Wednesday, February 8, 2017

QAYG Sampler - Week 3 - Nine Patch Block - Part 1

   If you are on target in regards to your quilt block, you should have your Nine Patch Block pieced together. It is now time to press it.  I say pressed instead of ironed because when using an iron on a quilt block it is best to try not moving in a side to side motion. You finger pressed your seams to one side as you have been piecing and now you will press on the block over the seam divide to help it lay flat. 

   Why do you not let your iron sway? Because seams can be stretched out of alignment, especially when working with half squares (triangles). This stretching puts stress on a seam and if quilted, that seam will wear faster.  Remember that you want this quilt to be used as long as possible so give it every advantage that you can to assist in it's longevity.

   Pay special attention to the four corner areas of your block to make sure seams are laying opposite to each other forming a square fan.

   Once pressed, all seams should be laying flat forming flat fans at the four corner areas.

   Now that your block is pressed, it is time to measure your block.  Your goal is to end up with a twelve inch FINISHED block.  By finished I mean that each side of your block should measure 12" from SEAM line to SEAM line.  Remember the 1/4" seam line you drew on all of your blocks?  We are now going to measure between your outer seam lines.

      As you can seem my outer seam lines measures a little short of 12".

   So I am going to mark 12'' on every side of my block with a dot slightly moving my sewing line out so that when my blocks are sewn together, my seams will all have a better chance of lining up.

    This slightly adjusted sew line will also help determine in the future, where I should sew.  Some people will discover they need to sew slightly further toward the fabric edge while others may discover that sewing directly on the sew line works better for them. It is all in what you are using to measure and how you are measuring and I have found that sometimes it is the marking tool you are using as some make a thinner line than others.

   Now that you have remeasured your sew lines and adjusted if necessary, flip it over so the RIGHT side is facing up.

    I have been using chalkboard chalk pencils for marking quilt lines.  There are many different kinds of marking tools but the two I use most often are pencil and chalk because they are washable. You don't need a dark mark so stay on the side of marking it so that it is visible to you without having to squint to find it.  Laugh lines on the face are beautiful, squint lines, not so much.

   On the right side of your quilt block measure 3/4" and mark a line all the way around your block.  If you are using a straight ruler, mark and connect dots as in previous lessons.  Because there are so many pictures for this week, I am trying to keep your page load time down.

    This area from the edge to this line is the NO-QUILT zone.  You will need this area to attach quilt blocks together as you will see next week.

   1/4" from inner seams, mark a line up to but not past the NO-QUILT zone line. (This area is quilted after the squares are connected) 
   NOTE: This little ruler is pretty handy as it is made to mark 1/4" on either side of a seam so that you do not need to lift ruler to mark both sides.  The center line is placed on the seam and seam lines marked to both sides of ruler.  Again, there was quilting before this type of ruler but if you have a birthday coming up...

    As you can see in this last picture, there are no 1/4" seams marked on the outside edges of this block. That is because they would cross over into the NO-QUILT zone and thus are omitted for the moment.

   Now that we have completed the ironing and marking for your quilt block, Part 2 covers the 'sandwiching' or layering of your quilt block.

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