Welcome back! Yesterday’s candy quilt block for my Whimsicals quilt was simple to assemble, and today’s lollipop block will be just as easy!
Before I start assembling today’s lollipop quilt block, I want to talk about thread choices.
I’m often asked which thread I like to use. The answer is quite simple. I use 50wt thread for piecing and sometimes a heavier thread weight for quilting. Gütermann makes good quality cotton and polyester threads in multiple weights in 100, 250 and 400-meter spools. My go-to thread choices are neutral-colored Gütermann 50wt cottons such as Butterfly and Light Slate.
If a retreat or workshop activity will include English Paper Piecing, consider getting the convenient Gütermann 26 pc 100% Cotton 100m Thread Set with storage box. You’ll find a color in that box for all fabric-matching needs.
Now that I’ve discussed which threads to use, today, I’ll create four 9½” x 8½” (unfinished) lollipop blocks.
To make these blocks, I’ll use the following three fabrics chosen from the Michael Miller Fabrics Whimsicals collection:
- Cute Critters – moon (DC9538)
- Bits and Bobs – aulait (DC9533)
- Double Quotes – straw (DC9534)
From the Cute Critters fabric cut the following pieces:
- 8 – 1½” x 7½” strips
- 4 – 1½” x 9½” strips
- 16 – 3″ x 3″ squares
From each of the Bits and Bobs and Double Quotes fabrics, cut the following:
- 1 – 4½” x width of fabric strip
When I began designing this block, I had a dilemma. How do I keep its construction simple? I found I was overthinking it, trying to keep it simple by avoiding weird angles while keeping a circular feel to the block. Then the answer became clear: use Half-Square Triangles (HSTs)! Adding a simple corner triangle helps to create the illusion of a circle.
Start by drawing a vertical line at 4½” intervals across the wrong side of one of the two 4½” x width of fabric strips.
Next, draw a diagonal line from the top of a vertical line to the bottom of the next vertical line. Pivot the ruler and draw another diagonal line to the top of the next vertical line, continuing across the entire strip.
Place both 4½” fabric strips right sides together and pin. Sew a seam ¼” away from both sides of all diagonal lines. Cut apart on all the drawn vertical and diagonal lines.
Press open and square up each HST unit to measure 4″ x 4″.
Sew four HSTs right sides together to make a four-patch pinwheel block. Repeat to create four pinwheel blocks.
On the wrong side of each 3″ x 3″ square, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Place a 3″ square, right sides together, on every corner of each pinwheel with the drawn lines positioned as shown in the photo:
Sew on each diagonal line, then cut ¼” away from each seam on the side closest to the block’s corner. Press corners open.
On opposite sides of each four-patch, sew a 1½” x 7½” fabric strip. Sew a 1½” x 9½” fabric strip onto the top of each block.
The sweet part of the lollipop is now complete!
Having spare sewing machine needles is a must in any sewing or quilting kit, and having multiple sizes available guarantees you’ll have a needle on hand for all your needs. Before ending today, I want to suggest which sewing machine needles should be included in any well-stocked retreat bag. At a minimum, I always have one cassette containing five Klassé Sharps Needles – Size 80/12 and one of Klassé Sharps Needles – Assorted Sizes 60/8, 70/10, 80/12.
Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to finish the lollipop blocks, and we’ll start assembling the quilt top.
This is part 3 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 2: Sew Easy Rulers make quilting so easy!
Go to part 4: The right scissors for every sewing task!