Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Follow Your Own Path - First Four Blocks

And just like that, it's time to sew! I hope you have all managed to find your way here. I now am mmmquilts.ca. My renewal came up and I decided to go with .ca since I live in Canada. Don't worry, the .com URL will point you here but it might take a day still. I am hoping that Feedburner will still bring those of you who get my posts via email here regardless; we all have heard of the big changes coming there. I do have my email subscription list and have downloaded it. I have some time to figure out just what to do with it (LOL) before July. Right now this QAL is my #1 priority. So let's get started!

This week we are going to make the first four arrow blocks.

Your new decision at this stage is to figure out which way you want your arrows to point. All going in one direction as for the throw? If so, which direction? 

Maybe you prefer some going one way, and others the opposite way, as in the baby quilt?

If you look closely, you will realize that you cannot just simply flip the block upside down, as the shadow will be above it. Some blocks would have shadows above and others shadows below and that could be confusing...or it could a design element! It's your quilt; I'm just providing the jumping off point with a pattern.

There are four colour families in each quilt. Decide which two families you want pointing in one direction, and which two pointing in the other.
Today we will make four arrow blocks that point to the right. Remember the pattern for the baby quilt is in the ezine which you can download here. The directions that follow are for the throw.

Abbreviations: BG: background; RST: right sides together

1. Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of four of the BG 3 1/2" squares and on four of the dark BG 3 1/2" squares. I like to use my Hera marker for this.
A tip I've shared in previous QALs is that if you stack two squares on top of each other, wrong sides up, you can press hard and mark two squares at once!
2. Place a BG 3 1/2" square RST on the left side of a light 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle. Stitch on the diagonal line; trim 1/4" away from the seam. Press to the BG or open if you prefer. (See the end of the post for what you could do with the trimmed away triangles.)
3. Repeat with the dark 3 1/2" square, placing it on the right side of the light rectangle, trimming and pressing as before.
Make four light arrow units.

4. Make the dark arrow units following the above directions but using two BG 3 1/2" squares.
You should have eight arrow units, four light arrows and four dark arrows.

5. Sew a BG 3 1/2" x 2" rectangle to a dark 5" x 2" rectangle along the short edge.
6. Sew a BG 8" x 2" rectangle to a light 8" x 3 1/2" rectangle along the long edge.
7. Sew the step 5 unit to the step 6 unit along the long edge, orienting it so that the light and dark fabrics touch. Press to the light fabric. Then sew the light arrow unit to the right side as shown below.

8. Sew the BG 11" x 2" rectangle to the bottom of the step 7 unit.

9. Sew a BG 3 1/2" x 2" rectangle to the left side of a dark arrow unit.
10. Sew this unit to the end of the step 8 unit. Your block should measure 14" x 8".
Make a total of four arrow blocks in the colour family you've chosen to start with.

AND... there's a bonus project coming up that makes use of the cut off triangles when making the arrow points. This way of making flying geese is not the most economical, and I do not like waste. So sew up these babies as you trim them off. For those of you who have the 2 1/2" HST AccuQuilt die, (it took me oh, about a third of doing it this long way before I thought, hey, wait a sec... I should use my die...) you can ever-so-carefully lay the cut away triangles on top of your die and ta-da! Ready-to-sew with no trimming HSTs.

If not see below for a way to cut your trimming time in half.
Here are two HSTs sewn together. This method requires pressing seams to one side. It also works best if you put the HSTs on a small mat you can spin around without disturbing the fabric.

Stack them atop each other, butting the seams together. You'll get really good at this; it's like the top HST is a bloc-loc ruler.

Trim two sides. The 3 1/2" squares will trim down to 2 1/2"; the 2 1/2" ones down to 1 3/4".

Carefully turn the mat around and trim the remaining two sides.

Presto! A two-fer. 😉
You'll have 64 of these lovely HSTs by the time the 16 blocks are done.

Here is a photo to show you the difference in size between the baby quilt blocks and the throw blocks.
A really good mmm-nabler would have trimmed all her threads, oops.

Both are test blocks for each size of quilt. I'm tempted to turn the top one into an actual quilt as it's different again from both the baby and the throw quilts I've made.

A couple of items to note:
1. Next week we will make four left-facing arrow blocks. We will also have a linkup to show your progress/fabric choices or whatever point you're at then.

2. Aurifil's prize arrived this past week and I want to keep it for myself! You may have already seen it in my stories on Instagram:

Absolutely gorgeous or what?! They kindly provided me a spool of 50 weight with which I will be quilting the throw. Speaking of Instagram, be sure to tag me @mmmquilts and use the hashtag #followyourownpathqal so I can see your progress!

3. A reminder that another one of my sponsors, Joanne's shop, Canuck Quilter Designs, has 20% off for the duration of this QAL for all my readers. Simply place your order and enter the code MMM2021 at checkout.

4. And one last heads-up about another sponsor. Did you see the adorable stickers from Mad About Patchwork that they include with your order? Go here: @madaboutpatchwork to check them out!

See you in a week for the next four blocks!


  1. I'm looking forward to getting to work on these fun blocks, Sandra! My mom has arrived for her big move back here to Colorado, so I'm going to be away from my sewing machine for awhile. Meanwhile I'll be watching your posts and petting my fabric!

  2. Well, I received your post by email, so at least that worked. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with all these technical details. I'll just sit back and sew.

  3. Yes received via email so all good. Your photo above seems to have cut off the trim size for the 2 1/2" HST :-(

  4. Oh how I which I had more time to make this one. I also downloaded my subscriber list, now to figure out what's next.

  5. Aha, now I know why you won't come up on my sidebar, so will have to remedy that one & still can't work out how to let you have my posts by email.
    I do hope my blocks are going to be OK in a scrappy assortment, but I'm having fun so far. Got my email & will reply later today. Thanks for this QAL, take care, stay safe & hugs.

  6. I did get my email letting me know you had a new post. I’m really loving your test blocks and that purple one, too! Now I might have to rethink my fabric pull. 😉

  7. I am getting there! Cut out the first set of blocks so I will be nearly caught up tomorrow.

  8. Hi Sandra, what a wonderful quilt along. If only I hadn't put myself on a strict new projects diet...having returned to cross stitching, that's eating into the quilting time. I need more hands!!


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