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Day 3 to 7: Cutting Blocks

January 5, 2010

Congrats! You’ve just completed our first weekend together.

No worries if you haven’t finished sewing your strips yet, we have until this Saturday to complete it. Next Saturday, we will sew the blocks together and then sew the rows together on Sunday.

Throughout this week our homework is cutting out the blocks in preparation of sewing them on Saturday, January 9.

Now, on to cutting the blocks…

Cut strip sets into 4.5 inch squares. One 44In strip will produce 9 - 4.5inch squares

Step 1: Take one strip and lay it out on the flat in front of you on a cutting mat. It doesn’t matter if the background fabric or printed fabric is closest to your body, so long as the strip set is perpendicular (i.e horizontal) to your body.

Step 2: Using a ruler and rotary cutter, trim the selvages. Then cut the strip into 4.5 inch squares.  To ensure that the bricks appear straight, align your ruler to the center seam. We will need 156 squares in total. You will have extra, but this will give you more flexibility in the final quilt design. Also, if you to speed things up a bit, you can layer two strips on top of one another and cut two at once. To do this properly, you want to alternated the the light and the dark strips, right sides facing. In the example photo above you can see a dark brown print peeking through my white background from where I have done this. Make sure the seams of each strip are “nested” against (or bumped up to) each other before cutting. If they are not, then your seam will be off and your bricks will be slightly crooked when sewn. Again, there is no rush, so take your time we have until Saturday morning to complete this.

Step 3: “Squaring Up” Blocks

“Squaring Up” blocks means that you correct for any errors in sewing or cutting. To do this you are going to remeasure each block to verify that it is 4.5 inches.  Again, we are going to align the ruler to the center seam. If there is any excess, trim as little a possible around the edges to even out the block. If you find that a block is too small, simply swap it out from one of the extras. There are other ways to correct a small block but for a beginner’s quilt, we not address it in this Quilt Along.

Step 4: Storing the Blocks until Saturday

Try to keep the all of the blocks together by fabric print. You will have 18 different strip sets with 9 blocks each. Place aside until Saturday, January 9th.

Have a great week!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2010 11:18 pm

    Perfect—I hadn’t peeked back for awhile, so I’m a few days behind, BUT I needed something to work on tonight. Time to dig into my 2.5″ strip bin!

  2. Liz B permalink
    January 6, 2010 2:38 am

    Woohooo, I had kind of already started on this step, so here I go! I work as a substitute teacher so I randomly have whole days with no work, and often sew the whole day, but I am going to challenge myself to keep to your pace on this! I’m very much an instant gratification type, so it will be a healthy challenge to take my time!

    • January 7, 2010 12:50 pm

      Hi Liz,
      I just posted the sewing/assembly directions. You’ll definitely finish this quilt before the end of the month 🙂

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