Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Balkan Puzzle Quilt Block

Yesterday I began working on the first of the February blocks for the Craftsy BOM course. Now we're getting into some serious piecing. This block was much more enjoyable than the first 2. It is constructed entirely of what they call "half square triangles". However the method used to create those triangles is genius. You start with eight 5.5" squares, four of your background color (in my case, white) and two each of 2 contrasting prints. Then you layer  your prints with a background square, right sides together, and sew all the way around with a 1/4" seam. This is where the magic happens. Use your rotary cutter and a ruler to slash the square on the diagonal. Move your ruler and repeat in the other direction. Now you have 4 smaller squares, each composed of 2 half square triangles.

Repeat with your other 5.5" squares. Trim off all the dog ears from your new blocks and press them open. You should have 8 of each color.

Now assemble your puzzle. Once the blocks are in the correct formation you are ready to commence sewing.

Work one row at a time, sewing those blocks together to form a strip. Press the seams in opposite directions on the odd rows. Next sew your strips together, nesting the seams so they line up correctly. Press your finished block and use your 12.5" square ruler to even up the edges. I enjoyed this block immensely and could see myself making an entire quilt with it. Here is the view from the back.

By the time I finish this quilt I should be quite adept at using a treadle machine. I have nicknamed my White model 12 "Backwards Betty" because every once in a while I forget that her hand wheel turns "away" from me and I end up with a knotted mess to sort out.

I ventured back to Jo-Ann's to pick up a couple more of those suction handles for my quilting rulers. Now I am set for using all the different sized templates.

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