Wednesday 1 January 2014

Modern Irish (Scrappy) Bee: January Block

Happy New Year!  Hope all  have had wonderful celebrations.  My name is Ruth and as it's the first of January I get to kick off the 2014 Modern Irish Bee!  Welcome to all the hive members and to all who are following along.   Every month we will have a new set of tutorial links and examples to make blocks up to 12.5".  We will be using our stash of scraps and have the choice of scrappy background fabrics or solids from the the following : Kona White, Kona Ash, Kona Snow or Kona Black.

So to start us off I've used this photo for inspiration at Oh Fransson!  Elizabeth has kindly allowed me to link to her picture of her beautiful Scrappy Rectangle that she made for the back of her quilt.  I would happily have it on the front!  So with that in mind here's a tutorial for 12.5" blocks inspired by Elizabeth's Color Block Happy Hour Quilt Back!

The block is made up of a scrappy pieced square or rectangle using 1.5" squares and 1" white sashing.   I used a patterned background for my test blocks but for the purposes of the Bee I would like Kona Ash please.

Here is a link to a PDF to download showing colour options and 3 versions of the block: a 3x3 scrappy square, a 4x4 scrappy square and a 4x5 scrappy rectangle.

To make the 2 blocks above I used almost 1 fat quarter of background fabric.  I would like 1 square (either 3x3 or 4x4) and 1 rectangular block for the Bee.  I hope to lay them out something like this: 

Playing with colour choices and going with a two toned background like Elizabeth's quilt back would give these possibilities as well:

I'm liking the multi-coloured one a lot.

To make up the blocks above start with 1.5" squares from any colours you like from scraps

For the 3x3 square you will need 9 squares, for the 4x4 you will need 16.

I chain pieced them using a 1/4" seam into rows.

Pressing can be open or to the side.  I pressed to the side with each row in a different direction to nest the seams.

Sew each row together and trim.  The 3x3 square should be trimmed to 3.5" and the 4x4 square to 4.5" square.

The sashing is Kona snow in 1" wide strips and for the squares add it to both sides and then to the top only. 

Using the cutting instructions cut strips from the background fabric.  For the 3" block above you will need 1 strip of 5.5", 4" and 3.5".

Take both the 5.5" and 3.5" width strips and trim down to 12.5" long.

Take the 4" strip and cut a piece 7" long and a piece 2" long.  Cut a strip from the Kona Snow 1" x 12.5" long.

Layout as above and sew the 4" pieces to the side of the pieced square with a scant 1/4" seam.

Sew all 4 rows together with a scant 1/4" seam and square up to 12.5"

And there you have it. One 3x3 block done!  The 4x4 is made in the same way cutting 3.5", 4.5",and 5" strips from your background fabric and sub-cutting as per the PDF. 

The 4 x 5 rectangle is pretty much the same with a few small changes.  Again start with the scrappy 1.5" squares.  This time 20 of them!

Sew together in rows using a 1/4" seam allowance and trim this up to 4.5" x 5.5". Sash both sides with Kona snow 1" strips and then both the top and bottom this time. 


If you are using a fat quarter cut one strip from the background fabric 3.5" wide.  Trim this strip to 12.5" long for the top piece. 

From the 4" strip from the earlier block cut one rectangle 6" x 4" and one 2"x 4" for row 2.  The bottom row is made up of rectangles 6" x 5.5", 3.5" x 5.5" and 2" x 5.5"".  I was able to use the remaining Fat Quarter pieces to make the 3.5" and 2" one but I had to piece two scraps to get the 6" x 5.5 " rectangle which is perfectly fine for this design.   

Assemble the block by adding the Kona 1" sashing to the 6" x 4" rectangle and 6" x 5.5" rectangle.  Do the same for the 2" x 4" and 2" x 5.5" rectangles.  Add the scrappy pieced block to middle rectangle on the last row 3.5" x 5.5".

Sew these 3 columns together using a scant 1/4" seam and then add the top row to finish the block.

Square up to 12.5" and there we have it block number 2!

I hope you have fun making these scrappy blocks.  Please post to Flickr so we can all enjoy and admire them!  Happy New Year and Happy Sewing !

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