This week’s block is a simple star block based on the tried and true variable star. The dark corner squares and Square on Point (SOP) center make it unique. Those dark corner squares are there to help create that overall ‘on point’ illusion in the complete quilt.
I encourage you to read the blog posts this week as I am going to offer some helpful tips, especially for those just starting out on this quilting journey. These tips are inspired by quilters who discussed their challenges on the Facebook group.
The first tip is a result of reading about one quilter who was remaking their entire first block because they picked up the wrong size die so their first block was too large. Another quilter wrote about placing the wrong die in the pocket of the Qube set and cutting the wrong size shape. There are many ways to solve this and each quilter will find their own way. This is how I store my dies in an easy to reach and identifiable way.
My dies are placed on a shelf as if they are books. Each die is labeled with the Qube size as well as the Qube die #. (You have to memorize the shape for each # or put a chart on the wall.) The Qube size and die # label goes on all four sides of the die so that it is easy to put away on my “bookshelf” and it is easy to see which die I have in my hand as I work. A piece of Painter’s tape is on the foam on the die with the size for the precut as well as the # of shapes I will get from a width of fabric (WOF) precut. I used to write directly on the foam or on the back of the die, but that is so permanent that I find Painter’s tape is a better solution. A black Sharpie is used for all marking. Silver can be used, but it sometimes bleeds onto fabric even after it is dry.
Here are pictures of my die storage. I am getting to the point that I really need a full size bookshelf for these dies. It would be nice to have them on a bookshelf with dividers for each size Qube, but so far the boxes have lasted for as long as there have been Qubes.
There are two options for piecing the Connector Blocks with the Mix & Match Qube. You can use half square and quarter square triangles or you can use a technique combining two shapes, stitching and then trimming to make a trapezoid. It’s a little less accurate but has been and is still used as an accepted method by quilters.
It’s been a challenge for many of us to finish block 2. For me, the hardest part was matching the center Shape 4 Quarter Square Triangle points in the middle of the block. I had to take the seam out three times before I got it right. A few more advanced quilters just converted it to half square triangles (HSTs) for the whole block to avoid using the parallelograms. And some don’t have a Qube and are trying to make the blocks without a Qube. Here are some options if you only have half square triangle and quarter square triangle dies. It is always best to use as few units as possible, but there may be reasons to use alternate piecing layouts.
In one option the parallelogram is split so that the center row of the block is made with two light-medium Flying Geese units and two dark-medium Flying Geese units. That splits the parallelogram into HSTs.
In the second option, the corners are made with dark-mediumHSTs and there are four light-medium Flying Geese units in the block.
A third option would be to make the entire block with HSTs, but that would be a lot of matching points, and I’m not even going to show a diagram.
And here’s one from the group from Sheila N. who made her block using all HSTs. Remember there’s more than one way to cook an egg.
For those who want to make more than one block per week, I am going to go ahead and post the instructions for the Connector Blocks. The connector block instructions will be on the QAL page. There are two sets of instructions, one for those with the Mix & Match Qube and one for those with the Angles Companion Qube. You can make one connector block every time you make a pieced block and at the end you should have enough connector blocks for your quilt.
Block 2 is available now and it is a lot of fun. Please read the information below before clicking on the QAL page link at the top of this page. I can tell by the questions that are asked on the Facebook Group that some readers don’t read this page first. I try to provide helpful information in these blog posts and that is why I link to the post rather than only the downloadable block patterns.
One of the first tips for this week’s block is about using the Shape 7 parallelogram from your Qube set. It can be a little confusing the first time you sew a parallelogram. The key to getting it right is to really look at the shape and to identify the long sides of the shape and the short sides of the shape. You are going to stitch the long side of the shape to the long side of a Shape 5 half square triangle. The short side just won’t fit and you’ll be very frustrated if you try.
Another tip for the Shape 7 parallelogram is that it is a directional shape. For this block you need both right and left parallelograms. The way to cut those is to fanfold the fabric on the shape.
One reader asked that I show a diagram of the quilt with the individual blocks separated. This is a new quilter and she was having a hard time visualizing where the blocks fit in the quilt. Here is that diagram. Block 1 is the upper left and Block 2 is the center block. The half blocks in the first border are not outlined.
Tomorrow I am going to post the pattern for the Connector Blocks. Some quilters will want to go ahead and make the connector blocks as they are making the individual blocks.
Here’s the QAL link again for those who don’t see it on the top menu.
Block 1 is ready for you. Click the QAL on the menu at the top of the page to get to the QAL page.
Block 1 is a simple block, but color placement is the secret. You can use the dark-medium-light scheme in the instructions or you can mix it up. Any color wheel scheme will work. My suggestion is that your light not be too light and your dark not too dark. Since this block is made up of half square triangles, try turning the colors so they are the opposite and see how that looks. Play around with it.
Tips: Press seams open and use pins to match seams before sewing. I use a pin straight into both seams at the quarter inch mark to align the seams and then holding the aligned seams carefully, pin at an angle across and then remove the alignment pin. That works well for me and keeps me from sewing across pins and possibly hitting one with my needle.
Several people have asked about fabric selections and whether to use prints or perhaps add another dark to the selection. I think it is completely up to the quilter. The connector block from the M&M Qube is shown below and perhaps that will be helpful to those who want to add another color. There are also some color combinations that may be helpful but as you know your color combinations are always more beautiful than the computer.
NOTE: The yardage chart is for three colors. If you use more colors you will need to adjust the yardage amounts yourself.
This is the last post for the Qube Workout QAL. I have some settings for inspiration, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways quilt blocks can be set. Some participants have already finished theirs and some have chosen some unusual settings which are just beautiful. There are so many beautiful ways to set your quilt blocks that I could not possibly cover even a small portion of them. All you have to do is go to Pinterest and search for quilt block setting ideas.
For today, I am going to show you some very traditional ideas for sashing. The wonderful thing about sampler quilts is that they lend themselves to these traditional ideas, but also to some very unique settings. This is just the starting point. I can’t wait to see how you decide to set yours.
And remember, I will be taking the instructions down at the end of August, so if you need any of the information, please go ahead and download it now.
This setting has a simple background sashing between blocks.
And this setting has a light sashing with darker cornerstones.
This setting uses alternating contrasting borders around each block with a darker border on the outside of the quilt.
And the next two examples have a triple sashing but the nine patch cornerstones have opposite colorings which gives a completely different look to the setting.
Wow – 12 weeks and this is the last block. We started in May and ending in August. This block is called Summer Posies as there is a strong center with some petals in the corners. Each center is different and uses dies from a different Qube (Mix & Match, Angles, or Corners). Enjoy this last block and get ready to put those blocks together into a quilt top or if you only have a few – how about a wall hanging or a table topper or table runner. Click on the blocks below or follow the link in the top menu to get to the instructions.
Happy Monday! It’s August and the weather is cooler here in North Carolina. This week’s block is another block made in quarters. You may have noticed that some blocks are made in a 9-patch configuration which lends itself to “rows” and other blocks are made in a 4-patch configuration. You may have wondered how these blocks are designed. Here’s my starting point for this 4-patch configuration. I took a quarter of a block with a line drawing, turned the line drawing in each quadrant and then colored and re-colored it until it was pleasing. Here’s the base quadrant.
And here’s the set of blocks made from the starting quadrant. Click on the pictures below or click on the menu at the top of this page to find the patterns.
Block 10 of the Qube Workout QAL is ready for download. This block isn’t complicated, but offers some oppostunities for experimenting with color combinations and lots of practice for half square triangles mixed with other units.
This is the beginning of a new week and last week was just a little too much excitement for us. One set of grandchildren went on an outdoor Colorado vacation while the other set of grandchildren were home with very very bad colds. The colds were so bad that the children were tested for Covid – all were negative, but they were sick. Will they go back to summer school? Days after they went home with a cold, someone at the school did get Covid. The parents are making decisions. While the adults around here are all vaccinated, the children are not. It is interesting that none of the adults got the cold.
We had lots more excitement with a mouse in the house (which is now gone, thank goodness). That’s a funny story I’ll tell you later. But we ended the week with putting up a basketball goal. That is the final step from our construction last summer. The children have really missed the basketball goal. Ted did most of it, but I got up on the scaffolding with him to help hold the backboard while he put the bolts into it. That’s my pink water bottle.
And there’s a mailbox story too – LOL. I think we should all stick to quilting this week.