Thursday, August 19, 2010

Square in square tutorial

Alrighty, Melanie requested a tutorial for the style of block I used in this quilt:

So, I have put one together for whoever is interested!

I start by cutting strips of white in various sizes. Sashing scraps are great! 

Gather the fabrics you want to use. This is a good project for string scraps!

I don't really have any plan when I make these blocks, I just choose a fabric from the pile to start with, and then add on other fabrics that go well.  Start with a square of fabric. I start with a block cut anywhere from 3" to 4 1/2", and fussy cut fabrics are great!

I like to separate each print or color with a white border. The few blocks I made for the red, pink, and aqua quilt that had prints next to prints were my least favorite, so I didn't make any this time.
I don't precut my strips down to size, either, I just trim the strips down as I sew them on. Oh, and it doesn't really matter what size your second strip is, it can be whatever you want!

So, now choose the next fabric. I went with a solid orange this time. It was from a fat quarter, so I ended up having to cut 2 strips off the fat quarter to go all the way around the block. Once again, it doesn't really matter what the width of the strip is; we will start worrying about that on the next one!

Now we have to start doing some math. Yuck, right? Don't worry, it's not too bad. 
I want my blocks to finish at 9" (mostly because I have a 9 1/2" square. Choose whatever size you want, the principles are the same!) I did the math down on the picture, hopefully you can follow it...
This is also when you have to think ahead a little bit. For example, I want the outside of this block to be a color, not white, so I have two more rows to go. I also only need 1 1/4" on each side, and I have to split that between two fabrics.  

For this one, I went with a 1/2" FINISHED size strip of white (1" CUT size!)
Now there is only 3/4" left on each side to get me to that 9" finished size. As you can see from my math below, that means I need a strip cut at 1 1/4", so that's what I cut out!

Aaaand, ta da! A cute block that will finish at 9"! (It's 9 1/2" right now though).

This was my first block that then became this:

I decided against sashing for this one, but I still wanted some separation, so I made sure every other block finished with white on the outside. Oh and ps, it's all pinned up and sitting next to the machine now! And I just finished quilting another quilt, so I can start this one during naptime tomorrow!

I never know if things that make sense to me make sense to other people, so if there are any questions on any of my instructions above, just ask! I'm not always know for my clear instructions...


Melanie said...

THanks Kirst!
Ah, math. Orange and pink, great color combo!
I shall use this for my next project, fo sho!

Beth said...

I love this idea! Thanks for the of these days I will have to try it out - another good reason to save all those scraps!