Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rocky Mountain Puzzle Block

I'm a member of Hive 5 of the Newbee Quilter's bee over on threadbias and after much anticipation, it is finally my month to be queen. :) I went back and forth on my block choice and finally settled on the Rocky Mountain Puzzle Block. Of course, just to be difficult, I altered the measurements a bit to suit me and so thought it would be best to make a tutorial. This is my first time writing out a sewing tutorial, so bear with me, ok?

Rocky Mountain Puzzle Block

Cutting Instructions:

-Background fabric:      two 3 1/2" squares
                                      five 4 1/8" squares*
-Main fabric (fuchsia):  five 4 1/8" squares*
-Frame fabric (turquoise): two 1 1/4" x 5" rectangles
                                          two 1 1/4" x 6 1/2" rectangles
-Center Accent fabric: one 5" square

*Depending on how comfy you are with making HST units, you may want to increase or decrease the size of these squares. 4 1/8" should give you some wiggle room for squaring the units up to 3 1/2".

Assemble Quilt Block Center:

1. Sew a 1 1/4" x 5" bar to opposite sides of the 5" square as shown. Press seams away from the center.

2. Sew a 1 1/4" x 6 1/2" bar to the remaining opposite sides of the center square unit. Press seams away from the center.

The center block unit should measure 6 1/2" square. Set aside and move on to making your HST units.
Half-Square Triangle Units:

1. Use your 4 1/8" background and main fabric squares to make 10 HST units. If you need a good tutorial with lots of pictures, I found this one pretty helpful. Press seams towards the dark fabric and trim to 3 1/2" square.

Helpful hint for getting text prints or other directional prints to all go the same way: Lay your print in front of you the way that you want it to look on the finished block. Pinch the upper left corner and flip the fabric over so that your pinched portion is now on the upper right. Draw your sewing line from the upper right to the lower left. If your second fabric is also a directional print, then make sure you stack them so the print is going in the same direction on each when you layer them with fabric #1. Do this with each square and once sewn, they should all run in the correct direction. 

Assembling the Block:

Layout your assembled pieces as shown.

 1. Sew together one 3 1/2" background square and three HST units to make your top row. Do the same for the bottom row.

Note that pressing the two seams on each end of the row away from the middle seam will make them nest nicely with the middle row when you get to sewing that part together.

2. Sew two HST units together to make the right side, repeat for the left side. Press.

3. Sew rows together to complete the block. Press. The block should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".

Some other examples:

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


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