Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Memory Quilt Block

I have come up with a SUPER simple block for those wanting to contribute to the memory quilt for DesignsbyLucinda. You can check out UEF for more information on this special quilt.

I have given two methods one by machine and one by hand. What you will need:
  • Muslin square - I used Kona Cotton, natural
  • Focal fabric scraps, if purchasing 1/8 of a yard would be plenty if you want to be safe 1/4 yard
  • Freezer paper
  • Cutting implements, I use rotary cutter and mat, though this could be done with marking and scissors
  • permanent marker, Sharpies work good in a pinch, best bet is the "fine"
  • iron
  • thread, sewing machine, hand sewing needles, or machine
All directions use a 1/4 seam allowance, which is standard when piecing a quilt, either by hand or machine. If you are unsure of your ability to get an fairly accurate 1/4 inch seem allowances, add 1/4 inch to each border piece (WIDTH), these can be trimmed and the block squared by the quilt leader.

Machine Directions:

First step cut the pieces, this will finish to a 10 inch squre:

Center muslin square - 6.5 inches
Side borders 2.25 x 6.5 inches
top and bottom border 2.25 x 10 inches

Prep your fabric square by fusing (ironing) freezer paper to the back, for this type of fabric the front and back are the same

Prepare your 6.5 center inch block, to the back of the fabric fuse a square of freezer paper, the shiny smooth to the fabric side should be fused by iron, this will stabilize the cotton and make it a lot easier to write on it. The freezer paper will just peel right off.

Write your message, remove freezer paper, iron to set the ink

I could quickly find a fine red Sharpie and a black Sharpie marker, write your message then iron on hot for about 30 seconds, this will help set the ink and make it less likely to bleed. The red will bleed some, but not enough to ruin the image, I would stick to black, I just wanted to show the writing difference. The black got very wet and DID NOT run. This is often what I use and have not had problems.

Block components, ready to assemble

Next to the machine, on the side of your block attach the 6.5 x 2.25 inch strip, remove and repeat with other side. Now to press. You will sew right side to right side, if you need help with a 1/4 inch seam draw it in on the fabric with pencil, it will not show, this would be on the "back" of the fabric.

Use 1/4 inch seam, you can draw as sewing line if needed

1/4 inch seam with back stitching, this is NOT necessary as this stitch will be locked in place by the next border

Iron, right sides together to set the seam

Open, border from block, iron to the outside

You can flip and iron to the border, this just makes it look crisp

Sides added, ironed to the outside

Sides attached, now add top and bottom

You will now add the TOP and BOTTOM in the same way as sids, using quarter inch, it would be a good idea to back stitch at both ends as the block will be handled prior to final assembly. Iron using the same steps outlined above.

Completed block, 10" square


Same cutting dimensions as above

Follow all cutting and ironing directions as noted above. You will need to manually "mark" your quarter inch seam allowance with a pencil. I have done this with a handy tool I have that is a quarter inch plastic bar. Improvise however you can, just be sure all your marking is consistent!

You will need a needle and thread, cut a length double about 18 inches, anymore then that there could be knotting, that is no fun. You will be threading your needle 4 times. Knot the end, as if you were sewing on a button. Usually you would bury this in the seam allowance, or in the quarter inch that borders the edge. I just started sewing on the line, which is fine too, at the end I will show burying the knot in the seam allowance. Pin your layers together, 1 or 2 pins is sufficient, if you have done your 1/4 seam allowance accurately the lines should match back to back.

If you do get a knot or bunching, don't panic from the needle side, pull one thread at a time to free the knot. You should then return the needle to the center of your thread and continue sewing.

Block, pinned to border, seam matches above is front and back

Sew a running stitch, making stitches tight, if you can keep them under 1/4 inch that is best, 1/8 inch would be even better.

Bury the finish not in the small corner, 1/4 inch "box", I sew a loop and knot side to side, then top to bottom

Completed seam from the front and from the back, pretty close to my drawn line on both sides

You will add both 6.5 x 2.25 inch sides, same as above, iron and sew the top and bottom. You will use the same method, the only difference on this you will have the seams from the sides to deal with. Best option is to leave the seam free, as show below, or sew it down. when leaving it free you would just sew close to the border from the front, you can use the lines you have drawn as a guide, or if you stitching goes through it, just try to have the seam going to the outside.

Seams and fabric should be flat, do not overly pull or bunch fabric, flat is better

Completed block, looks just the same.

ANY questions, try and comment here, I will answer and revise the directions as needed.

1 comment:

dandyapple said...

Thanks so much for the tute. It has helped and given me some ideas for my square.

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