Fiber artist Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Textiles Studio has a wonderful new line of fabric by Red Rooster Fabrics called Inked.
To celebrate, twelve quilters and fiber artists have worked with Lynn’s
fabric line to create 12 fun 12"-blocks that you can make and stitch
into a sampler quilt. All of the directions for all of the blocks will
be on each quilter’s blog, and then will be available on Lynn’s website.
Each blogger gets to give away a bundle of five fat quarters on her
blog, thanks to Lynn’s generosity. (More on that at the end of this
block for Lynn’s block-hop is shown at the top of this post. The center
of the block (which is actually nine smaller blocks) is based on a
style of tiles that were popular in the early 1900s. I grew up with them
in my bathroom as a child, and had the same style installed when we
remodeled the bathrooms in our 1916 house. The center square in each
section is black, and all the other tiles are white. But we can't have
any of that black-and-white stuff here; Lynn’s line is beautifully
When I was a beginner quilter, I shied away from Y-seams (also known as inset or set-in seams),
until I discovered a method that made them very easy. I promise you:
It’s really not hard to do, and it will allow you to make all of those
cool blocks with Y seams that you may have avoided in the past. (Bring
on Tumbling Blocks!) There are nine Y seams in this block, one in each
of the nine small blocks. If you make this block, practicing this method
nine times, you will be an expert in making Y-seams by the time you are
I really love this fabric line. The colors are vibrant, the
patterns are funky, and the whole thing has a wonderfully
surface-designed feel, like you’d spent hours stamping, stenciling, soy
wax batiking, and painting them. These are the five fabrics I used:
From purple, cut 9 squares 1.5" (for centers of nine small blocks)
AND 2 rectangles 9.5 x 2.5" (for top and bottom borders)
AND 2 rectangles 12.5 x 2.5" (for left and right borders)
From dark green, cut 9 rectangles 1.5 x 2.5"
From orange, cut 9 rectangles 1.5 x 2.5"
From aqua, cut 9 rectangles 1.5 x 2.5"
From brown, cut 9 rectangles 1.5 x 2.5"
Note: For precision piecing, I always use a very lightweight but strong cotton thread, 50-weight Aurifil Cotton Mak0.
This fine thread leaves almost no bulk in my seams. I know it may seem
silly to some, but in my years of experience, I have discovered that it
can make a big difference in accuracy.
MAKE NINE SMALL BLOCKS:
1. Each of the small blocks is made with one purple square, and rectangles of green, orange, aqua and brown:
2. With right sides together, align the purple square with the green rectangle as shown below.
Sew a quarter-inch seam from the top right edge, down to 1/4" before
the end of the purple triangle, and backstitch to secure (this is
important for later).
4. Press the seam toward the green fabric as shown, making sure to press the green fabric down 1/4" all the way down.
This is how it should look from the front:
5. Stitch the orange rectangle onto the green/purple edge, and press out toward the orange.
6. Stitch the aqua rectangle onto the orange/purple side, and press out toward the aqua. The brown rectangle comes next.
Stitch the brown rectangle to the aqua/purple side, but stop stitching
just where you come to the edge of the green rectangle. (If you slide a
pin along the seam, you can slightly crease it, or feel the bump so that
you can place a pin there to help you know exactly where to stop
stitching.) Make sure to backstitch here to secure the seam.
Press out toward the brown rectangle. Here’s how it should look from
the front. See the problem? You need to join the brown and green
rectangles next, and you can’t sew a seam straight down because the
green rectangle is already stitched to the purple.
Here’s how to do it: Crease the short edge of the brown rectangle up
1/4" so that it aligns with the edge of the green rectangle:
Flip it around so that the right sides of the fabric are together.
Align the creased seams on the brown and green rectangles, as shown.
11. Then pinch the seam together, and pin.
I flipped over to the green fabric side, where I could see my stitching
best. Start at the top of the seam, and stitch down to exactly where
the other seam (between the green rectangle and the purple square)
Make sure to backstich at the end of this seam, too. The photo below
shows me finishing up the backstitching on the seam between the brown
and green rectangles. The backstitching at the bottom of the photo is
the very first seam I sewed (in step 3) between the green rectangle and
the purple square:
14. Press seam away from the purple square. Here’s how it looks from the front, once it’s been pressed. Nice and clean.
how it looks on the back. (Note how all the seams are pressed away from
the purple.) Each small block should measure 3.5" square.
15. Follow steps 2-13 to make eight more small blocks like this one, for a total of nine.
Sew the small blocks together
16. Create each of the three rows by stitching three small blocks together as shown:
When you press these seams, press one row in toward the center block,
and two rows out from the center blocks. This allows you to notch the
seams together when you are sewing the rows together in the next step,
so that the seams line up perfectly.
Sew the three rows together to form the center of the big block. Press
these two long seams open. The block should now measure 9-1/2" square,
and look like this on the front:
and this on the back:
Add the borders
19. Sew one 9-1/2" x 2" purple strip to the top, and one to the bottom. Press toward purple strips.
Sew one 12.5" x 2" purple strip to the left side, and one to the right
side. Press toward purple strips. Finished block should measure 12-1/2"
square. Ta-da! Here’s the finished block:
sure to follow along on the block hop to get the directions for each of
the 12 blocks in Lynn’s INKED quilt. There’s a chance to win some of Lynn’s Inked fabric at each stop! Here are links to the
Monday, March 2: Susan Brubaker Knapp
Tuesday, March 3: Teri Lucas
Wednesday, March 4: Jessica Darling
Thursday, March 5: Debbie Grifka
Friday, March 6: Lynn Carson Harris
Saturday, March 7: Jen Osborn
Sunday, March 8: Lynn Krawczyk
Monday, March 9: Flaun Cline
Tuesday, March 10: Lynn Krawczyk
Wednesday, March 11: Cheryl Sleboda
Thursday, March 12: Maddie Kertay
Friday, March 13: Lynn Krawczyk
a bundle of the five beautiful fat quarters (above) I used in this
block! This giveaway is open to both U.S. and international readers
(thanks to Lynn!). Leave me a comment after this post and tell me about
the most challenging quilt – traditional, modern, contemporary, or art
quilt – you’ve ever made. Tell me your horror story, share your angst. C’mon, it will be fun! I’ll pull one name at random on Sunday, March 14 and Lynn will mail your fat quarters.
We have a winner! Sandra Cooper won the fat quarters. Thanks, everyone!