BOM 2017 Base Block

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Block of the Month General Instructions bdieges designs©2017

  • The base block is the same for all twelve months, a Four Patch made with at least two fabrics, close to the same light value, to not detract from the appliqué.  Fabric requirements and general instructions for the blocks are below.
  • Any specific instructions will be posted with that block.
  • Make the background blocks ahead of time and then all you do is appliqué each month.  Of course, you could just use a 13″ plain square, but the end result, would not be as interesting as the original design.  If you are planning a different project for the letters, then use the intended background.
  • The motifs can be in any color you wish.  The letters themselves can be all the same fabrics or different.  These are YOUR blocks.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the appliqué terms used in the Block of the Month, click on the term to take you to the explanation in my Appliqué Techniques.  There also is a blog with some vine or stem Appliqué Techniques as well.

BASE BLOCKS

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS listed are for THIRTEEN Base Blocks because that is the number of blocks I am presenting for 2016.  This is also a reasonable amount of blocks for a quilt allowing for alternate blocks and sashing.  All 26 blocks could be used in a quilt, if they are set side by side, without alternate blocks and sashing.

You may have other ideas for using the designs, other than just using them as blocks for a quilt.  As we go along in the year, I will present suggestions for their use, banners, pillows, signature blocks, etc.  Or if you have another idea, please share it.

So the following amounts are suggested and do not include any extra fabric for alternate blocks, sashing or borders.  These could be designed from different fabrics.  If you want to use one or two of the fabrics in the sashing and/or border, then purchase another couple yards of that fabric.

The amounts are based on fabric that is at least 42″ wide, not counting the selvage.  These amounts are enough for THIRTEEN blocks.

Each base block is made from four 6-3/4″ blocks so that the block can be trimmed after the appliqué is finished.  You will start with a 13″ block, that can be trimmed to 12-1/2″.

Choose two very light fabrics.blkfab

  • ONE yard each of TWO different very light print or batik fabrics.  From each fabric, cut:
  • FIVE 6-3/4″ strips,
    • from each set of strips, cut 26 6-3/4″ squares.
  • 1 yard or so of fabric for the letters, if you want them to be all the same.  If they are going to be different each letter needs at maximum a 9″ square, but each letter is a different size, so it is hard to estimate exactly.
  • Scraps or Fat Quarters of many different colors for the flowers and different greens for the leaves.  Some light to medium brown fabrics for stems are also needed.

BASE BLOCK

  1. Arrange FOUR 6-3/4″ squares–TWO squares from each fabric–with opposing fabrics next to each other.4patch1
  2. Sew the squares into a Four Patch.4patch2
  3. Nestling the seam allowances together, in the center, to make a 13″ square.  If the edges are not perfectly aligned it does not matter, since they will be trimmed before being put into a project.
  4. To lessen bulk and so that the block lies flat in the center, pick out the threads of the seam allowance on both sides, of the center.  DO NOT cut these threads!! Just pick out the seam.1.janbom1
  5. Press the loosened seam allowances open with the point of the iron.  That will cause the seam allowances to spin around the center.1.janbom2
  6. Turn the block over and press the seam allowances the way they lay.

PRINTING OUT THE PATTERNS

  • Click on the link under the block of the month
  • When printing, make sure that the design prints full size.  DO NOT scale or shrink the page.  The small box at the bottom of the pattern measures 1″.  If it measures larger or smaller, adjust the print commands for your program.  Every program, browser, etc. is different.

TRANSFERRING THE DESIGN

The following instructions apply to all of the months.  If you prefer not to trace, you can approximate the locations of the leaves and flowers.  Your design does not have to be an exact copy of mine.  

  • Tape the drawing to a window or light box or over a white surface.  Or if your fabric is light and/or thin enough you might be able to trace the design.
  • Align the seams and the center with the drawing center and dashed lines.
  • If you use the freezer paper method of appliqué, mark the general location of the petals and leaves, rather than tracing then exactly.  Another technique would be to trace well within the lines of the petals and leaves, so you don’t take a chance of the lines showing after the appliqué is finished.
  • Or tape the design to the light box/table, lay the background over the design, prepare and lay the pieces on the background, pinning them in place and then basting.  This is my preferred method.
  • If you are using the needle under method, you may wish to trace the lines exactly and cover the lines with the appliqué motif.
  • Cut out the amounts of each petal and leaf indicated on the pattern.

EMBROIDERING THE FLOWER NAMES

anemoneThe stem stitch is what I prefer to use for embroidering lines or names on my blocks.  I suggest using one of the dark appliqué threads, but one strand of embroidery thread would work as well; although it is slightly thicker and softer than appliqué thread.

The stitch is worked from left to right.  The stitch or bite of fabric should be very small, each about 1/16″ or less, in length.  The stitch itself will be twice the length of how much fabric you pick up with the needle.stitch1

Or use a fine .01 Pigma® pen to ink the flower name.  Before trying to write on the fabric, stabilize the fabric by ironing freezer paper to the back.

When the monthly block pattern moves to Craftsy, the base block instructions are included in the pattern.