THIS WEEKS ASSIGNMENT - IMPROVISATIONAL PIECING BLOCKS
Now that we have your fun units made, it is time to trim then down and turn them into a block. Playing with angels can be so much fun, just try not to overthink it. Relax and have fun. So let's get to the first part of today.
Each of your Improvisational Units will now be trimmed down to a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" square quarter block. The fun thing about trimming today is that we are purposely trying to make our blocks "wonky" so no need for centering. The more you play with the angles, the more wonky your X's will be ;) The extra fabric on your background triangles will really allow you to play up those angles. Just remember, the key is to have 2 corners on background fabric and 2 corners somewhere on the Print Rectangle ;)
So, take any size square ruler that is larger than 5 1/2". The 6" and 6 1/2" ones will probably be the easiest to use (unless you have a 5 1/2" square ruler, shown later). Lay your ruler on your Improvisational unit. You will be checking 3 places for alignment before you cut. First ensure that the bottom left end 5 1/2" marks (white arrow) are on your print rectangle. Second, ensure that the 5 1/2" mark on the side and top of your ruler (black arrows) are still on the background fabric. When those three places are aligned, go ahead and cut along the rulers edge on the left and top of your unit.
Now spin your unit 180 degrees. Align the 5 1/2" marks on your left hand side and bottom of your ruler with the newly trimmed edges of your block. And trim the remaining 2 sides of your unit. Now you have a wonky Improvisational quarter block.
And remember, playing with the angles makes it fun. So above showed you Angling Up and below shows Angling Down. Just like before, And notice, in the white arrow on this block, I am just barely in the Print Rectangle. I really played up the angle in that corner, but as long as it is touching, it will be good ;) Just more wonky ;)
Just keep trimming each unit to 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" square.
And if you do happen to have a 5 1/2" square ruler, all you have to do is place the ruler on your unit, ensure that 2 ends are on the print rectangle and the other 2 ends are on background fabric, and then trim around all 4 sides. And like above, remember to angle up, and angle down.
And don't forget to play with some Center-ish cuts as well ;) You don't always have to go to the extreme with your angles. More variety creates more fun ;)
Now just keep trimming, just keep trimming ;) And before you know it, you will have stacks of wonderful 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" Improvisational Quarter blocks. And you are ready to get sewing again ;)
MAKING THE BLOCK
We will be turning your Quarter Blocks into Half Blocks now. To do this, we want to make little arches, or upside down V's :) If you are doing scrappy, don't stress to much about the Fabric pairings, just try not to get 2 the exact same paired together ;)
Place one Trimmed unit onto the other with right sides together. You know they are aligned right if the 2 Print Rectangles are on top of each other running the same direction. Then simply stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge. I didn't bother to pin these, but if you are new to sewing, a pin in the top and bottom will help keep things aligned ;)
And after you have sewn your first pair, you want to continue to chain stitch pairs one after another. I know, you are an expert at chain stitching after last weeks assignment ;)
And just a little hint, it is much easier if you put the print rectangle end in first. You can sew your blocks like the one on the left, but then you have to deal with keeping that seam from flipping up when you get to it ;) Print end first is just a little easier ;)
Once you have all your pairs chain stitched clip your threads and make a paired stack ;)
And it's time to move to the ironing board ;) I like to press these seam allowances open. But I know some people aren't particular to open seams, and if that is the case, press them to one side. But press them all the same so that they will nest later ;)
And now, you guessed it, time to turn the Half Blocks into Blocks!!! Take two half units and lay them at as shown below to create an X. Again, if you are doing scrappy, don't stress to much about fabric groupings, I try to have variety, but you are going to have the same prints in the same block. I like to put them diagonally across from one another, but don't overthink it. Just have fun ;)
Place the top half onto the bottom half with right sides together. Align and pin your center seam as well as your two edges ;) I like to sit and pin all of my sets together at one time. Good time to watch a favorite movie ;)
Then, take your pinned sets to the machine, and once again it is Chain Stitching time ;) Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. And I don't always do it, but pull out your pins before you run them over, it is safer on your machine and your eyes ;) Also, you will note that this time you have to take a little care to keep that print rectangle seam down when you come to it ;)
Once you have all your pairs stitched, clip your threads and move to your ironing board one last time ;) Once again, I like to press this seam open as it helps to make that center where all the seams are coming together lie flat ;) Now press, press, press.
And just like that your Improvisational Piecing Blocks (or X Blocks) are all done!!!! They will measure 10 1/2" x 10 1/2". Aren't they so fun and wonky!!! I love all of the fun angles ;)
And just in case you are wondering, here is how many Improvisational Piecing Units (the wonky squares above) you should have when you are done. (but you don't have to count them, if you ran out of units, you should be good ;)