Friday, January 28, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ February 2011

Here we are at block #2. And yup, I’m posting it EARLY! I know, you love me! How did you do with our January block? If it’s all done, be sure to post it in our photo album. More on that at the end…

Our second block is the Antique Tile. This was such a super fun and fast block to piece using strips. Please read thru the directions to the end first, and then start your block.


Pick out your fabrics (remember, I am pulling from my scrap stash) – here is what I used:

  • Light scrap – cut one 2 ½” x 19” strip
  • Medium scraps – cut one 2 ½” x 11” strip AND one 2 ½” x 19” strip AND one 4 ½” square
  • Dark scraps – one 2 ½” x 11” strip AND one 2 ½” x 19” strip.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Cut to size…

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Traditionally, all of the pieces of this block are cut to size and pieced individually. Not only does that take a lot of time, accuracy may suffer because of all of the seam sewing starts & stops. TIP #1: We’ll be making this block using strip piecing. We’ll sew the strips together and then cut them into the segments we need to make the block. This will help the accuracy and reduce piecing errors. Cool huh?

First, let’s sew the dark and medium 11” strips together with the dark strip in the bottom position.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

TIP #2: Place the two strips right sides together and press. This will help the strips stay together and not shift while sewing.


Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Press to the dark fabric. TIP #3: Measure across your strip set now. Does it measure 4 ½”? If not, your ¼” seam just isn’t right. Try again. My seam ripper and I are best buds! If you don’t get it right now, the whole block will be off. 

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Cross-cut into four 2 ½” segments.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011   Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Next, we’ll chain sew these segments onto the 19” medium strip. Watch carefully, another tip is coming up! Lay the 19” medium strip right side UP on your sewing machine. Place a segment right side DOWN on it leading with the medium square Sew 1/4” seam and  - - - - - - > wait - - - - > 

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

- - - –> leaving the medium strip in your machine, place another segment right side DOWN onto it leading again with the medium square…see the photo below….leave a small space between segments. TIP #4: this kind of chain piecing makes for faster more accurate piecing, and saves on thread, too!

 Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Repeat with the remaining 2 segments this time leading with the DARK square. So, 2 segments start with the medium square at the top and 2 stop with the dark square at the top. This is what it looks like just out of your machine:

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Cut apart ensuring your unit are 4 1/2” wide.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Press open with seams to the medium strip. These should measure 4 1/2” square. Set aside.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Time to strip piece the other units of our block. Place the light and dark 19” strips rights sides together and as we did before, press them together before heading to your sewing machine to reduce the chance of shifting. These strips are long! Sew and press seam to the darker side. Cross cut into 4 1/2” segments.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011


Now layout your block! Doesn’t it look wonderful?

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011

Piece the block just like you would a traditional 9 patch block. I piece the rows first, pressing the seams opposite each other so they line up pretty and nice when I piece the rows together.

Here is my finished block – squared up to 12-1/2” unfinished.

Tips & Tricks Feb 2011  

Yay – block #2 is done!!!  Can’t wait to see yours. Please post your blocks in the crickets studio blog flickr group and show off your blocks!

‘til next month,


©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

PDF file can be found HERE.


Susanne said...

Just finished my February block, barely in time for March. I'll blog about it tomorrow!

crickets said...

Exellent Susanne! Can't wait to see it. Send me the link to your blog post and don't forget to post a pic in our flickr group!

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