Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Patchwork Panache...

I started working on a BOM quilt a long time ago. I got two blocks done and then started another project and didn't get back to my BOM. Now I have motivation to get back to it! My sister-in-law has gotten a group together to make a BOM quilt and they are going to do this one. Some are quilters, some are beginners. I'm going to try to do some tutorials to help out, since I live in another state. So here goes. If you want to join in, here is a link to the pattern.
The center block for Patchwork Panache is huge! 34" square - almost the size of a baby quilt all by itself! But, that is why this large quilt that goes together quickly. There are many ways to do all of these quilting steps. I'm just giving suggestions to anyone who is interested.

Many of these large pieces are going to be sewn on the bias (diagonal) . Bias edges stretch easily, and to avoid distorted seams I starch my fabric before I cut it out if I know I'm going to be dealing with bias edges.

When your fabric is ready you will want to cut your "E" fabric (refer to pattern). Most fabric for quilting is between 42 and 45 inches wide. Folded in half and laying on  your cutting mat you want to use a rotary cutter and cut off two strips that are 9 3/8" by the WOF (width of fabric).

Take the strips you have cut, turn them sideways and cut some 9 3/8" pieces of those until you have 6 squares. I cut my fabric while it is folded in half so I can cut two at a time.
Before I make any cuts I straighten the edge of my fabric so I can get precise cuts. Accuracy is really important so that your seams and points all match. Now cut one 9 3/8" strip from the "A" fabric, turn it and cut again so you now have two 9 3/8" squares of this color.

Now you will need to cut all these squares diagonally. Again, accuracy is important, so use the 45 degree line on your ruler, match it up with the edge of the fabric.

 Using that line and matching the ruler with the corners of the square you will end up with a nice accurate cut.

Now you have your first pieces all ready to sew!
 Match up the two colors with right sides together. Get them lined up so they are ready for you to chain piece. Don't worry about those extra pieces, you will use them!
 IMPORTANT! Set up your machine so you can sew with a 1/4" seam. I have a 1/4" foot for my machine. If you don't have one you will need to adjust your needle position or line up the edge of your fabric so you can sew 1/4" from the edge.
When you start sewing make sure you have fabric under where the needle will begin taking the first stitch. If your needle hits air with that first stitch you may have a problem with the machine "eating" your fabric - this makes a mess! This is especially important when you are beginning on this narrow point.
 For chain piecing you will just sew the pieces together, going on from one to the next without cutting the threads in between pieces, so they are all "chained" together.
Cut them apart and press open, with both of the seams going to the side with darker fabric.
 You will have a little tag that sticks out on the two corners, line up your ruler and trim them off.
 OK! Your first pieces are ready!
Open up the "C" fabric so you can cut one layer of fabric. (It's already starched, right?) The pattern says to cut a  square that is 18 1/4". I would cut it a little bigger and get all that extra fabric out of the way.
Now trim it down to 18 1/4" square.
Now you are going to cut this on a 45 degree angle both ways. Using your ruler to match up like we did before, make the first cut, and without moving your fabric, maneuver so you can cut the opposite way, so it is like an X cut.
Get those leftover "E" pieces and lay one so that it covers half of the large triangle you just cut. Line up the bottom and the long side,

but let the corner of the smaller triangle go past the top. Don't try to center your top piece so that it has a little of the point over on each side, put it all at the top point.
Chain piece those together, cut apart and press open. Trim off the little tag sticking out at the top. Now line up another "E" triangle on the opposite side, again leaving the extra part of the point all at the top. Chain piece those.

Press open and trim off the tag. Now you can see why you want the extra at the top! See how I have exactly 1/4" of fabric above my point? Now when I sew it to another piece my point will be just right.
Whew, this was a long post! This center block of the quilt is actually made up of 9 smaller blocks, you have just made 8 of them! In the next post we will make the center of the block and sew all of these together. Please let me know if you have questions! I know what I am thinking when I type this - but maybe you can't read my mind....?


  1. Your BOM looks like fun Jeanna!

    Love your tutorial...would be easy to follow. Have fun with this :)

  2. Look at you go! I may have to look at this pattern. Might be fun to play along!


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