I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 62, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 24. I enjoy embroidery and applique and prefer to machine piece and quilt my projects. I love my vintage Singer sewing machines especially my Featherweight 222K. I've recently started collecting Miniature Sewing Machines, three Essex and one Singer 20 and a Vulcan Countess. My love of sewing I believe comes from my Grandmother - I still have the drawings she made for me to embroider on tea towels many many years ago!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


I used the wrong fabric in the HST's of the 4 patch block
should have been the dk blue but I like how this
one turned out anyway.

close up of the 4 patch - yes, it is "floating"
a little but I like that.

Firstly, I must thank Mary and Lillian for their help in making this block!  The Math in this one certainly was challenging but thanks to these ladies, my block has come out at 8 1/2" square with 1/4" seam allowances all around!  It has a lot to do with the old  1/16"  measurement, again!


The four patch needed to be cut a smidge smaller so I cut my strips at 1 7/16" instead of 1 1/2" ... then I attached the triangles which had been cut just a little larger so I could trim the whole unit down to my generous measurement of 3 1/8" which I actually marked on an old ruler -it is more around the 3 3/16" mark.  Mary gave me this piece of advice.... thank you so much!

Using the marked 3 3/16" square to square up all units really made a difference.  The centre square is also cut at 3 3/16".

I made the outer HST's using the method of cutting a two larger squares (in this case 4") and drawing the 1/4" seam from the centre diagonal.  Place the two squares RST and sew down each 1/4" line and then cut in half on the centre diagonal.  This gives you two HST's to cut down to the 3 3/16" square.  Made another set for the remaining HST's.  Lillian shows you how to do this on her blog.

By careful measuring and cutting and using my usual 1/4" seam, my block has come out exactly 8 1/2" square with the 1/4" seam allowances all around.  If only I had used the correct fabric in those triangles, I would be super happy.  So, of course, I am now making another one!!  

I did have an earlier version of this block that I tried to just use different seam allowances on my machine, but in the end the block did not come out the right size and did not have the correct seam allowance on the outside.  

The success of this block all hinged on that little extra bit of 1/16" either adding it or taking it away.

So after all of that, I really enjoyed making this block and can see that I might even make other versions of it to put in my quilt.  I like how it can look so different just by how you position the values.

Happy Sewing!!


  1. I ;have never been able to cut anything at l/16. Pass me by on this one.

  2. Great explanation of how you achieved your great results! I kept thinking it was me doing something really wrong & then went back to the site only to find out others were "adjusting" too...

  3. Sounds like it was a lot of hard work! Too tricky for me!

  4. I saw a load of Civil war blocks the other day at a friends house. They look so pretty all lined up . I bet yours will look just as stunning.

  5. I love your block - the layout and the fabrics. And your review of how you made the block is great. It's good to know what to do AND what not to do.

  6. Hi Helen. Love your 2 blocks, must say I like the first one especially! Lovely design.

  7. I loved the color placement in your first block so much..I had to make one! Thanks so much for posting the correct sizes to cut/trim the pieces. I wish Barbara would do that. I struggled with my other two attempts. I hate cut off points and blocks that end up the wrong size!

  8. Wow - I am just in awe of all you clever and patient folks!

  9. Thanks for the precise measurements. I'm heading back to the studio today for my 3rd attempt at this block!

  10. Thank you for the accuracy..... I was going spare trying to trim and maneuver that block.

    BTW I think that blue one is SPECTACULAR.

  11. Thanks for the help on this block! I love the way it turned out, but it was not easy...that darn 1/16"!
    Your blocks are beautiful.

  12. It really is a combination of trimming the center 4-patch a bit and adding a smidge to the 9 patch components, but as you know I love this block!