Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Center Block and Border Blocks

I don't know about you, but I needed an easy week for the Quilt Along this week.  So, we are skipping ahead a little and will have to go back to two more complicated blocks next week.
The first block we will be making this week is the very center block of the quilt and so you only need one!
It is such a simple and lovely block that I am thinking it needs a whole quilt all on its own!
2 strips of green 2 & 1/2 by width of fabric- add these to the Ziploc bag for later.
1 strip green and 1 strip blue cut at 2 inches wide by width of fabric.  Cut 4 green 2 inch square from the strip.  
4 rectangles of pink 3 & 1/2 X 6 & 1/2 inches
4 rectangles of gold 2 X 3 & 1/2 inches
1 green square cut at 3 & 1/2 inches

sew the green and blue 2 inch strips together along a long edge, press and subcut the pieces for the four patch.  You only need 8  pieces cut 2 inches wide.
match two of these pieces together so that the green and blue are opposite each other
 as pictured in the corner 4 patches.  Sew together matching the center seams.  Press them so that you have a swirl on the back as pictured below.  This helps to keep seams less bulky.
You should have 4 complete four patches.
Now we will put together the center of the block- the 9 patch variation.  

 sew two rectangles of gold to opposite sides of the larger green square.  Sew a green square to each end of the other two gold rectangles.  Press towards the green.  
Match the seams and sew the units together as pictured.
Sew a pink rectangle to 2 opposite sides of the center 9 patch.  Sew a four patch to each end of the remaining 2 rectangles but make sure they are oriented correctly.  See the picture below.
See how all the greens are connected diagonally?
Now sew these rows together, matching seams. 
And you have a lovely center block!

Now, you will start on the border blocks...Remember, this is the 4 block a week quilt along so you need to make at least 3 of them but I guarantee you won't stop at 3 once you get started.  I made 10 blocks quickly and easily.  If you are making the larger quilt you need 40 of these border blocks.  If you are making the smaller version, you need 32.  Don't panic, they are super simple.
This is the block and it should measure 8 & 1/2 square by the time we get it all put together.
remember those strips you have been keeping in the Ziploc?  Grab them out,  cut them all in half-this will give you more variety when putting them together.  You want these blocks to be very random-as much as you can randomize without getting too many of the same squares together.
Here are some of my strips laid out after I cut them in half and started sewing them together.  You want to sew them into sets of four.  Then we are going to cross cut them at 2 & 1/2 inch increments to come out with sets of  four 2 & 1/2 inch squares sewn together.
Then you will "randomly"  sew four of these sets together to make your block as pictured above.
Here are some of the ones I made in two short sittings. 
You do not have to make all these blocks at once.  Remember, the goal for this week is 3 of them.  I ended up with 10.  After next week, you will be spending more time on these.
I hope you are enjoying these blocks and I hope you have a lovely set of blocks on your design wall just waiting to become a special quilt.
Happy Stitching!

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