Running from March to August 2016, the Just the Basics mystery quilt-a-long will require no special rulers and no scary techniques. The design is confident beginner level and there will be no paper piecing, no applique, no improv piecing and no y-seams! Not that there's anything wrong with any of those techniques, but sometimes it's fun to see what you can make out of basic blocks.
I promise, the basics are anything but boring!
It's never too late to join in. All of the posts can be found under the tab at the top of the blog, so you can start anytime. New posts will be published here on the first Wednesday of each month. You can follow Devoted Quilter by Bloglovin, email or Feedly to be sure you don't miss anything - the links are all on the sidebar. You can also sign up for my new newsletter, The Bulletin, the first issue goes out on the 16th of this month!
Remember, you can choose to make the Just the Basics mystery quilt in the 48" x 48" baby/wall size or the 60" x 72" throw size. Either way you'll cut and piece the units the same, but you'll make more of each unit for the throw quilt.
If you're on Instagram, don't forget to share your progress! Use #JustTheBasicsMysteryQuilt and tag me @devotedquilter.
In case you're just getting started, March was fabric selection and April was HSTs. Now let's get going!
This Month's Instructions
As you might have guessed from the title of this post, this month we'll be making two different units, flying geese and square-in-a-square. Again, we'll make both a little larger than needed and then trim them down so they'll be perfect.
Once again, as a reminder, here are the fabrics I've chosen for my quilt.
Like HSTs, flying geese appear in many quilts and quilt blocks. You can check out my Pinterest Flying Geese board to see some examples. We'll be using fabric 1 for the 'geese' and fabric 2 for the 'sky'. With my fabrics, that means the geese will be grey and the sky will be blue.
For the wall/baby size, you need 64 flying geese.
For the throw size, you need 120 flying geese.
We'll be making these using the four at a time, no-waste method and chain piecing too. Don't you love how chain piecing can speed up the process?
For baby/wall size
From fabric 1 - 16 squares 5 3/4" x 5 3/4"
From fabric 2 - 64 squares 3 1/4" x 3 1/4"
For throw size
From fabric 1 - 30 squares 5 3/4" x 5 3/4"
From fabric 2 - 120 squares 3 1/4" x 3 1/4"
On the backs of all of your fabric 2 squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.
Right sides together, position 2 fabric 2 squares in opposite corners of a fabric 1 square as shown. The fabric 2 squares will overlap in the middle and the drawn lines should form one continuous line. Pin. Do this with all of your fabric 1 squares so that the whole pile is ready for chain piecing.
You will notice in these pictures that I used two different rulers. That's because one of my rulers is really long and somewhat unwieldy and my smaller one doesn't have a 45° line on it. You can certainly do all of this trimming with one ruler.
With the flying geese block on your cutting mat, position your ruler so that the 45° line is exactly on top of the diagonal seam in your block and the 1/4" mark is exactly touching the tip of the triangle. Trim across the top of the unit.
All that's left now is to trim the excess off the bottom of the blocks, and that can be done in batches. Align a couple of blocks so that their tops are even. Trim the blocks to 2 1/2" wide.
Square-in-a-square blocks, and their siblings the economy blocks, are not quite as famous as HSTs and flying geese, but they still pop up in plenty of quilt designs. Unfortunately, they are also hard to piece perfectly (are you sensing a theme here?), but making them a little larger than needed and then trimming eliminates all the hassle of trying to sew together imperfect blocks. We'll be using fabrics 3 and 4 for our square-in-a-square blocks, and in my fabrics that means the orange and black fabrics.
For the baby/wall size, you need 16 square-in-a-square blocks.
For the throw size, you need 30 square-in-a-square blocks.
For baby/wall size
From fabric 3 - 32 squares 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", cut once diagonally to yield 64 triangles
From fabric 4 - 16 squares 3 3/8" x 3 3/8"
For throw size
From fabric 3 - 60 squares 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", cut once diagonally to yield 120 triangles.
From fabric 4 - 30 squares 3 3/8" x 3 3/8"
Fold a fabric 4 square in half and crease lightly. Fold one fabric 3 triangle in half along the long side and crease lightly. Place the triangle right sides together with the square, matching the creases at the top edge and matching the point of the triangle with the crease on the square. The ensures that the triangle is perfectly centered and straight. As you can see in the picture, the points of the triangle will extend past the edges of the square. Do this with all of your fabric 4 squares, then chain piece all of them at once.
And now you have perfect 4 1/2" square-in-a-square blocks!
I'll be back with the next step in June!
One more thing...Did you see my giveaway in this post? I'll be picking a winner tomorrow (Thursday ) night, so there's still time to enter :)