Treadle On 1999 Summer Mystery Quilt
You should have your pieces cut into squares, determined by the width of the strip sets. In the last section, I showed a whole bunch of my squares all cut up. If somehow you ended up with rectangles instead of squares, or squares not quite the right size, don't worry about it- it will all be fine soon.
Joining the Squares and the Dark Strip
In Part Four, we are going to sew these squares to the dark strip you have left. Place the dark strip on your sewing machine bed, good side up. Lay a square on it, good side down and dark strip on the bottom. Chain stitch all the squares to the dark strips. Here is a picture:
In this example, my "light" strip is the yellow one on top. My "medium" strip is the purple one on the bottom. The "dark" fabric is the strip underneath. Note that if everything is going well at this point, you ironed all the seams to the darker side when you made the strip sets, and since you are sewing with the darker of the two strips to the bottom (that's the purplish one on my example) the sewing machine foot is sliding over all the seams in the "favored" direction, i.e. with no tendency to lift the seam and fold it over. Ain't it nice when things work?
In the picture, I have spaced the pieces a bit further apart than I normally would, for emphasis. Space them as closely as you will be comfortable cutting when you cut them apart!
Ironing and Separating
OK, you have a choice here- you can iron the seams in the strip, all at once, and then cut them out, or you can cut all the pieces out and then iron them separately. I prefer to separate/trim them with the pieces just as they come out of the machine, and that is what I will show. How you do it is not as important as that you produce a bunch of pieces that look like the picture of the finished blocks.
Using a square and a roller cutter, trim the top dark piece into alignment with the rest of the block. You can cut the strip into pieces and trim each separately, or trim them right out of the strip. I prefer the latter, and here are some photos:
(Sorry about the shadow) here the ruler is aligned with the edge of the square, ready to cur across the dark strip.
Here the cut has been made. Note that the edge under the ruler is now a "good" edge. The right edge of the cut off piece had been previously trimmed. Now you need to rotate the separated piece and trim its left edge.
Here the piece has been rotated and the ruler is aligned, ready to make the trimming cut.
and here the cut has been made. Both edges of this piece are now "good".
Once you have trimmed all your pieces, open them up and iron the seam to the dark side, producing pieces as shown below:
Here are some finished pieces. The seams have been ironed to the dark side. This is your finished block unit.
Determining Final Block Size
Now, here comes the somewhat tedious part- checking and trimming these pieces to a final size. Trust me, the final size is not critical, nor is it critical that your dimension matches any of the discussed dimensions. What is important is that all of your pieces are the same size and that the proportions within the block are correct. The width of the three pieces should be the same. That's not too hard to understand. Determining the correct length of the paired strips is trickier to explain.
Study the block, figure on deducting a 1/4" seam allowance all around, and then figure that the height of the vertical strips should be twice the width of the horizontal strip. .
Here is a more complex explanation full of measurements:
Using the optimum or suggested dimension, 2" strips, the top strip is now 1 3/4", and each of the two vertical strips are 1 3/4". If you figure on a 1/4" seam allowance off of the top strip, in the final sewn version, it will be 1 1/2" wide. You can see where each of the vertical strips will also end up being 1 1/2" wide. Deduct 1/4" for a seam allowance on the bottom. The remaining portion of the vertical strips must equal twice what the finished dimension of the top strip will be, plus the seam allowance. In other words, the top strip will finish at 1 1/2", so the vertical strips should be cut at 3 1/4". I know this sounds complex. It really isn't- just think in terms of the finished block, and then add the seam allowances back in.
Here are some possible outcomes, depending on which size or system you used:
If you started with 2" strips, this piece will measure 3 1/2" wide by 5" high.
If you started with 2 1/2" strips, the piece will measure 4 1/2" wide by 6 1/2" high.
If this is your situation, fine. I would still check all blocks for true squareness and/or to find any that maybe you'd rather not use. Otherwise, you are done with this part.
Trimming Blocks That Are Oversize
The above process should produce a block that measures a nearly perfect 3 1/2" x 5" and is true on all edges.
So- all right- You have a whole shoe box full of nice blocks- take a break- Relax and then go to the next part. when I posted the original project, I gave the participants a week off at this point...
Assuming you are ready to do so, you may progress to Part Five via the link below. Remember, you are on your honor not to proceed until you have finished the current part!
Go to Part Five