Freeform Block of the Month – Month 3

Freeform Block of the Month - Block 3

This is part 3 of a series – click here to read part 1 and part 2

Freeform, designed by Jean Nolte

Freeform, designed by Jean Nolte

What a great block this month! It’s ideal for December because as a straightforward Square-in-a-Square block without curved seams, it comes together quickly and easily. So there’s still plenty of time to work on all those Christmas presents once the blocks are done. It’s the perfect holiday installment for this Freeform Block of the Month project and I’m going to assume it was planned that way. Here’s the Freeform quilt just to remind you what we’re making, though mine looks a little different since I made a design change in Month 1 and another this month that I’ll tell you about in a bit.

We got another nice set of fabrics this month. One is our by-now familiar friend, green splatter, and two new prints— a cool multicolor teardrop print and a pretty pale blue marble print. Since the green print and teardrop print use the same amount of fabric in this installment, I decided to swap the placement of the two in the block. I was curious to see what that would look like, as well as excited to make this project my own. No matter how many of these BOMs are being made out there, I can be sure that mine is a little different than the rest. Unless others make the same choices I did, which I’d be interested to know about!

Our Paintbrush Studio fabrics for this month

Our Paintbrush Studio fabrics for this month

Paintbrush Studio

So the instructions call for the teardrop print to be in the block center, then the green, then the blue. But I did it with green in the center, then the teardrop, then the blue. I set everything in place to begin chain piecing. You can see how I set it up so that the print orientation of the teardrops would be consistent for all the blocks.

Color placement swapped and ready to sew!

Color placement swapped and ready to sew!

I chain pieced everything for this block. First I sewed the triangles to the top of the squares, then the bottom of the squares. Then press. Then the one side is chain pieced, then the other. Even if you’re making the block as shown in the pattern, this is a good method to get it done fast.

Chain piecing makes it fun and fast.

Chain piecing makes it fun and fast.

Then it’s time to sew the blue marble triangles onto the corners. I did the same thing described above for this step—one side then the opposite side, then press. Since you are sewing bias raw edges together here, I’d recommend using the stiletto you use for the curved seams (you are using a stiletto for curved seams link to BOM Month 1>, aren’t you?!) to help keep the raw edges aligned as you sew. Bias can tend to shift and curve off in weird directions if you’re not careful, so it’s a little, simple tip that’s easy to do but it can help a lot in the long run.

It can be tricky to sew bias edges together; use a stiletto for more control!

It can be tricky to sew bias edges together; use a stiletto for more control!

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to get the blocks finished. Once you get in the chain piecing groove it seems like you’re finished with the chain almost as soon as you start!

Wow, that was fast! Just a few seams to press now.

Wow, that was fast! Just a few seams to press now.

And that’s it! I’m done with this month! Now I have so much time to procrastinate on my holiday sewing! I made sure to finish joining my block quadrants from last month before I started on these so I wouldn’t have to backtrack or fall behind schedule. Let’s see how the new blocks look with the other blocks up on the design wall!

Ta-da! It’s really coming along now.

Ta-da! It’s really coming along now.

It’s getting so nice and big! I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do next month since there’s no more room on the design wall for the next round of blocks, but I guess I have a little time to think about it. I can tell you all about it next time. If you’re doing this project too, I hope you’re having as much fun as I am! If you’d like to join in, you can find the Freeform Block of the Month in our online shop.

Happy quilting!
Gigi

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