spool-along: block 7

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva

We’re up to block seven, I can’t believe it! Are you up for a new technique? We’ve been there and done that with snowball corners so let’s try something a little different.

Something biased.

But just a little bit biased, so don’t run away screaming just yet. I promise, it will be fun.

The tutorial is for a single block, assembled like a 9-patch and there’s a nifty little trick to make all four half-square triangles at once. So for those of you making more than one block, they’ll sew up really quickly.

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva I’m feeling patriotic today so I’m going to make my blocks in red, white, and blue.

spool-along block 7
Block size 6-1/2″ x 12-1/2″
(6″ x 12″ finished).

Cut the following:

background fabric
(1) 5-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ rectangle
(2) 5-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ rectangles
(1) 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ square

spool fabric
(2) 4-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ rectangles
(1) 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ square

thread fabric
(1) 4-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ rectangle
Note: If using striped fabric, make sure the stripes are going left to right as shown on this block (not up and down). —–>

Instructions:
(all seams are 1/4″, sew right sides together.)

1). Place the 2-3/4″ background and spool squares right sides together and sew 1/4″ around all four edges as shown below.

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva

2). Cut diagonally right through the seam intersections in both directions as shown below to make four half-square triangle (HST) units.

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva

3). Open the HST units and press with the seam allowances toward the spool fabric as shown below. You have probably noticed that the bias is now on the outside edges. Oh, oh! Press carefully, lifting the iron up and down, not side to side and every random direction, and you’ll be just fine when it comes to sewing your block together. It’s only a little bit of bias. (And you get four at once with no marking!) If the thought of any amount of exposed bias still makes you nervous, that’s OK, you can use a little starch to help it behave. Trim off the excess fabric and the rabbit ears to make them 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ squares.

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva

4). Sew a HST unit to each 1-1/2″ side of both of the 4-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ spool rectangles as shown below. Be careful to sew the HST units turned in the correct direction as shown below to make the spool shape. It’s easy to make all kinds of wrong shapes at this point if you’re not paying attention. Ask me how I know. ;-)

5). Sew a 5-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ background rectangle to each of the 5-1/2″ sides of the 4-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ thread rectangle as shown below.

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva

6). Press the seam allowances on the spool rows toward the HST units and press the seam allowances on the thread row toward the thread fabric.

7). Sew one of the spool rows to the bottom of the thread row and the other spool row to the bottom of the 5-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ background rectangle. Double check that the spool row is facing the correct direction before you sew. Press the rows’ seam allowances in either direction as desired.

8). Sew the thread-spool unit to the bottom of the background-spool unit as shown in the finished block. Press seam allowances in either direction as desired.

Spool-Along with Adventures of a Quilting Diva

Tip: To make sure you have perfect corner intersections, nestle the seam allowances together carefully and then pin just before and after the intersection. Sew a few long stitches between the pins and open the block up to check. If you’re satisfied with how the corner turned out, set your machine stitch length back to normal and sew the entire length of the seam. If the corner isn’t as perfect as you’d like, pick out the long stitches and try again.

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So how was it? Not too bad I hope. :) Happy Quilting!

Comments

  1. Jo Ann Woods says:

    I love your HST units! Thanks for a great tip! Is there a formula? :)

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