Hi everyone, welcome to Block 7 of the Beginner’s Quilt-Along (QAL). My apologies for being so LATE today.
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.
Block 7 – Paddle Up the Creek
This week’s block is Paddle Up the Creek also known as Hour Glass. Many of you might say, that’s not the hour glass block, and you’d be sort of correct. According to Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, there are many different blocks called the hour glass. There are definitely more popular variations that hold the same name. This one first appeared in Finley in 1929.
I was only able to find a couple of variations on Flickr for this block. You can click the links underneath to see the full image on Flickr.
I created a quick variation using two different coloured blocks in Electric Quilt 7. I really like the secondary pattern that’s formed just by rotating one colour set. I think I might have to make this quilt!
A note about block colours: This block uses three colours to create the design. I like the drawing I did better than the fabrics I chose for this block (see below).
For this week’s lesson, I’m sharing one of my favourite products: Mary Ellen’s Best Press.
It’s a clear, crisp spray starch and comes in several lovely scents: Lavender Fields, Citrus Grove, Caribbean Beach, Scent-Free, Cherry Blossom (my favourite), Tea Rose Garden and Linen Fresh. With Best Press, there’s no flaking, clogging, or white residue on dark fabrics. A special stain shield protects fabrics, and the product helps resist wrinkles. Best of all, it’s more effective than any starch you’ve ever used. (Adapted from their web site.)
I pre-wash ALL of my fabric, fat quarters and larger, before it goes into my sewing room. I know there are many strong feelings on both sides of the wash/don’t wash debate. I choose to pre-wash. Sure, it takes time, and dealing with the frayed and tangled edges can be a major nuisance. Personally, I hate the smell and feel of fabric from the bolt. I have also had fabric bleed recently and you can bet I was darn glad to discover that bad fabric before I put it into a quilt.
I don’t dry my pre-washed fabric in the dryer, which really helps reduce the tangles. Instead, while it is still damp, I’ll smooth it out with my hands or by flicking/snapping it in the air (really it works), and let it air dry on a rack or just in a folded pile. It dries very quickly.
I use Best Press to add body and stiffness to the fabric before cutting. I just lightly mist the fabric and I like to let it soak in and iron 1/2 hour or so later. I’ll also use Best Press once my block is completely sewn. You’ll be amazed at how crisp your seams will be. Depending on the quilt, I may even use it again once the entire quilt top is sewn before I baste it. For quilts like my Postage Stamp or Strippers that have so many different fabrics and seams, Best Press is a definite must.
Hope you’ll give Best Press a try!
Tutorial: Block 7 – Paddle Up the Creek
(1) 4.5″ square white
(1) 5″ square white
(2) 4.5″ squares light grey
(4) 4.5″ squares black
(1) 5″ square black
In my photo, white is the yellow floral, light grey is the green swirl and black is the pink floral. I wish I had chosen something different to represent white in this block.
Piecing the block:
Create two (2) 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.
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.
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 7
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 25 at 2:00 p.m. for a chance to win this week’s prizes featured below.
My first seven blocks:
Prizes for this Week
We have two prizes to give-away this week.
Block 6 Winners
The winner of the June Tailor Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangles Ruler is:
If you’re a winner, please check your photo on Flickr for instructions.