Thursday, September 15, 2011

Piecing your Back Cross Blocks : Across the Sea QAL

Hi everyone, we are moving on today to piece the small number of cross blocks for the quilt back. If you're looking for the Kona solids giveaway it's here. The cross blocks for the back are very straightforward so lets get working!

First grab your fabric for each block:

Take your Block 1 fabric and make up as per the cross blocks for the front of the quilt, and trim back to 12.5" square.

The fabric for Blocks 2 & 3 each contain 4 longer strips from the background fabric. For each block, set aside the longer strips and make up crosses as per the method for the first cross block, again using scant quarter inch seams. Block 2 will make up to 6.5" square, and Block 3 to 9.5" square. Once you have each of the inner blocks completed, add on your background sashing strips to bring the squares up to 13". Add the shorter strips to each side first and press your seams, before adding the final strips. (For people making the lap size quilt, you will need to make an extra Block 2)

 Each block should then be trimmed back to 12.5" square.

Last we need to make the bordered cross block. This block makes up to 12.5" square, not 13" so it is important to piece this accurately. Please make sure you use a scant quarter inch seam - this is really important, it comes out exactly right if you do. Also, on this block, your seams should all be pressed open.

Firstly, divide out your fabric pieces so you can see clearly what you have.

Start by sewing your cross arm pieces together. First sew your 4.5" x 1.5" background and border fabric pieces together along the long edge, then sew your cross arm piece to these:

Do this for all 4 cross arms. Next, piece two of your "arm blocks" to the central piece to give your central row.

So far, so good, right? Next are the corner blocks.

Start by chain piecing all the pieces as follows.

Take your set of 2.5" x 1.5" pieces (12 border fabric pieces, 12 background pieces) and piece 4 sets together, short ends together as on the left of the picture below. Then sew the other 8 sets together long sides together as on the right of the picture.

Then take the 1.5" square border pieces and piece each to one of the 3.5" x 1.5" background pieces, as in the picture below. (I swear, that seam is straight its just the way the fabric is lying underneath!!)

Press all your seams open, they layout your pieces to assemble your corner blocks as follows:

First, sew together the two central pieces as shown below:

Then, sew the top strip to the central piece, right sides together. It's important that your seams are matched here. I like to match the seams, then pin very close on either side. I leave the pins in when I'm sewing so it doesn't shift at all. 3 years of sewing over pins and I've only broken a needle once!

Now, sew the bottom strip on to the other side of the central piece and hey presto, you have a nice little corner block!! Repeat this for the other 3 corner blocks.

Iron all your seams open. You are now ready to assemble your block!

Sew together the corner blocks to the middle "cross arm" blocks on each of the top and bottom rows. Match your seams carefully when doing this. I normally don't pin much when I am piecing, but you do need to pin these seams carefully to make sure the fabric doesn't shift around.

Finally, sew all three rows together. Again make sure to match your seams and pin carefully before sewing. Take your time and make sure your seams are lying flat as you sew. Ta dah! Your bordered cross block is done. Isn't it cute? If you're making the lap size one, go make a second one now :-)

Have fun and I'll see you Monday when we'll assemble our rows to finish our quilt backing. Woohoo!!

If anything is not clear, please let me know in the comments or email me to