Road Trip Quilt Along: West Virginia

Well, road trippers, this is THE END.  The very last of 16 state blocks.  It’s been quite a journey.  Finish this one up, and then it time to head home, unpack and sleep in your own bed.  And by that I mean, make something out of these 16 blocks (or however many you finished).

I’ve been looking forward to this last block since the very beginning because I thought that it looked amazing on paper.  It looks pretty awesome in fabric form as well!  I am going to give directions for a method that involves a lot of little half square triangles (1-1/2 inches a side, finished), but there is a different method at Bella Online if you want to check that out as well.

I’ve seen this one with 3 focus fabrics in addition to the background fabric.  That results in the appearance of an on-point square framing the center 8-point star.

I’m going to just use two focus fabrics and continue with my background fabric where the 3rd fabric would be so that the star really stands out.

Cutting directions for West Virginia quilt block

(4) 3.5 squares [background fabric][or fabric 3, if you’re using the first design option]
(8) 2 inch squares [background fabric]
(16) 2.5 inch squares [background fabric]

(12) 2.5 inch squares [fabric 1]

(12) 2.5 inch squares [fabric 2]

Constructing West Virginia quilt block

Begin by making a whole pile of HSTs, using all the 2.5 inch squares.  Match 8 of the 2.5 inch squares of background fabric with eight 2.5 inch squares of fabric 1.  Match the other eight 2.5 inch squares of background fabric with eight 2.5 inch squares of fabric 2.

The remaining 4 squares of [fabric 1] will each be matched with one of the remaining 4 squares of [fabric 2].

Sew the squares together as we’ve done in the past to make HSTs, cut them apart on the center line, iron open (directions for half square triangles in the Maryland block, if you need a refresher).  Trim each of the FORTY half square triangles to 2 inches.  Phew!

Okay.  Now lay out all the pieces of your block in the correct arrangement and begin sewing pairs of 2-inch squares together.  This is an excellent opportunity for chain piecing! Just pair the squares, line them up, and run them through your sewing machine!

I forgot to take a picture before I began sewing the squares together, but here’s what my block looked like after the first pass of chain piecing pairs.

I’m not going to tell you the exact order in which to put your pieces together at this point because there are about a bajillion different ways it could be done.  I am going to recommend this: since there are so many seams, sew the block together in several sections.  Trim the sections to the correct size and then sew the sections together.  This will prevent little discrepancies in your seam allowances from multiplying into big discrepancies at the whole block level.

I trimmed when I had 6 sections.  The four corner sections were trimmed to 6.5 inches x 5 inches.  The two center sections were trimmed to to 6.5 inches x 3.5 inches

Sew the sections together and trim your block to 12.5 inches.

And hey!  Look at that!  We have finished ALL 16 STATE BLOCKS!

I made 4 of my blocks with a yellow background, so I think that my final arrangement will have them going across the quilt from corner to corner.  Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up re-doing Pennsylvania.  I already re-did it once because version one was just way too busy.  I thought that the toned down version (which I still didn’t love, even from when I first made it) would grow on me, and/or be fine as part of the whole quilt, but it’s not the case.  It still makes me cringe a little.  Third time’s the charm?

Come back next week for a little giveaway for anyone who has completed 8 blocks.  Extra entry if you’ve finished all 16.  I’ll leave the giveaway open for a week, so you have two weeks from now to finish everything up.


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