August 18th - Building Blocks (Today)
September 1st - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
September 15th- Summer Solstice Parade and Grand Prize Winners
The Drunkard Path assignment winner who gets a Fat Eighth Bundle of Kim Diehl's new Fabric, Welcome Wagon from Kimberly's Fabric Stash. is . . .
#16 - Grammie Q!! - Congrats :)
And here we go!!! I am super excited for today because now you get to see all of your work over the past month and a half come together into beautiful Summer Solstice blocks!!! So, so, so fun!!!! And just a quick note before we start, this weeks assignment is HUGE!!! Especially if you are doing some of the larger layouts. So with that said, the assignment on Sept. 1st is really small in comparison. So . . .if you can only get one, or two, or half of your blocks made in the next 2 weeks, no worries!!! Link those up and then continue to work on them into the coming weeks ;) Okay, so let's get going.
THIS WEEKS ASSIGNMENT - BUILDING BLOCKS
So, to Start this week, we need to first gather all the pieces we need for a block. If you are doing the 1 x 1 layout, you have already picked your layouts when you initially cut your "center star", "surround", and "corner" fabrics. But, if you are doing the 2 x 2, 3 x 3, or 4 x 4 layouts, you will now need to decide what fabrics you want to pair together in each block. (And remember, when you go to get your pieces from your piles, there will be more pieces of that same fabric sometimes, there not extra, they will just be used in another block :)
PICKING YOUR PIECES
We will be building the block in 3 separate parts. The Star, The Corners, and The Sides. Gather the following fabrics for 1 Block and group them in piles of Star, Corner, and Sides.
For the Star - Gather 4 Flying Geese Units, 4 Print Crust Drunkard Path Units, and 4 Background Squares. The Flying Geese Units and Print Crust Drunkard Path Units all need to be from the same Print Fabric.
For the Corners - Gather 8 Half Square Triangle Units, and 8 Background Squares. The Half Square Triangle Units all need to be from the same Print Fabric and a different Print Fabric than you choose for the Star Print Fabrics.
For the Sides - Gather 8 Print Pie Drunkard Path Units, 8 Half Square Triangle Units, and 4 Flying Geese Units. All of these units should be from the same Print Fabric and a different Print Fabric than you choose for the Corner and Star Print Fabrics. Finally, to the gathered units, add 8 additional Half Square Triangle Units from the same Print Fabric as your Corner Print Fabrics.
So now you should have 3 piles, a Star pile, a Corner pile, and a Side pile. This is the trickiest part to get all of the pieces together so take a second to be sure you are all set. Here is a picture of the final block broken down into the Star, Corners, and Sides to help you visualize how you are pairing up your fabrics ;)
And with the pieces for your blocks all picked out, you are ready to start Building your Block!!!!
BUILDING THE CORNERS
We will start with the Corners so grab that stack of pieces :) Layout 2 HST's and 2 Background Squares as shown below. Stack 4 sets on top of one another as we will be chain stitching each step of all 4 corners.
Place the second square in each row onto the first square with right sides together. Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.
And remember, you want to chain stitch, so you should have 4 top row sets and 4 bottom row sets all in a nice long snake. Then go ahead and trim the threads between your sets.
Press the seam allowances towards the background squares. This avoids bulk and will allow us to nest those center seams.
Now place the top row onto the bottom row with right sides together. Align/Nest your center seam and pin it in place. I like to add a pin at the beginning and end of my stitching as well (you will see this throughout the tutorial) just to keep everything in place. Chain Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge of all 4 sets.
Then clip your threads and press the seam allowance open. And just like that, your 4 Corner Units are done ;) Set these aside for the moment.
BUILDING THE SIDES
And now we are moving on to the Sides so grab that stack of pieces :) Layout 4 HST's (2 different fabrics) , 2 Drunkard Path, and 1 Flying Geese Unit as shown below. Stack 4 sets on top of one another as once again, we will be chain stitching each step of all 4 sides.
To start, we are going to sew our curves together. Place the first Drunkard Path block onto the second with right sides together. Take care to really Align and match the seam of your 2 curves and pin it in place. Chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of all 4 pinned sets.
Clip your threads between stitches and then Press the seam open. Isn't it so fun to see how nice that curve lines up.
Now place the bottom row of pieces onto the top row of pieces with right sides together. Align and pin the center seam of the flying geese unit. You want to make sure that the point of the flying geese (where the thread makes the X) is directly aligned with the center seam of the drunkard paths below. Then chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the edges of all 12 pairings (3 pieces in 4 sets) .
And when you are chain stitching your Flying Geese sets, you will notice once again that X in the stitching that we made sure was aligned to the center seam. Once again, it will come in handy for getting perfect points. If you stitch your seam directly through the center of that thread X you will get a nice perfect point on your flying geese. And it is okay if it is a bit off a 1/4" seam, just stitch a few stitches moving up or down to cross through that center and then use a few stitches to get back to 1/4".
The clip the threads between the pairings and press the seam allowances open.
Finally, place the side columns onto the center column with right sides together. And this is where I get to share my fun ***Pin Trick*** that you can use to get Perfect Points when 2 points line up. And we will be using the Pin Trick a whole lot while making this block.
So the idea of the Pin Trick is aligning points of seams. So to do this, Stick a pin through the bottom point of the little fabric V in your center seam allowance.
Now stick that same pin through the edge of the Curve Point, where the Pie and Crust meet at the seam.
Then, stand the pin up straight and tall so that the 2 points it is sticking through are aligned perfectly. Now use another pin to pin the two pieces in place. I like to have this pin go in one side of the seam and come out the other, on a slight diagonal, that way I know my perfectly aligned seam won't shift.
Use the Pin trick to pin all 4 sets on either side and then chain stitch a 1/4" seam along all 4 left pinned sides. Clip your threads, and then chain stitch a 1/4" seam along all 4 right pinned sides.
And while you are chain stitching, again, you can ensure that your perfectly aligned points come out perfect by being sure you seam crosses directly over the bottom of the little fabric V that is created in the seam. Just like before, it is okay if you move up or down a bit, just catch that point ;)
Then clip your threads and press the seams open. And you have 4 Side Units!!!
And just a side note here, I know a lot of you are worried about your Drunkard Path blocks "lining up". This is why we always match points first, so you don't have to worry about that ;) Just focus on your points lining up as I have shown above and then align the corners and pin those. If you have a little piece of "crust" sticking out the middle that doesn't want to line up, use your Flying geese or HST units as your 1/4" references as they will be more "squared up" ;) Use this little hint throughout the rest of the tutorial and most of all have fun while doing it ;)
BUILDING THE STAR
Alright, so now we can move onto the Center of the block, which just happens to be my favorite part because it is a Star!!! So grab the pieces that are left setting aside in your Star pile and lay them out as shown below. And we are only making 1 of these ;)
And we are going to start in the center of the star by sewing our Curves together first. Place the second Drunkard Path block onto the first with right sides together. Take care to really Align and match the seams of your 2 curves and pin it in place. Chain Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge of the 2 sets (top and bottom row).
Clip your threads and Press the Seam Open.
Now place the top row onto the bottom row with right sides together. Again, take care to align and pin the curved seams as well as the center seam. Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.
Press the seam allowance open. And now your center of your center star is done and it makes the prettiest little circle. So fun!!
Next, place the side units in each row onto the center units with right sides together. Go ahead and chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the top and bottom rows along either side. Then for the center row, we are going to use the pin trick again.
Stick a pin directly through the center of the X that is created in the threads of the flying geese unit.
Now, stick the same pin through the center seam allowance where the curve of the Crust and the Curve of the Pie meet.
And then stand the pin up straight so the points you just went through are aligned perfectly and then use a second pin to pin the pieces in place.
Repeat for the second side and then stitch a 1/4" seam along the two pinned edges. (note - you will notice in this picture, just like my little hint, that all of my edges are not perfectly aligned. But I am not worried about that, as long as I pinned my points, and then pinned the corners to match up, I can hide the rest of that little unaligned part in the seam allowance. )
And again, when you are stitching your 1/4" seam allowance, be sure and stitch directly through the center of that thread X so that your perfectly aligned points are sewn perfectly as well :)
Now press the seam allowances for the top and bottom row outwards towards the background square. Press the seam allowances in the center row open to avoid bulk.
And all that is left is to place the top and bottom row onto the center row with right sides together. Use the Pin Trick again (You are an expert as this now :) to align and pin the center seams and then align and pin the side seams. Sew a 1/4" seam along each pinned edge taking care to cross through the center thread X with your seam so you get those nice perfect points.
And then press the two seam allowances open. And there you have it, a beautiful Star Unit!!!
BUILDING THE BLOCK
So you have the 4 Corners, 4 Sides, and 1 Star and it is time to put it all together. Layout the Units as shown below. And this is just like making a giant 9 patch with lots of Pin Tricks to align your points!!
Place the side units onto the center units with right sides together. You will use the Pin torick to align all 4 seams on each side.
For the Top and Bottom Rows pin trick, you will stick the Pin through the bottom point of the V (that can be made of fabric or thread, depending on how the seam is pressed) and then through the Point of the HST. Use this on all 4 top and bottom row seams.
For the Center Row pin trick, you will stick the Pin through the bottom point of the fabric V and then through the Point of the Star. Use this on all 4 center row seams.
Add a few pins on the corners and then stitch a 1/4" seam allowance along the side of all your pinned edges. And you know there are those little perfect sewing tricks too ;)
For the top and bottom row, be sure and stitch right through the bottom of the V that again, is made in thread or fabric ;)
And the same for the center row, stitch through the bottom of the fabric V for that perfect point every time ;) And you can chain stitch all 3 left sides and then all 3 right sides to save time.
Clip your threads, and then press all 6 seam allowances open.
And the last step just like the previous but on a larger scale. Place the top and bottom row onto the center row with right sides together. Use the Pin Trick to align and pin all of your seams. Stitch a 1/4" seam allowance along the pinned edges taking care to stitch directly along the bottom of all the little V's for perfect points.
Press the seam allowances open and Wha La!!!! One Beautiful Summer Solstice Block!!!!
DONE and Done . . . . Well, if you are doing a 1 x 1 layout yes ;) If you are doing a 2 x 2 , or 3 x 3 , or 4 x 4 layout, you have a little more stitching to do ;)
You can choose to continue stitching one block at a time, or you can move to assembly line style.
If you move to assembly line style, sort all of your pieces into Stars, Corners, and Sides as shown below.
Then at each step, stack up all of the units for all of your blocks in the layouts as shown below.
As you can imagine, that can get a little trickier to do assembly line at some of the units with more pieces, but it will save a lot of time if you can keep it all straight ;)
Either way, 1 block at a time, or assembly line, just keep stitching, and enjoy seeing your blocks come together!!!!
This weeks prize is for a super fantastic Just A Speck Jelly Roll by Jen Kingwell for Moda !!!! EEEkkk, I just love polka dots!!!
So what do you have to do for a chance to win this awesome Jelly Roll? Simple . . . Just link up your Summer Solstice Block(s) :) You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever. Just make sure to link up by the morning of Thursday September 1st when I will be announcing a winner in the next post :)
If you don't get your Summer Solstice Block done by September 1st you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long. So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!! Just link up when you can :)
And Don't forget to add your beautiful to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #summersolsticequiltalong. I am so excited to see all of your Summer Solstice Blocks come together, I have been looking forward to this from day 1!!!
So let's get our Pin Trick and Seam Crossing Stitching On!!!! Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a Happy Quilting Day!!