The Most Important Tip of All
Starch your fabric very well BEFORE you cut the squares. When the block is completed, all of the outer edges will be on the bias, and nobody has fun with that!
Quilter’s Moonshine is a homemade spray starch alternative. It works for most general quilting though it might not make the fabric stiff enough for this project. Here’s the recipe:
- Pour 4 Tablespoons of cheap vodka (potato is best, but it’s not cheap!)
- and 2 Tablespoons of liquid starch in a 24-28 oz. spray bottle.
- Fill remainder of bottle with distilled water.
Best Press or spray sizing are also options.
Tip #3 Printing
If you haven’t already printed the pattern – it’s only necessary to print pages 2 & 3. No need to use the extra ink if you don’t have to!
Tip #4 Marking the Pattern Sheets
Once you’ve decided what size block you want to make, circle it on your ‘Alternate Sizes’ sheet and write at the top -in big letters- the size of the cuts you need to make (so for a 12” finished block, you’d write 2¾”). ALSO on the ‘main’ instructions, cross out wherever it says to make a 2” mark (on page 3, the one with all of the diagrams). Write in the size of cuts (2¾” in the example) every place you crossed out 2” on the page.
Tip #5 Marking the Squares
When you’re making the marks on your squares, it’s helpful to put a pin close to them so you don’t get carried away. (That’s the voice of experience talking there)
Tip #6 Sewing the Edges of the Squares
When sewing around the edges of the block, the instructions say to pivot at the corners. You’ll get a more accurate ¼” if you sew off the edge of the block and then begin your next seam at the edge of the block, instead of pivoting.
Tip #7 Measure Twice, Cut Once
Okay, it’s almost time to make those cuts. You’ve made the diagonal cut and stacked the two triangles together. When you lay your ruler on the fabric to make the next cut (2¾” in the example), make sure before you cut that the ¼” line on your ruler is on your seam/thread line. If your seam is fat or skinny (more or less than ¼”), fix it first, or it will be difficult to fit all of the pieces together easily.
Tip #8 Everything In Its Place
Sew the little 4-patch first. Don’t press the long skinny pieces! Just gently finger-press them (or hold them open with whatever’s handy) and lay them out around the 4-patch. Notice the placement of the dark fabrics – it makes a difference! There are two long skinny pieces with the dark on the left and two with the dark on the right. Lay them out as shown.