Welcome to blocks 19-22 of the Happy Flower Quilt-Along!
How are you going with your blocks in the quilt?? I’m having lots of fun, but certainly not finding some of these easy! There are no assembly instructions included in this lovely book, probably because with 99 or so blocks, the book would be very large indeed!
So I’m finding that sometimes I can put the pieced blocks together in a time saving way which doesn’t use the templates specifically, and sometimes not. Some are really quite easy with minimal pieces, and some have quite a scary number if you actually stop to count them!
My hope is that as I show my process step by step for some of these tricky blocks, I’ll inspire you to keep going!
Here’s block 19, a sweet flower basket, looking resplendent in Lecien’s Flower Sugar, mixed with a few other prints.
Block 20…this means 20% of the way through guys! Woo hoo…I’m getting much quicker with my needle turn now, and this one only took me about 2 hours, instead of my average 3!
And here’s the doozy of this blog post…block 21!
Aside from the weird irregular shape of those octagons, lets just take a moment to absorb all of those y-seams…yep deep breaths!
Now, if you’re really not interested in making this as per the picture in the book, that’s totally ok. There’s some perfectly fine options that are easier and quicker. Krystyne and Melissa have both done this a different way, and their blocks look awesome!
But if you’d like to follow along with my block assembly, and maybe add a new skill or two to your quilting repetoire, here’s ONE way of putting this one together…
The first thing I thought I’d talk about, is the direction that the large template is supposed to be used. I kept wanting to turn it so that the longer sides of the octagon were facing up…but I don’t believe that’s the orientation shown in the book. It took me a bit to get my head around. The short side is supposed to be uppermost, and it’s a bit of a weird shape.
Then I marked all the seam intersection points on the templates, by poking through the paper templates on the WRONG side with a pen, and leaving a dot on the fabric. This is important for y-seams, as it shows you where to start and stop your seams.
Here’s my block all laid out, looking very scrappy and colourful!
I decided to start with the easiest part …putting on the corner triangles of each octagon. Rather than adding just a triangle, I cut my template out as a square, then cut three short sides off. That left one right-angled corner that can have the square triangle piecing method to put the triangle on. You don’t have to do it this way, just cut that last edge off and add the triangle template if you wish.
I stitched on the line, and trimmed the excess to 0.25in.
Whatever method of putting the triangles on that you use, trim, press, and this is what they will look like. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like the shape of this block with large triangles on the corners, and I may do it over with smaller corner triangles to balance it a bit better.
Next you’re going to join your inner octagon seams along all four edges. Align right sides together, and start and stop stitching on the dots that you’ve marked. Make sure you backstitch each end as well to reinforce, as you’re going to be opening these up and stressing them.
Press seams open. You can’t see clearly in the photo, but those seams aren’t sewn all the way to the edges. This is key to inset seams.
Now you’re going to inset that centre square. With right sides together, line up the first side, and pin.
Start and finish the seam on the dots that you’ve marked. Back stitch beginning and ends as well.
Then pivot the next side, and line up and pin. Repeat as above.
Do this for the other two sides.
Press the seams so that the square lays flat on top of the wrong side. That’s the hardest part done!!
These are the side set in triangles, that need to be inset the same way as the centre square. Mark dots in the centre.
With right sides together, line up the side of the triangle as shown, matching the marked dot with the centre seam. Stitch from the edge to the centre, and backstitch.
Then pivot the other edge, flip over and stitch from the outside to the centre again.
Repeat for the remaining three triangles.
Give them a good press. Yay! If you’ve made it this far, well done!
And last but not least, here’s block 22, complete with the pink sashing fabric that I just had delivered! I’m hoping this will tie all the blocks together like the one in the picture in the book. I used pink and red together, and three shades of green for the stems, and accidentally mixed up my stem stitch and outline stitch. Oops.
I’ll be sharing my needle turn applique tips next time. Happy quilting!