Christmas Block-a-thon block 2
For this week's blog, I decided to play with EQ8 to design my own block. It's easy to start with a block and move some lines around however it is always best to start with the size you intend using so you don't get funky cutting instructions. For example, if you want a 12" finished block, don't play with a 5-patch block. On the other hand, a 6" block would be fine because you can double it to make 12".
I decided to make a block from scratch so set up a new canvas 12" square. Since I'm particularly fond of chain blocks I wanted some sort of chain effect. With this thought in mind, I set my grid up at 1.5 intervals to make 8 squares through the diagonal. Using snapping every 1/4" makes quick work of creating... that's 4 grids per inch. This ensures I don't get those funky 1/8 or 1/16 cuts. This created 9-patch corners and a 4-patch in the center although the latter I decided to remove.
In the remaining sections, I wanted to create a ribbon effect with diagonal lines and to make them a little more interesting, I didn't want them to reach the outer edges of the block. Next, I colored it.
Do you see the inner star design that's been created?
To make this block fit with last month's block I needed to make sure the colors were similar. I can do this by including one fabric throughout all the blocks - this will be my poinsettia print... so to introduce new fabrics, all I need to do is make sure they work with that print. This week I will include 4 news fabrics, 2 greens, a red, and another white...
I set to and cut out the following pieces to coincide with the block
- ONE 3-1/2" square of dark red
- FOUR 2" squares of each - dark green, light green, and my focus print
- EIGHT 2" squares of each - cream and white
- EIGHT 2" x 2-1/2" rectangles of white
- EIGHT 2" x 4-1/2" rectangles of light red
- EIGHT 2" x 3-1/2" rectangles of white #2 (note: I used two white fabrics but you could easily use the same white)
Since this is a new block and I've worked out the measurements, I always like to lay the pieces out to check it all looks correct before sewing. I've placed all the sections in position but need to visualize the angles for the ribbons.
Then I set about joining the units together - four 9-patch corners and four ribbons. I started with the ribbons remembering that each side needed to have the opposite angles. Alternating the pieces worked well to ensure I sewed these right.
Double checking the longer pieces was definitely helpful too.
I rarely press seams open, but here's one place I do - down the middle of this unit. It makes for a better join and sits flatter.
Next, I'm onto the 9-patch corners. No need to walk you through this.... simply join the four squares in a 4-patch alternating the prints with the white, then add one short rectangle along the green side. Add the light green square to the remaining rectangle and join the two sections together. I press seams in opposite direction here so they all butt up against each other - perfect seams without using pins!
And all that is left is to join the units into rows and then join the rows. Here's how it looks finished.
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