Monday, 5 January 2015

Beginner BoM 2015

Today is the Start of our 
Beginner Block of the Month 2015

The focus here is on learning how to do paper piecing and making blocks that can be put to good use. I remember when I learned how I had a pile of odd blocks that I just ended up throwing out. Not to worry - we will put our blocks to good use here and make a small quilt - maybe even a lap quilt for someone.

Each month we will make and practice a block with the corresponding number on our Key Image. You can use up all your scrap pieces or you can try for a colour scheme. All the blocks are 6" (16cm) and 6 x 12" (16 x 30 cm) with our middle block as 12" (30 cm). All blocks will be in a "geometric" shape easy for a beginner to handle.


Lets get to it:
January's block (#1) is here - 

This is really easy to put together.

You can make each of your blocks the same or you can make each one a different colour.

For #1 we will be making 4 blocks.

We start with our template. You will need 4 of these, so you will have to copy the page another 3x. I use paper from my printer and it has never let me down yet.

You will notice that the template has lettering and numbering. Because we only have one block it is all one letter - A. If there were more pieces then they would have been B and C.
The numbering is also important. We always start at one and work in the sequence that is shown.

I cut out my templates along the outside line. Each of our templates has a built in seam allowance around the outside edge. The small 1/4" around the piece is the seam. Don't cut it off - you need this!! The dotted line around everything is where your seam allowance ends.

 We begin with our fabrics. Find a piece of fabric - anything you have decided on - that is going to fit the center diamond and the seam allowances beyond its points.
You can see here that my fabric is slightly larger than my template and that's okay. We will only neaten up our block at the end.

 You can secure your center piece with pins to make sure it doesn't move around.
Note: If you are working with a Print Fabric for section 1 then you need to have your print side (right side) facing away from the paper - down to the desk. (This is so that your second piece - if also a print will face upwards towards the back of the paper) and right sides can face each other.
I would recommend using plain fabrics for your project until you have more confidence because you can't put the fabric the wrong way on a plain fabric.

now we need a piece of fabric big enough to cover all of section 2 and also all the seam allowances.
This piece I cut was roughly 6 x 3" .

I'm only showing that my fabric will fit here in the photo. We only work on the back of our paper  and sew on the front of the paper with the lines facing us.

Now we need to line up our second piece of fabric.
I placed mine down onto the desk and then placed the template with the first fabric pinned to it on top of the second fabric.

Note that you also need seams between the lines where you will sew. You can leave up to a 1/2" inch.
Look at the photo - we placed our fabric up to and a little seam to the line between section 1 and section 2. I didn't cover section 2.

Now we sew our pieces of fabric together.
Start by turning your stitch length to around 1.5 on your machine. We need a small little stitch to perforate our paper and make it easier to tear away when we are done.

We sew from the start of the line between 1 and 2 and use the line as a guide to sew on and stop when we reach the edge of the block.
You can use a small backstitch  at the beginning and end if you like but I don't always do it to my pieces.

This is what it looks like when you remove the piece from the machine.
Not to worry - we will make it beautiful right away...

With the template facing you.

Fold down the section you have just sewn. The perforation will make it easy to fold down.

behind you can see the excess from section 1 and the piece we added for section 2.

Take your ruler and rotary cutter and cut a neat 1/4" seam above the paper - like you see in this photo.

Don't cut along the paper edge. Once cut fold paper back up.

 Now we can turn our piece around and press up the newly added fabric on section 2.
You can even press the seam neatly with an iron or just slowly finger press the sections open.

Don't cut off any of the excess fabrics yet.

Now we turn our template back to face us and do the same for section 3.

 If you are using a printed fabric then you need to have it facing the paper.
Only ever will section 1 be different and have a print fabric face away from the paper.

 Each piece is added the exact same way. Leave a seam. Sew them together. Fold down paper and cut off the excess but leave a seam. Paper back up.

Fold up the fabric on the back. Press a little. Turn the template to face you ...

Work the next section.

Once all 4 sections are done - we can now cut around our template to neaten up all the edges.

Don't cut off your seam allowance.
Cut around the edge of your template.

 This is the first block done! It measures 6".

I'm not going to take off the paper yet. Only when I sew the blocks together will I remove the paper. This is because I still need that seam allowance to guide me as to where to sew the pieces together.

WOW, this is a mouth-full. You can always watch it on YouTube. (Sidebar button)
 I made it into a "video" that you can watch and listen to me putting the block together.
The sound is a little soft (who knows why???) so turn that up and see how to put your block together step by step.

All info is in the Beg BoM Page along with the pattern templates that you can download.
I hope you will give this a try and also enjoy it!

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legato1958 said...

I remember this block being the first one that I ever paper pieced.... so thanks for some fond memories!
I will refer to this blog for an excellent paper piecing basics tutorial, Janeen.
What a great idea for beginners... a BoM to jump in and have fun learning the art of paper piecing with friends!

Amy DeCesare said...

I'm joining in! What a great idea, to have a plan to put all of the blocks into a finished project. I think I will try this in Christmas fabrics! Then in December, I'll have a pretty table topper.

Vera said...

With blocks like this one I always wonder why do I need to use the paper? :) Anyway it is great idea for a series.