Happy Memorial Day Weekend,
I hope this weekend finds you relaxing and taking a little bit of time to stitch. Going to be really a hot weekend here in Michigan, temperatures in the 90s on Sunday.
Some of you are starting on the Civil War Anniversary Quilt Blocks this weekend and wanted to know if I could post a simple tutorial on foundation piecing before we start the block of the week. I will post a step-by-step instructions for the first block in the book, Please do not be discouraged if you have never foundation pieced, it takes a while to grasp the technique and even I still make mistakes after probably foundation piecing over 1000 blocks. If you feel the first block is too difficult, save it for later on and you will be able to pick it up really fast.
The first block is done in one foundation, only one section. There are a couple of options on how to start with the foundations. You can run the pattern off with the CD, when it gives you the options to choose, check the mirror image so that your block is not reversed. You will notice a reverse image in the picture below. If you are tracing the block from the book to make your foundation, your block will be a reverse image of my block. That is not a problem at all.
Each block is numbered on the foundation, when you’re working on one section usually you start from the middle and work your way out.
The first step is to take and cut a piece of fabric bigger then your first quilt piece on your foundation. I have always cut a large piece so I don’t have to recut or not have enough once I sew it to another piece and flip it over.
As you can see I cut a square instead of trying to cut out the actual shape of the piece. It is plenty big and I am laying the piece of fabric on the wrong side of the patterns. It helps to hold the pieces up to the light to make sure that you’re putting the pieces in the right spot.
I’m going to cut out pieces two, again it is just an estimate. Both pieces are going to be laying on the wrong side of your foundation right sides together.
I used red thread so you could see where to sew. You need to make sure your stitching goes at least a quarter of an inch beyond the seam lines.
You will turn the front side of your pattern over and iron piece one and two so that both of the right sides are showing. Trim your seam allowances as you go. If I am working on a block like this and I’m not going to hand quilt this quilt, I do not worry at all about trimming the seams.
Time to choose piece three, make sure you cut your piece large enough. Lay piece three over the pieces one and two right sides together. Again you might have to hold it up to the light to make sure that when you start sewing you will be sewing the peace in the right spot. The more blocks you do, the easier it gets.
Stitch on the line between the pieces again starting in going past the seams at least a quarter of an inch.
Iron piece three so that all the right sides are facing up.
Cut out piece four and stitch and iron.
Cut out piece five, stitch, then iron it so all the pieces are facing the right way.
Continue adding each piece in numerical order.
This is what the back of my block looks like, notice even when I add the larger pieces, my sewing extends a quarter of an inch past all the seams.
Trim your block down to 6 1/2 inches and your block is complete.
Any questions at all, please e-mail me or post the questions to the Civil War Yahoo group.
Have a wonderful Memorial weekend.