Road Trip Quilt Along: Illinois

Sorry, road trippers.  I’m a little bit late on the tutorial this week.  Looks like we had a leisurely breakfast, and we’re getting on the road late!

This week, we’re heading to Illinois, which is my home state, so of course I have a fondness for it.  When my husband and I were still dating, this is what he said the first time he came to visit me, driving north through Illinois: “Corn!  All I saw for 5 hours was corn!”  I promise there is a lot more to the state than corn, though that definitely dominates the landscape in much of the state.

There are several variations of the Illinois quilt block, I found this one at Quilter’s Cache.  Looking at it now, it seems I reversed the direction of the half square triangle pieces in the corners, but the beauty of quilting is that is open to your creative interpretation!

Cutting directions for Illinois quilt block

For the center:
(1) 3-3/8 inch square [Fabric 1]
(2) 3 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make (4) triangles [Background fabric]

Flying Geese:
(2) 5.25 inch squares [Fabric 1]
(8) 3 inch squares [Background fabric]

Half square triangles:
(2) 5 inch squares [Fabric 2]
(2) 5 inch squares [Background fabric]

Since we have already made the three components of this block in our other state blocks, I’m not going to go in to detail about how to construct them.

1.  Put the center square in a square together.

Simply sew the long edge of each of the triangles to one side of the 3-3/8 inch square.  The center of this block is the same has the Pennsylvania Parade block. Trim to 4.5 inches.

2.  Construct (8) Flying geese pieces.

If you need a refresher, head on back to that Pennsylvania block for directions. Trim each flying goose to 4.5 x 2.5 inches.

3.  Construct (4) corner squares of half square triangles.

If you don’t recall how to make half square triangles, head back to Maryland when we first made them.

And that’s it!  Arrange the pieces as shown below.  Sew the pieces into rows.  Sew the rows together.  Trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Illinois joins her other friendly state blocks: Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

 

 

Road Trip Quilt Along: Indiana Puzzle

Indiana! I can’t say that I’ve spent a lot of time in Indiana, but I’ve certainly driven through it enough times. There’s really no way around Indiana when driving from Connecticut (where we used to live) or Virginia (where we currently live) to Illinois (where my parents live.

My good friend Bradley has an unsavory nickname for the state, but I maintain it’s not so bad. It does make me prickle that it is illegal for a certified midwife to practice there, but my husband and I actually considered moving to a little town called Culver.

I found the Indian puzzle block here.  The block itself is pretty easy to put together:  It’s just 8 half square triangle blocks and the center square on point.  The tricky part is matching up the correct fabrics for your half square triangles.

I must admit: I’m surprised by how much I like this block.  I think it turned out really pretty. 

I recommend drawing the block out and labeling which fabric you will use for each part of the block.  You will need 4 fabrics for this one (3 + background color).

Fabric 1: Background (white) = solid gray
Fabric 2: Star points (yellow) = dark gray circles
Fabric 3: Center square + outside 1 (purple) = yellow floral
Fabric 4: Outside 2 (green) = white with yellow flower

Cutting directions for Indiana Puzzle block:

Center square:
Fabric 3: (1) 3-3/8 inch square
Fabric 1: (2) 3.25 inch square, cut on diagonal to make 4 triangles

Half Square Triangles:
From each of the 4 fabrics, cut (2) 5-inch squares

First, let’s construct the center square.  I didn’t take a picture, but it’s exactly the same as the center square on the Pennsylvania Parade block.  Simply place the long edge of one of the triangles along one edge of the 3-3/8 inch square.  Sew with 1/4 inch inseam.  Iron open.  Repeat for the remaining 3 triangles.  Trim the center square to 4.5 inches.

Match up your fabric for your half square triangles:
Fabric 1 + Fabric 3
Fabric 1 + Fabric 4
Fabric 2 + Fabric 3
Fabric 2 + Fabric 4

We’ve made enough half square triangles that you should be an ol’ pro at this point, right?  Draw a line from corner to corner.  Sew a line 1/4 inch from each side of the line.

Cut the squares apart on the line you drew.  Iron open.  Trim each square to 4.5 inches.

Arrange your block as shown below.  Sew the squares into rows.  Sew the rows together.  Ta da!

Indiana joins her friends from the road trip!  Next week: Illinois!

P.S.  I’m thinking of adding an incentive of a fabric prize if you complete all/most of the blocks.  What do you think?  Would that inspire you to join me?

Road Trip Quilt Along: Ohio Star

I have been scarce on the interwebs this week, and that’s pretty clear as indicated by how few visitors I have had to my little blog space this week.  If I’m not here, though, I can’t really expect anyone else to be, can I?

This week, our block for the Road Trip Quilt Along is the Ohio Star, which is actually pretty easy.  A welcome change from the last couple weeks, right?

On our real life road trip, Ohio was my family’s first overnight stop.  We visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park and hiked to the lovely Brandywine Falls.

Cutting Directions:

Center: (1) 4.5 inch square
Corners: (4) 4.5 squares (background fabric)
Quarter square triangles: (2) 5.25 inch squares (background fabric)
(2) 5.25 inch squares (star points)

 

The only part of this block that requires additional instruction are the quarter square triangles, but they shouldn’t give you much trouble.

Place one of the 5.25 inch squares of background fabric right sides together with one of the 5.25 inch squares for your star points.  Do the same with the other pair.

Draw a line from corner to corner.  Sew a line 1/4 inch from each side of your drawn line

Cut the piece apart on the line you drew.  You will have four squares composed of half square triangles.  Iron the squares open.

Cut the squares in half perpendicular to the line between the two fabrics.

Rearrange the halves so that the two colors in each square are up against the other color.

Sew the two pieces back together.  Trim the squares to 4.5 inches.

Arrange your block as shown below.  Sew the pieces into rows, then sew the rows together.

Easy, right?  You should probably make two!  And now we are 1/4 of the way through our 16 block quilt along!  Here’s Ohio with Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

 

Road Trip Quilt Along: Pennsylvania Parade

Pennsylvania is a long state and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is rather expensive.  And why is there always construction in Pennsylvania?  Always!  Also, the Penguins totally choked in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.  But let’s make the Pennsylvania Parade quilt block, shall we?

Note: I used a checked fabric instead of the gray background fabric when I wrote the tutorial.  I decided the block was “too busy” so I redid it using the gray.

Cutting directions:

Fabric 1: (4) 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch rectangles

Flying geese:

Fabric 1: (1) 5.25 inch square
Fabric 2 (background): (4) 3-inch squares

Corners:

Fabric 1: (1) 5.25 inch square
Fabric 2: (1) 5.25 inch square
Fabric 3: (2) 5-inch square, cut once on diagonal

Center Square:

Fabric 3: (1) 3-3/8 inch square
Fabric 2: (2) 3.25 inch square, cut on diagonal

First create the center square.  This is pretty self explanatory, so I’m just going to sum up.  Send me an email or leave a comment if you have specific questions.  You have four triangles (the two squares you cut on the diagonal) and one 3-3/8 inch square.  Line up the long side of a triangle with an edge of the square and sew with 1/4 inch inseam.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Iron the triangles open.  Sew the two remaining triangles to the two remaining edges of the square.  Trim the center square to 4.5 inches.

How to construct the flying geese

We will use the same method to construct the flying geese as we did for the Virginia Star.

Place two of the smaller squares on top of the larger square, right sides together.  Line up the small squares in opposite corners of the larger square.  Draw a line from point to point through the small squares.

Sew a line of stitches 1/4 inch away from the center line on each side of the line.  Cut the pieces apart on the line,  Iron the small triangles away from the larger piece.

Line up each of the two remaining small squares on one of the remaining corners of the large square.  Draw a line from corner to corner on the small square, beginning between the two small triangles.  Stitch a line of stitches 1/4 inch to each side of the line, cut apart on the line.

Iron open the final small triangle.  Trim the geese to 2.5 inches x 4.5 inches.  Attach one of the 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch rectangles to each of the flying geese (not pictured).

How to construct the corner squares

Begin as you would for a half square triangle.  Place two of the 5.25 inch squares right sides together.  Draw a line from corner to corner.

Sew a line 1/4 inch on each side of the line.  Cut the piece apart on the line.  Iron the square open.  Cut in half on the diagonal, in the opposite direction of the line that divided the two fabrics.

You now have (4) triangles composed of two fabrics each.  Match each one with one of the triangles that resulted from cutting the 5-inch squares apart.

Place right sides together and sew along the long edge.  Iron open.  Trim to 4.5 inches.

Arrange the pieces as shown below.  Sew the blocks into rows, then sew the rows together.

As I mentioned, the block above is too busy.  Here’s the redo, with her friends Virginia and Maryland.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland [Part 2]

Let’s finish up that quilt block for Maryland.  I originally came across this design at Quilters Corner Club.  The color placement is a bit different there than my finished block, so you can check that out for another option.  We started with the four paper pieced sections in Maryland Part 1.  Now, let’s finish the block!

Here are the cutting directions copied from Part 1:

You can start out by cutting out (8) squares from your background fabric that are 2-15/16 inches.

Center: (1) 2-15/16 inch square

For the four (4) paper pieced sections: middle piece: (4) 2-15/16 squares
For the background: (8) 3-inch x 1.75-inch rectangles.

Half square triangles: Four (4), 3.5-inch squares background fabric
Four (4), 3.5 inch squares, accent fabric (the outer star points).

Quarter square triangles: (1) 3.75-inch square (to match center); (1) 3.75-inch square to match the star points; (2) 3.75-inch square.

The half square triangles (HSTs) are located around each corner and come together really easily.

Place the two 3.5 inch squares of fabric for the HSTs right sides together and draw a line from corner to corner.

Sew a line of stitches 1/4 inches to each side of that drawn line.

Cut down the line and iron the HST open.

Trim to 2-15/16 inches.

The quarter square triangles that surround the center of the block being the same way as the HSTs.  Place the 3.75-inch squares right sides together.  Draw a line from corner to corner.  Sew a line of stitches 1/4 inch away from the line on each side.  Cut down the line.  Iron open.

Now, line up your ruler perpendicular to the sewn line and cut from corner to corner.

Arrange your pieces so that the quarter square triangles look as they do in my picture below.

Sew the quarter square triangles together and trim to 2-15/16 inches.

All pieces are complete.  Arrange your block.  Sew the pieces together into rows and then sew the rows together.

Virginia and Maryland together.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland [Part 1]

Hello road trippers!  Seat belts fastened?  We’re supposed to be heading to Maryland today, however, I’m writing this Thursday night and I’m about to take my sister out to celebrate the last days of her single life over a bottle of wine and it seems I won’t finish the entire block before tomorrow.  I’ll post Monday, but let’s get started today.

Maryland is a little tricky for a 12-inch block because it is essentially divided into a 5×5 grid.  Twelve does not divide very evenly by 5 so there will be a little bit of approximating going on here.  [By the way, if there are any more experienced quilters out there who have a better way of doing this, please let me know!]

[WARNING: Math ahead!  Proceed slowly!]

We are going to pretend that each of the 25 squares that this block breaks down into are 2-7/16 inches, square.  That means, with seam allowances, we will trim to 2-15/16 inches.  Thus, if all seam allowances are correct, the finished block with be 12-11/16 inches.  Since we trim to 12.5 inches, there will be an extra 3/16 inch we have to remove.  If you make your seam allowances just a hair larger than exactly 1/4 inch, the finished block will be even closer to the desired size.

Cutting directions

You can start out by cutting out (8) squares from your background fabric that are 2-15/16 inches.

Center: (1) 2-15/16 inch square

For the four (4) paper pieced sections: middle piece: (4) 2-15/16 squares
For the background: (8) 3-inch x 1.75-inch rectangles.

Half square triangles: Four (4), 3.5-inch squares background fabric
Four (4), 3.5 inch squares, accent fabric (the outer star points).

Quarter square triangles: (1) 3.75-inch square (to match center); (1) 3.75-inch square to match the star points; (2) 3.75-inch square.

Part 1 Directions

We are going to make the 4 paper pieces parts of this block today.

To make the template for the paper pieced portion, first draw out a 2-7/16-inch square on freezer paper (or regular paper if you don’t have freezer paper).  Fold the square in half to find the center.  Draw a line from the bottom left corner to the center of the top line.  Draw a line from the bottom right corner to the center of the top line.

Add a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around this paper pieced portion.

Iron the freezer paper to the fabric that will be the center of this portion of this section.  [If you don’t have freezer paper and you are using regular paper, you can just pin.]  The wrong side of the fabric will be ironed to the waxy side of the freezer paper.

Fold the paper back along one of the diagonal lines and trim the fabric to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.

Line up one of the 3-inch x 1.75-inch background pieces with the edge.  Sew very close to the paper without actually piercing the paper with the needle.

Flip the paper back open and iron the background piece open away from the center.

Repeat for the other side.  Fold the paper back along the diagonal line.  Trim to 1/4 inch away fro the fold.  Line up the background fabric with the raw edge.  Sew very close to the paper in the fold without piercing the paper.

Repeat for all four pieces and trim to 2-15/16 inches.

Maryland quilt block part 2 here.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia

Ah!  The Virginia star!  The block of that state we currently call home, and the state that we are saying good-bye to for 2 months tomorrow!!!  We will never be ready in time!

The Virginia star is pretty basic as far as star blocks go, but I think it is quite pretty.  When I was researching a state block for Virginia, I discovered there are quite a lot of variations of this block out there.  I was inspired by this one at Scraps and Threadtales, with a square set on point in the center of the block.

Supplies for the Virginia Star block:

Working from the inside of the block to the outside:

1. Center fabric:
(1) 6.5 inch square.  I cut the square at 6.5 inches and then trimmed the corners, but if you want, you could just cut a 4-7/8 square.
2.   Background fabric for the center:
(2) 4.25-inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make 4 triangles.  These are larger than you need, but I prefer to cut a bit larger and then trim to size.
3.  Flying geese:
(1) 7.25-inch square for the middle of the geese.  I used my background fabric (the solid gray)
(4)  4-inch squares for the star points
4.  Corners of the block:
(4) 3.5-inch squares of background fabric.

Before we begin, a note about seam allowances:

This is important.  All seam allowances are 1/4-inch.  Do not be generous with your seam allowances.  If you make your seam allowance too wide, you will get to the end and find that your block is smaller than the desired 12.5 inches.  That would be a bummer.  So, check your seam allowances with a ruler and make sure they are 1/4-inch, or just a hair smaller.  ‘Tis easier to trim off a bit of extra fabric than to rip out a seam and start over.

Directions for constructing the Virginia Star

On the reverse side of the 6.5-inch square of fabric for the middle of the star, draw a line with chalk pencil or disappearing marker 1/4-inch to the inside of the square.  This line represents the finished size of the center of the star.

Find the mid-point of each side and draw a diagonal line to the mid-point of the adjacent side, forming the on point square that will be the center of the block.

Trim off the corner 1/4 inch to the outside of the 4 diagonal lines you drew.

With the right sides of the fabric together, line up the edge of one of those diagonal you just cut with the long side of one of the triangles of background fabric for the center of the star.

Sew along the line you drew.

Repeat for the opposite side and press pieces open.

Line up the two remaining triangles with the two remaining exposed edges.  Sew along the diagonal lines you drew.  Press the pieces open and trim your center piece to 6.5-inches square.

Now to make the flying geese.

When making four geese for a star block such as this, I prefer to use the “magic method” I learned in the Skill Builder Sampler.

With right sides of fabric together, lay out (2) of the squares of fabric you will be using for the star points with opposite corners of the 7.25-inch square of background fabric for the center of the flying geese.

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  You can put a pin in each square if you want, but I just held them in place.

Sew a line of stitches 1/4-inch on each side of the line you drew.

Cut the square apart on the line.

Iron the smaller triangles to the side.  I like to just lift the tip with my iron and press them out of the way.

Line up one of the remaining square for the star points with the remaining exposed corners of the background square (now a triangle).  Again, draw a line from corner to corner and sew a line of stitches 1/4-inch away from the line on each side.  Cut the pieces apart on the line.

Iron the remaining triangle open and trim the 4 geese to 3.5 x 6.5 inches.

Lay out your block using the center piece, the flying geese you just made and the 4 corner blocks.  Sew the rows together and then put the block together.

Caution: Because of the extra square in the center, the seams at those points where the on point square meets the flying geese are rather bulky.  Just go slowly and it will work out!

Ooh aaahh!  So pretty!!  

Hey look! Remember how I said those seams were a little bulky?  Yep, my block doesn’t lay quilt flat.  That’s okay.  I’m sure you won’t even notice in the finished product.

Also, my points don’t line up perfectly.  I don’t really mind.  I LOVE how this block turned out.

We’ll miss you Virginia!

So, are you going to try this block?  I hope you do!  Go post yours in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr Group!

The journey continues next week as we head to Maryland.  If you have freezer paper, we’re going to use it to make a template for a tiny paper pieced portion of the block.  We only need a 3-inch square, so if you don’t have it, we’ll just use regular paper and pin it to the fabric.

Pack your bags for a Summer Road Trip Quilt Along

Confession: I’m really not sure what I’m getting myself into here.  This is the first time I’m jumping into the deep end and attempting to host a quilt along.  I’m a bit scared, to tell you the truth.

But hey!  I’m trying to be all official and stuff.  I made a blog button!  (Do you like it?)

You can grab yourself one for your blog from my sidebar over there.

And there’s a Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group.  I’d love it if you would come over and join.

Here’s what’s going on.  This summer my family will be traveling through the country on an Epic Road Trip Adventure.  We’ll leave home in Virginia the beginning of June, head to my sister’s wedding in Illinois, travel to Montana where my husband will defend his Master’s thesis, stop off in Denver to visit some friends, and finally return home via my in-laws’ house in St. Louis.  Phew!  It’s exhausting just typing that!  In all, we’ll be driving a cross country loop through 16 different states.

I’ll have my new friend Trixie along for the ride and since each state in the United States has an associated quilt block (often more than one) I thought it might be fun to make a travel quilt with blocks representing the states we travel through.  Then I wondered if perhaps there were some other quilters out there who might like to join in the fun and I decided to start a quilt along.

So, I hope there are some other quilters out there who will quilt along with me!  Are you in?  (At the very least, maybe I can count on my mother?)

I’ve sketched out the blocks we’ll tackle on the journey.

The trip kicks off May 31st with Virginia and I will make my best attempt to post a block a week after that.  Here’s the schedule:

May 31st: Virginia
June 8th: Maryland
June 15th: Pennsylvania
June 22nd: Ohio
June 29th: Indiana
July 6th:  Illinois
July 13th: Iowa
July 20th: Minnesota
July 27th: South Dakota
August 3rd: Wyoming
August 10th: Montana
August 17th: Colorado
August 24th: Kansas
August 31st: Missouri
September 7th: Kentucky
September 14th: West Virginia

And then we’ve returned home to Virginia!