Blocks on Point – Quilt As You Go

Hi, I’m Marguerita and I’d like to show you one of the projects from my newest book,
“Finish (Almost) Any Quilt”, with quilt-as-you-go. Come on, let me show you. So, I’m taking the first project
off the wall. These are some leaf blocks that I bought on ebay a long, long, time ago. And they are pieced,
so let’s take a look at that. You can see the back, this is the back, and the seams, and they make beautiful points, on the edge there.
Beautiful quarter inch seam. And that’s going to require a little
bit of adjustment and I’m gonna play with the layout
on these. Now, I bought some fabric to go with them, also a long time ago, and I’ve held onto it hasn’t ever been
repurposed to another project. So let me go put
those up on the blue design wall and, along with the fabrics, and show you what
my plan is for these gorgeous blocks. I have these leaf blocks, I’ve got 12 of them. They are not
very big, about twelve and a half inches square. Not very big. If I were to joing them
together, it would be a pretty small quilt. So, I just love these blocks.
They’re gorgeous, very well peiced, again not made by me, I bought them on eBay,
and they are just perfect. So, I love the colors, I love the shape of them, the design. So, I’ve had them for a long time and I pulled them out, and took them with me to the store
and found this fantastic batik. Now, I bought what was left,
and took them with me to the store
and found this fantastic batik. Now, I bought what was left, which isn’t very much,
and so I’ve had to finagle how I’m going to cut it up. Which has been an interesting challenge. I’ve make a lot
of mistakes on my quilts lately, a lot! Um, that’s a whole other video. So, what I did, rather than dive right into cutting this,
and maybe making a mistake, especially because I’ve never done this before, I’m going to put these blocks on point, which is just like they are here. Instead of a square –ooh don’t fall — (I’ll take this down). Instead of a square, you know, like we would normally have,
they’re going to be points up and out, like this set is here. So, this is my test piece. Now this is going to be my backing.
And again I went to my stash of fabrics and pulled out
what I liked. I’m going to have to do with how much I
have and according to the way I’ve made my calculations, I only have enough to do the backing squares.
No joining strips at all. So, I’m going to have to finagle how I get, or what fabric I use, to join the squares with on backside. I have plenty of this for the top. For both the setting triangles and also for the joining strips, and the binding. So, plenty of this fabric,
which I am really glad for. If I can, if I can get it out of what’s left over, I’ll use this on the back for the joining strips. So, set these aside for now.
Let’s talk a little bit about this test square. As you can see it’s not perfect. Now there’s
a reason for that, other than my poor piecing skills, I have them two different sizes.
Trying to test what would work best. And it’s really important for me, when I’m adding fabric to my blocks, that it be way more enough. Because the quilting will draw up the square a little bit, and the trimming will take some off. So I need a lot of fabric off of my points.
That’s the whole point to doing this. Adding setting triangles so that I can place my blocks on point
and also have enough room to do my joining strips, where it doesn’t take away from the block itself. So that’s really important. So here I
tested out two sizes of triangles and I’m going to go
with the bigger size. For this eight and a half-inch block, which that’s what this purple is,
eight and a half inches, I’m heavy 8 inch squares of fabric. Just a square of fabric and then cutting it on the diagonal. And that diagonal is what you see here. It’s sewn to the edge of the square, okay,
with just a quarter inch seam. And this one was seven and a half. Not enough.
So, I’m glad I did this. Really glad. I was thinking about
just going eight and a half, because that’s what the block is, and that’s fine too. That would have been fine.
I would have used up a little bit more of my fabric but, in this instance, I have plenty of fabric.
I could have gotten away with that. But I tested it and I think that the
eight inches is going to be just fine. And so what I’m going to do is go cut all my squares, I have 12 pieced blocks, I need 24 of the eight inch blocks, in order to cut them on the diagonal and then add to all four sides of the blocks. So, that’s the next step. I’ll be cutting
out those eight inch squares and, because, of course I can, I have enough fabric here. Because I have enough, I can cut first all my binding strips, which is very nice.
Then my row joining strips, which I like to have nice and long, I don’t like two-piece them. Then I can cut my eight inch squares, that I need to be my setting triangles. And then out of what’s left is what I’m going to use for doing the block joining strips. So time to cut some fabric, There’s one, two, three, four fabrics. I get them fairly close, and you know how
I’ve said, I like my fabrics to stand up and salute. This is it. I can treat them like I would
a deck of cards. Thery’re stiff. And that’s going to make sewing on this bias edge much, much, easier. And I am, like, the queen of easy. Make it easy. Okay, the last batch. And then I’m ready to sit at the sewing machine and sew these onto the opposite ends of each of my leaf blocks. So, I’ll got get a leaf block and I’ll
show you. I know you know what I’m doing. [sound of cutting]
But I’ll show you anyway. So, here’s my block and
I’m going to sew on opposite sides, it doesn’t matter which ones. Okay? [beeping sound] That’s my iron
reminding me that it’s still plugged in. Ok, and the biggest deal is this:
you sort of want the points to meet in the middle. You want this to be fairly even here.
Not starting over here, you know, or off here. You want that block centered on this piece.
And if it helps you to go trim these trianlges off, go ahead and do it. You know my motto
“close enough is good enough”. And I’m sticking with that!
So I’m going to layer them like this, all of my pieces, look like I’m
pretty much lined up evenly here, and sew, using a quarter inch seam,
down each one. Now this part it is important to have that scant quarter
inch seam because of these points. So, I don’t want to sew over the edge
of the point. I’m going to be doing a true “quilter’s scant quarter inch” when
sewing these on. And I’m going to check them. If my seam is too wide,
I’m going to take them back out. Just because I really would
like this one to be a little bit less sloppy than I usually do. Somebody went
through a lot of effort to get these just right and I’d like to keep them
that way. So, it’s not going to take long I’ll be back when they’re done! These turned out exactly as I wanted them to. I think they’re gorgeous. I couldn’t be happier! Now, I’ve got plenty of room, all around
the edges, so that when I trim them down – I’m going to trim them down to twelve and a half. I’m sure that they’re thirteen or more right now.
That gives me plenty of space that I can do my quilting in,
and if it draws the block up I still have lots of fabric
that I can trim around the edges, to square up. So, now for the quilting.
On a block like this I would almost always stitch in the ditch.
I’m guaranteed that I will stitch in the ditch around every single one, using a clear
polyester thread, not nylon. on top and probably a bobbin
thread in the bobbin, or something that matches the back fabric.
Which is this mottled color. So,
something in the yellow-pinkish cream color family.
Then from there I really want these to stand out. I love these leaves. I don’t think I’ll do much inside them.
I might be tempted to take a variegated thread,
and then just do an echo on the inside of the leaf.
Then in the white just a real quick stipple.
Something to just anchor it just a little bit, not a lot. Now,
the only part I’m not sure about yet is is the triangles. The setting triangles. I’m tempted to do a design in
there, but I don’t want to get
too crazy with the quilting. So, I’ll think about that get back to you. Right now, and a good time to think about it too,
is when you’re layering your blocks with the batting and the backing.
So, I still have to go cut my backing squares out. And cut
my batting. And while I’m doing that, and while I’m pinning the squares,
if I’m unsure about a quilting design, that’s when I’ll
start really thinking a lot about it. Now, I already know that I might want
to do that outline quilting. So, I know I’ll stay away from the edges when I pin. I’m not
going to pin in the white areas because I know I’m going to want to stipple there.
So chances are I’ll be putting a few pins in each of the leaves, and then a couple of pins probably in each of the setting triangles.
If I decide to quilt inside these setting triangles,
I can just take the pins out as I do that. So, coming right along! Thanks so much for watching.
Here’s a link to how I machine quilted the blocks for this quilt. And if you want some more information
about the book the rest of the quilt-as-you-go process, I’ve got a link for that too.