New to Quilting?

If you are brand new to quilting and don't know where to begin, start with the posts in September 2011 (look in the blog archive). The first four posts cover basics such as choosing equipment, choosing colors, how to sew 1/4" seams, how to use a rotary cutter, and how to press (not iron) your block during construction.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Windy Days – Quilt Block Tutorial

Windy Days
8" finished quilt block

Step 1: Cutting the Fabric

Fabric A: background fabric
  • A1 - cut sixteen 2 1/2" squares
Fabric B: grey (medium color)
  • B - cut four 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
Fabric C: blue (dark color)
  • C - cut four 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares

This is how I like to draw the diagonal line on my fabric squares (link). It eliminates the problem of stretching the fabric on the bias.

Draw a diagonal line through each A (background) 2 1/2" square.
Step 2: Sewing the Parallelogram Units
Pin right sides together, one A square to each B and C rectangle. Make sure the diagonal lines are all going the same direction (see photo).
Pin squares in place.

Sew one thread towards the outside of the drawn line. In the photo you can see that the seam is to the right side of the pencil line.

Trim all the corners 1/4" from the line.

Sorry about the fuzzy photo!
Press the seam open (or to the side if that's what you prefer).

Place right sides together, an A (2 1/2" background square) on the other end of each B and C rectangle.
Make sure the diagonal line runs parallel to the first seam! If you don't, you'll end up with a Flying Geese unit, not a parallelogram unit!

Sew a seam one thread to the outside of the drawn line.
Cut 1/4" from the drawn line to cut off the extra fabric triangle.

Press the seam open (or to the side). Each rectangle should still measure 2 1/2" x 4 1/2".

Step 3: Sewing the Block together

I like to lay all the units out to see how the block is turning out. I can see any mistakes and fix them if I take the time to lay the pieces out.

Stack the four red rectangles on top of each other, and the four grey rectangles on top of each other. Using a scant 1/4" seam, sew one grey to one red rectangle.

Press seams open (or to the side)

Arrange your block. Your small blocks should measure 4 1/2" square.

Sew each small block into a column.
Next, sew the two columns together.

If you look closely my points don't all match up. If I can see a mistake in the block from six feet away I rip and re-sew the seam. If the seam is off by only a tiny amount I leave it because it won't be noticeable in the finished quilt, unless a judge is looking at it.

Everyone loves "Show and Tell!" Please feel free to send me a photo of your block. I'd love to see what colors you are using, so would everyone else!

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