Aquarian QAL – February

Let’s get ready to piece!!!! BWA-BWA-BWA-BWWAAAAAAAAAAA!


FEBRUARY BLOCKS

Large Pinwheel Star

Small Pinwheel Star


SUPPLIES

Each month I’ll be sharing with you the supplies I used to piece the month’s blocks. Most of these shouldn’t be a big surprise, but sometimes there is a specialty tool I like to use and would love to share with you, just in case you’re not aware of it.


In February, my tools are pretty standard, rotary cutter, a few different rulers, and a marking tool.


A pencil makes a perfectly fine marking tool, however I do prefer to use a Frixtion pen. These pens are so cool because they erase when heat is applied, ie: when you iron the marking. They also come in lots of different colors, but I have found that the all-blue pack is typically the most cost effective.


I also want to give my long skinny ruler (OmniGrip 3” x 16”) a shout out because it’s so helpful when marking and cutting the larger HSTs. Honestly, this is my favorite ruler, hands down.


DIRECTIONAL TALK

If the prints you’re using for these blocks are directional AND you want to keep them all in one direction, here’s what you need to know.


If one print is directional, mark your directional fabrics with the diagonal line you’ll sew on either side of. Mark 4 of them in one direction and 4 in the other. Proceed as explained in the pattern. Take your time laying out the block to make sure you’ve got everything going in the same direction.


If both prints are directional, start by marking the squares of one fabric with diagonal lines, 4 in one direction and 4 in the opposite. When it comes time to place your fabrics right-sides together, be sure that the two prints are perpendicular with the second fabric pointing in the direction of the top of the drawn line. This will result in all your HSTs having the two prints in the same direction. Take your time laying out the block to make sure you’ve got everything going in the same direction.


SQUARING UP

Yes, you really do need to square up your HSTs after piecing them. I have designed these HSTs to be slightly oversized so that even if your piecing isn’t perfect, you can trim them down to the perfect size.


When squaring up HSTs it’s important to pay attention to the diagonal seam and make sure it is lines up with the diagonal line on your ruler. This will ensure that you don’t “lose your points” when trimming.


If you find that your ruler is slipping/twisting as you’re trimming, try adding rubber grips to the back of your ruler. Just be sure not to apply them on the diagonal line as it can actually make your ruler a little wobbly, especially if you press your seams to the side. These are the ones that I like to use.


PRESSING SEAMS

Speaking of pressing your seams to the side, I know that some quilters have STRONG opinions when it comes to pressing. I tend to do a combination of pressing to the side and pressing open. It just depends on the block and what will reduce bulk the best. Below is a photo of the back of my Small Pinwheel Star Block so that you can see how I pressed. For this block I did press everything to the side and did my best to press them all to the dark side. Occasionally, I had to spiral my seams to accomplish the. Really though, you do you!


QUILTING OPTION

I know this is only the second month of the quilt along and we’re just now piecing our first two blocks, but I thought it would be fun to share how I quilted each of the blocks as we go along. I quilted the cover version on my longarm and used straight rulers to create some highly customized designs. You don’t have to go this hard when it comes to quilting, but if you want to here’s what I did.


I think that covers it for February. Can’t wait to see everyone’s first two blocks! #AquarianQAL.

Happy Quilting!