Wednesday, June 1, 2022

GPDU -- MONTH 6 Shoofly Block and Applique Vase

 It's Month 6 of the 2022 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show. The pattern Garden Party Down Under was designed exclusively for The Quilt Show by Irene Blanck and is ONLY available FREE to Star Members of The Quilt Show through all of 2022. Join NOW -- it's not too late!

Original Blocks by Irene Blanck

This Month we start the Shoofly Blocks that are made in months 6, 7, 8 and 9. Each has eight 4" Shoofly blocks and a center block.

A few suggestions that differ from the provided instructions:

1. Cut the center square 5" instead of 4.5". Applique tends to "shrink" the background and having a little extra allows you to trim the completed square to 4.5", keeping the applique in the center.

2. The 16 colored squares and 16 light squares used to make the Half Square Triangles (HST) can be cut 2.5" instead of 2.75", still allowing you to "trim to perfection" once sewn. 

3. BUT, NOTE THIS TRICK: to draw the diagonal pencil lines quickly, cut FOUR light squares twice the size of small square. My small squares are 2.5" so I cut the light squares 5". Draw a pencil line from corner to corner on BOTH diagonals. Cut the 5" large square into four 2.5" squares and the drawn lines are done in less time:

Sew 1/4" away from the diagonal line, on both sides, cut apart on the drawn center diagonal, to create two half square triangle units:

Press toward the dark fabric, trim to exactly 2". There is very little waste and perfect HST: 

Lay out the pieces to sew one Shoofly block:

Small pieces require precision piecing. Test yourself--using the FINISHED SIZE OF EACH PIECE.  After you sew the light rectangles to the HSTs and the center square to a rectangle, measure them.

Upper row: HST is 1.5" + rectangle 1" + 1/2" seam allowance--3" from edge to edge. Middle row: rectangle is 1.5" + 1" square + 1/2" seam allowance--3" edge to edge. Bottom row is the same as the top row. 

Do this now to be sure you have the correct sizes so far. If it is not the right size now, it will not miraculously become the right size when you do the next step. Find the mistake at the first place it happens. 

Once you find there is no excess or shortage, you know exactly how to sew a 1/4" seam allowance and can stop checking. I still check every seam:

Pressing, choose the method that works best for you. Here are two options: 

I love Shoofly blocks and these 4" finished ones are just adorable: 
Decide what you want to put in the middle of the block. The pattern uses the small Dresden plate. I chose to applique Double Hearts.  Some people used a floral motif from the first months blocks--anything that fits on the 4" finished center will work. Some chose to simply make an additional pieced block and forego applique. It's your quilt, you get to decide: 

My Shoofly block

The great thing about making 4 of these Shoofly blocks is you can cut them all out now and work on them as "leaders/enders" over the next few months. I kept the cut pieces beside my machine and made them as I was sewing other projects. They almost make themselves that way:

The applique block is similar to the previous blocks EXCEPT it's square! 12" W x 12" H. I do find it helpful to make a window template to audition potential vase fabrics. NOTE: this vase has a Top and Bottom Lip that will require an additional small piece of fabric in those two places: 

There is a straight stem that is 1/8"-- it does not have to be cut on the bias as it is straight. The remaining 1/4"  stems curve a bit so need to be cut on the bias.

Next month we make another Shoofly block and a 12" vase applique block. 

Let's quilt.


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