Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pine Tree #67

This block is amazing!  42 pieces, so it is not going to be done in a jiffy.  When I say color 1 and color 2, don't be afraid to go scrappy!!  Have you ever seen a tree with all the leaves the same color?  If you have been saving your cut away triangles, now is the time to get them out and sew them up.  If you want to pick a common background color, just grab a pile and sew them up.  If you haven't quite mastered the 1/4", you may want to cut yours a little larger (use a 1 3/4" strip) and square them up.  With pieces this small, it may be easier to get them the correct size by squaring up.

I took a whole bag of gifted triangles.  I sewed them up and they were about 1 3/4" (not every one was the same size).  I used the square up ruler by Quilt in a day and trimmed them to 1 1/2" before I pressed.  I pressed these seams open WITHOUT steam.  There are lots of ways to make half squares.  If you prefer a different method use it.


Color 1 (dark)

  • 18 triangles cut with Easy Angle (EA) 1 1/2" strip
  • 2 - 1 1/2" squares
Color 2 (light)
  • 18 triangles cut with EA 1 1/2" strip
  • 2 triangles cut with 2" strip Companion Angle
Color 3 (medium or dark)
  • 3" finished half square (3 1/2" strip with EA)
Color 4 (Medium or Dark)
  • 1 7/8" X 3 1/2" (tree trunk)

Tree Trunk (Alias EASY Part)
  • Line up with triangles cut with the companion angle to one end of the 1 7/8" x 3 1/2" rectangle.  Press toward the trunk
  • Add the second triangle lining up with the same end of the rectangle.  Press toward the trunk
  • Use your Easy Angle and square up to a 4" finished half square (line up with 4 1/2" line on Easy Angle)  
  • Sew together with remaining 4" finished half square to make a 4 1/2" square

Now for the more challenging and time consuming part.  This part went quickly for me because I had the half square sewn already.  
18 half squares that measure 1 1/2"  
(Press Seams Open)

  1. Make sure you have a fresh needle in your machine. It will make a big difference.
  2. Use a stiletto (or fingernail in my case) to guide the pieces through
  3. If you have a single hole needle plate, I recommend that also
  4. A foot with a single hole will help keep your seams going the correct way
When you have your 1 1/2" squares in
pairs, press the seams open.  I trimmed the beginning and ending seam at an angle to reduce the bulk.  This is the first time I have tried this, and I think it really helped.

Make sure these measure 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"

Arrange the pairs together and sew into 4 patches.  Line up the 45 degree (sometimes called the bias line) of the ruler with the angle of the half squares to make sure your 4 patches measure 2 1/2".  You can see in the picture that I had to trim my pieces up just a bit. 

Sew 2 - 4 patches together and join with the left edge of the trunk.  Join the remaining 3 - 4 patches together and join with the top of the of the tree block.  I pressed both of these seams open also. 
 I have to admit, I was so pleased with how this block turned out.  I did have one mishap and had to use the seam ripper.  Make sure you have your half squares going the correct direction.  I didn't realize my error until I had the whole block together.  Here is the block before I used my new seam ripper.  I am sure you will have no problem spotting that I sewed the 4 patches on the left upside down.  I was doing my happy dance about how well everything lined up when I spotted it.  
I don't know who gifted the great stripe, but it looks fabulous as the tree trunk.  I think this may be my favorite block.  

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