Monday, April 24, 2023

Rainbow Neighbourhood Quilt Along - House Block 4

Welcome to week 4 of the Quilt Along!

It looks like everyone is finding the house blocks pretty quick to put together and having fun with all the choices to personalize them. Be sure to check out the hashtag pool #RainbowNeighborhoodQAL as well as #RainbowNeighborhoodQuilt to see everyone’s progress. Be sure to use those hashtags when you post your blocks on Instagram and tag me @mmmquilts. 

The wonderful sponsors of the QAL:

This week’s featured sponsors are Hobbs Batting and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Hobbs Batting has sponsored several of my QALs.

I got to try out several of their batting blends when I was an Island Batik ambassador, but I’ve been buying their batting for years. This year they are sending one lucky winner a roll of their Tuscany cotton/wool batt. It’s one of my favourites. In fact, I used it for my Rainbow Neighbourhood throw quilt, the one that is the 9-block setting.

Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts has sponsored every one of my seven QALs.

She was one of the first quilt bloggers I followed back in 2013 when I first entered the quilt blog world. She lives a couple of hours away from me right here in Ontario. She is known for her wonderful graphic quilts. She is giving one lucky winner a $50 gift certificate to her shop!

This week we are making a fourth house. I know they are going together much more quickly now that everyone is familiarizing themselves with the method. The orientation of the roof/sky HSTs always takes a moment or two to wrap one’s head around! Mine isn’t done yet, as I decided to make a last-minute quick trip up to Alberta for two days, so lost some time in all that was involved. My favourite uncle, Bob, passed away, age 93. He had a wonderful long life up until the last year or so. I was honoured to be asked to write his eulogy, and then very honoured to be able to give it at the service. It was great to be back with all my extended family, and “go back in time “ revisiting lots of good memories.

If you are making the twin quilt, you also need to make two more tree blocks. Last week we made two round trees if you want that style of tree in your neighborhood.

This week we are making the evergreen trees. The two large tree blocks are interchangeable, 8”x10” finished, yet another aspect of how versatile this pattern is for personalization! Therefore it’s up to you how many you want to make of each.

The blocks get different background pieces added to them, so be sure to check within the layout as to where they go so you know which one of the four gets the extra background piece on the bottom. I have it on one of my evergreen tree blocks.

I have a couple of tips for those of you making the paper-pieced evergreen tree block. Just the top is paper-pieced, though if you are not a fan of paper-piecing, you could simply use the shapes to make templates and then sew the half-rectangle triangles (HRTs) to the tree triangle. 
In fact, that’s what I do when I paper-piece, so it doesn’t waste fabric. You can see my detailed tutorial for paper-piecing without sewing through the paper at this link. It changed my life! In the photo above, you can see how I fold back along the solid line, and then use my ruler to measure the 1/4” seam allowance. 

All pieces cut!

One could argue that one could go ahead and just sew them together as you would for a triangle in a square, but I still like to paper-piece for the added accuracy. If you don’t have freezer paper, no worries, just use a glue stick, very light application, to adhere the fabric to the paper.

Another tip is to chain-sew the trunk section with the top. Because each section has two seams, you can remove the paper and use it again to piece the second tree in the same manner!

You can see how little waste there is when squaring the the tree top section.

Hope these tips help! I do hope if you haven’t ever tried paper-piecing without sewing through the paper, then you will get this very simple ‘only two seams’ tree top block a try!

Next week marks the halfway point of constructing the blocks. Watch for another link up. As always, happy sewing!


  1. Even though I haven't been able to sew along, I appreciate your tips...I haven't tried paper piecing that way so am keen to try!

    1. Raewyn Barge

  2. My grandson likes your trees. Freezer paper piecing in my opinion is the best for paper piecing, no papers to tear off.

  3. I haven't tried your paper-piecing method, but very curious to read more about it! My house #3 is almost done - just needs its grass and I will share a photo. On to #4!

  4. I've not tried that paper piecing method either, but not doing the trees on my version. Could have worked for Card Trick Star which is very fiddly, being so tiny. I'm having lots of fun and using my scraps is hilarious as this (like to think) tidy person, has mess all over the place in the sewing room.(giggle). Take care & hugs.

  5. Well, my House #3 is very rosy and busy! You can see it in my To-Do Tuesday post 4-25-23.,

  6. Hope you had a fabulous time on your trip, I think I already saw a little something, maybe in Insta. I am behind but hope to catch up soon.

  7. I am learning a lot with this QAL! You have wonderful instructions and I actually am enjoying relaxed stitching with my latest house. Thank you!!

  8. I'm not a big fan of paper piecing, but I've seen Quilting Gail use this method. I guess I really need to check it out! I am so far behind, but have one and a half cut out! When I finish quilting my May IB blog hop project, I hope to catch up! I'm sorry to hear of your uncle's passing. Sending you hugs and warm thoughts. I'm glad you have such wonderful memories of him.