2016 Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop

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Welcome to the first day of this new block blog hop! Be sure to check out all the other block tutorials (there will be more than 70 released over the next few days). I always love this challenge and was happy to be asked by @quiltingjetgirl @latenightquilter and @meadowmistdesigns  to participate again this year.

It is hard to believe September is already here! Life has gotten crazy with back to school in our house and both my husband and myself work outside the home. Currently we both have some big life decisions to make. This led to the inspiration behind my block for this hop that I’ve named Crossroads.

Crossroads Block
Crossroads Block

It did make me laugh to look at my block for the last Blog Hop. Apparently I do a lot of my thinking in the car! I hope you enjoy this block. You can use it in various ways. I again challenged myself to use all of the colours.

The Cloud 9 Fabric Cirrus solids are gorgeous in their depth of colour and feel. If you like to work with a stiffer fabric I suggest using starch when you press the fabric before making your cuts. I did not, but my Block would have benefited from it.

The gorgeous Cirrus solids
The gorgeous Cirrus solids

This block is both simple and complex! The simple part is that you first make 4 half-square triangles (HSTs) – two at once – so it’s super fast!

I’ve divided this 12.5″ unfinished block into 4 – 6.5″ blocks that come together to make it. Once you have pressed your four main fabrics simply cut out of each a 7″ square which will give 6.5″ HSTs if you are a super precise piecer.  I left myself plenty of wiggle room by cutting out 7.5″ squares and then trimming down.

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I love my Fons & Porter HST ruler!

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You simply draw lines on either side of it (I love my Frixxon for this!) and then sew on the lines.

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If you do not have one just draw a line in the middle and sew lines on each side 1/4″ away from the centre line.

Next you cut them through the middle, press (I prefer to press open) and then square up to 6.5″. I always place the diagonal line on my ruler across the diagonal seam when doing this.

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Trim off the access. I actually save these scraps for my small studies – yes I’m THAT crazy fabric scrap lady!

Now you need to cut out your crossroads. I simply made myself a template. You need 8 of these triangles. Cut the triangles at 1.5″ on one end and 3/8″ at the other end. The straight edge is 6.5″ long. I used my ruler to line up the first one. See diagram.

Creating your template
Creating your template
I use one to trace out the rest
I use one to trace out the rest

To sew these to your HSTs you will line up using the 1″ Mark.

Line up at the 1" Mark from edge and join points. Ensure 90° angle is edge that you are not sewing on.
Line up at the 1″ Mark from edge and join points. Ensure 90° angle is edge that you are not sewing on.
Remember to trim the extra piece you have now off before pressing seams open.
Remember to trim the extra piece you have now off before pressing seams open.

I find this easier than paper piecing and less fabric wasting but some of you may prefer to do this one by paper piecing and one certainly could easily do it that way.

Square up to 6.5"
Square up to 6.5″

Now you can add the other triangle crossroad.

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Again square up to 6.5"
Again square up to 6.5″ after trim excess

Now you can sew two 6.5″ blocks together. Ensure you have the HSTs rotated correctly for how you want your block to look. I usually layout all my cut pieces at the start to avoid mix-up! (Which sometimes still occur..)

These pieces can shift if cut on the bias so pin!
These pieces can shift if cut on the bias so ensure to pin!
Press in the middle repeatedly to create a smooth seam
Press in the middle repeatedly to create a smooth seam.

Finish the other two 6.5″ blocks in the same fashion and sew together to create the other half of the 12.5″ block.

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The two halves
The two halves

With this block you want to ensure you press well as there is a lot of bulk in the middle seam. You can even “hammer” it – I used a Pelligrino bottle to give it a good smack!

The last step is sewing the two halves together. I lined up the seams of the triangles, the crossroads, as well as pinned a lot. When I reached the middle bulk while sewing it together I slowed my sewing and did a couple of stitches just using straight up and down a couple of times with my foot pedal.

My points could definitely be sharper in this block but I am happy with the overall effect and from a distance it even appears as though you are looking down a road.

Crossroads Block
Crossroads Block

It would be a great block to use even just two colours in all of the HSTs or even just using a solid 6.5″ piece and adding the crossroads to them. I hope this sparks someone to create and experiment as that is what this is all about. I like the organic look to this one but if you prefer a precise block you can draw out a paper pieced 6.5″ block using my measuremets above then multiply x four. Most importantly just have fun!

I hope if you are ever at a crossroads in your life you can look at it as an opportunity to grow – just as this block was for myself.

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