Bright New Day: Block 5 Tips Video
Hi! I'm Beth with American Patchwork & Quilting and today I'm sharing tips for creating Block 5 of our Bright New Day Block of the Month. The link to the free pattern download is in the video description.
This block has several different units but they look similar. I find it helps to color in the coloring diagram before I start. It's a great way to preview your block so you can spot any trouble spots prior to cutting your fabric, plus gives you a visual reference when you're laying out your block to make sure you have everything in the right spot! I also use the same colored pencils to mark on the instructions to keep track of which sizes I need to cut from which color.
Since this block is made up of so many triangle squares, I wanted to give some triangle square tips that will help you on this block and many of the others too!
The first tip is to make your triangle-squares larger than needed, then trim them down to size. Cut the initial squares 1/8" larger than specified. So in this instance, you would cut to 4" instead of 3 7/8". Once sewn, square each one up by lining up the 45° line on your ruler with the seam line and trimming the unit to the designated size. While this takes extra time, you might find the precision worth it!
Use a scant seam allowance. When making triangle-squares, the distance you sew away from the marked diagonal lines should be just a little narrower than 1/4". This scant 1/4" seam allowance will give you the extra few threads you need to get precise triangle-squares. We recommend you still check the size and, if necessary, square up the block. If you're having trouble with the points being pulled down into the machine, try switching out for a straight stitch plate. It has a smaller hole for the needle and so there's less area for your point to be eaten by your machine.
Draw the stitching lines. If you're not sure if you're sewing ¼" away from a center drawn line, try drawing your sewing lines instead. (This is especially helpful if you're struggling with accuracy.
Pressing matters: Set the seam by pressing on top of the stitching lines. This helps the stitching sink into the fabric, so when you press the triangle-square open, you have a clean, straight line diagonally through the square. (And try not to pull too much on the unit, you can stretch the fabric out of shape.)
When you are making the A, B, and C units, be sure to get each color in the right spot. This is another place the coloring diagram will help. You may even find coloring over or marking the diagrams with your colors helpful too. Once you have those units sewn, cut off the triangular dog-ears that result when piecing triangle-squares. This will allow you to sew the triangle squares to other pieces with more precision. If you are making your squares larger as in the first tip, you'll already have done this.
Lay out your block and pay very close attention to the placement of each unit. This is crucial! When you're sewing two triangle-squares together, start with a leader strip for a nice clean start. This is especially helpful when you're sewing on the bulky side of the triangle squares where there are multiple seams coming together.
Assemble the block in rows. And it's finished!
Here are the two completed blocks. The one I was sewing today is Beautiful Day by Echo Park Paper Company for Riley Blake Designs. I love the bees flying around the block.
And our second block is made from Smoke & Rust by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics. I used a lot of neutrals on this one so the orange pinwheel would be the focus.
I hope these tips help you with your triangle squares on this block. Share your blocks with us in our facebook group and on Instagram with the hashtag APQBOM2021. Have fun sewing block 5!