Showing posts with label Hourglass block. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hourglass block. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Hi peeps! 


 Welcome to Part 3 of our Country Village Quilt-A-Long featuring the Maison De Provence fabric collection by Connecting Threads.** 

**A little birdie told me that they only have a small amount of the MDP fat quarter bundles left…so if you are wanting to make a quilt with the exact same fabrics as mine, you'll need to snap one up quick! You'll find the bundles under their Pre-cuts tab.

In case you missed them, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2 of the quilt-a-long. You will also find links to each step under the Country Village QAL tab as they are published.

I wanted to talk a little about the difference between directional and all-over prints. The stripe on the left is definitely a directional print as the stripes run in one direction. You have to show more care when piecing a block using directional prints as you want the stripes to all run in the same direction(i.e.: up and down or side to side…but not both!).

It is much easier to piece blocks using an all-over print(at right), as once cut into squares it will make no difference which way you orient your squares in the block.

I thought you would like to see my thread/fabric trimmings bowl! It is actually a dip bowl, but I when saw it at Value Village I had another use for it! I keep it at the side of my sewing machine so that I can put stray threads in it. I did have one of those thread-catcher bags that hang over the edge of the table, but I found it was more of a pain than a pleasure to use.

Here we go:

I wanted to start off with the block center, which is an Hourglass block(basically a quarter-square triangle block). 

Now that all of your fabrics are cut and you have drawn the sewing lines on the backs of your 6.5" squares of center fabric, it should go very smoothly. I used my Quick Quarter ruler(shown near the end of Part 2) from Connecting Threads do this and my sewing lines were nice and even. 

I also wanted to show you how to orient(above) the one pieced square we have of the center fabric.

Note: My "center" fabric is the pale orange print.

Lay your 6.5" square of block fabric(from one of your fat quarters) face up, being careful to orient the directional print so that it runs up and down. Put the pre-lined 6.5" square of center fabric on top, right sides facing. Place your center square so that your drawn sewing lines start at the top left, then end at the bottom right. 

Pin near each end and in the middle of the drawn lines. Sew along your right drawn line, then turn the sewn square 180 degrees and sew along the left drawn line. Do not sew on the center line. 

*I am showing 2 block centers here*

Cut your sewn square in half, using the drawn center line as your guide. You will now have 2 half-square triangles. Press your seams closed first, then open up these hst's and press the seam allowance towards the fat quarter fabric(away from your center fabric). 

Draw your two sewing and one center line on the wrong side of one of these half-square triangles. When you pin the two hst's together, right sides facing, use your fingertips to help to align your upper and lower seam allowances so that they nest snuggly. As before, sew on your 2 sewing lines. Do not sew on the centre line.

Cut your square in half using the center line as your guide. Press the seam, then open up your two quarter square triangles and press the seam allowances either up or down. 

Take your 6" x 6" ruler and trim these squares to measure 5.5" square. All you have to do is find the 2.75" mark on your ruler and place that at the center of your qst(see arrow). You want the diagonal line on your ruler to match up with one of your diagonal seam lines and do the same for each of the 4 sides. 

Measure again to be sure that your block is 5.5" x 5.5". You only need one of these squares, so pick the best one and put the other one to the side for another project. I am thinking about sewing them into a strip and piecing them into my backing fabric.


Just as a reminder…for each block you will need your pieced HST in one specific print, 4-4.5" x 4.5" squares of another print, 4-3.5" x 3.5" squares in the same print as the 4.5" squares, 12-1.5" x 5.75" strips of tone on tone, 4-1.5" x 4.5" strips(t-o-t), 8-1.5" x 3.5" strips(t-o-t), and (not shown…oops, I forgot!!!) 4-2.5" x 2.5" squares(t-o-t).

Lay all of your squares out as they will look when sewn. You will have a 4.5" square at each corner, a 3.5" square in the top center, middle sides and bottom center, plus your pieced hst block center( I put the one with the same fabric there by mistake…sorry!). If you are using a directional print, please make sure your stripes are all running the same way as the above are.

I'm a graph paper gal when it comes to designing! Please refer to this drawing when it comes to placing your "pathways" rectangle strips and flippy corners(tone-on-tone fabric for me).

Place your 8-1.5" x 3.5" rectangles at the top and bottom of each 3.5" square, as shown. Now position your 4-1.5" x 4.5" strips on the side of each 4.5" square. It is very important that you place your strips as shown. 

I also put pins at the outer corners of the 4.5" squares and on the long edges where the 5.75" strips will go, for easy reference(so I don't get confused!). Pin well, stack and transport to your sewing machine.

I like to chain-piece as much as possible, reducing the amount of time that I have to get up from my machine. I start with the 3.5" squares, then sew the 4.5" squares without cutting in between each square. I cut the chain of the sewn 3.5" squares, bring them to the front of my machine, then sew the opposite sides.

Cut the squares apart.

Press the squares as they lay to set the seams. Using the side of your iron, press the t-o-t rectangular strips to the side of the print square.

Lay your block out again, so that you can see where to add your next strips(refer to graph paper diagram above).  As you can see, the pins you put in each corner and on one side of each 4.5" square make it easy to lay out your squares. 

Lay your 12-1.5" x 5.75" strips on top of the pins you placed earlier. Remove these pins carefully from the squares then pin your 5.75" long strips to the squares. You will notice that you have a bit of extra length in these strips. Do not stretch your square to fit, you will trim the excess away later. 

Pin your 2.5" squares to the outer corner of the corner squares. Stack and sew all 8 squares.

Bring your 4 bordered squares like the one above, to the ironing board. Press to set all seams, then use the side of your iron to press the t-o-t fabric towards the outside edges of the squares. 

Trim the flippy corners of your 4 corner squares, making sure that you trim just 1/4" to the right of the seam line. 

Press to set the seams, then use the side of your iron to press the t-o-t corners  and the 5.75" strips towards the outer edge of each print square.

Trim all 8 squares, making sure that they measure 5.5" x 5.5". I position my 6" x 6" ruler so that the 1.5" line rests on the inner edge of the t-o-t strip, as seen above. Double check that your block measures 5.5" x 5.5" and is square.

Carefully lay out your blocks and center square, so that they match the above graph paper diagram and the photo of the block at the start of this post.

Flip the three squares at the right over to the left, so that they are lying face-down on the squares on the center column. Pin down the right hand sides of each pair of squares, right-side-together. Stack then chain-sew each seam. Do not cut the threads that hold the three sewn squares together.

This is how your partially-finished block should look.

Do the same with the squares in the left column. Do not cut the threads that hold the three squares together.

Your block should now look like this.

Fold the top row over the middle row, right-sides-together. Pin well, especially at the seams, and sew, nesting the cross seams. Fold the bottom row up over the middle row, right-sides together. Pin well as before and sew.

The back of your block should look like this. Don't press yet!

You will see little thread loops from when you joined the squares in the four inner corners. Trim these off now.
Don't press yet!

Put your quilt block on your ironing board and use your long ruler to check to see if it measures 15.5" x 15.5" square. If your block is a little short in an area or two, first measure across the top and bottom edges to make sure they are at least 15.5" long, pinning your block corners to your ironing board. Then measure through the centers, using your pins to stretch-block your quilt block in the same way that you would block a freshly-washed wool sweater before it dries on a flat surface. 

Give your quilt block a spritz of water and let air dry for about 5-10 mins. Your quilt block should now measure 15.5" x 15.5" square. 

Now you can press your quilt block. As you can see above, I open up the four spots at the inner corners so they lay flat, and then press one seam in the up position and the seam following in the down position. This is called "pinwheeling your seam allowances". You will have less bulk and distortion at your crossed seams if you do it this way.

Your finished quilt block should look something like this. I did a BIG boo-boo…can you see it??? The fabrics in the Hourglass block are supposed to be: center print AND a print that is DIFFERENT form the rest of the block! Oh dear…in my defence, I was rushing to get this block done and the steps photographed as we were expecting rain the next day. 

I will have to un-pick the top and bottom rows, then take apart the middle row to substitute the correct center block, then sew it back up again. These are the kinds of things I do when we are watching Netflix at night. Bleck!

Oh, remember the 6.5" square of center fabric that we had to piece, at the end of Part 2? Well, this is it, and if you look very closely at the left corners of the center fabric, you will see the join, barely. It will be covered by the quilting and no one will ever know!!!

The next post of the Country Village QAL will be on May 27 for,
 Part 4: Adding Sashing Strips and Layout. 
This gives us 2 weeks to piece the 25 blocks needed for our Queen-sized quilt.


Sharing is caring!!! 
Don't forget that I am happy to share with your friends…feel free to pin to Pinterest, post on Google+ and Facebook, and Tweet away! Just please play fair and make sure your posts link back to this blog. *If you mouse/hover over the top right corner of my photos, a red "Pin-it" button will show up and all you have to do is click it to be taken to Pinterest. There is also another red button right beside it for posting to Facebook and Twitter. Or, you could always use the little square grey buttons at the end of this post. 

Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Quilty Huggs, 


PLEASE NOTE: This blog accepts forms of compensation such as, but not limited to; fabric/notions/patterns/books in exchange for a posted review and/or tutorial. All comments/critiques/opinions are completely my own and are not those of the provider. This blog may also contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links. Thanks so much!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

COUNTRY VILLAGE QUILT-A-LONG: PART 2-Cutting; Blocks, Cornerstones and Sashing Strips

Hi peeps! 

At long last, here is a pic of my Country Village block! Do you like it??? This block measures 15.5" x 15.5" now, and will be 15" square sewn in.

In case you missed it, here is the link to Part 1 of the Country Village QAL.

I know is seems silly to mention it, but do take the time to press your fabrics before cutting. It makes a world of difference for accurate rotary cutting. 

I also starched my fat quarters and the 3-15.5" strips x WOF(see below) with my spray starch recipe just for ease of use.

These are the rulers I used, along with my trusty ergo-handled rotary cutter. The large ruler is 8.5" x 24". I often need to cut strips that are wider than my regular 6" x 24" ruler, so this was a real find! The small square ruler measures 6" x 6" and you will use it a lot during cutting, and later for squaring up the 9 pieces of this block.
Be sure to put a new blade in your rotary cutter as there is a lot of cutting following!

I just had to show you how cute the selvedges are on the Maison De Provence fabrics.

Your cutting requirements are as follows. I wanted to put them in list form so that you can easily copy and paste into a Word document and then take the cutting list to your work table.

WOF is the Width Of Fabric, which here is 42". If your fabric is narrower in width, you should buy at least a quarter yard more.


-From each of your 25 fat quarters cut-
1-6.5" x 6.5" square
4-4.5" x 4.5" squares
4-3.5" x 3.5" squares
2-1.5" x 1.5" squares

-From your 4.5 yards of "background" fabric(see my tone-on-tone print) cut-
3-15.5" x WOF strips, sub cut into 60-1.5" x 15.5" sashing strips*
2-2.5" x WOF strips, sub cut into 28-2.5" x 2.5" flippie squares*
11-5.75" x WOF strips, sub cut into 300-1.5" x 5.75" strips*
4-4.5" x WOF strips, sub cut into 100-1.5" x 4.5" strips*
7-3.5" x WOF strips, sub cut into 200-1.5" x 3.5" strips

*please follow the directions below, as there is very little waste here for this fabric and you need to use the remainders of some of these strips to cut other-sized pieces. 

-From your .75 yard of "center" fabric(see my pale orange print)
4-6.5" x WOF(save the off-cuts to piece 1 square)

I carefully stacked 4 of my starched fat quarters on my large cutting mat. 

Note: if you are a little unsure, or new to rotary cutting, I would suggest cutting just one fat quarter at a time.

Trim the selvedges off and also trim one of the long sides of your stack(the 21" side) so that you have a nice, even edge to start cutting from. 

Do this for all 25 fat quarters.

Cut your fat quarter stack(or single fq) into 1-6.5" x 21" strip, and 1-4.5" x 21" strip. 
The remaining strip(at top) is about 6.5" wide and you can put that away for another project(perhaps a matching pillow!).

Sub cut your 6.5" x 21" strip(at bottom) into 1-6.5" x 6.5" square and 4-3.5" x 3.5" squares. 
You can put the remaining 3" strip aside(top row). 

Sub cut your 4.5" x 21" strip(middle row) into 4-4.5" x 4.5" squares, and also 2-1.5" x 1.5" squares(these are cornerstones and you can put them in a little basket for when we start adding the sashings. 

The top of the photo shows what you will have left over; a 3" x 14"-ish strip, a 6.5"-ish strip and trimmings.

Here you can see 4 stacks of each fabric cut for 4 blocks.

So, from each fat quarter you have cut: 1-6.5" square, 2-1.5" squares, 4-4.5" squares and 4-3.5" squares. 
This is what is needed for each block.

Now we will look at the 15.5" x WOF strips. 
I prefer to fold my yardage in half so that you have your fabric fold on the right side and your selvedges together on the left side(in front of you on your cutting mat). 
This way I am cutting 2 of everything at once AND I omit using the center fold of the fabric which always seems to be a pain to get rid of, no matter how hard I try to press & steam it out!

Carefully fold your fabric in half, so that your selvedges are touching. 
Line it up on a line of your cutting mat, to keep your strip square. 
Cut the selvedges off and start cutting your 1.5" x 15.5" sashing strips.

*IMPORTANT- for the FIRST 2 strips cut 28 strips(or 14 cuts if you have folded your fabric in half)each, which will give you 56-1.5" x 15.5" strips. 
Cut only 4 strips(or 2 cuts if your fabric is folded) from the THIRD 15.5" x WOF strip(=total 60 strips) and put the remaining 15.5" x 30" partial strip aside for just a moment.
These are your sashing strips.

Take the 15.5" x 30" strip you just put aside and cut 12(6 cuts if fabric is folded) that are 2.5" x 15.5(you can see all that I had left over is the center fold , at the left of the photo). 
Sub cut each strip into 12(6 if fabric is folded) 2.5" x 2.5" squares, which will make 72 squares total with very little waste.

Take your 2-2.5" x WOF strips and fold carefully in half lengthwise so that the selvedges meet. 
Line up your strip on a line on your cutting mat, as you did last step. 
Trim the selvedges off and cut 16 squares(8 cuts if you fabric is folded) from each strip. 
You will have a few extra. 
If you want to be exact-cut 16 squares from your first strip and 12 from your second strip. 
You should now have a total of 104-2.5" squares, but you only need 100.
These are your flippie corners.

Here are your 11-5.75" x WOF strips.
Using all strips, fold in half so the the selvedges are meeting.
With each of the first 10 strips, carefully lay across a line on your cutting mat, trim your selvedges and cut 28 strips(14 cuts) that measure 1.5" x 5.75".
Now you have 280-1.5" x 5.75" strips.
Take your 11th strip, lay on a line on your cutting mat, trim off the selvedges and cut 20(10 cuts if your fabric is folded) 1.5" x 5.75" strips.
You will have 300-1.5" x 5.75" strips.
You should have a 6" x 5.75" strip left over.
*Keep this left over strip handy, you may or may not need it.

You will do a similar thing with the 4.5" x WOF strips.
You have four strips at this size.
Fold all strips in half, lengthwise, so that the selvedges meet.
For each of the first 3 strips-lay near a line across your cutting mat and trim off the selvedges.
Cut 28(14 cuts if you strips are folded in half) 1.5" x 4.5" strips.
You will have 84 of these 1.5" x 4.5" strips.
Take the 4th strip, lay across a line on your cutting mat and trim the selvedges.
Cut 16(8 cuts if your fabric is folded in half) 1.5" x 4.5" strips.
You will now have a total of 100 of these strips.
Save the 12" x 4.5" strip that is left over.

Here are your 7-3.5" x WOF strips. 
As before, fold each strip in half carefully, making sure the selvedges meet up.
With each of the first 6 strips, lay across a line on your cutting mat.
Trim the selvedges off. 
Cut 28(14 cuts if your fabric is folded) 1.5" x 3.5" strips from each 3.5" wide strip.
You will have 196 1.5" x 3.5" strips.
Take the 12" x 4.5" strip left over from the last step.
Trim so that it is now 3.5" wide.
Lay your little strip across a line on your cutting mat.
Cut 4(2 cuts if your fabric is folded) 1.5" x 3.5" strips.
You will now have 200 of these strips.

This is your centre fabric.
Take your 4-6.5" x WOF strips now.
Fold in half carefully so that the selvedges match.
Lay across your cutting mat, carefully matching up to an across line on your mat.
Trim off the selvedges.
Sub cut each strip into 6(3 cuts if your fabric is folded) 6.5" x 6.5" squares.
Reserve the end pieces of each strip where the fold is that you have just cut off.
You will have 24 6.5" x 6.5" squares…but you need 25.
The next step shows how to make your 25th square.

Here you see a 6.5" x 6.5" square and 2 of the end pieces your kept from the last step.
Sew these skinny 2 pieces together down the 6.5" side.

Press the seam open then trim the square so that it is 6.5" x 6.5".
When we get to the piecing stage that requires this square, you will see that your seam is barely noticeable. 
For real!
This square and another(one of the fat quarter 6.5" squares) will be part of an Hourglass square.
*I am pretty frugal, so I chose to do this particular square in this way.
If you don't want to piece one large square you could add 1/8th of a yard to your purchase of the center fabric(so you'd buy 7/8ths of a yard), then cut 5-6.5" x WOF strips and cut your one final square from the extra 6.5" strip.

So, finally, here are our requirements for each of the 25 blocks of this quilt:

4-4.5" x 4.5" squares, print fabric
4-2.5" x 2.5" squares, background/tone-on-tone fabric
4-3.5" x 3.5" squares, print fabric
1-6.5" x 6.5" square, center fabric
1-6.5" x 6.5" square, different print fabric
8-1.5" x 3.5" strips, background/t-o-t fabric
4-1.5" x 4.5" strips, background/t-o-t fabric
12-1.5" x 5.75" strips, background/t-o-t fabric

We will also need:

60-1.5" x 15.5" strips, background/t-o-t fabric
36-1.5" x 1.5" squares(cornerstones) print fabric*
*we actually only need 30 of these, but I cut more so that we have variety.


This is a step that needs to be done before we can start assembling our blocks, so I thought you could get a head-start on these.
Take your 25-6.5" x 6.5" squares of your center fabric and draw a diagonal line across the centre of the square, corner to corner. 
Then draw 2 other lines a scant quarter inch to the right and to the left of your center line. 
I use my Quick Quarter ruler for this and it goes by quite quickly!
These last 2 lines will be your sewing lines once we get to sewing up the blocks, next Wednesday.
Now take your 100-2.5" x 2.5" squares of background/t-o-t fabric.
Draw one diagonal line through the center of each, corner to corner.
This line must be straight as it will be your sewing line for your flippie corners.

Here ends our cutting session. YAY!!! 

Be sure to join me next Wednesday, May 13, 2015 for instructions on piecing the Country Village block.

Sharing is caring!!! 
Don't forget that I am happy to share with your friends…feel free to pin to Pinterest, post on Google+ and Facebook, and Tweet away! Just please play fair and make sure your posts link back to this blog. 
*If you mouse/hover over the top right corner of my photos, a red "Pin-it" button will show up and all you have to do is click it to be taken to Pinterest. There is also another red button right beside it for posting to Facebook and Twitter. Or, you could always use the little square grey buttons at the end of this post.

Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Quilty Huggs, 


PLEASE NOTE: This blog accepts forms of compensation such as, but not limited to; fabric/notions/patterns/books in exchange for a posted review and/or tutorial. All comments/critiques/opinions are completely my own and are not those of the provider. This blog may also contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links. Thanks so much!