The Quarantine Quilt – Week 2
This week we are going to get a little more practice on sewing squares (and a rectangle shape is thrown in there too! 🙂 ), but we are going to take it up a notch by requiring you to really work on matching up those corners!
Week 2: The Knot Block
I used slightly different scrap pieces in the same color family as my last block, but you can do whatever you would like! You can use a combination of the same fabrics from last week or use an entirely new combination.
Don’t forget that if you are doing the full quilt, you will need to complete two of these blocks – you can even make mirror images of them if you would like!
Here’s what you will need:
- 4 different fabrics (I picked three of my colors from last week and then used white for my fourth color.)
- a 3 1/2″ square template – see last week’s post for more information about how to make your own
- a 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle template – this is a new one for this week, so you can make your own again if you would like by just drawing and cutting out a 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle and cutting it out from something durable like a cereal box
- seam gauge and Pilot frixion pen or other marking tool
Cutting out the Pieces:
Since your fabrics will be different from mine, I labeled each color with a letter, so just cut out the corresponding number of pieces for whatever you want for each part.
For fabric A: four 3 1/2″ squares AND two 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles
For fabric B: two 3 1/2″ squares
For fabric C: two 3 1/2″ squares
For fabric D: four 3 1/2″ squares
**Note: if you are a very visual person like I am and you are not sure which colors you want where, I cut out two squares of each one and then put them together to see what arrangement I liked best…
I ended up deciding I liked the first one the best, so then I cut out two more of the green fabric and made that my “fabric D”.
1. Lay out all your squares/rectangles how you would like them to look. Your rectangles will look like they are too short – that is ok because they will match up once the squares they go with are sewn together.
2. For this block, we are going to do something a little bit different – instead of working row by row, we are going to break the block into, well, blocks!
And don’t worry – if you are working on a quilt pattern in the future, you don’t have to just know when you should work in rows or when you should break it into chunks – the pattern will tell you. And once you have completed a few blocks, your experience will tell you what is the best way too!
3. Start sewing together the first mini block. This first mini block is very much like what you did last week – starting with the top two squares, mark them and sew them together right sides together. We are still using a 1/4″ seam allowance. (On this project, it is super important to keep track of what edges you are supposed to be sewing together. I was very distracted by other things while I was working on this, and I’m not gonna lie, I had to use my seam ripper more than once! 🙂 )
Do the same thing with the bottom two squares of this mini block.
Press the seams just like last week so that they go in opposite directions and will match up better.
Make sure to pay close attention to which edges you are supposed to sew together – lay both rows how you would like them to look, and put them together right sides together, making sure to pin and mark the edges you want together.
You will now have one of the mini blocks completed! Make sure to press your seams on the back.
4. Sew together the next mini block of four squares the same way as the last one.
5. Sew together the square and rectangle blocks.
First start by sewing together the two squares right sides together and pressing your seam to one side.
Now arrange the squares and rectangle how you would like them to look, and being very careful to match up the correct edges, mark, pin, and sew the pieces right sides together along the correct edge.
Press your seam.
Do the exact same thing for the other mini block, sewing the little squares together first, and then sewing them to the rectangle.
You will then have completed your four mini blocks.
6. Shore up your mini blocks – sooo, due to wonky cutting, slightly off seam allowances, or a combination of both, your squares may not be perfectly square…
I realized kind of late in the game that one of my 3 1/2″ square templates was a little bit off, and that kind of threw off everything. But I decided to go with it to illustrate an important point…you could technically start over and try to be more precise, but remember to not let it frustrate you, but allow a certain amount of imperfection so that you can enjoy what you are sewing!
So because I like to say it is good enough and roll with it, here’s what I do to even things out if they got a little wonky (which they totally did today – I was just having an off day!)
Take a ruler and mark off whatever edge is sticking off…
Cut that part off. Repeat this on any sides that need it.
You also want to adjust if one block might be bigger than another one. You can cut them down to be the same size.
A word of caution – if you are off by a lot, you may want to re-sew that square just because if you cut a lot off, the finished square may look nice in the end, but the block won’t be the same size as all your other blocks in the end so you will have to cut EVERYTHING down before assembling your quilt top. If you end up with discrepancies like in the picture above, double check your template (mine was unfortunately off…) and if that’s ok, double check your seam allowances. But if it is good enough to work, but maybe everything isn’t exactly perfect, that is ok!!!
7. Assemble the mini blocks together.
Lay out everything how you want it to look in the finished product. We are going to sew these together just like they were simple squares, so we will first take the top two squares and sew them together.
Match up the correct edges and flip them right sides together. For the best results, line up the seam in the center and make sure the seams are opposite each other so that it will lay flatter if you can.
Sew on your marked line and press with an iron.
It was at this point that I got really distracted and kept sewing the wrong edges together, so I just want to emphasize to pay close attention to which edges you are supposed to be sewing together!
If you do mess up, no worries! Just grab your seam ripper! To make it go faster, instead of picking out every little stitch, undo a few of them, then pull the pieces apart gently and put the seam ripper under the big bunch of stitches to cut it. It will make everything come apart much faster that way.
Sew the other two mini blocks together in the same way (but hopefully without having to use the seam ripper!)
Now for the last step! We will now combine the top and bottom rows together. Again, make sure to line up the seam right in the center. Mark your seam line, pin, and sew.
And now you are done!!!
Stay tuned for next week, where we will move on from squares to learning how to make half square triangles! These are so much fun and can be arranged in many ways to make really intricate quilting designs!
See you next week, and happy sewing!!!