Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Twilight Gardens Block 3

Before we begin talking about block 3, I need to mention a couple of errors in the printed pattern for block 2.  They are not errors of cutting or dimensions.  When assembling the flying geese units that form the center star points, the directions should read, "layer a light 2" d square onto rectangle c as shown". You may not have even noticed this was wrong.

The other error is actually in the diagram for the outer corner units.  Beginning halfway through the pattern, the small a/b half square triangle units are flipped with the dark and light side reversed from where they should be.  Fortunately, the star block looks great made either way, so if you followed the layout this way, it is not a serious problem. I assembled my block this way, and I actually liked it better than the layout in the actual quilt.

My fabric selections     
Moving on, as I mentioned last month, the block patterns for blocks 3 and 4 are identical to the block patterns for blocks 1 and 2 respectively.  So we have been through the construction sequence already.  I will tell you a bit about how I selected fabrics for this block. I wanted two things in this block - a center star that popped, and outer corners that used the hombre plaid.  I love using hombre plaids in quilt blocks.  They tend to have this luminescent look about them, almost as if they were lit from behind.  My outer star points are cut from a fairly dark gray.  It has enough contrast with the pure black background to show up nicely, but not enough to take away from the center star.

Half Square Triangles
Quarter Square Triangles
 Just a small reminder that when you are cutting out your triangle pieces for this block, do make sure you cut them as the pattern states, as either quarter square triangles, or half square triangles as in the two example photos.  This is very important, as the sides with a bias edge should always be pieced into the block, and not fall along the outer edge. This is because the bias edges have more stretch and give to them, and you do not want the outside edges of the blocks to stretch out of shape before you have a chance to sew them into the quilt top.


Chain piecing HST's
I also wanted to mention that many pieces in these blocks lend themselves to chain piecing.  The half square triangle units can be sewn in a chain of 4, as can be the flying geese.  Adding one side triangle to one center triangle for each of 4 units, then pressing and adding the next four side triangles in a chain.  This not only saves time, but often results in more accurate piecing.


  The layout for this block is identical to that of block 1. If you have trouble getting any of the seams to lay flat, consider pressing them open to divide the bulk in two directions. The center block at left forms the center square when laying out the full block. (Yes, I realize the photo on the right has an error. The bottom right corner square is turned 180 degrees from where it should be in the block layout photo.  Unfortunately, I sewed the block together and missed the opportunity to take a corrected photo.  oops). The photo below is correct, however.
Center Star Layout
Entire Block Layout

Finished Block - measures 12 1/2" square
 And here is the completed block (with correct placement of the lower corner.  This block has a very distinct neutral color as compared with the first couple of blocks.  All the fabrics in this quilt are fairly muted in color, but some lean more towards green or brown or gray or red, so I am trying to get a mix of block colors.  In block 4, I think I am going to pick a mix that shows a bit more green-gray coloring.

The block for May (block 5) will be our first applique block. There are many methods of doing applique that will work, and I encourage you to use your favorite method. If you have a method you like, you may want to get started on that block a little early, as the applique might take you a little longer than the piecing we have been doing.  If you are new to applique, or don't have a preferred method, I will be demonstrating a method for preparing your applique pieces using freezer paper. The pieces may then be appliqued to the background either by hand or machine. I will talk more about this in the next article.

Thanks for following along.


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