Block Party 2017 - Tips for Block 1

Welcome to Block Party 2017!  The theme this is year is Cookie Exchange.  We have three color choices for you.  We call them Ginger Snaps, Lemon Bars, and Oatmeal Cookies--and they are yummy!

All the blocks this year will be stars.  We are grateful to Jeanne Poore for designing these as she has been for the last 15 or so years.  She chooses the fabrics then supervises the preparation of these kits--about 350 of them each month.

Carefully read the pattern instructions and remember: measure twice, cut once.  The fabric in the kit is presented in the order in which it is used; from the back to the front.  This will help you to know which fabric is background (that one is usually obvious), which is medium and which is dark.  One tip: "dark" is not always the darkest print, so don't go by color or shade.

I'm going to share a few tips with you here to help make your first block successful.

First of all, spray starch your fabrics before you begin cutting.  This block has some bias edges that you will want stabilized, preventing them from stretching out of shape.  Just don't let the fabric stretch when you press the damp fabric!

For this month's block, the center square unit should measure 6-1/8" after it is pieced together.  If it is not it will throw off the final measurement.  This part is super easy.

Sew the medium triangles to the white square.  To make sure it is centered, fold square in half and finger-press a crease; then place the point of the triangle at this mark.

After pressing them both, use a ruler to make sure the unit is 6-1/8" wide.  I really like using small rulers.  They are so practical when cutting small pieces and block sections, and for trimming short edges.  The 24-1/2" rulers can be so awkward; they just get in the way for small stuff.

The little white triangles go on either side of this, for two of the units.

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Then sew the units without triangles to the center square.  They should both be 6-1/8" so make them match at the edges, then pin.  Don't let this bias edge stretch out of shape!

After pressing these, sew on the other two sides.  Press block and . . . ta-da!  Beautiful!

The finished block should measure 12-1/2".  Mine is just a wee bit off.  I'll make it work.  It's really important to have a 1/4" seam allowance past the points of the star.

Now make another one with some fabric you have on hand, and by the end of the year you could have enough blocks for two quilts!

If you have never done a Block Party with us at Prairie Point, give it a try this year.  It is great for beginners to practice techniques, and fun for everyone.  You can find more info about the particulars and participation under the Block Party/Cookie Exchange tab.  Each month I will post a picture of each of the three blocks, but until then it's a mystery. 

If you are from out of town, not a problem!  We are happy to mail them out to you.