Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Welcome! Week 14 and it's MY week

Welcome to Moda BlockHeads block of the week, Block 14 Square in a Square.  Are you new to BlockHeads?  The number of followers on the Facebook group, Moda BlockHeads, has reached 11,965 members at this writing and by the time you read this Wednesday, I'm sure we will have over 12,000 members.

If you are new, let me take a moment to welcome you.  Each week you will be given a pattern designed by one of our Moda BlockHeads designers. Please visit the designer's blog on her week for her tips and tricks for making the block. The link for the free pattern will be right there, easy to access. Then visit the other designers to see how they made the block.  Links to all designer's social media sites are below. How is the easiest way to find out who the designer of the week is??? Follow each designer's blog by email or on Bloglovin' which is an app that sends blogs to your email. I schedule  my blog to post Wednesday 12 am, but I can't post to Instagram or Facebook, until 7am or so Wednesday morning. (when I wake up, unless I'm up in the wee hours) The Moda BlockHeads Facebook group gets the information early with the help of our friend David in Australia and he will direct you to the designer's blog for the week. Thanks David!
If you are already a member, then you know the ropes. Lynne, Jan, Jo, Lisa, Carrie, and I all THANK YOU! We hope you are having as much fun with this as we are!  We all have some little suggestion each week that might make your sewing easier and we have a Question of the Week so you won't want to skip visiting us all to see what we make, tips or our answers.  

Block 14 Square in a Square 
Before you click, print and get started, please notice my tips below. This is my second block.

Do you ever feel like you need to "reset your clock"? When things are just a little off kilter?  And you ask yourself, "why did I do that"?? 
 Below is my first block.... the value is backwards!  YES, I reversed the light and dark and made all the sample parts that way too!  So refer to this as 'do as I say, not as I did'! LOL But, it is a nice option and can be an extra. I'm helping Rachel with precious Reed, so no time to remake samples.

The red and yellow block, above, is correct in value placement and in size!

I suggest starching fabrics before cutting.
If you need a new rotary blade, replace now. The ruler rocks over the seams when trimming and makes a new blade a 'good thing.' Insert happy face here.
Cut the size given in the pattern.  Adjustments have been made to the pattern which allows you to piece and trim. Piece and trim.  Believe me you will be so much happier!
Find the midpoint of triangle and square, pin in place before sewing.
Do not worry if triangle appears too big.
 Once you have sewn one triangle, refer to the photo below to find the midpoint of your square. Do this with each triangle addition. Fold square edge to edge of seam allowance, crease and pin to midpoint of triangle.

Leave tails until you are ready to trim. Trim this first round, Step 1 to 2 5/8"  I trim opposite sides, then opposite sides when squaring up square in a square blocks.  They can get wonky easily.  I'm hoping my tips makes the process easier

Repeat process in Step 2.   I like to put the needle down right at the V made at the 1/4"  foot with seam allowances even, then start sewing.

 Trim to 3 1/2"

Repeat process in Step 3.
Trim to 4 3/4" ( I cropped this photo from the finished block so don't be 
alarmed the seam allowances don't show.)

Repeat process in Step 4.
Trim to 6 1/2"
Ta-da! The correct block with correct value placement!

For the pattern Square in a Square.

Question of the Week
"When you teach, what is the one tip you always share?
I'm a very hands on teacher.  Quite often I teach by what not to do, and in doing that, I give lots of tips to make stitching easier. To pinpoint a specific tip is hard.  I rarely plan to give a tip, they just fall out in do course.  Just last week, I think, we were asked what was a favorite tip that we received, and I shared two, flipping seams and pressing on a towel, which are favorites I include in classes when applicable. But two tips I always  give are my recommendations to pre wash fabrics and starch fabrics before cutting. There you have it, all four of these tips are in my classes, at some point.

Are you having fun with my 3" blocks???

And, if you are new to BlockHeads, the 3" blocks do not have formal instructions.  The idea developed from something I was going to do just for myself, and posted a block made from leftover parts when making the first 6" block. The idea was really popular, and now I make a tiny block each week, and sometimes more. I have no idea of the setting at this point, except that I will put them on point.  I am cutting from my palette of fabrics, whenever I can't use leftovers. 

3" Mini Penny blocks for week 14
 The little block on the left is made using the measurements in our 6" block, but ends with Step 2. That was just too easy.....

The cutie on the right, is made with connector squares instead of triangles.
Cut 4 - 2" squares from all darks, all lights or,
 2 light squares and 2 dark squares for the center of the units as I did.
Cut 16 (total) 1 1/4" squares for connector corners. (all light, all dark, or 8 light and 8 dark like I did)
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the small squares. Place in the corner of the larger square and sew just on the inside of the drawn line. Press to the square. Trim away excess.  Repeat on the opposite side, press to square, trim away excess. Now, stitch the other corners, same process, but press to the corner.  When you are ready to join the 4 units, the seams nest inside each other. Otherwise, the seams are really bulky.  I pressed the 4 joining seams open to also help with bulk.

 Blocks measure 3 1/2" for 3" finished blocks.

Now, go see what my friends have made!

Happy sewing!

Until next time.

Lynne - 
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Betsy - 
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Lisa B - 
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Jan - 
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Jo - 
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Moda - 
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  1. Thanks for another fabulous block, Betsy!

  2. I love this block. The very first quilt I made was made of square in a square blocks. That was made with templates and scissors no rotary cutters then. I much prefer your method.

  3. As always your post had tremendous helpful tips. I, and a LOT of people admire your minis each week. Cute, cute block for week #14 but where is our updated picture of you and Reed? Thanks so much again for ALL you Blockheads do on this fun project!

  4. Love all your blocks and since I need a few more blocks I'll make both versions this week.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the trim sizes!!! That will be very helpful :)

  6. Thank you so much--I think I can do this block without much struggle....

  7. Once again, you may call it a mistake but I see nothing wrong with having the light value on the outside. And, I liked you setting of last week's block better so I set mine that way too. When I am teaching the one thing I always say is "Relax and enjoy the process". My students often say, "Your work is so perfect, I'll never be able to do that". So I tell a few jokes, tell them to breathe and relax and just have fun. Then I tell them, "practice, practice, practice". Wink!

  8. Thanks so much for this fun project and great block!
    I am having a blast with the Blockheads!

  9. I'm not sewing along with the Blockheads... but I have seen some of the blocks... Love this block! I've always wanted to sew a blue/yellow quilt! :-)