Practically Paper Piecing

I’ve been on a real messenger bag/satchel kick of late, and I always knew that that was where I wanted to feature the string block I’d created for week 3 of the Foundation Paper Piecing For The Terrified series that I ran earlier in the year.  I designed the pattern for this messenger myself (it will hopefully be released later in the year, but I’m not promising anything right now!), however any commercial pattern where the size of fabric required for the flap is greater than the block you want to insert by at least 2″ all round, will work.

To inset your block you will need to do some of what I like to refer to as ‘quilt maths’.  You are effectively adding a border to your block to make it up to your pattern size, so you will need 2 side pieces and 2 top and bottom pieces.  I would suggest leaving the height of the side pieces to be the height of the block, leaving your top and bottom pieces to be the width of your original pattern piece.  I would also suggest that you start off by making the bordered block piece with squared corners, and then if the pattern rounds them off, to do that at the end.

The measurements you will need are as follows (using a 1/4″ seam allowance):

Width of the side pieces =  (Width of pattern piece – width of block)/2 + 1/2″
Height of the side pieces = height of block

Width of the top/bottom pieces = width of patten piece
Height of the top/bottom pieces = (Height of pattern piece – height of block)/2 + 1/2″

Note that I offset my top/bottom pieces so that the block was actually on the front of the flap, rather than halfway folded over.  Once you have the measurement, you can add the 2 numbers together, and then split them as you wish.  You won’t need to add any more seam allowances.

Add the side pieces first, then the top and bottom pieces, just as you would if you were adding borders to a quilt block.

Now you have your inset panel, you can continue with your pattern as per the instructions.  Note that if there is no requirement in your pattern to interface this piece, then you should probably do so anyway to protect the seams on your block.

Enjoy your finished bag :o)  (Apologies for the crappy photo, it’s raining again…)

Don’t forget to check out the others who are participating in the hop! Also, don’t forget to link up your projects on Kristy’s blog at the end of the month to win some fabulous prizes!

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