Welcome to week 2 of the quilt along! Do you have your fabrics all picked out? Today begins the fun of sewing!
To make a 36 patch block, you will need 2 pieces of fabric that measure at least 8" x 18". They should contrast enough so you can read the pattern of the block.
Cut 3 strips 2.5" x 18" from each fabric, for a total of 6 strips.
Take one of each of the strips and sew together in pairs, using a 1/4" seam allowance. I'm using my handy dandy 1/4" foot. I love that thing! Since we are strip piecing, set your machine on a very short stitch length, so when you cut your pieces from the strips, they won't unravel. Me and strip piecing have a very rocky relationship. A short stitch length makes things better. I won't tell you how many attempts it took me to learn that! The dial on my machine goes from 0-6, and I set the length at 1.5. Sew carefully, because those little stitches are a bugger to rip out. I know this from experience, too.
After sewing the strips together in pairs, press the seams toward the darker fabric.
Cut 18 2.5" segments from the strips.
There will be a part of one strip leftover. I am planning to use these extras to make a coin quilt. Someday. :)
Sew three pairs of segments together as shown to make a strip. Make a total of 6 strips. Press the seams toward the dark fabric.
Pair the strips together to form a checkerboard pattern. One thing that I found very helpful is to keep a dark square in the upper left hand corner of each pair of strips.
Nest the seams and pin at each intersection. This will increase your accuracy greatly.
Sew the strips together and press the horizontal seams toward the top of the block.
Sew the 3 strips together, and again, press the horizontal seams toward the top of the block.
When the block is finished, a dark square should be on the upper left hand side. The block should measure 12.5". Easy enough, right?
I had several questions about how many blocks we are going to make each week. I am planning on making 6 blocks for the next 6 weeks. You can pick your pace....no worries! If you are making a larger quilt, you may want to make more blocks per week. Or else you can just work away at your quilt for as long as it takes. If you are making a smaller quilt, feel free to make fewer blocks each week. The point is to have fun, and to bust a little stash in the meantime!
As you can see, I am having so much fun making these, so I'm ahead of the pace I set for myself. I love working with just two colors at a time, mixing and matching fabrics as I please. It's been so enjoyable! It's going to busy, and it's going to be fun! When I had about 7 blocks done, I was doubtful about how it would look, but I'm seeing that the more blocks I make, the better it looks. I may do some editing, I may not. I'm going see how things go.
Please add photos of your blocks to the flickr group so we can all see what you are making!
If you have any questions, I will try to answer them in the comments.