Turning a Block On-Point
Before we jump into this week’s topic, I would really like to share the creative gift my dear friend, Wendy, made for my birthday. As many of you know, Wendy and I lead quilting adventures, and our upcoming trip will take us to the Baltic Sea in May. We’ve been working on project ideas for the trip and both of us have been stitching Russian Nesting dolls that don’t nest :-)! These are Wendy’s:
I appliquéd mine to a shoulder bag:
They are such fun to make and we’re sure they’ll be a hit with the hand stitchers on our cruise. So, Wendy took this a step further for my birthday and used her amazing skills with wool to make me new mittens!
I’m hoping they won’t be needed on our trip, but I love them and will enjoy wearing them all winter long here in Wisconsin!
Now for this week’s topic!
Last week I taught a class at WCTC called Scrap Happy. The idea behind it was to use up all the “orphan” blocks, strips and scraps leftover from previous projects.
One of the techniques we used in class was to enlarge a block by adding corners to it, and thus turning it “on-point” (as in the Sun block in the upper left and the house block in the lower right). It struck me this would make a good blog topic! When I’m turning blocks I like them to have a bit of “float” around the original square. By adding this extra fabric at the block corners, there is no danger of chopping them off. I’ve discovered that I don’t like to go to the effort of turning these blocks to an exact size, so I make them a bit larger and square them back to the size I want. It’s a “non-math”, “seat of your pants”, method and I hope you like it.
1. Square up the block. Then place a square ruler over the block as in the picture:
The diagonal line of the ruler is lining up along the vertical center of the block, and the upper corners of the block are at the same measurement along the rulers edges (mine are at about 6 1/4″).
2. Add 2″ to this measurement and cut 2 squares of your chosen corner fabric this size (mine were cut 8 1/4″). Cut both these squares on 1 diagonal.
This will yield 4 triangle with the bias on the long, diagonal edge. By cutting the triangles this way, the outside of the block being created will be on the straight-of-grain.
3. Place a triangle, right sides together, along one side of the original square. To center it, make sure the point of the triangle is on the center seam of the block. If your block doesn’t have a center seam, press it in half in both directions, and line the point of the triangle up with your creases.
4. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam towards the triangle. There will be portions of the triangle not stitched down on the sides.
5. Repeat for the opposite side of the block.
6. Repeat for the remaining 2 sides. This time the seam will go the entire length of the long edge of the triangle.
7. Square up the block to the desired size.
I find this a simple way to turn a block and I hope it was helpful.