Spectrum QAL 2020 Block 12: Blue Stitch collection by Riley Blake Designs

Technically, this is the last block for the Spectrum QAL. Because of my on-point setting, I’ll need one more block, which I’ll be choosing in my next blog post. I’m so excited to get here because it means that I’ll soon be sewing the quilt top together. I’m using the gorgeous Blue Stitch Collection by Riley Blake Designs, and I can’t wait to see the quilt top together!

Spectrum QAL 2020 Block 12

So, without further ado, here are the cutting instructions for Block 12.

Note that my fabrics are labeled for each block, NOT for the entire quilt. I’m picking fabrics for each block as I go.

Fabric A Background (white with blue squares)

  • Cut four (4) squares at 2”
  • Cut four (4) squares at 2⅝” (square in a square)
  • Cut eight (8) rectangles at 2” x 3½” (flying geese)
  • Cut four (4) rectangles at 2” x 3½”

Fabric B Medium blue with flowers

  • Cut sixteen (16) squares at 2” (flying geese)
  • Cut eight (8) squares at 2⅜” (square in a square)

Fabric C Dark blue with white

  • Cut four (4) squares at 3½”

Fabric D White with flowers

  • Cut one (1) square at 3½”

There are different ways to construct the components in this block. For instance, four half-square triangles or two flying geese units would also make a square in a square. My preference is to go with fewer seams.

Let’s start with the square in a square unit. Cut the Fabric B squares (2⅜”) in half on the diagonal to get 16 triangles.

Block 12 – Fabric B squares (2⅜”) cut in half on the diagonal

When I cut out the fabrics, I like to position them as they appear in the block, so I know that I’ve cut everything, and I can easily see the value and color contrast within the quilt block. Did you notice there are NO half-square triangles in this block?!

The components for Block 12

Using Fabric A and Fabric B, make eight (8) flying geese units. You can refer back to Block One if you need a refresher.

Don’t forget to check the size of the units to ensure they measure 2” x 3½”. Sometimes, I need to trim a wee bit off the sides.

Checking the size of the flying geese unit for Block 12

As I finish the units, I place them back in the position on the block. This way, I can see if something goes missing, and that I’m getting the value and color contrast that I desire in the block.

The Block 12 layout after the flying geese units are made.

The next step is to make four (4) square-in-a-square units using the sixteen (16) triangles of Fabric B and the Fabric A squares.

Step one is to match the center of one side of the background square with the center of the long side of the Fabric B triangle. The easiest way is to fold the fabrics in half and pinch-press them. Match the pinch presses and sew the seam. Note the size of the dog ears that hang over the edges. Don’t be alarmed – you need those dog ears!

Matching the pinch-presses on the edges of the triangle and the square

Sew two triangles to opposite sides and press away from the square. You want to trim those dog ears away on both sides.

Trimming the dog ears from the first two seams of the square in a square

Now repeat the process with two more Fabric B triangles on the other two sides of the background square. The size of the dog ear is much smaller now, and it’s supposed to be like that. The ¼” seam allowance should be starting and ending at the intersections of the two fabrics. Press all seams away from the center.

Adding the other triangles to the square in a square unit for Block 12

Once all four triangles are attached to the background square, it’s time to square the unit up. It should measure 3½”. This doesn’t always work out exactly but try to ensure that you have ¼” beyond the points along each side so you’ll have points on your square in a square unit.

Squaring up the square in a square unit

Here’s one last look at the block before I start to sew it together. Yep – I like the way it looks, so I’m sewing it together.

The units for Block 12 are now ready to sew together.

I thought of numerous ways to press this block, but there was always going to be some bulk around the star points. I decided to stick with what I know, and I sewed the units together in four patches to twirl the seams on the back.

The units of Block 12 are sewn together into four-patches

Next, I sewed those four-patches together, and before I knew it, the block was complete. Yes, I twirled all the seams as I went along.

Block 12 of the Spectrum QAL 2020!

Here’s the back of the block so you can see my twirled seams.

The back of Block 12 of the Spectrum QAL 2020

Here’s a close-up of the twirled seams. You should be an expert at it by now. Do you remember why we twirl the seams? To help reduce the bulk in some of those intersections and distribute the seam allowances to make the block look balanced on the front.

A close-up of the twirled seams for Block 12

It’s also a block where you NEED to manipulate the seams and intersections with your finger/thumb as you’re pressing. I finger-press FIRST, and I can get somewhat aggressive with that step. Then I set the seam with a steam iron. You’d be surprised how many points you can save by manipulating it with your fingers.

Finger-pressing the intersection when pressing with a steam iron

And there it is – Block 12 is complete. My blocks, made from the Blue Stitch collection by Riley Blake Designs, are looking fantastic. If you’re not going to use the on-point setting, then your blocks are done! Next week, I’ll select which block to remake to get that 13th block. The big reveal is in June, and I can’t wait to see what Claire and Paul have done with their quilts. Join the fun!

Have a great day!


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