10.31.2010

Halloween Sew-Along: Block #1

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To make block #1, you will need three contrasting fabric scraps cut in the following dimensions:
  • Two 5" blocks from color A
(I used "Black Running Stitch" by Kathy Schmitz for Moda) 
    • Two 5" blocks from color B
    (I used "Black Houndstooth" by Michael Miller Fabrics) 
      • Four 2" blocks from color C
      (I used "Little Lady Pink Kumquat Antique Dots" by Alexander Henry) 
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      When we break square #1 down, you can see that it is made up of four pieces.
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      To make each one of these four squares, first take each 2" block, turn it over, and draw a diagonal line from one corner to another. Pair each 2" block with one 5" block, lining them up at a corner, right sides of the fabric together. Pin in place.
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      Sew along each drawn diagonal line.
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      Clip 1/4" away from the seam.
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      Iron open the seam so it is flat.
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      Arrange all four blocks in a checkerboard pattern, orienting each square to create a diamond pattern in the center.
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      Sew the blocks into rows using 1/4" seam allowance, ironing open the seams.
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      Sew the rows together (making sure the seams line up) and press open the seams.  Congratulations! You have completed your first square! Easy, right?! Only five more to go!  
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      Stay tuned for next week's block!

      Halloween Sew-Along: Block #2

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      For Block #2, you will need four contrasting fabric scraps cut into the following dimensions:
      •  One 3 1/2" block from fabric A 
      (I used "Little Lady Pink Kumquat Antique Dots" by Alexander Henry) 
      •  Four 3 1/2" blocks from fabric B 
       (I used "Dalmatian Ta Dot" by Michael Miller Fabrics)
      •  Two 2 x 3 1/2" strips from fabric C and 
      •  Two 2 x 6 1/2" strips from fabric C 
      (I used "Black Houndstooth" by Michael Miller Fabrics) 
      •  Two 2 x 6 1/2" strips from fabric D and 
      •  Two 2 x 9 1/2" strips from fabric D
      (I used "Black Running Stitch" by Kathy Schmitz for Moda) 
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      The first step is to add a border using the strips from fabric C. Take the shorter strips and sew them to the sides of the square using 1/4" seam allowance. (Assume the 1/4" seam allowance for everything unless I say otherwise.)
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      Next, add the longer strips to the top and bottom to complete the border.  Iron open the seam allowances.   
      Add another border using fabric D: first, the shorter strips to the sides; then the longer strips to the top and bottom.
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      But we're not finished yet! Do you remember how we added new corners to Block #1?  We are going to do something similar.
      Take each block of fabric B and line them up with the corners. Draw a diagonal line and pin in place.
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      Sew on the drawn diagonal lines and clip 1/4" away from the seams.
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      Iron open the seams, and voila!
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      Stay tuned for another block next week!

      Halloween Sew-Along: Block #3

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      I love my funky little block #3!  It looks a little complicated at first glance but is quite easy once you take a closer look. Here it is, broken down into nine smaller blocks:
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      As you see, there are two different types of blocks--little checkerboard squares and triangle-blocks. Here is what you will need to make them:
      • Two 4" squares of fabric A and 
      •  Six 2" squares of fabric A
      (I used "Dalmatian Ta Dot" by Michael Miller Fabrics) 
      •  Two 4" squares of fabric B and
      •  Four 2" squares of fabric B
      (I used "Ebony Ta Dot" by Michael Miller Fabrics)
      •  Ten 2" squares of fabric C
      (I used "Little Lady Pink Kumquat Antique Dots" by Alexander Henry) 
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      First, let's create our little checkerboard squares. Pair each orange 2" square with a 2" white or gray square.
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      Stitch each pair together using 1/4"seam allowance and iron open the seams. (Assume 1/4" seam allowance unless I state otherwise.) Then, take two matching pairs and arrange them in a checkerboard pattern (as demonstrated below).  Sew them together, making sure the center seams line up.
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      There should be enough to create three orange/white combos and two orange/gray checkerboards. Next, we'll make our triangle-blocks.  Take one 4" square from each color and place them right sides together.  Using a pencil and ruler, draw a diagonal line from one corner to another.
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      Line up the presser foot against the line and sew down. Repeat on the other side of the line.
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      Cut along the drawn diagonal line to separate them into blocks. Iron open the seam.
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      You should have four completed triangle-blocks like the one below.
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      Now, arrange all of your blocks like this:
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      Sew the blocks into rows.
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      Sew the rows together, making sure the seams line up.
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      Are you having fun yet?!

      Halloween Sew-Along: Block #4

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      I really really really like block #4.  It's my favorite. There are a number of ways you could arrange the four "arrow" blocks as I call them (I think the technical name for this block is ozark maple leaf). I happened to like them facing one direction--it makes me think of the never-ending Utah road construction for some reason. (I totally don't miss that part of Utah.) You could face the arrows into the center, face them outward, etc.
      Whatever you decide, here is what you will need to make them:
      •  One 3 1/2" square from fabrics A, B, C, and D
      (I used "Black Mints," "Black DeLovely Damask," "Ebony Ta Dot," and "Black Houndstooth" by Michael Miller Fabrics)
      •  One 2 x 3 1/2" strip from fabrics A, B, C, and D 
      •  One 2 x 5" strip from fabrics A, B, C, and D 
      •  Eight 2" squares from fabric E
      (I used Little Lady Pink Kumquat Antique Dots" by Alexander Henry)
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      On each 3 1/2" block, lay down two 2" orange blocks (right sides together) and line them up at opposite corners. Using a pencil and ruler, draw diagonal lines as demonstrated and pin in place.
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      Sew along the diagonal line(s) and clip 1/4" away from the seams.
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      Iron open the seams so the block will lie flat. Here is the resulting block:
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      Arrange the block with its corresponding strips as shown. Sew on the shorter strip to the side first, using 1/4" seam allowance. (Assume this seam allowance unless I state otherwise.) Iron the seam open.
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      Next, add the longer strip..
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      Repeat the above steps to create four arrow blocks (or leaves, whatever you prefer to call them). Arrange them as you like.
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      Sew the blocks into rows.
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      And sew the rows together, lining up the seams.
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      Only two more blocks to go!

      Halloween Sew-Along: Block #5

      (Click here if you missed the earlier blocks)
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      Block #5 is the skull-and-crossbones block.  At least that what it reminds me of.  Like block #3, it can look a little scary until you break it into smaller pieces.
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       No as scary, right?  To make block #5, here is what you will need:
      • One 3 1/2" square from fabric A
      (I used "Black Houndstooth" by Michael Miller Fabrics) 
      •  Four 3 1/2" squares from fabric B
      (I used "Black Running Stitch" by Kathy Schmitz for Moda) 
      •  Four 2 x 3 1/2" strips from fabric C and 
      •  Eight 2" squares from fabric C
      (I used "Little Lady Pink Kumquat Antique Dots" by Alexander Henry) 
      •  Four 2 x 3 1/2" strips from fabric D
      (I used "Ebony Ta Dot" by Michael Miller Fabrics) 
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      First, take one 2 x 3 1/2" strip of each color and sew them together using 1/4" seam allowance. (Keep assuming the 1/4" seam allowance...)
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      Take the four 3 1/2" blocks of fabric B and lay two 2" blocks on opposite corners, right sides of the fabric together. Using a pencil and ruler, draw diagonal lines on the [back of the] 2" blocks, as demonstrated. Pin in place.
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      Sew along the diagonal line(s) and clip 1/4" away from the seam.
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      Iron open seams.
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      Now arrange the blocks together like this:
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      Sew the blocks into rows.
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      Sew the rows together.
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      Wahoo!  Only one more block to go.  And you'll probably be happy that I have saved the easiest for last!