Saturday, August 11, 2018

Quiltcon Charity Quilt - Small Piecing

To go along with this year's Quiltcon Charity Quilt theme of "small piecing," we chose a block that is able to be customized so that any and all of us can take part in this year's Charity Quilt.

PLEASE only use the fabrics that come in your chairty block kit. We want the quilt to be cohesive and seeing as it's only one fabric for the background, it's important that they all match! In addition, your block does NOT....I repeat...DOES NOT need to be trimmed! It merely needs to measure a minimum of 9.5" in each direction. We (those of us putting  the quilt together) will be trimming the blocks ourselves, so no need to trim them. The only other requirement for your blocks is for them to have all stripes in a single direction, with no crossing over themselves. They can be wonky, they can be straight, they just CAN'T be crossed over one another. No X's or T's!! Each stripe can be pieced in the manner I'm showing you below, or in any way you can think of. You can make lots of super skinny stripes, each one a different fabric; you can make teeny tiny geese and insert them in a stripe, you can make diagonal subset and insert them. Really, you can go wild!

Please, before you read this, let me be clear....there are a million ways to make a block that is what we're looking for! This is merely one way to make a block. The way I chose to make one, because it's quick and simple. 

To start with, sew all your print strips together. (The solid purple rectangle is your background!) I used a super quick method to make stripsets, that I then cut to insert into my background.

First, choose two strips and place RST. Sew each long side together with a 1/4" seam. Slice down the middle and press open. Repeat for all strips, and then sew all these double strip sets together so you have a long stripset of skinny prints.


I then cut this stripset crosswise, into 4 strips, .75"-1.25" wide. Keep the leftover stripset, and either use for a future project, or return to us to use for piecing the backing.

I then cut the background block so that I could insert the striped subset pieces. CUT THE BLOCK FROM SHORT SIDE TO SHORT SIDE. So that you're stretching the block wider.This is super important as we need the blocks to be at least 9.5" in each direction. They're only 9" on the short side currently, you need the inserts to make them wide enough. You can do each cut one at a time, but I cut them all before starting inserting my strips so I knew I'd have enough room for all of the inserts I was planning. Since we're working with a solid, you may want to mark which side of each shape is front or back. I had an issue with rotating one of the background pieces and had to rip a seam out. (I decided with my subsequent block to mark the front left corner of each piece I cut, that way I knew I was seaming the correct side.) 


Things I learned when making these blocks:

Be mindful when inserting the strips into a diagonal cut. You can't just line up the corners and sew straight down, or each side will be wonky. You'll have a dog-ear at the top and bottom or each seam.

Be mindful when cutting strips from the striped subset. The steeper the angle of the cut, the more bias edges you'll have and the more the strip can stretch!

If you're unsure, use chalk to draw out your strip pattern to make sure you're about to cut the background in the proper direction.

If you mess up no worries. We have some extra background fabric! Call either Sue Kenard, or Kathy Aber, they have the extra kits and extra bits of fabric.



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