Freeform Block of the Month – Month 2

freeform-compass4 virtual

Another month, another set of Freeform Block of the Month blocks to make! This month, we’re making a set of 12 blocks with the Compass Templates, and we got some new fabrics to work with too! I haven’t technically finished all the blocks yet, but I finished all the units and was able to get them all up on my design wall to get a sense of how they’ll look; I will share that at the end of this post.

New fabrics! Purple splatter, green weave and our old friend, blue dot.

New fabrics! Purple splatter, green weave and our old friend, blue dot.

It’s always fun to open up the package and see what fun stuff we get to work with this month. There was a new purple splatter print, a new green weave print and the pretty blue dot fabric we’ve used before, all lovely coordinates from Paintbrush Studios. They look great with the fabrics we’ve already used! I think the blocks look great just as they are, so I decided not to change color placement or anything for this installment, I just cut the patches as listed and got to work.

I wrote last month about curved seams, and how there’s no way around prepping, pinning, and sewing carefully, ideally with a stiletto, in order to get the seams done properly. Click on the link if you’d like a refresher on how I do this. We are making 12 blocks this month, which means 48 quadrants, each with its own curved seam! Rather than prep them all, I broke them up into 4 sets of 12, so that it didn’t feel like so much work all at once. I pinned 12 units, sewed those, then pinned and sewed the next 12, and so on.

Pin to prep for curved seams!

Pin to prep for curved seams!

The only reason I felt I could get away with just 3 pins on each unit is that I sewed all the curved seams using a stiletto, using it to keep the raw edges aligned as I stitched the seam. If you don’t use a stiletto, you will need to use twice as many pins! Please take my word for it.

Once my 4 sets of 12 curved seams were done, then I could get the rest of the straight seams in the unit done more quickly by chain piecing them. If you’re not familiar with chain piecing, it just means that you sew seam after seam without cutting the thread in between seam. So you end up with a long chain of stitched units. I prep for chain piecing by using 1 pin placed near the beginning of the seam on each unit, so I can grab each pair of patches together and not have to worry about aligning them for each new seam. First I chain pieced the D patches on one side.

Chain piecing the D patches.

Chain piecing the D patches.

Then I pressed all those seams and chain pieced the Dr patches on the other side of the units.

Chain piecing the Dr patches.

Chain piecing the Dr patches.

All the units up on the design wall!

All the units up on the design wall!

Once those seams were pressed, the units were done! Now, I’m not out of the woods yet; I still have to sew the units together to make the blocks. But I made enough progress that I could put the units up on the design wall to see how they’ll look; check it out! It’s already so big it’s taking over the whole design wall space!

So I’ve got a little more sewing to do to make sure I don’t fall behind before the next installment arrives; I’ve got to put these blocks together. But the hard stuff is done, and I bet I can finish what I need to over a couple of evenings this week. Wish me luck and best of luck to you too if you are participating in this Freeform Block of the Month project!

Happy quilting,
Gigi

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