Sunday, 22 June 2014

Argyle Pattern with Precuts

Welcome to another quilt tutorial I came up with a while ago.

This time it's for a square argyle with precuts. Let's get to it!

Fabrics Needed

You'll need three fabrics. I think it would look best if you used solids or near solids (marbles, tiny polka dots, very small non-directional prints). I used - what a surprise! - blue, red and black from my Ikea fabric stash for this sample block.

Cutting and Sewing

Cut 2 1/2" WOF (width of fabric) from your blue and red fabrics.
Cut 1" WOF from your black fabric.
If you want to use precuts, get two solid jelly rolls and one solid honey bun. Even though the honey bun is 1 1/2" wide, this would still work for this pattern, as the black strip would still look good a little wider (see finished block further down).

First sew the red and blue strips together lengthwise. Set the seam and press to the dark side. Then cut 2 1/2" pieces crosswise.

Take two of the pieces, flip one over so that if you lay them next to each other it forms a checkerboard. Sew together. The seams will nest nicely and you can chain piece them all! When you press them open, you'll end up with classic 4 patches:

Take two of the 4 patches and lay them next to each other with the same colours touching. Then sew the black strip to the top of them both. Again, you can chain piece all of them. Cut the pieces and press. It doesn't really matter which way, there won't be any more nesting seams.

Take two more 4 patches and sew them on the other side of the black strip. Make sure that the same colours are "neighbours" again.

Now take one of the double 4 patches and sew on a black strip lengthwise. It doesn't really matter on which side, just make sure that you do all your blocks the same way! You can chain piece all of your blocks again. Cut them off and press.

Then add another double 4 patch on the other side. The colours should be "neighbours" again. Press.

And voilĂ , here's your finished block:

Its size is 9" unfinished and 8 1/2" finished.

Tipps and Tricks

  • When you chain piece, make sure you don't chain piece all the pieces. You usually need one half of them to add to the other side of the black strip.
  • Make sure you have music ready, your favourite radio station, audiobook or even TV show, because you'll be sitting there a while just chain piecing and chain piecing and chain piecing...
  • When adding the two sides of the block (or the two quadrants) together, you should make sure that the black cross lines up. Here is how I do it:
Take the piece with the added black strip and with a ruler and your fabric pen, elongate the seams to the edge.

Then measure 1/4" from the top of both sides. You now have 4 points you need to pin: the two intersections of the seams with the orange line on the top and the two orange crosses on the bottom. These are the ones we need to line up with each other.

Take a pin and stick it through the orange cross on the right, then through the orange/seam cross from the unmarked front to the marked back on the other piece. That way your right sides of the fabrics lay on top of each other. Repeat on the other side. These two positioning pins help you hold the fabrics together so you can pin left, right and middle. Before sewing, take out the two positioning pins.

Layout Ideas

You best set your blocks on point, joining them with more black strips like this:

In a finished quilt, it will look like this:
It would make a great baby quilt, maybe with softer colours.
If you want to make the squares bigger, just cut the strips wider. You can also use precuts such as charm packs or layer cakes, but than you might want to do it this way. But I think it is easier to use my strip method, as you have to cut less and also match less.

If you have any questions, just ask!


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