Friday, July 1, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ July 2011

Wow, did June go by fast or what? Dance recital is over, school learning fair project complete and school is done and summer vacation has started! I am now the mom of a preschooler and a second grader, whoa. Better start sewing to take my mind off of that!

Our July block is called Blazing Arrows. I originally found it on and adapted it to fit a patriotic theme. Of course, you may select any colors and fabrics for your block. I like the USA flag colors because it’s July and that means celebrating our Independence Day!

Pick out your fabrics:

Yup, I am pulling from  my stash again using a variety of blues and reds. TIP #1: I may have already used this one, but it’s okay to repeat myself, right? I am using the same background fabric throughout this block to unify it. With all the different blues and reds, I wanted to bring the block together. You may also use various background fabrics, just be sure they are the same value…not some very light, some very dark…it’ll confuse things a bit.Tips & Tricks July 2011

Blue fabrics: 1 each – 7-1/4” square, 4 each 3-1/2” squares

Red fabrics: 2 each 3-1/2” x 6 -1/2” rectangles and 2 each 4” squares

Background neutral fabrics: 1 each – 7-1/4” square, 4 each 3-1/2” squares, 2 each 3 -/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles, and 2 each 4” squares

 Tips & Tricks July 2011

We’ll work on the center square first. Take out the two 7-1/4” squares. On the back of the light one, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner:

Tips & Tricks July 2011

Sew 1/4” away from that line on either side. TIP #2: Best quilting investment EVER was my purchase of a 1/4” foot for my sewing machine. Most if not all companies make them for the various sewing machines out there.

Tips & Tricks July 2011

See how I can line up my seam? Sew easy! 

TIP #3: We need to sew down one side of the line, AND the other side too….sew, just pull out your piece a bit from the needle

Tips & Tricks July 2011

and turn it around and start sewing seam #2. Saves a ton of thread!

Tips & Tricks July 2011

We’ve made HSTs before, so here’s a quick review…press and then cut on the drawn line:

Tips & Tricks July 2011Tips & Tricks July 2011 

Press toward the darker fabric:

 Tips & Tricks July 2011

Piece the 2 background 4” squares to the 2 4” red  squares in this manner now. Trim these to 3-1/2” square.

Tips & Tricks July 2011

Back to our center square…on the wrong side of one of the large HST units, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, perpendicular to the seam:

Tips & Tricks July 2011

and place them right sides together, colors opposing, nesting the seam as shown:

Tips & Tricks July 2011

Sew a 1/4” seam on either side of that drawn line, press and cut apart.Tips & Tricks July 2011Tips & Tricks July 2011


And press open. Square to 6-1/2”. One of these is the center of our block and the other is our July BONUS BLOCK! Surprise!!!

Tips & Tricks July 2011   

Set the center block aside and go ahead and put your bonus block with the other bonuses we have been making this year.

Next, let’s work on the flying geese units. Take out the 4 rectangles and eight 3-1/2” squares. On the back of each square, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Tips & Tricks July 2011

TIP #4: Don’t assume anything! This time around we’re using this line in a different way than we did for the HST earlier. Be sure to read your directions and re-read them to make certain you do the steps correctly and avoid ripping out any seams. We’ll be using the “flip ‘n sew” method for these flying geese.

Place a background square onto a red rectangle noting the direction of the line below:

 Tips & Tricks July 2011

We will be sewing ON THE DRAWN LINE. TIP #5: Again, I am repeating myself from our January block, I sew a teeny tiny bit, like a thread’s width, away from the drawn line toward the outside corner to allow for the fold in the fabric.

 Tips & Tricks July 2011

Press and trim 1/4” away from the sewn line. Press outward (forgot to take that photo, sorry!)

Tips & Tricks July 2011

Repeat with the other side, noting the position of the square and the sewing line on the rectangle:

 Tips & Tricks July 2011 Tips & Tricks July 2011 Tips & Tricks July 2011Tips & Tricks July 2011

Do this for all the flying geese units. Now layout your block and sew together in rows. TIP #6: I used a lot of stem pressing my blocks with each step. I really wanted my block to lay flat. Tips & Tricks July 2011


And viola! Not only do we have an awesome finished block… Tips & Tricks July 2011

…but we also have eight extra HSTS and our 6” bonus block for July!

Tips & Tricks July 2011

Don’t forget to post your block in our group photo album! Enjoy your July 4th celebrations here in the USA – it is so amazing to live in the land of the free!


©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

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