Friday, May 17, 2013

Union Jack quilt block tutorial

We were stationed in England when I made a Union Jack wall hanging quilt. If I remember it right I started making it in the summer of 2010. I was so frustrated not being able to find a pattern online. A friend, Luzette, sent me one as she knew I've been searching. She sent a pattern right after I made the quilt block :)

It took me over two years to make a pattern, and so here it is!

I hope you enjoy learning the quilt block pattern I made.

You will need the following:

4 pcs charms (5 x 5 fabrics)
66" x 1 1/2" strip
2 pcs 66" x 1" strips

Rule of thumb: Cut selvages off before we begin.
I had to change color combination on the strips if you notice. The stripes didn't blend well with the floral prints :-)

Cut your 5 x 5 fabrics into half triangles. These will make 8 half triangles total.

Start sewing 1" strip to 1 1/2" strip. I used 1/8 seam allowance for the purpose of showing more fabric on the right side.

Then sew the other 1" strip on the opposite side of the 1 1/2" strip.

Press open the fabric.
This is how much of the purple fabric is showing using a 1/8" seam allowance.

Now take one of the half triangles and place it on your strip as shown on the photo. Leave an inch space from the top end of the strip.

Then begin sewing. Normally, I do not backstitch when I sew quilt pieces together, but I recommend using the backstitch function of your sewing machine to seal the edges of the half triangles.

Then sew the other half triangle parallel to the first.

Press open. I always think it looks like a kite :-)

Onto the next pair. Same step as in the first pair.

Press open , and now the second pair is done.

Third pair of half triangles. Remember to leave a 1 1/2" gap between each pair you sew together.

This is how I've sewn my pairs together, notice the gaps in between each pairs? Remember to set aside the remainder of the strips for finishing the block.

Another view.
Then we will cut these pairs separate from each other to make 4 small blocks. Set aside the remaining strip for the next steps.

Just showing where I got my strips from, a Gabrielle jelly roll.

This is how the pairs look after they're cut into four. Refer to top and bottom photos. 

Squaring up done!

Bottom and Top pair sewing instruction:
Measure the height of the gap between the two blocks. Then cut that measurement from the remainder of your strip you have set aside.

The pre-measured strip should close the gap between the two blocks.

Both TOP and BOTTOM have been pre-measured.

Now we will measure the strip for the middle gap where you find the marker.

Strips are all pre-measured and ready to for sewing.

Let's start with the top pair

Press open from the back. This is very important in sewing your pieces together so as not to create folds.

Now let's finish sewing the top pair.

Press open the fabric on both sides.

This is the finished top portion of the quilt block.

Now we are sewing the lower portion.

Again, press open on both sides before sewing the other pair.

Bottom portion of the quilt block done!

Set the middle strip on the top portion.

Start sewing.

I had a boo-boo! As I was sewing a created a fold in the back. My BFF is always on the rescue. The seam ripper!

Rip the seam open to fix the fold.

Sew again. Make sure you have closed the stitches with your machine's backstitch function).

Finish off.

Press to open seams. Now the top is done.

Place the bottom on the top portion right sides together so that the middle strip is aligned from top to bottom.

Check the alignment.

After checking alignment, pin the top and bottom portion

I have pinned my top and bottom but I have another issue to solve here. This will affect my seam length. So I drew a line with my disappearing ink.

Top and bottom are pinned together and at the middle so it can guarantee a perfectly aligned strip.

I drew the line with my disappearing ink marker from top.... bottom.

Stitch, and stop before you get to the pin. DO NOT let your presser foot go over the pin for the love of your machine!

Again, letting go of the pin before I proceed.

Press open

Seams are perfectly pressed open without stretching the fabric.

Time to square up

Square up ALL sides where possible

12 x 12 (approx) finished block
Now you can start adding the sashing/borders according to how you want it.

Until next tutorial ♥