Here we are at week 3 of the 2022 Block of the Week already. Time flies! If you are just joining, here are the links to the previous blog posts for the first blocks: Week 1 and Week 2. So let’s get started on block 3!
2022 BOW Block 3 – Cats and Mice
This week’s block is good practice for the technique tip of the week I will be sharing. The stitch and flip method is used often in creating many interesting quilt blocks. For the blocks to come out measuring correctly, it’s important to practice and master this skill. I hope my tips will help you. So here is the block:
The instructions to make the block are found here: 2022 BOW Block 3.
Interesting block, however… how did it get this name, Cats and Mice? This block first appeared in a publication by the Ladies Art Company (often referred to by the initials LAC) where it appears it received it’s name. However, in investigating this quilt block name, there are several other pieced blocks also with this name, so who knows?
More about The LAC. It was established in 1889 when it began publishing catalogs of quilt block patterns. The majority of the patterns they published were of pieced blocks. LAC published advertisements in a variety of home, farm and ladies magazines and had a far reach because of this.
Tips and Technique of the Week – Stitch and Flip
This technique has also been referred to as “folded corners”, so if you see that term in a pattern it’s referring to this technique. The key to success in making blocks with stitch and flip is measuring as you go. Since the seam is stitched on the diagonal, take care in accurate stitching because pulling out seams on the bias can distort the seam and the block pieces.
Stitch and flip can be done on any unit with a 90 degree angle like squares, rectangles and even the 90 degree side of a triangle. Here’s my explanation on stitch and flip along with photos. In this example, I started with a 2 1/2″ black square and a tan 1 1/2″ square. Draw a line on the wrong side of the smaller square as a guide for stitching:
Next, lay the small square face down and line up its edges with the edges of the bigger black square as shown. I like to pin it in place for stitching so the small square does not shift. Then I stitch on the line.
Now comes the important part. Do not cut off the excess fabric in the seam allowance yet. I like to finger press the small square open and measure the unit to make sure it still measures 2 1/2 x 2 1/2″.
If I determine it measures correctly, I can trim off the excess fabric in the seam allowance and take the unit to the iron for pressing. When you press these units, make sure not to iron back and forth on the seam so you don’t distort it.
You can repeat this step as many times as needed. The Cats and Mice block has units where all 4 corners of the block have stitch and flip corners. Some block units may only have stitch and flip corners on 1 or 2 corners. And if you make flying geese units one by one, you are using the stitch and flip method there too!
Here is a mini video tutorial I did on stitch and flip several years ago:
Well, that’s it for this week. Enjoy creating this fun block and join me again next week. Remember, comment or ask questions throughout this series. At the end, I will have a grand prize giveaway. This will include my book, two of my newer patterns, some fat quarters and sewing scissors!