If you know me, you know I love 1930's reproduction fabrics. When my friend Barbara Eikmeier told me she was bringing out a line of 30's fabrics in conjunction with Paint Brush Studios I jumped for joy and immediately ordered fabric bundles and panels to sew and to sell. I had a quilt all lined up to make using 30's reproductions, a darling Alphabet baby quilt, and got to work on it right away using Barb's fabrics. I love how they coordinate with the Painter's Palette Solids (by Paint Brush Studio). The colors are so fresh and cheerful, and totally go together.
So when Barb invited me to participate in the Ruby's Treasures Blog Hop it was a no brainer! Of course! I poured through the blocks in Ruby McKim’s book One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns.
It was really hard to pick just one. But I saw a block named Skyrocket and I was curious about what it looked like. What was Ruby imagining when she names a block after a rocket? This was 100 years ago, remember, and sky rockets were the stuff of science fiction back then. Here is the original pattern.
The original was a 12" block made using templates (with no seam allowance I might add), and set-in seams were needed to add the outer triangles to the block. OH NO! While I am perfectly able to do set-in seams I didn't want to do 8 of them in one block (and I had two blocks to make, no less) so I redrafted the pattern in EQ7. The resulting block could be rotary cut, but the size and shape of the patches made that just as difficult as using templates. Fractional measurements and odd angles, Oh My!
So I chose to do a paper piece blocks, and it was super easy to make.
Here are my EQ7 renderings for the block:
I wanted to do one with a dark background and one with a lighter background to emphasize the different looks achievable with this block.
I printed my foundation pattern on tracing paper and selected my fabrics for each block.
There are 8 section in each blocks and you need to paper piece each section first. Here is the layout for the foundation pattern.
NOTE: When you download and print the pattern measure the 1" square printed on each page. If it is not exactly 1" you may need to adjust your printer settings.
I recommend pre-cutting patches for each section to speed up the process. I did this by making an extra copy of the foundation pattern and cutting it apart. I used each shape to create a template, and added 1/2" to all sides of the template. Once I cut the first patch I stacked it on a folded piece of fabric to get the rest of the pieces.
Here is a cutting list to help you get started. These measurements have the extra amount needed to foundation piece added in. This is for the block with the green background.
- Cut (4) 4" blue squares
- Cut (1) 4" yellow square
- Cut (4) 4" green squares
- Cut (4) 3" pink and blue print squares, cut once on the diagonal to make 8 triangles
- Cut (4) 4" x 6" yellow rectangles (use your paper template to trim the corners)
- Cut (8) 4" x 8" green rectangles (use your paper template to trim the corners)
Cut the foundation pattern pages into sections. There should be 4 corner sections and 4 sections to make up the 9-patch center. If you a novice paper piecer you may want to watch one of the many great video tutorials available on U-Tube.
Reduce the stitch length on your machine to 2.0 or shorten it to a setting smaller than normal. Thread your machine with 50 or 60 wt top thread and a light weight bobbin thread in the bobbin. Use a quarter inch presser foot and a 1/4 seam guide (a strip of tape works well) on your machine bed.
In foundation piecing the fabric is always placed right side up on the UNPRINTED side of the pattern, and you sew on the PRINTED side of the pattern.
Pin the yellow cone shaped patch to the middle of the corner section, adjusting it so that there is about 1/4" seam beyond one of the lines. Trim if necessary.
Then place the green triangle shaped patch on top of the yellow patch, right sides together.
Do a "test flip" to be sure that when the green patch is opened out that it completely covers the area AND seam allowance of the area it is to cover.
Sew on the line joining the two patches. Start about 1/4" before the line and sew 1/4" beyond the line to secure the ends of the seam.
Remove the pin and press the green patch open. Be sure it cover the area completely.
To trim the other side of the yellow patch, fold the paper pattern back on the stitching line.
Use an Add-A-Quarter Ruler (pictured) or a regular ruler to trim the yellow fabric 1/4" beyond the stitching line.
The Add-A-Quarter Ruler has a raised 1/4" edge which is butted up against the fold line to precisely cut 1/4" seam allowance. It is a great tool and not expensive.
After you trim off the excess yellow fabric fold the paper back out flat.
Position the other green triangle patch right sides together on the yellow patch.
Do a test flip - like you did before - to be sure the patch is positioned right then carefully turn the pattern over and sew the seam on the printed side of the pattern.
Flip the green fabric open and press.
Turn the foundation pattern over and trim on the cutting lines.
Be sure to trim the corners of the triangles on the cutting lines.
Turn over and press the completed section. You will need to make 4 of these corner units.
Foundation piece the four center section in the same manner. They are easier to do because they do not have wonky triangles like these corner sections. Join the two center section to make the yellow star center.
Sew the two side sections to the center section to complete the nine-patch star. See the foundation pattern for instruction in how to join one section to another.
Add the corner sections, matching seam lines and corners. Press seams open.
Sew the two opposite corners on first, then add the other two corners.
Press well after each corner is added. Remove the paper from the seam allowances if it feels too bulky.
Here is the completed block.
Once you get the hang of paper piecing it goes very quickly, and you can actually chain piece sections to speed up the process.
Here is the second block with the light yellow background.
In this block I added an extra star point in green to give it the look of a friendship star in the middle.
Let me know which version you prefer in the Comments. If you leave a comment you will be entered in my giveaway for a free pattern.
Remember that ABC Baby Quilt I mentioned in the introduction? The pattern will be published in The Quilt Pattern Magazine in 7 segments from January to July 2017. I will choose one comment at random to win a 1 year subscription to TQPM so you will get all 7 installments of the ABC quilt.
Here is a sneak peek of the quilt pattern you could win.
Don’t forget, if you haven’t already been to the Inspired by Fabric blog, hop on over there, sign up to follow (if you don’t already) and leave a comment there as well– they’re giving away fat quarter bundles of Ruby’s Treasures!
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the hop. Stop by Barb’s blog each day as well, as she’ll be sharing more about Ruby and the fabric collection she inspired.
Thanks for hopping by! Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway!