The following instructions make a couple of references to which hands I used for different parts of the process. I’m right handed. If you’re left-handed, you’ll probably find it easier to do the opposite of what I recommend.
- 100 fabric squares, a scant 2” x 2” each
- 1 piece of lightweight fusible interfacing 20” x 20”
- 20” x 20” grid drawn on a piece of muslin
- Pressing area large enough to accommodate the muslin grid
- Small scissors for cutting the seam allowances open
1. Place your muslin grid on your pressing board, smoothing it out and making sure none of the gridlines are warped.
2. Carefully place your interfacing on top of the muslin, with the glue side facing up, lining the 20" x 20" interfacing up with the the 20” x 20" grid.
Note: If you find that your interfacing is too small to fit on your grid, it’s likely that you drew the grid too big. I suggest remaking your muslin grid, being especially careful to use the lines on your mat (rather than a ruler alone) to draw the grid. Keep in mind that the marker lines may be as much as 1/8” wide, and that may be what’s throwing off the size of your grid.
1. Arrange the 50 squares from your first color group on top of the grid, placing them in the spaces without an “X”.
3. Once all of the squares are in place and every part of the interfacing is covered, carefully press the squares from the top, being careful to pick up and set the iron, rather than pulling it from side to side. Repeat this process until all of the squares are securely fused to the interfacing.
I found that pressing as I normally would (on a cotton setting with steam) worked well with the interfacing I used. However, consulting the manufacturer directions for the interfacing you’ve chosen is always a good idea.
1. Carefully fold the block along each vertical seam, pressing to make a crease. As you work, pay attention to how the squares in the rows you’re folding over line up with the other squares in the block. If your seams are straight, the squares in one row should lay right on top of the squares in the next.
2. Sew each vertical seam, using a 1/4" seam allowance and backtacking (sewing backward and then forward again) a couple of stitches at the beginning and end of each seam. As you sew, concentrate on keeping each seam straight, particularly at the beginning and end.
3. The seam allowances are now held together by the interfacing and will have to be cut open before they can be pressed. Use a small pair of scissors to carefully cut open each seam allowance, trying as much as possible to cut only the interfacing.
5. Before you move on to the next step, remove any strings or bits of fabric caught in the seam allowances. In particular, you’ll want to remove any fabric that was cut away from a square during the process of opening the seams.
1. Carefully fold the block along each vertical seam, pressing to make a crease. Once again, pay attention to how the squares in each row line up, pressing a crease only when the seams are straight.
2. Sew each horizontal seam, using a 1/4" seam allowance and backtacking at the beginning and end of each seam. As you sew, work to keep your seams straight and be careful that your seam allowances aren’t getting pulled askew by the machine’s feed dogs.
And that’s it! If you make one of these, please share it in my Flickr pool.