Exploring Blocks Sampler Quilt – Month 3
September 27, 2023
It’s that time of the month again, and I hope you’re ready to make some more blocks for our Exploring Blocks Sampler Quilt.
We’re up to Month 3, and this time we’re having a play around with the classic two-tone Shoo Fly Block.
To recap – here’s our quilt again:
We will be making blocks for 9 months in total, and then putting them together into this quilt in the tenth month.
Rather than repeating the fabric requirements each month, refer back to the patterns in Months 1 or 2 (previous blog posts) for the fabrics that you’ll need.
Block 3 – Shoo Fly Block
You Will Need:
Two (2) fabrics that contrast. We used charcoal and pale blue.
* You will need to make three (3) of these 10 inch Shoo Fly blocks. Refer to the rotary cutting guide below for cutting directions and quantites for EACH block.
Lay out each block as shown.
(You can choose to either cut the 4 1/8 inch squares in half diagonally as shown in the Cutting Guide, for the half square triangles in each corner of the block, or you can make them straight from the squares.
To do this, draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner, then lay a light square on a dark one, with with right sides together and stitch a ¼ inch either side of that marked line. Cut on the line to make two half square triangles.)
First piece the half square triangle blocks and press well.
Now it’s just a simple 9-patch block.
Piece the units into rows and press seams in different directions, alternating between the rows.
Finally sew the rows together and press well.
Make three (3) of these Shoo Fly blocks.
By itself, this block gives great secondary designs in a grid layout, or separate on point for quite a different effect.
And now let’s play! This block can also be cut into a 4-patch block, the units rotated, and re-pieced, for a completely different block.
Cut one of your Shoo Fly blocks into 4, as shown.
As your finished block should measure 10½ inches square, you should be able to cut in half vertically once at 5¼ inches, and do the same horizontally.
However – if your block is slightly out, don’t worry – make the cuts so they run straight through the centre square, so that each quarter is cut evenly to match the design.
Try some different ways of rotating and swapping around the four quarters.
You could arrange them like this.
Or maybe this.
We decided to go with this option for our block.
Rotate the four quarters as pictured.
Join the units into pairs and press seams so they face in opposite directions.
Join the pairs together to re-complete your block.
Also – as you have cut and re-pieced your 10½ inch block, the finished block will now be about a ½ inch smaller all round.
This is fine, and we will take it into account when we put the quilt together.
And don’t stop there! Now let’s try a 9-patch as well!!
This is not an even 9-patch.
Measure out 1 inch from each side of your centre square and cut the block twice horizontally, and twice vertically, to make it an uneven 9-patch.
For this block, the only units that are moved are the middle side and top and bottom pieces.
Rotate the pieces 180 degrees as pictured.
Carefully piece the units together into rows, taking care to match where the points meet.
Press so the seams alternate directions between the rows.
Finally join the rows together to reveal your new re-pieced 9-patch Shoo Fly Block.
As before, this finished block will be smaller than your original block (approx. an inch), but we will take care of that when we assemble the sampler quilt top at the end of this project.
Enjoy your new blocks this month, and I do hope you’ll keep sewing along with us!
Have a great week!
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