Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Quilt Block a Day: Autumn Leaves

Fall is my favorite time of year -- and not just because my birthday is in the Autumn!

One of my favorite childhood memories is kicking through deep drifts of huge maple leaves that had fallen on the sidewalk, as I walked home from 4th grade in southern Idaho. That memory prompted me to choose the Maple Leaf block for the Autumn "A Quilt Block a Day" project.

There are lots of Maple leaf tutorials on the web, but mine is the only one I've seen that uses 2.5" strips. The resulting block finishes at 6.5", raw edge to raw edge.

For this block, you will need:

(4) Half Square Triangles (HSTs) 2.5"
(2) Light (background) square 2.5"
(3) Dark squares 2.5"
(1) "Stem" strip 4" X 1"

To make the HSTs using the Easy Angle ruler:

1. Place one background (tan) and one dark (orange) strip right sides together. (I press them lightly, using steam, to make them "stick" together.)

2. Trim off the selvedges on the left end of the two strips. Place the Easy Angle ruler with flush with the left end and with the "nub" end flush with the top of the strips. As you can see, the bottom of the strips line up with the 2.5" line on the ruler. Cut on the angle: 

3. Flip the ruler so that the black point extends off the bottom of the strips, and cut on the straight side:

4. Stitch using a scant 1/4" seam along the diagonal edge. Your HST will be very nearly a perfect 2.5" square, but I check to be sure using my 2.5" Bloc Loc tool:

5. To make the "stem" block, cut one background square in half on the diagonal. Fold each in half and finger press to mark the center of the diagonal cut. Fold the "stem" piece in half and finger press to mark the center. Stitch a background triangle on either side of the "stem," matching the centers. Trim to 2.5" square:

6. Lay out the pieces and stitch together to make your block.

7. I pressed the top and bottom  row pieces toward the center, and the middle row toward the outside. 

That way, when I sew the blocks together, I can turn them every-which-way and still have "nestling" seams.

By the way -- that nail polish is Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer, Anthurium.

There! One Block a Day finished! By my calculations, a quilt 78" X 84"(full-bed size) requires 182 blocks at 6.5" each. So I guess I'll be making two blocks a day!

If you're "on Facebook," join the "A Quilt Block a Day" group to see the progress of other BaD quilters.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature