneath seams. This just keeps them from "flipping over" and creating bulk. Once you are done stitching go ahead and clip your threads and press your long center seam open :) (You are a pro at this now, I figured you didn't need a picture).
So now you are here, and you only have one more seam to do. That's right, you know what to do!!
Lay your top now sewn together row 1 and 2 onto your bottom now sewn together row 3 and 4 with right sides together. Once again, make sure to align your seams first. I added the extra pins this time and found the sewing easier :) Now that you are a pro you can do it all without pictures, right :) Just sew your 1/4" seam, clip your threads, press your center seam open and presto!!!
You have a beautiful 16 patch block!!! So fun!!! I am just so excited to see all of your fun blocks. Once you are done, feel free to post pictures on our little quilt-a-long flickr page so we can all see your progress :)