I am delighted to present, Sew Let’s QAL, block 3!
This clever, challenging block has been designed by Sherry Shish at Powered By Quilting, head over there to download the pattern.
Before we begin . . .
Be warned this block is unforgiving! If your seam allowances or your cutting is not accurate, your grid will not piece nicely together. Check out my tutorial on checking the accuracy of those seam allowances.
Using spray starch when you press your fabrics will really help. The starched fabrics lie stiff and are easier to cut precisely but more importantly the cut pieces are less prone to distortion as you sew those strips together. Lots of little beasties are attracted to the starch residue so you might want to rinse it off your finished quilt, especially before storing.
When you stitch your pieces together, reverse the direction each time you pin and sew to help prevent distortion, for instance, if you sew left to right for the first row, then sew right to left for the second. Were you always to stitch in the same way, your block could end up becoming stretched on one side.
I recommend you measure your grid pieces BEFORE you subcut them into strips. It is much easier to fix any inaccuracies then before they compound, by re-sewing a seam with a slightly larger or narrower seam allowance.
Using Sherry’s terms and colour scheme, the grid pieces should have the following measurements.
Main Grid strips: black 2.25″, white 1.5″, black 8.75″
Grip Gap strips: white 3.75″, black 0.5″, white 1.5″, grey 0.5″, white 1.5″, black 0.5″, white 1.5″, grey 0.5″, white 1.5″, black 0.75″
Middle Grid strips: grey 1.25″, white 2.5″, black 0.5″, grey 1.5″, black 0.5″, grey 1.5″, black 0.5″, grey 1.5″, black 0.5″, grey 1.5″, black 0.75″
Top Middle Grid strips: grey 1.25″, white 1.25″
If all looks good at this stage then subcut into strips following the pattern instructions. After that it should be a simple matter of stitching the rows together and watching the grid take shape.
I added the applique with fusible web and a small blanket stitch using tear away stabiliser to prevent puckering. I thought the little numbers were so cute!
Note: when positioning the applique, remember to allow for the 1/4″ seam allowance around the outside edge!
We had such a beautiful, sunny day today that I wanted to add a touch of spring to my block! I made these two little butterflies and stitched them on.
If your ruler has a butterfly alighting on it too, then you need a rectangle of patterned fabric slightly larger than your butterfly and one background rectangle of equal size. I used the same cream that formed the body of the ruler in block 3. Finally you need a rectangle of mid weight fusible interfacing.
Draw around a butterfly shape onto the reverse of the interfacing (i.e. the non glued side). Fuse the interfacing onto the wrong side of the cream background fabric.
Place the patterned fabric and the interface backed cream rectangle right sides together. Turn the stitch down low on your machine and carefully sew around the butterfly, leaving a gap for turning.
Trim the butterfly to around 1/8″ seam allowance, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance between unstitched points. Clip curves.
Turn butterfly the right way out through opening, using a knitting needle or similar to carefully push out all the fabric.
Press the butterfly and tuck in the 1/4″ seam allowance. Slip stitch opening closed.
Fold butterfly in half and press again to mark a central crease.
Use six strands of black embroidery floss to sew in the butterfly body, attaching the butterfly to the front of block 3 as you stitch. Use one strand of black embroidery floss for the antennae.
You can download my butterfly template here, although it is a very dainty butterfly!
Host versions of block 3
Pour yourself a cuppa, or maybe something stronger, and enjoy the challenge of this sophisticated block. There are lots of tips from the rest of the ‘Partners in Design’ team and you can check out all the versions of block 3 for some additional inspiration.
Abbie @Sparkle On
April @JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca @Pretty Piney Quilts
Bobbi @Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer @the Inquiring Quilting
Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Kathleen @Kathleen McMusing
Sandy @SandyStar Designs
I would love to know your thoughts on this pattern. Do you enjoy the challenge of accurate, complex piecing or is quick machine applique more your thing?
We’d love to have you quilt along with us. If you like what you see, join our Facebook group and tag your friends. Through the group, you will get access to the patterns as they are released and you will be able to see all the different interpretations of the blocks.
I’m sure you know by now that we will be awarding prizes at the end of each segment. To find out full details, take a look at my introductory post.
The first segment’s prizes include:
- A Large Folding Cutting Kit from Omnigrid® including an 18″ x 24″ folding cutting mat, a 45 mm rotary cutter, and a 3” x 18” Omnigrip ruler.
- A 20 piece 2 1/2″ strip pack from Timeless Treasures Tonga Treat Strip Jr. “Orchid”.
- Two Shabby Fabrics Vintage Blessings printed table runner patterns and a packet of Sunflower laser-cut appliqués.
- And not one but THREE PDF patterns of your choice from our ‘Partners in Design’ designers.
And as ever, a very big thank you to our sponsors for their generous donations.