Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bloom Quilt

I picked up some of Amylee Weeks fabric at a Quilt Show this summer.  I loved the print from her Bloom line and decided to pick up the panel and four coordinates.    With no plan in place, the fabric went on my shelf.  About 2 weeks ago my daughter was over and happened to see the fabric.  She loved the fabric.  Since she and her husband, of less than a year, had just purchased and moved into their own house, I told her I would make her a large throw as a house warming gift.

For two days the fabric lay out on my sewing table as I tried to come up with a design.  I decided that a simple four patch alternating with the panel squares would be just the thing.  What follows is a simple tutorial on my favorite way of making four patch squares.

To make a 6" square block, cut four separate fabrics 3 1/2" by Width of Fabric.  Sew two strips together, making two separate strip sets.  Because you will want your seams to nest while sewing them together, you will need to iron the seams in opposite directions.  I happened to have a gray in both strip sets, so it was easy to always iron my seam toward the gray.  

Next, place your strips sets right sides together, making sure your seams are matched so that your center corners come together perfectly.  I usually pin my strips sets together about every 5 or 6 inches to help hold them in place while cutting.  The flat flower head pins are great because the ruler can be placed over top without moving the pins.

Once you have your strip sets nested together, sub cut the strip into 3 1/2" segments.
Because they are already nested together, you can go to your machine and sew down one side using a quarter inch seam.  Open them up and tada! You have a four patch square.

Next I laid out my quilt blocks and rearranged until I liked the pattern.  I used to walk from my design wall to the machine, block by block.  This is great for getting in steps, but also takes longer to get the rows sewn together.  Last year for my birthday, my husband bought me pins with numbers printed on the pin heads.  I love them!  I put one pin in the first block of each row.

I can then stack the blocks and take them as a pile to my sewing machine.  As long as I keep the block with the pin to the left of the machine, my blocks will remain in the correct order for each row.

I generally have two rows going at the same time, so that I can chain piece without wasting thread between blocks.   The numbered pins make it easy to lay the rows back out in their proper order when I'm ready to start sewing the rows together.

This is my completed quilt center.  I just need to add borders.  My daughter loves it so far, and I'm enjoying the process of making something I know she will love and use in her new home.

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