My Secret Garden - Piecing with Brenda

January 01, 2019

My Secret Garden - Piecing with Brenda

For this block, I thought I would share the process that I use when I piece blocks like these.  After cutting all of my units on my Accuquilt cutter, I laid them out on a flannel board to verify placement.  You can make your own with a piece of cardboard foam board.  I simply wrapped it with white flannel and taped it to the back. I’ve used this for a number of years and it really helps to keep your block pieces in order, especially if you need to move them around at all.

When you have a lot of pieces, the logical process is to first assemble the smaller subunits so I began by sewing the squares together. 

The other smaller units in this block are the gray and white quarter square triangles.

I find that quarter square triangles are more accurate if you start sewing with the flat end first rather than the pointy end.  I also make sure to use my 97D foot because that bias edge will want to stretch!

You’ll notice in the photo that I chain piece my unit.  I always have another unit to sew which is more efficient because you can keep sewing and then you cut all of the units apart at the end.  Next I sew these units onto the next biggest units and also make the flying geese units. 

With the flying geese units, again, start sewing with the flat part (notice I have it on the bottom) and end with the point. 

When I joined the gray white units to the pink triangles, I press towards the pink triangles.  This allowed me to butt the seams together.  Then I fed this unit through my machine with those seams first so the bulkier part of the unit is not at the end of the seam.  Again, I find this helps with accuracy.

I pieced my top and bottom pinwheel units and pressed the seams in opposite directions so I could butt the seams together again.

Because of the bulkiness of the seams, I decided to press this seam open.  Because I use a shorter stitch length when I piece, I don’t worry about those times when I want to press open.

Now, the final step is to assemble the block like a 9 patch.  I pressed the seams in opposite directions for each row of units in order to butt the seams. 

The final seams were pressed open and all of the pressing was done on my Wooly Matt.  I love my mat for pressing and I am having so much fun with these beautiful blocks!  I hope you are too!

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