Block 6 — the eighth block, if you’re keeping count — is this nifty little pinwheel from Linzee McCray, which I’ll be excited to see once the quilt top has been finished so the seam allowances are no longer showing.
As of now, there’s an optical illusion happening, where the outer HSTs look a smidge bigger than the interior ones. I’m dying to see if that’s going to be how it looks on the finished block.
I really like this design, and it played well to my three fabrics, so I left it as is. It does end up costing way more pink than the orange and the pattern, but I’m hoping it will balance out across future squares.
I don’t think I’ve talked too much about the instructions that come along with the pattern, mostly because I’m the sort of person that figures stuff out for themselves even when they totally don’t have to because the instructions are right there. But you’ll notice at the bottom of the screenshot up there that they’re doing the HSTs in sets of two.
I hate that. I don’t know, the two-packs just bother me. And I am fully aware that this is a good way to help bias issues, but I face bias issues head on. With that in mind, I always do my HSTs four at a time. Unless, of course, I don’t need a multiple of four.
First things first: there’s a formula. It’s the unfinished block size divided by .64. In this case, my finished HSTs need to be 2″ squares, so my unfinished is 2.5, and dividing that by .64 gives us 3.9. No one wants to cut 3.9″squares, so we’ll be doing 4″. If you don’t want to math it yourself, there are plenty of charts out there for this.
The actual stitching of these is super simple, not nearly as crazy as the Flying Geese 4-packs. For 4 HSTs, you’ll stack the two squares, right side facing. Using a straight edge, draw diagonals between opposite corners, making an X. Next, you’ll stitch the outer edge of the square at the standard 1/4″ seam allowance.
One nice trick here is you’ll know when to pivot when you hit a line. No guesswork on where that 1/4″ is here. Once you’ve got all four sides stitched, you’ll cut the fabric along the drawn lines, and voila!
As I’ve already said, bias is an issue here, so PRESS. DON’T IRON. PRESS. Or you’ll have a warpy mess.
Something else that comes with each set of instructions is a mini-interview with the block’s designer. They’re all asked to give some advice they wish someone had given them in the beginning. I don’t agree with some of the answers (I’ll discuss that later), but Linzee was spot-on with her advice to square up the blocks. If you’re new to quilting, that means taking the time at each step to measure what you’ve sewn and make the unit as close to the correct size as you can.
If you’re thinking it’s weird that I’ve never shown pictures of myself doing this, it’s because I don’t. If you’re thinking it’s weird that I say it’s good advice, it’s because I’m dumb and lazy. In the immortal words of Alice in Wonderland, I give myself very good advice but I very seldom follow it. I will be squaring up my completed blocks before my final assembly, but I really would be getting a better product if I squared up smaller units like these individual HSTs. I want to defend myself by saying this would encourage me to remake units that come out small even though that’s not an option now (because I’m short on fabric), but I never do this regardless of how flush I am on fabric, and I’m not a liar.
And because I don’t do this, my final square ended up a little . . . ripply.
It’s honestly not that bad. Or, it wouldn’t look this bad if my big blocks had been a print. I knew what I was getting into when I chose solids.
Oh, but here’s something fun: the first peek at the ombre. Squee!