I'm baaaaaack! Okay, now that I've done a Part 1, that naturally means I have to do a Part 2, right? Either way, I feel like I should, so here it is! Now that you have the necessary tools, you should be ready to actually make something. I really want to share this little app with you though, if you have an iPhone or iPad, and like to quilt, I recommend it. It's called BlockFab, and there is a link to some information about how to use it. It helps to have a little knowledge of quilting before you use it though, as it does not go into great detail about how to construct blocks. It does tell you, however, how much fabric you'll need, and it lets you make the blocks any size you want! Today, for example, I decided that I needed eight 4-inch blocks to use for a project. I went in, picked the block, selected the size, and all the measurements popped up. Jolly helpful if you ask me! Oh, you want to see one of the blocks?
There you are. I'm not ready to tell what this is for yet, so stay tuned! This was my first block like this, and it's not perfect, which drives me crazy, but hey, I'm always learning! Anyway, with that app, you get to see different layouts for the block you choose, and there are little hints too. For your first project, you should start out with something that isn't too hard. Baby steps, people! That way, you won't get frustrated and throw your unfinished project into a bag/box/basket, and leave it there for years. Not that I've actually done that... Okay, maybe I have a few project skeletons in my closet, but who doesn't?! For the purpose of this post, I'm going to be making a pinwheel block. This block is very simple but can make a very pretty quilt.
*Helpful hint* First, you always want to wash and iron your fabric! Every time I buy fabric, I automatically throw it in the laundry room. Then, I have motivation to do laundry! I wash, dry, and iron the fabric, I mean, I've killed two irons in three years... I iron a lot! Then, if you are using a cutting mat, you will want to fold your fabric BACK INTO THE WAY IT CAME OFF THE BOLT. This means that you will fold it in half, with the finished/selvage edges together. Here is a helpful diagram that I borrowed. Here is where I got it!
See how each cut each cut edge is folded back onto itself, while the selvage edges are opposite the fold? Now we need to know what size we are going to cut our pieces. I want to make a 4 1/2 inch block. My app tells me that I need to cut my squares 3 1/8 inches by 3 1/8 inches. One thing to remember when you are doing quilt math, is that you will always sew 1/4 inch into the fabric, also known as your seam allowance. That means, when you are doing your math, you need to remember that every edge that will be sewn (now or later) will subtract 1/4 inch from your final shape. So, if I started with a 3 inch square, but I sewed other fabric to all four sides of it, it would end up being 1/2 inch thinner, and 1/2 inch shorter. Here is a visual:
Okay, now place it on your mat, smooth it out, and we are ready to cut! This is where we get to use that sweet, sharp rotary cutter! so I am going to cut one strip that measures 3 1/8 inches wide, so I can then cut smaller blocks from that.
Isn't it nice?! Get ready for the next step, making squares.
Line up a ruler at the end of your strip. Trim off the edge so that you will have a nice straight line.
Now line up 3 1/8 inch and cut again. You now have 2 perfect little squares!
Repeat this process with your second fabric.
Cut right through the marked line and you have two half square triangles!
That's how it will look in the end but we have to sew it in halves. First we will sew right where I'm pointing with my lovely pink pen...
Make as many blocks as you want and lay them out :) Happy quilting!