Or maybe I should ‘fess up and call this post ‘Week 15 1/2’ ? It has been busy here. Week 15 required the making of 35 square-in-a-square filler blocks. Hmm. I had my fabric choices matched and ready to go without too many problems: just reusing the Civil War Reproduction fabrics that I used for the major blocks, and trying to vary the combinations, but 35 square-in-a-square blocks is 175 squares in 8 different sizes. And the week is passing quickly. Time for efficiency!
As a general rule, I am what you might call a careful cutter; if I am cutting squares, I cut a single strip and subcut. I tend not to layer fabrics so that I have all my straight grains just right and so on. However this week I threw caution to the winds, put a new blade in my rotary cutter and layered five fabrics at a time for my centre squares. Whiz, whiz, whiz, whiz. (That’s me cutting all four sides). For the corner squares I multiplied the size of the squares by two, cut the bigger squares five layers at a time (or whatever came right with the number of squares I needed) and then cut them once horizontally and vertically to make the four small squares necessary. It was a blast (and the grain came out okay too).
So here are all my little blocks waiting to be constructed: one 2 1/2″ block, one 3 1/2″ block, ten 4 1/2″ blocks and twenty-three 3″ blocks. I love the colours.
Then the sewing…now, once again, I tend to mark when I should mark and sew on (or scantly beside!) the dotted line. But the idea of drawing a diagonal line across each of the 140 corner squares was not appealing. On the other hand, I did want my diagonal stitching to be straight and accurate. So I fished out Creations By Cordell’s Hem and Trim Measuring Guide, which is a sticky-backed paper marked with lines at 1/4″ intervals. I cut a strip off the paper, and using Perkins Dry Goods Perfect Piecing Seam Guide, which is a small yellow transparent ruler with a hole you can lower the needle into and a straight line marking the stitching line, aligned the red line on the paper with my needle. This meant I could put the patch under the presser foot, with the corner on the needle, align the other corner with the tip of the red line showing on the quilting table, and then zip across in a straight line, keeping the corner on the red line. I chain pieced, of course (that is something I always do). It worked like a dream! Below a photo of the tape in place, so you can see what I mean.
So in no time (relatively) I had the ten 4″, the 2 1/2″ and the 3 1/2 blocks done. Some of the corners are rising up and curling a little in the photo, but the blocks really are square!
And the twenty-three 3″ blocks.
So that was week 15. I really love how these blocks turned out, and I enjoyed experimenting with how to make making them faster.
Looking at the progress so far, it is clear that we are nearly there with the filler blocks. Week 16, here I come!