Monday, July 21, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Big Dipper

I love blocks that come from one size of strips. They seem so much easier to pull out of the scrap bag.
This block just uses 2 inch strips.  I chose a red and a black with multi-colored speckles.  I actually ended up using two different blacks when the first one ran out, but that is all part of the charm of scrap quilts, right?
This time we will use the companion angle ruler.  It is the same one used to make flying geese units.  I love flying geese units.  This time we'll be making quarter square triangle blocks though.  These are also called hourglass blocks I believe.
With your two fabrics placed right sides together, cut 8 triangle units.   Notice that the straight of grain is on the long side, this will keep the bias edges all on the inside of the block so that it won't stretch.
You will be sewing along one leg of each triangle.  Make sure to feed them all in the same way so that they fit back together later.
Pressing these needs to be done carefully.  The hypotenuse is now on the bias, so stay away from it as much as possible.  I like to just sneak in with my iron from the point and avoid the long side entirely.  Press the seams toward the dark fabric.
Now take half of your blocks and rotate them 180 degrees.  Fold them over, making sure to match the center seam.  They should nestle nicely.
Now sew along the long side, remembering that it is full of bias, so don't be too energetic with it.
Once you open up your block and trim your dog ears, it should look like this from the back.  Open up and rotate the center seam to help reduce bulk.  This will also help your blocks fit together better in the next step.  You should have four of these hourglass units.
Arrange your four units so that the dark triangles alternate.  In the top right and bottom left they are vertical, and in the top left and bottom right they are horizontal. If you did your pressing as suggested, all of the seams should nestle as you sew your four subunits together.
Here is the finished block.  It would really be fun to play with color placement on this one.  The center makes a nice pinwheel, wouldn't it be fun to have it in different colors with a darker contrast around the outside?  


Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Pretty pretty fabrics! :)

Lilian Pilar said...

Una muy buena explicacion, me encanta como ha quedado y ocupando los retales de otras labores eso me gusta mucho...

sophie said...

I know this block as Yankee Puzzle, or thought I did, so I looked it up. In addition to Big Dipper (and Yankee Puzzle) it has also been published as Hour Glass, Envelope Quilt, The Whirling Blade, Bow Ties, Pork and Beans and probably a lot of other more recent names.

Lisa said...

I'm glad Sophie left all those extra names for the block in her comment. I was just about to say "but why is it called Big Dipper?".


Kate said...

I love making hour glass blocks, so this one will be fun.