|Flying X Block|
Now we're ready for Block 1. We've learned how to make Half-Square Triangles. We know we should think about how to press seams and we'll start to see how that works as we make this block. Refer to the pattern for cutting requirements and make the necessary number of half-square triangles using your favorite method. On this block, all of the diagonal seams in the HST units can be pressed in the same direction - If I have the option, I always prefer to press towards the darker fabric.
Now, you can start to assemble the 16 units into a block. There are a two options on how to do that. Both work well, so choose which ever method makes the most sense to you. The first approach is to sew units into 4 rows, then sew the rows together. This is the method Diane, the pattern designer, uses and there's already a tutorial for this block using the row method.
I've chosen to use a second approach. I prefer to assemble into 4 identical 4-patch units - each being one quarter of the entire block. This will work for 7 of the 12 blocks in this pattern. When we get to Block 4, you'll find out why some blocks are a little different.
Now you will make four 4-patch sub-units that look like the top left quarter of the complete block. First, sew 2 patches together as shown in Step 1 and repeat 4 times. Next, sew 2 patches as shown in Step 2. Press seams in direction indicated by red arrows.
On to Step 3. This is where your strategic seam pressing will help. Flip the unit created in Step 1 down, placing right sides together on top of the unit created in Step 2, aligning all the outer cut edges. You should now see that the seams created in Step 1 & 2 are pressed in opposite directions. The diagonal HST seams are also pressed in opposing directions. If you pinch the layers together where the seams intersect and wiggle a bit, you should be able to feel that they are "locked" in place. Pin close to the seams, then stitch the next seam to join these together into a 4-patch. Press seam as shown. Repeat 3 more times.
|Make one quarter of the block - 4 times|
Step 4 - Now you've got 4 identical units and you can finish the block just like you are making another 4-patch. You'll assemble these 4 units into two more identical sub-units that will both look like the top half of the final block. Place two of the quarter units side by side, then rotate the one on the right - just one turn clockwise, then flip one on the right and place it right side down on top of left one. Again, make sure your opposing seams lock together on this step. Stitch the center seam and press to one side. Repeat to create a second unit just like the first one and press seam in the same direction as previous unit.
Now for the last seam, rotate one of the units from Step 4 by 180 degrees. Just one seam left! Make sure the intersecting seams lock together and stitch the final seam. Now you can simply press the final seam open, or you can spin the seams.
Ready for Block 2?
by Amy Aderman