Tagged: BlockFab

Sep 07

Draw Bus, part 1

My next big quilt project is called “Draw Bus.”  I sketched out a picture of all of the automobiles my son constantly wants me to draw.  I am missing “whoooOOOOoooo” which is his word for fire truck, but I will definitely quilt that one later.  This quilt will be 16 blocks tall (2.5 in. each) and 27 blocks wide.  I may add another row to the top.  Time will tell.

I drew the pattern for this quilt using block patches that are common throughout quilting.  There is the snowball, the half-square triangle, the rail-fence, and many more.  With some of the blocks I drew out, I needed a little help figuring out how to make them and cut them.  Well, guess what!  There’s an app for that!

iPhone screen

QuiltFab and BlockFab are free quilting apps on the iPhone

It’s called BlockFab.  You’ll notice that I also have an app called QuiltFab.  I use that one to figure out how much yardage I’ll need for binding or sashing, etc.  It’s great!  It also has listed the different sizes of beds and what size quilt will be needed for a bedspread and a comforter.  Yes, there is a difference.  A comforter width is the distance across the bed, plus 13 inches on either side.  The comforter length is the length of the bed, plus 13 inches for the bottom.  A bedspread width is the bed width plus 21 inches on both sides.   The bedspread length is the length plus 21 inches for the bottom and 14 inches for the pillow tuck.  If you have an iPhone, I recommend getting it, just because it is cool (and free!)

Back to BlockFab.  BlockFab teaches you how to make the standard blocks that make up a quilt.  It will tell you how much yardage you need, how to cut and construct each block necessary for your quilt.  It also teaches you how to measure and cut different common patches.  Here is the list of patches in BlockFab:

Patches BlockFab

A few of the patches found in BlockFab

Some of these blocks I’m pretty familiar with (OK, maybe just square, half square triangle, and quarter square triangle), but I had planned on using others that I was not familiar with.  Thanks to BlockFab, I was able to select the final dimensions of my patch (2.5 x 2.5) and it told me the measurements to cut, the amount of fabric I needed and how to cut them.  SO GREAT!  I used this to make half true rectangle triangles (where the resulting right triangle’s length was twice it’s width) and isosceles 1:1 triangles (where the height of the isosceles triangle is the same as the width of the base–different from equilateral triangle where the lengths of all the sides are the same and the angles are all 60 degrees).  I also used this to make snowball patches.  Here is the construction of some of my blocks:

constructing half square triangles

The two fabrics that make up my half square triangle

Draw marks for Half Square Triangles

These blocks are 1/2 inch larger than the size of my final block. I drew a diagonal line from corner to corner, then drew two parallel lines on either side 1/4 inch away. I sew on the two outside lines and cut down the middle line once sewn.

Squaring up Half Square Triangles

After pressing with an iron, I have two resulting half square triangles. And, I even have extra fabric to square up the block (bottom).

Isosceles 1:1 triangle and half true rectangle triangles

I cheated doing the isosceles triangle.  I began with a square (about 1/4 inch larger than my final square for wiggle room) and two half true rectangle triangles (since I wanted the resulting block to be 3 x 3, BlockFab had me cut these 2 inches wide and 3  7/8 inches tall.)

I placed the triangle over the square and tried to align the triangle so that the seam would go from the corner of the triangle to a little past the midpoint of the top of the square.  I do the same thing with a half true rectangle triangle on the other side.

isosceles 1:1 triangle before and after cropping

Isosceles 1:1 triangle before and after cropping.

Here are the resulting triangles after both rectangles are added and the excess square fabric is cut off.  The top is before being cropped.  The bottom was cropped (or squared up).  Notice that the triangle’s top point is about 1/4 inch in from the edge.  This is so that, after you sew a 1/4 inch seam, that point lands perfectly next to the next block.  Also notice that the bottom two corners of the triangle don’t match up with bottom two corners of the block.  This is so that, after a 1/4 inch seam is sewn on  both sides, those corners will match up perfectly with the final block.

Snowball block

Two different ways of using the same snowball block method.

Sorry about the blurry image.  A snowball block is basically an octagon.  While I will be using octagons later, I though I would use the same snowball method, but  just for one or two corners of the block.  You begin with a larger square (3 x 3) and one to four smaller squares (1  3/8 x 1  3/8).  Place small squares on the large square so that the corners match up, and sew from corner to corner on the small squares.

snowball method

Cut off the extra fabric.

And iron.

Draw Bus  Example

After doing a few half square triangles, Isosceles 1:1 triangles, rail fence and quarter square triangles, I was able to put them together like this.  This is not the actual pattern that I will be following (there is a lot more going on in between the trees!) but I think it gives you a good idea on how this quilt is going to come together.  Block by block, just simple squares and triangles (and rectangles!)  That’s how my brain works.

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