When I saw this week’s block on Amy’s blog, I knew that it was perfect for one of the later stages of FPPFTT, so I asked her if it would be okay to walk you through it. She very kindly said yes, so pop on over to download the pattern. You’ll notice when you’re there, that her colour choices are, well, a bit calmer! I’m sure they reflect the more traditional block that she based it on, but you know me and rainbows, so I branched out a bit…
You will need one printed copy of the pattern for stitching, and another for the cutting guide. The front page show show you the end result. Please note that blocks A and E are identical as are D and G, but the two sets are actually the mirror image of each other, so you will either need to cut out parts A and B as cutting guides, and flip the A pieces over for the D and G blocks, or you can cut out a D block too. B, C, F and H are identical (hope you followed that!) As per last week, cut off the seam allowance round the edge for both the paper bases and the cutting guides.
Here are all my pieces cut out. Unlike last week, because I only had a piece A for my cutting guide, instead of keeping everything under their relevant cutting guide piece, I piled them up in order on top of their relevant templates:
Starting with the inner sections, we’re going to build up the pieces in the same kind of way as the courthouse steps from week 1.
Line up the first piece:
Take the second piece and hold it right side out to check that it is aligned correctly, then flip along the stitch line, just as we did with the flying geese:
Pin and stitch as per previous weeks, remembering to shorten your stitch length for easier tearing, then fold back the template along the stitching line and trim the excess:
Flip piece 2 over on the stitch line and press in place, then take piece 3 and repeat:
Continue on until you have built up all the pieces:
Now trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″ all round, leaving the paper in place:
I usually do all the similar blocks at a time, because it cuts down on trips to the iron and cutting table, however feel free to just do one piece at a time.
Now take section B, and start with piece 1:
Take piece 2 and line it up parallel with the stitching line – as this is a regular 4 sided shape, you don’t need to worry about making sure it covers the area first like you do with irregular shapes:
Trim as usual:
And repeat until you have added all 4 pieces:
This is what the 8 finished sections look like now:
Next we’ll assemble each quarter of the block. Take your A and B pieces and line up together along the longest edge, then pin in place:
Stitch in place, sewing right along the very edge of the paper, then open out and press the seam to one side. With paper piecing with the paper in place, I tend to find that the seam naturally falls one way or the other, but is not easy to press open:
Repeat with each quarter section.
Now move on to assembling each half, lining up so that A8 and D8 match. I usually put my pins in place, then take another pin and poke it through at the corner of the paper that’s meant to be matching. If they don’t line up, I then adjust my pins. Note that I also line my pins up at right angles to the seams I’m sewing, it prevents slide shifting along the line you’re trying to sew.
Then open out and press the seam allowance to one side:
Repeat with the other half .
Finally sew your two halves together, open out and press the seam allowance to one side:
Carefully remove all the paper and give it a final press:
Stand back and admire :o)