Monday, July 16, 2012

Four Patch

I'm working away on my Christmas-y version of Crossroads. 

The center part of the quilt is composed of 18 blocks, each of which is which is made up of units.  So far, I've completed all the four patch units. 

To get my four patch blocks to lie flat without a lot of bulk in the center, I'm using a technique I learned about on Carrie Nelson's blog, LaVieEnRosie.  She calls it "popping the seams."  These four patch blocks are made up of two light squares and two dark squares.  In the photo above, the last seam, the one the connects all four patches together, it at the top.  You can see another view of it below, where the finished seam is standing up. 

Ordinarily, I would press this seam to one side.  The problem is that this results in a bit of bulk in the center, where the two perpendicular seams intersect.  The "popping the seams" method reduces this bulk.  It means removing the stitches in the seam allowance above the seam line, on both sides, allowing the two sides of the final seam to fall in different directions.  In the photo below, all four seams are pressed counter-clockwise. 

This technique reduces the bulk in the center of the block and also helps ensure that all the seams snug up to each other when you get to the step of sewing the blocks together.

A full tutorial on the technique is on Carrie Nelson's blog.  It is listed in the sidebar to the left of the blog posts, first item on "Random Stuff."

Now for the nine patch units.

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