Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Summer on the Coast -- Month #1 -- Unit A

Welcome to our first real month of the Summer on the Coast QAL!

This month we are starting off simple, so if you are a brand new paper piecer you can totally do this!

Update 1/2/19: Right now our free patterns are not available because of the changes to Craftsy. We are in the process of moving our free patterns to Payhip and will send an update once that is complete.

Our units this month are square in a square blocks! Here's how many units you will need for each size and approximate fabric needed for each part of the block:

Baby: 12 units (1/4 yard needed for center squares, 1/3 yard for corner triangles)
Throw: 16 units (1/3 yard needed for center squares, 1/2 yard for corner triangles)
Twin: 30 units (2/3 yard needed for center squares, 3/4 yard for corner triangles)

If you are not interested in paper piecing your blocks, you can easily find tutorials for perfect SIAS units on the internet. You will need a 6.5 inch block unfinished (6 inches finished).

If you want to pre-cut your pieces to help reduce some trim-off waste, my recommendations for cutting is as follows:

Center squares: 5 inches each (I started with 4 3/4 inches as shown below, this is slightly tight, so you are probably better off with 5 inch squares) -- one per block
Corner triangles: 4 inch squares cut diagonally once -- cut two squares per block to yield four triangles per block

As always, make sure that your paper piecing template prints out at the correct size -- from dotted edge to dotted edge, your block template should measure 6.5 inches!

To start off, center your square within the template with sufficient overhang on all four sides. I found it helpful to pin the squares to the paper foundation for the first seam. Line up your first triangle along one of the sides of your square.

Sew on the line, press and repeat with your second triangle. I found it easiest to sew the opposite triangle second.

Repeat with your 3rd and 4th triangles. A quick tip: sometimes it is hard to "eyeball" lining up your triangle in the center of the square, but if you make sure that the overhang is equal distance on each side of your square piece, you will have perfectly aligned triangles every time! You can see in the diagram below that the unsewn triangle #3 has "dogears" that are the same size on each side of the block.

After giving your block a final press, you are ready to trim on the dotted lines for your final unit.

Notes on color selection: I choose my smallest fabric cut to use in all of the centers of my units. I picked a contrasting color for my corner triangles. I didn't use any "background" fabric in my units this month. If you have a larger scale print, you will likely want to use it as your center squares.

Have other questions about how to pick fabrics? Just leave a comment (and make sure you are not a no-reply blogger!)

Share your finished blocks in the HBD Designs Flickr group!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social!


  1. I`d love to try twim blocks,.How many blocks will be in a month?

  2. I have wanted to try paper piecing for a long time, but was always put off by how complicated the blocks always looked, and the numerous pieces they seemed to have. This block looks doable for a beginner--thanks much for a project to get me started.

  3. I started one my blocks last night at a sewing girls night. I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to be as I hadn't stopped at a copy shop to make copies of the square in a square block as I used a pigma pen and traced a few blocks my draw lines were much thinner than to printed lines so that was good.

    I cut my large inner square at 5 inches and I could have cut them smaller but cutting 5 inches is much easier with these old eyes than trying for 4.75 so that was fine

    But cutting the outer squares at 4 inches was too tight my finished blocks were barely 6.5 inches
    Actually a few threads short of 6.5

    I didn't finish sewing all my blocks and I am not sure how many 4 inch squares I cut then cut in half if I need to cut more I'll be cutting 4.5 inch outer squares to be cut in half

    My colors are way different I have 2 yellows a blue and a gold/green with the background a forest print with bunnies birds fox and trees

    My background is directional I hope that doesn't bite me later it was the end of the bolt do I know at my local quilt shop I can buy no more

  4. Looks like a fun mystery. But I've got a plan so I can finish off graduation quilts, so I'll just have to see how everyone's comes together.

  5. Found you via Seams to Be Sew. Plan on following along. Thank you.

  6. Finished my 16 blocks. I too had some problems with the 4 inch blocks. 4 1/2 worked better for me. I am new to paper piecing so that may have been the problem. I do not belong to flicker so no pictures. My blocks have black centers and black and white geometrics for the triangles. Looking forward to the next clue. Thank you for this fun event. 😄


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