Saturday, 1 December 2018

Block of the Month December & January 2019

At this time last year, I asked our wonderful Block of the Month contributors to
make Aussie Diamond Blocks.  The response was fantastic and the Coffs Harbour Sewing Team
have been happily putting them into quilts all year!  Some quilts were made entirely of the Aussie Diamond Block, sometimes alternating block with other blocks or panels,
sometimes horizontal rows mixed with other BOM blocks and sometimes borders.
I have loved designing the quilts with them.
THANK YOU if you contributed some of those blocks.
The box is now nearly empty :-( and I need more Aussie theme blocks
to take us through 2019.   So, here we go...

AUSSIE THEME STAR BLOCK

AND

AUSSIE THEME SQUARES BLOCK




We have TWO BLOCKS for the December/January Season.
Both are AUSSIE THEME blocks.

If you are on holidays during part of this time, you might like to choose just one of the blocks
to make during this busy time.  Or you might make some of both of them.
We don't need equal numbers of each block this time.

The Star Block is 1/2 inch bigger than the Squares Block as that gave nice round
numbers for cutting out ;-)...so much easier to do.
ALL blocks are trimmed to make them the size needed for each quilt designed.

STAR BLOCKS
are timeless and will enable us to meet many of the Requests from our Aussie Heroes.
They will also mix with other Blocks of the Month we have received in previous months.

THE SQUARES BLOCK
will make wonderful AUSSIE THEM QUILTS that are often requested.
This block can be turned around in several ways creating very exciting designs for our quilts.

If using DIRECTIONAL FABRICS or APPLIQUED DESIGNS THAT ARE DIRECTIONAL,
both the pieces in THE SQUARES BLOCK should run the same way, as in my sample.
See below for optional alternate positioning of the fabrics in this block.

AUSSIE THEME
This can be achieved by using FABRICS PRINTED with Australian flowers, animals, scenes etc.
Please don't use childish prints of Australian animals, as cute as they are,
as the quilts are mostly made for adults.
 The majority of our Recipients are men so gender neutral is also a good plan.

Both Blocks can include MACHINE EMBROIDERY as the examples below


Blocks can include APPLIQUED DESIGNS - satin stitch applique
will stand the test of time rather than blanket stitch



These delightful blocks were sent by a BOM contributor last Dec/Jan.

Below, I have laid 3/4 inch strips of paper over the block to show approximately what will be trimmed away once blocks are allocated to a Recipient's Quilt.  My kangaroo print had some colours and design I didn't want in my finished block, but I have left it on the two outer sides of the piece where they will be trimmed away.  If positioning an appliquéd design on this part of the block,  consider the 3/4 inch that will be trimmed away when CENTRING THE APPLIQUE.


Use 100% COTTON FABRIC

Use 1/4 inch seam allowance 

Don't trim finished blocks 

Firstly, let's make the

AUSSIE THEME SQUARES BLOCK

Four ways the blocks can be put together!
The Tutorial will make the first layout.

Layout #1

Layout #2

Layout #3

Lay out #4 
would have the horizontal panel at the bottom of the block

CUTTING OUT THE BLOCK

BLACK FABRIC  - all five strips are cut 1 1/2 inch wide
Cut one 15 inch long
Cut two 7 1/4 inch long
Cut one 3 3/4 inch long
Cut one 3 inch long

AUSSIE PRINT FABRIC or backgrounds for applique designs
FABRIC #1 Cut one 15 x 7 1/4 inch (Kookaburra fabric in sample block)
FABRIC #2 Cut one 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 inch (Kangaroo fabric in sample block)

SIMPLE SQUARES - TWO FABRICS - earthy colours that contrast with each 
other eg. light and dark and that complement the other colours used in the block
Green in sample block
Cut two 3 x 3 3/4 inch
Caramel in sample block
Cut one 3 x 3 inch
Cut one 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 inch


MAKING THE BLOCK

Lay out this section of the block
Join the green piece and the caramel piece to either side of the corresponding black strip
Press the seam allowances onto the black fabric

Join these sections to the sides of the 7 1/4 inch black strip.  I like to lay the pieces together as shown below, with the seams matching the black strip underneath and pin on the seam so that they all line up in the finished block.


Sew the seams and press the seam allowances onto the black fabric strip

Lay out this half of the block, as below, and sew each section to the sides of the black strip
then press the seam allowances onto the black strip 

Lay out the block and sew each half to the sides of the black strip.  Press the seam
allowances onto the black fabric.  
At this point, some of the strips may extend a little past the edges as they are narrow and may stretch just a little but it's no problem as ALL blocks will be trimmed back to make them the correct size for each quilt design, as explained above.

And there we have it...
THE AUSSIE THEME SQUARES BLOCK


Secondly, let's make the

AUSSIE THEME STAR



Please use either BLACK or VERY DARK COLOURS FOR THE BACKGROUND
STAR POINTS can be any colour that complements the AUSSIE THEM centre of the block

CUTTING OUT THE BLOCK

DARK FABRIC - Cut out eight 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch squares
AUSSIE THEME CENTRE OF STAR - Cut one 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch square
STAR POINTS - Cut eight 3 x 3 inch squares

MAKING THE BLOCK

STAR POINT SQUARES - on wrong side, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner
Place a square, as shown, on a large dark fabric square, with right sides of fabric together and pin either side of the line allowing room for the machine foot to pass through, then stitch on the line


Cut 1/4 inch from the stitching, as shown, on the side closest to the outside corner

Press the triangle Star Point over to complete the square, with the seam allowance towards the corner

Position the second Star Point as shown, repeat as before...stitch, cut and press




Make three more of the above parts of the block

Lay out all nine parts of the Aussie Theme Star Block as shown


Centre row of block - Join the three squares as shown.  Press the seam allowances onto the centre square
Two side rows - Join the three squares as shown.  Press the seam allowances onto the outside corner square of the block

Join the three rows together.  The seam allowances are going in opposite directions making it easy to "lock" the seams together, pin the seam, sew and press the seam allowances onto the centre of the block


And there we have it...
THE AUSSIE THEME STAR BLOCK

Thank you for contributing BLOCKS OF THE MONTH

The quilts made by the Coffs Harbour Sewing Team using these blocks
are very much appreciated by our deployed Aussie Heroes.
It is our way of saying "Thank you for your Service" to them.

THANK YOU
for being a part of this great organisation.
Please send your blocks to

Sandy Corry 
9 Wendouree Court
North Boambee Valley   NSW   2450

include your email address and I will advise you when they arrive.

If you'd like a PDF version of the block, please click HERE

Until next time,

Sandy









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