Minimal Day Sampler
Block Two: Fringe
It seems like everyone is off to a good start with last month’s Quarter Opals blocks. How did you find it? Any trouble with the appliqué at all? The blocks I’ve seen look fantastic! What’s even better still, is that none of you have sworn directly at me (at least not yet), so I take that as a good sign. Ready for more?
This month’s block is called Fringe, based on the elongated teardrop shape of the metal pieces that dangle from the inspiration pendant. (You can see it in the photo on the January post.)
All of the remaining blocks will use templates in some way. Don’t worry though! They are really simple to use as long as you know a few things ahead of time:
- Appliqué templates DO NOT include a seam allowance. So when you are transferring them to your fabric, you need to leave space around them for the seam allowance.
- Always trace them on the RIGHT side of your fabric. The line you trace is your stitching line and it needs to be visible.
- Don’t use chalk to trace templates on your fabric. Because the piece will be handled quite a bit while you’re stitching, chalk often wears off before you’ve finished and then you have to wing it. (However, if adrenaline-fueled quilting is your thing, by all means go for it! You are the boss of your process.)
Feel better? Excellent. Let’s get started.
Begin by printing out a copy of the template, making sure the scaling on your printer is turned off. The cut-out template should be around 7 ½” long.
Tip: I’ve simply used copier paper for all of the templates for this quilt, which has worked fine. None of them will be used more than a few times and they don’t need to be terribly precise. But if you prefer something stronger, feel free to transfer them to cardstock, template plastic, or whatever you like.
Whether you are making the wall or lap sized quilt, this month’s block is the same for both.
- From background fabric: Cut one 10 ½” square
- From appliqué fabric: You’ll need 3 scraps that are at least 2” x 8”, though you don’t need to trim them down to that size. Just be sure they are at least large enough to allow for the template and seam allowance.
On the RIGHT side of an appliqué fabric, place the narrow end of the template on a cut edge and trace around it, using whatever pen/transfer method you like. Be sure you are leaving enough space around it for a seam allowance that is more than 1/8” but less than ¼” (i.e. a “fat eighth”).
Repeat this process on a second appliqué fabric.
Flip the template over and trace it on the RIGHT side of the third appliqué fabric. The template isn’t symmetrical so this adds a nice bit of variation in the finished block.
Tip: Use a sheet of fine grit sandpaper (from the hardware store) under the fabric while you trace. It holds the fabric smooth and prevents those little skips and drags that the tip of your pen can cause. You’ll get a nice clean line without the struggle.
Cut out the appliqué pieces, adding a “fat eighth” seam allowance.
Lay out the appliqué pieces on your background square as shown:
The top edge of all three appliqués should line up with the top edge of the background square. They should be grouped off-center toward the left side of the block, roughly 1 ½” from the left edge and nearly touching at the widest part of the appliqués. When you are happy with the placement, baste or pin the piece on the left (setting the others aside).
Starting at the top edge of the block, stitch down the left straight edge, around the bottom curve and back up the right side of the appliqué. Do not stitch across the top of the appliqué. That edge will be enclosed in the seam when the blocks are joined later.
Tip: I found it easiest to finger press the seam allowance under on the long straight sides before stitching. It gives a nice, crisp edge that is easy to stitch. Then I used the needle-turn technique to go around the curves at the bottom. These are much tighter curves than we did in the last block, so it is especially important to only turn under enough of the seam allowance to take one stitch at a time. Turning under too much at once or working with a too-wide seam allowance will cause little points and bumps along the edge instead of a smoothly rounded curve.
Add the other two pieces back to your block, according to the above layout, this time basting or pinning the middle piece down. Set aside the third piece and stitch down the middle one.
Finally, add the third appliqué in the same manner as above. Your finished block should look something like this: (you may want to actually iron yours before taking any photos of it though…)
Your new block will go here in the final quilt layout (wall, then lap size):
As always, if you have any questions about anything here or would like more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come find me on Instagram at @bespokeoutlaw. I will continue to post hints and tips there too.
Next month we’ll add bias strips!