Welcome to week 8 of my Block of the Week project! I hope so far that this has been fun and you’ve learned a bit also. All the block instructions are still available by going to the previous blog posts here: Block 1, Block 2, Block 3, Block 4, Block 5 , Block 6 and Block 7. We will be making one more block after this and then a cute wall hanging from the blocks in week 10. This week’s block has a lot of half-square triangle squares and quarter-square triangle squares. You will be an expert on piecing these together when we’re done!
I named this block “Puzzle Star” because the center unit and the outside borders reminded me of putting a puzzle together to achieve the design that extends the pinwheel motif to the edges of the block. You can find the instructions here: Block of the Week – Block 8.
The Importance of Aligning Seams!
With many blocks, including this one, there is an importance to aligning seams when piecing the block so the design is achieved. I press my seam allowances open on the back of my units, so the examples you see here will show this. However, if you press your seam allowances to one side or the other, make sure to press your seams in alternating directions for rows you are joining. Here’s an example using the block above:
If you press seams allowances open like me, then you can follow the tips below. The puzzle block in these photos is finished except for adding the last row. Here’s what my block looks like from the back:
When piecing blocks and aligning seams, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how important pinning is. This will keep seams that you have aligned from shifting while you are stitching them. So, here’s how I align and pin. I lay the pieces right sides together with raw edges aligned. Then I pull down the edge of the row on the top a bit to see both seam lines:
This way, you can see if the seams will align at the 1/4″ point on the front. This works for diagonal seams also:
Now, once it’s stitched together and pressed, look how well the seams line up so the design of the block is achieved.
Here’s an example of how this works for joining blocks together like below with these two Jacob’s Ladder blocks below. You want the seams lined up so that the checkerboard and the diagonal seams of the HST units of the block align throughout your quilt.
The two blocks on the left are the ones I am stitching together. I lay one on top of the other and then I peel back the top one so I can align the seams. I pull it back where the 1/4″ seam line will be to make sure they are aligned. Once I am satisfied, I pin the unit there first so my alignment does not move when I pin other parts of the block. When I am done, the seams are matched perfectly on the front.
So there you go. Pin… pin… pin and practice this every time you are piecing. Before you know it you will have perfectly aligned seams and blocks throughout all your quilts!
There’s still time to enter the drawing for my quilt pattern, Follow the Stars!
Simply leave a comment below about this or any of the other techniques I’ve covered in this Block of the Week series and you will be entered. The drawing will be on Monday, June 8th. Good luck! ***We have a winner! Congrats, Beverly Wood!***
Thank you for sharing your tips on aligning those seems. I have found that pressing my seams open makes it a lot easier to do the machine quilting later on, especially if a lot of seams come together at one spot.
Eugenia Read says
I will reiterate that one should pin, pin and pin some more when sewing HSTs. I have heard and seen other quilters manage quite nicely without pinning. I have never had any luck without pinning. Thank you for the tips which I will use as a reminder. Keep safe.
Brenda Jeffers says
I always appreciate your thorough explainations and helpful tips you publish. They’ve help me become a better quilter. Thanks for them. I appreciate your giveaway, too.
Helen Bouchee says
Thank you for sharing your expertise.
Thanks for these great tips on lining up seams. I love the pattern you are featuring: follow the stars!!
Ariel Koenigsberg says
Thanks for sharing your tip on this quilting matter. I have never seen or been taught about pulling back a bit on the top and aligning the seams. It definitely helps in getting those seams lined up. I will be trying this on my next piecing project. Thank you.
Gayle Shumaker says
Thank you for sharing your tips not only in quilting but embroidery. Since having a stroke reading and comprehending instructions can be challenging but your style has been easy for me to understand. Some of those tips have been a aha moment for me.
Donna W says
Thanks for sharing the blocks and all of your tips. Some new and some reminders.
Diane C. says
Thanks for sharing the Block of the Week Series~ I have found all the patterns and techniques very helpful, especially all the diagrams.
Beverly Wood says
I have never ironed my seams open. I will,try on my next block
Ann Liebner says
Your points are perfect! Thank you for sharing your method of perfect piecing.
Beverly Wood says
My free pattern came today. I love Follow The Stars! Looking forward to making it this summer.