When I wrote about my guild’s retreat back in October, I included a photo of some scrappy blocks we made for a charity quilt.
My friend Judy wanted the pattern and I found instructions for it by Lorraine Mooney on this site (thanks for sharing this Laure!): https://www.handmadeguilders.com/downloads/LorraineMooneyStringBlock.pdf
I had fun making a bunch of these blocks from my leftover strips.
The trick is to use a partial seam. I first learned to do partial seams in the late 1980s when I made a quilt entitled “Around the Twist” from Trudie Hughes’ book “Template-Free Quiltmaking”.
It’s a great technique and I was excited to do it again after all these years.
But I must admit, I felt the on-line step-by-steps on this site were a little confusing and, since I love writing instructions, I’d like to share my own version with you. I began with my fish bowl. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I keep my scraps in a large fish bowl (I actually have a second one now – to catch the overflow),
and my grandkids love to play with them. (my first post about it was in 2012 – click here to read it)
So I dug out all the strips and chunks that were at least 9 1/2″ long, pressing them as needed,
and then trimming them into a variety of widths, arranged by color.
This block could be done with a “non-scrap” pallette and strips of consistent width also. However I chose to try to lesson the load in my fish bowls ?.
Now for the fun – choosing strips of similar colors and piecing them into units measuring 6 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. Here are my units in progress:
And with a bit of trimming up:
At this point I realized each block would need a pair of 6 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ units, so I continued to sew and voila:
To make a block, select a pair and place a pin at the center of each unit. The easiest way to do this is to cut a 3 1/4″ x 4 3/4″ paper rectangle and place it in the lower left corner of the unit. The pin will mark the upper right corner of the paper:
Lay the 45° line of a ruler along the bottom edge of a unit, with the long edge of the ruler aligned with the pinned center spot:
Cut, and repeat for the second unit in the pair:
Cut a 3 1/2″ center square for your block from a contrasting fabric, and lay it out with these new units:
Flip the lower right piece, right sides together with the center square, and sew a 1 1/2″ seam partial seam as in this photo (this seam is only 1 1/2″ long):
Finger press open:
Flip the lower right piece, right sides together with the center square unit, and sew the complete seam:
Finger press open:
Repeat for the piece in the upper right:
Finger pressing it open:
Pull back the partial seam piece, and sew the unit in the upper left in place:
Flip the partial seam piece, right sides together, with the rest of the block and complete the original seam:
Square up the block to 10 1/2″ (I used scant 1/4″ seams and my blocks required very little trimming):
And your block is done!
I’m seeing a reduction in my scrap stash and I love the way the blocks are coming together.
Have you made quilts with partial seam construction? Would you care to send me a photo to share in a future blog? ?