Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-Along! Are you all ready to do some piecing? This week we're going to be piecing large rectangular-ish sections. Next week, we'll be cutting triangles from these large sections.
This week is going to be sooooo easy, you'll have plenty time on your hands to work on your other WIPs! So let's get started—I'm going to give two sets of instructions here. One set of instructions is for when you are making full blocks from 25" long petal strips. The other set of instructions is for when you're using 18" strips, or if you're making a half-block from 25" strips.
I recommend doing your piecing block-by-block, just like you did with the cutting, rather than assembly-line style, so you don't get confused about color placement or anything.
Piecing full blocks with 25" strips
1. Start with three 4.5" x 5.5" background pieces, two 4.5" x 5.5" white pieces, and two 3.25" x 5.5" white pieces. Lay out your pieces in the following order, as shown in the photo. The order of the pieces is very important! Don't mix them up!
2. Sew these pieces together with 1/4" seams, in order, to create one long strip that measures about 26" long. Press seams open.
3. Now grab one of the two 25" long strips that will make the petals. Lay the petal strip out along the pieced background strip as shown, right sides together, with the petal strip aligned with the top edge and offset about 1.5" to the left. (This offset is important in order to get enough triangles out of the completed block. And the top strip must always be offset to the left and bottom strip must always be offset to the right!)
4. Sew with a 1/4" seam, pressing open.
5. Lay the other 25" petal strip out along the bottom edge of the pieced background strip. Again, these should be right sides together and offset about 1.5" to the right.
6. Sew with a 1/4" seam, pressing open. I know, it looks crazy, but this is exactly what you want—don't trim or square up! Keep it just like this!
That's it! You now have the basis for one Bloom Bloom Pow block. In the next step, you'll be cutting 6 triangles out of this one block, and those 6 triangles will form one Bloom Bloom Pow hexagon.
So keep going—piece one of these units for each full block in the quilt. You'll need 14 of these units for the baby size quilt, 25 of them for the throw size. (If you weren't able to cut enough 25" strips for all your full blocks, follow the instructions below to make two half blocks, which equals one full block.)
Piecing with 18" strips (full or half-blocks)
If you are using 18" strips, you'll use these instructions to make sections from which you can cut 3 triangles. A full Bloom Bloom Pow hexagon block requires 6 triangles. So if you're making a full hexagon, you'll need to piece two identical sections from the instructions below in order to cut 6 triangles. If you're making a hexagon half-block, you'll only need one of the pieced sections from the instructions below, because you'll only need three triangles. Clear as mud? : )
1. Start with two 4.5" x 5.5" background pieces, one 4.5" x 5.5" white piece, and one 3.25" x 5.5" white piece. Lay out your pieces in the following order, as shown in the photo. (The order is very important, so don't mix it up! All of your pieced sections must start with a colored background piece and end with a narrower white piece!)
2. Sew these pieces together with 1/4" seams, in order, to create one long strip that measures about 15" long. Press seams open.
3. Now grab one of the two 18" long strips that will make the petals. Lay one 18" petal strip out along the bottom edge of the pieced background strip as shown, right sides together. Align the petal strip with the left side of the pieced strip, but you should have at least 1" of overhang on the right side (maybe more).
4. Sew with a 1/4" seam, pressing open.
5. Take another 18" petal strip and cut it in half, so that you have two strips about 9" long. Set one of those 9" strips aside for the other half of the block (assuming you're making a full block). Lay out the 9" strip long the top of the pieced background strip, again with right sides together. This time, the 9" strip should be centered above the two middle background pieces, as shown in the photo.
6. Sew with a 1/4" seam, pressing open. This one looks really crazy and wrong, doesn't it? It's not, it's perfect!
7. If you're making a full block, repeat the instructions above so that you have two identical pieced sections. You will cut 3 triangles out of each of these pieced sections.
Piecing half-blocks with 25" strips
Follow the 18" instructions above, but cut your 25" strips into two pieces—16" long and 9" long. Use the 16" strip in place of the 18" strip (16" will be long enough—I used a 16" strip in the photos above). One pieced section from the instructions above will yield 3 triangles.
Cutting instructions update
One final note, there was an error in last week's cutting instructions post—for the throw size, I asked people to cut 8 strips 4.5" wide and 8 strips 3.25" wide from the white fabric, but that should actually have been 7 strips 4.5" wide and 7 strips 3.25" wide, not 8. You should be able to get eight 5.5" pieces from each strip (without much room for error, so be careful cutting off the selvage), which equals 56 pieces of each size (one extra, since you need only 55 pieces of each size). The error is now corrected on the cutting instructions page. I apologize for that mistake!
As always, don't forget to post pictures of your progress in my Flickr group! You can join the Bloom Bloom Pow group on Threadbias as well, for another place to discuss the QA and post pictures. Next week is the really fun part—cutting the triangles! See you back here for that next week.