I like it! This is a block called Steps to the Garden, a Nancy Cabot block from the 1930s. Do you think there's just enough brown to qualify it for a brown block? I like the liberal dose of pink, and I thought about switching the colors but decided that I like it better this way. It would also work with any other colors as long as there is enough contrast. A light green instead of pink would look fantastic.
This block is deceptively simple. All of the squares and strips finish to 1 inch wide. The challenge comes in the precision piecing of the little bits to end up with a 12 inch block. I tried to make it as easy as possible using one main strip set. I used a shorter stitch length for making this block and also moved the speed control on my machine to half speed. I think it really helped with controlling the narrow pieces.
Okay, let's make a pretty block!
From the brown, cut:
8 1-1/2 inch strips at least 9-1/2 inches long (see note below)
8 1-1/2 inch squares
8 1-1/2 inch by 2-1/2 inch rectangles
4 2-1/2 inch strips at least 9-1/2 inches long (see note below)
8 1-1/2 inch squares
8 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 inch rectangles
Note: I used 9-1/2 inch strips because they fit my fabric. You will need to cut 1-1/2 inch sections, so use any lengths that will allow you to cut 24 1-1/2 inch sections from the pink and brown strips.
That's it for the cutting!
Stitch one of the brown strips to the top and bottom of each of the 2-1/2 inch pink strips:
|Mmmm, strawberry ice cream sandwiches!|
Either press the seams open or toward the brown.
Cut each of the pink and brown sections into 1-1/2 inch pieces. You will need 24 1-1/2 inch pieces total.
|Anybody else remember a licorice-type candy that looked like this?|
Next, take all of the white rectangles and stitch them to the brown/pink pieces as shown. Make 8 total:
Do the same with the 8 pink rectangles and 8 separate pink and brown sections:
Take the pink and white squares and the remaining pink and brown pieces. Stitch a white square to one end and a pink square to the other end of each strip. You should have 8 of these pieces.
All the pieces are made! Arrange two of each of the units as shown to make one "left-side" block section:
Make 2 of these sections. Fuss with the block sections and your seam allowances as much as you have to to make them 6-1/2 inches square without any trimming. (Don't trim! Really! It will make your block the wrong size.)
Take two more of each of the units and arrange them as shown to make two "right side" block sections. Notice that these are the mirror image of first two block sections. Fuss with these until they are the right size. Make two of these sections as well.
Once you have all four sections made, press well and arrange the sections as shown and stitch. Some starch or Magic Sizing helps keep all the seams from stretching out.
Most of the block sections have very few seams to match, but the final assembly of the block requires matching all 11 seams. Use lots of pins, and make sure that you have each half of the block oriented correctly. It's very helpful to mark which seam the block sections should be stitched along so that everything turns out correctly in the final block.
Congratulations--you have a fabulous block! Your block should measure 12-1/2 inches square to finish at 12 inches in the quilt.
Now that this second block is finished, gather up your scraps and save them with the blocks for the center block at the end, then be sure to come back March 1 for another exciting block. Happy sewing!
Sharing at Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social and soscrappy for RSC16.