Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
MQN Mystery Quilt - Putting Your Blocks Together

Last year, I completed a mystery quilt with my Michigan Quilt Network Region 3 group. The block was revealed as Godey's Lady Book block. Did you finish all your Mystery Blocks? How about putting them together? If you are still waiting to set together your blocks, here’s the layout that I planned.

My layout is set on the diagonal, so let’s begin by cutting out side setting and corner setting triangles. I used the instructions in Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guile to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes, to determine the size and number of triangles needed. The dark fabric number one works well to contrast with the warm colors in the quilt. You will need 1-1/8 yard of fabric for the larger quilt and 1 yard of fabric for the smaller quilt. I used a black muslin, since I have been using up fabric stash and did not have an adequate amount left over.

Lay your blocks out onto a flat surface or design wall. For the Crib/Lap size quilt, you will have eight blocks and will place them in four diagonal rows, one block in rows one and four, and three blocks in rows two and three. You will need six side setting and four corner setting triangles to complete the quilt top.

Here you can see how the smaller quilt will look. The larger quilt has eighteen blocks and requires two additional diagonal rows with five blocks in the center two rows. The larger quilt requires ten side setting and four corner setting triangles to complete the quilt.

To make the side setting triangles, measure a block on the diagonal. Add two inches to this measurement. I rounded my number up to the nearest whole number, to avoid working with fractions. Cut 3 (2) squares to this size. Cut the squares across the diagonal in both directions, making four triangles. Because each square makes four side setting triangles, you will have extra triangles leftover. Don't fret about this, just put them into your scrap stash. Lay the side setting triangles along the edge of the quilt, placing the bias edge against the block and the straight or cross grain edge of the triangle as the outside edge of the quilt center.

To make the corner setting triangles, use the finished block size and add 1-1/2 inches. Cut 2 (2) squares to this size. Cut the squares across the diagonal in just one direction, to make two half square triangles. Lay these triangles at each of the corners of the quilt. Now, you are ready to begin putting your quilt together.

Sew the blocks together in diagonal rows with the side setting triangles at either end of the row. Row one has one block with a side setting triangle on either side.

Make Row 2 by stitching together three blocks and adding side setting triangles to either end of the row. You will notice that the triangles are turned in opposite directions. I like to keep the quilt laid out, and pick up each section as I sew. Then, I do not accidentally lay the pieces together incorrectly.

The smaller quilt will have only three blocks in Row 3, while the larger quilt will have five blocks. Here, you can see the first three rows laid out prior to stitching. To complete the smaller quilt, prepare the last row with one block and two side setting triangles, just as you did Row 1. For the larger quilt, you will repeat the first three rows, but in the opposite direction. Row 4 has five blocks, Row 5 has three blocks, and Row 6 has one block.

Press all seams away from the blocks. Stitch all the rows together. Then, add the corner setting triangles, centering them on the block. To center the corner triangle, fold the triangles across the longest side and finger press the center. Line up this pressed mark with the center seam of the block. Be sure the that triangle points extend beyond the block edge by at least a quarter inch.

The quilt is partially put together in this photo. Since my side setting triangles were cut larger than needed, there is extra fabric beyond the corners of the blocks. Square up your quilt, cutting away this extra fabric, to the quarter inch width needed for seams, when attaching borders.

Borders and finishing of the quilt will be the last installment of this mystery quilt.

Happy Stitching!

Published Sun, Jan 13 2013 4:05 PM by Pamela