Sunday, June 2, 2013


A twenty-six month Journey
Dorothy Young, owner, of the yahoo group "A Pocketful of Mysteries" is presenting her Block of the Month quilt series. It began in January 2013, and will continue for the next two years.
The yahoo site for this is:
It is not too late to join in. This block and the other five are at the beginners level. 
So far I have found the construction of the blocks very simple.  I do recommend you start with the first block if you are a beginner.  There are simple techniques you will pick up on the journey.  

This is the block I made for myself with my paisley fabrics.  You can see I have "fussy cut" the lighter paisley.   This did present me with some problems.  I have an aversion to stitching anything on the bias.  If you are a beginner do not shy from stitching bias, just use some precautions (just because I say I am apprehensive don't be afraid).  The biggest hint I can give you is to stitch with the bias piece on the top.  I wouldn't put it next to the feed dogs.  Remember when you have to "ease" fabric, you put that next to the feed dogs and it "gathers" it in.  If it were the bias it would probably stretch it several different directions.
People have told me they use spray starch to control their bias edges (spraying the fabric and ironing it before cutting the piece out).  I have never done this, but I am not a spray starcher on anything.  (I usually steam my blocks into submission).

When I fussy cut the paisley I ended up with 3 sides of the triangle biased.  I have attached a note to the block to remind me, when I stitch it into a quilt, the outside edges are now bias edges.  I will take extra care not to use steam and stretch them out of shape. I will make sure I  join them to other blocks with them on the top, away from the feed dogs.

This is how I add the bias edge to my block and make sure it stays where it belongs
 I place the pin on the point first.  Making sure the point is centered on the seam line made by the four patch.  Then I pin each corner.  This is to make sure the presser foot doesn't push the corners out of alignment.  Yes, the pinning does take time, it helps me mentally handle my aversion to bias sewing.

In my center of the block I have a special way I do my four patches.  I started doing them this way when I was using 1 1/2 inch squares to make four patches.  I needed the centers to lie flat and not have any lumps on the front of the patch.  On the following Blog I have illustrated the steps I use in making my four patches:
The tute on the 4 patches is mid-way down the blog.

In the tute I didn't show what I meant about popping a stitch. For this to work you must nest your seams.  If you are a beginner you may find it helpful to pin the side of the nest which will be going
under the presser foot first, so it is not pulled away from the other seam.

Take your  folded  four patch in each hand and and give it a tug.  The two stitches will pop open.  This reminded me.  I don't know if it is kosher or not but when I piece I piece with my stitch length set at #3 out of a 4 setting.  I like the longer length.  It seems to result in a block that lies flatter  (this could be my imagination.)  I do know it is much easier to un sew when that is required.

After you pop the seam you can open out the 4 patch and press the seams so the tiny 4 patch in the center shows up.  There will be no lump, it will be nice and flat.  (If  you have trouble getting the stitches to pop, use your seam ripper to pick them out).

This is the block I have made for my swap sister.  If you wish to see our constant fabrics I use for the blocks visit the "A" Block's Blog.

Join us in this 2 year journey. There are several hundred friends taking the trip
The following, are blogs written each month on my journey through the alphabet.

Other blogs by me:

Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry
blogs Seeds sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission

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