Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Carpenter's Square Block Tutorial - BMQG May BOM

If you follow my Instagram feed, you've seen my as-yet-unblogged carpenter's square quilt, made for my niece Emma's upcoming bat mitzvah.  (Details soon!)

The carpenter's square block is very old and very traditional.  But weirdly, when I went looking for patterns or tutorials, I found nothing I could easily use.  I ended up drafting Emma's quilt on my own, with graph paper.

For the May BMQG block of the month, I reworked this same block into a smaller-form example, with 2 'woven' colors.  This tutorial creates a 9" (finished) block.

One warning:  PAY ATTENTION to the direction of the sub-units as you piece!   I have made over 20 of these blocks in the past 6 months and still had to rip out several of these seams, after I got distracted!

Cutting directions:

From the white (background) fabric, cut the following pieces:
     A - 1.5" x 1.5" (cut 7)
     B - 1.5" x 2.5" (cut 4)
     C - 1.5" x 3" (cut 2)
     D - 1.5" x 3.5" (cut 2)
     E - 3" x 3.5" (cut 2)

From the navy fabric, cut the following:
     A - 1.5" x 1.5" (cut 2)
     B - 1.5" x 2.5" (cut 2)
     C - 1.5" x 3" (cut 1)
     D - 1.5" x 3.5" (cut 3)
     F - 1.5" x 5.5" (cut 1)

From the red fabric, cut the following:
     A - 1.5" x 1.5" (cut 2)
     B - 1.5" x 2.5" (cut 2)
     C - 1.5" x 3" (cut 1)
     D - 1.5" x 3.5" (cut 3)
     F - 1.5" x 5.5" (cut 1)

Assembly steps:

1)  First, attach one red A and one navy A to opposing sides of a white A:

2)  Keeping red A to the left, add a red D to the top and a navy D to the bottom of the unit from Step 1.  Set aside.

3)  Now attach one white B to either side of a red B.  Repeat with a navy B, giving you the following two units:

4)  Attach a red D to the navy unit from step 3.  Attach a navy D to the red unit from step 3.  You'll have the following:

5)   Attach the units from step 4 to the top and bottom of the central unit from step 2, as illustrated below.  Take care to double-check the direction of the units before you piece!  Set aside.

6)   Attach one white A to a red B.   Do the same for a navy B.

7)  Attach a white D to each of the units from step 6.   Take care to do this as shown, as the direction does matter:

At this point, we have the following:

8)  Attach two white As to opposite sides of a navy A.  Do the same for a red A.   Then attach a D of the opposite color to each unit.   You'll have two units that look like the following image.  Set aside.

9)  Assemble the two units pictured below by first sandwiching the navy C between a white C and white E.  Do the same for the red C:

10)  cut the two units from step 9 in half lengthwise, to give you the following:

11)  Between each of the pairs from step 10, attach an F of the opposite color.  When you're done, you'll have the following:

12)  Attach one unit from step 7, step 8, and step 11.  Be careful you arrange as shown here:

13)   Carefully attach the remaining units from step 7, step 8, and step 11, exactly as shown here:

14)  Attach the finished strips from steps 5, 12, and 13 to complete the block:

Enjoy, and let me know how you do.  (Members: please be sure to post any blocks you make to the BMQG BOM flickr page!)