Making Necktie blocks is much easier than you may think, especially with this fool-the-eye trick for easy piecing.

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Designer: Karen Snyder

Materials

• 6-18×22" pieces (fat quarters) assorted dark polka dots (blocks)

• 6-18×22" pieces (fat quarters) assorted light polka dots (blocks, middle border)

• 1-1⁄2 yards solid white (sashing, inner border)

• 1-2⁄3 yards purple print (sashing, outer border, binding)

• 4-7⁄8 yards backing fabric

• 64×86" batting

Finished quilt: 57-1⁄2 ×80"

Finished block: 6" square

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut pieces in the following order. These cutting instructions allow for very little fabric waste on the light polka dot prints; buy additional fat quarters if desired.

From each dark polka dot, cut:

• 18-3-1⁄2" squares

• 18-1-1⁄2" squares

From one light polka dot, cut:

• 3-2-1⁄4 ×22" strips for middle border

• 18-3-1⁄2" squares

From each remaining light polka dot, cut:

• 2-2-1⁄4 ×22" strips for middle border

• 18-3-1⁄2" squares

From solid white, cut:

• 6-2×42" strips for inner border

• 93-2×6-1⁄2" sashing rectangles

From purple print, cut:

• 7-4×42" strips for outer border

• 8-2-1⁄2 ×42" binding strips

• 40-2" sashing squares

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Assemble Blocks

1. With a pencil, draw a diagonal line on wrong side of dark polka dot 1-1⁄2" squares. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw the lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under the squares.)

2. Align a marked dark polka dot 1-1⁄2" square with one corner of a coordinating light polka dot 3-1⁄2" square (Diagram 1; note direction of drawn line). Sew on marked line. Trim excess, leaving 1⁄4" seam allowance; press attached triangle open to make a pieced unit. Repeat to make 108 pieced units total.

3. Referring to Diagram 2, sew together two matching pieced units and two matching dark polka dot 3-1⁄2" squares in pairs. Press seams in opposite directions. Join pairs to make a Necktie block. Press seam in one direction. The block should be 6-1⁄2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make 54 Necktie blocks total.

Assemble Quilt Center

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out Necktie blocks, 93 solid white sashing rectangles, and 40 purple print sashing squares in 17 horizontal rows.

2. Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward Necktie blocks and sashing squares. Join rows to make quilt center. Press seams in one direction. The quilt center should be 44×66-1⁄2" including seam allowances.

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Assemble and Add Borders

1. Cut and piece solid white 2×42" strips to make:

• 2-2×66-1⁄2" inner border strips

• 2-2×47" inner border strips

2. Sew long inner border strips to quilt center's long edges. Add short inner border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward border.

3. Beginning and ending with the same color of light polka dot, join the 13 assorted light polka dot 2- 1⁄4 ×22" strips with diagonal seams to make one long strip. Cut the pieced strip in the following order to make:

• 1-2-1⁄4 ×69-1⁄2" middle border strip No. 1

• 1-2-1⁄4 ×48-3⁄4" middle border strip No. 2

• 1-2-1⁄4 ×71-1⁄4" middle border strip No. 3

• 2-2-1⁄4 ×50-1⁄2" middle border strip No. 4

4. Beginning with left-hand edge, sew middle border strips to quilt center in numerical order (Quilt Assembly Diagram). Press all seams toward middle border.

5. Cut and piece purple print 4×42" strips to make:

• 2-4×73" outer border strips

• 2-4×57-1⁄2" outer border strips

6. Sew long outer border strips to quilt center's long edges. Sew short outer border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward outer border.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. Karen stitched an allover stipple across the quilt top.

3. Use purple print binding strips to bind quilt.

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