Hi everyone, welcome to Block 9 of the Beginner’s Quilt-Along (QAL). If you’re new here, you can join the QAL at any time. Sew at your own pace, the tutorials will be available indefinitely. 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 9 – Meet Me at the Fair
This week’s block is Meet Me at the Fair, also known as Split Nine Patch. According to Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns it first appeared in 1935 and is referenced to Hall.
I happen to really like this block and was very surprised that I could only find a couple blocks with this name on Flickr. I created a few drawings in Electric Quilt 7 for this block. The first one is just the one block repeated in the same orientation. I love the sharp diagonal lines that appear and the white space that would be perfect as a signature quilt.
The next drawing is just the one block with every other one rotated 90 degrees.
The third sample, oops the colours looked better late at night, uses two colour ways with one colour rotated 90 degrees.
A note about block colours: This block uses two colours to create the design.
For this week’s lesson, I’ll be showing you how to transform two squares into (8) eight half square triangles. The math is so simple, I’m sure you’ll love this idea.
Now, I have to give credit where it’s due, as I had never heard of this particular technique before. This week, I’m participating in Konda Luckau’s blog tour for her new book, Simply Charming Minis. It was in her book that I first read about this idea and Konda was kind enough to say I could share it with you here. I will be using this technique often.
I created several samples so that I could figure out the math needed to do this. Here’s the formula:
(finished unit size + 1″) x 2 = starting square size
For example, if I want my eight HSTs to finish at 2″, then it’s 2″ + 1″ = 3″, then 3″ x 2″ = 6″ square. Or, for our units, our finished unit size is 4″, (4″ + 1″) x 2 = 10″ square.
Let’s see how this is done. Here are my sample blocks, ranging in size from 5″ to 9″ square:
You need to draw lines diagonally from all four corners. Since I prefer drawing my stitching lines, I used my Quilter’s Quick Quarter for the small squares, however, it wasn’t long enough for the larger squares.
Stitch 1/4″ away on both sides of the centre line on both diagonal lines.
Give your block a good press to set the seams and flatten the block. Then cut the centre horizontal and vertical lines.
Then, cut diagonally. If you’re careful not to move your fabric, you can cut all lines at once.
For the next step, pay close attention to where the centre stitching lines are in your block, as this is the side you’ve just cut straight. (Apologies that the photo is blurry)
Now, to trim the HSTs. With the edge that you just cut, i.e. the one with the extra stitching, align that edge with the top edge of your ruler. I’m showing you two photos below. What you want to do is align the stitching line with the size you are trimming your triangle with the line on the ruler. In my case, they are being cut at 3.5″. You really need to know how to read your rulers accurately. If I were doing a large project, I’d be inclined to put pieces of tape beside the lines that I’m using. You only need to trim the right side of the block as the top is already aligned. For half of your new HST blocks, you’ll trim with the back fabric facing up.
Press your blocks open and then trim the dog ears, i.e. the little corner bits that stick out.
Now that I’ve shown you this method, and I’ve had a chance to play with it, here are my thoughts. I love being able to sew the 8 triangles at one time…it’s a fabulous idea. However, I do not like the way these are trimmed. I really struggled with this trimming method to get my blocks consistent. So, I would go back to the original way I presented in our Block 3 HST tutorial and use my Easy Square Jr. Ruler to trim the blocks or even use my Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangles Ruler that I featured in Block 6.
Note, I did not use this technique for this block, as I had my fabric cut weeks ago. If you have lots of extra fabric, then you can try it this week if you like. However, if you have just the right amount of fabric indicated in the requirements, then I would suggest you continue cutting your fabric as we’ve been doing for the QAL.
If you’re struggling with lining up your triangle points, check out these Pinning Tips from McCall’s. They provide a PDF file that you can download too. I really like the double triangle idea:
Tutorial: Block 9 – Meet Me at the Fair
(2) 4.5″ squares white
(3) 5″ squares white
(1) 4.5″ square black
(3) 5″ squares black
In my photo, White is the green swirl and black is the blue flowered print.
Piecing the block:
Create six (6) 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 away from the centre block. For the middle row, press the seams toward 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 9
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, August 8th at 2:00 p.m. for a chance to win this week’s prizes featured below.
My first nine blocks:
Prizes for this Week
We have two prizes to give-away this week.
Block 8 Winners
The winner of the Moda charm pack is:
If you’re a winner, please check your photo on Flickr for instructions.