Sunday, January 16, 2011

Continuing the "Renew Me" quilt-- and a partial seams block

Well I have now sewn all the easy blocks for this quilt top.
The pattern looks like this:
The previous post tells where to find it.
It uses 72 eight-inch blocks set on point with setting triangles.  There are 7 different blocks.  So far I have done all the blocks of numbers 1 through 5.
Now it is time to focus on Block 7!!
 This is the cutting chart for these blocks.  Now it is time to figure out how to strip piece them!
I can see that each block will need 4 strip pieced units that are 5-1/4" long.  Therefore, (4 sections x 5-1/4" = 21")-- each block will need a 21" strip pieced unit plus the center square.  Great, that means that each width of fabric strip set will give me enough units for 2 blocks.  If I want 10 blocks in total, I'll need to make 5 strip sets, each with the 3 strips of fabric. 

 I decided to just start with 3 strip sets-- enough for 6 blocks-- using the first fabric combination. 
 This looks like a tricky block to sew because of the inset center.  But don't worry!! I've come across this type of block before and it is easier than it looks.
Sewing it this way is called using "partial seam" construction.
This is how it works:
1. lay the center square at the edge of one of your pieced rectangle units. 
(oops, this photo is from a different colorway than the rest of the photos below)
 2.  Sew the 1/4" seam-- but not the whole way down!!
 you can see how it is not joined the whole way
2.  finger press the partial seam away from the center square, and get ready to add the second rectangular section:
 sew it on, - it covers the center square and the short edge of the pieced rectangle.   Finger press it with the seam again pointing away from the center square.

3. turn the block and add the 3rd rectangular unit:

4.  Add the 4th rectangular unit, holding the first unit out of the way when you sew it on:

5.  When you open up the block, you will see that now you can go back to the first seam and finish sewing it all the way on now.  

 6.  Because you have finger pressed all the seams away from the center square as you are sewing, it is easy to press now, since the seams sort of naturally fall in the right way. 
Now, what I discovered while sewing these blocks, is that the center square measurement should be 2" x 2", not 2-1/8" square.  Trust me.  I have sewn and trimmed, and I know.

Well.  I stopped after 6 blocks, because I am tired of sewing partial seams.
I counted and I now have 62 blocks.  I only need 10 more.
I have lots of fabric left.
The writing is on the wall for me.  There is no way I'm going to sew this quilt top as a diagonal set.  Nope.  It is going to be straight rows.
It is going to be pretty big, anyway.  If I set it 8 blocks across and 9 blocks up and down, that will be 64" x 72".  Plus a border or two and that's plenty big for me.


  1. I've never done a block requiring partial seam construction. Not sure I would enjoy that. Your quilt is going to be beautiful! Love the colors! I think it will look great in straight rows.

  2. Thanks for all the detailed instructions and great pictures. I love the colors you are using here too.

  3. Wow! what a lot of work....yes, you know I am no longer enthused about sewing a lot of pieces together = just into square pieced quilts these days!! But,I know it will be lovely and you explain things so well...I look forward to seeing it finished.


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