Saturday, August 14, 2010
Block 6 - Courthouse Stars
I don't see stars, I see a flower. I also see mistakes in the pattern, so do this! (I have made 4 of these so I know of which I speak.)
First, let's cut out the fabrics. EQ5 has you cut out 3 "C" Sets of 1 1/2" x 6 3/4" strips for each petal of this flower. I don't see the necessity of all that sewing so I cut 1 rectangle of 4" x 6 1/2" of each of the 4 colors/petals (I also don't get the 6 3/4". It should be 6 1/2") To prove this I shall cut ONE, the red petal using the EQ5 6 3/4" measurement and show you what happens.
It also has you cut out an unnecessary "M" piece. DO AS I SAY>>>>>> Cut 4 sets of "E", "F", "G" and "H". Trust me!
Square "N" says 3 5/8". NO NO NO! Cut it 4" square.
Then cut out the remaining strips as indicated. Be very carefully to cut out EXACTLY as the pattern says, being certain you trim the 45 degree angle going in the right directions. If you mess this up, nothing will sew together right.
Now after you have cut ALL your pieces, set them up as shown on the illustration. You will have a much happier time of it if you see any mistake before you sew it.
I use this handy tool by Jinny Meyer to mark an accurate 1/ 4" starting/ stopping point, that and a mechanical pencil. Mark on back of the top piece of fabric when you go to sew; It makes life easier than guessing where to start and stop.
Let' s start by sewing up one corner.
This one this is basically courthouse step or log cabin.
With the shortest strip and center square, align the two fabrics
and mark the 1/4" at the 45 degree angle. This is your stopping point. You need to leave that 1/4" open to be able to "turn" the corner and sew the other angled fabric properly. Now sew the two together starting at the 90 degree and stop at that mark you made.
Finger-press and do the same with the other color fabric. That strip is "E". At this point, you can iron if you like.
Ironing is always alittle tricky with Y-seams. I show you the back so you can see how press the seam allowances.
Return to the first color and sew the next angled strip, "F". This time, sew top to bottom, all the way. No need to worry about 1/4" marks. And repeat this with "G". You should have something like this!
As you can see, sometimes the "logs" don't end perfectly but don't be overly concerned.
Place the two "leaves" (A and D) together and mark the 1/4" Start/Stop point as shown.
START at the mark and sew to the end. This is the outer corner of the final block. Finger-press open.
I open up the leaves to expose the allowance here.
Now leave the leaf facing up and align the center to the leaf.
Mark the Start/Stop points and begin sewing at the junction of the petal fabric and STOP at the mark. You need to leave that space at the beginning, again to do a turn later.
Now "flip the fabric over and align the other "leaf" to the center square.
Begin at the corner Start/Stop mark this time and STOP at the junction of the petal fabric, once again, leaving that 1/4" to add the triangle.
After you press, the block you should have this:
Mark the 90 degree corners on the back of the triangles "B"
and using the same techniques described above, sew in the triangles.
You should have this:
It SHOULD measure 6 1/2" square. If something is off, check your seam allowance. If it is larger, trim it down. If it is too small, start over.
Trim the "ears" and make the other three as above.
Now, you see you have a simple 9-patch.
And once you've sewn that, you have this:
See what I meant about the 6 3/4" "C" RED rectangle? Trust me. It should measure 4" x 6 1/2"
1. When sewing a Y-seam, avoid sewing into ANY seam allowance. Pull the seam allowance to the side as you sew. Otherwise, you will not be able to make a smooth "turn".
2. Trim away thread. It gets confusing to see all the threads everywhere
3. Use a small stitch but not tiny, Those are hard to rip out.
4. RIP if you make a mistake. You will make many at the beginning. but Start Over before you compound a problem. THEY NEVER just sew away. They do get crazy worse, however. Don't go to the crazy.
Now, THAT wasn't so bad, was it?