Welcome to week #7 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along! My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy you've joined us for this 26-week sampler quilt event. I get comments from new SBS Makers everyday that they're just starting their blocks and sewing along--that's wonderful! If you're newly joining and want to start the sew along in chronological order and benefit from the in-blog tips and tutorials I post with each block, start with the first SBS post and work your way to the present. Each week we continue to build on our patchwork skills and grow as quilt makers. Let's get started on block #7--Dove in the Window. You can download the free PDF pattern from my Sew Along page.
Dove in the Window
This week's blog is all review and another opportunity to work on perfecting your patchwork skills. The two techniques used in this block are the 8-at-a-time HST units and the No-Waste Flying Geese units. Take a moment to go back and look at the tutorials for these techniques if you need a refresher.
I still want to stress the importance of sewing with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance. This, and cutting your pieces to accurate size to start is the foundation of any good patchwork. Review here.
Each week when a new block is released, I like to introduce ways for you to become a more independent quilt designer. Since this week doesn't require any new tutorials I thought I'd use it for what I like to call "Reading the Block". Many of you like to make your HST units larger and trim down, that's perfectly fine but it's important to know what size to trim down to or square up to--depending upon how you look at it. Review here.
Everything you need to know about what size the units are to be sewn or trimmed to can be found in the stand-alone pieces (not sewn into units). The 2-1/2" (cut size) squares and the 4-1/2" (cut size) center square are the clues in this block. Since the HST units need to be the same size as the square they are sewn to, then that means the HST units should measure 2-1/2" square once made and before sewing the block together. Same goes for the Flying Geese units. The short side is sewn to a HST unit or 2-1/2" square and the long side will be sewn to the 4-1/2" center square or next to another Flying Geese unit. So, the Flying Geese units should measure 2-1/2'' x 4-1/2'' before sewing the block together.
To figure the finished size of this block you need to think about the units/pieces as finished sizes (without the seam allowances). 2'' x 4 + 4'' = 12" square (finished) or 12-1/2" square because we still have the seam allowances to add back in around the outside edge of the block until it's sewn into a quilt top to be considered finished.
I'm sewing two SBS sampler quilts, the first one's made using my new Art Gallery Fabrics collection called Bountiful. This collection is now available at quilt shops! Visit my Shop Fabrics page for online shops that carry Bountiful as well my other AGF collections.
Block #7 is our first of five blocks that will not have frames. That's because this block will be 12-1/2'' and not need any frames to get it up to size. Many of you are still deciding on what fabric to use for frame on your other blocks and I totally get that. I will make one suggestion when planning your fabric pull for Dove in the Window and the other four 12-1/2" blocks without frames. Remember, this is just a suggestion, but think about the outside edge of this block as a frame. By using the same fabric you'd normally use on the frame (especially if it's all the same fabric block to block) it floats the patchwork design like a frame would a block and helps to unify the sampler. One of the big reasons I purposely chose to make blocks of different sizes and add frames is this floating feeling to add movement and interest to the finished quilt design. Not to mention give you a little wiggle room to get the blocks to the proper size. Dove in the Window has no wiggle room built in so you will want to be extra careful to use accurate seams when sewing.
The second SBS sampler quilt I'm making is from a curated selection of 20 prints pulled from my first four Art Gallery Fabrics collections: Gossamer, Sketchbook, Coastline, and Tapestry. For block #7, I decided to keep it light and airy and make the center of the block the same as the outside edges. To do this option, just roll fabric D cutting information into the fabric A cutting per the PDF instructions.
I also remade a new block #6--The Seasons because my five fabric version option 3 from last week seemed to overpower the look of the other blocks and I love the new option 4 fussy cut kitties center of the remade block.
My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the beautiful blocks being posted every week and the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilts, she's making two as well using her beautiful AGF fabric collections. Be sure to use the #SewcialBeeSampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!
Stop back here this Friday for our weekly Giveaway Friday! I'll be hosting the giveaway this week and we have a wonderful fabric bundle of Art Gallery Fabrics Tapestry fabrics from our generous sponsor The Fat Quarter Shop!