Welcome back to my 2022 Block of the Week series. Today we move on to block 4. If you are just joining the fun, all the patterns are free throughout this series. Click these links to go to the previous posts: Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3. Let’s get started on this week’s block!
2022 BOW Block 4 – Irish Puzzle
It’s the return of the HSTs! This block is made up entirely of HSTs of two different sizes to make the individual units. You can really have fun playing with color here. I just used 2 different colors, but you can make each of the 4 units a different color for a more scrappy look.
The instructions for this block are found here: 2022 BOW Block 4. This is another block that was part of the Ladies Art Company and was first published in 1898. I have not found much other information on the block itself. However, perhaps those who named the block were paying tribute to the claddagh ring, a traditional Irish ring, that is a type of puzzle ring. Since this block design is achieved by arranging the units in a certain way, it’s sort of a puzzle. The blocks can be arranged in different ways for a different look.
Well, that’s my interpretation anyway! If anyone of you have so more knowledge on this, I would appreciate it! Other names this block has been known by are: Bear’s Paw, Forest Path, Rambling Road and North Wind… these are a few of many!
Tip and Technique of the Week – Aligning Seams
Matching up seams when piecing the units of a block is an important step. If seams do not match, the block design may not emerge clearly. Matched seams also help in assuring your finished block measures correctly.
Here’s how I align my seams as I am stitching units and blocks together. An important step is pinning the units. The photos below are of two HSTs I want to stitch together. I lay one HST on top of the other and then I peel back the top one so I can align the seams. I try to bend it back to where the 1/4″ seam line will be to make sure the seams are aligned. Then I pin to keep those seams aligned.
Once I stitch the seam and press the unit open, you can see the seams create a perfect point where they met as I intended.
Now lets move onto units or blocks with several seams. In my example below, I am using two 4-patch blocks. I start out the same as above by layer the blocks right sides together, bending back the top block and aligning seams. I match sure to pin those aligned seams first before pinning any other parts.
Once those seams are matched and pinned, I will pin the ends of the blocks and then stitch them together. As you can see below, once the seam is pressed open, the seams align perfectly.
Here’s a mini video tutorial I made a few years ago on matching points and joining blocks, which includes aligning seams. Sometimes it’s easier to learn something by watching a demonstration.
So that’s it for this week’s installment. Join me next week as we move on to block 5. I hope you’re having fun!
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!