Hi everyone, welcome to Block 6 of the Beginner’s Quilt-Along (QAL).
If you’re new here, you can join the QAL at any time. Complete the blocks one at a time each week, or you can set your own pace. No stress! Most of all, have some fun and hopefully learn a few tips and tricks along the way. See the main Beginner’s QAL page for more information and additional links.
Don’t forget to upload your completed block to the Flickr group each week for a chance to win prizes. Winners are chosen randomly from the completed blocks submitted by 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Check the Sponsors and Prizes page to see all the goodies.
This week’s prizes and last week’s winners are at the end of this post.
Block 6 – Go on a Picnic
This week’s block is Go on a Picnic also known as The Calico Puzzle. According to Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, this block was designed by Eveline Foland and first appeared in the Kansas City Star on September 13, 1930.
I wasn’t able to find a quilt featuring just this block, however, it is one from the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt and I did find several colour variations for it on Flickr. You can click the links underneath to see the full image on Flickr.
I think this block lends itself to being scrappy, especially if the HSTs are a consistent colour. Here’s a quick variation using two different coloured blocks that I did up in Electric Quilt 7.
A note about block colours: This block uses three colours to create the design; however, I chose to represent it with four colours by changing the centre block to a different colour than the HSTs. The centre square is a great opportunity for a fussy cut design. The orientation of the HST units is important to maintain the design and if many blocks are sewn together they form a pinwheel where the blocks meet.
For this week’s lesson, I’m sharing one of my favourite tools for making half square and quarter square triangles. It’s the Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangles Ruler from June Tailor.
With this tool, you can draw your 1/4″ lines, align your sewn lines to cut your triangle units and quickly square up your units to your required finished size. It can be used for HSTs with an unfinished size of 1.5″ up to 6.5″.
Once your HST unit has been sewn and pressed, you line up the diagonal and trim two sides at once. The plastic has grooves where you place rotary cutter.
Rotate your block, line up the diagonal and the new cut edges with the lines on the ruler and trim the other two sides.
Here’s a video showing how this tool works:
I have one of these rulers to give-away for this week’s block.
Tutorial: Block 6 – Go on a Picnic
Please read all of the instructions before cutting your fabrics.
(1) 4.5″ square light grey
(4) 4.5″ squares dark grey
(2) 5″ squares black
(2) 5″ squares white
In my photo, light grey is the yellow swirl, dark grey is the blue flower, black is the pink flower and white is the purple swirl.
Piecing the block:
Create four (4) half square triangles (HSTs) using the 5″ squares. Be sure to trim your units accurately to 4.5″ square. See Block 3 for the HST tutorial.
Lay out your units in order following the block diagram. It is very easy to get the orientation incorrect for this block.
Stitch your units together in three rows. For rows 1 and 3, press the seams towards the centre of the block, i.e. away from the outer triangle units. For the middle row, press the seams away from the center unit.
I meant to show last week: How to deal with the triangle units when sewing together the rows. I completely forgot! Better late than never, right?
What we want to avoid is chopping off our triangle points when we join the rows. Looking at the backside of our row, you’ll see in the first photo, the “X” that’s formed once we’ve sewn the HST with our square. I’ve put a pin in just so you can see what I’m talking about, you’ll pin as we’ve been doing in previous blocks.
When stitching, have the HST on top, when possible, so that you can see that intersection. You want to stitch right through the intersection where the two previously sewn lines meet. Go SLOW… you have a lot of seams coming together at this one intersection. Use your stiletto or dull end of your seam ripper to help guide the fabric if needed. Watch your needle and stitch directly through the intersection.
Once sewn, here’s what it will look like:
And the front side:
Ok, back to our block! Sew rows 1 and 2 together, pinning at the seams and ends to keep things aligned nicely. Press towards row 1. Then stitch row 3 and press towards row 3.
Your completed block should be 12.5″:
Download this week’s tutorial here: Beginner’s Quilt-Along – Block 6
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. Don’t forget to share your completed block in the Flickr group by next Wednesday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m. for a chance to win this week’s prizes featured below.
My first six blocks:
Prizes for this Week
We have three prizes to give-away this week.
June Tailor has donated a Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangles Ruler featured above.
Block 5 Winners
The winner of the Moda charm pack is:
If you’re a winner, please check your photo on Flickr for instructions.
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