Monday, May 28, 2012

4 Easy Machine-Pieced Blocks for Jane

I am sure you think by now that we've all gone away ... never to be seen again. But it's not true. Sometimes life just throws out a few challenges and we find it necessary to answer them first.

We're all here. We're all doing "ok" in our own way. But struggling to keep up with things. Again, I'll try to check in with the other girls. But hey ... it just might be me for a while.

I pulled Jane out of the cupboard today. She's been staring at me. Not guiltily, just in a "you'd feel better if you made a block or two" kind of way. She was right. I made 4 and I feel great!

First I needed a kick start. Something easy. I grabbed my book and it fell open to page 90 and my I went straight to J-2. Not bad. I could handle that.

So I grabbed my trusty 6-1/2" ruler and set to measuring.
Dear Jane® book reference: Block J-2, page 90

Background (my solid teal):
  • Four 1-3/4" squares 
  • Two 3-1/4" squares ... cut each in half diagonally so you will have 4 triangles for the corners.
  • Two 3/4" x 1-3/4" pieces
  • Three 3/4" x 3-1/4" pieces (these will be a tad long, trim it to length after you've sewn it to 1/2 of the center section)
  • Two 3/4" x 3-3/4"

It's really a pretty simple block. But after sewing the very center section together I checked that it was square before adding the teal frame all the way around. Then I sewed the four print corners and finally trimmed the finished block to 5" square making sure that I have a 1/4" seam allowance beyond each point.

Back to the book, I was ready for another. I think this one would have been just as quick if I hadn't started with the wrong size for the center square. A deep breath and started again resulted in this beauty that was very pretty before I decided to zap it with a bit of spray starch.

Dear Jane® book reference: Block I-8, page 85

Background (my solid teal):
  • Two 2-1/2" squares cut each in half diagonally so you will have 4 triangles
  • Two 2-5/8" squares cut each in half diagonally so you will have 4 triangles
  • Two 1-1/4" x 2-3/4" pieces
  • Two 1-1/4" x 3-1/4" pieces

  • One 1-5/8" square for the center
  • Two 2-5/8" squares cut each in half diagonally so you will have 4 triangles
  • Two 1-7/8" squares cut each in half diagonally - you'll use these in the final "border"

Then I went about sewing, pressing, trimming repeatedly. Sew two print triangles to opposite sides of the center square, press then trim the points of the triangles flush with the square. Sew the opposite sides, press and trim the completed square-in-a-square unit. You're aiming for about 2-1/16" square - not generally an easy measurement. The idea is to trim it like Block J-2 above - allowing for 1/4" seam allowance beyond the tips on each side. Then sew the next set of triangles. This time solid backgrounds first to opposite sides, press and trim. Then to the opposite sides again. Press and trim this unit to 2-3/4". Finally add another set of triangles - using your print. And trim this time to about 3-5/8" ... the most important thing is those tips again, don't cut them off. Concentrate on having a 1/4" seam allowance. To add the border, I sewed the triangles to the end of the 1-1/4" pieces then trimmed that long even with the long edge of the triangle. Then added the second piece and trimmed again. I'd be happy to post a pic if you like - just let me know. THEN I trimmed the entire block to 5" .. it really worked out. I was dead pleased. You could paper piece this one ... but this rotary cutting and machine piecing worked out so slick that I am very glad I didn't.

So, ready for block three? This one really couldn't get any easier. I chose to strip-piece in two short lengths (cuz that's how long my poison green scrap was ... a tad over 6").

Dear Jane® book reference: Block M-12, page 119
Background (my solid teal):
  • Two 3/4" x 6-1/2" lengths
  • Four 2" squares

  • Four 3/4" x 6-1/2" lengths

Sew one length of background a length of print. Press toward the background - yes, even if it is lighter. You'll be glad you did this. And tomorrow I'll take a pic of the back of my block so you can see how flat it lays. Sew another length of print to the other side and press again toward the background. Repeat this so you have two "racing" stripes. Trim the end of each strip square (line up your ruler against a seam, not the edge of the print fabric), then cross-cut each stripe into three 2" sections. Yes, you'll have one left over as a spare. Sew together as a 9-patch. Spin the intersecting seams at the corners. Yes, I know that pic would really help right about now ... tomorrow ...

Finally, block 4. This one really wasn't bad either. Just a pinwheel with a border.

Dear Jane® book reference: Block E-3, page 50
Background (my solid teal):
  • Two 2-3/8" squares
  • Two 1-7/8" squares

  • Two 2-3/8" squares
  • Two 1-7/8" squares
  • Four 1-3/8" x 3-1/4"

For the pinwheel: Place 2-3/8" squares of background and print right sides together, draw a diagonally line on the wrong side of whichever you can see best. Sew a 1/4" seam from each side of this line. Cut apart on the line and press to the darker fabric. Trim these units to 1-7/8" square. Sew together as a pinwheel, spin the intersecting seam to reduce bulk.

For the corner triangles: Place 1-7/8" squares of background and print right sides together, draw a diagonally line on the wrong side of whichever you can see best. Sew a 1/4" seam from each side of this line. Cut apart on the line and press toward the background fabric - even if it is lighter. This will help to reduce a lot of bulk. Trim these units to 1-3/8" square. Sew two of these to the end of a 1-3/8" x 3-1/4" piece twice. 

Assemble the block by sewing the remaining 1-3/8" x 3-1/4" pieces to each side of the pinwheel. Press toward the background and add the other border to the remaining two sides. Press again toward this "border."

So there you have it. Hmmm, enough info? If you're struggling with any of these instructions or need more help, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask. I'll do my best to take additional photos.

So I'm up to 32 blocks? How about you? Any you are struggling with?

These are the ones I have made so far. 

Pretty wild. 

And I am really loving it without sashing. 
 keep in mind I am not following Jane's setting. 
mine will be set in a rainbow trip around the world

Did you know that Jane's quilt did not have sashing??

Horizontal minus 1

1. A-1, 2. A-2, 3. A-3, 4. A-4, 5. A-5, 6. A-7, 7. A-8 (re-done), 8. B-1, 9. B-3, 10. B-4, 11. B-9, 12. B-10, 13. C-1 (adaptation), 14. C-3, 15. C-6, 16. C-9, 17. C-10, 18. D-9, 19. E-3, 20. F-7 (changed), 21. H-13, 22. I-1, 23. I-8, 24. J-2, 25. J-6, 26. K-7, 27. L-4, 28. L-5, 29. L-7, 30. M-2, 31. M-9, 32. M-12 (sadly it won't show itself unless you click on this link)


Heidi said...

Gorgeous! Didn't know you were a Kaffe girl!
I love the deep colors. Beautiful, Jovita!

Dogwood Paper Arts said...

I absolutely love the colors, these blocks make my heart sing. Beautifully completed and very joyful. Love it without the sashing too.