Yesterday, I introduced you to two must-have cutting mats for retreats and workshops; the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat – 17″ x 24″, and the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat – 12″ x 17″. These folding cutting mats are perfect to take to a retreat, a workshop, or when you meet up with friends for a sewing day.
In addition to cutting mats and rotary cutters, when travelling to a retreat or other sewing events, I always bring a selection of rulers such as the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 24″ x 6½″, the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 12″ x 6½″, the Sew Easy Square Ruler – 6½″ x 6½″ and the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 14″ x 1″. With these four rulers in my kit, I’m able to work on any project I have planned.
Today, I’ll make 16 – 9½″ x 9½″ (unfinished) candy blocks. For these blocks, I’ll use the following two fabrics from the Whimsicals collection by Michael Miller Fabrics:
- Cute Critters – moon (DC9538)
- Favorite Flowers – metal (DC9529)
From the Cute Critters fabric, cut the following pieces:
- 36 – 3¼″ x 3¼″ squares
- 36 – 2½″ x 5½″ rectangles
- 36 – 2½″ x 7½″ rectangles
From the Favorite Flowers fabric, cut the following pieces:
- 18 – 5½″ x 5½″ squares
When designing a quilt block, I always look for a work-saving method for assembling the block. In planning this candy block, I found a way to assemble the block’s center while creating the block’s Half Square Triangles (HSTs) at the same time! Here’s how it’s done:
First, on the wrong sides of the 36 – 3¼″ x 3¼″ Cute Critters fabric squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Next, draw a parallel diagonal line ½″ away from the first line.
Then, with right sides together, place two of the 3¼″ x 3¼″ Cute Critters fabric squares on two opposite corners of each of the 5½″ x 5½″ squares. Ensure the smaller diagonal line you drew ½″ from the corner-to-corner diagonal line is closer to the outer corner.
For each set, sew a seam along all the drawn lines on both 3¼″ x 3¼″ squares. When all four seams are sewn, cut the corners away halfway between the two lines of stitching.
Flip the corners open and press.
Next, sew a 2½″ x 5½″ rectangle, right sides together, onto opposite sides of the block’s center 5½″ x 5½″ square and press.
Note: Ensure the rectangular pieces in this and the next two steps are sewn as shown!
With right sides together, sew an HST onto one short end of a 2½″ x 7½″ rectangular fabric piece.
Sew the combined 2½″ x 7½″ rectangle/HST units to the block center and press.
Repeat the above steps to make 15 more blocks for a total of 16 candy blocks. Sew the 16 blocks into pairs.
When the block’s various units started coming together, there was a bit of pressing to do. At home, I use my large Oliso Pro TG1600 Smart Iron and regular ironing board. But when I’m at a workshop, retreat or sew day – and even sometimes at home and working on a project that requires constant pressing – I’ve been known to use my Oliso M2Pro Mini Project Iron with a UNIQUE quilting Wool Pressing Mat. These two products are made for each other and, when you’re travelling and sharing workspace, they don’t take up much room at your workstation.
Tomorrow, I’ll demonstrate how to make the four lollipop blocks needed for the quilt.
I look forward to seeing you then!