This is the beginning of the tutorials for the Block of the Month for Marcus Fabrics called ARRTI - A Ribbon Runs Through It. You will be able to access the tutorials at anytime. I'll be posting hints throughout the entire duration of the 10-month program.
I want you to be successful, and this tutorial, and links to my online videos should help you achieve that success while making this heirloom quilt.
In this tutorial I will not be mentioning the size of the pieces to cut. I will refer to the letter on the cutting chart. If I posted the size, then I'd be giving away the farm!
Here is your first series of "Little Tipsy's".
1. Starch your fabric first with a heavy duty spray starch. Let the fabric dry before you press it. I know some of my students starch their fabric so heavily that you could bounce a quarter off of it!
2. Cut carefully at all times. You are dealing with a lot of small pieces that need to be cut with complete accuracy.
3. I piece my quilts with Aurifil thread, a nice 50 weight that is thin yet strong.
SQUARE IN A SQUARE - Instructions begin on page 29 of your pattern.
Since you will be making 16 of these gorgeous stars, I would begin by making a reusable template to fussy cut the beautiful center for PIECE A. All of these little details make a difference in the finished quilt. It's all part of my extreme, maybe obsessive attention to detail.
I make the template out of heavy-duty cardboard. The center of the template is cut the exact size I need. Keep in mind this will be "on point" in the block.
I use a Frixion pen and trace around the inside of the template. I still use a ruler to cut this out the exact size that I need. Now that Piece A is ready, let's move on to Piece B, the corner triangles around the center of the block.
I love to work with stripes as I think they add so much interest to the finished designs. In my obsession to detail, I have to have all of my stripes lined up and headed in the same direction. Now you will learn how to do this too.
PIECE B is a beautiful striped fabric, so let's get our stripes lined up properly, and all marching to the same beat.
Begin by cutting two identical squares.
Then cut them like this.
Place two of the triangles from one of the squares next to the center Piece A.
Place the other two triangles on the other two sides of Piece A. Just look at how the stripes line up beautifully!
Now you are going to use a corner trimmer on those pesky little corners. I use a Fons & Porter corner trimmer. When you are stitching a triangle to a square, you trim the corners off at a 90 degree angle. YOU WILL BE DOING THIS 90 DEGREE PROCEDURE ON ONLY TWO OF THE OPPOSING TRIANGLES.
Here's a close up.
You will trim each side.
See how well Piece B's line up with the center.
Place right sides together and pin.
Little Tipsy - When stitching the triangles, make sure you have the triangle next to your feed dogs and let them gradually feed the material under the needle. If you had the triangle on the top, you may inadvertently stretch those little triangles.
Press toward the triangle. Trim off those little "doohickies" that extend beyond the triangle. You want to get rid of any fabric that will add bulk to the component.
The heat of the wool pad combined with the Gypsy quilter clapper, (say that 3 times fast) make this part of the component very flat.
On the other two sides, I'm no longer stitching a triangle to a 90 angle. I now have a 45 degree angle.
So I need to trim the ends of the other two triangles at a 45 degree angle.
By cutting the tips of the triangle off, they now fit perfectly on the component.
If any trimming needs to be done, I use a BlocLoc flying geese ruler. The ruler fits snugly into the apex of the seams, and gives me the perfect 1/4" seam.
I removed the sizes on my signature block layout sheet. Again, it's all part of not giving away the farm.
I use a Sewline pen and apply glue to the paper.
This sheet is the map to your success. The size of the components on the sheet are the exact size your component needs to be.
For an additional tutorial on Square in a Square, you can view my videos on The Quilt Show for free. Here's in the link to my Square in a Square video HERE.
DOUBLE FLYING GEESE
These are double flying geese (DFG), and you will be making (4) at a time. There are a total of (12) DFG per block.
After I cut my pieces for the first set of DFG from the cutting directions on page 2, I lay them out like this.
This is something that I make every time I begin a new quilt or a block. I take a regular index card and cut it up into rectangles. I use a hole punch and make two holes in each rectangle. I write the letter on each of the rectangles indicating which piece it is, and can see it at a glance.
I can then reuse these for other parts of the pattern or other patterns in general. You can also label it with the size if you wish.
Then place (2) "E's" on top of the "C". The squares will overlap. Use a 1/4" ruler, and mark the squares. When you place the square on top of "C" make sure the design is going in the same direction.
Cut apart between the lines.
You will have two sections that look like this. Press toward the smaller triangle. See how each of the flowers are both going in the same direction on each of the units.
Now play around with each of the other squares, and orient them so the flowers are going in the same direction. This may not seem important, but I like to have all of my flowers in alignment.
Mark each of the blocks, and stitch directly on the line, then cut apart between the stitching lines.
Look closely at the orientation of the little bouquets of flowers. They are either going sideways or up and down. This becomes important when you place them on the block layout sheet.
Now you will have four perfect geese flying in formation.
Now place piece "D" on the right hand side of the goose. Draw a single line from corner to corner and stitch directly on the line.
Press in the direction of the blue triangle.
Place a square on the other corner, draw a line from corner to corner and stitch directly on the line.
Voila! Aren't they cute? Since you already trimmed before adding on the set of blue squares, you should not have to trim again. You will have a perfect 1/4" seam at the top, so you will never loose any points. You never want to be pointless!
Place the little cuties on the block layout sheet. Now that you have made your first set of DFG's, the rest will be much easier. Make additional little rectangles from your index card, so after you cut the remaining pieces for the rest of the DFG's, you can label them with the correct letter.
Since I was so particular about the orientation of the little bouquets of flowers on piece "E", I can now place them on the block layout sheet in the correct orientation. You don't have to pay attention to this level of detail if it doesn't float your boat. My boat will sink if I don't take this extra step. Next, I will have you make half-square triangles (2) at a time. Notice the little flowers in the HST are also heading in the correct direction. Don't worry, I'll show you how to achieve this.
For an additional tutorial on Double Flying Geese, you can view my videos on The Quilt Show for free by clicking HERE.
Next up, Half-Square Triangles (2) at a time.
You will begin using pieces J & G. Notice that G is directional.
I like to have all of the fabrics facing in the proper orientation, so I marked them like this. I used a 1/4" ruler for marking. Stitch directly on the lines.
Cut the units apart, then press toward the lighter side. Trim them to the correct size stated on page 21 of the pattern.
Then place them on the Block Layout Sheet. Notice how the little bunches of flowers are all facing the same orientation. I can feel you rolling your eyes right now at my "analness", but in the end, the attention to detail will make a difference.
Now you will be making Half-Square Triangles (8) at a time. Begin with pieces M & K.
Use a 1/4" ruler for marking.
Mark stitching lines in both directions.
Stitch directly on the marked lines. Then cut them apart. Your first cut will be vertically, then horizontally, then the last two cuts will be diagonally.
I use a fabric folding pen filled with Best Press starch, and run a thin line of starch directly on the stitches. Then I press. You can use this pen on all of the seams to create a flatter seam.
After I press, I put the Gypsy quilter clapper on top of the components. This makes them flat as little pancakes.
Trim according to the size on page 21 of the pattern.
Place the HST on the Block Layout Sheet with a touch of Sewline glue.
You will repeat the same procedure with pieces N & O and make 8 more HST. Place on the Block Layout Sheet.
Cut the following pieces according to the cutting chart on page 2. Then place them on the sheet.
Follow the arrows on the Block Layout Sheet for the pressing directions.
I know the first block is always the hardest and will take you the longest. Not to worry, it will get easier. Look what you learned making this block! There was a lot of skill building to add to your quilting toolbox of information. I imported the image out of EQ software so you could see the outlines of the components that you just finished making.
For more information, and a video explaining the math behind making HST (8) at a time and their construction, check out The Quilt Show. My video is located by clicking HERE.