A couple days late on this one. I swear, every month flies by faster than the last. But here it is, my April 2013 free block of the month pattern, April Inspire. (FYI, I’m backdating it to April 30th, so it’s easier to find for people who are looking. :)
This month has been full of soccer games, and daffodils peeking their heads out of the ground, only to see snow falling on their petals. I’ve been dealing with some personal health (thyroid-related) issues too, so I’ve been all over the place emotionally.
I started my garden seeds inside, and they sprouted beautifully. Just last Saturday, I planted them outside. And then the wind and snow and freezing temperatures came.
Needless to say, this month needed some sunshine.
The month of April? Well, I have a particular affinity for it, for some strange reason. But aside from it being my namesake–I love it because it is so full. Full to bursting. Everything is on the precipice of greatness. I mean, what is more inspiring than watching spring unfold?
April inspires me. Makes me feel like I’m on the cusp of something really awesome. What a lucky month, April, she gets to carry inspiration with her everywhere she goes.
Was your month full to bursting?
PS Need to catch up? Here are links to the other blocks in this series: January Sparkle, February Adore, and March Believe.
(16) 2½” squares from various yellow scrap fabrics
(16) 2½” squares from various orange scrap fabrics
(2) 12½” x 1½” orange strips
(2) 4½” x 1½” orange strips
Make 32 half square triangles from your yellow and orange 2½” squares by marking a diagonal line on the wrong side of all yellow squares. Place one orange square and one yellow square right sides together, and sew ¼” away from each side of the marked line. Cut on the line. Press.
Arrange triangles as shown, and sew together in rows.
Sew two rows together to make a chevron pattern, press seam open. Repeat for second chevron, set aside.
Using yellow scraps and a linen background, and following the paper piecing template provided, paper piece the center of the block, sewing all units first, and then putting letters together to make the word. Square up to 10½” x 4½”.
Sew your two 4½” x 1½” orange strips to each side of your word block. Press toward the strip. Repeat on the top and bottom of the word block with the 12½” x 1½” orange strips.
Sew one chevron unit to the top, and one to the bottom of the word block. Press toward solid orange strips.
Square up to 12½” square.
Download Paper Piecing Template here.
The month of March was a doozy for me. You know the times where you have plans, and then things just come out of left field all over the place to mess with you? Yeah, that kind of month. Some of the stuff was super cool, like my brother coming home after being away for two years in Russia and Kazakhstan. That was awesome. Other things, not so cool, like hey, strep.
So of course, I thought it pretty darn ironic that the word for this month’s block (which I planned back in September) is “believe”…because hey. This month? It was all I could do to believe that I could handle even one more minute of the insanity. (Turns out I could, no matter how it felt.)
And then, of course, when I went to actually make the block, I ended up having to do it twice. Apparently my math was all over the place the first time, and I didn’t notice until I got to the part where I’m sewing all the rows together. Hooray for do-overs.
If I were trying to be inspirational, I would say “Believe in yourself! Believe in your dreams! Believe in the goodness of humanity! Believe in love, and grace, and kindness! Believe in creativity, and passion, and luck! Believe in beauty! Believe in your own worth, and in a loving Heavenly Father who’s looking out for you!”
But that’s not the month I had, so I’m going to say this instead:
Believe, that no matter how crazy today is, and no matter how crazy tomorrow is, that you’ll get through it. You will. Even if there are a couple do-overs.
And all that inspirational stuff? Believe that too. :)
How was your March?
PS Check out Amy’s Virtual Quilting Bee! She’s having quilty bloggers post a block tutorial every other Friday. I get to post my block this Friday! Come follow along!
(12) 2 5/8″ dark green squares.
(24) 2 3/8″ squares from various green fabrics. Subcut diagonally once to make (48) triangles.
(1) 7″ linen square.
Make the green diamond square-in-a-square blocks by sewing a triangle to opposite sides of each green square. Align centers for correct seam allowance. Usually, I fold pieces in half and finger press as I sew to align the middles. Be sure your seam is hitting right where the two pieces intersect.
Press toward the green square.
Using the same method as described above, sew two more triangles to the remaining sides of your green square. Press toward the triangles. Trim little triangles off.
Trace the embroidery onto the linen, and stitch the word and stem using 3 strands of Sublime Thread #778 in Leaf.
Trace the shamrock for the applique using your desired method (please note, the template does NOT include seam allowance). I chose to pin my piece to some minky and cut it out without fuseable web. I pinned the shape to the linen and adhered it using a zig zag stitch.
Trim the linen down to 6½” square.
Lay out the block as shown, piece together by rows, pressing seams between square-in-a-square blocks open, and blocks surrounding the linen, toward the linen.
Finished block is 12½” square.
Block Templates Download
When I put my little ones to sleep at night, one of my favorite things to tell them is
“I absolutely adore you!”
I remember the first time they asked me what “adore” means, and I told them (because they were still so little), that adore means to not only love someone so so much, but to really really like them too. To think they are more wonderful than the moon, or the stars, or anything else.
To this day, when I tell them I absolutely adore them, they can’t help but smile, and neither can I.
So this block is to remind you to find, and surround yourself with people, and places, and memories that you like, love, even worship. That you adore.
solid strips for borders
(2) 12½” x 2” border strips (Dark Plum)
(2) 9½“ x 2” border strips (Magenta)
(1) 10” square (linen)
Using scraps, make an improv patchwork piece large enough to cut out the heart template.
Trace the heart on to fuseable web, adhere to the back of the crazy patchwork piece according to manufacturer’s instructions. Cut out on the line.
Fuse heart to the center of the 10” background according to manufacturer’s instructions. Using a small zig zag, or other decorative stitch, sew the heart to the background.
Trace the embroidery outline around the heart with an erasable marker.
Using a backstitch and two strands of embroidery floss, embroider around the heart.
Trim the square to 9½” square.
Sew the 9½” x 2″ borders to the left and right sides of the square. Press toward the border strips.
Sew the 12½” x 2″ borders to the top and bottom. Press toward the strips.
Click below to print the template and embroidery pattern.
February Adore Template
Introducing the Twelve Words Sampler! I’m so excited to share this Block of the Month with you…and even more excited to see the blocks you make! I’m calling it the Twelve Words sampler because, as you’ll notice, each block will have a word on it. I chose these words to be uplifting and encouraging, they inspire me and I hope they will inspire you, too.
So here’s how it works: each month I will post a block with basic instructions. Then, for the next couple days I will post tutorials on how to complete each step of the block-making process. That way, those of you who are ready to just jump right in can just go for it as soon as I post the block, and those of you who are learning some new skills as you go will get to finish the blocks too.
Each month the blocks will incorporate a basic quilting “building block” as I like to call them, the elements that make up a large majority of quilting projects out there, in some combination or other. This will help build and refine skills, as well as help me build an arsenal of tutorials here on the little old blog.
By the end of the year, you will be old hat at machine applique, basic embroidery, flying geese, pinwheels, and lots of other things! Don’t worry, if you need a little hand-holding, I’ll walk you through it. Promise.
Please, join along! We’re going to have so much fun, and the end result will not only be beautiful, but positive and uplifting–and I don’t know about you, but I can use all the bright cheeriness I can get in this weather.
Like I said earlier, basic instructions today, more thorough explanations over the next 2-3 days. Please ask questions if you have them, and I will be sure to answer you.
Before we get too into this project, a few words on fabric selection so you can plan. I chose 8 solids and 2 linen blends to work with for this quilt. For each block I am choosing two or three solids to form my color palette, and then pulling print scraps from my stash in the same color values. You can see the black and white linen on the bottom of the pile, that will be my sashing. I wanted something that would set off every color nicely, but I didn’t want to use white. Finally, I am using a natural colored linen for my background of my embroidery and applique, and plan to use that natural color in each block as well.
Here’s the details on making this month’s block!
Piece 2″ squares in (4) strips of (8) squares, and (2) strips of (4) squares, as shown.
Press seams in alternating directions to avoid bulk.
Align intersections, pin, and sew top two rows together. Repeat for bottom two rows. Press.
With disappearing ink, mark a line 1″ from each side of your 7″ x 10″ rectangle. Trace center snowflake for embroidery. Using templates provided, and following manufacturer’s instructions, use fuseable web to adhere applique pieces INSIDE the lines you just marked.
Using a small zig zag or other decorative stitch, sew around each applique piece.
Using navy thread, embroider the main lines of the snowflake. Switch to aqua thread, use large stitches to embroider the small middle star. Press the block.
Trim to 6½” x 9½”.
Sew remaining (4) piece strips to the sides. Press.
Finish block by putting all three units together and pressing well.
Download templates here. January Sparkle Templates
I’m starting a flickr group where you can add pictures of your block, please add yours! (I just might have a giveaway planned, and your entry is your block picture in the group…) Join the flickr group here.