Friday, January 16, 2015

Charm Square Quilt Along Part 2, Sawtooth Block

Hello everyone!  It's time for the first block in our Charm Square Sampler Quilt Along.

Charm Square Sampler Quilt Along

To get fabric requirements and ideas, click HERE.

Just so you know where we're headed, I've organized this QAL according to which block I think is easiest and progresses to the most difficult (the spinning centers).  I chose the sawtooth block as #1 as its layout is the most straight forward, with all HSTs  facing the same direction.  Once this block is learned, all of the pressing and seam direction tricks apply to all the blocks to create sharp points.


This tutorial assumes that your half-square triangles (HSTs) are already sewn.  To sew them as you go, view the tutorial HERE.


Make sure to follow the previous tutorial to sew your HSTs.  To ensure variety when using a charm pack, I separate my charm pack into different colors and then rotate each pile as I go along.  That way I get random placement of colors selection in my blocks.

Quite the pile of HSTs.

Layout all of your HSTs, referring to the quilt diagram for HST placement. 
I like to chain-sew my blocks into columns, without cutting the threads.  This helps maintain proper HST orientation when I go to the sewing machine.  This will be particularly important as we get to blocks with more varied  HST orientation.  Starting in the upper left-hand  corner, create pairs.  I flip the top block in column 2 on top of the top block in column 1, then progress down the column in pairs.  By using columns, the pairs go into the sewing machine with the same orientation on the block layout.
Remember when using charm squares, the 1/4 seam is from the inside pinked edge of the fabric, not the outside.

Trick--I do not cut threads in sewing pairs.  This chain-piecing is really valuable.  It keeps my block placement and my HST orientation correct.

Press seams open in opposite directions.  Odd rows to the right and evens to the left.  Do not clip threads.

Now flip column 3 HSTs on top of column 2 HSTs.
Layering column 3 on top of column 2. 
Chain sew the next column on without clipping seams.  When column 3 is completed, sew column 4 on top of row 3.
Threads are still attached--not clipped.  This trick keeps your rows in alignment.  It saves time and will allow the seams to nest, reducing bulk in the seam and saving your points.  Notice that the seams my fingers are touching are going in opposite directions, allowing rows to nest.
After the 4 columns are sewn, it is important to ensure rows are pressed in opposite directions--odds to the right evens to the left (or vice versa...whichever you choose, stick to it).

Pressing rows in opposite directions allows seams to next.

The un-clipped chain-sewn threads help to align the rows to be sewn.   I pin through the sharp apex in between the seams, and ensure seam nesting as shown in the above photo.

The highlighted lines are to show you where the seams are.  To ensure the point does not get blunted, make sure the needle of your sewing machine goes right through that point (or even just to the outside of the seam-line).  "X marks the spot!"
Here you go....block one--a Sawtooth  block.
 Enjoy!

Share your progress:

flickr group HERE